Remember when I threatened to do this? Today is that day.
Let’s start off sorting them male/female.
That’s 93 male sprites. Such wild diversity of outfits.
Now let’s see the female ones.
Let’s count how many men have full pants.
Why, almost all of them! Eighty three. Eighty three men have their legs in pants.
Twelve. And in short skirts?
Hm. How many men have tiny, tiny shorts?
So the female trainers are generally wearing the skimpier outfits, almost always have some leg showing and generally most, are almost never shown as older women. There is one female-only sprite, a woman taking care of preschoolers, compared to all those male-only sprites you see above.
This quartet highlights why this is so infuriating. These are little kids, but both girls are unable to bend over without flashing someone. It’s not just that almost every female sprite is sexualized, but that so many of them are also kids.
Not that the adult ones aren’t terrible in their own way.
Even when you have a PhD, you’re still going to be a woman first. So what if actual safety procedures say you need to be properly covered in case of an accident, you need those bare legs and open-topped shoes which, now that I look, have slight heels because of course they do.
And the outfits themselves are just the tip of the iceberg. Here we see two ones showing skin, but as you can see, the male’s is not only covering more, but he’s presented as an actual swimmer getting ready to go, while she’s showing off her body for people instead. This is only reinforced by the fact the female swimmers actually say as much, rather than swimming.
Then there’s the sprite pairs like these. Girls can learn martial arts, but they can’t grow up to keep doing it. If you want to heal people or pokemon, you can be a doctor if you’re a boy, but a nurse in pink (with skirt, tights and impractical shoes) if you’re a girl
There’s no sprite pair that has a boy and adult woman, nor any where the women has the more prestigious job. And in the sprite sets where there’s more than a pair…
In groups where there’s one older one, it’s always male. The only one where there’s more girls than boys is among the preschoolers.
This is the best pair, but it’s because it’s a twin gym leader where a big deal is made of the fact they look alike, so cutting out chunks of the girl’s outfit wasn’t an option, and apparently no one wanted to make her wave her ass as the camera instead.
This pair is particularly terrible despite the fact she’s wearing more than most of the women manage. As you can see from the male sprite, apparently those are actual pants, but to make it look like she’s wearing a bikini over tights, either her outfit had the middle cut out. Either she’s just wearing a loop of fabric underneath for no reason, or for even less reason, she’s wearing something shaped like underwear on top of her pants.
On top of that, she’s kneeling with her butt out and breasts thrust forward. Why? Why the hell is she doing this?
People have made the argument that the Pokemon franchise is a glorious land of equality because women can be pokemon trainers too, but given three year olds can be pokemon trainers that doesn’t actually say much. The central idea of pokemon has always, always been that everyone can do it. They do have many (but not as many) women as gym leaders and elite four, and not every last outfit exposes as much skin as possible. But the fact it could be even worse does not make it good.
And let’s face it, it’s been pretty shitty from beginning to end.