Created By: MegaJJune 10, 2011 Last Edited By: MegaJJune 17, 2011
Troped

Girl Show Ghetto

Women's media sucks and men shouldn't like it. EVER.

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Trope
Audience Reaction trope, in the vein of Animation Age Ghetto. Help me out, please

"I didn’t create this show for little girls, I created it for little girls and their parents —- including male parents. It only stands to reason that adult animation fans without children may like it too.
The belief that boys shouldn’t be interested in girl things is the main reason there’s hardly anything decent for girls in animation —- or almost any media for that matter. It’s a backwards, sexist outdated attitude."
Lauren Faust, former executive producer of My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic.

Mainly, the Double Standard most people have regarding media - That women's entertainment is should only be enjoyed by women with no crossover allowed - despite it being okay for women to watch shows primarily marketed towards men -- keeping in mind most media is male-focused. Not to mention the stigma that media specifically tailored for women is of inferior quality.

This line of thinking is very clear in most creators and executives' minds (though not without warrant considering many Real Life instances and attitudes). Men and women could watch shows meant for men/starring a man, only women could like a "girly" show. Watching a girl show would be unmanly and be subject to ridicule. Just watch any show and the guy who's the more sensitive, caring member of the cast is usually the Butt Monkey.

Unfortunately, women-targeted entertainment has a reputation of not being as good as other shows. Common criticism are that women's media overly touchy-feely, simplistic, poorly-written, and shallow. This mostly due to aesthetics of the media (and not to mention a lot of it is fashion-bashed). The men can be the badass heroes and problem solvers, and women are rarely shown in those roles even in women's media.

Another implication this raises is the implication men watching - yet alone enjoying shows for women is the implication they are homosexual - and that men should avoid being thought of or actually being gay. So this line of thinking is not only sexist, but has a homophobic connotation as well.

The attitude isn't as strong as it once was, but it's still very persuasive. Since Most Writers Are Male, they're going to go for the greatest audience available (or at least, what they think is the greastest audience) and the stigma is still entrenched not only in entertainment, but Real Life.

Compare Real Women Never Wear Dresses, What Do You Mean Its Not For Little Girls, Double Standard, The Smurfette Principle.

See also Real Men Wear Pink.

Examples

Fan Fiction
  • Some Fan Fiction writers hypothesise that Most Fanfic Writers Are Girls is the reason why 'fanfiction' is considered to be so viscerally disgusting by so many people. It's worth observing that on this wiki, most of the fanfiction included in tropes lists is either adventure-based stuff written by boys (Shinji And Warhammer40k), or relationship-based stuff that's legendarily bad (My Immortal).

Film - Animation

Film - Live Action

Literature
  • Historical Fiction author Nancy Rue said at a workshop that the reason all of her protagonists are male is that girls will read "boy books" but boys won't read "girl books".

Live Action Television
  • Clarissa Explains It All is groundbreaking - not only in it's content but it finally disproved the common (at the time) thinking for children's television - that boys would NOT watch a show starring a girl. Nickelodeon proved everyone wrong with Clarissa - a smart, funny, free-thinking girl - being the lead character and only tiny bit Tomboyish being one of the most recognizable characters in that time period. Nickelodeon's future programming - from The Secret World Of Alex Mack to iCarly - have had girls in the main roles. Most of the lead Nickelodeon girls have been fairly girly and into girls things, and also pushed tons of girls' merchandise in the pink aisles of toy stores without sacrificing boy viewers.
  • A lot of women watch Spike TV. In fact, the one of the creators of Spike TV was FIRED because too many women were watching it. However, their view has softened as they're now actually courting women to watch Spike TV as the channel is shifting from the frat boy demographic.
  • The Disney Channel's sister network Disney XD was basically launched because they couldn't get boys to watch the programming.

Web Original
  • The raison d'etre of the Nostalgia Chick. Her original function was to review the movies that were too girly for the Nostalgia Critic, but she eventually revolted.
    • What makes this even better is that she's The Ladette while the Critic is a Sissy Anti Hero. Obviously she was going to revolt at some point.

Western Animation
  • My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic has a huge male following (who call themselves Bronies), most of whom had to be cajoled to watch it first because of this very reason, but eventually became hooked. Not only is this a show about ponies and magic, but there is literally six female main characters and one male character. That's right, a good show is just good, no matter what gender it was intended to appeal to.
  • Jem was also popular with male viewers but aimed at females.
  • In one episode of Family Guy Lois draggs Peter to a Chick Flick, which he thinks might turn him gay. But he quite enjoys it (and several others), and decides to make a Chick Flick of his own.
Community Feedback Replies: 29
  • June 10, 2011
    Hadashi
    In Real Life boys often watch girls shows. It's adults and thus peer-pressure from other children that forces the idea they shouldn't.
  • June 10, 2011
    SmashingMelons42
    I like this trope. I don't like the implications, but it's definitely something I've noticed as well.
  • June 10, 2011
    NoirGrimoir
    • My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic has a huge male following (who call themselves Bronies), most of whom had to be cajoled to watch it first because of this very reason, but eventually became hooked. Not only is this a show about ponies and magic, but there is literally six female main characters and one male character. That's right, a good show is just good, no matter what gender it was intended to appeal to.
  • June 10, 2011
    randomsurfer
    What show is the quote talking about?
  • June 10, 2011
    Allronix
    Pick a classic-era Disney film. Any of them.
  • June 10, 2011
    ParadiscaCorbasi
    Jem was also popular with male viewers but aimed at females.
  • June 10, 2011
    captainpat
    One minor peeve, AudienceReactions are not tropes. Other than that, I have to wonder whether the trope really needs examples.
  • June 10, 2011
    StarryEyed
    • Literature: Historical Fiction author Nancy Rue said at a workshop that the reason all of her protagonists are male is that girls will read "boy books" but boys won't read "girl books".
  • June 11, 2011
    pinkdalek
    This happens. It's an Audience Reaction.

    • Some Fan Fiction writers hypothesise that Most Fanfic Writers Are Girls is the reason why 'fanfiction' is considered to be so viscerally disgusting by so many people. It's worth observing that on this wiki, most of the fanfiction included in tropes lists is either adventure-based stuff written by boys (Shinji And Warhammer40k), or relationship-based stuff that's legendarily bad (My Immortal).
  • June 12, 2011
    Chabal2
    A manga and anime with an all-female cast, where the one male character is a creepy pervert, and there's very little action. And yet Azumanga Daioh is a shonen series...
  • June 12, 2011
    amazinglyenough
    Asumanga Daioh is shonen? I know a lot of guys like it, but I wouldn't call it shonen.

    Fruits Basket is one that's popular with both guys and girls, despite being very obviously shojou.
  • June 12, 2011
    MetaFour
    "Azumanga Daioh is shonen? I know a lot of guys like it, but I wouldn't call it shonen."

    According to our own article about it, the Azumanga Daioh manga originally ran in Denkeh Daioh magazine, which was "aimed mainly at younger teenage boys".
  • June 12, 2011
    neoYTPism
    Homophobic connotation nothing, it is presumptuous to equate "girly guy" with "homosexual guy" in the first place, especially when there are plenty of examples of straight guys who like "girly" things. Even homophobes can acknowledge that.
  • June 13, 2011
    immaculatetroll
    Perhaps change the name to gender ghetto, it roles off the tounge better, and works both ways.
  • June 13, 2011
    jaytee
    Well, this is at least a little better than the last twelve tropes that have come up as a way for the OP to justify to themselves liking My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic....
  • June 13, 2011
    bluepenguin
    re: Azumanga Daioh, it just goes to show that what constitutes "a girl show" varies between cultures. Lots of Japanese media aimed at men have primarily-female casts (it's largely a fanservice thing), but that doesn't mean this trope is not in play. You'll still find more Japanese women who will talk about their love of One Piece or Evangelion than Japanese men who will confess to having read Fruits Basket (or whatever).
  • June 14, 2011
    SirenAsunder
    This sums up nicely the idea that media for/about men is universally enjoyable, but media for/about women is beneath the dignity of a male audience.

    I agree that it "works both ways" to an extent, but it still skews heavily to one side. (And The Man Show and Spike TV are responses to this, not codifiers.) Studios greenlight works that reek of Smurfette Principle on the rationale that women will still watch with their boyfriends/husbands. They're a lot more squeamish about gambling on the reverse scenario.
  • June 14, 2011
    Ajardoor
    That page quote is kinda Narm-y when you consider that all that impassioned and geniune thought on gender media is capped off by attributing it to the maker of a work subtitled Friendship Is Magic.
  • June 14, 2011
    NoirGrimoir
    Only if you got something against friendship.
  • June 14, 2011
    Allronix
    The fanfiction example has actually been studied and documented at length by Henry Jenkins (Textual Poachers) and Camille Bacon-Smith (Enterprising Women). Jenkins even speculates that female viewers trying to find enjoyment in "boy's shows" on their own terms is what drives the fanfic phenomenon in the first place!
  • June 14, 2011
    wackojacko1138
    The raison d'etre of the Nostalgia Chick. Her original function was to review the movies that were too girly for the Nostalgia Critic, but she eventually revolted.

    How big was Sailor Moon among boys? I know I watched it.
  • June 15, 2011
    emeriin
    ^ Also, she's The Ladette while the Critic is a girly boy. I don't know specifically where I'm going with that, but it's a cool gender role swap.
  • June 15, 2011
    randomsurfer
    In one episode of Family Guy Lois draggs Peter to a Chick Flick, which he thinks might turn him gay. But he quite enjoys it (and several others), and decides to make a Chick Flick of his own.
  • June 16, 2011
    Aminatep
    It is, unlike other similar tropes, justified more often than not, seeing as the genre manages to objectify both men and women.

    @ description: What's with the political correctness? Bla bla bla sexism bla bla bla homophobia. What else? White males not listening to rap are racist? Adults not watching cartoons aimed at children are ageists?
  • June 16, 2011
    pinkdalek
    @Aminatep - Obviously, a man who doesn't watch programmes aimed at women because he doesn't find it applies to him is not necessarily being sexist, just like a white guy who doesn't like rap because he doesn't find it applies to him isn't necessarily being racist.

    But just like a white guy who doesn't listen to rap because rap is only for black people, and he, not being a black person, is 'above' it, is racist; a white guy who won't watch programmes aimed at women because being a man he is 'above' women is being sexist.
  • June 16, 2011
    MegaJ
    Ah, yes the Political Correctness privilege-denying argument. Was wondering when you show up!

    Anyway, I'm actually not sure the homophobia paragraph needs to stay. But I need some more words in the body. Any suggestions? Will probably launch tomorrow.
  • June 16, 2011
    Fandom11
    I heard that Disney XD ironically ended up attracting a more female audience.
  • June 17, 2011
    Ardiente
    "Audience Reactions are not tropes" except when they happen in-universe
    • Homophobia: alledgedly what is despised about Camp Gay and Camp Straight is not the Gay, but the Camp. Basically being "girly" gets you despised or hated at worst and treated with condescension at best, whether you're male or female: Real Women Dont Wear Dresses, remember?
    • "Well, this is at least a little better than the last twelve tropes that have come up as a way for the OP to justify to themselves liking My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic.... " I plead guilty, but it reassures me that I was not alone.
    • "This sums up nicely the idea that media for/about men is universally enjoyable, but media for/about women is beneath the dignity of a male audience." Beneath the dignity of an audience period: some guys will let themselves be cajoled into watching My Little Pony, but all girls I've tried to get to watch it absolutely refused no matter what, on the principle that it involved ponies and magic.
    • "The fanfiction example has actually been studied and documented at length by Henry Jenkins (Textual Poachers) and Camille Bacon-Smith (Enterprising Women). Jenkins even speculates that female viewers trying to find enjoyment in "boy's shows" on their own terms is what drives the fanfic phenomenon in the first place! " Linkie plz: I want to read more about that.
    ^O RLY?
    • "Pick a classic-era Disney film. Any of them." But those aren't girly, are they? Wait...
    • "That page quote is kinda Narm-y when you consider that all that impassioned and geniune thought on gender media is capped off by attributing it to the maker of a work subtitled Friendship Is Magic." Ever heard of Narmn Charm? That's right, ROW ROW FIGHT THE POWAH!
  • June 17, 2011
    emeriin
    "but all girls I've tried to get to watch it absolutely refused no matter what, on the principle that it involved ponies and magic."

    That's not really an accurate sample. There's a ton of female fans, and most of 'em are tired that the only attention goes to adult male fans or Hasbro's idea of little girls being idiots.

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