However, I must snip out this paragraph and frame it on the wall, because it's so obvious, and yet I never quite crystallized the thought:
Plus, Spira appears much bigger in the sense of gender equality than our world is. As far as I can tell, there's really no intentional sexism in the way that Spira's drawn out, and it's possible to find women incorporated in the military, sports, and in the religion. That is, any sexism in X isn't so much within Spira, as it is in the people who produced it.
Purple emphasis mine, of course.
So yeah. We have our Lucils and our Donas and our Elmas and our Lulus and our random blitzers and Shelinda the Token Doormat. We have rather more male than female characters being movers and shakers within the storyline. We have Unnamed Mother Syndrome for Rikku, Yuna, Tidus and Seymour. But in the world itself, as opposed to the cast we happen to bump into, it appears that women might pop up in any role.
Except. Deflation time. I see no female maester, no female leader of any group from Al Bhed to Ronso, until we get LeBlanc in X-2, who is not the most flattering leader-figure. Maybe Spiran women can be in any role -- military, religious, sports -- but there is still a glass ceiling? Or do we blame that on game designers' allocation of PC/NPC roles?
It still looks to me like it would be a lot easier for Lucil to make maester (or meyvin) than it would be for a woman in our world to get signed as a free agent in Major League Baseball or acquire "President" as a job title.
Also, Bechdel Test. Flying Colors. There are conversations [not about men] between all female PCs, and between a number of NPCs and PCs. (Even the Marshmallow of Yevon).
This post is tangentially related to the whole "why are women not being written in fanfic" conversation being carried out in some other fandoms. One thing our canon has which some fandoms do not: Women. Lots. In many different roles.
Cf: LoTR. (sigh)