She watched her little brother whack at Tommen. “I could do just as good as Bran,” she said. “He’s only seven. I’m nine.”
She doesn’t even use their genders as factors in her assessment- she’s older by two years, she can do “just as good”.
It’s actually interesting because while Arya notes the differential treatment of the sexes and expresses upset over it, this never manifests as bitterness. What I mean by that is that she doesn’t develop any anger towards men nor does she internalize the sexism and seek to differentiate herself from other women/girls.
And that, to me, is really amazing. I think it speaks to Arya’s level of understanding and empathy for other people. She’s always been able to connect with people from all walks of life and express affection for people who even treat her horribly (Lommy, Elmar, Hot Pie at first, Bubono.)
Arya questions (why can’t she be lord of a holdfast or a shipmaker or the High Septon? why can’t she own a sword and learn to fight? why can’t she go boar hunting when even younger Bran is allowed?) but she never gets angry or bitter over it towards others. She still very happily a girl, she just doesn’t see why that makes her any different or lesser. She still has male friends and brothers and not think why do these people who aren’t as good or deserving or anything get these opportunities. She doesn’t even get jealous. She wants to know why and doesn’t accept that she’s any different.
And is there any POV character who values women who work in whorehouses or brothels like Arya does? She takes advice from Merry, never looks down on any of the many whores she meets and encounters, she doesn’t think less of them or scorn them for their profession.
But it’s nor just about valuing the women society considers to be the lowest, Arya always admires women. She looks up to Ned and Jon and Robb of course, but her heroes are women. She wants to be like Wenda the White Fawn, she wants to name her direwolf after Queen Nymeria.
The funny thing, is that people use their own headcanons or whatever to prove that Arya is anti-women.
SHE DOESN’T LIKE/DO FEMININE THINGS! Except she likes to pick flowers and had dolls growing up and romanticizing her parents’ relationship and what exactly are we classifying as feminine anyway here? What qualities does Arya need to have to be feminine enough for the haters? And, most important question, is it because Arya isn’t pretty enough? Some comments/gifsets unfortunately imply as such.
SHE WANTS TO BE A KNIGHT AND NOT A LADY! She has never expressed any interest in being a knight and the lady bit is very debatable. And even if it isn’t, it’s the idea of being a Lady as the profession than being a lady as in the gender. That’s not anti-women, it’s anti-highborn life if anything. And why would that be an an issue anyway? Can’t you have a feminine knight? It’s a profession choice, not a sex declaration.
SHE CARRIES A SWORD AND DOES “MASCULINE” THINGS!! CLICHE! I’m struggling to see how people get this notion. For starters, what is this idea of being masculine when you use examples such as being angry and having short hair to state she’s masculine? And where does this idea that having a sword is cliche? Pretty much every male character has carried one at one point, is it only wrong if it’s women? Why is that bad? And what female character isn’t wielding some blade/weapon at some point? Because even forgetting those considered “masculine” like Arya, we know Sansa and Catelyn both threatened men with knives/blades. Do male characters have a monopoly on survival because otherwise how can you overlook the absolute necessity of this in a world like Westeros?
Being a woman and unarmed won’t save you from abuse in such a violent, war-consumed world, as she learns quickly enough, so Arya has to make do somehow. Not that Arya even carries a weapon for most of Harrenhal when she’s worked as a slave.
There’s nothing to textually support that Arya has any anti-women or anti-femininity sentiments. She gets jealous over not being feminine enough, that’s the closest you can say.
The reason this started, to be honest, is because people wanted to hate Arya. That’s why it gets continued as well. Arya is a fan favorite (but note, not a fandom favorite by any means,) and some people looked for reasons to justify their hatred and even shame people for liking Arya. (Trust me, I’ve read all these “metas” on the subject. They’re very transparent.)
Anyway, anon, there’s really nothing to be done. It’s not based on textual evidence, it’s not based on anything logical- because if I’ve learned one thing from being in fandom, it’s that character hate is the quickest path to twisting facts and rationality into nothingness. They’re not going to notice Arya’s stance as very pro-women because they don’t want to.