Observations on MLP: Where Are The Stallions?

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Text version:

I’ve seen this question countless times: why are there so many more mares than there are stallions in Equestria? The answer I’ve come to is… there aren’t! We’re just looking for them in the wrong places.

It’s easy to see where the misconception comes from. There’s a lot of crowd shots in MLP, and most of them seem to feature mostly mares. They also tend to feature about six ponies clone-stamped over and over again, but that’s besides the point. Also besides the point is that the male to female ratio improves dramatically on a regular basis in seasons two and three, suggesting that the animation staff had time to create a hell of a lot more templates. But that’s not too important here.

Where’s the beef? Think about it: not every scene has a disproportionate representation of mares: some of them feature a disproportionate representation of stallions. Just look at the ponies plowing the fields in Winter Wrap Up: all stallions. Now look at Celestia’s royal guard: all stallions.

What these shots suggest is that there are certain jobs that are primarily held by stallions in Equestria. I can understand resisting this notion a little, out of fear of promoting traditional gender roles, but the reality is that this makes perfect sense, especially in a world where a pony’s natural talents are the focus of their role in life. For the most part, stallions are just better built to be plowing fields and guarding castles. AJ’s line about how Twilight’s plowing awful fast for such a little pony comes to mind. And of course, there are exceptions to prove the rules as well.

Digi, surely you aren’t suggesting that almost every stallion in Equestria is doing field or guard work?

Of course not. Plenty of stallions up in Canterlot are living the high society life. Plenty of stallions in Appleoosa are doing… stuff Appleoosans do. Plenty of stallions in Cloudsdale are doing generic dude shit. Plenty of stallions at the Wonderbolt Academy tryin’ to become Wonderbolts. Plenty of stallions in the Crystal Empire being all depressed.
So, no, I wouldn’t suggest that the majority of stallions in Equestria are working in the fields. But I *would* suggest that most of the stallions in *Ponyville* are working in the fields. Think about it, this is a rural town. It was founded by earth pony farmers, and ostensibly is still a primarily earth-pony town.

Obviously there are exceptions, such as Mr. Cake and the Sofas and Quills guy, but that’s why we SEE those guys. Because they’re the ones who AREN’T in the fields. Think about it–how often would we see Big Macintosh if he wasn’t Applejack’s brother? If Applejack wasn’t a member of the group, you’d see no more Big Mac than any other stallion, because he wouldn’t be around most of the time.

Now, think about the scenes that show a more even gender split in Ponyville, without involving some kind of dude-related job. There’s stallions around during Nightmare Night, Hearts and Hooves Day, the Summer Harvest Festival… all of them are HOLIDAYS. Days when the stallions WOULDN’T be out in the fields.

Further supporting evidence comes from the Ponyville schoolhouse, which often has a good representation of male students. They haven’t yet grown up to possibly take on careers in the fields or elsewhere.

Yes, MLP has some scenes that carelessly have an over-representation of females. While it may be an understandable generalization that guys aren’t as interested in song numbers, or something descriped as a “pageant,” it’s particularly strange that there are no stallions whatsoever in the running of the leaves, and a few other events. Still, to say that these moments are evidence of a total lack of stallions in Equestria undermines the fact that they are still quite present, and have a solid reason to be underrepresented.

After all, the mane six are a group of six mares, none of whom has any real stallion friends aside from their brothers and neighbors. It’s not that strange that, in following their adventures, we wouldn’t see as many stallions as we would if, say, the mane six were comprised of Big Macintosh, Shining Armor, Fancy Pants, Pony Joe, Braeburn, and Snowflake.

…holy shit, I would watch that.

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