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I really should have made this thread a long time ago, but have been avoiding it just because it seems to be a really sensitive topic and lots of people get butt-hurt when I call him a male chauvinist outright.
It is my hypothesis that every single female character in Naruto can be reduced to either a love interest, a sex object, a damsel in distress, or has some stereotypical character flaw that makes them unlikable.
I'm curious to see what others think of that observation.
Do you think Masashi Kishimoto is sexist and why?
If you would, please include whether or not you are male or female in your post since not everyone has their gender displayed, because I feel that in this kind of conversation gender does matter.
Also, please, if you feel there is a character that does not fit into one of my categories, point it out.
Sexism, a term coined in the mid-20th century, is the belief or attitude that one gender or sex is inferior to, less competent, or less valuable than the other. It can also refer to hatred of, or prejudice towards, either sex as a whole (see misogyny and misandry), or the application of stereotypes of masculinity in relation to men, or of femininity in relation to women. It is also called male and female chauvinism.
Male chauvinism is a term used to describe the belief that men are superior to women. The term was widely used by the feminist movement in the 1960s to describe men who believe or display an attitude that women are inferior to men, speak to women as inferiors, or treat women negatively based solely upon their gender.
Last edited by Kusachu; January 06, 2010 at 06:03 AM.
I would say that Temari doesn't really fit under any anti-female category. Niether would Konan I would think. Ino and Sakura would seem to be your stero-typical teenage girls IMO, so Kishi is kind of hitting the nail on the head with their characterizations. Samui doesn't seem to have anything wrong with her either except for the fact that she has big boobs haha.
I would have to say though, Kishi is quite sexist in the way you are describing him, but then again, so are many Shounen Manga authors. Kubo, despite his crappy story telling, is actually one of the few Manga authors in my eyes, that isn't sexist, as he has many very powerful and capable females in his story, all of them very different in their make-up.
Last edited by Delbi; January 04, 2010 at 01:59 PM.
Temari exists as a love interest and is only relevant in that area and that she is sister to a stronger male character. Konan is excessively weak (as a damsel in distress usually is), despite being in Akatsuki, and was beaten with one hit by Jiraiya. Other than that she stood around for like 10 chapters of intense battle and did nothing but utter, "Nagato..." That would be a gross character flaw.
Samui is the "scary" type, like Tsunade, and also has the huge tits to match, so she's nothing more than a sex object.
Last edited by Kusachu; January 04, 2010 at 02:07 PM.
Temari proved she is very capable ninja, the idea of her as a love interest has only been alluded to, and is nothing but fan-fiction for the most part. She cares for her brother deeply, like any older sister should, and she's actually rather protective of him, even when he was ready to kill her. And whats wrong with her brother being stronger than her? There is a multitude of male characters that she is vastly superior to.
Konan shouldn't be described as weak. She slaughtered half a dozen Konoha ninja's with one of her clones. Jiraiya is one of the strongest ninja ever, her losing in one attack isn't a knock on her as much as it goes to show what a fucking badass Jiraiya is, not to mention he knew her weaknesses. She was also the damsel in distress to Hanzou and Danzou, two very powerful ninja. Her whinning to Nagato was because she loved him, I don't see anything wrong with that.
I don't really remeber Samui being "scary" at all. She orders her subordinates around like she's supposed to and is calm like a ninja should be. And although she has big breasts, it was used as a comic releif type thing, as her whole group is rather funny in everything they do. Naruto is a rather comedic manga, so that shouldn't come as a surprise. She isn't held as a sex symbol but as a comedic one.
Last edited by Delbi; January 04, 2010 at 02:15 PM.
Kishi's real problem isn't that he thinks women are inferior (there are enough skilled female ninja in the manga to dispel that idea), but that he doesn't understand them and their development usually suffers as a result.
Konan and jiraiya never finished their fight.Quote:
Caring about someone who's obsession is driving him to an early grave is a "gross character flaw?"Quote:
In other words, Kishimoto is sexist because he doesn't write any females you like. Gotcha.Quote:
Newsflash: Nobody is perfect. Complaining that Kishi's female characters have flaws is the very definition of asinine. ALL his characters have flaws.
And um, yeah, his opinion of what "real girls" act like is that of what his female characters act like. They are weak and cry and need a man to protect them, or they are super duper strong and men fear them, therefore they have issues with men in general.
I personally don't think Kishi is sexist. People like Chiyo, Tsunade, Mizukage and Temari all came out badass.
A whole arc was preety much dedicated to Tsunade in Part 1 and she kicked ass, especially when she got over her blood problems(don't know the right word for people who are scared of blood lol).
Chiyo was well done against Sasori, she is the best example that women can kick ass.
Temari is the perfect example to show young girls like Sakura, Ino, Hinata etc that young girls can kick ass aswell, not just ladies. She doesn't have any love interest, as far as I know, Kishi said in his recent interview that he isn't gonna be pairing up Temari and Shikamaru. So Temari is still okay.
And personally, I think Mizukage showed one hell of an performance in the Kage Summit arc. Kishi kept her at a high level with 2 Keekei Genkais etc. She practically kicked Sasuke's ass with her mist attack, and Kishi made her intelligent during the Ao and Fuu scuffle.
So no, I don't think Kishi is sexist.
But what did we ever get to see from her as opposed to the male Akatsuki? Nothing.Quote:
I don't get why so many supposedly "strong" and "good" ninja have to have huge tits in the first place other than as eye candy for boys. Mizukakage is also an example of this. And the comidic reference you are referring to was the joke about Karui's lack of tits, right? Well, why make jokes about lack of tits in the first place? I didn't find it funny at all. But I think that lots of guys probably did.Quote:
Another point is that this Manga is about Ninjas, who are fighters, who have to be strong at some point. Men are physically stronger than women, this is a fact. So of course there are more male Ninjas than female. Well, Tsunade and Sakura are an exception here, but they use a certain technique for their super human strength and this can only be achieved through excellent chakra control.
I'd say kunoichi specialize at other jutsu then male shinobi. This is not always the case but mostly.
Although I have to agree that most of the female ninja lack character development :/
But just because of that I wouldn't call him a sexist.
You know, I'm planning to draw a manga too and I have the characters and the rough version of the story clearly in my head.
Most of the characters are male and I think it's hard to create a good female character. Why? hell, I don't know xD Even though I'm a girl too.
Main protagonists use to be male all the time... everywhere :/ Especially in movies that is. Maybe it's an unresolved riddle why it is and always has been like this. o.o
Last edited by Ryouka; January 04, 2010 at 02:43 PM.
Mizukage would have been fine for me if they didn't put so much emphasis on her being scary and unable to get a man. Why is she so self concious about not not having a man in the first place? Could it have to do with the idea that a strong woman isn't a desirable mate?
In fact, there aren't many females that are more important than her, she has more relevance to the manga than girls like Hinata, Ino, Ten Ten, Kurenai, etc.
Also, females and males could have found that joke funny, and half the demographic who read the manga are male, so Kishi is appealing to his fans, just like when he puts Hinata and Naruto moments in the manga even though they have no relevance to the plot, it's called fan service.
And let's not forget when Sai made fun of how small Naruto's dick was, I found that hilarious and I'm a guy.
Maybe Kishi has made Narutoverse seem to be sexist enviroment maybe due to the dominance of men in the early centuries but that doesn't make him a sexist. (maybe done purposely)
It is like a white man writing a book which contains a lot of racist language like the N word. Doesn't mean he is a racist it is just that he is using it in the context of the story to make it more epic if you feel my catch?
The stereotyping is common among society so it is kind of ok to put it in his work seeing as everyone else stereotypes
Physical strength sort of gets thrown out when one throws ninja arts into the mix though. You can be the most physically strong character in the universe and lose to someone smarter than you. There is absolutely no reason why the women of the story should be left behind so much.
This is a ridiculous caricature of what the characters are like.Quote:
You mentioned Tsunade earlier as an example of the latter. What issues did she have with men? She had a boyfriend/fiance/husband/whatever who she didn't end up with because he died. Jiraiya was going after her all the time despite her scary strength. What issues with men did she have in general?
Actually, I dare you to find a single female character that fits neatly into one of those two stereotypes. THERE ARE NONE. In fact, I'll go through every notable female character from the start of Naruto part 1 all the way to the most recent chapter. Feel free to tell me where I went off track:
Sakura: Has evolved from an incompetent, annoying brat to someone willing to sacrifice her happiness to do the right thing. Took out a puppet built out of the strongest of the kazekages by tricking one of the smartest akatsuki in the manga. Yes, she did cry and needed naruto to protect her during the kumo skirmish, but look at Naruto now. Last time we saw him, he fainted! Kishi must really hate men too.
Kurenai: mostly an irrelevant character. Had a small skirmish with a character who made both her and kakashi look like bitches, but other than that, no real development.
ten ten: seems like a mostly normal girl. No particular defects or overblown traits. also pretty much an irrelevant side character like most of the 12 have become.
ino: also mostly a normal girl, but on the annoying side. not enough screentime to tell if her sometimes aggressive attitude complicates her relationships with men or whatever.
Hinata: Arguably the best developed female character in Naruto. started off insecure (not weak, and I can't remember seeing her cry), but got over that. Naruto was the damsel in distress and she was his prince last time we saw them.
chiyo: very powerful. Not super-aggressive like tsunade. I'd love to hear how she fits in either of the stereotypes you listed.
mizukage: very scary to ao. Very nice to choujirou. which stereotype is she supposed to be again?
Probably missed one or two but it's not really all that important, as I'm convinced more than ever that your frequent complaints about sexism are simply in your head.