Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male

aka: Abuse Is Okay When It Is Female On Male
Chris: Barb eventually beats up enough people that one of them calls her “babe,” so she gets to slowly pick up a gun and shoot him six times while he stands there patiently waiting for her to do so.
Matt: And it all ends with a joke about how she broke a nail. This movie.
Chris: It’s very empowering.
—Chris Sims and Matt Wilson on Barb Wire

Female-on-male violence is viewed as more acceptable in fiction than male-on-female violence. Often, a woman using physical violence on a man will be Played for Laughs; sometimes it will be Disproportionate Retribution. The key is that in most works where this trope is in effect, it would be completely impossible to imagine the same violent situation play out with the participants' genders reversed without a large dose of drama getting added into the mix. The basic Double Standard at work in this trope is sexist on both sides: no woman is strong enough to harm a man, so any man weak enough to be harmed by a woman isn't a real man, and that's funny; that way, also, you get Amusing Injuries instead of broken bones and cuts.

Even people who do believe that a woman can seriously hurt a man can still believe in this double standard. Women are often stereotyped as inherently nonviolent as well as wiser and morally superior to men. By that logic, any man being physically abused by a woman must have done something to deserve it, as a woman would never resort to using violence unless it was absolutely necessary.

The trouble is that because of stereotypes and double standards like these, often men don't fight back for reasons including that they are either afraid of hurting the woman, or they are afraid that if they fight back, they will be considered the aggressor by the authorities despite any retaliation being in self-defence.note  Add on to that, in such cases where the woman actually is charged with a crime, her sentence will be FAR less severe than had the situations been reversed.

Note that this trope does not describe situations where violence is genuinely adequately justified, such as Wonder Woman attacking Lex Luther in defense of Metropolis. Nor does it apply in situations where universal humorous abuse is delivered to the Butt Monkey or The Chew Toy by both men and women for equally flimsy reasons – that is just Comedic Sociopathy. Obviously, it likewise doesn't apply in situations where female-on-male violence is treated as a serious subject. An exception to either case is when one or more of the female characters' involved in dealing the violence actively justify their behavior with this trope, whether out loud or within the privacy of their mind.

Related to All Abusers Are Male, All Women Are Doms, All Men Are Subs, Domestic Abuse, Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male, Men Are the Expendable Gender, and Stalking Is Funny If It Is Female After Male. Belligerent Sexual Tension often has elements of this trope. Compare/Contrast Would Hit a Girl. A very similar anime/manga trope that does not always include abuse, but typically often will involve a woman violently beating a man and is played for comedy is Tsundere. The female half of this trope is very often a Jerk Sue.

Female on male abuse is a serious issue, especially if it is physical and/or your girlfriend or wife is violent. Please do seek help if you are victimized. You Are Not Alone.



And Now You Know.

Alternative Title(s):

Abuse Is Okay When Its Female On Male, Abuse Is Okay When It Is Female On Male, Other