Tweet of the Day: Why Sealioning Is Bad
Samus is a Girl is a character trope that occurs when the audience perceives a character as male but later find out that they are female. What I find fascinating about this trope is that even when little or no indication of gender is given by a narrative, we, the audience ascribe the male gender to them do to their profession, perceived voice or their actions. An argument can be made for male characters that dress and act female to be ascribed that gender until proven otherwise. But the point is, that absent any clear indication of (any) gender identity, we default to male.
The question is why?
Why does this happen even in cultures that use generally gender neutral languages?
Because we live in a patriarchal society. Accepting maleness as the default for protagonist in our stories, whether fictional or not, is a sign post of this reality. It is so ingrained in our collective psyche that we not only fail to question it but are constantly surprised when this and similar tropes pop up in our media. The trope retains the power to shock us even when we have seen it before due to our concept of normality, which is defined by a largely male-centric view of the world. In the absent of clear sign post to the contrary we insert maleness everywhere, including our fiction, or should I say, specially in our fiction, which serves to reinforce the status quo.
This trope should be a dead trope by now and yet it still lives on.