Dragon Ball faces criticism for confining female characters to housewife roles

Dragon Ball Super is very popular these days as it recently got a collaboration with Fortnite. Also, news from Japan about a giant ball which appeared out of nowhere in Japan, made fans think that a Saiyan has descended on Earth. Also, the anime adaptation of Dragon Ball Super is reportedly returning in 2023, which has fans continuously talking about the series. But this time, the manga has gained the spotlight for something bad. In the most recent chapter of Dragon Ball Super manga, a female character’s progression is revealed to result in her eventual role as a housewife, eliciting a negative reaction from fans.

Gender Bias in Dragon Ball: Why Female Characters are Always relegated to Housewife Status

How it all started?

In the recent chapters of the manga, young Trunks has shown a love interest in Mai (from the Black Goku arc, we know that Future Trunks and Mai are a couple). Mai is part of the Pilaf trio and a series’ side antagonist. In the manga’s recent chapter, Mai reassures Trunks that they can go on dates as many times as they want.

While this is a heartwarming moment for fans, it has also sparked concerns that Mai’s character development may lead her down the same path as other female characters in the series. Despite their initial strong and independent characterisations, Videl, Bulma, and Chichi have all been reduced to housewife roles in the series. Fans fear that Mai’s character may suffer a similar fate, despite her potential to be a compelling and multifaceted character.

This fear has led to an uproar among fans on social media, with many expressing disappointment and frustration that the series may once again fall into the trope of limiting female characters to domestic roles. This is a recurring issue in the Dragon Ball series, where female characters are often relegated to supporting roles, despite initially being introduced as strong and capable fighters.

Is this “housewife” portrayal a bad thing?

One perspective on this issue is that it reflects the cultural norms of Japan, where the franchise originated. In traditional Japanese society, women were expected to be subservient to men and fulfil domestic duties such as cooking and cleaning. Therefore, it can be argued that Dragon Ball’s portrayal of female characters as housewives reflects these cultural norms.

However, this argument fails to recognize the media’s impact on shaping cultural norms and perpetuating gender stereotypes. By portraying female characters only in domestic roles, Dragon Ball reinforces the idea that women are limited to specific societal roles, which can be damaging for young viewers who may internalize these messages. In the series, every strong female character underwent a housewife transformation after marriage.

Gender Bias in Dragon Ball: Why Female Characters are Always relegated to Housewife Status

Strong Female Characters, not Fighters!

Another perspective is that the franchise does include strong female characters, such as Android 18 and Bulma, who are intelligent, skilled fighters and leaders. While it is true that these characters are not limited to traditional gender roles, they are often overshadowed by their male counterparts. They are not given as much screen time or character development.

Moreover, even when female characters are depicted as powerful fighters, they are often s*xualized and objectified, emphasizing their physical appearance over their skills and abilities. This further perpetuates harmful gender stereotypes and conveys that a woman’s worth is based on her physical appearance rather than her intelligence or strength.

Will this stereotype continue with other female fighters?

There was a moment of concern when a Twitter user shared his views on Twitter:

This is a pretty good point, as these two characters are the most substantial female cast we know of when introduced in the Tournament of Power Arc of Dragon Ball Super. Who knows? Maybe the next time we see them, they might have married and become housewives of some household.

Gender Bias in Dragon Ball: Why Female Characters are Always relegated to Housewife Status

Conclusion

As the Dragon Ball universe continues to evolve, so do its fans’ concerns. Many have voiced their disappointment with the lack of female characters portrayed as strong and independent fighters and the tendency to limit their roles to domestic duties eventually.

While some argue that female characters may not be as powerful as Goku and his gang in battles against high-powered villains like Beerus or Black Frieza, others argue that this perpetuates harmful stereotypes about women being weaker than men. The concern is that this weak image of female characters may have a negative impact on younger audiences and contribute to gender inequality.

Despite these concerns, fans can only speculate about what creators Akira Toriyama and Toyotaro sensei have planned for the series’ future. It’s possible that they may introduce new female characters who are capable fighters, or they may give existing characters more agency and autonomy in their storylines.

Regardless of what happens, fans will continue to voice their opinions and advocate for more inclusive and diverse representation in the Dragon Ball universe. Only time will tell what the future holds for the series, and whether it will break away from traditional gender roles and give female characters a chance to shine in their own right.

Gender Bias in Dragon Ball: Why Female Characters are Always relegated to Housewife Status

What are your thoughts on this? Did you ever realize this gender biasedness in the series? Let us know in the comments down below. We here at Anime Senpai would love to know what you think.

Source: Sportskeeda


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