Follow TV Tropes

Following

Gender Is No Object

Go To

https://mediaproxy.tvtropes.org/width/350/https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/sabbat2_t_5.png
Male, female, doesn't matter as long as you can fight and die for the Emperor.
A lot of media (especially science fiction and fantasy) features societies with no gender restrictions. Women fight alongside men, in the same combat roles, in command, and so on. Because it's a societal norm, no one considers this unusual. Hereditary monarchies can be ruled by women as well as men, despite a real-world historical restriction on women ruling the kingdom in many countries.
Advertisement:

This is not the same as splitting the sexes up into segregated units. When this trope is used, mixed units are the norm, and by extension often a completely integrated society as well in which the only difference between the sexes, in a social sense, is that one can get pregnant and the other can impregnate. In a Science Fiction story where test-tube-and-incubator babies are common, even this is removed and if the soldier is encased in armor, you can't tell what gender they are, and it doesn't matter anyway.

Be careful: not every story about women serving in the military is an example of this trope. Stories where the majority of military units are male and occasionally you find a girl do not apply. Nor do militaries where women are common but are restricted to certain roles (especially if those are non-combat roles). Nor do stories where there are women in combat roles, but they are consistently portrayed as falling into the Damsel in Distress or Faux Action Girl trope.

Advertisement:

This can be a Justified Trope, especially in futuristic settings where advances in technology have made physical differences like gender more or less irrelevant for soldiers. In medieval fantasy settings, authors may introduce some form of safe, reliable Fantasy Contraception, or the existence of inborn magic powers can be portrayed as making differences in size and strength less relevant, or there may be other social pressures encouraging gender equality (although all of these may or may not be convincing, depending on how well they're handled). If the setting is not Earth and/or the characters are not normal humans, they may just have less sexual dimorphism. On the other hand, there are also plenty of cases of lazy or thoughtless worldbuilding, as well as cases where the author simply felt they needed no justification beyond Rule of Cool.

Advertisement:

There are a wide variety of possible reasons for this. Sometimes it's pure Author Appeal: the author thinks a mixed-sex military setting is simply more awesome than a segregated one, or wanted to write about heterosexual relationships within such a setting, or wanted to have a female protagonist in such a setting without having to worry about showing her struggling with prejudice (which would become Anvilicious rather quickly). In role-playing games (video or tabletop), it may be done to make sure players are never penalized for wanting to play a character of their own gender. Sometimes it's an Author Tract, with the author trying to make a point about how gender restrictions are good or bad.

For a related, video game-specific trope, see Purely Aesthetic Gender. Not to be confused with a person for whom gender is no object.


Example subpages:

Other examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • In the Lyrical Nanoha series, the TSAB Armed Forces (and probably the Saint Church Knights) make no gender distinctions whatsoever (although most notable characters are female, but that comes with the genre, not the setting), and there isn't even a single instance of Wouldn't Hit a Girl in the series. In-universe, this is justified by magic equaling out biological differences between genders (an average female mage is just as strong and durable physically as a male one—and much more so than a male muggle), and by the TSAB being so short on hands, they'll employ anyone with magical talent, regardless of other considerations.
  • Pokémon: Despite carrying the label of "training for girls" by the Fanon, in the anime, the gender ratio of Coordinators is equal to that of Trainers.
  • Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam. Captain Bright: "This is the military! Gender is irrelevant!" Although Kamille does note that women serving in the military in equal capacity is a relatively new development for the Universal Century.
    • Even back in the One Year War, it's shown that the idea of women serving on the front lines isn't unheard of.
    • It also becomes a recurring element in a number of Gundam works later on, especially for the Universal Century. It's also very much present in ∀ Gundam, also directed by Tomino.
  • Hetalia: Axis Powers, where being a woman in a world where many of the other characters are male doesn't make you any less of a badass and/or prominent figure. Even in the Nyotalia version, the ladies are just as capable.
  • In Attack on Titan. Mortality rates are so high for the military, and the situation facing humanity so desperate, that gender is completely irrelevant. Female soldiers are everywhere, occupying the same roles as their male peers, and held to the same standards. We see leadership in the form of Squad Leaders like Rico and Rene, and Mikasa being The Ace is not considered unusual. It is also noteworthy that the artwork also focuses on the androgynous look of most female soldiers, thanks to realistically athletic builds and lack of focus on their looks. Matters are helped by advanced technological gadgets that, with enough Training from Hell, allow even the tiny, 90-pounds-when-soaking-wet Krista be a formidable force of destruction on the battlefield. Word of God even states that gender has no bearing on the story, and welcomed readers to decide the gender of ambiguous characters like Hange and Nanaba as they please.
  • In Code Geass, there are plenty of female commanders in the military of both Britannia and (what we see of) Europia. About half of the Knights of the Rounds (a Britannian military unit second only to the Imperial Family) that we see in the series are female. There are also many prominent female scientists, particularly in what we see of Europia. In the end, there is no issue with the deceased emperor's sister inheriting the throne as opposed to one of the many surviving half-brothers.
  • The assassins in Akame ga Kill!, no matter which group they belong to, have both female and male members. In Night Raid there are even more women than men.
  • The first generation of warriors in Claymore started like this. However, it is implied that there were more male than female warriors. However, it quickly became apparent that men with yoma-powers can not handle well, so that after that only women were made warriors.
  • Shakugan no Shana has about the same number of men as women among the Flame Hazes.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist has women being both badass alchemists and military officers all the way up to general without much fuss from anyone.

    Fan Works 
  • Mobile Suit Gundam Storm in general, but especially the Super Soldiers, who at their home base have mixed-gender barracks and showers. The downside is that the enhancement process also makes them asexual and infertile - in an early chapter, Athene is confused by how Shane's, uh, body reacts while they are changing clothes together.
  • The Night Unfurls: The military of Eostia make no gender distinctions whatsoever. In addition, it is not uncommon to see female generals and male healers on the battlefield. There are two exceptions to this trope: the Seven Shields (female-exclusive), and the Black Dogs (male-exclusive).
  • Stated explicitly in Shell Shock, where soldiers are drawn and assigned without consideration of gender.

    Films — Animation 
  • Antz does this with, well, ants, both in worker and soldier roles. It's one step better than the Insect Gender-Bender, at least.
  • The Lion King II: Simba's Pride: Kiara is the heir to Simba's throne despite being a lioness and retains this status after later marrying, so it's not for a lack of an eligible male lion to rule. The film doesn't treat this as an issue even worth commenting on. Simba is simply a very fair king that doesn't discriminate.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The military in Aliens is integrated. The only mention of gender in the military happens when Hudson asks Pvt. Vasquez if she has ever been mistaken for a man, and she replies "No. Have you?" Alien is an even more extreme example. The script was specifically written to only call characters by their last names and ranks to make them as gender-neutral as possible, so as to avoid standard horror movie gender tropes.
  • The Atreides army in Dune (2021) features several women as officers and foot soldiers. At least one can be seen at Duke Leto's strategy conference.
  • G.I. Jane. The film's aesop is that militaries should be this way. The main character runs into the gender barrier when she joins up for the grueling SEAL training program (even receiving preferential treatment at first that defeats the whole purpose of integration) not simply because she's a woman but because Men Are the Expendable Gender. Interestingly, Master Chief Urgayle also cites a real-world limitation of this trope, discovered when the Israelis and Russians both tried to field gender-unified combat units: men seem to have an instinctual urge to protect women, even when the women in question are fellow soldiers. In the case of the Israelis, this led to a degradation of unit cohesion, as the male soldiers would abandon their mission to rescue wounded female colleagues. (The Russians abandoned the idea of employing female combat soldiers, while the Israelis began using segregated combat units of both all-male or all-female combat soldiers.)
  • Odd variation in Guardians of the Galaxy: not only is the Nova Corps (an armed force) gender-neutral, so is its prison, the Kyln. Gamora and at least one other female prisoner are mixed in with the male prison population.
  • By the time of the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy, both the First Order and the Resistance appear to have fully integrated, with women serving in both command positions (General Leia, Admiral Holdo, and Captain Phasma) and in combat roles (Jessika Pava, Paige Tico, and several female pilots for the Resistance, Phasma again, multiple bridge crew members, and at least one female stormtrooper for the First Order). Rogue One retcons this, with female pilots at the Battle of Scarif to indicate that this has been the case from the beginning of the Rebellion.
  • Kingsmen, evidently, in Kingsman: The Secret Service. Nobody bats an eye at Amelia and Roxy's efforts to get into the agency. This gets particular notice when all three remaining candidates, including Roxy, are tasked with seducing a young woman and nobody makes any indication of her task being harder or sexier.
  • Starship Troopers not only featured men and women serving in the same infantry unit, they even shared the same bathroom and shower facilities. High school sports teams are also mixed, so this is wider than just the military. And only in the film, which was based on the back cover of a book by Robert A. Heinlein and is very different in the details. There are women in the military in Heinlein's book, but they're segregated by service: the Mobile Infantry is exclusively male, the Navy is at least mostly female (there apparently are some male Naval officers, but Rico doesn't ever actually mention meeting any and pilots are exclusively female); the two groups are segregated physically on the transport ships, only meeting at formal dinners (and even then only the officers).
  • In Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, scenes of the crew quarters aboard both the Enterprise-A and Excelsior reveal that enlisted crew share bunk space regardless of gender, rather than having segregated male and female berths.'

    Professional Wrestling 
  • This isn't present in mainstream lucha libre, such as the Trope Maker CMLL or LLI/UWA, where weight, height, and gender segregation tend to be strictly enforced, but luchadors fighting against luchadoras is a common sight on Mexico's independent lucha circuit, which is where Chikara and Lucha Underground in the USA get it from. The closest to a mainstream example is AAA, which is usually just as segregated as the other majors but has specific divisions where mixed matchups are allowed. Fabi and Mari Apache also held AAA's Trio belts with their father.
  • Despite being comprised almost entirely of men most of the time, women can and have been very successful in catch fetiche leagues found in The Democratic Republic of Congo. One doesn't even need the fighting skills of an active military soldier like three-time champion, double Kasa Vuru and Kin Ouest champion Miss Marth to be successful(though it certainly doesn't hurt). Since some leagues allow, or at least have divisions that allow the use of drugs, both to enhance one's own performance and to hinder the opponent's since some divisions allow the use of an Attack Animal, even smaller and or less skilled wrestlers can potentially beat men. Size advantage and sexual dimorphism mean a lot less in the coils of a boa constrictor.
  • Kaiju Big Battel had female Power Rangeru fighting alongside the kaiju heroes from the very beginning, with several other females joining the heroes, team space bug, or the general rogues as the years went by. Then again, human combatants who don't use special technology and lack superpowers are the oddity rather than the norm in this "promotion".
  • Luchadoras first appeared on opposite sides of a mixed tag team match of Fighting Opera HUSTLE's third volume (Cinthia Moreno and Fabi Apache), while two joshi (Hikaru and the mysterious Arisin Z) tagged with Ikuto Hidaka and Jun Kasai on the first Christmas special. It wasn't until next year, following I'm Called Yinling, that they really headed into this trope when the eponymous woman not only entered into a feud with top face Ace Naoya Ogawa where she in one instance actually managed to pin him but also brought together Arisin Z and others into an "Amazones" division of Generalissimo Takada's monster army who mainly assaulted the male faces. Yinling's main opponent then became Razor Ramon HG. Among the faces, the most notable example was probably Erica and Margarete winning the Super Tag Team Titles from Ryoji Sai and Wataru Sakata. It took no less than The Dudley Boys to dethrone them. Unfortunately, not every woman excelled, as Kenzo Suzuki's wife Hiroko will admit.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Eclipse Phase most obviously follows this trope and goes beyond it. In the transhuman future where bodies are just a shell that can be swapped easily (although expensively), and all bodies come with built-in immunity to sexually transmitted infection and can choose if they become pregnant or not, any and all conventional ideas of gender have pretty much fallen by the wayside. In the game, you have a separate gender for your body and mind and it's up to the players how they deal with that. Unless you do very extensive research, there is no real way to KNOW what gender a person is, whether they want to act male or female. Since not all people are human, or indeed humanoid, the issues presented in the game much more strongly run along species/artificial life prejudice than gender.
    • Slightly subverted in the case of the 'Fury' morph. This is a combat body that is built to be strong and tough and kick some serious butt, but the designers made them all women to give them a better inclination towards teamwork and less naked aggression.
  • RPGs in general. There's no restriction on character gender in most of them, with Dungeons & Dragons the most obvious.
    • Though we must point out that 1st edition D&D had a "fighting man" class, and there is an apocryphal story about Gary Gygax killing a character without a save in the first round of combat because "girls can't fight".
    • And there was a quickly excised rule that female characters automatically had a penalty for their strength (in turn getting a slight bonus to their Charisma). See Game-Favored Gender.
      • What the game did have, all through 1st Edition, was an upper limit on female strength - it affected only those females who played fighters, rolled an 18 for strength, followed by 51% or higher on the "exceptional strength" bonus. Anyone of either sex who wasn't a fighter didn't roll the bonus percentage even if they had an 18 strength, nor (obviously) did anyone who didn't have an 18 strength in the first place; and the various belts and gloves that conferred fantastic strength worked just fine regardless of the gender of the wearer. Eventually, TSR caved and this rule went the way of all flesh.
      • For female humans, that was the extent of the issue. Female demihumans' Strength-ceilings often kicked in a full point before their male counterparts', placing them at a serious disadvantage in combat classes. This, for races in which biological gender differences were otherwise less overt than humans'.
      • Dragon Magazine's letter column had one particular GM explaining his "balanced" house rule for his games, where female characters received a -2 strength penalty in return for the advantage of being capable of bearing children. The replies were... agitated, to say the least.
    • An interesting in-universe case: although there are no technical restrictions for the player characters, Drow society is pretty much 50% Evil Matriarch, 50% Always Chaotic Evil everyone else. Many players of male Drow (who aren't just trying to be Drizzt 2.0) play themselves as having come out of the Underdark so they can have better goals in life than being the "lucky" consort of a powerful enough woman that gets to be a walking sperm bank for longer than a few mating sessions before she tires of him.
      • 1st Edition rules blatantly enforced drow gender differences, giving their sexes different ability ranges and class advancement limits.
      • In 3E/3.5, drow were the only race in the core books to have mechanical gender differences... but it only mattered if they multiclassed (drow had different favored classes if they were female or male — cleric and wizard, respectively — but favored class didn't do anything if you kept to a single class).
  • Even Role Playing Games that are semi-historical tend to skirt around the issue. Games like Deadlands: Reloaded and Spirit of the Century have brief side notes concerning problems with playing in the time periods with regards to gender and race, but for the most part, they brush it aside and assume it is largely irrelevant.
    • Somewhat justified in that in these, and most other, RPGs the player characters are exceptional people, so they can overcome the usual drawbacks of gender (and/or race) of their times, as exceptional people throughout history have.
      • Deadlands, in particular, have explicitly mentioned lax gender restrictions because the setting is too dangerous to fuss about those things. When you need cowboys brave enough to move cattle through werewolf territory, you probably won't find enough to be picky about gender.
    • Legend of the Five Rings in its first edition had a brief essay by John Wick explaining that there was no possible way to justify female player characters in the setting ... but, as that wasn't fun, players and the GM should ignore it and allow them anyway.
    • Legends of the Wulin has rules for playing this either way. Essentially, a female PC only has to deal with sexism to the extent that her player makes sexism an element of her story; allowing them to play this trope straight or avert it as they please.
  • BattleTech As backward as the Feudal Future may seem at times, gender equality is pretty much the universe-wide default. Even in the (explicitly matriarchal) Magistracy of Canopus. Though the Draconis Combine does seem to have fewer military women in general compared to the others (and there are certainly issues with the Coordinator being a woman, which only happened once in Combine history), it still has quite a few. Then again, the DC is probably the least pragmatic of the 5 great houses when it comes to fighting.
    • The Clans play this even straighter, especially in the warrior caste. You will see men and women at every level of their military hierarchy and no one bats an eye at a female Galaxy Commander or Khan. Considering that a family unit and marriage do not exist among warriors and most reproduction is handled artificially (often after the parents are long dead) its safe to safe that the Clans have no social distinction between genders.
  • Traveller This varies from culture to culture. The ruling class of the Third Imperium is like this, however.
  • In Warhammer 40,000, it varies from service to service in the Imperium of Man, but most governmental, religious, and (in some cases) noble positions are gender-blind, as are the Inquisition, the Adeptus Astra Telepathica, Rogue Traders and the Adeptus Mechanicus. Some are segregated, though - the Space Marines are all men, evidently due to the genetic engineering required to make them, while the Sisters of Battle are all women because the Ecclesiarchy is banned from maintaining "men under arms". In the Imperial Guard, most regiments are single-gender, and men outnumber women roughly 9-to-1, but female officers and regiments are just as honored, and mixed-gender regiments are not unheard of. They are distinctly outnumbered in the higher ranks, though; one Mauve Shirt from the Ciaphas Cain series eventually reaches the exalted rank of Lady General but is among the only ones in recent history to have done so.
    • The above ratio and high rank matter appears to have been retconned away.
    • The Imperium is also completely uncaring about who fights for them as long as they can hold a gun, its a commonly mentioned background element that when the Imperium is desperate enough or when they just need a few more warm bodies to pad out the ranks that they will mass conscript children to fight for them so not only is gender no object age isn't either.
    • The absolute top end, the High Lords of Terra, is one hundred percent meritocratic, and anyone who can't keep the post is assassinated by a subordinate or someone else. The current Ecclesiarch Eos Ritira and the current Master of the Administratum Violeta Roskavler are women. The only gender-segregated High Lord rank achievable by mortals is the Abbess Sanctorum of the Adepta Sororitas.
    • Ditto most of the above for the Tau and Kroot of the Tau Empire. It helps their sexual dimorphism is much subtler than humans' anyway.
    • The Eldar and Dark Eldar also have no gender restrictions in their societies. Males rarely become Howling Banshees or Wyches, but only for symbolic reasons, and some still choose to be.
  • Warhammer sort of uses this.
    • While the Bretonnian knights are extremely chivalrous (in the protect-the-women-at-all-costs sense), their army's spellcasters are women, priestesses chosen by the Lady of the Lake, and there was a Jeanne d'Archétype with Repanse de Lyonesse. However, it's mentioned that the peasant women aren't particularly oppressed since Bretonnian peasants have such a crappy life they're pretty much equal in all aspects including rights. The RPG does establish that female adventures in Brettonia generally have to play Sweet Polly Oliver to be taken seriously (with a brief aside that the writers do not endorse this attitude).
    • Played straight with the three Elven armies which have healthy doses of both male and female units.
    • The Empire doesn't really discriminate against women (who can become adventurers with no issue), likely due to the world being so horrible banning women from active duty is not even borderline suicidal.
  • Paranoia makes a point that there is no practical difference between the genders. Between the fact that new clones are decanted, not born, and everyone is on pretty powerful hormone suppressants that keep sexual dimorphism and most especially sexual impulses way down (the latter being removed entirely), this is extremely accurate. The only reason the game even has sexes at all (rather than assuming Alpha Complex produced straight-up sexless clones) is to ensure that there's an added bit of humor when someone works out how to suppress the hormone suppressants.
  • In Exalted, the corebook specifically states that Exaltations do not choose a host based on gender and that the setting's dominant culture- the Realm- does not treat men and women differently in any way. (This is probably because the Realm is ruled by the titular Exalted.) Various other places discriminate against either men or women, as their culture dictates, but for the most part, Creation is left egalitarian for Rule of Fun.
  • In the rules of Tunnels & Trolls, the full extent of gender segregation is an optional rule for gender differences in character height and weight, quote: "if you want to be chauvinistic about it." In the rules, and in at least a large proportion of the published adventures, female warriors are presented as a common occurrence. Not bad for the second oldest RPG rules set.
  • Rocket Age largely ignores gender as an issue, despite the game taking place in the late 1930s, since the kind of people willing to leave Earth tend to be progressive and more exposed to other cultures than those at home. Some of this change comes from exposure to Mars, where in most castes, gender is utterly irrelevant.
  • In Kingdom Death you play as a group of Survivors that build a settlement of hunters. There is no difference in how Survivors advance their stats and a good hunting group is typically comprised of male and female Survivors.
  • Specifically called out in the core rulebook for Star Trek Adventures. In Star Trek's egalitarian future, gender doesn't matter, nor does biological sex, ethnicity, sexual preference, religion, et cetera. The official character sheets don't even have a field for sex or gender, just species (which is also mostly cosmetic).

    Web Animation 
  • RWBY seems to be completely unconcerned with gender. We see a roughly equal number of female warriors as male, and never are the women considered any less of a fighter than the men. Beacon Academy even has co-ed bunking among teammates, and no one bats an eye at this.

    Webcomics 
  • The Order of the Stick is a good example; even in areas inspired by societies that never recruited female soldiers (like Azure City), there are plenty of female warrior characters. For elves, gender is literally no objectnote . While in the early days of the comic the default for a character was male, and Haley something of The Chick, the author has since improved on this and there are equal numbers of female and male characters in the comic.
  • In the Schlock Mercenary universe, women can be found at all levels, from lowly grunts up to admirals commanding fleets and all over the civilian sphere, and aside from a few sexist comments here and there no particular note is taken of it. It probably helps that technology has made any physical differences utterly irrelevant; women don't even have pregnancies anymore since artificial wombs were perfected.
  • In Alfdis & Gunnora, it's a little hard to tell, because all dwarves have beards, but there are apparently no barriers to women in the army.
  • In Daughter of the Lilies sexism seems to be non-existent despite it taking place in a more or less medieval-ish fantasy setting. When Thistle is hired as a member of a group of mercenaries, there's already a woman on the team, and the objection to hiring Thistle (mentioned only after she's hired) is that she's a mage, most of whom are arrogant and self-centered to the point of being completely useless in battle.
  • Stand Still, Stay Silent: In that world, the military exists mostly to fight Plague Zombie monsters, so gender seems to have little importance as long as one is The Immune, while the population category that tends to be kept away from the front lines and protected is the portion that is not The Immune. Where the story itself is concerned, nobody seems to mind having two women and three men share a small dormitory aboard an Awesome Personnel Carrier for several months. In addition, the crew Team Dad is female, the Team Mom is male, and neither ever got any in-universe remarks about having a behavior more appropriate for the other gender.
  • In El Goonish Shive, this is inverted in Magus' home universe because gender bending magic is commonplace. It is implied that practically all roles are performed almost entirely by people who are or become the "best suited" gender for that role. If someone (like that universe's alternate of Tedd) insists on defying this, they are considered to be wasting their potential by not optimizing their gender to their chosen role. This also implies that, in this society, everyone is expected to be genderfluid.

    Web Original 
  • Ilivais X has the total characters of either gender exactly the same, in a setting where the only named characters are Super Prototype pilots or high-ranking military commanders. For the most part, the implication of prejudice for ANY group is highly frowned upon.
  • Mahu: In "Second Chance", both the army and the fleet of the Galactic Commonwealth is composed of males and females from all the nation's species. Indeed, Task Force Manticore (the Commonwealth's main fleet) is often led by female admirals.

    Western Animation 
  • Arcane: Whether in Piltover or Zaun, men and women seem to serve in equal capacity, if not necessarily in equal numbers. The city council, the Enforcers, Vi and Silco's groups... all contain a mix of male and female members, often with women in high positions. Some details of the setting further imply this, such as that Stillwater Hold seems to be gender-integrated or that Vi's boxing skill goes unremarked on as unusual, suggesting organized boxing is common among women as well as men.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • The Fire Nation's armies have men and women fight alongside each other — one general's speech to his troops includes the line "We are the sons and daughters of fire." Even their prisons are unisex. Despite being the primary antagonists, they are unique in this respect. The Earth Kingdom army has few if any women (nothing is specifically stated, but none of the shots of their armies seem to involve women fighting). The Northern Water Tribe explicitly forbids women from fighting, much to Katara's annoyance. And, before the Air Nomad Genocide, the air temples were also segregated (Eastern and Western for females, Northern and Southern for males, though this is more likely due to their Buddhist inspiration than sexism). Zig-zagged for the Southern Water Tribe. There are also plenty of non-bending women who are fighters, namely the (exclusively female) Kyoshi Warriors.
    • The spirit of the Avatar has reincarnated into both male and female over the centuries. The Avatar is respected no matter which gender the current incarnation takes. However, the age and training level of the current Avatar WILL cause that respect to vary. Incidentally, of the seven incarnations we learn any detail about, the men were all conciliatory to a fault and the women were decisive and relatively ruthless.
    • The Legend of Korra: Kuvira has Mooks of both genders.
  • The Dragon Prince: There are many women among the soldiers and assassins, both among humans and elves. The Humans even have a female general, while the elves have a female commander. There are still more male soldiers and assassins, but women doing these jobs is absolutely normal there.
  • Futurama: The military is generally portrayed as integrated and both men and women are liable for conscription. Played for laughs when at a parade Linda, an announcer, states: "Representing our men, women and children in uniform, it's Earth's greatest space hero, Zapp Brannigan!" Except for one episode, where Brannigan informs Leela that women are no longer allowed in the military, due to the many sexual harassment suits that result from him personally. She's forced to pull a Sweet Polly Oliver and become "Lee Lemon" in order to protect Bender and Fry (who "always die if [she's] not there").
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Done every which way:
    • Zigzagged with the Royal Guards, where Princess Celestia seems to prefer an all-male military as her guards were exclusively male until late Season 8. However, guardsmares also turn up, such as during the war against King Sombra in a Bad Future or during Season 9.
    • Played straight with the Wonderbolts, who don't seem to care what your gender is so long as you're a capable flyer, and Grogar's Legion of Doom, who don't seem to care what your gender is so long as you're sufficiently villainous.
    • Averted with alicorn royalty who are exclusively female (male royalty don't get the "promotion" and remain unicorns) and Princess Celestia and Twilight Sparkle's proteges, who are always exclusively female unicorns.
  • Star Trek: Lower Decks: The ensigns of the lower decks crew sleep in large open bunks with no gender segregation. In the episode "Kayshon, His Eyes Open", it's revealed that crew of both genders even shower together.

    Real Life 
  • Several European monarchies (e.g., Sweden and Belgium) now allow the firstborn to inherit regardless of gender, and others are considering the change.
    • Japan seriously considered the change when then-Crown Prince (now Emperor as of 2019) Naruhito's daughter Aiko appeared likely to be his only child. Then his younger brother Fumihito fathered a son, Hisahito, and the discussion ended.
    • England made a first tentative step toward this when it came to their monarchy back with Queen Mary I (daughter of Henry VIII and older sister of Elizabeth I). It should be noted, however, that Mary only became Queen because her younger brother Edward (who had already reigned as King Edward VI) died with no issue and she was next in line for the throne. However, for the next 500 years (or so) England and its successor state, Great Britain, practiced male-preference primogeniture: i.e. a woman would inherit only if she had no brothers. That rule changed in March 2015, when the Perth Agreement came into effect, changing the law to absolute primogeniture (eldest child inherits regardless of gender) in all the Commonwealth Realms, the 17 countries that retain the British monarch as their own head of state (that is, as their own monarch). Ironically, at the time, it didn't much matter, as the Queen's eldest child was male, his eldest child was male, and his eldest child was male. However, Princess Charlotte was born less than two months later and was duly placed just below her older brother in the line of succession.
    • The Dutch monarchs have been predominately female for the past century (the current is male, although he has had 3 daughters so far, so the one after him will be female) with straight primogeniture. The only distinction can be found in the monarch's spouse: a King's wife gets the title of Queen, but a Queen's husband is not called King, but Prince-companion. Possibly, people were worried that King sounded more important than Queen, and didn't want others to think that the guy that married into the royal family was the big shot.
      • Also directly related to why the Luxembourgian monarchy is not following this trope. When a woman inherited the Dutch throne, they basically dug up an old law that says only men can inherit theirs and thus won their independence. Two generations later, however, they abolished Salic law anyway because the man who became Grand Duke following the accession of Queen Wilhelmina had been a 17th cousin of her father, and when that man's son had no surviving sons, he changed the law so his daughter inherited rather than subject anyone to having to dig up another distant relative.
      • This is very similar to the role of the "Prince Consort" of the Commonwealth realms (Albert for Victoria, and Philip for Queen Elizabeth), which operates on the same principle: he married into royalty and has all the same perks, but he still must walk "one step behind" his Queen. The idea is basically the spear counterpart to the "Queen Consort" (a Queen who married into the family rather than a "Queen Regnant", which is a ruling Queen).
      • Only Albert actually held the formal title Prince Consort in the UK (and is likely to always have this distinction); Philip is formally just HRH Prince Philip.
    • Modern-day monarchies tend to follow one of three patterns: gender is ignored (this trope, in other words), females can inherit, but males take preference (exactly how much preference is given varies, so this pattern incorporates a lot of variation), and females can't inherit.
    • The Russian monarchy traditionally had little objection toward women on the throne, starting way back with princess Olga, though men usually held priority. Another early example was princess Sophia, the elder sister of Peter I and Ivan V, though she was technically a Regent to the still-minor co-Tsars, and not a ruling monarch. But it really shone during the XVIII century, commonly dubbed "Бабье царство" or "Women Reign": the succession law left over by Peter the Great was very vague, as if intentionally inviting the adventurous princess to take a shot at the throne, and he himself died of illness rather suddenly without designating a successor. This led to his widow Catherine I succeeding him, and a whole bunch of women after that-his niece Anna Ioannovna, his daughter Elisabeth, and, finally, his granddaughter-in-law Catherine the Great. Most of these women were weak rulers, though, being easily manipulated, except the last one. Catherine the Great's son Paul I, though, was sick of the palace atmosphere, and being a great admirer of all things Prussian instituted a very strict male primogeniture in the Prussian fashion, which survived all the way to the endnote .
  • Most modern military forces around the world allow women to serve in most roles. Generally, however, women are restricted from serving in front-line infantry, armored units, and special forces (though these bans have gradually eroded over time in most Western countries, and many don't have any restrictions at all). Most will claim it's out of a sense of fairness, and it may well be, but in a lot of cases, it's initially motivated by a shortage of recruits.
    • The United States Armed Forces has no bans against women in any military role as of December 2015, following a transitory process that began in January 2013 when the Combat Exclusion Policy was lifted by then-Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, and already has female combat engineers, artillery operators, infantrywomen, and even special forces operatives in the Army Rangers. Of course, this was just when the policy was "officially" lifted. As many in favor of gender integration have pointed out, the blurred lines of modern warfare have made that every member of the armed forces is essentially a combat troop. Also, the US Navy has a long history of powerful female military personnel. Admiral Michelle J. Howard is the former Vice Chief of Naval Operationsnote , and Vice Admiral Nora W. Tyson was the commander of the entire naval Third Fleet.
    • Canada's military is fully integrated and has been since 2001 when the last holdout (submarine service, for the entirely practical reason they didn't have submarines equipped for female crew members until then) had its prohibition against women serving aboard lifted.
    • The Soviet Union made much to do about the number of women in their Air Force. The first two women in space and the only two female flying aces were Soviets. They also had tankers, snipers, and a good many partisans.
      • This was only during the Great Patriotic War (a.k.a. The Eastern Front of World War II for those unfamiliar with the Russian term), due to severe personnel shortages. After the war, as in Western countries, there was strong pressure for women to retire from the "dangerous" frontline roles.
      • In the modern Russian military women are allowed to serve in a non-combat (but not non-frontline) roles only, though there is some discussion of allowing them the greater participation, again mainly due to the manpower shortages.
    • Israel has one of the more gender-balanced armies in the world. It's also one of the few where women are subject to conscription like the men, though they are more likely than men to get an exemption and have to serve a minimum of two years instead of the men's three. They are placed in combat units only if they volunteer to do so, though it should be noted that most combat units are male-exclusive due to potential problems with a unit's social dynamic (for example, tests have shown that male combatants tend to lose their better judgment when a female comrade is injured much more readily then if a male comrade is wounded). Female pilots are still allowed and are relatively common.
    • In Eritrea, everyone has been subject to the draft since 1995, with the only exception being pregnant women.
  • There's a theory that ancient Neanderthal society might have been like this, with women and children joining men out in the hunt.
  • In the 2012 Paralympic Games the wheelchair rugby tournament, often proudly self-identified as one of the most brutal contact sports to be legally played, included two mixed-gender teams.
  • Archaeological research has uncovered evidence that women fought in the ancient Persian military. The Scythians, a neighboring people, also apparently had women warriors who fought alongside men with the same armor, weapons, soldiers' tattoos, and burial rites. They may have been the inspiration for the mythical Amazons.

Top