In our culture, there are certain careers, goals, and traits that are considered "feminine". This naturally bleeds into fiction, where we expect a female character to have at least one of these traits or goals. If she doesn't have any of them, she may be criticized as being too masculine or because No Guy Wants an Amazon
. If she has too many, she may come under fire from the Real Women Never Wear Dresses
Note that while this can be gender stereotyping, which is a bad thing, it can also be a way of rounding out a character
. Real people, even an Action Girl
or a Wrench Wench
, can have interests outside kicking ass or fixing machines. A strong female character isn't any less strong if she's also a Supreme Chef
- All Girls Like Ponies
- All Lesbians Want Kids (All women should want kids, regardless of any other factors)
- All Women Love Shoes
- Beauty Is Never Tarnished (You can have your female characters do non-feminine things, but you can't make them less pretty as a result of the things they do.)
- Behind Every Great Man (Women shouldn't expect to get credit for their accomplishments)
- Career Versus Man (Same as "Family Versus Career", only the choice is between getting the man and keeping her career. As with that one, choosing the man is almost a given.)
- Chick Flick: All women love this genre of film. And the ones who don't, should love it.
- Family Versus Career (A female character cannot have both a career and a family; she must choose to give one up. It's going to be family that wins if you want her to be a "good" character.)
- Females Are More Innocent: Men do evil because they enjoy it or because they want something that can only be obtained that way. Women are coerced into doing evil by evil men.
- Feminine Women Can Cook (Not being able to cook is used as a joke, a Take That, or to indicate that the character is somehow unfeminine.)
- Girls Love Stuffed Animals
- Girls Need Role Models
- I Just Want to Be Beautiful: There's nothing more important to a woman than her physical appearance. If you're not born beautiful, unless you're rich enough to get cosmetic surgery, you won't achieve anything of worth in your life, ever.
- Lineage Comes from the Father/Heir Club for Men: (Women cannot rule, only produce the rulers for the men's Single Line of Descent)
- Madonna-Whore Complex: If you're a woman, you either have your hymen or you don't. If you do, you're wife material. If you don't, you're a disgusting whore who should be ashamed of existing.
- Mandatory Motherhood (Even if you don't want children, cosmic forces will ensure that you must conceive a baby.)
- My Biological Clock Is Ticking (Every woman wants a baby as she approaches menopause, even if she never did before.)
- My Girl Is Not a Slut: Women's morality is measured entirely and exclusively on their attitude towards sex. Nothing else matters.
- Never a Self-Made Woman (Female characters' achievements should always be the emulation of a more important man, never something they earned by themselves.)
- Real Women Never Wear Dresses (You can't have a strong female character if she presents in a feminine style)
- Retail Therapy (If a woman is depressed, concerned about something, or worried, all it takes is a nice day of shopping to make her feel all better.)
- Vanity Is Feminine: Being a shallow bimbo with no other concern than her beauty is what femininity is all about.
- Women Are Delicate