“manpain should only be used when a female character suffers for a man’s pain, not to reinforce gender roles”

This would be great if I didn’t know it was said in response to someone using the term manpain when describing how a female character’s death and suffering is framed in a way a male character can feel maximum pain, conflict and guilt over it. 

i have really honestly always seen manpain used in this way. Criticism of the way female pain in framed vs male pain- given more emphasis, exploration and often having female characters suffer only to highlight a man’s pain or serve his narrative- it’s worth exploring and the term is useful for it. When a female character is held hostage solely to further a man’s suffering? When a female character’s grief is ultimately used to highlight the tragic nobility of a male character? Sorry, that’s the definition.

Female suffering is framed often as something that breaks female characters, something the narrative rarely allows them to confront or express real anger over. Male suffering is framed as a motivation, a strength and often expressed through anger, drive and stoicness in narratives. That is something worth criticizing. Being in pain brings a male character to the front and center. Female characters are shoved to the side.

Even my favorite narratives engage in these tropes! Trisha died to cause Hoho and her sons pain. This is a straight example of manpain. Female character sacrificed, pain as motivation. Just because I like the narrative adore these male characters and sympathize with them and think it’s not written terribly doesn’t mean it isn’t. Nina would probably qualify too, even though I think the aftermath and the impact her loss had on their narrative was written incredibly well.

Talking about how male and female pain is presented differently in fiction and feeling a general disgust for the greater focus on and glorification of male pain is not reinforcing gender roles. It’s picking apart how they are present in fiction.

A person I follow said something recently: when husbands die in fiction, women are more likely to become tragic widows who just can’t handle it all. When wives die, men are more likely to become the Punisher. 


The first 25 or so to reblarg this will get a quick sketch of a RWBY OC based on your blog! For example if you post a lot of achievement hunter and your blog background is purple you might get a purple chick using a sword(like the minecraft lps) that doubles as a machine gun(gta lps) Make sure to have your submit open :)