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Equal Fights
Season 3, Episode 12B
Episode name pun on: Equal Rights and fights
186379
Airdate: January 5, 2001
Credits
Director: Randy Myers and Craig McCracken
Story: Lauren Faust
Writer(s): Amy Keating Roders
Lynne Naylor-Reccardi
Lauren Faust
See also
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Episodes
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"The Headsucker's Moxy"
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"Moral Decay"
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A villainess named Femme Fatale convinces the Powerpuff Girls to hate men in order for her to get away with stealing all of the Susan B. Anthony coins in Townsville.

Plot

The city of Townsville has always been a place where people are satisfied---they get there fair share and help each other out.

While the girls are at school, they receive a call from the Mayor saying that the bank's being robbed,and so they dash into action. The narrator asks what kind of MAN is robbing the bank, but the robber turns out to be a WOMAN named Femme Fatale who demands Susan B. Anthony coins only (since other money has men on it). Right before she can escape, the girls appear on the scene and quickly haul her off to jail.

Femme Fatale claims to the girls that the city of Townsville belittles their talents, also pointing out that female superheroes aren't looked up to as much as male superheroes are. Realizing this shocks Buttercup, causing her to drop Femme Fatale. Before she hits the ground, her fall's broken by a construction worker and she flees, but the girls quickly apprehend her once more. Femme Fatale somehow convinces the girls that sending her to jail would be a blow for all womankind and that they're on the wrong side. They set her free and return home, allowing her to commit more crimes.

At school, the girls scare the boys when one knocks a girl down playing catch and causes much fear for them. Back at home, the Professor is in the middle of cleaning the house and politely asks the girls to clean their room to which he receives a death glare. Later, while destroying her male dolls, Blossom receives a call from the Mayor asking them to save the day. Blossom denies, telling him to go do it himself, and hangs up. Ms. Bellum calls them and ask the girls to meet her in the Mayor's office where they are confronted by both her and Ms. Keane. They talk about the girls' new outlook on life, and try to correct it by making them realize that the boy who knocked the girl down was only playing with her. The two also explain that Utonium only asked for them to clean their own room while he did all the chores, and that the mayor couldn't save the city because he doesn't have superpowers.

While the girls realize that they overreacted, they still point out that Femme Fatale's the only real female villain in town, and Mrs. Bellum tells the Girls that they didn't stop her which Blossom justifies by saying that girls they all have to look out for each other, only for a voice to go "Oh really?" and three other women come forward: a female bank employee whose bank Femme Fatale stole Susan B. Anthony coins from, a policewoman whose arm Femme Fatale broke, and a teenaged girl whose hairstyle Femme Fatale apparently copied (the girl gets looked at funny for it, as it was petty). The three women ask the girls if Femme Fatale was looking out for them when she did these particularthings to them. The intervention helps the girls realize that not only did they go overboard with their whole "girl power" thing, but that Femme Fatale doesn't actually practice what she preaches.

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Ms. Bellum and Ms. Keane talk to the girls.

PPGs from Equal Fights

Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup, as they appear in this episode.

At a coin convention, Femme Fatale is confronted by Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup, who question if she even knows who Susan B. Anthony. When it becomes apparent that she doesn't, the girls decide to tell Femme Fatale the real story of her:

For a very long time, women weren't allowed to do much of anything, which Susan B. Anthony knew was wrong--in 1872, she had broken the law by voting (since American women didn't get the legal right to vote until August 18th of 1920). However, while Susan B. Anthony was found guilty of what she did, the authorities wanted to go easy on her simply because she's a woman. But she didn't want any kind of special treatment, she wanted to be treated equal and demanded that she be sent to prison just like any man who had broken the law.

After saying that last part, Blossom says, "And that's what we're gonna do to you!" The sisters beat Femme Fatale up and send her to prison, where she gives a very stereotypical complaint about how the uniform makes her look (she claims that horizontal stripes make her look fat).

When the narrator closes the episode, he states that there are no chick narrators and something's thrown at him.

Characters

Main Characters

Minor Characters

Trivia

  • There's two morals to derive from this episode:
    • 1.) Feminism is ultimately about gender equality and not necessarily women getting special treatment and/or being superior to/sexist towards men.
    • 2.) Like in Members Only, men and women should be treated equally and given equal opportunities for the same things.
  • While Femme Fatale raises a good in that female superheroes tend to not be as popular as male superheroes, and that heroes like Supergirl and Batgirl are basically just extensions of their male counterparts (Superman and Batman, respectively), there are plenty of other female superheroes besides Wonder Woman who aren't intended as direct extensions to already existing male superheroes.
    • Femme Fatale also points out how villainy is similarly dominated by men like heroism is, even though there are tons of female supervillains. This may be because in the series, there are only two recurring female villains. Femme Fatale herself is a one-shot villain.
      • Femme Fatale makes references to Princess Morbucks (as "that little brat") and Sedusa (as "the chick in the underwear"), two of the recurring female villains in the series.
    • Femme Fatale points out that while Superman and Batman already have their own movies, the Powerpuff Girls themselves do not. The series, however, did eventually get its very own feature-length film in 2002.
      • Additionally, one attempt at a Catwoman movie was made in 2004, and a live-action Wonder Woman movie was released in 2017.
  • It is never actually explained why Femme Fatale is a misandrist. One popular fan theory is that she was mistreated by some male figure in her life, and it caused her great emotional discomfort. Given her selfish nature, it is also likely that she simply blamed men in order to excuse her crimes.
  • This is the only major appearance of Femme Fatale. After this, she's never mentioned or seen again in the series until the last episode (The Powerpuff Girls Rule!).
  • In political terms, this episode is the last episode to air during Bill Clinton's time as U.S.A. President. Bill Clinton was the President of the United States from January 20, 1993 until January 20, 2001, and "The Powerpuff Girls" was created during Bill Clinton's term as United States President.
  • The $100 bill in the episode is based on the real world US $100 bill.
  • The teenage girl who talks to Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup is wearing a white t-shirt with a picture of Blossom on the front of it. The teenager also bears a striking resemblance to Femme Fatale as well (just younger with either acne or freckles).
  • At the beginning of the episode, the trees outside the Girls house are pink.
  • The episode has met with controversy, as there's been arguing over whether or not the episode sends out a positive message of feminism. Lauren Faust has even confirmed that this episode was an old shame of hers, as she wasn't sure if the episode was a good way to teach feminism to children.
  • This is one of two episodes that focuses on gender discrimination (sexism). The other being Members Only.

Production Notes