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 When does it become stereotypes?

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PostSubject: When does it become stereotypes?   Tue Mar 31, 2015 7:39 pm

Referring to this post here.

Specifically about the part where it says that magical girl shows reinforce gender stereotypes. I assume that they mean things like everything being pink and their trinkets being perfume bottles and things like that.

I'm also wondering if they mean things involving romance. A recent example that comes to mind is Hime from Happiness Charge. In the movie she mentions that her dream in life is to meet a prince on a white horse who will sweep her off her feet and such. And in my mind I just think "People would probably hate that for being very stereotypical and un-empowering." or some such thing.

Some parts of the fan problem I can understand, like the conventional beauty part, As HaCha was all too quick to demonstrate with its pitiful display of international Cures. Not only was the girl from EGYPT no darker in tone than the main two, but they were so blatantly themed after stereotypes it was sad. "This Cure is from Texas, so let's give her a cowgirl outfit!"

One of the things that I really like about MG shows is that it turns the conventionally feminine things like make-up and frilly outfits into symbols of power.

It's hard for me to think about what constitutes gender stereotypes in shows like Sailor Moon and Precure. I guess being totally boy-crazy is seen as one, something the 90s anime of SM was guilty of.

Self-Sacrifice. That's a subject that I feel is beyond my capacity to really talk about. If one is to believe what people on places like tumblr have to say, women throughout history are constantly expected to give up their happiness for the benefit of others, and seeing themes like this in MG shows probably brings up nasty feelings in those who feel this way.

 The subject of western feminism vs eastern feminism is another subject that's royally confusing. The only thing I can really decipher from this is that in the west, hardcore characters are seen as empowering, so tough tomboyish characters tend to be seen as "feminist" in the west. I used to be of the sad lot who thought those kinds of characters were more interesting than more feminine characters, but MG shows turned my thinking around.

At the end of the day, I can only say one thing about magical girl shows: They don't do gender stereotypes as badly as Totally Spies.
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PostSubject: Re: When does it become stereotypes?   Tue Mar 31, 2015 11:34 pm

This sort of reminds me of the time I was watching some precure on the big tv in the living room and my mom was like "What are you watching? Some sailor moon rip off?" "It's Pretty Cure, sorta like sailor moon i guess" "Oh what? so you can only fight and be cool if you're pretty"
and I just sortof stared at her like a deer in the headlights XD like "n-no thats not the point at all"

or whenever I watch a magical girl show with my friends, someone always says "why always heels? why cant there be a magical girl with combat boots?" 

so I can sortof understand the argument. or how some people could make that conclusion. The fact that many magical girl groups have a lack of character traits sort of cheapens the "ANYone can become pretty/be strong" message when your whole cast looks the same minus different hairstyles. I think thats the key issue for some shows is the lack of diversity. 

Like you Link, I can't speak much for Eastern Feminism, but I can talk about it in American standards.

Here's Teen Witch, a wonderfully bad teen girl movie from 1989, here's one of their songs. Louise is a witch who can pretty much do anything, but what does she do with it:

Use it brainwash everyone to be the most popular girl in school! totally rad. 

but that was the 80s. lets flash forward to the early 2000s

Like here's the intro for Trollz:

Just to sample the lyrics:

  • "Grab your cell phone, get your laptop - Going out to have fun and shop"
  • "It's a hair thing, it's a pink thing, it's a tech teen fantasy

  • "It's a hair thing, it's a big thing. Music, fashion, magic make us happy"
  • "We conquer evil, then go shopping!"

they mention shopping like 3 or 4 times the whole 54 seconds!

I feel like part of the problem was that most girls media in the West was planned and created by an all male staff. I'm sure the good intentions were there, but it just doesn't come through and it looks like they just gave up and made it a soulless commercial. My favorite quote, on a PJ Sparkles video "I don't think anybody wrote 'girl cartoons' i think they just occured"

I feel like we're finally starting to see well rounded female characters out of Western Animation.

Think what you will about Star vs the Forces of Evil - I'm glad she's outgoing, weird and kinda awkward. and that it advertises itself as a weird wild trip, not some subliminal shopping message

So yeah. I think treating female characters like actual people first and not some conception of what you think a girl is really can make the difference
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PostSubject: Re: When does it become stereotypes?   Wed Apr 01, 2015 2:04 am

If I can weigh in on the theme of self-sacrifice, it always seemed to me that it is a genderless Japanese ideal. In history samurai were expected to embrace the concept, giving all they could for their lords. This attitude carried on through the ages becoming one of the most defining of Japanese traits, part of the "ganbare spirit". This being the attitude of doing your best even at great personal cost to achieve your desired result. Losing sleep to work overtime, missing out on hanging with friends to study, etc. Most hero characters, male or female, have to deal with extreme situations that force them to have to give up something for the good of others. In sports it is often playing with a injury that could become permanently debilitating. In fighting/action titles frequently its sacrificing their lives or happiness(or just everyday life, which is also a big deal). 

Frequently beauty is mentioned as one of the virtues that a woman should possess. They say it in Lilpri, Princess Precure, etc. While this sounds very sexist to us uneducated Westerners it isn't that bad when they explain it. Physical appearance is one aspect of it and the one that can be modified via clothes, makeup, and so forth but it is mainly beauty of action that is important. How you conduct yourself is a very big deal in Japan. Beauty of action can be shown in politeness, how you deal with others, how you deal with authority; all in all not the worst of virtues. 

But female characters domestically are getting better. In the Last Airbender series and in My Little Pony FIM the female characters are diverse and fleshed out and in all likelihood are spawning new creative minds who want to see equally well represented characters in their own works.  

And about the combat boots I think one or two of the characters in the Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha series wears them.

That point when you realize you are the weird friend people talk about
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