the fact that relationships between women weren’t as huge as ones between dudes doesn’t disqualify fma from being feminist
1. It’s a shame there wasn’t more ladylove, but a dude was the main character so that’s proably why the relationships…the main character was involved in…were the most important?
2. Literally the only major brotps that didn’t involve Ed were one for Roy (who died) and one for Ling (who was a homunculus forcibly sharing Ling’s body and also died).
3. There were lady relationships very significant to the narrative. Paninya and Winry got a couple chapters! Winry and Riza got a sidestory! Winry majorly impacted Paninya’s life, she CONVINCED HER TO STOP STEALING, she helped Paninya make A POSITIVE CHANGE IN THEIR LIFE! WOMEN HELPING EACH OTHER! IT’S REALLY COOL!
Gracia taught Winry how the make apple pie (majorly important to the plot) and made her feel like she had a family! Elicia called Winry her big sister and Winry replied “I’m so glad I have a little sister!!!”. Winry and Elicia and Gracia had a scene where they just hung out together and they helped Winry with the loss she felt!
Riza impacted Winry’s life MAJORLY, Riza is THE SOLE REASON WINRY DOESN’T HATE THE MILITARY. And Lan Fan is the reason May got to come with Ling and Lan fan! And if it weren’t for Pinako, Winry wouldn’t be who she is AT ALL! And since Winry is a primary character, that’s a big deal? Izumi and Olivier also got their own chapter, it’s literally titled “two strong women”.
Fuck, Arakawa even deliberately set it up to look like Winry and Rose were gonna spat over Ed but then had them
fall madly in love really like and admire each other and Rose was totally like “OMG YER THE PERSON WHO SAVED ED HE SAVED ME THEREFORE YOU SAVE ME WANNA BANG” Riza was shown to have a female friend and I think Arakawa was deliberate in trying to say “hey Riza may be surrounded by dudes most of the time but she also has a bff she goes shopping with and who backs her up (WITH GUNS) when she’s in trouble, women in the military stick together”
There are positive relationships between women. There are women helping and shaping each other’s lives. Women aren’t shown to be inherently competitive or to fight over dudes, in fact they’re deliberately shown not to be. Yes, I’d like it to be focused on more, but it’s there and that’s significant. The manga depicts women as supportive of each other!
4. Just because a manga is weak in ONE AREA doesn’t disqualify it from feminism (not even offensive! Just “this could be a little stronger”). FMA still subverts a lot of shit and has a lot of narratives about women asserting and reclaiming their agency, and it’s written by a woman! That’s a big deal! Sorry, it’s not a checklist! It’s about where women are presented positively and like people and have narratives and don’t play into stereotypes deliberately and FMA does that.