Needs Help: Real Women Dont Wear Dresses

Total posts: [22]
Just scanning this page and I think it is a complete mess. The old version of this page was a bit of a mess too but I think it made more sense than what it's been reworked into. Female characters being criticised for being too feminine is a valid trope and there seem to be too many subversions and inversions in the examples here. Plus the page image is horrid. I think the woman in trousers is assumed to be stronger and capable because she's a police officer. I think the old version was much more valid than this. Is there any way to do it that way while pruning some of the shoehorned examples? Maybe like Unfortunate Implications have a source for the complaints against the character be required?
2 nrjxll19th Aug 2012 07:33:13 PM , Relationship Status: Not war
Oh, hell, this page again?

Frankly, at this point, I don't know what I hate more: the trope idea, the people crusading against the idea, or the page describing the idea.
I'll think about what edits to do to this, but it may be too much for me w/out approval. They'll be drastic. Also, any tropes that subvert this, like Real Men Wear Pink, for women?

UPDATE: What is going on there?

edited 20th Aug '12 12:31:35 AM by spacemarine50

We are definitely not going back to the old soapboxing version of the page. It was a mess.

edited 20th Aug '12 12:43:09 AM by lu127

How about a compromise? The old Fan Reaction version of the trope but each example must have a source or verification like the examples on Unfortunate Implications now that it has been reworked? It just seems that this new version doesn't quite work as an in-universe thing, hence why most of the examples are inversions and subversions.
The trope as a fan reaction does exist, but it doesn't belong on TV Tropes (at least until we have an Audience Reaction category).

The association of femininity and weakness is real and extremely common, but it's also hard to define in media; most of the examples listed are "aversions" or "subversions" or not examples at all, mostly because what qualifies as 'strength' isn't well defined either. There's also a certain amount of consideration needed for the double standard of what counts as strength or weakness across a gender divide (for instance, how often do you have a male character who is 'usually sweet and kind, but can kick ass under x circumstance/motivation', as opposed to just being understood to be capable of kicking ass as needed?)

Personally I think this trope needs to go, but if it needs to stay, then it needs a serious example-clean-up. It's not a trope if it's only defined by its inversion.

7 VeryMelon4th Sep 2012 08:21:38 PM from United States , Relationship Status: In Spades with myself
Holy shit, there really isn't anything other than aversions and sub-versions. This is a problem.
Good lord. Remove all the aversions. They simply aren't examples.
9 VeryMelon4th Sep 2012 08:38:13 PM from United States , Relationship Status: In Spades with myself
Took out the aversions and sub-versions.
Also, huge disconnect between the definition and title.

  • Definition: A woman is weak, incompetent, and ineffectual unless she dresses and acts like a man.
  • Name:A woman is not a "real" woman if she wears a dress.

The title only indicates the definition if we presume that a "real" women is strong, competent and effectual - but the trope's definition states that the presumption is the complete opposite!
11 Antwan8th Sep 2012 04:50:00 PM from Washington , Relationship Status: I LOVE THIS DOCTOR!
Ramblin' Mushroom
I noticed something else about this trope... apparently, there are namespaces of it under Dresses/, but they're not included in any index. I'm assuming that's what the trope used to have and everything got moved over there? Or have we simply forgotten them?
Swirl Swirl Red Whirl
This trope used to be about femininity = weakness and utter incompetence at everything. An audience reaction and sometimes lampshaded in-show.

This is what this trope should be if we keep it. It can be a YMMV page and the old version, however soapboxy, was valid as it was, it just had to be reworked in a more factual description and an analysis page on the side to go deeper in the reasons of this trope's existence.

On the other hand, Women Are Delicate could contain this aspect of how femininity is perceived.

So we either cut this page or rework it to its original shape, with an Analysis page on the side.
Building on Routerie's comment, at the very least, it should be renamed to Tough Women Dont Wear Dresses, or better Feminine Is Not Tough, or something like that.

edited 15th Nov '12 6:59:38 PM by NimmerStill

14 Pig_catapult16th Nov 2012 06:18:35 PM , Relationship Status: GAR for Archer
Because underscores break everything: Working link to my Troper page
Why does AudienceDresses.Film still exist? Should it?
So, what's going on with this?

The heart of the idea, as I see it, is "You can be strong and proactive, or you can be feminine. Pick one." Essentially, it's saying that even if Real Men Wear Pink, an Action Girl can't. But there's still a question of whether it's tropable.

It's always going to be tricky to say once and for all whether a work is exemplifying this attitude or not. Very few Action Girls or Tomboys have no feminine traits whatsoever, so what qualifies as "wearing a dress"? How often do they have to "wear a dress" to count? These are problems that already exist for Real Men Wear Pink, but they're even more subjective when the character is question is female.

Another issue is the minefield these tropes so often stray into of people assuming that any work which has women in it must be trying to 'send a message' about the very nature of femininity.
Part of the problem is that this may have originally explicitly been an Audience Reaction.
18 SeptimusHeap7th Dec 2012 01:22:11 PM from Laniakea , Relationship Status: Mu
It was an Audience Reaction, according to page history.
^It was an Audience Reaction, I was hedging whether or not it was always one or decayed into one.
20 SeptimusHeap7th Dec 2012 01:25:42 PM from Laniakea , Relationship Status: Mu
It was on the original Fan Speak index. I'll check.

Yes, it was on Fan Speak since before Aug 2010, was moved to Audience Reactions and eventually removed during Dec 2011 from there.

edited 7th Dec '12 1:27:04 PM by SeptimusHeap

I seem to recall that Fan Speak was originally a bit broader than Audience Reactions while simultaneously not including all of them. Regardless, it doesn't matter.
I believe the original trope was just an Audience Reaction. Reading through the examples, I saw maybe two or three in-universe ones. If we're that worried about it becoming a soapboxing trope we can do one of two things:
  • Cut examples altogether and just define the trope.
  • Examples must have a linked source to back them up.
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Total posts: 22