You would be spot on with that assertion. Not only does ATLA master Bechdel bending it’s has fantastic female role models of all persuasions.
Top 10 feminist moments in ATLA!
#10. Ladies Showing Off Their Skills
If there is one thing ATLA is overflowing with, it’s ladies absolutely walloping the shit out of everyone. Nothing says gender equality like breaking people’s bones. And while there were many exceptional fights involving ladies, Suki channeling her inner spider-man is a definite highlight. Plus she made Sokka really hot while doing it.
#9. Ladies Performing The Ultimate Sacrifice
Yue’s sacrifice in the season 1 finale is one of the most outstanding moments of the entire series. Excellently foreshadowed, emotionally poignant and above all heroic. Up until that point her narrative arc had been rather traditional and romance focused, but in her final moments it completely transcends that as she makes the noble decision to give her life back. It’s heartbreaking and she’s rightly remembered throughout the series for the choice she makes.
#8. Ladies Outsmart Everyone
Politics is more often that not dominated by men, but that doesn’t mean they are better at it. It’s a fabulous moment in the series where two villains face off, and there was only ever going to be one winner. Azula absolutely wiped the floor with Long Feng with her superior cunning, wit and ruthlessness. In return she gets control of an army of well dressed men. Oh and it should be mentioned that it took men 100 years to try and defeat Ba Sing Se, Azula does it in less than a week. You go, gurl.
#7. Ladies Choosing Their Romantic Destiny
This may seem an odd choice for one of the most feminist moments, but I actually think it’s crucial. So many people completely misinterpret this scene and write if off as ‘The Hero Getting The Girl!’ It implies that Katara is a prize and has no agency in this decision. Utterly and completely missing the point. Katara makes a big statement in 3x17 about how she and Aang are not ready for a relationship with a war going on and that he should back off. Aang respects this decision and promptly gets lost (literally, actually). When the war is done Katara turns up on that balcony and makes the clear decision that she wants him. She initiates the kiss. They make a massive point of this on the DVD commentary about how it’s Katara that properly starts their relationship. It sends a great signal that ladies should operate on their own romantic schedules and that if the dudes worth it, he’ll still be there.
#6. Ladies Beating Up Fully Grown Men
What is more feminist than a 12 year blind old girl emasculating and then promptly beating the shit out of a fully grown man. Nothing I tell you. Nothing.
#5. Ladies Defying Gender Norms And Expectations
There’s a whole lot of this in ATLA of course, but one of my favourite moments is Kyoshi’s whole philosophical attitude. It’s really unconventional for a hardline consequentialist philosophy to come from a woman. Avatar Kyoshi is just a brilliantly fascinating character that show upmost conviction in her beliefs and fulfills them with great assurance. Her speech about killing Chin the Conqueror and what that meant to her is a lesson in great character writing. Plus she’s the oldest ever Avatar, ladies represent.
#4. Ladies Having Excellent Friendships
So many outstanding female friendships in this show, all with different dynamics and nuances. And while the relationship between the Azula/Ty Lee/Mai is fascinating, I think the interaction between Toph and Katara is in the end obviously more satisfying. They represent polar opposites in terms of gender norms. Katara with her traditional girly tendencies, while Toph with her far more masculine rough approach. They clash over their perceived differences but in the end they find common ground over mutual admiration for each other’s strengths.
#3. Ladies Being Both Girls And Warriors
If there was a tagline for ATLA’s feminism, this would be it. It’s a complete inversion of the pervasive line of thinking that warriors have to be masculine. ATLA was fantastic at showing that being a girl and being a warrior are not mutually exclusive.
#2. Ladies Being Dangerous
The Dangerous Ladies are everything that I could have wanted and more. An elite hit squad filled with intricate and well written ladies that have hugely satisfying individual and cumulative plot lines. Not only do they beat virtually everyone they come up against, they always to do it with such style and great punch lines. “Don’t you know fans just makes flames stronger?” or of course Mai’s eternal classic, “Oh well, victory is boring.” The Dangerous Ladies might not have won in the end, but they certainly made a fantastic team.
#1. Ladies Fighting Patriarchy
A defining moment in Katara’s character arc and the series as a whole. The whole of season one had built up to Aang and Katara finding a powerful Waterbending Master, only to realize they were trapped in a society that had institutional sexism. Despite her male peers telling her to find another solution, Katara takes matters into her own hands. What follows is nothing less than a sensational battle where Katara proves definitively that actions speak louder than words. It’s a groundbreaking moment in the series, both highlighting that the “good” guys are not always that good and equally that change can come despite the odds.
I Fell in Love With Katara (And I’ll Probably Always Love Her): A meta on the Zuko/Katara relationship, Katara’s hero’s journey, and how that fits into canon.
First off, let’s get this out of the way: I’m not trying to argue Katara and Aang’s marriage and children were not endgame, nor am I stating the contrary re: Mai and Zuko’s relationship. They happened. It’s over and done with.
…And yet, when Dante Basco posted this (and he’s made it no secret he likes Z/K) it got me thinking on the nature of Zuko’s relationships, Zuko’s feelings towards Katara, and in the end, why Zuko and Katara had a completely different dynamic than what we ended up with.
I think if you ask a Zutarian shipper for an honest, critical assessment of where they think Kataang didn’t meet their expectations, it would be in one place: Katara’s half of the narrative had to be secondary to Aang’s. In the end, Katara is part of Aang’s story. This in and of itself isn’t necessarily bad or wrong, but it’s standard fare, and the pacing of season three dropped the ball on elaborating on Katara’s feelings with the due attention it needed. Is Katara a “prize” to be won by anyone? No. She isn’t. But in retrospect, with Katara ending up with Aang, the narrative feeds “Aang is a hero. Aang has the girl. Aang’s story goes on, and Katara keeps up Aang’s story after his death.” Not her own, but Aang’s. Yes, TLOK shows that Katara has moved to the South Pole and has taught students there but the focus of her presence is as Aang’s wife, the mother of Aang’s children, etc. We don’t see a single flashback of her, and moreover, we don’t get references of what she did with herself outside of Aang’s story. Toph’s significant other is never even shown and to be honest, whomever he was is irrelevant because Toph was the Chief of Police, and a famous Sifu in her own right.
Aang being with Katara forces Katara’s narrative to include him, which is not unusual or wrong, but is a bit imbalanced. Zutara basically is an idea that that concept can be subverted; it’s a “romance” [and I use the term in a loose, non-physical sense] of two hero’s journeys, rather than just one.
Re-reblogging because apparently doing it from my phone broke the links or whatevs~
i tried don’t judge me
Watertribe women are all bamfs. Inspired by my desire to fix this whitewashed picture and came out with this. PS CS3 and Paint tool SAI, ~11 hrs. I’m proud of the result.
Everybody loves Zuko
Best of Uncle Iroh quotes:
- “You are not the man you used to be. You are stronger and wiser and freer than you ever used to be. And now you have come at the crossroads of the destiny. Its time for you to choose. Its time for you to choose good.”
- “Perfection and power are overrated. I think you are very wise to choose happiness and love.”
- [Drawing the Fire Nation symbol in the dirt] “Fire is the element of power. The people of the Fire Nation have desire and will, and the energy and drive to achieve what they want.”
- [Drawing the Earth Kingdom symbol] “Earth is the element of substance. The people of the Earth Kingdom are diverse and strong. They are persistent and enduring.”
- [Drawing the Air Nomad symbol] “Air is the element of freedom. The Air Nomads detached themselves from worldly concerns, and they found peace and freedom. And they apparently had great senses of humor!”
- [Drawing the Water Tribe symbol] “Water is the element of change. The people of the Water Tribes are capable of adapting to many things. They have a sense of community and love that holds them together through anything.”
- [Drawing straight lines separating the four symbols] “Understanding others, the other elements, the other nations, will help you become whole.”
- [Drawing a circle around the whole] “It is the combination of the four elements in one person that makes the Avatar so powerful. But it can make you more powerful too.”
- “It is important to draw wisdom from different places. If you take it from only one place it becomes rigid and stale.”
- “Prince Zuko, pride is not the opposite of shame, but its source. True humility is the only antidote to shame.”
- “Lightning is a pure expression of firebending without aggression. It is not fueled by rage or emotion the way other firebending is. Some call lightning the cold-blooded fire. It is precise and deadly, like Azula. To perform the technique requires peace of mind.”
- “You’re looking at the rare white dragon bush. Its leaves make a tea so delicious it’s heartbreaking! That, or it’s the white jade bush, which is poisonous.”
- “I always tried to tell you that Pai Sho is more than just a game.”
- “Life happens wherever you are, whether you make it or not.”
- “Euch! This tea is nothing more than hot leaf juice!”
- “Sick of tea? That’s like being sick of breathing!”
- “While it is always best to believe in one’s self, a little help from others can be a great blessing.”
- [At his son’s grave] “Happy birthday, my son. If only I could have helped you.
Leaves from the vine
Falling so slow
Like fragile, tiny shells
Drifting in the foam
Little soldier boy
Come marching home
Brave soldier boy
Comes marching home.”
- “I was never angry with you. I was sad, because I was afraid you’d lost your way.”
- “Even if I did defeat Ozai, and I don’t know if I could, it would be the wrong way to end the war. History would see it as just more senseless violence. A brother killing a brother to grab power. The only way for this to end peacefully is for the Avatar to defeat the Fire Lord.”
- “No. Someone new must take the throne. An idealist with a pure heart, and unquestionable honor. It has to be you, Prince Zuko.”
- “Yes, you have. You struggled. You suffered. But you have always followed your own path. You’ve restored your own honor. And only you can restore the honor of the Fire Nation.”
- “Goodbye everyone. Today, destiny is our friend. I know it.”
- “At my age, there is really only one big surprise left, and I’d just as soon leave it a mystery.”
- “So I was thinking about names for my new tea shop… How about… the Jasmine Dragon? It’s dramatic, poetic… has a nice ring to it.”
- “We have a chance for a new life here. If you start stirring up trouble, we could lose all the good things that are happening for us.”
- “There’s nothing wrong with a life of peace and prosperity. I suggest you think about what it is that you want from your life, and why.”
- “And then what?! You never think these things through! This is exactly what happened when you captured the Avatar at the North Pole. You had him, and then you had nowhere to go!”
- “I’m begging you, Prince Zuko!” It’s time for you to look inward and start asking yourself the big questions: Who are you? And what do you want?”
- [Getting a massage] “Aahh… this is what I’ve been missing. Who knew floating on a piece of driftwood for three weeks, with no food or water, and sea vultures waiting to pluck out your liver, could make one SO tense!”
- “So this is how the great commander Zhao acts in defeat… disgraceful! Even in exile my nephew is more honorable then you. Thanks again for the tea. It was delicious.”
- “Are you so busy fighting you cannot see your own ship has set sail?”
- “Be careful what you wish for, Admiral. History is not always kind to its subjects.”
- “No! Zuko! You must never give into despair. Allow yourself to slip down that road and you surrender to your lowest instincts. In the darkest times, hope is something you give yourself. That is the meaning of inner strength.”
- [To multiple enemies] “That’s true. But you are clearly outmatched.”
- “You should know this is not a natural sickness. But that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying tea.”
- “Your critical decision – what you did beneath that lake. It was such a conflict with your image of yourself that you are now at war within your own mind and body.”
- “You are going through a metamorphosis, my nephew. It will not be a pleasant experience, but when you come out of it, you will be the beautiful prince you were always meant to be.”
- “You sound like my nephew. Always thinking you need to do things on your own without anyone’s support.”
- “There is nothing wrong with letting people who love you, help you. Not that I love you. I just met you!”
- “I know your not supposed to cry over spilled tea, but it’s just so sad!”
- “Because understanding the struggle between your two great-grandfathers can help you better understand the battle within yourself. Evil and good are always at war inside you, Zuko. It is in your nature, your legacy. But there is a bright side. What happened generations ago can be resolved now, by you. Because of your legacy, you alone can cleanse the sins of our family, and the Fire Nation. Born in you along with all the strife is the power to restore balance to the world.”
- “A man needs his rest.”
- “Forgive my nephew; he is not an initiate and has little appreciation for the cryptic arts.”
- “Power in firebending comes from the breath, not the muscle!”
- “Who would have thought that, after all these years, I would return to the scene of my greatest military disgrace… as a tourist!”
- “There is energy all around us. The energy is both yin and yang — positive energy and a negative energy. Only a select few Firebenders can separate these energies. This creates an imbalance. The energy wants to restore balance, and in the moment the postive and negative energy come crashing back together, you provide release and guidance, creating lightning.”
- “Things will never return to normal. But the important thing is, the Avatar gives Zuko hope.”
- “Is it your own destiny? Or is it a destiny someone else has tried to force on you?”
Tahno? More like TahYES.
I just really want him to join the Krew all right
ahaahahahah you have no idea how much I am laughing at Asami right now ahahahaha GOD THIS IS BRILLIANT AHAHAAH
And Tahyes is definitely a freaking WIN man
We so gangster! Team Avatar!
GUYS! We so awesome! Everyone wants to be part of Team Avatar! BTW- Our Mai is taking the picture.
I’m rewatching Avatar: the Last Airbender from the beginning
And one of the links I’m using is from Nick.com, where they put in fun facts about the characters and the voice actors and stuff into the episode
I’m watching “The Warriors of Kyoshi,” and there’s this scene where Zuko goes, “nice try, Avatar, but these little girls can’t save you!”
And this is the fun fact the writers put in:
the train stuff and the wall—-OMG
The drill and the wall. omg. why! xD