This is a counter-trope to Women Are Wiser, not Flame Bait or a comment on Real Life
We all know that in works of media, the saintly women
are more competent
than those piggish men
... Except when they're not.
This is a trope for works of media in which men are either portrayed as all-around more competent than women, or are stated to be superior. It isn't Straw Misogynist
or He-Man Woman Hater
, because those are about a character in-story having the worldview that men are superior to women. This trope is for when the author seems to have this worldview. In one of these works, male characters may not be sexist against the women, but they will certainly be mentally, physically, or morally superior to them.
Unlike Women Are Wiser
, Men Are Better Than Women
is not necessarily about male characters in the work being morally superior. Instead, it may be about men having an intellectual genius or fortitude that female characters are not shown in the work to have. It may even be combined with Women Are Wiser
, creating a world where women are viewed as frail angels and men as competent movers and shakers
Although not as frequent as in older works this trope is still sometimes played straight. When it is played straight the show will generally feature a male lead or male characters who are physical and/or mentally (fairly often even emotionally and morally) superior to female characters in the same setting even if said female characters are fairly competent in their own rights. This applies whether the number of male characters outnumber or are outnumbered by the number of female characters, in latter case the few or lone male character (usually the lead) still has the tendency to be superior to the surrounding female characters in most ways that are significant to the plot.
A form of Double Standard
, in that it both holds men to an unrealistic ideal and holds women to a lower standard. Like its counterpart
, the trope is inherently sexist, or at the very least grounded in Author Appeal
. Which reason is more disturbing is left to the reader.
A society that thinks this is a No Woman's Land
. Spear Counterpart
to Women Are Wiser
. Contrast The Unfair Sex
, Men Are the Expendable Gender
. Compare and
contrast Men Are Generic, Women Are Special
, Double Standard
, and Sliding Scale of Gender Inequality
. Compare Acceptable Feminine Goals and Traits
, Never a Self-Made Woman
and Stay in the Kitchen
. Someone who believes Men Are Better Than Women
may also believe My Girl Is Not a Slut
, or No Guy Wants an Amazon
- Trope Namer is the website Menarebetterthanwomen.com
- Arthur Schopenhauer uses this trope in his Author Tract Of Women.
- Aristotle also uses this trope in his Author Tracts.
- In the Sector General novels, human women are nurses, not doctors. It is also outright stated that woman can't take Educator tapes (which involves having a recording of an alien mind inside your head). They just can't stand the experience. Since the tapes are standard for surgeons and absolutely required for Diagnosticians, the hospital's highest-level doctors...the implications are obvious and unfortunate. (This is mostly down to Society Marches On, but was too deeply embedded for the author to retcon it away.)
- Oscar Wilde's An Ideal Husband states that, essentially, men are meant to go out into the world and do great things, while the most a woman can ask for is to help and support a great man.
- Surprisingly averted in The Art Of Manliness; while it is chock full of advice towards men on how to live up to the traditional ideals of proactiveness, wisdom, personal strength, independence, elegance, and chivalry, it doesn't assert the superiority of men over women in any way, explicit or implicit, save for the fact that it doesn't address women at all.