Playing With: Gender-Restricted Ability

Basic Trope: You can only use a particular skill if you are a particular gender.
  • Straight:
  • Exaggerated: One gender can cast ALL forms of magic, while the other can't even comprehend how it works.
  • Downplayed: One gender is naturally attuned to magic, while the other has to study it before being able to use it.
  • Justified: The being who grants the power is a sexist bastard.
  • Inverted: In a world with severe gender divide, manipulating electricity is is one of the few things men and women have in common.
  • Subverted: Bob starts learning how to emit light from his hands just like women.
  • Double Subverted: But after a series of failures, he gave up.
  • Parodied: The women hide away in midnight cult meetings to practice magic in secret, while as far as they know their husbands keep occupied by going off to their Brotherhood of Funny Hats. The men, meanwhile, spend their time at the Brotherhood practising secret arcane rituals, while as far as they know their wives are off doing some kind of yoga thing.
  • Zig Zagged: Men have the power to play with fire. Women can't until recently, where girls start learning with varying success. Meanwhile, it's revealed that some men became pyrophobic due to their horrid accidents.
  • Averted: Only a group of people can control ice, but who can do that isn't determined by gender.
  • Enforced: It's a book for girls in the 'boys are icky' stage of life, which wants to justify the Improbably Female Cast in its Extranormal Institute.
  • Lampshaded: Alice taunts Bob for being able to make with his hands only inferior replicas of the things she can conjure up out of thin air. ("Because I'm a girl!")
  • Invoked:
    • A witch casts a spell such that men cannot learn them.
    • The difference is not in who is capable of learning the abilities, but in which gender is permitted to. No one will teach "male" magic to women, or vice versa.
  • Exploited: Women use their special abilities to assert their dominance over men and later enact a male gendercide.
  • Defied: A sympathetic witch fixes the magic system so that men can learn it as well.
  • Discussed: "If only I could learn magic too, I'd show up that bitch."
  • Conversed: "Seriously, why is magic so sexist?"
  • Implied: In world known for fire powers, only women hold tools to conjure it.
  • Deconstructed:
    • The gender exclusivity leaves the other as exclusively second-class citizens — they just can't compete with magic.
    • Fire is seen as misogynistic because only men can use them.
  • Reconstructed:
    • That gender became so reliant on magic, the other had to have them save them when an even prohibited magic use. The magic wielders have to eat humble pie, as the result.
  • Played For Laughs: The effects of gendered magic are used for crude jokes. Wizards take great pride in the size of their staffs. Meanwhile, once a month, witches have their magic turn purely destructive.

Back to Gender-Restricted Ability, but only if you're male.