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…
I disagree with the vast majority of this. Nobody’s ever claimed that women have no impact on other women in this narrative; the claim is that the impact is dwarfed by the impact men have on them. Which is quantifiably true.
1. This point isn’t relevant, as having a main male protagonist doesn’t stop other shounen manga from having strong, well-developed, recurring female friendships. I cite Gintama as a great example of this, though even Bleach and Naruto are better about it than FMA.
2. Also not very relevant. What does the number of brotps have to do with the lack of strong female relationships?
3. There were lady interactions that were mildly significant to the narrative. To call them “relationships” is, I think, a bit of a stretch, because that implies some kind of continuity of contact. The hallmark of all the examples you’ve listed is that these women never again interact in a meaningful way. Which cannot be said of relationships between men, or between women and men.
And speaking of Winry and Pinako: I still find it utterly bizarre how little Pinako factored into Winry’s decisions, and how Pinako is, IIRC, shown speaking more to Edward than to Winry.
Regardless, I think it says a lot that it’s notable when two named female characters even speak to each other.
4. I personally thought it was weak in more than one area, though. It definitely avoids some of the pitfalls of other works — but only sometimes. And in other ways it falls short where other works don’t. Including other shounen anime and manga.
Truthfully, I can’t really consider any work feminist as a whole unless at least 50% of its characters are women. It may have feminist elements, for sure — and nobody denies that certain elements of FMA are indeed feminist — but if it doesn’t even reflect real-life sex ratios, IMO, it falls short on the most basic level possible.
okay first of all I hope made it clear in our last interaction that it became clear people who follow you are people who’ve harassed me in the past, so um, I’m really nervous about talking to you and don’t want to? Because it’s basically guaranteeing i might have those people seeing something and showing up on my doorstep. I wish you’d respect that and not reblog my stuff. I know it’s a public forum, but I also have the right to politely ask people who are involved in a community I find toxic and frankly, tiring, to ignore my blog. . Whether willingly or not, you associate with people who crossed a line with me a long time ago, and I don’t want a part of that. I’m sorry and it’s a shame, but this is for my mental health. It’s partly my problem because I don’t handle anxiety well, but also want to, you know, say basic stuff about my opinions on tumblr. But our argument directly lead to weird messages from people who scare me, so. I’ll ride this one out if it must be done, but please remember this makes me uncomfortable and try to keep that in mind in the future.
Second, It’s fine whatever you consider feminist, but I don’t play by your rulebook what defines a work as feminist to me is:
the overarching themes- some themes are inherently feminist, like a woman reclaiming and/or asserting agency etc.
how the female characters are treated
their impact on the plot
Female relationships are also a part- if they’re depicted as inherently negative, that disqualifies the work, and being major raises to work higher
Whether the work confronts and actively subverts gender roles, empowers many different types of women
Also if a woman is writing it and reflecting her life experiences in an empowering way, that also matters to me as a plus but not necessarily a “you fail this you fail everything”- works written by men can be feminist etc.
I care about content, not statistics. I don’t know if FMA conforms to exactly 50% but that’s secondary for me. I care about how prominent the female characters and if there’s a variety (I know Arakawa also made an active effort to include more girls and was denied by her editor when she tried to include Winry earlier because she felt there weren’t enough ladies early in the manga -which is interesting to me, who knows what else went on behind the scenes) . A work can have 50% women and fail miserably to be feminist, so I don’t think a work doesn’t necc have to be 50 percent women to be so either.
I’ve written in the FMA feminist analysis tag how exactly I find it feminist, you can look but I doubt you’ll change your mind.
Finally, it’s super weird to decide the female relationships are suddenly interactions just because they’re not as prominent.. With the exception of Winry and Rose and Olivier and Izumi, all of the women involved interacted more than once onscreen and a lot of times their RELATIONSHIP evolved. Lan Fan changed her attitude toward May, Winry toward Riza, Paninya and Winry worked together and became friends.
I never denied they weren’t as prominent and that wasn’t a flaw. Naruto and Bleach are both very flawed in how they present female relationships even if those relationships are slightly more prominent. They clearly aren’t nearly as prominent and are dwarfed by comparison to any of the male relationships in those manga anyway? It’s a balance, but I don’t really feel like analyzing other manga. All I was pointing out is I don’t think Arakawa had a feminist checklist she was going over. She obviously went out of her way to do several subversive things with her women, but there are some oversights and problematic areas.
Still, when she presented relationships between women she presented them as positive and important to the women involved. Relationships involving the main character were more focused on, the manga was tightly plotted. I don’t think think it disqualifies it from being feminist. It’s a shame, it’s an oversight, it would have been better with it, but no story is perfect and I did like what we were given of female interactions in FMA and felt they were positive. I find this manga feminist because overall there are a lot of postive, pro-women messages that speak to me. Because I love reading it and watching it subvert common cliches. Because it made me feel empowered. So yeah, it’s flawed, but everything is, the manga/anime i love that’s solely about women and female relationships (Sailor Moon, actually any magical girl story, Revolutionary girl Utena) also has major flaws but I still find it feminist.