[March 2019 OWLS Blog Tour] Violet Evergarden – Free Feminine vs Forced Feminine

Feminine

In honor of Women’s History Month, the OWLS bloggers will explore the concepts of femininity and feminism. We each have our own definition of these two terms and we will explore our definitions using “feminine” characters from various pop culture fandoms. We will discuss how these characters are “feminine” or show signs of a feminist agenda. We will also share our personal stories about the amazing women that supported us in our lives as well as sharing experiences involving women’s rights, oppression within the patriarchy, and/or issues of growing up as a woman or having a feminine persona.

Please be sure to read LitaKino’s post about feminism and her example from Pride and Prejudice.

*May contain spoilers for the anime Violet Evergarden. Check out my spoiler-free review.

**Warning: I might be sharing you my opinions towards feminism. You will most likely disagree with me.

Feminism: Women are superior or equal to men?

What is a warrior? If you google the definition of a warrior, it means it is a person who is brave and is already ready to fight. They are fighters specialized in combat and can also participate in warfare. In history and even today, we have warriors called soldiers, vikings, samurai and spartans. In history, you might hear that some strong warriors are usually are men and you don’t see much women. Women were viewed as not physically strong based on history and the records showing them not participating in wars or battles. In today’s time, we have women participate in wars and assistant in war and helping soldiers. Not just in war, but women as been in the front lines where lives are tested. Just like men, women can also be police officers and risk their lives in order to stop criminals. Unfortunately, we still have some people believing that women will never be as good as man in the line of duty. On the other side of the spectrum, we have women saying they are better than men and they believe that is what feminism is supposed to be.

See the source image

Personally, I don’t think that feminism is defined as women being superior than men. I believe that feminism means that women are equal to men, they are not lesser or greater. I believe that the purpose of having feminism is to allow women to be able to serve in any duty that regardless of gender. It doesn’t matter if you are a man or woman, if you can work with people, you got the job.

Feminism has a major, common misconception that people can often mistake regardless if you support or oppose. People believe that feminism means that women are better than men. In other words, they fear that women will be the master race of society and that causes fear of oppression. Women can also mistake feminism as well. This mistake can lead women believing that women should also always be better than men. These are the kind of women who shout out on social media trying to prove point that a girl should always be better in any field of activity. These are two fallacies that is common in this topic.

Overall, once again, the true purpose of feminism in my opinion is that women are equal such as men and should have equal rights. No one is better than the other. In this topic, I want to talk about a certain women who is stronger than she appears and her name is Violet Evergarden.

Background: Violet Evergarden anime

Violet Evergarden tells the story of women named Violet Evergarden who works as a paid writer called Auto Memory Doll and travels to clients and write for people. Violet grew up as a child soldier and was trained to fight for her superiors led by a man named Gilbert  Bougainvillea. During the climax of the war, Violet loses her arms after trying to save Gilbert’s life. In his dying breathe, Gilbert tells Violet to live on and have a normal life without being treated as weapon and even said “I love you”. After the war, Violet recovers and obtains adamantium hands but she is unable to write a letter to Gilbert. When Violet meets Gilbert’s friend Claudia Hodgins, Violet gets a job as a Doll (a ghostwriter who writes for people that can’t write) in order to understand what does “I love you” mean. As she travels and meets clients, she later becomes human and develop emotions as she learns from people’s experience and past life. This anime can be watched on Netflix; the anime has 13 episodes and one special.

Now that I am done going over the anime’s synopsis, I can now talk about main point of this blog tour topic.

*Spoilers ahead!

Feminine: The Ultimate Weapon is a human

Like I mentioned in the background information section, we find out that Violet was an orphan child gifted the skills to fight. She was taken by a Navy Captain named Dietfried Bougainvillea and given to his younger brother Gilbert Bougainvilliea to be used as a tool. These brothers treat her differently. Dietfried shes the young Violet as an object used for war and doesn’t care about her except for her skills, but where as Gilbert sees her as a fragile girl that should be treated as a human. Ironically, Gilbert keeps her and even has her put in the frontline. By surprised, Violet has showed the captains that she is capable of killing the enemy soldiers on her own. With this advantage, we see that Violet’s team were at the peak of victory against the enemy. Before the climax of the war, we got see lieutenant-colonel Claudia Hodgins talking to Gilbert that after everything is over, he plans to start a business. Even before this encounter, Gilbert even buys Violet a brooch as a gift to her and service. In the final battle of the war, Violet’s army won but it came with a cost. Violet’s superior Gilbert is seriously injured to the point he is losing blood. For his final act as her captain, he tells Violet to leave and survive and how much he loved her.

**Feminine – I can fight for myself! (Feminisim Point of View Opinion Warning)

What makes Violet a great example of feminism is not just appearance but her actions. It’s characters like her and other anime girls that shows that a women can fight for herself without the need of a man. Besides anime, even in comic book movies like Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel show fans that women doesn’t have to play as the damsel in distress and it shows that women doesn’t need a handicap when fighting. What I like about learning about Violet’s past, was that she was fighting as an equal with the men in her army. I will admit, it does sound like it’s unfair because she was forced thanks to Dietfried. However, it was thanks to Gilbert that even though she was raised to fight, he wanted her to be human and live how she wanted to live life. I like to think of Gilbert and Dietfried representing us and society towards to women in the spectrum; more or less this could also be used for works of media like stories, movies or video games.

Gilbert is someone who thinks that women should be equal and be given a voice; In fiction and reality, Gilbert is someone who can work with women without feeling pressured of having women in the environment. For example, a movie that handles feminism the correct way is the movie Wonder Woman. What made Wonder Woman so amazing and even better than Batman and Superman put together is her character and the way she was portrayed in the movie. When you think of Wonder Woman, you see a woman with god-like strength who can fight like a warrior. In women’s eyes, you don’t have to be a man in order to fight, you go out prove to the world that you are a force to be reckoned with. In men’s eyes, we see someone who is beautiful, but we see her as someone equal in strength and knowledge compared to Batman and Superman. Going back to Gilbert example, Violet’s character shows that if feminism is handled correctly, women make an awesome team mate and it shows regardless of what gender you are, anyone is number one. Without having to say a woman is better and just showing, it shows that woman are as equal as men and there is no difference.

In contrast to Gilbert, we people you might have seen in which I call Dietfried. If you remembered correctly, Dietfried was Gilbert’s brother who doesn’t see Violet as a person and sees her a weapon. He forced her into war. In my opinion, Dietfried is people uses feminism the wrong way. You probably seen this at places or people, but I seen this used in movies and comics. For example, in my views, Captain Marvel actress Brie Larson tries to use Feminism in a negative connotation opposite of DC Wonder Woman.  I am not going to cover everything about Captain Marvel and Brie Larson since it’s controversy, so I am just going to briefly talk about and let you watch the videos provided at the end of post in your free time. In a video I found from the 2018 Crystal and Lucy Awards, Larson makes a comment meant for an example about why movies don’t appeal to most audience in which she refers to white men in the age of 40. Comments and controversy news are like this is what gives feminism a bad name. People that forces women on media like movies and comics and focus only on the agenda and not the character and story like Ghostbusters 2016 or media can leave backlash.

Be like Gilbert and consider women’s feelings. Don’t be Dietfried and force women to be part of something that you think is correct.

Conclusion

What makes Violet, a wonderful woman? It isn’t about looks, it’s her character and how she interacts with people and the world. Raised as a weapon, Violet showed everyone that regardless of appearance, Violet is a warrior. Even after fighting, Violet does her best to live on and learn the importance of love. By the end of the series, we see that Violet chose to live a life as a human who wants emotions and to live a simple life and she does not want to be used by anyone anymore. She has equal rights as human and humans are people, man and women, who should be treated fair. In my opinion, feminism is rights that women should be treated as men where they don’t need handicaps in order to gain attention. Feminism done by the wrong way will create division and toxicity in society that will cause people to not accept women in any field. That’s the end of my post, I hope you enjoyed reading it.

Go check out the next Aria’s (Animanga Spellbook) post on this topic.

I do not need a 40-year-old white dude to tell me what didn’t work for him about ‘A Wrinkle In Time. It wasn’t made for him – Brie Larson

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14 thoughts on “[March 2019 OWLS Blog Tour] Violet Evergarden – Free Feminine vs Forced Feminine

  1. Lesson One: If you want to proclaim a movie to be a feminist manifesto, be low key about it until you find out how the movie sells. If it bombs ***for any reason at all*** it will reflect badly on what you want to advance.

    Lesson Two: Proclaiming a movie to be a feminist manifesto may well discourage people from seeing it who might otherwise have enjoyed it. Very few people want to have their nose rubbed in a message even if they may tend to agree with it.

    • Those are some nice lessons. I guess maybe I was looking at it differently, but I was afraid how they promoting movies like Captain Marvel. I felt people like Brie Larson was trying to force an agenda with this movie.

      • Yup. It was also the intent of Disney. Since Walt died the political climate at Disney has shifted rather dramatically. The more they intrude on properties like Star Wars and Marvel, the more the story-lines turn into polemics.

        Cap’n Marvel wasn’t a horrible movie, just an uninteresting one. I felt emotionally engaged with Wonder Woman. Carol Danvers left me flat. She was unsympathetic and mundanely written. No real hero’s journey. If Luke Skywalker had been written the same way Star Wars would have been a dud.

      • Yeah I noticed how Disney is changing movies like Star Wars especially the new ones. Disney is trying to be more diverse and hire more women to be included in the main cast. I actually enjoyed Wonder Woman more. Captain Marvel was fun to watch, but I kind of agree with you about Carol Danvers.

      • Still, I suspect it will do well, if not incredibly well. 59% approval among viewers on Rotten Tomatoes. (What the critics say is not relevant. Word of mouth is what sells a movie.) OTOH 88% audience approval of Wonder Woman.

        I am just spoiled by WW.

      • Yeah I think it’s usually better to hear it from people you know as opposed to hearing movies from review sites like Rotten Tomato. Wonder Woman is such an incredible movie.

  2. I think that’s a pretty good definition of feminism. Personally, I always thought it meant that women should be allowed the same basic rights as men with no real notion of better or worse.

    • Thank you Irina. This was tough trying to define what’s truly is feminism. In a way, I always thought it was like what you said. Women should have same rights as a man without any handicaps.

      • The fact that you sat down and thought about what it means to you is awesome actually. And that you went one step further and shared it with us is even better. Thanks for that.

      • Thank you for the kind words. To me it felt risky. This is online and me talking about feminism and speaking out my opinions can be dangerous. I wanted to talk about the pros and cons based on what I have seen and heard. I am happy to say am glad I didn’t drop out from this month’s tour.

  3. I wholeheartedly agree with your definition of feminism! You definitely did the topic justice, especially with how you applied it to Violet Evergarden. Well done 🙂

    • Thank you Dale. I think in the end, my favorite moment talking about Violet Evergarden wasn’t just Violet herself, but the two brothers and how they connect to her. I wanted to talk about both side.s. 🙂

  4. Pingback: Mel in Anime Land Diary | Year 2, Week 25 – Mel in Anime Land

  5. Pingback: “Feminine” March 2019 Blog Tour Round Up – OWLS: Otaku Warriors for Liberty and Self-Respect

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