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Author Topic: Why does Ozai favours Azula? Gender issues....  (Read 6440 times)
Waylaid
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« on: Sep 17, 2006 08:40 pm »

Why then, besides Azula being a firebending prodigy? It's usually uncommon for a King to favour his daughter over his son if he wishes to continue his line on the throne. It couldn't be because of Ozai is a supporter of gender equality Roll Eyes. It usually happens in matriarchal societies. When a queen does descend a throne, it's because when there are no other male heirs or because it's her own will or it only happen in modern societies. But it's rare in Asian monarchies to favour women to descend the throne and become rulers of their countries. If there were, usually it's handed to Empress Dowagers or their equivalents who have to take care of their underage rulers. But for women to be favoured by a male ruler?

Now, you might think this is a misogynistic post. Please don't think so. I merely read what happened in Asian histories, that male rulers are mostly favoured to become rulers, don't you see what's going in Japan right now? The same chauvinistic practices still exist in Asia even as we see it in the Japanese monarchy.

Why then, would ministers & generals obey Azula? It's not because they respect her, they fear & respect the Fire Lord, and if anything happens to Azula, they themselves have to answer to Fire Lord Ozai. So they rather risked being threatened by daddy's girl than being incinerated by the daddy himself.
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« Reply #1 on: Sep 17, 2006 08:55 pm »

Well, this is a fantasy world and not a historically accurate portrayal of Asian nations. If I recall, no one in Asia could make the earth move either. In fact, the fire kingdom could be more aptly compared to imperialist Britain.

I think it just comes down to power. Azula is an immensely gifted bender, so she gets favoured.

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« Reply #2 on: Sep 17, 2006 09:07 pm »

Why then, would ministers & generals obey Azula? It's not because they respect her, they fear & respect the Fire Lord, and if anything happens to Azula, they themselves have to answer to Fire Lord Ozai. So they rather risked being threatened by daddy's girl than being incinerated by the daddy himself.

I don't think that's true.  I think most everyone seems to fear Azula because she is so immensely powerful in addition to the fact that she's pretty much Ozai's right-hand... girl.  I'm sure the stories about how ruthless she is have spread throughout the military, so the generals know that if they screw up, there's a likelihood that their life expectancy will drop drastically.
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« Reply #3 on: Sep 17, 2006 09:19 pm »

look at queen elizabeth, empress dowager, oprah. they all took things into their own hands. and if you look at it in a militarist point of view: i'm waging a war, my son is a soft-hearted pansy boy, my daughter is like me, cold, powerful ruthless. hmmmmm, who would be better in this campaign. ozai is smart and sees that his daughter has great potential. he didn't want to waste his time on zuko, who would need lots and lots of attention in trying to get him to be maybe as good as azula.

remember, fire mom was around when zuko was mr softy, and azula was already bad girl, two faced. it wasn't until mommy left that zuko gets a little feisty.
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« Reply #4 on: Sep 17, 2006 09:21 pm »

Good point. It probably wasn't until Zuko lost his mother's comfort that he got his Vegeta-complex.
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Karalora
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« Reply #5 on: Sep 17, 2006 09:22 pm »

I don't think we can assume the Fire Nation is patriarchal, at least not to such an extent that a male heir would always be favored over a female. It may be mere coincidence that all the Fire Lords we know of were Lords and not Ladies; in other respects the Fire Nation seems quite egalitarian compared to real-world Asian societies. A strict patriarchy probably would not have institutionalized combat training for girls. Zhao's "sons and daughters of fire" speech in "The Blue Spirit" also supports this notion; it seems to imply that there are women among the troops.
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« Reply #6 on: Sep 17, 2006 10:48 pm »

Not only that but Zhao, who hardly strikes as a progressive of his society, is honoring them in speech specifically about his self-edifice.  This says LOADS to the idea of women holding position in the military.  They often have but that Zhao would feel the need to honor them out of hand...well ya know.  I know I've come down as "no way" before but lately I'm becoming convinced the idea of the female warrior is more accepted.

BTW uhm students of Asian History, I've heard there is actually warrior/soldiering tradition within Asia or at least China.  Is this true?
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« Reply #7 on: Sep 17, 2006 10:52 pm »

I think it's because Zuko was more like 'Don't do that that's not nice!' like his mother, but azula was more like 'Yeah kill KILL!!' like her father. The reason for this is maybe because when Zuko was first born, they didn't know how to raise him so he just grew up as kind of a nice person, so they tried to be careful on their next child, Azula, and raise her evil, and that's how she is. I guess Ozai just thinks that ZUko is a failure and isn't worth working on now, lol
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« Reply #8 on: Sep 17, 2006 11:07 pm »

look at queen elizabeth, empress dowager, oprah. they all took things into their own hands.

That's just it. They took things into their own hands. But usually to rebel at first against the chauvinistic elements in their society, even against their parents. But for a ruling father to favour a daughter over a son, seems rare. I can understand if that ruler is a good guy and he understands his daughter's potential ahead of his sons. But for Ozai, I doubt he is that progressive.
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« Reply #9 on: Sep 17, 2006 11:10 pm »

I think I have a good theory here:
I think Ozai resents Zuko because he is the first child and when Azula was born his bad experience with his father resurfaced.
It is pretty obvious that Azulon favored his firstborn, Iroh as it seemed in Azulon's eyes Ozai was a dissipointment.
those memories came forward and maybe Zuko was not living up to his expectations.
It is obvious to me that Ozai had done a lot to impress his father, naming his second born after him and trying to apease his father.
Now i know this sounds very odd but i have seen it before in real life, my husband's best friend went through it...
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« Reply #10 on: Sep 17, 2006 11:27 pm »

I think more to it.
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Karalora
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« Reply #11 on: Sep 17, 2006 11:52 pm »

That's just it. They took things into their own hands. But usually to rebel at first against the chauvinistic elements in their society, even against their parents. But for a ruling father to favour a daughter over a son, seems rare. I can understand if that ruler is a good guy and he understands his daughter's potential ahead of his sons. But for Ozai, I doubt he is that progressive.

That's exactly what makes this topic so interesting! We think of sexism as such an unmitigated evil that it's hard to imagine any genuine villain as not possessing it. But wouldn't it be a terrific twist of irony if the megalomaniacal bad guys were more humanitarian in one particular way than the rest of the world?
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« Reply #12 on: Sep 17, 2006 11:54 pm »

Azula remind him of Azula's mother
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« Reply #13 on: Sep 18, 2006 12:27 am »

look at queen elizabeth, empress dowager, oprah. they all took things into their own hands.

That's just it. They took things into their own hands. But usually to rebel at first against the chauvinistic elements in their society, even against their parents. But for a ruling father to favour a daughter over a son, seems rare. I can understand if that ruler is a good guy and he understands his daughter's potential ahead of his sons. But for Ozai, I doubt he is that progressive.

don't try to understand it that way. ~think power~ sexism, hierarchy, etc, throw all of that nonsense out. think about power! like i said before, he's trying to take over the world. would the fire nation stand a chance with someone like zuko as their leader being all soft hearted and his firebending isn't even that great. while you have your daughter who is just as manipulative, cold, and a prodigy. i think my country will continue to reign supreme with my powerful daughter.

you're a little too stuck on specifics. ex) business wise- someone to take over my telecommunications company a.) my son who likes to dance ballet and feed the ducks. or b.) my daughter from an ivy league college. common sense rules over.

the creators are not going "by the book" with how the people, society, etc should be. it's been their guideline as how they would like it to be. and frankly, if i was a war monger, i'd choose azula as well.
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« Reply #14 on: Sep 18, 2006 12:40 am »

Zuko: "If my father thinks the rest of the world will follow him willingly, then he is a fool."

Zhao: "Two years at sea have done little to temper your tongue."

Is it possible that Zuko's outburst in the War Chamber was not the only time he questioned what his father was doing?  Was it just the straw that broke the camel's back?  Did Ozai see it as an opportunity to rid himself of a potential usurper who could rally the Fire Nation Military to his side because he actually gave damn about them?  Maybe there is more to the Prince's naming than we are currently aware...perhaps the son is destined (prophesied?) to become the 'enemy to the parent' and Ozai just wanted to get him as far away and as wretchedly powerless as he could possibly get...
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« Reply #15 on: Sep 18, 2006 12:49 am »

That's exactly what makes this topic so interesting! We think of sexism as such an unmitigated evil that it's hard to imagine any genuine villain as not possessing it. But wouldn't it be a terrific twist of irony if the megalomaniacal bad guys were more humanitarian in one particular way than the rest of the world?

Curse you Karalora, for beating me to a point! And for phrasing it so much better and more concisely than I ever could!

That's sort of the whole point of seeking gender equality, isn't it? That people are free to aspire to the heights or fall to the depths of life as people, who regardless of gender run the whole gamut of body shapes, interests, personalities, and goals. The idea that women are somehow "morally superior" to men was used by men to justify keeping women out of society in just the same way arguments of their "inferiority" were.

So, people being people, it would stand to reason that one isn't a pinnacle of goodness just because one has embraced gender equality. Though it's certainly a step in the right direction, it seems to be outweighed in Ozai by his other flaws (like rampant megalomania).

Then again, if the only people in the Avatar world who seemingly embrace gender equality as a society are the "evil" people... well, that could be its own problematic message.
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« Reply #16 on: Sep 18, 2006 12:57 am »

Here's another possibility, and a very crazy theory:

Ozai favouring Azula is a ruse to teach Zuko a lesson, to "harden" him into becoming a ruler like Ozai.

And to iijyanaika, yes warmongers might favour Azula, but assuming, and I'm just assuming here, that if the Fire Nation is a strict patriarchal monarchistic society, then to have Azula rule, Ozai must find a male groom to marry off & legitimise Azula's rule. The groom however would only serve as a mere puppet to Azula, be it willingly or not. While there is common sense in Ozai favouring Azula because of her potential, most of the time common sense has to clash with tradition, and if the Ozai can't defy tradition, he has to get around it.
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« Reply #17 on: Sep 18, 2006 01:19 am »

I posted something similar to that in the 'Theories' thread a while back...Ozai said suffering would be his son's teacher...and it has made him stronger.  He's been sent out into a hostile world with no protection and forced to fend for himself...how could it not toughen him?  If Zuko does end up siding with Aang I can see Ozai attempting to tempt his son back by telling him that everything he'd been through, everything he'd suffered was to make him the ideal heir to the throne.  If Ozai was to tell him that he was proud of him now that he'd become what he should have always been...wouldn't Zuko be torn between what's right and finally getting what he's always wanted?
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« Reply #18 on: Sep 18, 2006 04:24 am »

it has make him stronger, the Final test for him to stand up to Ozai.
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« Reply #19 on: Sep 18, 2006 08:34 am »

Then again, if the only people in the Avatar world who seemingly embrace gender equality as a society are the "evil" people... well, that could be its own problematic message.

I think we can rest assured that the moral of the story is not going to be "sexual parity is bad," given the strong anti-sexism message in several episodes. The Northern Water Tribe aside, I think their world is largely non-sexist (and the NWT's sexism might be a two-way street). It may just be that the Fire Nation has achieved the highest degree of parity.
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« Reply #20 on: Sep 18, 2006 01:56 pm »

Azula remind him of Azula's mother, for other reseasons
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« Reply #21 on: Sep 18, 2006 02:07 pm »

Azula remind him of Azula's mother, for other reseasons

How many times must you repeat yourself? Oh, and I don't think Azula needs reseasoning.

The answer is simple though, Azula would make a better ruler (from Ozai's point of view) than Zuko would. She is harsh, dominating and cruel, just like her father. Zuko lacks hatred, and he has compassion even though he tries to hide it.
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« Reply #22 on: Sep 18, 2006 02:36 pm »

I think that Azula was just trying to play a game with Zuko, like who is the better child of the Fire Lord. As
Zuko is most of the time out of luck, the Fire Lord prefers more the perfection of his daughter than the failures
of his son. Aswell i think that Ozai killed his wife, because she was to weak and to soft to become a ruler.
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Darmani
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« Reply #23 on: Sep 19, 2006 12:46 pm »

I actually like it seemed whatever was done by Ursula, whatever her fate, it was of her own initiative.  Yeah Ozai likely was instrumental in her being gone. He may even be responsible but victim of one's on actions strikes me as better fiction than just a victim.

Its weird I mean I don't get my dander up at people suffering for innoecent mistakes (Aang's running away = world in peril and no friends or family and dead mentor par exemplar) but if they just get victimized... well I start to peer a little closer.
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« Reply #24 on: Sep 23, 2006 10:23 am »

Somebdy before said it: The Fire Nation is seen as the Western part of the world nowadays. I mean Avatar is an American-Asian-anime. It has the ancient thingy but also a tickle of Western (American) in it. I mean love/kissing/hugging Kiss is shown here while some Eastern countries forbad Shocked, in ancient times, that sorrta things. don't get me wrong some Eastern countries weren't like that. but there culture was a lot more different than now. Okay her's the point of this stupid long story:
don't you see the Fire Nation is in the western part of the avatar-world. they're developing they're rich and have a good economic and social life Cool ( not talking 'bout their strict rules/YUK! Angry) . the creators present the Fire Nation as England/America/Europe, while they, tough they are viewed Western, have put a bit of Asian influence in it. I mean how would it be if in Avatar the Eastern part would be Eastern and the Western not, well duh NOT COOL! Angry So maybe this is the reason why Azula is the  heir to the throne. In our Western lifes women are also queens. Smiley Than again it is weird, you're right. maybe my theory isn't true/right. but it's alway logical, all theories are. Wink (THE NORMAL ONES Tongue)
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