The Legend of Korra Changed Cartoon History But Its Work Isn’t Over

by / 38 Comments / 23097 View / December 21, 2014

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Meelo constantly acts superior to his sisters amid the fact he is younger and far less skilled, especially in comparison to his older sister, Jinora.

Meelo constantly acts superior to his sisters amid the fact he is younger and far less skilled, especially in comparison to his older sister, Jinora.

 The major overarching difference in The Legend of Korra from The Last Airbender is that Korra’s world is supposed to be a more modern one which has transcended most of the social ills of The Last Airbender, including sexism. It is clearly meant to represent a post-patriarchal society. However, the great feminist strength of Avatar: The Last Airbender often came from its representation and active subversion of patriarchy. Because it was set in a world where gender roles were confining and repressive, the creators had to address them and deconstruct them head-on.

However, being set in a purportedly post-patriarchal world meant that Legend of Korra fell prey to more subtle misogyny that exists in modern society and pervades the way that we—and the creators—view women. Because the creators do not approach misogyny as one of their core social messages as they did in Avatar: The Last Airbender, the world of Korra is one of normalized sexism that is never named as such.  Sometimes, this means that characters display misogynistic behavior that is never called out as such and is played off for laughs. Sometimes, this seeps into the characterization of the female characters themselves. Both things are products of the invisible misogyny of modern society, and it’s crucial to recognize them if we want to improve media as a whole.

Take, for instance, the character of Meelo. He is the second-youngest child and oldest son of Tenzin, who is Aang’s son and the steward of Air Nomad culture. For the first few seasons, Meelo is a very young child who mostly exists for comic relief. However, in the later seasons, he begins to take on more responsibility and go with his older sisters on missions. What happens at this point is that he begins to believe that he is the alpha male in the group, despite being the youngest, and casually dismisses his older sisters’ abilities because they’re girls, claiming almost full credit whenever a mission goes successfully.

Never once is he told to respect girls or stop believing that he’s better because he’s a boy when he makes such misogynistic comments. It’s easy to dismiss this as just the way that little boys act. But the fact that Meelo is never called out or lectured for this attitude represents normalized sexism. Whereas Sokka’s offhand, joking comments about “girl stuff” was rightfully called out and shut down in the very first episode of Avatar: The Last Airbender, Meelo is allowed to continue speaking this way about his older sisters and still be a quirky, talented hero. Not to mention what his attitude says about the Air Nomad culture and about our own society: young boys assume a privileged role in the household regardless of age. Studies have actually shown that boys with older sisters are more likely to grow up with conservative, anti-feminist views because they grew up watching their sisters be treated with less respect than them and given traditionally “girly” tasks. Meelo’s views represent a generally negative attitude about women, and the fact that he isn’t chastised for it represent the fact that society agrees with him.

Varrick’s relationship with Zhu Li, although in the end it underwent a major change, is also a negative representation of gender roles. Zhu Li starts out as an absolutely subservient assistant to Varrick, performing every task that he desires without ever voicing an opinion of her own. The gendered implications of this relationship are impossible to ignore: the female assistant is mistreated and abused by the male boss, who is portrayed as brilliant and eccentric aside from a few quirky bad behaviors.

Zhu Li, Varrack's assistant, is constantly burdened by many menial tasks often separate from Varrack's scientific work.

Zhu Li, Varrick’s assistant, is constantly burdened by many menial tasks often separate from Varrack’s scientific work.

Prior to discussing the conclusion of this relationship, it is critical to note that Zhu Li is a direct representation on how women are regarded in Science.  Most of Varrick’s inventions come in part at her skill of detail.  Bolin, one of the other male leads of the show, comments that Zhu Li “doesn’t make mistakes.”  He is one of the very few characters that treats her as a human, not a tool for achieving a higher good.

And Zhu Li never asks for credit – she just signs it off to Varrick who takes full credit: like every other major male scientist that had a female collaborator (or potentially leader) in a major project. For a short time during the final season, Zhu Li starts down an arc of empowerment that develops her character and shows her skill and cunning independently of Varrick. She pretends to betray Varrick in order to work for Kuvira and sabotage her plans, and upon returning to Varrick angrily tells him that she won’t be her assistant anymore and that he will have to start treating her like an equal. However, this all falls apart quickly in the final episode.

Without demonstrating any other growth in character, Varrick proposes marriage to Zhu Li, who instantly and delightedly says yes. Despite having demanded better, more equal treatment in the earlier episodes, it seems that what the writers meant by that was that she wanted romantic attention. When they get married, what Zhu Li asks for in her vows is to be treated as an equal, not as an assistant. By contrast, what Varrick asks for is a whole list of menial and degrading tasks so long that Bolin stops reading them after he asks her to rub his calluses two times a week. Despite the spoken promise to treat her as an individual, Varrick displays no actual remorse or understanding of how he treated her poorly in the past, and it’s clear that Zhu Li is still expected to fulfill all the roles of the assistant in her marriage, just with the label of “wife”.

Varrack and Zhu Li get married, but Varrack still seems to value her less than his personal ego.

Varrick and Zhu Li get married, but Varrack still seems to value her less than his personal ego.

For many fans, this may prompt a “Hey, give the creators some slack!” or “This is a minor detail of the whole thing.”  Sure, in retrospect to the entire series, the Zhu Li and Varrick arc is barely as visited as other major themes.  But this is direct evidence of normalized sexism – often critics are welcome to set aside small microcosm of sexist relationships using other female leads of an excuse.  But 2% sexist is still sexist.  And what is important to note is that this dialogue of sexism in society and feminism in The Legend of Korra is barely as prominent as other conversations about how boss so-and-so is at fighting so-and-so.

In the ending, the idea of Zhu Li being happy as being a submissive wife to a man that treated her as nothing throughout the series is passively ignored and by extension, passively ingrained in our tolerance of social norms. What’s true of the inequality in Zhu Li and Varrick’s relationship is still true in real world society: women are told they are equal partners in relationships and may even hold full time jobs, but they still do housework 2.5 times as much as their partners do. The representation of Zhu Li and Varrick is a big issue in light of the original intentions of The Legend of Korra: the creators flopped at depicting a woman who was asking for better treatment and conflated respecting a woman and needing a woman.

  • James Palin

    This might be the most well written review I have ever seen. just got better and better.. wow..

  • KorraNation

    <3 <3 <3

  • All Hail the Great Uniter


  • R I

    While I agree that normalized sexism needs to be fought for certain, I think any talk of gender is going to fail if you focus on the female characters exclusively. Feminism, and gender balance, are to do with changing roles for men too. And I think many of the niggling issues in LoK are balanced out by that. Let me explain:

    1) Asami and Korra in Book 1 actually have a pretty good relationship. They rarely talk about Mako at all. When they do, it is mature and without vitriol. When Asami and Mako fight over his infatuation with Korra, Asami makes it clear that she isn’t blaming Korra, but Mako for being a douche. When Asami is betrayed by her father, Korra’s first instinct is to tell Mako he needs to be there for her. So no, I don’t think they fail the Bechdel Test at all.

    2) I agree that Varrick’s list was absurd. But I feel part of why it exists is because the writers wanted to show he hasn’t completely changed overnight. But just as important, they’ve made it clear Zhu Li isn’t going to stand for such nonsense from him. And they promptly subverted any possible sexist view of their marriage by making Zhu Li tip Varrick over for their kiss, and then having it so that Varrick is the one who cries post their wedding. They made it pretty clear this isn’t going to be a traditional sexist marriage.

    3) Meelo isn’t reprimanded, no, but he’s also not taken seriously by his sisters. When things of actual import happen, Jinora takes command, and Meelo shuts up. His sexist attitude is conflated with his overimportant image of himself. He’s depicted as a buffoon, not as a serious reflection of society’s view on women.

    4) Yes, there are some actions in this show associated with traditional sexism. But many others that are not. Look at Su Yin and her husband. She clearly leads their relationship. Her husband is even shown to not be a physically brave person. But he’s also not depicted as a weakling, or someone who is useless. Su, in fact, is the strongest statement against sexist views that this show offers. She’s a mother, a good mother, but she’s also a very competent leader and fighter. She defies any traditional description of women, and where it would traditionally be assumed only a wimp would marry such a woman, her husband is shown to be principled and clever and capable.

    All in all, I’d say LoK does a great job of portraying a post-sexist society.

    • Michael Santaly

      This was a great comment, and I especially agree with your third point. I don’t know, the authors of this piece seem to want to see misogyny in everything, and while I don’t codone it, I’d say they need to lighten up a little..

      • Mark

        I think you missed all of his points if you think the authors of this piece need to ‘lighten up.’

        • Michael Santaly

          What exactly did I miss? My comment was a reply R I who I thought made excellent points to the “issues” the authors had with the show. Especially to the to the point of normalized sexism that was supposedly demonstrated through Meelo. I don’t believe Meelo was written the way he was because the creators have been influenced by institutionalized sexim, but rather because he is a child, and as R I pointed out isn’t taken very seriously by the girls. Futher Tenzan puts Jinora in charge of him and makes it clear she is to be respected.

          So yes, I believe the three authors were reaching for examples of misogny and patriarchy in several of their criticisms of the show. Since you’re happy to tell me I missed all the points, but not why I hope that elaboration helps.

    • Hinata0321

      My thoughts exactly, I was like, whoever’s writing this article is overdoing it a bit… they’re making it seem like the whole shows are cheesily hyper-feministic, when the show does such a better job of going about… well, doing some of the things they’re saying they’re doing.

  • Felicia Andreani

    Great review!!! Intelligent and thought provoking just like the series

  • Darklurkr23

    You have to wonder if they would’ve dropped stronger hints in s3 or s4 and if they were afriad it would alienate viewers if they did. A last minute “BAM!” is nice, butI gotta say those hints sure were subtle. I dont mind them ending up togethe at all, but like if there we going to do it, at least turn the dial to 10 on the 11 scale, not a 5

    • Mark

      Tip for straight people: If you go back and rewatch books 3 and 4 while imagining one of them as male, it becomes a lot more obvious.

      • Ember Quill

        I was spoiled about the Korrasami ending before I watched season 3 (it’s actually what convinced me to give the show another chance after I gave up on it after that mess of a second season), so as I was binge-watching through seasons 3 and 4 of the show a few days ago, it was obvious. All of their interactions throughout those two seasons are very typical of two close friends who are gradually falling in love.

        But I think even if I hadn’t been spoiled by it, I still would’ve noticed the hints. They weren’t exactly that subtle, particularly during the fourth season (although even the third season had a few really telling moments).

  • aaronmhill

    “Minghua lost both of her arms but maintains her strength by bending water to fulfill their purpose. She is depicted as one of the most powerful water benders of all time.”

    This is incorrect. The creators of the show have previously indicated that her condition is congenital.

    (Original sources linked from here: )

    • Mathew Pregasen

      That’s true! Thanks for the note – fixed!

  • Matthew Solari

    You are totally reaching with the sexist claims and potentially turning a blind eye to all the subtle forms of sexism towards men in the series. You complain about how Varrick & Melo acted then I can easily complain about how Varrick & Melo were portrayed.

    Both were given highly exaggerated flaws as a source for comedic relief while all female characters were crisp and sophisticated personas. Besides Melo & Varrick there was constant naivety from Bolin, the earth Prince was a running gag, and Mako was relegated to just a prop even though he was likely the most level headed character on the show. There is not one male character besides the villains who fell pray to these emasculating plot device.

    Speaking of villains I also notice how you over looked how all other male villains were portrayed as more ruthless and afforded less level of attention and justification for their motives. As if only a female villain deserves to have her actions discounted and are the only kind able to come to realize the error in their ways as the story closes. While Amon just blows up, Unalaq is spirit dust, and Zaheer rots in change with no reprieve in sight despite being one of the most spiritual characters in the series. That said maybe I am also reaching but now you see how easy it is to play the other side of the coin.

    As for the ending I was so annoyed by it. They did nothing to set the stage for that and it felt more like a stunt just shoehorned in at the end for shock and awe. That said if we take your whole Avatar is a huge feminist allegory to the finale then are you suggesting the apex of feminism is lesbianism?! lol If so then I’m a bit concerned about the message that sends. Not that I care but if you really want to go full on against the establishment then try pulling that with two male characters.

    Don’t just throw in girl on girl action sending the signal that that is cool without showing its cool the other way around. There were plenty of opportunities to portray homosexual characters through all story arcs. Yet it was a never explored until the very end. By then its too late and feels like stunt. Don’t make people’s way of life a stunt. Its more insulting than helpful. Similar to just throwing in a token black guy in a teen movie.

  • Ciaran Reid

    Feminist Hypocrisy, a topic so vast and terrifying in its scope, that I’m going to have to pivot a bit and look at it from another angle.

    You see, I could spend the entirety of this video listing bullet point after bullet point of specific examples of how modern Third Wave Feminism, informed by the triple threat of postmodern bullshit, Identity Politics bafflegab and selective Fashion Victim rationalizations is all about claiming to do one thing and consistently doing another.

    In fact, why don’t I list a few of my favorites to start things off?

    First, the idea that Feminism represents a movement of equality for women that also, in some magical betterment through vilification, benefits men, which is like saying the benefits of Kristallnacht, was that Jews no longer had to do windows.

    The name itself, If one is for equity and egalitarianism, then why the name “Feminism”? Odd that a movement that seeks to render everything gender neutral, when and if convenient and where men are involved, doesn’t extend the same neutering to its own name, also, although they may fight to change the term “fireman” to “fire fighter”, the term “gunman” is pretty safe from revision.

    Although Feminists strive for parity in sought after careers and in communities that they did not build or sacrifice for, they are notoriously uninterested in achieving parity in dirty, dangerous occupations, general shit-work or, for example, in making women’s federal student loans dependent on signing up for Selective Service cannon fodder at the age of 18 just like everyone with a penis had to do.

    It’s an odd and completely self-serving parity whereby if Feminists are unrepresented in communities that they had no hand in creating, parity must be established. What others build must be handed over to Feminists and Social Justice Warriors once they stick their foot in the door. And that parity comes at no price because Feminists feel no obligation, on arrival, to do any real work except for taking a managerial position, telling everyone else what to do, and deriding those who do real work as shitlords. The Feminist ideal seems to be that women just are, and are valued for converting oxygen into carbon dioxide and generally taking up space. It’s not like they actually have to do anything. Except call you a misogynist should you get the least bit uppity.

    It’s not for nothing that the much cited “game developer” Zoe Quinn of #Gamergate fame didn’t develop anything like what is usually recognized as a video game requiring talent, technical skill and the outlay of time and effort and instead takes her place as a “developer” based on a boring, puerile text-based “choose your own adventure” boilerplate, that, and having, well-traveled as it may be a vagina.

    Of course, parity need not be maintained in areas where women are over-represented and increasing unequal representation of women in college enrollment, for instance, doesn’t mean that anything should be done to help men; rather, that inequity is equality and more should be done for women.

    To Feminists, the sexuality of women is to be celebrated, regardless of how tawdry and careless it may be, ever on the lookout for the merest hint of “slut shaming” while engaging in the dissection and micromanaging of every sexual thought, word or deed a man might potentially have.

    Feminists decry “fat shaming” and feel it is their right to determine what men, in general, may or may not find attractive. Men who do not find overweight women attractive are denied the excluded middle of actually preferring fit and healthy women and it’s claimed they want boyish, anorexic girls. At the same time, men who do find overweight women attractive are derided as fetishistic “chubby chasers” seeking women with low self-esteem despite previous bullshit claims that Healthy at Any Size women love themselves.

    And on and on it goes. Untangling the constant “giving it with one hand and taking it away with another” that Feminists engage in can be a full time job. As is having to issue the walking-on-eggshells disclaimers at every step.

    You know, like that by criticizing Feminism, which is a political and social ideology, not a gender, one is not criticizing women as a whole. Mostly that confusion is cultivated by Feminists every chance they get in the same way that some right-wing Fox News nutjobs in the United States will answer every critique of their self-serving programs with the question “Why do you hate freedom?”.

    This “woman as victim” feminism promotes an idea of women as people forever acted upon, not acting on things and so, to be against this view of women is not to be anti-woman, but rather, promoting the idea of women as fully formed adult human beings able to take the knocks, setbacks, and yes, injustices that are part of the human experience.

    Feminism – this view promoting the outrage and foot stamping of the perpetually dissatisfied woman-child– benefits only a small subset of mostly white, middle-class educated, white collar women and is otherwise perfectly happy to have “This is What a Feminist Looks Like” T-shirts made by underpaid and exploited women in the Third World. A prominent feminist women can advocate for women in the workforce, while mistreating her own help and paying them pennies.

    Feminism is, in the narrowest political sense, simply pork. Which doesn’t make it unique, it just makes it one more obsessive special interest group looking for the best way to AstroTurf its demands.

    This hypocrisy is bad enough when it’s limited to some cranks on the internet but the real potential for harm comes when the hypocrisy is made manifest and legislated. Take, for example, the “Violence Against Women Act” which codifies the idea that, in domestic violence, men are the perpetrators and women are the victims when it’s been known since the 1970s, based on numerous studies, that there is, in fact, parity in domestic violence. Women are just as much perpetrators of domestic violence as men, initiate it more often, and not in self-defense and where a weapon is used it is more often women wielding it.

    From almost the moment that Feminists claimed the existence of a “wage gap” it’s been proven time and again that once you allow from the different choices men and woman make, including investment of time and effort, no such wage gap actually exists. That Feminists persist in repeating a canard that has been rigorously disproven shows that they are all for the equality of women getting paid more for doing less on the job. And the proposed “equal pay” acts are attempts to ensure, despite all the variables, that forced outcome.

    Or demanding the full protection for women under the law, and even adding to the protection with “rape shield laws” while at the same time supporting the complete evisceration of due process rights for college men accused of rape until the mere accusation is enough. The rights delineated in the American Bill of Rights are considered to be innate and inalienable and the Bill of Rights exists not to bestow them but simply to prohibit government from infringing on them. And so there is not greater hypocrisy than doing an end-run in academia and treating those innate and inalienable due process rights as inconvenient and optional.

    Blah-blah-fucking-blah. I can literally go on doing this forever.

    The question is not where Feminist and Feminism are exercises in hypocrisy, but the why and how of the hypocrisy. That is, like being evil, no one consciously thinks of themselves as a hypocrite. Hypocrisy is made possible by a world view coupled with some particular mental gymnastics.

    Let me explain by means of what might seem to be a digression.

    Feminism, as it is practiced now, coming out of academia and online discourse, all too used to browbeating people into compliance, is a totalizing, dogmatic system.

    Like Marxism, Freudianism and Randian Objectivism, feminism is not only an ideology, but represents an all encompassing way of looking at the world that is insular and dogmatic as any religious doctrine. The simplest way to think of a totalizing system is to think of it as a construct that not only serves to explain everything, and there is literally nothing that does not come under the rubric of its ready-made explanation but, more importantly it comes equipped with a series of ad hoc rationalizations. These rationalizations guarantee that it explains everything and where it seemingly doesn’t, well, that’s just more evidence that it explains everything.

    The most overt example of this kind of thinking comes from Freudian Psychoanalysis where it relates to the psycho-sexual development of children, Freud, being a deranged, coke-fueled nutjob, figured that young boys are sexually attracted to their mothers, which causes much conflict and confusion. Freud referred to this as the Oedipal Complex. Carl Jung named the same phenomena occurring between young girls and their fathers The Elektra complex, but that was mainly to piss Freud off.

    Now, fun fact about the Oepidal Complex, at least the way Freud constructed it: There’s no escape. You see, if a guy marries someone who looks like or in some other way has characteristics of his mother, that’s a clear manifestation of unresolved Oedipal Complex. Of course, if the same guy marries someone who in no way resembles his mother, that’s “reaction formation” and like a two headed coin with Freud’s cigar fellating face on both sides, that’s still a manifestation of the Oedipal Complex. That’s also what’s called an ad hoc rationalization.

    And that’s the neat thing about totalizing systems with their ad hoc rationalization neatly lined up in case of emergency: They explain so much everything that in practice, they explain absolutely nothing. And that phenomena was what Carl Popper called “nonfalsifiability”, which is in no way a compliment or something that anything but sheer bullshit should aspire to.

    Thing about totalizing systems is they are kind of like a virus. They don’t care about killing the host, or generally making no sense whatsoever, provided they propagate themselves. The purpose of ad hoc rationalizations is not to really explain anything about the world, but to protect the a priori assumptions of the totalizing system and save it from refutation. The conclusions of these systems are not dependent on the premises, in fact premises can come and go, or be flipped on their heads, but the conclusion, at all costs, must be maintained.

    Think of how utterly immune from refutation concepts such as the wage gap, or rape culture, or that disagreement constitutes harassment are to those who have chugged the victim narrative Kool-Aid. Think how easily Feminist dodge and weave with “Not All Feminists Are Like That” Not only can’t you refute any claim of feminism — as far as the Feminist is concerned — but when push comes to shove, they will deny that they make those claims at all, or rather, those claims are made by some other feminists, which is like, to paraphrase Karen Staughan, foil fencing flatulence.

    Then, there’s the big one. The thing that explains everything: The Patriarchy. Otherwise known as The Man, the All Male Hegemony of Control and Oppression, the birthright to awesome cosmic power that Feminists attribute to all men. Which isn’t at all inexplicable considering the Feminist selectivity in that if you are not a man with power, that is, one they can get something out of, you are practically invisible. The one thing Feminists really hate to talk about, even think about, is class. Mostly because the middle and lower portions of it are just filled with men for whom they have no use.

    The Patriarchy is the big guns of a non-falsifiable, observation-laden construct preserved by ad hoc rationalizations. Something hurts Feminists? That’s the Patriarchy. Feminists hurt other women? That’s the Patriarchy too. Men get hurt by Feminism? That’s also the Patriarchy. There is, quite literally, nothing The Patriarchy can’t do. Or, at least, get blamed for.

    The Patriarchy is the high-octane fuel for the engine of the perpetual victim narrative.

    Now, the conclusion of Feminism of the Third Wave, fashionable kind is the preservation of a victim narrative. The victim narrative serves several purposes, first, it explains away the personal failures of the individual Feminist by externalizing them, it allows an emotional appeal to quash the sort of criticism that would be leveled were not the individual feminist a tender and bruised raw nerve libel to fly off the handle and go totally stabby at the first sign of resistance,

    Basically, it requires you to treat the Feminist as a strong and resilient intellectual Amazon warrior princess while, in practice, obligating you to coddle them like a teary-eyed six year old.

    Take, for an example of Feminists utter tone deafness when it comes to class. , the “Ten Hours of Walking” video, just one of several videos trying to create outrage for fun and profit by having a woman videotaped walking the streets for hours, generally in lower socio-economic class black and latino neighborhoods in order to document “street harassment”. After hours of trolling for harassment, what is actually demonstrated is not “harassment”, that is violent or threatening behavior, but ethnic guys having the audacity to say hello or otherwise seek acknowledgement from the young woman baiting them. The videos are supposed to prove something about how men and woman interact in public, but what it proves is that some women will completely overstate the case for harassment by treating any interaction as harassment. What’s more, although the videos claim just as much harassment comes from white men, the target audience for shaming, they could just as easily be used by racists to make the case of the perils faced by pretty white women at the hands of lustful black men and other minorities. However, unlike the “strange fruit” of days gone by, the goal of these sort of damsels in distress masquerading as strong women who can hold their own, is more ambitious. Rather than calling for the lynching of black men, men in general will do just fine.

    The real hypocrisy of these sorts of efforts is that they pretend to be about progress, about moving forward and redefining gender norms, while actually digging deep to mine the chivalrous psychology of a selective traditionalism and, perhaps, traditional racism.That is, traditionalism that women benefit from must be preserved, even if rebranded as something else, and that by not only demanding males behave in traditional ways, but also by plastering that over with additional and often contradictory demands. That men perform traditional roles as buffers and protectors – because the call is for men to take on men over supposed “street harassment” – while not expecting women to fulfill traditional roles, least of all respecting men for on the one hand saving the damsel in distress, while simultaneously extolling her virtues as a strong, independent woman capable of taking care of themselves.

    And that bit of hypocrisy bears repeating. Modern Third Wave Feminism is not a progressive movement, rather it is a selective rebranding of traditionalism for women, with no reciprocal rethinking of those traditional male roles that are of benefit to them.

    Now, let’s talk about how this all actually plays out.

    I’ve read somewhere that Tibetan Buddhists, and this may be coming from the Dalai Lama rather than a doctrine of Buddhism per se, that should Buddhist claims conflict with empirical fact, then the claims would be tossed out.

    Now, I don’t know whether or not that is true. At least, I haven’t seen a single instance of that being put into practice and, given the nature of dogmas, you can always count on just enough revisionist wiggle room that the jettisoning of established dogma wouldn’t actually happen.

    This is not unique to Buddhism either. I’ve heard the same claims made about Judaism and even Christians try to get in on the act that their dogma is taking part in the free flow of discourse and, therefore, open to refutation. The Catholic Church attempts to do this by claiming there’s no contradiction between Evolution and the Truth in the Bible more by opting out, claiming different magesteria rather than humbling themselves before fact.

    Now, why would otherwise dogmatic and insular religious doctrines make these sorts of claims, especially if, like me, you are cynical enough to think when such a thing was about to happen, they would find a way to weasel out of making good on the claim?

    I mean, very best thing that doomsday cults do isn’t calculating the end of the world. It’s recalculating the end of the world.

    You see, everyone wants to act like they are taking part in discourse, that they are fair salesmen in the marketplace of ideas. You want to make yourself out to be reasonable rather than, revealing that you are a bunch of close-minded, insular lunatics whose only interest in getting into the market of ideas is so you can shout people down and unload a canned speech on them.

    The problem is, that many of the sellers in the market place of ideas are exactly that. Snake oil merchants who have lied their way in to the market itself under false pretenses.

    And that is the greatest, most glaring hypocrisy of modern Feminism, and the same tendencies is on steroids for the online version: Feminists enter into spaces, intrude on them, claiming that they are there to right injustice, or raise consciousness. They are just there to talk. And what follows are blocking and shaming tactics, having people’s social media accounts suspended, people fired from their jobs, if possible, claims of abuse and harassment all direct towards one aim and only one aim: To have a monologue, to engage in the marketplace of ideas by shutting everyone else up, through harassment and proxy violence if necessary so they can run a re-education camp for a captive audience.

    That, to me, is the greatest hypocrisy of modern Feminism: It enters into spaces paying lip service to the idea of having a discussion, of having a dialogue, or being able to be persuaded by facts and common sense when, in fact, it’s just another totalizing system, another big bag of predetermined ideological nonsense, as much as any other crackpot theory or religious dogma, that can only operate in the a complete vacuum of dissenting voices and is more than willing to suck the air out of any room to accomplish this.

    And really, when it comes to that, it’s all just marketing. I wouldn’t claim that we live in an age or a culture where people are no longer coerced by violence. However, I would say that when violence is used, it can’t be used in broad daylight. Which explains why we live in a surveillance state where there are cameras literally everywhere, but cops will still crack your head for filming them.

    Because of this, we live in an age and culture of lies and fallacy and emotional appeal where the art of massive bullshit was perfected over a century of selling people shit they don’t need through marketing. And it’s no accident that Edward Bernays, the patron saint of 20th century public relations and propaganda used his Uncle Sigmund’s theories of Psychoanalysis to craft more and more refined ways to lie to people in large groups. The ad hoc hypocrisy of totalizing systems and marketing go hand in hand to the extent that, quite literally, the truth is regarded as whatever you can make people believe.

    Modern Feminism, which most of the time acts as a series of witch hunts and moral panics, hypocritically acts as if it is a fair seller in the marketplace of ideas when, in fact, it is simply marketing. Not surprisingly, some of the more successful online feminists have degrees in marketing, communication, and are selling the product of endless outrage that can only be cured by giving them your dollars. You can refute their claims on a Monday and they will be back repeating them by Wednesday. That’s because their claims, the victim narrative, isn’t something open for debate or beta testing. It’s a product that they simply intend to sell as is.

    And that is the most cynical, the most hypocritical thing of all.

    • Sarah Weller

      So…anything to do with the article, beyond just copy-and-pasting this strange essay trying to denounce feminism? No? Just wondering…

      • Ciaran Reid

        Kuvira is a less cowardly version of the modern 3 wave feminist. 😉

        • Fuck you

          Kuvira is a god, so fuck you.

    • Fuck you

      I still don’t understand where anywhere in this generic feminism rant you identify the wrongs of a progressive TV show that depicted women as equivalent to men in combat. And power. Or, sorry, did that make you insecure? I’m sure you could find some tissues in your ass given how big of one you are. Again, Fuck you.

      • Ciaran Reid

        LOK isn’t a “progressive” or feminist TV show because:

        1. Korra and the other female characters aren’t depicted as infallible

        2. The male characters aren’t required to treat their female counterparts as strong and resilient intellectual Amazon warrior princesses while, in practice, obligated to coddle them like teary-eyed six year old’s when things get tough.

        • Dude What?

          First you criticize the modern implementation of feminism and then decide to name-call it and make it impractical and absurd with this comment. Don’t you realize that the “radicalized crazy ass feminists” you imagine are just characters in your mind and not present in the real world? Find me one fucking person in this entire comment thread that is advocate for this double standard. Find one fucking person.

          Wake up. Girls are unfairly treated by the millions but because people refuse to get off their high horse, they never will see equality.

          What do they get? A shitty deal in society. What do you get? Just some pompous comment thread.

          • Ciaran Reid

            You? 😛

          • Ciaran Reid

            Did you even read my comment in it’s entirety? -_-

          • Dude What?

            Yes and none of it talked about the article – was a generic feminism rant. Even if your criticism may respond to some feminist advocates, it is totally abstract from the point of this article. I can advocate that a baseball bat can be used to beat someone but that doesn’t mean the baseball bat itself is bad. Nowhere did you decide to talk about the framing of feminism in the context of this article – you just want to burn feminists, not their specific arguments.

          • Ciaran Reid

            Kuvira was quite badass, I must say.

      • Ciaran Reid

        Please don’t fuck me.

  • Ciaran Reid

    It’s as though millions of giggle-squees sounded all at once, then were suddenly silenced.

  • Ciaran Reid

    Very glad to see non-cis representation. hopefully in a few years my kyds will be watching transsexual body positive cock and ball torture in their cartoons

  • Ciaran Reid

    So progressive!

  • Ciaran Reid

    Bryke pretty much confirmed it on Facebook.

    I hope Korra feels comfortable knowing no matter how hard she munches on Asami’s smelly, non-bending, daddy-issued industrialist carpet, it’ll never make up for all the times said carpet was defiled by Mako’s generous Fire Nation cock.

    • Luke Mason

      Mako and Asami were together for less than one season. One relatively short season at that.

  • TechHog

    Ugh. What a stupid article.

  • Tyler

    I dissagree with the bit about Meelo. If anything, ignorING it takes away from its importance. Not boys will be boys but he’ll grow out of it. Ikki had issues with her siblings back in season herself. Thia is just something kids do. Heck, my younger female cousin STILL does that with my brothers. Goof point of Verrick and Zhu Li but I think it’s over thought. There were many romantic instances but I think he was scared to change anything and lose her. He’s not an idiot as was proven on his more clever scemes, except with social situation. Now for the love triangle in season 1 and 2, there was one for bolin, korra, and Mako which seems to be forgotten. It’s not a gender issue, just relationship issues bring kids to shows now a days. It was balanced with all team Avatar and set a precidence that this team is a LOT different from the last team avatar

  • Bernie

    although I can see you have put quite some effort into this review I feel that you give to much credit to stuff that really doesn’t need it and then you go cherry pick and pointlessly attack the silly little moments in the show

  • Bernie

    geez you must be fun at parties

  • Marco Alencar

    I agree with most of your points but it seems to me you missed the point of some characters:

    1) Varrick is supposed to be an egocentric ass more than sexist and he does demonstrate growth during his escape with Bolin, he just try to keep the “crazy genius” persona up. But you can easily see the changes in the way he delivers the persona’s speech.

    2) It was pretty clear that Zhu Li and Varrick had some kind of non-spoken romantic feelings going on since the beginning but Varrick was so focused on and infatuated with himself it was impossible to thrive. So they marrying after both Zhu Li becoming tired of that and Varrick becoming a little less egocentric was an expected outcome, and I don’t agree it had any sexist subtext.

    3) Despite the first season been made with claims of one season only, the series was planned for 4-5 seasons. Also, the love triangle just made more clear how awesome characters Korra and Asami were and challenged the brooding hero stereotype. They were not “fighting over a boy”, Mako was an douchebag with both of them and that was it.

  • Jonathan Hur

    This is totally awesome. I got an opportunity to take a sociology class and this article basically showed the couple of lecture on sexism. This show is a new start to show these social issues. In society these issues are not talked about and it is time that these issues are communicated. To the author kudos for writing this because it will bring up a controversy that needs to be commication. To the creators of show kudos for finding these issues and portraying them in a way kids can understand.