I would say start by reading the 'real life' examples in the 'played straight' on the trope to understand where it comes from.
1) You need less men to repopulate, because a man can impregnate many women, where as women are limited to one pregnancy a year (ok, 4 every 3 years if she is constantly pregenant, and she doesn't allow recovery time- though any mother here can explain why that ISN'T going to happen). Therefore men are more expendable. Bear in mind in many species (eg lions) most males will never mate.
2) Men's greater strength means they have been able to dominate society for thousands of years. Its only in the last 40 years or so routine domestic violence has been considered worthy of police time in many places. In a number of countries it still isn't. This subjugation has relegated women's traditional role to mother/housewife.
3) Women are seen as nurturing and protective. Violent behaviour is not a social norm for women. In the UK approx 90% of prisoners are male. A break down of crimes shows that fewer (as a proportion) of women are inside for violent offences. Violence is seen as a male preserve.
4) Men fight, and we expect higher casualties - evolutionarily speaking we are mostly expendable.
Obviously the trope arises out of these- I'm surprised it is marked as 'not truth in television' - female murderers are always villified more than their male counterparts.
Don't invert for the sake of inversion - Tropes Are Not Bad
. I always caution about writing to a trope: I see tropes as descriptors of what HAS BEEN written, not templates of something that IS TO BE written.
In 'Promises' I have inverted and subverted it (I think those the the correct descriptor), not because I was trying to, but because it makes sense for the character development. Lucy learns she doesn't have to be the 'little woman', and Gabriel learns it is ok to ask for help: The last chapter I wrote (which is actually at the 2/3rds point- and led to the 'Oh Bugger I've finished' thread) is something I felt I did well- I completely inverted Lucy and Gabriel's roles, she's the one booking the expensive hotel, charming the receptionist and tipping the porter. Its not inversion for the sake of it- it shows her development, and moves him outside his comfort zone.
So do what you like with the characters as long as it makes sense- I think was Tolkein who said "You can say a green sun rises, but you must explain why it is green" (that may not be exact, its somewhere on my bookshelf rather than online). I would caution away fromdoing it out of sheer bloody mindedness.
edited 24th Feb '13 9:43:30 AM by LastHussar
Do the job in front of you.