Playing With: The Unfair Sex
Basic Trope: When a woman does something wrong, it's okay. When a man does something wrong, it's just plain wrong.
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- Straight: Alice cheats on her husband Bob with Charles, while Bob cheats with Diane. Alice's cheating is just portrayed as a "moment of weakness", while Bob is made to look like a vile scumbag.
- Alice has increasingly torrid affairs with more and more men and receives no retribution; Bob looks at another woman for more than a few seconds and faces The Scourge of God.
- Alice rapes another man and it gets portrayed as him tempting her to cheat on her husband. But Bob gets a kiss on the cheek from his ex and it's portrayed as the worst thing he could ever do to Alice.
- Downplayed: Alice and Bob cheat on each other. Bob lets her off on it but Alice is absolutely furious. Later Alice's friends call her out on cheating on him, stating that he forgave her because he loves her, and that while he might act like only he did wrong for her, she was just as immoral as he was.
- Justified: Alice has a relatively sympathetic reason for her cheating, while Bob just wanted an easy lay.
- Inverted: Bob's affair (the result of Alice not touching him once ever) is portrayed sympathetically. Alice's affair (which happened because Bob wasn't big enough) isn't.
- It seems like Bob's about to be in the doghouse - but wait, it turns out he's got a pretty sympathetic reason as well.
- Alice has caught Bob having sex with another woman. Bob tries to justify it, and refuses to talk about it further or get counseling, which angers Alice. Then she finds out that he was only letting her believe he was cheating on her because he didn't want to admit the truth, which is that the other woman raped him.
- Bob and Alice are swingers. The worst thing that happens to Bob is being scolded for not hanging a tie on the door.
- Double Subverted: All of Bob's explanations are just excuses he made up on the fly.
- Parodied: Alice holds a ball, and is seen as only doing what she had to in that situation. Bob holds the ball, and gets beaten up by Alice's family and forced to leave town.
- Zig Zagged: Bob had a pretty sympathetic reason too - but he just made it up. Then it turns out Alice was making her excuse up as well...
- Averted: Alice is making excuses as to why she was justified in cheating, only to be told by her friend Elizabeth that there really is no excuse.
- Enforced: "That scene where the wife got bitched out for cheating didn't test well with the females in the crowd, and we know they'll be buying most of the tickets. Change it to where she's portrayed all sympathetically".
- Lampshaded: "How come with Alice it's always my fault?" "Because you're the guy, Bob".
- Invoked: Alice desires to have an affair with Charles, but feels guilt (or frustration) because Bob is faithful to her. So she hires Diane to seduce Bob, knowing that if she is successful Alice can both have her affair and blame the relationship being ruined on Bob's infidelity.
- Exploited: Alice cheats on Bob with impunity, knowing that if she ever gets caught, she can just use the old "I was just momentarily weak" excuse and she'll get off scot-free.
Charles: "Bob, what are you doing?"
- Bob finds out and divorces her, getting a huge alimony, the kids, the house, the car, the dog, and the wedding china because he's the wronged party.
- Bob kicks down the door while wielding a shotgun...
Alice: "Oh, shit!"
Bob: "'...For jealousy arouses the husband's fury..." *Chik-chik* "...and he shall show no mercy when he takes revenge.'"
And blows them both to hell.
- Discussed: "You know, just because you're a woman, that doesn't make it okay to cheat".
- Conversed: "How come women on TV are always able to get away with cheating?"
- Implied: Alice and Bob get into plenty of arguments, and bob is most often seen getting punishments for transgressions. Other characters will often mention Alice giving Bob "the short end of the stick again".
- Deconstructed: Bob is never able to live down his affair with Diane, and he is subsequently kicked out of his house and loses his wife. Alice takes this as carte blanche to have as many affairs as she wants with no retribution.
- Reconstructed: Alice's affairs are justified by being a part of her emotional breakdown from Bob's betrayal and the subsequent divorce. Meanwhile, Bob is now cheating on Diane with another mistress.
- Plotted A Good Waste: After years of this, a subplot becomes Bob's seemingly building anger at how lopsided this treatment is, and it seems to be building up to Alice getting told off because of it. At the last moment Bob chickens out, and realizes that because he's that kind of person is why Alice can blame him.
- Played For Laughs:
- Alice's judgments are so out of order not even Bob takes them seriously, and both his and Alice's friends will make up stories so he doesn't have to go through Alice's increasingly absurd punishments.
- Alice's hypocrisy can be seen from space and is so transparent that, again, it's not taken seriously.
- Alice comes up with every excuse in the book as to why it's all Bob's fault. None of them work because they're either blatantly untrue or just make no sense.
- Played For Drama: Bob's life married to Alice is one indignity after another, even getting blamed by Alice for something she did because he "failed to prevent it" or "didn't try hard enough." Eventually Bob can't take it anymore and ends up hospitalized.
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