History Main / WouldntHitAgirl

11th Dec '17 4:06:06 PM MasterN
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On average, men have greater upper body strength than women. Because most people [[ArtisticLicenseStatistics don't actually understand concepts like "average" very well]], in a lot of people's minds this turns into "any given man is always much, much stronger than any given woman." Since a true hero never uses his strength against the weak, and all women are supposedly weak compared to him, it follows that a hero must never use physical violence against any woman, ever.

When applied to ordinary [[BarBrawl bar fights]], schoolyard throwdowns, [[LetsFightLikeGentlemen duels of honor]] and so on, the trope is well-meaning if sexist (against both {{men|AreTheExpendableGender}} and [[WomenAreDelicate women]], albeit in different ways). However, when characters keep invoking it in situations where their female opponent poses a serious threat that might only be preventable by violence, [[HonorBeforeReason it quickly becomes absurd]]. The [[SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism cynical]] might point out that, rather than being motivated by pure nobility of spirit, this philosophy functions as a convenient way for the male character to avoid [[IWasBeatenByAGirl the humiliation of being beaten by a woman]]; if he refuses to fight against women, there's no way for a woman to ever prove she could defeat him at his full strength.

Since ideas about gender roles are in flux and tend to vary widely, modern media can be highly inconsistent about whether this trope is portrayed as a good or bad thing. If a villain refuses to fight a heroic ActionGirl on these grounds, it's a toss-up whether this will be portrayed as [[PetTheDog a sign]] that he has [[EvenEvilHasStandards at least a warped sense of honor]] after all, or as [[StayInTheKitchen profoundly insulting]]. If a hero can't bring himself to strike a [[DarkActionGirl villainess]], it either means that he's a [[IdealHero chivalrous guy]] or has a [[FairForItsDay dated]], patronizing attitude toward women as [[NobleBigot one of his few character flaws]]. Occasionally you'll even see both at once, particularly in heroic cases; the character's reluctance to hit women may be portrayed as [[GoodFlawsBadFlaws a sympathetic flaw]] stupid and sexist, but ultimately born out of an admirable desire to behave ethically and avoid being a bully.

Action heroes (or villains) who invoke this trope even though they face female opponents find various ways to get around it. At minimum, they'll make a quip along the lines of "I normally hate hitting women, but in this case I'll make an exception" or "I don't hit ladies, but you're no lady" before they start to strike back. They might try to find creative ways to [[ToWinWithoutFighting defeat her nonviolently]], perhaps through [[GuileHero trickery]]; they might try to [[MartialPacifist minimize the necessary violence]] by using grapples or pressure point attacks rather than actual blows; or [[DefeatByModesty tearing off their clothes]]; or they might [[TechnicalPacifist get off on a technicality]] by [[CombatPragmatist doing something that indirectly results in physical harm]] to the female opponent without actually striking or firing a weapon against her. In supernatural settings, the problem may be resolved by the male character temporarily [[GenderBender turning into a woman]], voluntarily or not, thus freeing him from a gentleman's obligations toward the fairer sex. In team stories, this often leads to the DesignatedGirlFight, where female members of heroic teams always seem to end up being the ones who take on the female villains.

Due to {{Media Watchdog}}s, this trope is often quietly applied without being explicitly invoked, especially in cartoons and other media aimed at children. This is often noticeable even when feeling obligated by the trope would seem completely out of character, or when the overall message of the work seems to undermine the whole women are weak and need protection idea that forms the justification for the trope. Sure, the work never says or implies that the female characters' combat skills are [[PurelyAestheticGender in any way different from their male counterparts']], but somehow by ''pure coincidence'' the [[TheChick token female team member]] is always the one who ends up fighting the female villains.

to:

On average, men have greater upper body strength than women. Because most people [[ArtisticLicenseStatistics don't actually understand concepts like "average" very well]], in a lot of people's minds this turns into "any given man is always much, much stronger than any given woman." Since a true hero never uses his strength against the weak, and all women are supposedly weak compared to him, it follows that [[InsaneTrollLogic a hero must never use physical violence against any woman, ever.

ever.]]

When applied to ordinary [[BarBrawl bar fights]], schoolyard throwdowns, [[LetsFightLikeGentlemen duels of honor]] and so on, the trope is well-meaning if sexist (against both {{men|AreTheExpendableGender}} and [[WomenAreDelicate women]], albeit in different ways). However, when characters keep invoking it in situations where their female opponent poses a serious threat that might only be preventable by violence, [[HonorBeforeReason it quickly becomes absurd]]. The [[SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism cynical]] Of course, it might point out that, be that]], rather than being motivated by pure nobility of spirit, this philosophy functions as a convenient way for the male character to avoid [[IWasBeatenByAGirl the humiliation of being beaten by a woman]]; if he refuses to fight against women, there's no way for a woman to ever prove she could defeat him at his full strength.

Since ideas about gender roles are in flux and tend to vary widely, modern media can be highly inconsistent about whether this trope is portrayed as a good or bad thing. If a villain refuses to fight a heroic ActionGirl on these grounds, it's a toss-up whether this will be portrayed as [[PetTheDog a sign]] that he has [[EvenEvilHasStandards at least a warped sense of honor]] after all, or as [[StayInTheKitchen profoundly insulting]]. If a hero can't bring himself to strike a [[DarkActionGirl villainess]], it either means that he's a [[IdealHero chivalrous guy]] or has a [[FairForItsDay dated]], patronizing attitude toward women as [[NobleBigot one of his few character flaws]]. Occasionally you'll even see both at once, particularly in heroic cases; the character's reluctance to hit women may be portrayed as [[GoodFlawsBadFlaws a sympathetic flaw]] flaw]]; stupid and sexist, but ultimately born out of an admirable desire to behave ethically and avoid being a bully.

Action heroes (or villains) who invoke this trope even though they face female opponents find various ways to get around it. At minimum, they'll make a quip along the lines of "I normally hate hitting women, but in this case I'll make an exception" or "I don't hit ladies, [[NoTrueScotsman but you're no lady" lady]]" before they start to strike back. They might try to find creative ways to [[ToWinWithoutFighting defeat her nonviolently]], perhaps through [[GuileHero trickery]]; they might try to [[MartialPacifist minimize the necessary violence]] by using grapples or pressure point attacks rather than actual blows; or [[DefeatByModesty tearing off their clothes]]; or they might [[TechnicalPacifist get off on a technicality]] by [[CombatPragmatist doing something that indirectly results in physical harm]] to the female opponent without actually striking or firing a weapon against her. In supernatural settings, the problem may be resolved by the male character temporarily [[GenderBender turning into a woman]], woman (or the enemy into a man)]], voluntarily or not, thus freeing him from a gentleman's obligations toward the fairer sex. In team stories, this often leads to the DesignatedGirlFight, where female members of heroic teams always seem to end up being the ones who take on the female villains.

Due to {{Media Watchdog}}s, this trope is often quietly applied without being explicitly invoked, especially in cartoons and other media aimed at children. This is often noticeable even when feeling obligated by the trope would seem completely out of character, or when the overall message of the work seems to undermine the whole women are weak and need protection idea that forms the justification for the trope. Sure, the work never says or implies that the female characters' combat skills are [[PurelyAestheticGender in any way different from their male counterparts']], but somehow by ''pure coincidence'' ''[[ContrivedCoincidence pure coincidence]]'' the [[TheChick token female team member]] is always the one who ends up fighting the female villains.
9th Dec '17 12:49:50 PM placentor
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Added DiffLines:

* ''WesternAnimation/{{Family Guy}}'': In the episode "The D in Apartment 23", Chris and Meg fight their entire school. Meg is shown killing waves of male and female opponents, but only one of Chris' enemies is a girl. He does not kill her until the camera angle is switched to a more distant perspective. Presumably violence against women is more acceptable if it happens at a distance.
26th Nov '17 8:14:00 AM NexusLQ
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* Subverted in an episode of ''Series/{{Angel}}'' ("Sanctuary"), where Buffy punches Angel and he punches her back, and Buffy ''reacts'' like a helpless woman... until Angel points out she could kick his ass if she wanted and she ''did'' slug him first, so the protestation is just empty air.
** ''Franchise/Buffyverse'' Subverted in an episode ("Ted"), where Buffy comes upon Ted having just read her diary. She waits and lets Ted physically hit her, before smiling and remarking that she was so glad he hit her so she would have an excuse to pummel him.

to:

* ''Franchise/{{Buffyverse}}''
**
Subverted in an episode of ''Series/{{Angel}}'' ("Sanctuary"), where Buffy punches Angel and he punches her back, and Buffy ''reacts'' like a helpless woman... until Angel points out she could kick his ass if she wanted and she ''did'' slug him first, so the protestation is just empty air.
** ''Franchise/Buffyverse'' Subverted in an episode ("Ted"), where Buffy comes upon Ted having just read her diary. She waits and lets Ted physically hit her, before smiling and remarking that she was so glad he hit her so she would have an excuse to pummel him.
26th Nov '17 8:08:36 AM NexusLQ
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--> '''HARRY THIS NO TIME TO BE GENTLEMAN- KNOCK HER OFF HER BROOM IF YOU HAVE TO'''.

to:

--> '''HARRY "'''HARRY THIS NO TIME TO BE GENTLEMAN- KNOCK HER OFF HER BROOM IF YOU HAVE TO'''.TO'''".
26th Nov '17 7:58:44 AM NexusLQ
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** Sanji chivalrously refuses to fight women, or in one case Mr. 2 Bon Clay taking the form of a woman (Nami, although this slightly justified since Nami is his Kryptonite even outside battle) even if it means his death. A fan once asked the author to expand on the scene where Sanji is beaten because he can't hurt a female assassin. Oda admitted that he didn't want to write the scene since it's real life problem men go though but specified that Sanji is physically unable to bring himself to hit a woman, which hurts his pride. For Sanji case, it's {{justified|Trope}} due to being ''raised'' in this life by the trope.

to:

** Sanji chivalrously refuses to fight women, or in one case Mr. 2 Bon Clay taking the form of a woman (Nami, (Nami) [[note]] although this case is slightly justified since Nami is his Kryptonite even outside battle) battle [[/note]] even if it means his death. A fan once asked the author to expand on the scene where Sanji is beaten because he can't hurt a female assassin. Oda admitted that he didn't want to write the scene since it's real life problem men go though but specified that Sanji is physically unable to bring himself to hit a woman, which hurts his pride. For Sanji case, it's {{justified|Trope}} due to being ''raised'' in this life by the trope.



** Sanji's moral code is played with subsequent video gmaes.

to:

** Sanji's moral code is played with subsequent video gmaes. games.
26th Nov '17 7:52:53 AM NexusLQ
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** Sanji chivalrously refuses to fight women, or in one case Mr. 2 Bon Clay taking the form of a woman (Nami, although this slightly justified since Nami is his Kryptonite even outside battle) even if it means his death. A fan once asked the author to expand on the scene where Sanji is beaten because he can't hurt a female assassin. Oda admitted that he didn't want to write the scene since it's real life problem men go though but specified that Sanji is physically unable to bring himself to hit a woman, which hurts his pride. For Sanji case, it's {{justified|Trope}} due to being ''raised'' in this life by the trope, really Sanji's is an more positive example of this, considering the only two people who showed him love in childhood were his mother and sister.

to:

** Sanji chivalrously refuses to fight women, or in one case Mr. 2 Bon Clay taking the form of a woman (Nami, although this slightly justified since Nami is his Kryptonite even outside battle) even if it means his death. A fan once asked the author to expand on the scene where Sanji is beaten because he can't hurt a female assassin. Oda admitted that he didn't want to write the scene since it's real life problem men go though but specified that Sanji is physically unable to bring himself to hit a woman, which hurts his pride. For Sanji case, it's {{justified|Trope}} due to being ''raised'' in this life by the trope, really Sanji's is an more positive example of this, considering the only two people who showed him love in childhood were his mother and sister.trope.



*** Sanji is often set against men who actively hurt and abuse women like Absalom and Niji his (brother).
** Sanji's moral code is played with

to:

*** Sanji is often set against men who actively [[WouldHitAGirl hurt and abuse abuse]] women like Absalom and Niji his (brother).
(brother). Really Sanji's is an more positive example of this, considering the only two people who showed him love in childhood were his mother and sister.
** Sanji's moral code is played with subsequent video gmaes.
26th Nov '17 7:49:49 AM NexusLQ
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** Sanji chivalrously refuses to fight women, or in one case Mr. 2 Bon Clay taking the form of a woman (Nami, although this slightly justified since Nami is his Kryptonite even outside battle) even if it means his death. A fan once asked the author to expand on the scene where Sanji is beaten because he can't hurt a female assassin. Oda admitted that he didn't want to write the scene since it's real life problem but specified that Sanji is physically unable to bring himself to hit a woman, which hurts his pride. For Sanji case, it's {{justified|Trope}} due to being ''raised'' in this life by the trope, really Sanji's is an more positive example of this, considering the only two people who showed him love in childhood were his mother and sister.
*** Sanji was severely beaten (by [=CP9=]'s Kalifa) as a result of this despite being faar strong than her. Nami was quick to point out chivalry isn't worth dying for and that there was no shame in running away if he was unwillingly to fight Kalfia, but Sanji claimed he just couldn't. Seeing how torn he was over and Nami calls him idiot but then goes and avenges him by fighting Kalfia herself, Nami even said she did like his commitment to his ethics.

to:

** Sanji chivalrously refuses to fight women, or in one case Mr. 2 Bon Clay taking the form of a woman (Nami, although this slightly justified since Nami is his Kryptonite even outside battle) even if it means his death. A fan once asked the author to expand on the scene where Sanji is beaten because he can't hurt a female assassin. Oda admitted that he didn't want to write the scene since it's real life problem men go though but specified that Sanji is physically unable to bring himself to hit a woman, which hurts his pride. For Sanji case, it's {{justified|Trope}} due to being ''raised'' in this life by the trope, really Sanji's is an more positive example of this, considering the only two people who showed him love in childhood were his mother and sister.
*** Sanji was severely beaten (by [=CP9=]'s Kalifa) as a result of this despite being faar far strong than her. Nami was quick to point out chivalry isn't worth dying for and that there was no shame in running away if he was unwillingly to fight Kalfia, but Sanji claimed he just couldn't. Seeing how torn he was over and Nami calls him idiot but then goes and avenges him by fighting Kalfia herself, Nami even said she did like his commitment to his ethics.
26th Nov '17 7:45:44 AM NexusLQ
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** Goku is rarely seen fighting women at all even when fighting Chi-Chi in last Piccolo Jr arc he just knocks out of the ring with a air-pressure punch without actually hitting her. The only time where Goku actually did hurt Chi-Chi was accident, when patting her friendly on the shoulder which sent her flying though a wall due to his strength, Goku was very apologetic and helped Gohan put bandages on her.
*** In [[Anime/DragonBallSuper Super]] however, Goku fights mutiple female characters, Caulifla and Kale for example.

to:

** Goku is rarely seen fighting women at all even when fighting Chi-Chi in last Piccolo the ''Piccolo Jr arc arc'' he just knocks out of the ring with a air-pressure [[BlowYouAway air-pressure]] punch without actually hitting her. The only time where Goku actually did hurt Chi-Chi was accident, when patting her friendly on the shoulder which sent her flying though a wall due to his strength, Goku was very apologetic and helped Gohan put bandages on her.
*** In [[Anime/DragonBallSuper Super]] however, Goku fights mutiple female characters, Caulifla and Kale for example.
26th Nov '17 7:43:21 AM NexusLQ
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** Guts had this at least twice with Casca which is ironic since when he first met her he only hesitated for a moment when discovered she was a woman but still attacked and nearly killed her. Guts picked up a sense of chivalry as when Casca attacked again, Guts claimed "''If you weren't a woman I'd happily punch you back''" causing Casca to cry softly and say being born a woman wasn't her choice which quickly cooled Guts's anger. The third time Casca attacked him Guts doesn't retaliate at all, justified in sense that Guts was deeply in love with her at that point.

to:

** Guts had this at least twice with Casca which is ironic since when he first met her her, he only hesitated for a moment when discovered she was a woman but still attacked and nearly killed her. Years later Guts picked up a sense of chivalry as when Casca attacked again, Guts claimed "''If you weren't a woman I'd happily punch you back''" causing Casca to cry softly and say being born a woman wasn't her choice which quickly cooled Guts's anger. The third time Casca attacked him Guts doesn't retaliate at all, justified in sense that Guts was deeply in love with her at that point.
26th Nov '17 7:41:42 AM NexusLQ
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** Goku in particular has ''never'' been shown hurting a woman as a adult, even when fighting Chi-Chi in last Piccolo Jr arc he just knocks out of the ring with a air-pressure punch without actually hitting her
*** The only time where Goku actually did hurt Chi-Chi was accident, when patting her friendly on the shoulder which sent her flying though a wall due to his strength, Goku was very apologetic and helped Gohan put bandages on her.

to:

** Goku in particular has ''never'' been shown hurting a woman as a adult, is rarely seen fighting women at all even when fighting Chi-Chi in last Piccolo Jr arc he just knocks out of the ring with a air-pressure punch without actually hitting her
***
her. The only time where Goku actually did hurt Chi-Chi was accident, when patting her friendly on the shoulder which sent her flying though a wall due to his strength, Goku was very apologetic and helped Gohan put bandages on her. her.
*** In [[Anime/DragonBallSuper Super]] however, Goku fights mutiple female characters, Caulifla and Kale for example.
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