Men Use Violence, Women Use Communication
"Our females don't lack for spirit. For males, a good show of force sorts things out. But females like to talk about it. And
think about it. (sigh) And then talk about it some more! (...) So sometimes I pretend to listen and... well, let's just say krogan females have tempers too."
The main bulk of any narrative is that whatever conflict exists gets resolved, in either the hero's or villain's way. An action show would typically showcase some form of violence as a method of solving conflict, while a more dialogue based show would showcase a form of compromise to have it resolved. Though there's a mindset out there that dictates that the process of conflict resolution is usually based on gender, with men being associated with violence and aggression and women being aligned with compromise and/or manipulation and this is applied regardless
of what the show's genre is, which results in any of the following scenarios:
- Men getting praised for using either violence or compromise, and women getting booed at for not using the latter.
- Women being lauded regardless of what method of conflict resolution is being used, and men being considered pansies unless they solely focus on using violence.
- Women being lauded as automatically morally superior to men because of this trope—the "if only women were in charge, we wouldn't have wars" idea.
- Violent men putting a permanent end to the conflict, while manipulative women, for all the mudslinging and underhanded tactics that they use, end up prolonging the feud, sometimes to the point where it goes on forever.
Related to Closer to Earth
. A sister trope of Guys Smash, Girls Shoot
. Related to why the Action Girl
used to be rare enough to be a viable trope.
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Anime and Manga
- Subverted in Axis Powers Hetalia, with Austria and Hungary. Austria prefers to use marriage and alliances to avoid conflict, while Hungary cheerfully will beat up anything that threatens them.
- Subverted by every Tsundere in every Anime ever.
- Mobile Fighter G Gundam subverts the trope rather masterfully: "fighters communicate through their fists!"
- A very rare superhero / mythology subversion from Thor #300: after discovering that The Celestials were going to judge the worth of humanity in 1000 years, the male leaders of the gods of Earth, convinced this was going to end badly, planned to fight them. However the female leaders decided to instead prove humanity's worth by gathering the best example of each human skill or art and making them immortal. Sure enough, when the Norse gods attack them (it was not explained why ALL the pantheons didn't attack together, not that it would have made much difference) they get curbstomped. Then Gaia shows up with the chosen humans, and convinces The Celestials to spare mankind.
- In a story arc of the Overman brazilian newspaper comic, he's searching for someone who can destroy electronic objects by looking at them. He's certain that the villain is a woman because as a man, he would just break stuff with his fists.
- The Han/Leia and Anakin/Padmé pairings in Star Wars. Though both Padme and Leia are definitely action girls and usually hold their own in a fight, they both clearly prefer diplomacy. Han can be quite reasonable at times, too, but never parts with his blaster. Anakin, sadly, was so this he killed most of the cast.
- The Vorin religion practiced by the cultures of most of the main characters in The Stormlight Archive takes this Up to Eleven, to the point where it's considered a sin for women to fight and for men to even learn to read.
- Though the ardent priestly caste ignores the gender rules.
Live Action TV
- Played straight in Torchwood: Miracle Day with Lynn, who tried to solve the problem with mind games and snark, then subverted by Gwen, who solved the problem of Lynn thusly:
Lynn: If you're the best England has to offer, God help him.
- Averted by the Doctor in Doctor Who, who resorts to violence only after exhausting other options (the Tenth was very fond of Don't Make Me Destroy You). Sometimes inverted when he has an Action Girl companion like Leela or Ace.
- Buffy: "I wasn't gonna use violence. I don't always use violence. Do I?"
Xander: "The important thing is you believe that."
- Drew Carey mocked the "there'd be no wars if women ran the world" idea and suggested that there'd be more wars than ever, going by his experience with the way women handle conflicts, and presents this hypothetical scenario:
Politician A: "What's going on? Why the hell are you bombing us?!"
Politician B: "Oh, I think you know why we're bombing you!"
Politician A: "Please! We have no idea why you're doing this!"
Politician B: "Well, if you don't know then we're not telling you!!"
- Averted with the Drow of Dungeons & Dragons. note Most of their combative roles are taken by their women (who also tend to be priestesses of Lloth, the spider goddess and the reason Drow live underground.) And Drow are ruthless!
- Toward the end of Persona 4, notice that the males in the party advocate enacting revenge by throwing Namatame into the TV without a second thought, while the females dissent, suspecting that they'd missed a crucial detail somewhere in the investigation and begging the player and Yosuke to think it through more carefully. Though Naoto seemed to be in favor of tossing him in since she was the one who first pointed out that they could do so.
- Mass Effect 3 suggests that the krogan work this way, although we only meet one female krogan in the entire series due to genophage-induced Gender Rarity Value. It's also a relative value, since the first thing we see her do under her own power is gun down two enemy soldiers without a second thought.
- Made more obvious during the Tuchanka mission. During a meeting, some of the Krogan begin to squabble and appear seconds away from tearing each other limb from limb, only for "Eve" to appear, immediately order everyone to shut the hell up, before convincing them to work together.
- Eve admits that after the Genophage is cured, the Krogan women are going to gain a more political clout in their society and hints that they are also not above using a Lysistrata Gambit to keep the men in line and attempt to curb the worst of their Blood Knight tencendies.
- Mordin relates that the first time he met Eve, she was in great pain and clearly distraught by her ordeal as one of Maelon's experiments. While he was treating her injuries, she managed to break out of one of her restraints and grabbed him. She could have easily killed him... but instead, all she said was, "Please". This small act of kindness made Mordin regain his faith in the Krogan and vow to cure the genophage.
- It's also played with on the asari. They're monogendered (all female), and are considered flighty, promiscuous alien space babes who want to sleep their way around the galaxy (we later learn there is a very good reason why asari choose to mate with other races and not other asari). However, they are also considered top-notch diplomats and their long lifespans tolerate a degree of debate and intertia mose other races can't. (If you want an issue talked to death, ask an asari). They are also the most adept at wielding biotic abilities, however, and their commandos are just as deadly as anything else in the galaxy.
- Flat-out inverted in Trails in the Sky. Joshua is the one with the "silver tongue" (as Estelle pointed out), while Estelle would rather beat people up with her staff.
- Averted in The Order of the Stick, especially with Haley and Celia. While Celia fits the female half of this trope perfectly, Haley (another woman) is more content to shoot her way through the Theives' Guild scene.
- Also, the main character most likely to use diplomacy is Elan, a male.
- Subverted in general by the reviewers of Channel Awesome, who whether male or female, prefer beating their enemies up. In the first year brawl event, The Nostalgia Chick, That Girl With the Goggles, Marzgurl, and Little Miss Gamer cheerfully join in on the fight, and Ask that Guy of all people ends up quietly talking everyone into getting along.
- The Freudian superhero team of Id, Superego, and Ego in Animaniacs. Superego is a woman who peacefully resolves conflict with an enemy. The others are male monsters that smash things up.
- The main cast in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic is mostly female but still manages to use this trope through the two resident tomboys, Applejack and Rainbow Dash (especially Rainbow Dash).
- Alien X of Ben 10: Alien Force and Ben 10: Ultimate Alien has two personalities, Bellicus and Serena. Bellicus is a warlike male whose answer to everything is to smash and destroy. Serena is a peace loving female who would prefer to talk everything out in a loving way. Naturally, it's almost impossible for them to agree on anything... except killing Paradox on sight, thinking he is violating the restraining order against him.
- In the episode "Romeo Must Wed" from The Proud Family, Penny developed a crush on Kwok while rehearsing for their school's production of Romeo & Juliet. After a while, Kwok's parents, the Wongs, politely asked Penny's parents, Oscar and Trudy, that they not allow Penny and Kwok to see each other anymore. While Trudy remained civil in her inquiry, Oscar immediately jumped to conclusions, thinking that the Wongs didn't approve of their son having a relationship with Penny because she wasn't "good enough" for them. This prompted both Oscar and Mr. Wong to imply the other was a racist. It turned out the real reason was that Kwok had an arranged bride, who was coming to town for a visit.
- Inverted somewhat in the Family Guy episode 'Forget-Me-Not' were after being mind wiped and placed in virtual reality Peter, Brian, Joe and Quagmire all try working together to figure who they are and why the town is empty and only resort to violence when they think Peter killed everyone else. While Bonnie, Lois and Meg in the same situation started fighting each other almost immediately.
- In The Smurfs episode "Supersmurf", Brainy as Supersmurf tries and almost succeeds in getting the Smurfs' supply of food back from Bigmouth by using violence, only for his magic-given superpowers to wear out. Smurfette tries using communication (which in this case means feminine wiles and pleas of sympathy) to get the food back from Bigmouth, only that doesn't work either. It takes Brainy coming up with the idea of distracting Bigmouth's appetite with rocks dipped in slime sauce that the Smurfs are able to get their food back.
- The final confrontation in one TaleSpin episode has Baloo ready to pummel his air race opponents (while dressed in drag—the only sponsor who'd spring for him was the Daughters of Aviation, as he was so unmanly he had a female boss). Rebecca (said boss) tells her pilot to stop, and they'd settle things 'like ladies'—and get the villains disqualified.