Jen: Wings? I don't have wings!
Kira: Of course not. You're a boy.When you get down to it, there's not much difference between what men and women can do. Even if on average one gender or sex is more suited to the role, as long as it doesn't involve reproduction, there will be exceptions to the rule. And sometimes even then. Even with physical appearance, if nudity isn't required, there are some people who can convincingly pass themselves off as the other gender. And this isn't even getting into transgender people. Not so in fiction where your access to the supernatural powers or ability to use the Applied Phlebotinum may depend on your gender. If so there are rarely any exceptions to this rule. This trope doesn't apply to cultural gender divides, only to times when certain magic or supernatural powers are restricted to one gender. In the case of magic, sometimes the sexes will both have access to it, but use it in a fundamentally different way - in this case expect a case of Unequal Rites as they disagree over which system is better. May be handwaved by Bizarre Sexual Dimorphism. Compare Gender-Restricted Gear, mostly found in Video Games.
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Anime & Manga
- This trope occurs in some Battle Harem series (some of which are mentioned below) in order to aid the writer in building the harem.
- In Mai-Otome the nanomachines that give the Otomes their powers can't be used by anyone but virgin females because of a chemical in sperm that destroys them on contact.
- In Sailor Moon only female holders of Sailor Crystals/"True Star Seeds" can be Sailor Senshi. Men born with them do get powers a la Tuxedo Mask but aren't really Sailor Senshi. Also, this is why there is no Sailor Earth as Mamoru has that Sailor Crystal. Male holders of Sailor Crystals are very rare.
- This is a major plot-point in Mnemosyne. When a time spore enters a woman's body, she becomes immortal. When a time spore enters a man's body, he becomes a mindless winged killer (called "angels") whose survival prospects are rather grim.
- The anime also is one of the few series to explore the Third Option: intersex (ie, people who are both male and female at the same time). If a time spore enters one of them, they get the best of both sides, becoming immortal with the ability to fly and enhanced strength.
- Mobile Fighter G Gundam makes a minor point of this near the end, where Ulube is reading over the research notes about the Devil Gundam, explaining why Wong wanted Allenby to be its core. It's justified that since the Devil Gundam was meant to be the ultimate lifeform, it requires an organism capable of creating life, a woman, as its core. According to the show, the ability to give birth makes women the "top of all living things" and have the most amount of energy.
- Intentionally subverted in Shitsurakuen. Only men are allowed to wield the Weapons, while women are forced to be their submissive Contracts that supplies the Weapons. The protagonist is seemingly a Big Bad-approved Spanner in the Works, a girl with the determination to rescue the girls from their fate, given the tools necessary from the academy that instituted the male-dominating rules.
- In Freezing, the girls have extreme speed and strength with the ability to summon weapons while the boys are debuffers and hold down the enemy. No explanation really comes forth as to why, excepting of course the obvious ones.
- Dual! Parallel Trouble Adventure's giant robots can only be driven by female pilots, with one exception.
- Justified Which is because the race that made them put them in gender lock for females only. . . except for the fact that the male pilot also is a male mech. It also restricted certain functions in the mechs as well.
- Subverted in Claymore. All of the eponymous yoma-infused warriors we meet are women, but it's eventually revealed that the Organization did create an all-male generation early on—which had Gone Horribly Wrong, as nearly every member of it Awakened and became a major monster: Isley, Rigardo, Dauf, and Chronos we see much later in the manga were all members of that generation. The Organization stuck with women from there on, with the justification being that they have better self-control over their temper than men, so they're less likely to be goaded into accidentally going over their limits. Also, the process of going over one's limits and awakening, while excruciating, is also orgasmic. Men have less restraint in their sexuality, so they're less likely to pull back from awakening, unlike women, since All Women Are Prudes.
- The title characters of Kämpfer have to be female. When a Kampfer bracelet finds its way onto the wrist of a boy, it turns him into a girl whenever he becomes a Kampfer.
- The titular Infinite Stratos can only be piloted by women. The protagonist is the first male who can operate said device.
- In Corpse Princess only young women within a certain age range can be made into Shikabane Hime.
- In Ultimate Muscle, it is declared that the "Burning Inner Strength" can only be attained by the males in the Kinnikuman family.
- In Zettai Bouei Leviathan, it's explicitly stated in the intro to episode 4 that only women are capable of using magic. Though for some reason Bahamut's father is called a mage and has powers.
- Cross Ange:
- All Norma seen are female, and it's never suggested that any male Norma have ever existed (Tusk doesn't have Mana-powers, but he's an Old Human, not a Norma born of Mana-users, nor does he have a Norma's Anti-Magic). The show never explains why this is the case.
- Among the DRAGON's: only the females go back and forth at will between human and draconic form, and their dragon forms are pretty much universally smaller and weaker than male DRAGON's, with the exception of Aura, their progenitor. It's never made clear if male DRAGON's cannot become human, or if it's just a societal custom to remain draconic after a certain age.
- In Fushigi Yuugi, the (male) gods can only be summoned by a girl, who must also be a virgin. Men and boys, however, can serve as guardians for the Priestess, if they are granted the right powers.
- Blood+ has the chiropterans. The queens are always female and they are always twins. The chevaliers who create them are always male. It is never said that it is not possible to create female chevaliers, but since the chevaliers are intended to mate with the other queen, female chevaliers would have little useful.
- In The Sandman certain forms of magic (such as walking the moon's road) are exclusive to women; even a trans woman can't go. There was a passing reference to the Sandman example being based on chromosomes (the character who brought it up didn't know a whole lot about the subject) while Word of God suggest that the ancient deities and witches just can't get over some old prejudices; there is nothing that inherently prevents a biological male from practicing "female" magic, except a deity that can't get her head around the idea. As seen later on, Death feels no need for such discrimination.
- The Darkness only gets passed to males. When a son is born, the current Darkness user dies, and the kid inherits the abilities when he goes through puberty. Luckily for Jackie, he had a daughter.
- For the most part only women can wear the Witchblade, though there has been at least one male case.
- In Pre Crisis Captain Marvel stories, Billy and Freddy got their powers from famous "gods" (Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles and Mercury), while Mary's came from six "goddesses" (Selene, Hippolyta, Ariadne, Zephyrus, Aurora and Minerva). Functionally, however, they had all the same powers...even though they probably shouldn't have, since Mary's set sometimes provided gifts like "beauty" instead things useful in a fight. (Also, yes, ignore the fact that Zephyrus was male in actual mythology.) Post-Crisis, Mary also gets her powers from the male set.
Films — Live-Action
- The time machine invented by the famous Masked Luchador hero El Santo in Santo en El Tesoro de Drácula has an unusual limitation. Santo determines that only healthy young women are strong enough to survive the trip.
- The vampires in Perfect Creature were all male born from human mothers, with no female ever been born.
- In The Dark Crystal, only female Gelflings have wings.
- Red Sonja features a powerful artifact that can only be wielded by a woman, destroying any man who touches it.
- Jean Auel's Clan of the Cave Bear is a dual literary example. The neanderthals featured in this novel live their lives along sharply divided gender lines, and due to how their brains are structured, cannot do otherwise. It's not tradition that says male neanderthals hunt and females take care of the kids. Rather, they are literally hardwired into these roles and cannot function when taken out of them. Ayla, being a modern human, can and does, deeply disturbing them in the process. Yet, her jaw almost drops when she sees Jondalar, a man, cooking.
- Ironically, it's now believed that Neanderthals had less of a gender divide than Cro Magnons.
- An enforced case in Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth series. There are only female Confessors, but not because males can't get the power. It's because when a male has the power, it's a much stronger version, without the cooldown that female confessors have, and because of this they end up using said power to get everything they want. After the first generation of tyrannical male Confessors was dealt with, all male Confessor babies are killed shortly after birth.
- There's also differences between Wizard (male) magic power and Sorceress (female) magic power. In practical terms, they can do more or less the same things: Throw wind, fire and lightning around, create spell forms, etc. But they're stated to work differently, such that each gender doesn't properly "get" how the other works. At the Palace of the Prophets, for example, it takes several hundred years for the sorceresses to teach young wizards how to use their gifts properly, but it takes a much shorter amount of time for a male wizard to teach another male wizard.
- Zigzagged in Frank Herbert's Dune universe: the Bene Gesserit are an all-female order of holy-warrior-diplomats, with many of their skills reliant on Charles Atlas Superpower, and those skills can be taught to men without issue. However, their greatest abilities, limited Spice-induced prescience and the ability to commune with the "ghost-memories" of all their female ancestors, are granted through an initiation ritual involving an extremely toxic form of Spice, and results in either superpowers or death. Every single man, no matter how well-trained, who attempted this ritual died. The Bene Gesserit implemented an extremely long-term eugenics program to produce a man that would be capable of surviving this, who would be called the Kwisatz Haderach. In fact, the Kwisatz Haderach would have even greater abilities than any Bene Gesserit, including expanded prescience and the ability to access the ghosts of all ancestors, not just female ones (the ghost-memory thing is apparently stored through chromosomes, meaning it is impossible for women to ever access male memories). Paul Atreides, aka Muad'dib the Prophet, was the first man to successfully undergo the ritual and survive.
- The Wheel of Time has a great variety of differences between male and female channelers of the One Power. For instance, women draw from the saidar half of the Power, are able to gauge each other's Power Levels by proximity, can initiate links with other channelers to combine powers, and typically have better mastery over Wind and Water. Men draw from the saidin half, can use Fire to take in and redistribute heat (women can only take it in and consequently burn themselves or even burst into flame), can naturally sense women channeling by way of goosebumps, are much stronger on average, and typically have better mastery over Fire and Earth. How various weaves are formed is also gender-dependent: women create Gateways by making two areas 'similar', whereas men bore holes into the fabric of space.
- As well, men and women approach control of their respective magics differently: women control Saidar subtly, gently encouraging it to do as they want, and lose control as soon as they try to force it to do something. Men, on the other hand, must seize Saidin, controlling it by force and fighting against it, or they will be killed by it.
- Men and women can't even see the flows that the opposite sex channels most of the time, and can only block them by use of a special weave.
- Quite a lot of these distinctions is drawn from the philosophy of Yin ("soft" control, passiveness, air, water, etc.) and Yang ("hard" control, aggressiveness, fire, earth, etc.).
- Interestingly, we've seen The Dark One resurrect two of the Forsaken in opposite-sex bodies, without any change in their power type or strength. So either souls have an innate sex or this is the Dark One we're talking about and further speculation is pointless.
- In Christopher Stasheff's Warlock of Gramarye series, psis on Gramarye have sex-linked powers — Witches (women) are telekinetic, and Warlocks (men) can teleport and levitate themselves. The hero and his family are the only exceptions, due to not being entirely out of the same gene pool.
- Averted on the Discworld, at least in the areas where most stories featuring wizards and witches take place. Wizardry and witchcraft are separate forms of magic which are mostly gender divided, but this is a social not biological split related to prejudices on both sides of the fence. Exceptions do exist, such as the early mention of wizards in Krull not caring much either way. Terry Pratchett's opinion, at least referenced in a narrative aside, is wizardry being systematic was more suited to men while witchcraft being initiative/emotional was more suited to women. Interestingly, despite her initial reservations, Granny Weatherwax is eventually convinced that Eskarina's mindset is wizard-like and that trying to shape it into witchcraft simply because she's female is a bad idea.
- Sourcery, however, remains a purely male avocation, what with the eighth-of-eighth-of-eighth son rule.
- Partly subverted in Kelley Armstrong's The Otherworld. Witches are female, sorcerers are male. They can use each other's magic, but not as well as the proper users can. Witch magic generally relies on incantations or healing brews, while sorcerer magic uses gestures. Witch and sorcerer genes are sex-linked and supposedly incompatible with each other, requiring them to breed with mundanes. However, there are hints in Dime Store Magic and Industrial Magic that witches and sorcerers may be more alike than they think, particularly the revelation that neophyte witch Savannah Levine is the daughter of a witch and a sorcerer, supposedly impossible. It is also pointed out that social stigma prevents sorcerers and witches from having sex together.
- Industrial Magic suggested that sorcerer magic and witch magic are branches of the same school. Witches only know the first level of their magic, as they eschew the second level spells (such as curing hiccups) as useless. Unfortunately for the witches, learning the second level spells is the only way to unlock the upper tier spells (contained in the witches' own Great Big Book of Everything, but dismissed as unworkable). Most supernaturals dismiss witch magic as weak and useless, as both witches and sorcerers believe that the basic tier of witch spells is all there is.
- Andre Norton's Witch World has female virgin witches. They are shocked when Simon Tregarth, a man from another world, has the same powers. (And more shocked when a witch marries him and keeps her powers.)
- In Andre Norton and Mercedes Lackey's The Halfblood Chronicles, the female elves have only weak magic compared to males. But, as the series points out, even a rose petal in the wrong place can kill someone...
- It's implied that the differences in magic are due to training rather than innate ability, as female elves in that society generally have little freedom, and are only taught "small" magic. There are brief mentions of powerful elven ladies who learn to wield magic in a masculine way. Also, some male elves have difficulty with using small practical magics commonly used by females simply because they haven't been trained in the same way.
- The original Earthsea trilogy featured mostly male wizards. In fact, there was a proverb "As weak as a woman's magic." Later books reveal that this is more of a cultural restriction, however.
- In Annals of the Western Shore, members of the Upland clans can be born with different magical abilities. In some clans, only one gender is empowered (only Caspro men can "unmake," only Barre women can control animals), while one clan is mentioned where men and women have different powers. However, both sexes can pass on the gift "gene" to their children.
- In His Dark Materials, in Lyra's world witches are a One-Gender Race, possessing magical tendencies and long life. Their male offspring (fathered by human males) are normal humans. Male witches did exist elsewhere in the multiverse, though they are only mentioned once.
- In First Lensman, Mentor explains to Jill why it is impossible to create a Lens for a female. Mentor is lying his head off, as Clarissa will prove later in the series, but for the first couple books that's how the Lens works.
- He's not exactly lying, given that he also outright tells her that there will at some point be a female Lensman. He doesn't, however, mention her daughters, who I guess aren't technically Lensmen ... they just have all the powers even without having a lens and can generate their own out of thin air purely by thinking hard.
- In the Sector General novels, Educator Tapes can't be tolerated by human females. This started as Values Dissonance because the first book was written in The '50s, but we later learn that it's a species restriction; alien females (those species that have females) can and do use them.
- The Archive of The Dresden Files is always the daughter of the last Archive.
- In Garth Nix's Old Kingdom trilogy, the Clayr (prophets who live in the glacier) are almost all women; the rare occurence of male Clayr are seen as anomalies. Plus Clayr who choose to have children with men generally always have daughters.
- In Anne Bishopss Black Jewels saga, female magic is almost always more potent than men's. Ranking within the Jewels can extend to Queen for females, whereas male ranking extends only to Warlord Prince. However, the magical power depends on the darkness of the jewel of an individual.
- Holy spellcasters in The Banned and the Banished get their powers either from the god Chi (for males) or the goddess Cho (for females.) The two deities are equally powerful, but Chi splits his power among a large number of casters, while Cho only gives her power to one woman at a time. This means that female casters can store twice as much Mana and have access to three times as many spells.
- Almost the case with the Jordain in Counselors and Kings. Jordaini girls are almost always stillborn, so that the vast majority of actual Jordaini are men, but occasionally a Jordaini female will survive. Cassia, Jordain to King Zalathorm is the only one we actually meet. It turns out that Tzigone, one of the main protagonists, is a Jordaini birth gone wrong, so she has the Anti-Magic abilities even though she's not considered a Jordain.
- In the Thieves' World series, only men can become mages. There are, however, indications that this is a social restriction with no inherent basis.
- In On Stranger Tides by Tim Powers, it is mentioned that some kinds of magic are only available to men and others only to women. One of the villains is a sorcerer who has access to both kinds, having figured out how to identify a woman with strong magical potential, marry her, use the marriage bond to gain control over her magic.
- In Three Days to Never by Tim Powers, one of the characters is a sorcerer who, it turns out, was born female and went to extreme lengths to gain access to male magic.
- In Sergey Lukyanenko's Dances in the Snow, FTL Travel is fatal to women (at least, human women). The reasoning for this is never explained. However, the only way for women to go to other planets is by becoming a Human Popsicle. This also leads to a lot of sexism, particularly from starship crews, who derogatorily refer to women as "cargo". At the end of the novel, it's mentioned that a genetic cure has been found to allow future women (not the ones being subjected to gene therapy but their children) to survive FTL travel and even become pilots. None of this is mentioned in the original novel Genome (Dances in the Snow is its prequel), where Genetic Engineering Is the New Nuke, so this is no longer an issue (two of the main characters are women and have no problems surviving space travel).
- In Vadim Panov's Secret City:
- Only the women of the Lyud' can use normal magic. A Lyud' male using magic means that the situation has already somehow passed the Lyud's Godzilla Threshold.
- Only the men of the Chud' can use magic.
- The Moryana creation rite can only be survived by a woman.
- A Daykini can only take a female host, although not restricted by species.
- All Tat' Lords are male.
- In If I Pay Thee Not In Gold by Mercedes Lackey and Piers Anthony, only the women in Mazonia have magic (of conjuration). As a result, all men are either slaves or treated as second-class citizens if they've been set free.
- In Sheri S. Tepper's world of The True Game, several of the Talents are gender-limited, or at least rare in one or another sex. Healers and Midwives, for example, appear to be mostly female, while Armigers, Sentinels, and possessors of Necromantic Talents appear to be mostly male. Harpies and Queens are of course always female, while Kings and Princes are of course always male. (Though given that many women amongst the Gamesmen are encouraged to hide or deemphasize their talents, it's hard to know how common certain talents really are amongst them.)
- In Kroniki Drugiego Kregu only boys are believed to be born with magic. It’s later Subverted Trope with introduction of Jagoda (a very powerful female Observer) and as the series goes on more and more girls with magical abilities are discovered. They remain much rarer than male mages through, which makes them (especially Jagoda) very good candidates for the Super Breeding Program.
- In Andre Norton's Storm Over Warlock, the Wyverns who can dream are all female. They are surprised to find males who can dream even among humans, and despite their marginal acceptance of that, Thorvald appoints Charis in Ordeal in Otherwhere to be the person actually dealing with them, as a female.
- Among human wizards in the Young Wizards series males have an affinity for the elements of fire and earth, while females have an affinity for water and air. This generally doesn't matter much, except in Wizards Abroad, when the characters have to deal with Empathic Weapons which are embodiments of the four elements.
- In Temeraire, certain breeds of dragons will only bond with female aviators. Most notably, the acid-spitting longwings.
- In Pact, the Thorburn and Duchamp families base their ancestry around being female. In this case of the Duchamps, this involves becoming a One-Gender Race using magic and birth control to ensure that they bear no male children, while the Thorburns simply designate a sole female as the heir to their lineage. Rose Thorburn, the current heir, has command of the Thorburn voice, which she uses to command respect from supernatural creatures, while her Distaff Counterpart Blake handles the physical aspects like making ritual diagrams.
- Dragonriders of Pern - golden (queen) dragons will only Impress on women, and bronzes only on men. For other colors, general rules exist, but exceptions can be found.
- Male Hradani in David Weber's The War Gods series suffer from the Rage, which, until it's later learned to be controlled and directed, turns them into bloodthirsty berserkers. Female hradani do not experience the Rage (and as a result are the default gender for hradani judges and diplomats). The Rage was imposed on the hradani by the evil wizards who enslaved them; apparently those wizards wanted their female slaves producing warriors instead of being warriors.
- The flipside, however, is that while in the Rage they are essentially immune to all but the most powerful magic, making them a dire threat to most magic users on the battlefield who they will instinctively attack.
- You sees in The Saga of Darren Shan only a few female vampires, and no female vampaneze. Although it is easily possible to turn women into vampires, it is rarely. Arra Sails, a female vampire, once said that vampires can not get children, which is a bigger problem for women than for men.
- The German booklet series Maddrax has the women of the 13 islands. Almost all of them are telepathically gifted, but men rarely have this ability. This is one reason why their folk are a matriarchy.
- Men from the 13 islands can be quite empathic, but also this is not common.
- There are, however, also the taratzes, which is a species of mutated giant rats. They are stronger, faster and more resilient than humans, but usually not particularly smart. The taratze kings are an exception, however, and in the entire series of books a taratze queen has never been seen.
- In Battlestar Galactica, while gender is apparently irrelevant for most professions, including the priesthood, oracles, who have prophetic abilities and can tell the will of the gods, have been women in every case we have seen or heard of.
- In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Slayers are always young girls. Averted with witchcraft: though most practitioners are female, there are male users. Giles borrowed the power of an entire coven to take on Dark Willow, Angel and Xander are both shown to use spells, Oz and several frat boys accidentally summon the demon of fear, and there are a few guys in UC Sunnydale's Wicca group. On the other hand, there are no real prominent good male dedicated spellcasters on the show to contrast with Willow, Tara and even Jenny Calendar. There are powerful but not "good" male spellcasters such as Rack, Ethan, and Jonathan.
- However, there are quite a few exceptions. In the third season there is a warlock named Michael, who is not very powerful, but is good.
- Jonathan was a villain, but not one who was evil or dangerous.
- In the comics there is also Clive, who is a warlock and the spiritual leader of a witchcrow.
- In Angel there is also a group of powerful beings who occasionally determine someone as their champion, to fight against the evil. The respective champions are almost always demons (at least partially), and almost always male.
- In the Doctor Who 2011 Christmas special, "The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe", only women are deemed strong enough to carry the whole Forest's essence in their head.
Myths & Religion
- Amusingly averted in Norse Mythology. A majority of witches are female, but only because their magic relies on contact with another person's semen. Yes, that means the Uke can have magic powers too. One way that gay men and transgender women could live openly and still be moderately tolerated in Norse society was to practice witchcraft. Of course, they were still ostracized, but people still sought their services, and not many would want to anger a witch. And to further make the point: Odin is a male witch, since he wanted to learn all the magic of the world. This means exactly what you think it means.
- In Warhammer 40,000, the series of enhancements used to create a Space Marine is only usable on men. Justified since the enhancements are based on the biology of the Primarchs, who were all men because they were cloned from the Emperor. Older source material also stated that acceptance of the implants and the ensuing muscle growth required the increased testosterone output in men.
- In Warhammer both the Dark Elves and Bretonnians only have female magic users. Whether this is a cultural or natural restriction depends on who you ask; males of other factions are perfectly able to use magic, but each faction accesses and uses magic in a different way. In at least some versions of the fluff, the lack of male Dark Elf wizards was related to a prophecy that one of them would topple the immortal Dark Elf king. Obviously, male study of magic was not encouraged.
- Vampire: The Requiem features the Qedeshah bloodline, a motherly lineage who draw their origins from a group of temple prostitutes. Part of their bloodline-specific curse is that after joining the bloodline, they can only Embrace females. Attempts to Embrace men result in the man experiencing agonising, incapacitating pain for 24 hours before they expire horribly, the Qedeshah "mother" suffering a portion of this pain through the sympathetic connections of their shared blood. Men are not barred from joining the bloodline from outside the family tree, but upon doing so their vitae is rendered sterile and they can no longer Embrace childer or create ghouls, earning them the position of eunuch.
- In Witch Girls Adventures, unsurprisingly, only females can be witches. Though they have a male counterpart in the Immortals. Though female characters with the Half-Otherkin heritage can be half-Immortal, although they're outnumbered 10 to 1 by the males. (Immortals are fond of joking about how their progenitors weren't quite as sexist.)
- In the 2E setting, the followers of Hala included female clerics and male wizards, ostensibly because the goddess taught that each gender was better-suited to that sort of magic. Subverted in the 3E Ravenloft products, which left its Halan prestige classes open to both sexes.
- Also, the only Vistani to be gifted with the Sight are females. This is because a long-ago prophecy warned them that a male Seer would one day become the dreaded Dukkar and destroy their people, so they kill any male offspring that develop the Sight.
- In Forgotten Realms only female drow are trained to priestesses. Male drow could also learn the magic, but in the company of the drow men are not worth much.
- In the Ace Attorney series only Fey women can be mediums. This actually causes massive social damage to the Fey clan - because the Fey family holds their spiritual powers so highly, their men feel deeply unappreciated, and their home village, Kurain, has one of the highest divorce rates in the country. (Maya implies that her young cousin, Pearl, hasn't seen a successful relationship in her life.)
- The Sorceress power in Final Fantasy VIII is only passed down through women, with each woman passing the power to someone else upon her death (it appears that it's usually the closest woman, so long as she holds the proper potential). This power is the central focus of the game, as every Sorceress is powerful enough to change the course of the world or control the fabric of reality itself. An in-universe legend posits that the Sorceress power is really the immortal spirit of a god who'd once gone to war with humanity and lost, and escaped by hiding himself in the body of something mankind instinctually wants to protect: women.
- In Final Fantasy Tactics, only female characters can be dancers, and only male characters can be bards. This is in spite of the fact that Final Fantasy V, which used a similar class-changing system, had no such restriction. Final Fantasy XI wasn't restricted, either, so now we have to deal with Galka flamenco dancers. Thanks a lot, SE.
- Ragnarok Online had something similar for Bards and Dancers.
- In Final Fantasy Tactics and A2, the Standard Status Effect preventing Ribbon accessory can only be worn by female characters. In A2 that means only Viera, Gria, Adelle, and Frimelda, but Humes, Bangaa, and Nu Mou can learn a passive ability that lets them wear one anyway. In Advance all generic teammates but Viera have Ambiguous Gender so only Viera and Ritz (who is a Viera for gameplay purposes) can wear them.
- Fire Emblem has female Dancers and male Bards, though they essentially do the same thing. In addition, only females can ride Pegasi, explained at one point as the weight (amusingly, generic enemy Pegasus knights count as male stats wise). Another explanation claims that it's because it's hard enough for a woman to get her Pegasus to trust, while a man is incapable of gaining a pegasus' trust.
- In the earlier games in the Fire Emblem Akaneia series the enemy pegasus knights were male, but they appear to have been have Retconned out of the series as they're gone from the remake.
- Fire Emblem Fates features indisputably male Sky Knights (read: Pegasus riders), capped off by a massive Lampshade Hanging when Selena asks one of them about it. Said lampshade goes on to state that Pegasi are simply emotionally sensitive, and if you think one won't tolerate you, you make it so jittery it won't - implying that the rest of the series (or at least Awakening and the modernized Akaneia games, which it shares a world with) only think pegasus riding is female-only in a folkloric Self-Fulfilling Prophecy.
- In Shadow Dragon, the spell Excalibur can only be used by men and the spell Aura can only be used by women(despite it being used by a male character used it in the games story). It is also noted that Falchion can only be wielded by male descendants of Anri though this is proven false when Lucina wields it in Awakening.
- In the later Wizardry games, The Lord class is male only, while the Valkyrie class is female only.
- In the Ogre Battle series, males and females have entirely different classes available to them, with no class in common. The starting female class is Amazon, while the starting male class is Fighter. Some classes are obvious counterparts (The female Dragon Tamer and the male Beast Master for example). Some of the Tactics Ogre games however do not follow this formula, instead being like Final Fantasy Tactics where a handful of classes were gender-specific (like Dragon Tamer, Beast Master, Witch and Dragoon), others are shared amongst both genders (like Knights, Wizard, Clerics and Fighters).
- Achaea features the Siren, a female-only race who eventually get the ability to charm others with their good looks as they level up.
- In BioShock, only female children under six can be implanted with ADAM slugs. This makes them invincible and able to puke up EVE serum. they also heal instantly (this is not as good as you think, one fell down the stairs and broke both legs, which then healed cokeyed. the doctors had to re-break her legs several times to put them right). However, one researcher discovered that if you manage to restrain them and tear out the slug, you kill them instantly and get a huge shot of ADAM. Enter papa Frankestein...
- In Bayonetta, only women can become Umbra Witches and only men can become Lumen Sages. Witches' power comes from making pacts with demons and are enhanced by the light of the moon, while the Sages commit to serve Laguna and are enhanced by the sun. The forbidden union of an Umbra Witch and a Lumen Sage is what kicks off the events of the game.
- In Jade Cocoon, only women are permitted to carry out the ritual of purification, transforming firefly cocoons into white cocoons so that the soul of the monster in the cocoon is pacified and a cocoon master can call upon the monster's aid in battle. If a man attempts the purification ritual, it will result in a black cocoon, a thing of great evil that fills anything it touches with despair.
- Almost every LEGO Adaptation Game has a high jump ability restricted to certain types of characters; in LEGO Pirates Of The Caribbean, the female characters have it.
- Warcraft III: All female Night Elves have the ability to become invisible at night when not moving, said to be a blessing by the moon goddess. However, on the other continent this ability is shared by the (all-male) neutral bandit creeps.
- In Fatal Frame, it is noted that women are much more likely to develop a spiritual sixth sense, though there are rare cases that a man gains one. This is used to justify why the majority of the games' protagonists are female. The game also uses a ridiculous version when it claims that women are too weak to move furniture out of the way, as an attempt to justify a few Broken Bridges.
- In RWBY, there exist four Maidens with amazing powers representing the four seasons. When a Maiden dies, the power is transferred to a new woman. The precise mechanics are not entirely clear, but what is known is that only young women can receive the power. Neither a man nor an older woman can inherit it. It is further believed that the power transfers to the young woman who was foremost in the Maiden's thoughts as she died, which can be a very bad thing, as the last person someone thinks of can easily be the person who killed them. It's further believed that the powers are in some way linked to a person's Aura, and that by transferring Aura from one person to another, the power could be transferred along with it, however, the only time this has been attempted, it was cut-off partway through and failed.
- In Footloose, men's magic is (semi-artificially) restricted to the Fae realm, and there vastly weaker.
- In Sacred Pie the sacred objects can only be used by men, regardless of species. This is a side effect from Lucifer creating them for his own use.
- The Wotch:
- Wotches cannot be male, and cannot even be turned male by magic. Although, that's not to say they can't have been male prior to their becoming the Wotch.
- There IS a male equivalent — Melleck Xaos is the Worlock. Their powers are a bit different, so the rule still applies.
- The Law of Purple has the Myranians, a race of aliens where only the females have psychic powers.
- In Homestuck, certain classes in Sburb/Sgrub are only available to certain genders, and all other classes are weighted towards either males or females.
- In Drowtales traditional summoning or Elendlari can only be performed by females, due to what Word of God describes as something related to their ability to bear children. The Origin of the Jaal'darya story elaborates on this as being related to the ability to separate one's own aura from that of the child growing inside them when they give birth, with the same technique being used to create a traditional summon. Nether summoning has no such gender restriction (though it's still only taught formally to females in school) which is one reason it's become increasingly popular.
- The Trait Positives in lonelygirl15 are always female, for some unspecified genetic reason.
- In Salamando's "Sex Mage World" stories, a mysterious event grants all women 19 and older the powers of Sex Magic, a combination of sexual-themed magic and psychic abilities that allow women to read, manipulate, and control men's bodies and minds with ease. Only women have this power, and most women are immune to one another's powers, while men are always vulnerable to it. However, while men don't gain magic of their own, their lust provides the necessary ethereal energies which fuel Sex Magic spells; while women can provide some of their own energy, it greatly pales in comparison to how much a man can produce. This naturally creates a completely female-dominated society as a result, since men can't be trusted in positions of power, and their societal purpose quickly becomes being the fuel and playthings of the Sex Mage women.
- In Trollz, only the females are able to wield magic. It wasn't always the case, but the Big Bad's attempt to take the magic for himself made it so only girls could use it. Males are left to their physical and mental skills, though older Troll males are able to use magic, still.
- In Gargoyles it is not a real ability but rather a property. When male gargoyles wake up, their eyes glow white, but when female gargoyles wake up, their eyes glow red. For the clones, it is exactly the opposite.
- Singing voices. While there is some overlap in the alto and tenor ranges, natural male sopranos (as opposed to castrati and singing falsetto) and female basses are extremely rare and usually due to a hormone imbalance.
- For modern-day male sopranos (also known as sopranists), you have Radu Marian and Jorge Cano who are called natural castrati due to endocrinological issues, and Angelo Manzotti who taught himself a special technique with his vocal chords. Michael Maniaci is the closest you'll come to a natural male soprano — his vocal chords never went through puberty, but the rest of him did.
- As for female bases, Sweet Honey In The Rock is the only example that comes to mind.
- Lactation, although occasionally subverted by men with a prolactin imbalance.
- Ditto for pregnancy. While both sexes aid in reproduction, once conception occurs, it's all up to the female's body.
- Of all species of bees, wasps, and ants that can sting, only females can do it because the stinger is a modified ovipositor.
- Similarly, only female mosquitoes suck blood from humans and other mammals.
- Among platypi, the males are the only ones with venomous spurs on their hind feet.
- Female black widow spiders are dangerously venomous. The males, while not completely harmless, are smaller, less likely to bite and inject less venom when they do.
- Many species of anglerfish have the females as the only ones who can do anything active. Mature males are essentially parasitic lumps of atrophied flesh holding testicles that hang off the female's body and hooks into her circulatory system to live. All they can or ever do is spurt out sperm to fertilize eggs.