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.
But don't think that people who believe that a woman can
harm a man don't believe in this trope, oh no. For those people, there is the belief that any man who is being abused by a woman must have done something to deserve it
, because Females Are More Innocent
and Women Are Wiser
, so they would never resort to using violence against another living thing unless 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 that this trope does not
describe situations where violence is genuinely adequately justified
, nor 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.
Related to All Abusers Are Male
, All Women Are Doms, All Men Are Subs
, Domestic Abuse
, Double Standard: Rape—Female on Male
, 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
. The female half of this trope is very often a Jerk Sue
Note: This trope applies to abuse inflicted on males, not regular slapstick that can be inflicted on either gender. Before adding an example, think about how the audience's reaction would be if the abuse was reversed. Also, due to the very nature of this trope, no Take That edits and no social natter or personal opinions please.
Domestic abuse is a horrible experience to go through, and all too often the victims are shamed by their attackers into silence. If this is you, you need not be afraid. There are people who can and will help you.
And Now You Know
- Battered Men is a male-specific resource for men who are abused.