Ladybug and Chat Noir Equality Analysis – Maryville Pawprint
Over the years, diverse representation in the media began to increase. However, depending on how the representation is presented, it can generate stereotypes. An example of such stereotypes includes how powerful women are supposed to act. Their relationship with men is detestable because equality is not present. This article will describe this topic in more detail while watching the show. Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir.
Miraculous is a show about two Parisians whose alter egos are superheroes. One is a girl named Ladybug and the other is a boy named Cat Noir. Although they love the other’s alter ego, neither of them knows the other’s true identity. As heroes, they are constantly fighting the villains created by the antagonist.
Knowing that, let’s take a look at Ladybug and Cat Noir’s contributions to the plot and how the author writes about their cooperation. Throughout the show, they are constantly referred to as “equals” or “partners”. Interestingly enough, Cat Noir has the power of destruction, while Ladybug’s power is of creation. Their opposing abilities are used to showcase their teamwork.
Unfortunately, that’s not always the case throughout the show. Chat Noir is constantly “put down” to highlight Ladybug’s character. She’s creative in the sense of using her powers, while Cat Noir isn’t shown to do the same. His tasks are always to “distract” the bad guys or “destroy” objects around him on Ladybug’s orders. It might not seem like bad jobs, and it could be argued that their “roles” are what make them work well with each other. But that’s the problem. Those are the alone roles for which it has been described. Not once has he given Ladybug a glimpse on how to beat the villain. Chat Noir only listen to Ladybug for her opinions and instructions on how to beat the villain.
Additionally, Cat Noir repeatedly fails, allowing Ladybug to make tough decisions and work on her own. It finally sheds more light on her and how she can be this independent hero. Except that doesn’t contradict the whole “equal as partners” agreement? Shouldn’t Cat Noir also be participating alongside Ladybug? Apparently not, considering how little Chat Noir contributed. The writers want to make it look like Ladybug is that smart, intelligent superhero that Cat Noir clearly can’t be. Where is the equality here? It only gives the impression that the female character deserves attention because she are not other heroes with basic intelligence.
Plus, with the limited roles given to Cat Noir, he’s still stereotypically the one who sacrifices himself for Ladybug. If there’s a bad guy going to attack him, he’ll get him hit instead. And that’s actually where the role of “independent” hero comes in for Ladybug. Not once in the entire series has Ladybug been shown physically sacrificing herself for Cat Noir. It is alone Black cat. Doesn’t that reinforce the idea that males are the ones saving females? Is this the only heroic aspect of Chat Noir?
What’s even more problematic about this show is the way Ladybug constantly screams and mocks Cat Noir to show just how ‘confident’ she is. An example of this is when the powers of Cat Noir and Ladybugs change. So, Cat Noir has her power of creation while Ladybug has her power of destruction. It was the moment to see how Cat Noir could finally give his opinion while fighting a villain. Unfortunately, Cat Noir has no idea how to use her creative power while Ladybug effortlessly uses Cat Noir’s destructive power. When Cat Noir struggles to use her power, Ladybug insults him while giving him advice. This is a common trend when showing a “confident” woman in the media. Except that not only does it hurt the reputation of women trying to be confident, but it also reinforces the stereotype that confident women are boring. Portraying a powerful heroine, while showing her rudeness towards the hero, can be as harmful as a weak woman who does nothing to the plot. Ladybug obviously doesn’t have to insult Cat Noir to be a “confident” heroine. Allowing the female protagonist to know everything, including working out her newfound powers, makes the female hero unrealistic and two-dimensional. If the show is trying to make a “strong” female character, it should show her vulnerable side. They should do it Human and not a stereotype of a female hero.
Finally, Chat Noir is left in the dark for most of the show. Ladybug apparently knows more about the Miraculous World than Cat Noir. She knows the magic system and its limits. She even knew the guardian holder of their magic while Cat Noir did not. At several times throughout the show, Ladybug is shown interacting with the Guardian. Chat Noir though? Apparently not. There is hardly any interaction between him and the guardian. So, while Ladybug is excited by new discoveries of magic, Cat Noir remains Cat Noir.
Now a fan has expressed concern over the equality between Chat Noir and Ladybug on twitter, but the response from Miraculous creator Thomas Astruc replied, “I can’t believe that so many people have a problem with a girl being the leader of a duo. Ladybug is not the boss, the leader, the captain or the superior Cat Noir. They are equal. But she leads because of her abilities. Is it so hard to let the girls lead? His response only really distorts the fan’s words since we clearly know Ladybug. proves to be superior. She has more capabilities; has more independence screen time; and more awareness of the entire miraculous world. How is it equal to the Black Cat? What important role, what abilities or what knowledge does he have have?
Looking at Astruc’s twitter response, it appears the editorial staff are trying to advocate “feminism,” but are in fact to fail to represent their female heroine. How is she even a heroine to be admired if she is constantly given away all? It doesn’t make her complex at all, but a version of what men think confident and heroic women are meant to be. In fact, it seems that the author reversed gender norms to “please” the female audience, giving them more power. The show, really, ends up damaging the way the male audience can see what women (and feminists) are asking for: equality. For women to be properly represented in the media, they need complexity. Not only will this bring a realistic portrayal of the heroine, but also a more realistic approach on how equality should to be defended.