Mother Nature, Father Science
Sally Impossible: What could be more important than your family, Richard?In a great deal of media, science and technology are portrayed as inherently masculine. Men, according to this trope, approach life as a puzzle to be solved by logic and reason. Women, on the other hand, tend to be in tune with their emotions and approach problem-solving by relying on their feelings and intuition. If a show has men and women both from an academic background, the man will typically have a degree in science, math, or engineering, while the woman will have one in arts or literature. (This may be why so many mad scientists are male.) Even if both characters are scientists, expect the man to research physics or mathematics and the woman to research psychology or biology. (This particular aspect is currently Truth in Television — men usually outnumber women in university courses in mathematics, engineering, chemistry and physics, while women outnumber men in the humanities and in social and biological sciences.) Even when a character works in a field not usually associated with their gender, gender may still affect the approach they take — for instance, a female engineer may be portrayed as understanding machinery in an intuitive way, while a male gardener might see himself more as a botanist than as a caretaker who loves beautiful flowers. Even people in the exact same careers will often change their approach; female doctors in fiction are likely to view themselves as compassionate healers, while men in the same profession will often see themselves as problem-solving scientists (hence why Dr. Jerk is virtually Always Male). This may lead to Harmony Versus Discipline conflicts. Note that which approach is portrayed as better varies widely; see Romanticism Versus Enlightenment. In many works that come down on the side of Enlightenment, you'll see women portrayed as hysterically irrational and easily manipulated, while their male counterparts' hard-nosed, pragmatic rationalism proves to be the key to saving the day. More Romanticist works, on the other hand, often portray men as cold, arrogant, heartless, and unable to appreciate beauty or emotional realities, while the women are more balanced, compassionate, and in tune with nature. In some works, it will be suggested that both approaches are necessary and have to balance each other. (Note that this doesn't entirely get rid of the Unfortunate Implications if it's still implied that your gender determines which approach you have to take.) Nowadays, due to widespread awareness of this trope and its Unfortunate Implications, it's increasingly common to see inversions, with a sensitive, emotional man and a cold, logical woman. Again, which one is portrayed as right will still vary, although works like this are perhaps slightly more likely to go with the "both sides are necessary for balance" approach. This is Older Than Feudalism: ancient Greek thinkers believed that men were blessed with rationality and self-control, allowing them to handle tasks like philosophy and politics, while women lacked rationality and were controlled by their emotions and physical passions much like animals were. Unlike modern writers, though, the Greeks had no doubt which one was better. Compare Clarke's Law for Girls' Toys, Men Buy from Mars, Women Buy from Venus and Mars-and-Venus Gender Contrast. See also The Chick, The Smurfette Principle, Straw Vulcan and Strawman Emotional. Contrast Wrench Wench and Motherly Scientist (usually female, but not always).
Richard Impossible: ...Ssssscience?
Richard Impossible: ...Ssssscience?
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Anime & Manga
- In Mobile Suit Gundam, protagonist Amuro Ray's father was an emotionally-distant Engineer who took his son into space. By contrast his mother is literally Closer to Earth, having chosen to stay there and work in a refugee camp, and she's shown to be pretty irrational, even questioning why his son fired his gun to kill an enemy soldier when in danger of being shot.
- Tweeny Witches has the all-female witches living in a lush, Miyazaki-flavored valley-town fueled by magic while the in-name-only warlocks and their banished witch wives live under the desert in an underground fortress (basically the one in Neon Genesis Evangelion), surrounded by technology and artificial food. There are a few actual warlocks who can use magic, but they're very old and live outside the fortress.
- Ponyo's mother is a goddess of mercy, and her father a scientist. (Well, sort of a wizard, but a very mad-science-flavored wizard.) However, there's a bit of a subversion in that her father is motivated more by love for his family than anything else and cares deeply about nature, to the point of hating humans for unbalancing the ocean's ecosystem.
- Sailor Moon S: The Movie is a inversion; a female scientist and her emotional boyfriend who believes in myths.
- In Naruto the only characters who can use Mokuton are male: Senju Harashima, Captain Yamato and Shimura Danzo. Later on, Uchiha Madara. However, the associated character traits are not present.
- Princess Mononoke: Lady Eboshi is both of these in one; she provides food and shelter for the poor and sick, former prostitutes, and all other kinds of outcasts who don't have any other place to go, by running an industrial scale iron mine and expanding into advanced firearms development and production.
- In the Batman universes, Poison Ivy and Catwoman fit the trope. Poison Ivy can control the growth of plants with her mind and is often depicted as being mothering to plants and so in harmony with the natural world to the point that she hates anything man-made. Catwoman is not so obvious, but she has an unexplained and very odd affinity with cats. In some continuities, even tigers will discard habitual ferociousness if she gives them the right look. In contrast, the logical/sciencey villains like Mr. Freeze or the Riddler tend to be male, although the Penguin does have an affinity with birds.
- Even Penguin shows this when compared to Catwoman. Both have an affinity with an animal (Birds and Cats respectively), Penguin shows a higher preference for high tech gadgets (like his trick umbrellas) than Catwoman who relies on a plain whip, claws and acrobatics.
- Then there's Harley, the mad psychiatrist. She may have started off as a psychiatrist, but she is driven by her insanely emotional devotion to The Joker.
- In the Superman comic book story "Father Nature's Folly" a male alien arrives on Earth, and claims that he and his mate were the creators of life in many worlds. He claimed to be unhappy with the result of his mate's work on Earth, and would have mutated all life into bizarre forms had Superman not stopped him.
- In From Hell, Sir William Gull gives a rather deranged, yet convincing Nietzschean speech about the Ancient Greek beliefs mentioned above, rationalising his actions as ensuring we would have a logical, Apollonian and masculine future of science and order instead of being dragged backwards into an emotional, Dionysian future of insanity and emotional female rule. It was well-argued enough that author Alan Moore talked himself into becoming a magician whilst writing it.
- Zigzag in Xenozoic Tales, featuring the very science-minded Hannah Dundee and the Earth father Jack Tenrec. Both of them have leanings for the opposite side. Jack, despite his undying devotion to the natural order, loves working on cars and other machines. Hannah, more subtly, believes in the mystic underpinnings of the world, but she considers they will be scientifically explicable, once they are better understood. There's also the indication that she's been chosen by the Grith.
- Zol-El and Alura, the parents of Supergirl. Zor-El is an artist and very kind and opened-up. Alura is a scientist and usually an example of Good Is Not Nice. A flashback revealed that she used to be an Emotionless Girl before her relationship with Zor.
- ElfQuest is a genderflip. It has two major pairs of "sweet, mystical, peaceful boy" and "strong warrior woman" (Suntop and Ember, Redlance and Nightfall), and both are experienced as playing against type. An Animated Adaptation was proposed, but canceled when Executive Meddling demanded that the personalities be switched.
- In Act I of Sun & Moon, the two female Ancient Masters command the orders most in tune with nature. Terraria seeks a return to unity with the natural order, and Aqua wants to control the world with natural magic. The two males, by comparison, are far more rationalistic in their goals. Atlas is a mathematician, and Seraph is an industrialist who seeks to rule nature.
Films — Animated
- Inverted in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs: Flint Lockwood's mother was supportive of his scientific endeavors, while his father is mostly confused by anything more complicated than a fishing line.
Films — Live-Action
- In Spider-Man 2, Doctor Octavius (later Octopus) and his wife Rosalie are both college professors, but whereas Otto specializes in nuclear physics, Rosalie teaches literature.
- In The Incredible Hulk both Bruce Banner and Betty Ross were scientist working on the serum that lead to Bruce's transformation. Bruce is Marvel's resident Gamma radiation and physics expert whereas Betty is a professor of biology.
- This is pretty exactly much how the Architect describes himself and the Oracle in The Matrix Reloaded. The Architect was a cold, logical perfectionist, while the Oracle was more focused on understanding human emotion and psychology.
- The main theme of Lars von Trier's Antichrist.
- Discworld is very complex and goes back and forth about this. Equal Rites brought these ideas to the fore.
- Wizards are urban and associate with the Unseen University, thus are some variety of academia parody. They are often silly old duffers or giant nerds, but this does give the luster of hard science to their magic, and were more powerful once in Disc politics. The leading wizard, Ridcully, is pretty pompous but macho too (and ironically was thought to be Closer to Earth, but was actually an Egomaniac Hunter). In earlier stories they tended to assassinate each other a lot. They're also celibate because of the possibility of Sourcerors.
- Witch stories focus around the trio of Nanny Ogg, Magrat, and Granny Weatherwax. Granny is a cynical, hardbitten, practical one who thinks wizards waste time with their 'jommetry' and 'supreme arch-whatever' just to look important. Nanny Ogg uses Obfuscating Stupidity and is a touch louche. Magrat is romantic and a little New Age and drippy. Overall, they're rural, more folk-magic, but closer to everyday concerns and problems than the wizards.
- A few Witch characters have been seen to use wizard magic, which is a variety of Rule Magic and so there is really no reason why not. No wizard has been seen to use Borrowing or any other of the Witch specialties, but on the other hand there has never really been any suggestion that they couldn't if they wanted to. Granny once fought a magical duel with the then-current Archchancelor, and they fought to a standstill.
- Both forms of magic have in common that they are supposed not to be used, to the point that not doing magic is the wizards' main job. The main reason is the same, but explained slightly differently: witches believe in the power of hard work and that taking shortcuts by using magic always comes back to bite you; wizards know for a fact that any magic used will eventually present its toll, which is always more than you can pay.
- Frankenstein constantly refers to nature as female, and the title character says he wants to "penetrate the secrets of nature". Subtle, Mary Shelley.
- Diane Duane's Young Wizards series follows this. Nita's magic relates to nature and living things. Her male partner Kit tends to do better with technology and inanimate objects like rocks. However, later on Nita's sister subverts the whole thing by being a computer wiz with a magical affinity for technology and silicon-based lifeforms, and both Nita and Kit eventually grow out of their original specialties into others, which is apparently common for wizards. It's left open whether their initial foci came from awareness of the trope, but newcomers to magic in the books do tend to get it in a form which behaves as much the way they expect it to as is practical (without breaking Magic A Is Magic A).
- In the Doctor Who New Adventures novels, the mythology of Gallifrey features a group of male scientists (led by Rassilon) and a group of female witch-priestesses (led by the Pythia) struggling for control. Rassilon won, and went on to found the Time Lord society. Different novels offer different opinions on whether this was good or bad.
- In the novel Enduring Love, Clarissia is "mother nature" to Joe's "father science".
- Inverted in E. T. A. Hoffmann's 1816 story "The Sandman", with superstitious, (over)sensitive proto-Emo Teen Nathanael and his hardheaded rationalist girlfriend Clara.
- A Downplayed Trope in the The Belgariad prequels, Polgara notes that her mother encouraged her to learn by accepting, whereas her father taught her to question everything. The downplay is because, since her mother is literally a wolf, it's possible that species has at least as much to do with it as gender does.
- In Courtship Rite, this is mostly averted; some of the top scientists in the Kaiel clan, for example, are women. Some clans believe this trope is true, though, like the o'Tghalie clan, professional mathematicians who forbid their daughters to study. Teenae, who is an o'Tghalie by birth and a Kaiel by marriage, is proof that the o'Tghalie are wrong about women; she is a mathematical whiz.
- Jack and Annie from Magic Tree House, although given their ages, Jack simply has been in school longer than his sister.
- Everything Dan Brown has ever written is a inversion of this trope. His hero is always an expert in some area of humanities, while his heroine is an expert in some mathematical field.
- The Lord of the Rings: Despite the fact that they are a plant specices, they are a play on this trope. The Ents and Entwives in Treebeard explain that the Ents delighted in nature and the wilds, and would roam for long periods communing with plants and animals. Whereas:
- [The Entwives] did not desire to speak with these things; but they wished them to hear and obey what was said to them. The Entwives ordered them to grow according to their wishes, and bear leaf and fruit to their liking; for the Entwives desired order, and plenty, and peace (by which they meant that things should remain where they had set them). So the Entwives made gardens to live in.
- The Entwives then first taught humans agriculture, and how to farm the land. Their male counterparts remained wild, favouring a more intuitive connection with growing things.
- Genderflip in The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy. The most prominent female character, Trillian, is a competent astrophysicist.
- Isaac Asimov's I, Robot: Averted by the coldly logical (and somewhat misanthropic) robopsychologist Susan Calvin. Calvin is misanthropic in the sense of the word that means she doesn't much care for anybody, regardless of sex. The most emotional she ever gets is in the story "Liar!," where she becomes absolutely vitriolic towards a robot that basically tricked her into revealing that she had feelings for another person.
- Doctor Who:
- Various male/female companion duos follow. Ian taught Science, while Barbara taught History. Ben is a Navy man with engineering training, and Polly is a secretary and teasmaid. Harry Sullivan is a doctor and Sarah Jane is a writer. Jamie and Zoe are the main inversion - Jamie's slightly stupid and technologically underdeveloped while Zoe is a TV Genius with a tendency towards Measuring the Marigolds. Vicki and Steven and Leela and K-9 play with the dynamic as well - the women are more nature-focused and the men are technology-focused, but both women have scientific mindsets.
- Most of the Doctor's female companions, by necessity of Cast Speciation. The stereotype goes - the Doctor, male, old, science, good but a bit morally alien, The Fettered, brave in the face of danger; the Companion, female, young, less knowledgeable/humanities, good but not able to moralise as objectively as the Doctor, the Doctor's Morality Chain, scared of the spooky monsters. Sliced even more roughly - the Doctor, a male Science Hero, and the Companion, a female The Heart. It should of course be noted that these are enormous generalisations and definitely do not always apply. Romana is the most obvious inversion - she is better at physics than the Doctor, makes her own (superior) sonic screwdriver that the Doctor tries to steal, and got much better marks in her Time Lord exams than the Doctor did. The Doctor leans more heavily on the arty, philosophical end of his intelligence in the seasons he shares with her than on his harder subjects, screwing up his maths and blowing up his engineering projects but claiming to have helped written Hamlet and being able to identify genuine da Vinci paintings from the brushstrokes.
- In "The Daemons", the Doctor is contrasted to Miss Hawthorne, a witch. The text seems to suggest that they're Not So Different, however.
- In "The Green Death" we get an interesting play on it. We get Mother Nature (the hippie commune) and Father Science (Global Chemicals) BUT the commune is made up of research scientists trying, among other things, to breed high protein fungus to act as a meat replacement. And the chemical factory is spawning maggots and in the thrall of an intentionally irrational computer who refers to its employees by cutesy nicknames and gets so distracted by picking out a soundtrack for its eventual victory that it spends most of the climactic battle singing.
- In "The Brain of Morbius", we have a Mad Scientist and The Igor who are both male, and a fascistic Time Lord scientist who is also male. We also have an all-female 'sisterhood' cult who, despite possessing what is actually Time Lord technology, treat it as a force of nature and worship it.
- The Rani is meant to be a genius, and is usually shown doing evil science of some kind, but still falls partially within this trope in that her field seems to be biogenetics, as opposed to the engineering favoured by both the Doctor and the Master.
- In Dona Barbara, the title character (a wealthy landlady) represents the brutish nature while Santos Luzardo (a lawyer from the big city) is the civilization.
- iCarly: Expect Carly and Sam to solve problems in the natural (or the brawn) way and Freddie to resort to geeky gadgets and tech stuff.
- Played straight with iGo Nuclear. Carly's projects involve a crude compost pit and an organic pesticide, while Sam used her fingers to rip an orange apart. Contrast Freddie's high-tech modern composter, Spencer's electric-powered scooter, and Cal's illegal nuclear power generator.
- 3rd Rock from the Sun: Dick is a physicist and his love interest and co-worker Mary is an anthropologist. On the other hand, Dick is a Cloudcuckoolander alien while Mary is a cynical Grumpy Bear. Ironically, Dick's mission as an alien observer of humanity makes him an anthropologist as well, just on a much larger scale.
- In the new Battlestar Galactica it seems that Head Six and Head Baltar represent spirituality and logic respectively — while both agree they represent a higher power, Head Six calls it God and believes it demands religious worship, while Head Baltar seems to have a more abstract view of this power/entity. And reminds her "He doesn't like that name."
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
- The fourth season follows this theme, with the Slayers' magic vs. the Initiative's research in dealing with demonic forces, but with the leader of the initiative being the female Professor Walsh, and the expert of the Scoobies being the male Giles.
- The first season episode "I Robot, You Jane" has a sort of inversion. Giles is Tome of Eldritch Lore and Eye of Newt, Jenny is computers and Post-Modern Magik.
- House is Father Science in contrast to pretty much everybody else as Mother Nature, but most especially Cameron, Masters, and Adams (and Cuddy, when she's actually involved in medical matters instead of being purely a bureaucrat). In a slight aversion, Wilson (male) is probably closer to the Mother Nature role than Thirteen (female, but bisexual, so there's that).
- The primary female scientists in The Big Bang Theory work in the fields of neurobiology and microbiology while the males take to experimental physics, theoretical physics, astrophysics, and aeronautical engineering.
- The O'Briens from Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Miles is an engineer and Keiko is a botanist.
- Star Trek: The Original Series: Averted with male science officer Spock and male Doctor McCoy representing both sides.
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
- Bashir and Jadzia initially appear to be an inversion. Bashir is the medical officer and Jadzia is the science officer. However, Jadzia's scientific degrees are all in exo-biology, zoology and exo-archaeology. The only thing that gives her an apparent inversion over Bashir is that she also has a degree in astrophysics. This is later negated by the revelation that Bashir is a genetically engineered genius who can grasp science and maths as the plot demands, making him innately better at grasping, theorising, forecasting and calculating astrophysics and engineering principles than Jadzia and O'Brien combined.
- Later played more obviously straight with Bashir and Ezri. They're both in medicine whereas he's set up to be 'hard-core' medical and she's the 'softer' psychologist.
- Inverted in Star Trek: Voyager. Captain Janeway is a Techno Babble-spouting former Science Officer, while her Number One is Magical Native American Chakotay. Lampshaded when they're stranded on a planet in "Resolutions"; Janeway sets up her scientific equipment, determined to find a cure, while Chakotay sets about building a log cabin. Likewise the final season Chakotay hooks up with Cyborg Ice Queen Seven of Nine.
- In Stargate SG-1, we have a genderflip. Daniel Jackson is a linguist, archaeologist and anthropologist whereas Samantha Carter is a genius astrophysicist. She's also amazing at math and engineering in general.
- Played straight in Stargate Atlantis. Weir is a diplomat, MacKay is a Physicist.
- The X-Files:
- Agent Fox Mulder and Agent Dana Scully are classic inversions. Mulder is a psychologist, a believer in the paranormal, and relies heavily on intuition in his investigations. Scully is a forensic pathologist with an undergrad degree in physics, a total skeptic about paranormal phenomena, and works from logic and hard evidence. Furthermore, Mulder is usually the one who's unafraid to show his feelings, while Scully is The Stoic. Mulder gets to be right more often, at least about the existence of the paranormal, but the show suggests very strongly that he'd be a failure without Scully there to keep him grounded. This was all done very deliberately by the writers.
- In seasons 8 and 9, this was played straight to avoid Suspiciously Similar Substitute syndrome. Scully took over Mulder's role as the believer. Her new partner John Doggett wasn't a scientist, but he became the Arbitrary Skeptic and a Manly Man in comparison to Mulder's Sensitive Guy. Doggett was eventually partnered with Monica Reyes, who was if anything even more open-minded about the paranormal and reliant on intuition than Mulder.
- Farscape: In the initial cast there's Crichton, a scientist (if one given to explosiveness under pressure), and Zhaan, a priestess. However, this might also count as an inversion, because Crichton is very emotional, and Zhaan at least tries to be calm and logical.
- Gender Flip: D'Argo, the Proud Warrior Race Guy of deep feeling, and Aeryn, stone-cold Bad Ass soldier. Over time, both become less and less like this, Aeryn's emotional growth (while not losing her self-control) a key part of the story, while D'Argo becomes more and more self-aware and almost meta in his thinking: "John, I'm going to tell you something I've never put into words. I really like shooting stuff. And I'm very good at it."
- Eureka has Alison as the logical scientist and Carter as the emotional one with a stronger grasp of the human element.
- In Agents Of Shield the teams scientific team are Fitz, a man who specializes in physics and electronics and Simmons, a woman, who specializes in biology and chemistry. However the teams hacker and computer scientist Skye, is also a woman who later Takes A Level In Badass. You also have Coulson as the empathetic team leader and May his One Woman Army lancer.
- The Flash (2014) has Barry the forensic scientist, Wells and Stein the physicists, Cisco the Gadgeteer Genius, Ronnie the engineer, and Caitlin the biologist. You also have Barry contrasted with his love interest Iris who's a journalist.
Mythology and Religion
- Inuit mythology has two "nature" deities: Sedna, ruler of the creatures of the seas, and Torngarsoak, master of animals of the land.
- Averted in Norse Mythology, in which gender was used to represent different facets of both nature and logic/wisdom, rather than to distinguish them. Nature was represented by a plethora of gods, giants and spirits, most prominently by the siblings Frey and Freya, who represent male and female fertility, respectively, while both Odin and his wife Frigg were associated with the wisdom deemed appropriate for each gender, specifically in the roles as patriarch and matriarch. (Still gender-normative, yes, but Fair for Its Day.)
- Inverted by the Dagda or the Green Man, a Celtic nature god. He appears today in a lot of leafy-carved garden ornaments.
- Often inverted in Classical Mythology, as deities of nature and science can come from both genders. For example, the two great rivals, the sea god Poseidon and the wisdom goddess Athena.
- The view of nature as feminine is questioned by some modern Neopagan groups, where a Mother Nature figure, if present, is often complemented by male nature deities such as the Horned God, or the cycle of Oak King and Holly King. Nature as a whole is not completely the domain of either gender.
- Paleolithic sites of Europe and the Middle East are filled with figures and drawings of either obese or pregnant women that are generally assumed to be fertility goddesses. From the Neolithic on, these goddesses are joined by increasing depictions of bulls or horned male figures that are rendered as personifications of agriculture.
- Played straight in Eberron. In the Sovereign Host, Aureon the god of Lore and Onatar the god of Craftsmen are both males. Arawai is the goddess of Life, and is female.
- The Brothers' War arc of Magic: The Gathering gives us the eventual contrast of warring brothers Urza and Mishra, two male masters of artifice, and Gaea and Titania of Argoth, two female masters of nature. A third option is eventually presented in the mana of the land (which can be technically "nature", but is unknown to both parties), which Urza takes as he activates the Weapon of Mass Destruction to end the war. This choice activates his spark, turning him into a planeswalker.
- In contrast to the trope title, 'Father Nature' figures do occasionally crop up. Dungeons & Dragons third edition featured two nature deities; the all encompassing Obad-Hai, a male 'Father Nature' figure, and Ehlonna, a female deity specifically of the woodlands. Obad-Hai remained staunchly neutral, encompassing all of nature's aspects, while Ehlonna was good-aligned, and usually portrayed as subordinate to Obad-Hai. In the Forgotten Realms setting, the deities are similar. Nature as a whole is covered by Silvanus; so much a 'Father Nature' that his title is the Oakfather. Mielikki plays the same role as Ehlonna; she serves him, and while accepting that there's a natural cycle, out of tender-heartedness tends to intervene benevolently. There is a 'Mother Nature' figure, Chauntea, but she is described as specifically the deity of how humans interact with nature. Nature itself comes under Silvanus. It's still played straight with the science half of things. Of the Greyhawk deities, Boccob is the coldly intellectual deity of magic and learning, and male, while Wee Jas is the female goddess of magic and death-but called a Witch Goddess of mysticism rather than enlightenment. Of the Forgotten Realms? All four of the deities of knowledge, invention, and learning are male (Oghma, Deneir, Gond, and Milil), Azuth, the god of wizards and academic magical learning is male. The only female deities who come remotely close are Mystra, goddess of magic, and Selune, goddess of the moon, and both have an extremely mystical bent rather than academic. The story is similar for all the non-human pantheons. Averted, however, by the 4th edition pantheon, in which Nature and Magical Study are the domains of goddesses Melora and Ioun, respectively.
- The Magic: The Gathering card Stronghold Biologist is male, while his counterpart Stronghold Machinist is female.
- In Sid Meierís Alpha Centauri, the hippie environmentalist faction is led by Deirdre Skye, a woman, and the scientific technological faction is led by Prokhor Zakharov, a man. Alien Crossfire then inverts this by introducing Aki Zeta-5, an Emotionless Girl leader of an entire faction of Spocks, and Cha'Dawn, a young man who is supposedly a Messianic Archetype, head of the Cult Of Planet. The expansion also played it straight with the two alien factions: the Caretakers, led by a female sworn to preserve the planet, and the Usurpers, led by a male and hellbent on exploiting its power for their own gain. As an inversion, the expert hackers (Data Angels) and the ultra-militaristic faction (Spartans) are led by women, while the humanitarian Peacekeepers are led by a man.
- In the Myst series, Atrus is an avid scientist and total rationalist, while his wife, Catherine, is more emotional and spiritual, and their Writing reflects their differing views. Their children, Sirrus, Achenar, and Yeesha also seem to follow this trope.
- Final Fantasy VII has Dr. Hojo, who tends to initially dismiss supernatural theories about The Promised Land, and tends to see everything and everyone in terms of facts or varibles. He is contrasted by Dr. Lucrecia Cresent who dedicated her career to ancient, magical occurrences within the planet. Significant in that Sephiroth is their child; the combination of polemical forces to essentially create the game's version of the anti-Christ. Though the addition of a Third Wheel known as Jenova, an Eldritch Abomination that eats a Planet's Lifestream also probably had something to do with it.
- In Ōkami the Goddess Amaterasu is the Sun God and is in charge of restoring nature while her archnemesis is Yami, God of Darkness and creator of Technology.
- Cooking Mama versus Science Papa.
- The siblings Animebona and Animenkhna, the spirits of Albion and Earth, also represent Magic and respectively science. They don't get along very well.
- Sword of the Stars: In Zuul mythology the species that genetically engineered them is "father" and the universe is "mother". Note that Zuul females are non-sapient and often are eaten by their own larvae, they use this myth as an excuse for strip-mining their colonies and pillaging other races in their search for their missing gods.
- Averted in Portal, where the science-loving GLaDOS is clearly female.
- Inverted in the Mass Effect series, the female Tali is an engineering genius and Wrench Wench, while the male Dr. Mordin Solus specializes in biology.
- Xenoblade Chronicles takes place on two giants, each controlled by a god: the natural Bionis and the mechanical Mechonis. The gender roles are reversed though, as Lady Meyneth is Mechonis while Lord Zanza is Bionis. They do keep their gender's personality traits, as Meyneth cares for the people on both giants, while Zanza only cares about himself.
- In Gunnerkrigg Court, Surma Carver could speak with the Guides, and she served as the mediator between the Court and the magical Gillitie Wood. Her husband, Anthony, was a surgeon and, according to Jones:
Antimony: I had no idea [Surma] worked here. She never mentioned it.
Jones: Oh? That was your father's influence, I suspect. Yes, he never had patience for matters that didn't fall into a scientific category.
- Anthony's views on magic aside, Gunnerkrigg subverts the whole thing pretty soundly by treating magic as another form of science. It's explicitly referred to as the "etheric sciences". Kat's dad was able to cast that one shield spell because he's a sub-user on his wife's etheric computer.
- Kat, and her mother, both fall on the side of science.
- Calamities of Nature makes fun of this stereotype about men and women in this comic about the many worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics.
- Averted in Freefall: The closest we get to a Nature Hero is the "male" Stupid Good Ridiculously Human Robot; OTOH, Team Science has the female red wolf engineer. Who shows signs of SRMD.
- Subtly inverted in Homestuck, where John is an amateur magician while Jade is a big science geek, though you'd be forgiven for not noticing the trope before they have an argument about whether magic or science is better in Act 6.
- This trope is pretty much epitomized by Dexter and his sister Dee Dee.
- In Gargoyles, Fox's parents are a male scientist/robotics engineer and Titania. Yes, that Titania. Queen of Faerie Titania. And yet it works perfectly, in part because Titania appreciates science as a kind of "magic".
- In one episode of The Simpsons, Bart and Lisa's school was split into Boys' and Girls' sections. The Boys learned everything pretty much the same way, but the Girls reverted to some absolutely bizarre New Age teaching methods. While the boys' teaching methods worked better, outside of class their side of the school looked like a scene from Lord of the Flies.
- Teacher: How do numbers make you feel...
- The Secret Saturdays lives this trope. Doc Saturday is a scientist through and through, while his wife Drew is more a believer in the paranormal. Faced with any problem Doc will always seek a logical solution while Drew will explore more mystical alternatives. They're still Happily Married though so that's cool.
- The parents of Kim Possible are both highly qualified scientists — but her father is a rocket scientist and her mother a brain surgeon.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic This trope is defied in all regards by the character Twilight Sparkle who plays the role of father science to a whole bunch of characters (both male and female) representing mother nature. This includes, but isn't limited to, the rest of her friends (which includes a farmer, an athelte, a fashionista, a party girl and a nature orientated animal caretaker), her plucky baby dragon male assistant, her brother that joined the royal guard and married a princess of love, and a Large Ham princess of the Night. What could be regarded as the exception is her relationship with her equally brilliant mentor, Princess Celestia, but even then Twilight's temperament is far closer to the logical analyst compared to Celestia's more whimsical nature. Twilight is a living embodiment that even a female character on a little girl's show could be a highly logical rationalist.
- In Captain Planet, the Planeteers are led by Gaia, the spirit of the Earth. The main villains are almost all male, except for one —Dr. Babs Blight, a rare female Mad Scientist. The male villains tend to be in business, though Duke Nukem used to be a scientist as well.
- In Myers-Briggs, the "Thinking" function is seen as masculine and the "Feeling" function is seen as feminine. It may or may not be a coincidence that there are more male Thinkers and female Feelers in Real Life.
- In the Seduction Community it is widely believed that that men think logically whereas women think using irrational, emotional "chick logic".
- Interestingly, in both Greek and Latin 'scientia' (knowledge), and 'sophia' (wisdom), are female. Additionally, philosophy is one of the few humanities that remains male-dominated, especially in terms of faculty. Although philosophy heavily involves logic, it's generally classified as one of the humanities.
- Ecofeminism and "difference feminism" generally play this trope straight, arguing that Western society has traditionally privileged "masculine" sources of knowledge and ways of approaching nature over "feminine" values like intuition, nurturing and respect for the natural world. Note that neither of these are really widely accepted by mainstream feminists these days, although they're still significant side factions.