Came in to this thread, read several pages, and saw a religious discussion. lol. But it looks like that is over.
Anyway, it seems that many members believe that those of us who find parts of One Piece problematic think that we feel that Oda is a misogynistic asshole. This is far from the truth. We probably would not continue to read the story if we believed that. It is possible to enjoy a piece of media while still being critical of its more problematic aspects.
I thought that Oda had great female characters at the beginning of the manga. There was Kuina, the little girl who tried to give Zoro the riceball, Kaya, Bellemere (I thought we were going see more women like her), Nami's sister, Miss Monday, Tashigi (A good example of how a female character has degraded), Hina, Dr. Kurehea, Konis, Vivi… These characters were great because they had their own personalities and motivations and weren't just generic sexy women for the male readers to stare at. If these characters were written now, could you imagine how they would be written?
I pointed out pages ago the good things that I thought Oda did with the women.
-Nami and Robin have their own goals that isn't landing a man and getting married, nor are they stereotypical feminine goals.
-Women over 25 can still be considered desirable and beautiful (heck the most beautiful woman in that world is in her 30s!)
-No romance. Even though I hate damsels in distress, Luffy wanted to help Nami and Robin in their major arcs because they were his friends, not because he was obsessively in love with either of them.
-Nami and Robin are smart and Oda SHOWS this and simply does not just tell us
-It is very clear that Nami and Robin are vital to the crew.
-I liked in Little Garden when Nami had her shirt burned off, that she was not at all embarrassed or uncomfortable being in front of the guys in her bra. I also liked, that before Sanji arrived that none of the guys were leering at her or getting excited. Even when Sanji did show up his love cook mode was pretty mild and he offered her his jacket. I thought that showed how close the crew was.
-Nami and Robin have well written back stories.
-Nami and Robin have more to their personality than just being "the girls".
-Nami practically runs the ship. She gives orders and the men do as she says without question and she is very capable at it.
-The men can show emotions and cry. Even the "manly" men like Zoro, Whitebeard, and Luffy.
-Sanji telling Usopp that it was ok that he couldn't defeat Jabra and that he is good at things that Sanji cannot do.
-Though many of them are problematic, Oda includes transexuals and Mr. 2, Ivankov, and Inazuma are great characters.
-Sanji does have some feminine characteristics. (No I'm not saying that he is a feminine character) He enjoys cooking, cares about his appearance, and expects good table manners.
However, there are still issues, especially starting in Enies Lobby. It is like the girls are now treated as fragile flowers that need to be protected. In Alabasta, Nami did get a bit roughed up by Miss Doublefinger. Not as much as Zoro and Luffy, but she did get a spike through her foot. Her fight with Kalifa, even though I did like some aspects of it, was just ridiculous and I couldn't take it seriously. And what happened to Kalifa? In Water 7 she seemed so much more powerful and then in Enies Lobby, she became a fanservice character, was weakened so that we could believe that Sanji could easily defeat her if his weakness wasn't women, and that Nami could easily take her. (I would have found it much more interesting if on top of being a women, Sanji's attacks are not compatible with her soap fruit and she had the advantage all along. Heck, everyone was ok with Perona being able to easily defeat Luffy, Sanji, and Zoro with her fruit.) It's like Oda felt that boys wouldn't enjoy a serious fight between two female characters unless it was sexed up.
I want to make it clear. Being sexy is not a problem nor is dressing sexy. Robin was sexy back in Alabasta but she had a lot to her character and was simply not just a sexual object to look at. (Interestingly, I see a lot of guys say that she is the character that they most identify with. And people say that men can't relate to a female character ;)) It becomes problematic when that is the only way the women are allowed to be portrayed and that "real" women must be sexy. (Anyone who identifies as a woman is a real woman.) And by this, men are allowed to hit and hurt the ugly women but not the sexy women. No we can't mess up their faces.
I'm disappointed with Nami and Robin's character progression post time skip. Seriously, what is Nami doing in the New World if she is almost killed at Fishmen Island? And why weren't Nami and to some extent Robin included in that fight? Everyone one shotted their opponent. Oda could have at least created a female fishman in that group for Nami to blast. It really felt like they weren't apart of the crew and were just extras. Hell if Nami had slammed her staff down on Zeo's head making him let her go and then told Brooke to take care of him while she continued to crowd control, I wouldn't have had much issue with that. Currently I'm behind on the manga, but where I'm at, it feels like Nami and Robin are becoming "the girls" especially Nami. When I say that I mean that the entire point of their character is to be the girl of the group. Maybe that has changed recently though.
Also, female characters don't have to be fighters to be considered "strong" or well written. I thought Kureaha, Vivi, Kaya (her wanting to be a doctor), Konis, Tashigi in Alabasta, and Kokoro were great characters. (Probably missing some in there). They need to be capable and not completely reliant on the men around them.
I don't buy the women are naturally weaker argument, therefore, they cannot be as badass as the men in One Piece. Men in this world can lift houses, the strength arguement goes out the window, because that is far more ridiculous than a woman being as strong as Zoro (and not saying that HAS to happen). And in this world people can get increddible powers from devil fruit so strength shouldn't matter that much. And now Haki exists.
I preferred One Piece when it had little fanservice. I feel that fanservice (the sexual kind) cheapens a story. It is like the author does not have enough confidence in their writing so they need to add in boobs and panty shots just to get someone to read their story. I heard that Oda said that he was forced to add in fanservice but I don't buy this. Why would anyone read all the up to Enies Lobby just for boobs?
Okay I'm just now rambling and I could write so much more but much of it has already been said. TL;DR. No one thinks that Oda is a misogynist. He does make mistakes and it is a shame of what has happened to his female characters. It's okay to enjoy media and still be critical of certain aspects of it. Oda has done some good things with his female characters but that does not excuse the more problematic aspects.
I'll leave you with an interesting article from Cracked.com about pirates. I realize that it's cracked.com but it is interesting. http://www.cracked.com/article_20448_5-ways-pirates-were-way-more-modern-than-you-realize.html