Continued from link
"Now, I want to highlight that it is not only woman Arakawa-sensei was being sexist too. Are you familiar with the Omake of an AU FMA, in which computers excited? Hohenheim introduces Edward to pornography and Edward's searches is full of dirty words? Again, another point highlighted by AveriaAlexandros. Edward is quite asexual in the manga, but he is male so he must like woman and look up nude pictures of woman online, does he not?"
Um...I read most of the manga online and only own a few volumes so far, so I haven't seen a lot of the omakes. I think
the one you're talking about is in Volume 11, but it doesn't involve the internet or any AU stuff at all. It's the one that spoofs the moment where Ed meets his dad in front of Trisha's grave - he gets all mad, but just before he punches Hohenheim, Hohenheim holds up a naughty magazine and says, "Here's a souvenir for you." Consequently, Ed's "Father Respect Meter" goes from 0 to 10. Or something like that. xD
Also, I heard somewhere that there's an AU omake that involves Ed using the internet. Everyone thinks he's going to search for naughty pictures, but when they check his browsing history, all his internet searches are about ways to grow taller. xDD So I think you probably got confused and mixed the two omakes together in your head.
ANYWAY, back to the topic. The omake with the "naughty book" isn't my favorite, and I agree that it might be a little
sexist (though, let's face it. Stereotypes exist for a reason); but considering these are spoofs
- as in, purposefully outrageous and not meant to be taken seriously
- I hardly think this is evidence that the actual story is sexist, or that Arakawa herself is being sexist.
"At least in the 2003 anime, as well as being asexual, Edward shows his emotions a lot more. For example, he cried over Nina more in the 2003 amine than the manga and he cried at almost being killed by Barry the Chopper, when he kills Greed when he is in the Gate after Envy kills him. He does not "refuse to cry" as much. He actually expresses emotion."
I agree; and while other fans may have disliked it (and he did
get a bit melodramatic sometimes), I personally thought the way he handled his emotional pain was more realistic in the anime. I HATED the way he was developed in the end (he turned into a controlling, out-of-character, almost creepily obsessive jerk
in the last third of the show, in my opinion), but I did appreciate how he wasn't portrayed as a nonstop super-determined "let's-go-get-'em" guy all the time. It was clear that the burdens he carried were heavy ones. He had vulnerability and pain, nightmares and tears, his past haunted him...and while he didn't let it cripple him, he still struggled with it and had his bad days, now and then. The angst was really good, when it was done right, and I related to it a lot. Just one of the many things I still adore about the first anime. =)
HOWEVER, the manga Ed isn't completely without his issues or vulnerable side, either.
He has at least two nightmares, cries four times (if you squint and count carefully), and the scene when he digs up the failed transmutation...that was extremely
intense to me. That was a moment where NOTHING was sugar-coated; where all traces of Ed's cocky charade were gone, and you got a good long look at the broken, haunted person inside. His conversation with Al on the stairs afterwards was also pretty emotional, I thought. You could see just by looking at his face that the guilt was still as heavy on him as ever.
I personally like to think that the anime Ed and the manga Ed are one and the same (for the first half of the show, anyway); it's just that the anime and manga focus mainly on different sides
"This is not really related, but here is another thing. Lust was the only female Homunculus in the manga and she was the first be killed and Pride, the most powerful Homunculus, and the only one to survive in the end, just has to male, did it not? Because the immortal looks like a child, and has lived for hundreds of years had to be male did it not? (Anther example is Czeslaw Meyer from "Baccano!" though I do like that series. Ennis is my favourite character). Additionally, the only child of the ruler (even though it is fake) has to be male as well, correct? That is so annoying and sexist!"
I guess I can kind of
understand how that can be seen as sexism, even though I personally don't agree. As I've said before, I don't care about which character is what gender; I just care about the story. I don't care that Lust is a female and Pride is a male, anymore than I would if Lust was a male and Pride was a female. It doesn't matter to me. 'Sides, they're bad guys. They were all eventually going to be owned, anyway. =P
"One final thing. Why were there no female State Alchemists? Was Arakawa-sensei trying to say that women were not strong enough to be State Alchemists? Alternatively, is it that women did not try to take the test? It is quite a big implication to me."
That is interesting, and it would have been cool to have a female State Alchemist thrown in there somewhere. However, I really doubt Arakawa meant to imply sexism there. If you're going to call her sexist for doing that, then you might as well call her racist for not having a black State Alchemist, or homophobic for not having a gay State Alchemist.
"Therefore, in conclusion, I simply cannot understand how a woman to write such a story so sexist toward he own gender. If the author were a man, I would expect as much, from what I have seen from most Shonen series (apart from the ones I mentioned). Edward Elric, Alphonse Elric, Roy Mustang, Ling Yao and Selim Bradley/Pride should have been female in canon and Riza Hawkeye, Ran Fan and Mei should have been male. If the above were the canon genders, yet still have the same things happen to them in that manga that I did not like, with these genders the events would not be sexist. It would be more interesting, too. It would also make "Fullmetal Alchemist" a more unique series, and I would like it so much more."
Alright, well...here's my conclusion. I think it's impossible to say for sure, as fact,
whether FMA is sexist or
completely devoid of sexism. It's all based on what your personal opinions are, and how deeply you know and love FMA. I'm willing to compromise a little with you and admit that yes, there may be a few tiny hints of sexism here and there...but only if you squint or are purposely looking for it. And I completely and utterly
disbelieve that ANY of it is intentional on Arakawa's part. Like I said, if you're going to accuse her of being sexist, then you should also label her racist for not having any main black characters, or homophobic for only having one, tiny, might-be-gay character who fits the typical "campy-and-effeminate" stereotype (aka Garfield, Winry's apprentice).
I also think there are stories out there that are far, FAR worse on the sexism scale than FMA could ever be. If you want to rag on a series for sexism and being an insult to the female gender, rag on Twilight. Seriously. *cough*
My main point being, I really think you should cut Arakawa some slack here. She didn't set out to create a perfect, politically-correct tale.
She was just trying to tell a good, gripping, entertaining story - something I believe she succeeded in brilliantly - and in the end, that's
what people will love and remember about it. That's what I
love and remember about it.
There are no genders or stereotypes when it comes to FMA. Only people.
Struggling, growing, human people.