"'Misery' is about the desperation of wanting someone really badly in your life but having it be very difficult. Kind of what all the songs I write are about. I'm not treading on new ground, but I think a lot of people – including myself – deal with that all the time. Relationships are difficult, and it's good therapy to write about them." (source)
When Florence + the Machine's "Kiss With A Fist" came out, a number of critics condemned it for its Romanticized Abuse overtones — fair enough, except that they all seemed to see the female singer as the poor, innocent victim, despite the fact that she's clearly giving as good as she gets (she hits him, slaps him, sets fire to his bed, breaks his jaw...).
Carrie Underwood's "Before He Cheats" is all about a woman destroying her boyfriend's car because of the cheating he might be doing. The video says she was right in her unconfirmed suspicions, but there's no way she would be able to get away with it with the genders reversed.
Let's see: "I dug my key into the side/Of her pretty little souped-up 4 wheel drive/Carved my name into her leather seat/I took a Louisville slugger to both head lights/Slashed a hole in all 4 tires/And maybe next time she'll think before she cheats". Um, yeah. Changing four pronouns changes the connotations quite a bit.
She wouldn't even get away with it in the real world regardless of whether or not her boyfriend/husband was actually unfaithful. Infidelity isn't illegal, vandalism is.
The video for Christina Aguilera's "Can't Hold Us Down" has a street full of women ganging up on all the men and spraying them with a fire hose. Why? Because one guy grabbed Christina's ass as she walked by.
The Rihanna song "Man Down" off her Loud Album - about a woman killing a man with a gun - was met with a backlash from the male audience. At the same time, the female audience defended the song and celebrated it. This was especially the case, because of the attack music star, Chris Brown, inflicted on her in real life still being on woman's minds. The song was a huge hit.
One of the reasons that the song is celebrated is the music video, in which the woman kills the man after he rapes her. Then again, a man killing his female rapist probably would not be as highly regarded.
In what is supposed to be comedic (presumably) but comes off as just seriously disturbing is the music video for "I Pray for You" by Jaron and the Long Road to Love. The song itself is about the narrator grumbling about an ex-girlfriend who has treated him badly and praying all sorts of horrible things happen to her. But the video is just sadistic. The video starts with the man walking into the house, where his girlfriend throws several vases at his head and a hot cup of coffee in his face. The next scene has the man tied up in a bathtub full of water while his girlfriend teasingly dangles a hairdryer over him! The the man gives her a teddy bear. She cuddles it close and then kicks him in the crotch. She then proceeds to try and smother him with the teddy bear.Later, she lays a trip-wire of dental floss that makes him fall down the stairs. And when he tries to leave, she runs over his car with a monster truck. And this is played as funny. If the gender roles were reversed, this would probably be the music video to a tragic song about the horrors of domestic violence.
"You Don't Love Me Anymore" by "Weird Al" Yankovic describes a man's girlfriend, among other things, disconnecting the brakes in his car, leaving poisonous snakes in his underwear drawer, slamming his face into a barbecue grill, pushing him down an elevator shaft, threatening him with a knife, setting his house on fire, telling all her friends that he's the Antichrist, leaving him for dead in a ditch, and shaving off his eyebrows. Imagine if the song was sung from a female perspective.
Taylor Swift's song "Stay Stay Stay" features the singer throwing her phone across the room at her boyfriend. The boyfriend played it for laughs by coming back with a football helmet. A song with the roles reversed would not take this so lightheartedly.
Read the lyrics to Please Don't Leave Me by P!nk. Now, imagine the reaction if that song were sung by a man. And her latest, True Love where she sings about wanting to put her hands around a guy's neck at the same time she allegedly wants to hug him. Somehow, this song is seen as empowering. If a guy were singing those lyrics...yeah.
In the video for John Legend's "Ordinary People" this trope is gratifyingly averted. Yes, there is the bit where the man hits the woman, but then you have the couple in which it is the woman who strikes first, and in neither case is it considered funny, or appropriate, or anything other than tragic that things have come to the point of violence.