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Playing With: Third Law of Gender Bending
Basic Trope: In fiction, people who change genders tend to take on stereotypes of their new gender.
  • Straight:
    • He becomes a she, and she starts wearing a dress.
    • She becomes a he, and he immediately signs up for the football team.
  • Exaggerated:
  • Downplayed:
    • The former-male's sex drive is a bit lower and/or she's slightly more emotional(ly expressive), but other-wise maintains the same personality and interests.
    • The former-female is more perverted than before and/or slightly more stoic or aggressive, but other-wise maintains the same interests & personality.
  • Justified:
    • The gender-bending magic includes a compulsion to act the gender.
    • He is deliberately following gender stereotypes in an effort not to stick out like a sore thumb. (How successful these attempts are may vary wildly.)
    • He is taking advantage of being a woman by doing things he'd usually get made fun of for if he was still a guy.
    • She is taking advantage of her new status as a male and finally being taken seriously in her society, thus doing things that she wouldn't be able to get away with if she were still a woman.
    • She was The Lad-ette or a Tomboy with a Girly Streak and now that she's a he, those behaviors no longer stand out.
  • Inverted:
    • He becomes a she, and immediately starts watching football wearing boxer shorts and scratching herself... which she didn't do when she was a he.
    • She becomes a he, and becomes interested in very girly things such as fashion designing, which he had no interest in when he was a she.
  • Subverted: He becomes a she, tries out a feminine life, and decides that he dislikes it.
  • Double Subverted:
    • He turns into a she, and refuses to change his dress in any way. However, it is later shown that in private, she is dressing up in frilly clothing/moonlighting at the local strip club/dating someone.
    • She becomes a he, and acts the same way she used to so that her friends won't feel alienated from her. Underground, he's the macho man superhero who fights crime in the name of all things masculine.
  • Parodied:
  • Zig Zagged: He constantly switches between genders, instantly switching from a macho man to a girly girl inconsistently.
  • Averted: He turns into a she, and doesn't act any different in her new body.
  • Enforced: "Well, Viewers Are Morons, so it's probably better to just make her, you know, act like a girl."
  • Lampshaded: "Aw crap, I'm a girl now. Quick, someone point me to the nearest dress and copy of Cosmo."
  • Invoked: He becomes a she, and actively tries to learn more about the female condition.
  • Exploited: She is turned into a He so that He will be easy to distract when the Big Bad's Evil Plan comes into operation.
  • Defied:
    • "Aw man, I'm going to have to learn how to wear heels and everything, right? You know what? Screw that. I'm gonna be a tomboy."
    • "So now that I'm a guy I have to not shower, work in construction and do nothing at home but watch baseball games all week? Yeah, like that'll ever happen."
  • Discussed: "He's a girl now, huh? That means he has to learn how to cook, right? Hey, stop hitting me!"
  • Conversed: "Ok, have these writers ever heard of the term 'tomboy'? Why in the world does every gender bent kid turn into little miss cheerleader?"
  • Deconstructed:
    • He becomes a she, and subconsciously takes on some classical feminine traits. However, it is shown that it was because he was sexist to begin with.
    • He becomes a she and begins acting in stereotypically feminine ways, then realizes what is happening and stops it.
  • Reconstructed: He becomes a she, and takes upon newly appropriate gender stereotypes. However, upon changing back, he gains a new respect for the other gender, as well as a new understanding of his own gender stereotypes. Oh, and he never forgets to put the toilet seat down again.

Back to Third Law of Gender Bending

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