I disagree. People will call Sheik a 'he', but Sheik is actually Zelda in disguise. And obviously Zelda used magic to be able to change clothes like that so quickly is because she used magic. (please I don't want to start an argument)
Well dur it's Zelda, so it's a female. But I like to think of it as, she was trying to be a man. She was trying to make people think she was a male. But she is a female. I don't see much discussion because she IS a female yet what I just said so I call HIM a HE.
If you've ever seen a girl crossplay a guy character you know it is fully possible, -plus Zelda didn't have all that much to hide in the first place- the thing is that the transformation involves magic and could just as well make her into a guy or cast an illusion over her to appear as such. Personally I think Shiek is a chick as well, though I'll refer to Shiek as a him or her interchangeably because of what that character is meant to be.
Isn't there a thread about this already somewhere?
Anyway, I've seen good arguments for both, actually.
The most common argument for Femininity is that "Sheik is Zelda" - which is true, Shiek is Zelda in disguise, but...
Those that argue for Masculinity point out that Hyrule is a magic-world and that Zelda is skilled in magic and could have turned herself into a male, bodyparts and everythng. Common arguments for this view are that the official art of Sheik looks male ("Can Zelda really bind her breasts that flat?") and an insinuation in the OoT manga that a body gender-switch occured, however...
In Super Smash Bros. - in Melee' Sheik is listed as female and the Brawl (unused TP design) is *clearly* female and the creators have stated Sheik as a female character. Yet again.. Super Smash Brothers is not canon for Legend of Zelda, or any of the games which it uses characters from.
So, really, the debate goes on and I feel that both sides have good ammunition.
Now, *personally* (this is strictly personal) I *like* Sheik as a female and whenever the plot of any fanfiction I'm writing or roleplay I'm playing in requires me to write of Sheik, I prefer to make the character female. This has less to do with the eternal debate as it does with seeing a very sexist/offensive comment regarding Zelda on a forum I was browing and just getting so mad about it that I decided to do something of a "literary defiance" in response. (I.E. it's my response to some comment that "Zelda is useless without a ****." To me, NO SHE'S NOT, SO THERE). Feminist ire... though I'm sure the person who made that comment has never seen my fanfics. It's the fact that such thinking is out there that prompts my "I will write Sheik as female for the heck of it" atttidue.
I've always thought of Sheik as female. I know a lot of people argue that she could have magically switched genders, but think about it. She could have used magic to alter her skin color, eye color, even body build (because it is possible for a woman to have a masculine build), but it's really rather overkill to go and change her whole gender. It just doesn't seem necessary to go that far.
I also have personal convictions for labeling Sheik as female, mostly because it makes me really uncomfortable to consider the possibility of a total gender change, and also because in game, she never really looked all that masculine to me. Sure, the official art screams male, but like I said, magic can alter her build without altering her gender, and in game her gender wasn't nearly as obvious.
Didn't Ruto call Sheik a "he" as well? "Thank him for saving me". Of course Sheik is zelda in disguise but Sheik was a male character. Zelda used magic to disguise herself so she wouldn't be recognized at all. And the best way to do this was to even change gender. But people always speculate and that's what makes it so funny
Sheik is really Zelda in disguise. Yes, I know, she was trying to disguise herself, so she could have used magic to change herself into a boy. But really, do any of you think that Zelda got a sex change in order to be Sheik? It was just a disguise.
To me personally, I have noticed that Sheik had a male voice when he made a sound, so I would assume that because of this, Sheik was a boy. In the manga the story of the whole gender mix-up was that Zelda asked to be disguised as a boy so Ganondorf wouldn't have a clue to search for her in disguise. I hope this helps the discussion and debate.
One of the gossip stones says that "They say that, contrary to her elegant image, Princess Zelda of Hyrule Castle is, in fact, a tomboy!" I'm far more comfortable saying she was able to disguise herself as a boy more easily because it was a contrast to her appearance than in saying she became an actual boy. It breaks a stereotype instead of conforming to one. Also, Impa's gender is never in question, and Sheik looks similar to her - though does appear softer, as if she needed the longer pants and sleeves to disguise the fact that she isn't as muscular. Plus the bodysuit would make binding easier - compare Impa's costume, where she's showing skin since she doesn't have to disguise the fact that she's a woman.
Besides, if she could change gender, it implies she's fairly good at transformation magic and could completely change her appearance to look like someone else entirely. It doesn't make sense to me to just change one aspect. Go all-out and make herself Mido's twin or something.
This is going to become a very messy thread if this is to continue. However I shall participate against my better judgement and post my thoughts.
Zelda and Sheik are both different egos, though Zelda is indeed a female that does not change the situation of Sheik being a different ego. By definition an alter ego is an entirely different persona oblivious to the actions made by the other self. Now a more distinct meaning for alter ego can be found in literary analysis, wherein it describes characters in different works who are psychologically similar.
Zelda is the princess of Hyrule, while Sheik is a Sheikah. Both of them are entirely different entities that attempt to reach a common goal. Zelda is locked inside Sheik who acts as her vessel for seven years through the disguise of a boy.
One other thing i'd like to bring it up is the "now" canonized Zelda manga which raises the issue once more:
Now we could take from this chapter that the entity of Sheik is in fact male but the subconcious controlling it's actions are still female. So I would say... Sheik is an it.