When you come to Kazakhstan, you are all invited to stay at my house, eat my food and use my sister.
A No Woman's Land is a misogynist hell. Every husband is a lazy cheating bastard
who beats his wife to a bloody pulp
and sells his daughters to the highest bidder
; blink the wrong way and you get burned as a witch
; take a step out the door and you'll get raped on the spot
; and every other girl is a prostitute and/or Sex Slave
. It's a Crapsack World
if you're a woman.
This is commonly used as to depict either a specific nation or region or just "the other place with people who are different than us and are therefore of lesser quality", the Straw Misogynist
trope applied on a wider scope. While the Arabic world is one of the most frequent receivers of this stereotype, India, Mayincatec
societies, Southeast Asia, and the whole African continent don't get off well either. Asian movies have been known to depict Western nations this way, as well.
Related to Damsel in Distress
. Compare Medieval Morons
, which sees people of another time as essentially cruel and stupid. The Women Are Safe with Us
is another form of contrasting the treatment of women to depict one group as more moral. Contrast Lady Land
open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
- Shitsurakuen. A metaphor for the callous ambivalence towards students being bullied pushed to Anvilicious levels. Girls in Utopia Gakuen are nothing but objects to be hoarded, fought over, abused, and discarded at leisure by the boys, who are universally depicted as doing so.
- Lots and lots of Hentai. Let's just keep it at that.
- The world of Berserk has made it quite clear that it wasn't easy to be a woman in The Middle Ages. Adding the fact that there are actual demons and monsters that want to do far worse than just eat you, it makes one wonder if the imagery of damsels being sacrificed to dragons really did the era any justice.
- Women are forbidden from entering the Mount Kurama stronghold, home of the Tengu, in Kamisama Kiss. Naturally, Nanami doesn't let that stop her.
- This is the case with Silverland, in Princess Knight. Women aren't allowed to vote or own property and generally are considered inferior to the men. In fact, one of the driving conflicts in the series is that the King and Queen's child, Sapphire, was born a girl and thus is ineligible for the throne. It's subverted at the end, when Plastic mans up, gets all women in the kingdom equal rights, and gives Sapphire the crown. Considering that the comic was written in The Fifties, this resolution was very much Fair for Its Day.
- Implied to be the case in the towns the women of Iron Town came from, in Princess Mononoke. When Ashitaka comments on how hard they must work to run the furnace, they tell him that it's far better than the brothels they used to work at, mentioning that they're given plenty of food and protection from men harassing them. The men of Iron Town don't seem overly thrilled by how much freedom the women have, but everyone respects Lady Eboshi and she insists on the women being treated well.
- The Fantastic Four ally Thundra (of Lady Land Femizonia) often finds herself pitted against Mahkizo of Machus, a world that is violently misogynistic. The two timelines are eventually merged; it's debatable if anyone's really any better off since the resulting world is still violent and deadly. There was one point where they learned to love each other, but that seems to have been forgotten.
- Bitch Planet is set in a world where Non-Compliant women get sent to a Penal Colony. Non-Compliant can mean murder, or causing your husband to have an affair, or not keeping yourself looking suitably attractive for men.
- Fan Dumb has apparently decided that the wizarding world in Harry Potter is evilly misogynistic, with women being unable to divorce, choose their own spouses, or opt to not have children. This tends to be used for shipping purposes, either to provide a reason for Hermione to not be able to leave the "abusive" Ron Weasley, or to have an excuse for the various characters to be paired up with each other. In The Last War, the author goes on a particularly Anvilicious rant about how the wizarding world "denied the sacred healing acts of witchcraft in favor of the violent virility of wizardry, the way it covered women in hideous robes to conceal their natural beauty."
- Wartmonger society in Empath: The Luckiest Smurf is portrayed as misogynistic, with males and females segregated from each other except for matters of procreation and sexual amusement. Empath meets a few of the female Wartmongers who don't particularly like the situation that they live in, especially with King Bullrush's guards threatening to molest a young female Wartmonger if the others refuse to surrender Empath unto them.
- The My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fan-universe Fall of Equestria is this to a ridiculously absurd degree: born from a now defunct Tumblr blog, it is overrun by misogynistic caribou to the point of having its opponents lead a counter group dedicated to deconstructing the overall setting; suffice to say, the very premise itself is Not Safe for Work so be warned.
- Kazakhstan is portrayed this way in Borat: as a place where women are regularly raped and the only viable career choice is selling their bodies. Actual Kazakhstani people were not amused by their country's portrayal.
- From the second Bridget Jones movie: she is in a women's prison in Thailand and all the other inmates talk casually about how their boyfriends abuse them. The implication seems to be that every Thai man abuses his girlfriend, while the Thai women are not only too weak to leave, they're even too stupid to realize that they're wronged. Slightly mitigated in that, being prison, this isn't an average cross section of society, and it's more An Aesop to show how minor Bridget's problems are in comparison.
- See also Bangkok Hilton, which is a female-centered version of Midnight Express.
- Kiss of the Dragon, a Jet Li vehicle set in Paris, plays this trope straight by having Bridget Fonda as a woman from some rural region in the US who was lured to France and ended up forced to work as a prostitute for the Big Bad. This may be more a part of the illegal immigration scare than France itself.
- A particularly notorious use of the trope is the Hong Kong "Women in Prison" sexploitation flick Bamboo House of Dolls, in which the Japanese capture a bunch of American nurses in China during World War II and subject them and their Chinese cellmates to various forms of torture and sexual abuse. While several tens of thousand of women (including a few thousand ethnic-Europeans) really were made sex slaves for the IJA's use, besides the hundreds of thousands who were sexually assaulted in other capacities, the film is a far cry from a documentary.
- 300 has the unfortunate Persian messenger astounded to see that the Spartans allow women (or at least, the queen) to speak at a council. This is generally assumed to be part of the film's attempt to portray the Greco-Persian war as an allegory for The War on Terror. In reality, while on the one hand Spartan women did enjoy more rights than in any other Greek city-state (Dido's line, "Only Spartan women give birth to real men," was directed at the Athenians in "historical" record), Persian women on the other hand enjoyed more rights than Spartan women at the time, and Spartan women were only given self-defense lessons because they believed that women who could fight gave birth to strong babies. On the other hand, the historical Queen Gorgo WAS an advisor for her husband, as well as the ruler before him.
- The Afghani film Osama exposes much of the misogyny that was hidden from Western eyes during the reign of the Taliban. A member of the morality police whacks a woman on her husband's bike because her ankles are visible. Later we see that the protagonist's family is on the verge of starvation because all the men are dead and thus none of the women can leave the house because they don't have a male escort. They are starving to death with a market right down the street.
- Even though it wasn't the main theme of the film, CSA: The Confederate States of America briefly touches on the fact that women in the Confederate States of America never got the vote and, thanks to John Ambrose Fauntroy V's "Family Values" program, are allowed to be beaten by their husbands.
- A Dr. Phil arc featured a girl (about 19) who moved to the Middle East to marry a boy she'd met on the Internet. The point was heavily delivered that if she married him while over there, she would lose all her rights as a person. So her parents smuggled her back and revoked her passport and had her date an American boy. It was basically said by Phil that Arab men seek out American women to brainwash and hold hostage. You know where this goes. In another episode where the girl was featured, it turned out they were right.
- In the episode "Our Mrs. Reynolds", Saffron says that on her planet a woman is always subservient to the male until her father/brother uses her as payment for something, or sells her. This may or may not be true, but the crew of Serenity certainly buys her story.
- "Heart of Gold" features a planet (or at least those in charge) of Straw Misogynists, to the point that working in a brothel is seen as a better life for those who work there simply because the new owner is a woman who treats them with basic human decency.
- Implied in one episode of How I Met Your Mother.
Barney: At one point, I'm pretty sure I sold a woman. I didn't speak the language, but I shook a guy's hand, he gave me the keys to a Mercedes, and I left her there.
- Stargate SG-1:
- Played very anviliciously in the early episode "Emancipation" which featured Samantha Carter becoming a Blithe Spirit on a planet with this as their hat.
- Also occurs with the Jaffa. "Birthright" introduces Ishta and the Hak'tyl ("liberation"), a group of female Jaffa who have fled the domain of Moloch, a Goa'uld who has female infants put to death. Ishta also tells Teal'c that she is from a world where "women aren't held in such high regard", that she was one wife of many, and that she was mistreated. Later, after the downfall of the Goa'uld, Ka'lel (the representative of the Hak'tyl to the Jaffa high council) reveals that many regions oppose giving any rights to female Jaffa.
- The BBC miniseries Occupation toyed with this — one of the British ex-soldiers who returned to Afghanistan states that the problem with Afghan culture is that "they've got no respect for women". As he says this, he is framed by the camera sitting in his office, which has several objectifying pin-ups plastered all over the wall behind him. However it's also played uncomfortably straight when the most central female character is fridged by the boy who prompted this comment. Evidence would suggest that Afghan culture's lack of respect for women goes to a far more horrifying level than having racy posters on the walls.
- A particularly horrifying example in "The Screwfly Solution," an episode of Masters of Horror directed by Joe Dante and based on a story by James Tiptree, Jr., aka Alice Sheldon. Every man on the planet becomes violently misogynistic and kills every woman they can find, ending the future of the human race. This is later revealed to be an alien Hate Plague plot to depopulate the Earth and take over.
- The season 1 episode "She" featured female demons, who turned out to be refugees from another dimension, where the female of the species has her personality removed when she comes of age to make them easier to control. This is done by removing part of their spine, and renders the subject docile.
- In the season 3 episode "Billy", the touch of the episode's villain turns men (including a couple of the protagonists) into murderous misogynists. In this case, it wasn't so much horrifying as it was anvilicious.
- In Star Trek, the Ferengi exemplify this trope to an extreme. Ferengi women aren't allowed to handle money, think for themselves, or wear clothes. They also pre-chew their husbands' food. This begins to change when one Ferengi woman points out that the society is handicapping its ability to turn a profit by disenfranchising half its population. Given that the planet's hat is materialism, this is seen as a very valid point, and begins to bring about change.
- The JAG episode Head to Toe centers on this. A female soldier is defending herself on not wearing an abaya, and arguments are made for abiding by the culture and appeasing terrorists (Osama bin Laden is even quoted as Americans in the Middle East being cause for Jihads, meaning the abayas will protect women) and against the subjugation of women and treatment of foreigners. When Mac is subjected to this poor treatment she sides with the defendant.
- Here's The West Wing's C.J. Cregg, responding to an incident in the show based on the 2002 Makkah girls' school fire:
“Outraged? I’m barely surprised. This is a country where women aren’t allowed to drive a car. They’re not allowed to be in the company of any man other than a close relative. They’re required to adhere to a dress code that would make a Maryknoll nun look like Malibu Barbie. They beheaded 121 people last year for robbery, rape, and drug trafficking. No free press, no elected government, no political parties. And the royal family allows the religious police to travel in groups of six, carrying nightsticks, and they freely and publicly beat women. But ‘Brutus is an honorable man.’ Seventeen schoolgirls were forced to burn alive because they weren’t wearing the proper clothing. Am I outraged? No, Steve. No, Chris. No, Mark. That is Saudi Arabia, our partners in peace.” ...
- Elbonia of the Dilbert comics.
- Berkely Breathed's Outland had the Men's Couch for Opus, Bill the Cat, and Milquetoast the Cockroach — a very similar concept to the one used in Non Sequitur.
- One of the many, many flaws in FATAL is turning medieval Europe into one of these. Granted, the Dark Ages weren't known for their contributions to Women's Liberation, but... half of the world's males being rapists? And getting less punishment than a wife keeping a disorderly house? Really?
- The female Skaven seen in Warhammer have been relegated into mindless sex slaves and breeding machines. The person who created the brood mothers has pointed out that although they're the only females explicitly mentioned, that doesn't mean they're the only female Skaven that exist, but it doesn't make their situation any less horrifying.
- Bretonnia is a chivalric medieval version of this trope: Women are considered second-class citizens that are not allowed to own property, fight, or take any part in politics, but men are also expected to open doors for them, protect them, and be courteous to them. It should be noted this mostly applies to the noble class, as the peasants tend to be more egalitarian as a simple matter of pragmatism (Bretonnian peasants aren't allowed to own property, fight, or get involved in politics anyway). Naturally, citizens of The Empire (which has gender equality as a basic right) use this trope on them a lot. It's balanced out somewhat by Bretonnian spellcasters being exclusively female (they're the result of young girls being taken into the forests and brought back... different; young boys taken the same way are never seen again).
- In Spawn Of Fashan, the basic rules assume that your character is male. If you want to play a female, you have to divide your die rolls for strength by 2, and multiply your die rolls for charisma by 1.5. Since the rules are already obscure and hard-to-follow enough as it is, most players (if there were any) would choose to play a male just because it would simplify their lives. (But don't worry, the game isn't sexist, because the authors say in the introduction that they're not sexist so it must be true.)
- Warcraft The Roleplaying Game by White Wolf says female trolls are just breeding stock and property used to make more trolls. World of Warcraft heavily disagrees however, as there are many female trolls leaders like Arlokk, Mar'li, Lor'khan, Jeklik, and Primal Torntusk in various troll tribes, various troll males treating their mates with respect, and troll mooks coming in both genders. It also states this about quilboars, who are practically matriarchal in World of Warcraft. But then, the tabletop RPG came out several years before the MMORPG did, and two entirely separate teams of people worked on both versions, so it's not so surprising the lore went different directions.
- In Spelljammer, the Romani equivalents known as Aperusa are like this. Men get all the glory and are unequivocally in charge, whilst women do all of the actual work of keeping their ships and families running. There are also separate rules for men and women — for example, widowers are encouraged to remarry, but widows are expected to take lifelong vows of chastity. It's also noted that Aperusa men love to seduce gullible, ignorant women who fall for the "romanticism" of the Aperusa lifestyle, only to find out after the wedding that they've condemned themselves to a life of backbreaking labor looking after a vain, lecherous, quasi-space-gypsy.
- In Dungeons & Dragons and Pathfinder, this is what happens in any area where the highly misogynistic Demon Lord Kostchtchie is worshipped. Women are second-class, fit only for breeding strong sons and waiting on their menfolk.
- Caesar's Legion in Fallout: New Vegas. Women are pretty much just to cook, mend wounds, be sex toys, and make more little barbarian legionnaires. They are explicitly stated to be nothing but property; every woman in the Legion is a slave who is raped, beaten, and brutalized by soldiers daily. If you play a female character and side against the Legion, en masse Death by Irony will ensue upon the Legion. The real kicker here is that one of the female slaves in the Legion's stronghold will warn you that some of the Legion soldiers are planning on raping YOU if you play as a female character.
- As a side note, there was originally a plan to have female priestesses in the Legion's Imperial Cult, but this didn't wind up being shown in the final game and it's unknown if it's still canon.
- In Faria, the town of Beig will outright deny you from entering due to your main character being female. After you defeat the Wizard and break the curse that transformed you into a woman to prevent his prophesied defeat, you will be allowed to enter.
- In Dragon Age: Origins, Leliana will tell you the story of Aveline, an Orlesian woman who was abandoned by her father for not being the son he wanted. She grew up with the Dalish, who gave her the chance to seek revenge by competing in a tournament of skill, although she had to disguise herself as a man to compete. Her jealous competitor ripped her helmet off, revealing her as a woman, and then reminded her of her place before slashing her throat. But, according to legend, the injustice dealt upon Aveline convinced the Orlesian royalty to allow women in the chevaliers, so hooray!
- This turns out to be the case in at least one of the Puritan Territories called Sybion in Collar 6, Laura's homeland. Because of a severe gender imbalance, women are required to submit to men sexually in the hopes of conceiving a male child, and women are ranked by their fertility. The main setting consists of characters in consensual BDSM relationships as a contrast, with the exception of one villain who explicitly uses force on her slaves.
- In the King of the Hill episode "Joust Like a Woman," Peggy fought for women's rights at the Arlen Renaissance Faire run by a misogynistic real estate developer who fancies himself a king. The Faire is like a whole 'nother country, and while the real Middle Ages weren't always the friendliest era when it came to women's rights, the real estate guy goes overboard with it.
- In Batman: Gotham Knight, the flashback sequences of the "Working Through Pain" vignette where Bruce Wayne goes to India for pain-control training seemed to be set in one of these. The female mentor Bruce Wayne seeks out is a pariah by her local community because she dared to undergo Training from Hell reserved for Men Only. This is in spite of the fact that in real life India women who make it as female warriors are highly respected and have led entire armies as far back the twelfth century.
- In American Dad!, Francine stands up to the treatment of Saudi women with a musical number, and gets arrested for sing in public, and dressed indecently. Later Haley gets arrested for beating up a guy, who she thought was terrorist but actually works in a shawarma stand.
- Mulan combines this with Deliberate Values Dissonance in its depiction of ancient China.
- Similarly, Beauty and the Beast shows that France in the 1800s is not kind to a girl like Belle, as everyone considers her crazy for liking to read and back Gaston in his behavior towards her, even though he does things that are rude at best and worthy of a restraining order at most drastic. The only people who consider Belle's opinions or desires are her father (who's also considered crazy), the castle servants, and the Beast.
- Avatar: The Last Airbender: Female Waterbenders in the Northern Water Tribe are forbidden from learning any Waterbending techniques except healing. Women of noble birth are also expected to accept arranged marriages with no say in the matter.