Formerly known as "The Female Of The Species." Rolling Updates. Indices: Gender and Sexuality Tropes, Double Standard, Always Female, More Than Meets the Eye.
When the Himalayan peasant meets the he-bear in his pride,
He shouts to scare the monster, who will often turn aside.
But the she-bear thus accosted rends the peasant tooth and nail.
For the female of the species is more deadly than the male.
Rudyard KiplingThis is when men are physically stronger and quite capable of violence, but females are characterized as having a hidden, but apparently bottomless capacity for lethal mayhem. Remember, this does not describe a situation where men are weak and women are strong. This is when females are depicted as far more ruthless, more cunning and ultimately more bloodthirsty than their Spear Counterparts, despite--or because of--being smaller and weaker. While males are visibly larger and more aggressive, they tend more toward forms, codes and displays of power; meanwhile, the wiley female bothers not with such things. To help this trope along, expect the bad guys to totally ignore the female, dismissing her as a threat. She may even appear to capitulate or collude with the enemy, suffering indignities no one would expect her to tolerate, all in order get a better shot at revenge. This is the precursor to the modern Action Girl. While she may seem smaller and meeker, but should she attack it will be a No Holds Barred Beat Down. Should you be foolish enough to want to trigger such behavior in a female, try threatening her offspring or crossing her in love. This is the polar opposite of The Chick.
Examples:Comic Books Literature