Batman: Yes, the male half.
A Depopulation Bomb variant that removes approximately half of the population of the world in one stroke, namely one complete gender. In many stories, there is one survivor of the lost gender — the protagonist, love interest, or MacGuffin of the story.
If it is the males who die off (as is most frequently the case), the story will be about how the surviving women rebuild society, or how Fish out of Water males cope with a society that has already been rebuilt. If it is the latter, the Last Man on Earth, our protagonist, may initially think that his life is going to be all orgies and pampering from now on. This is classic Genre Blindness, as stories of this type almost never fit this pattern. The last man will quickly become a target, sought by every woman of power and means in the world, as his sperm may be the key to the survival of the human race.
This type of story exists for several reasons. Primarily it's to explore gender politics and behavior, but they also have the secondary benefit of providing an excuse to write literature in which most of the principal characters are female (a major change from a lot of fiction). In addition, classic gender roles, the glass ceiling and biology being what they are, the death of all men would effectively decapitate most of the world's organizational structure, meaning descent into chaos is likely, especially in stories set before 1970. This collapse (and probable renewal) of society provides an excellent source of conflict for writers to build their plot around. Finally there's Rule 34: being one of the few males alive (fertile or not) gives our protagonist the chance to seduce every woman he sees, which is a popular trope on the horny side of the Web.
Some hard-line feminist authors might create this kind of story as a utopian vision, in line with their view that men are the root cause of all the ills of society. Some anti-feminist authors might create exactly the same kind of story to produce a dystopia, to show that women, or just feminists, are the cause of all the ills of society. Still others take the stance that humans are the cause of most human problems, and that if men aren't calling the shots, women will still make the same short-sighted and foolish decisions (at best, all new short-sighted and foolish decisions). The total collapse of society in these cases is not because of some inherent flaw in female leadership, but because three-and-a-half billion people just died all at once, with all the problems that causes. Either way, the dirty secret of these stories is that they're usually there to impart some political message, sometimes subtle and unobjectionable, sometimes not.
When all the women die off, in a usually unintentional double standard twist, the story is usually less about politics or gender issues and more about The End of the World as We Know It. These stories almost always take place After the End, in either a cruel dystopia or a chaotic Scavenger World. Either way, the clear implication is usually that without the "calming presence" of women, the men will immediately nuke themselves to hell out of sexual frustration and other "manly" demands. Such a setting is of course highly prone to feature brutal male-on-male rape to add to the Nightmare Fuel, or for other reasons. Note this can happen with the women-left scenario, but much less often and with the rape part nonexistent. The sexist nature of the situation is more complicated still if the men are "fighting over" the remaining women (in which case, there's at least a reason for conflict).
It is worth mentioning that a society with a lone survivor of one gender (or a pool smaller than a couple hundred of each) would be doomed to extinction (unless the remaining women make use of the stored sperm in sperm banks). There's wouldn't be the genetic diversity required to survive for more than a handful of generations (and that's once you get over the Squick factor of having to know exactly how related you are before you reproduce). Scenarios that result in a single gender and try to introduce some form of "human parthenogenesis" would succumb to extinction even faster without some kind of applied phlebotinum.
The name is a pun on genocide, and was first used by Mary Anne Warren in her 1985 book, Gendercide: The Implications of Sex Selection.
See also Gender Rarity Value and Childless Dystopia, both of which this trope is a prime setup for. If all of the members of a gender dies off, it may result in a One-Gender Race. Compare Sterility Plague, which can enable similar kinds of plots.
- In Girls Bravo, the alternate dimension of Seiren has a 10/1 female/male ratio. The main character, milquetoast gynophobe Yukinari, gets propositioned by a couple of grade school girls and chased by virtually the entire female population of a city that has very few, or possibly no, men in it before he escapes back to Earth. In the anime, the final Big Bad Yukina Does Not Like Men to the extent that she wants to eliminate the few men that are left.
- The anime OVA ICE takes place In a World where all men died after the space station Mir unexpectedly crashed into the ocean while still carrying experimental toxic substances. Yuri ensues, obviously.
- In the hentai manga St. Margareta Academy, "chromosome abnormalities" have caused a 25-to-1 female/male ratio; as a result, statistics show that 90% of all women will be deemed "useless to society", and are federally forced to enroll in a special school training sex slaves through S&M classes for nine years, for the purposes of "social services". Extremely disturbing (to put it mildly) BDSM ensues.
- Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou does this with the relationship between male and female androids.
- The manga Ooku: the Inner Chambers begins with a disease, the Redface Pox, that kills off a large proportion of the male population of Japan during the Edo period (roughly 1 man for every 4 women remains alive). Subsequently, males continue to die of the disease while women take over almost all productive roles in society, including the shogunate. Only the female shogun is wealthy enough to keep a harem (the titular ooku) full of non-productive, pampered men in her care and, like its real-world female historical equivalent, the male harem lives a strictly cloistered life. Later volumes focus on people trying to find a cure for the Redface Pox and make the gender ratio more even before the more powerful foreign nations force Japan to open its country.
- An alien example in the backstory of the Arume of Blue Drop. Once again it's the men who died out. The women solved things by giving themselves some male genes so that women could reproduce using machines to facilitate the process; it was only a stopgap measure and wouldn't keep them going forever. They made a smashing attempt to go get the last male Arume genes from human males on Earth (there were apparently some Ancient Astronauts a while back who got... busy). They chickened out in the end, though, having become too used to the new status quo, and took our women instead.
- The Yuri Hime serial, Love Gene XX involves humanity contracting an epidemic that causes no males to be born. After the last man dies off, the governments start enforcing a rigid new gender system on the leftover females splitting them into "Adams" and "Eves". Though to be precise, it's not so much a new gender system as the same old one but assigned at complete random. In the XY bonus chapter, we see that they have no gender assignments and the men of one class can easily attend the school of the other — but they experience arguably worse class distinctions, such as one being seen as okay to sexually abuse.
- One of the fictional comics of Bakuman。 goes downhill when it has a Gendercide plotline.
- Simoun: It's only seen in the titles of the soundtrack songs, but this was apparently done to men after a sex-based civil war/armed rebellion in the backstory.
The Woman-Nation, First Movement: Ancient Mankind (Track 3)
The Woman-Nation, Second Movement: Collapse and Eradication of Male-Dominated Civilisation (Track 4)
The Woman-Nation, Third Movement: Engineering and Preservation of a New Species (Track 5)
The Woman-Nation, Fourth Movement: Founding of the Woman-Nation (Track 6)
-Simoun OST 1
- A modified version appears in Macross: Do You Remember Love?: the Zentradi and Meltrandi (men and women of the same race, respectively) are actively trying to kill each other to such an extent that seeing the two genders peacefully coexisting on the Macross weirds the hell out of them.
- Aquarion Evol: Altair, once a planet with a functional race of two-gender Human Aliens, experiences a sudden case of this trope when the female birth rate plummeted, then the rest of the female population died out due to a mysterious disease, virtually turning Altair into a Childless Dystopia with Jin Muso, one of the major antagonists, as the Last of His Kind. To remedy this Altair started scouting other dimensions for "Reaiglers", females who are potential candidates to become "Eve", mother of a new generation of Altairians.
- In Sky Girls 90% of the world's male population between ages 20-30 was killed in the war with the WORMS, hence the scantily-clad teenage girls piloting Mini-Mecha.
- It's said in Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's that only Z-one, Antinomy, Paradox and Aporia are the only survivors in the future where the Machine Emporers has killed the human race. All four of them are male.
Paradox: "In the future, the world as we know it has been destroyed. Humanity's ignorance has caused the planet to become.....wavaged and wifeless."Yami Yugi: "Wavaged and wifeless?"
- It's lampshaded by Paradox in the abridged Yu-Gi-Oh! 3D - Bonds Beyond Time movie.
- A particularly odd example in Saber Marionette J. After a colony ship in the distant future is destroyed, only a handful of all-male survivors escape. They manage to populate their new world with cloning technology which cannot produce female clones, for unexplored reasons. The usual gender stereotype tropes are largely averted, however; the resulting societies are largely Earth-like both in mannerisms and stability. It is vaguely implied that homosexuality is considered completely normal and that the populace is more sexually frustrated than usual, but no other outstanding consequences are shown.
- Gate: In one arc, the heroes come across a village that has been ravaged by a plague that only affects women. To make matters worse, those killed by the disease rise again as zombies.
- World's End Harem: The virus killed billions of men, and those who are still alive are the ones who entered cryostasis. Among those, some are infected, and it's believed that they'll die in a year. There are five men who are immune to the virus, two of them were awakened and asked to father as many children as possible. While No.1 is happy about the situation, No.2, the main character, decided to find a cure for the virus and bring back the men currently in stasis.
- Two women argue about the typical 'Female Utopia' element of this trope. One women claims that without men, there are no more wars and society is better, while the other argues back that female pleasure has vanished.
- The Three Sages want to complete the abolition of the male gender, turning humanity into a One-Gender Race reproducing by artificial insemination with no Y chromosomes to get in the way.
- Possibly the most influential work on this trope, though now almost totally forgotten, Marginal built on the success of Kaze to Ki no Uta to cement the Shounen-ai genre, and was the flagship of a generation of Japanese women writing sci-fi. In it, a disease wiped out all women except one "Holy Mother", from whom all post-catastrophe humans, all male, are born.
- I Love Yuri and I got Bodyswapped with a Fujoshi!: As Yuri and Yaoi extremists respectively, both Yoshida and Hoshina semi-seriously advocate the destruction of their own genders so the opposite gender will have no choice but to get it on with each other.
- The entire premise of Y: The Last Man. A Comic Within The Comic, made by a female survivor, tells the gender-reversed version.
- The DC Elseworld story Created Equal is one of these, with Superman as the last man. Halfway through the story it's revealed that Lex Luthor survived too.
- The adult comic Naked Earth.
- In Enki Bilal's Nikopol Trilogy, Paris is introduced as a facist city-state where the Depraved Homosexual elite uses eugenics to minimize the percentage of females in their population, and keeps them out of sight in underground breeding farms. The eponymous protagonist, Alcide Nikopol, puts an end to the practice while turning the city-state to communism with the aid of the rebellious Egyptian god Horus. It's a surreal comic.
- XXXenophile had one story where a naked male time traveler shows up in a woman's closet. He's from a future where all women have been wiped out and men reproduce by cloning. One side effect of the gendercide is that they got rid of all wars, starvation and diseases, and generally built a utopia, but now they've began to wonder if those "women" weren't good for something after all and maybe they should be brought back, so he's sent through time to conduct research. Thus, much acrobatic research is had, after which he concludes that women are a very good thing to have after all. Turns out they're actually a normal couple roleplaying.
- The Guardians of the Universe in the DC Green Lantern series were a one-gender (male) race. The Zamarons, a one-gender female race, were later revealed/retconned as the females of the Guardians' species. Homo guardiensis is, apparently, fairly sexually dimorphic: Guardians are short, pale blue, and physically weak, Zamarons are tall, (usually) dark blue/indigo/violet, and athletic. The split didn't happen because of a bomb, but because the sexes just got tired of putting up with each other (their species is very long-lived and they didn't need to reproduce often). In later issues we see female Guardians who look much like the males, so it's been Re-Ret Conned back to two different species.
- Played with in the Luna Brothers' series Girls. The titular aliens start out seeming to express this as they attack every human woman they see. Later on, however, they attack men who cannot or refuse to have sex with them, and the townspeople figure out they're only interested in human males for reproduction, not sex. At the same time, the confusion and fear created by them and the barrier that appears around the town results in the women and men separating into mutually hostile camps.
- In ODY-C, a space opera retelling of The Odyssey, Zeus destroyed all men in the universe, and forbade the creation of new ones, for fear that one of them would father a child who would overthrow Zeus the way Zeus overthrew his/her father Cronus. (The Olympians don't bother with restrictive mortal concepts like the gender binary.) As a result, most of the characters are female, including the protagonist Odyssia, or "sebex", a new gender created by the comic's version of Prometheus. In keeping with the trope, and a Greek-Mythology-inspired story about a ruler who takes extreme measures to avoid being overthrown, it's revealed early on that man-kind is not entirely extinct.
- Wonder Woman:
- Due to the gender-based nature of the factions, the discord between the Sorcerer and Scientist factions of the Dire Wraiths in ROM: Space Knight ends when the female witches suddenly turn on and massacre their menfolk. It's stated outright that this attack, which was prompted in-universe by the failure of the scientist faction to defeat Rom, is hypocritical, as the wraith witches have fared no better against Rom, and indeed the Dire Wraiths never even were able to leave their home in the Dark Nebula to start conquering other worlds until the sciwraiths came to power.
- In the Girls und Panzer fanfic, The Gender War, the ultimate goal of the Union of Feminist Progressive Republics, also known as the Femintern ( the members of which are called "Feminists") is the complete and utter eradication of men. About 40 to 70 million people die in the conflict, and Germany, one of the Femintern members, ends up having to use measures such as polygamy to regain a stable population growth.
- The Nickelodeon Heroes fic Nicktoons: N-Force revolves around a mysterious interdimensional force causing all the male characters to vanish, forcing the female toons to team up and travel the dimensions to save their friends.
- Hell Comes to Frogtown, in which "Rowdy" Roddy Piper plays Sam Hell, one of the last fertile men on Earth (and is thus in high demand). Along with Sandahl Bergman doing a sexy dance and a man-sized frog with a three-headed penis! Who utters the classic line after Bergman's dance: "You have aroused the three-headed snake!".
- The Last Man On Planet Earth, a TV movie where a biological weapon, intended to kill the majority of soldiers on the opposing side, escaped its intended bounds. Some years later, in vitro fertilization seems to have taken the place of natural birth. Some men have survived, but they're fanatics, convinced that they should still be in charge. A female scientist manages to clone a man and quick-grow him to adulthood in a matter of weeks, for the sole purpose of having sex with him since despite the setting she's heterosexual. She has sex with him and gets pregnant... There are women in this setting who like to make it out that the world is a much better place without the men; but given the eagerness some of the women show in destroying their enemies, it's implied that the women aren't much better.
- Used on a smaller scale (with, of course, the exceptions of the love interest and the plucky teenage girl) during the latter half of 28 Days Later. With a dubious twist- the only reason men outnumber women in post-quarantine England is because the majority of the survivors were soldiers holed up in a manor house in the countryside as a makeshift headquarters. The Virus has identical effects on women and men, the men just have bigger guns. The end result of the soldiers' nine man society at first looks hardly dystopian — apart from the blood spewing pseudo-zombies and the general feeling of depression — up until the last women in England showed up, at which point they practically all turned into crazy rapists, presumably because they were convinced they were the last humans alive on Earth and the whole set-up was designed specifically to attract women so that they could alleviate this sense of despairing hopelessness by 'rebuilding the species.'
- Polish Cult Classic Sex Mission is about two men waking up from cryogenic sleep to discover that they're apparently the only males in the world now, the others having been killed by a pandemic, nuclear war and most notably the M-bomb. Women live underground and their community denies the existence of males. The movie was directed in the time of the Soviet Union, and was one big middle finger about living in a land under the control of a totalitarian communist regime.
- David Cronenberg's Crimes of the Future (1970) is set in a world where women were killed by a disease, Rouge's Malady.
- The first Jurassic Park movie has a reference to this. As they're driving through the park, Malcolm starts in on one of his little monologues, before Ellie commandeers it. Also apparently a Lampshade Hanging on the fact that women and girls tend not to die in Spielberg's work.
Ian Malcolm: God creates dinosaurs; God destroys dinosaurs; God creates man; man destroys God; man creates dinosaurs.
Ellie Satler: Dinosaurs eat man ... woman inherits the Earth.
[Malcolm and Grant give Ellie a vaguely worried look]
- Gayniggers from Outer Space has the aforementioned extraterrestrials freeing the male population of Earth from evil oppressive "female creatures" and leaving a gay ambassador to instruct the men of earth in their new homosexual lifestyle.
- Implied after the end of Dr. Strangelove. With the nuclear holocaust imminent, Government leaders plan to hole up in mineshaft shelters with 10 women for every man. Gen. Buck Turgidson is very excited at this prospect, provided the US doesn't suffer a "mineshaft gap". When you think about it they seem to be suggesting a pretty squicky prospect where every man will have ten sex slaves (beauty was mentioned as the main criteria), and women have little function other than breeding. It would be interesting to see what would happen after the women realized their odds would be ten to one.
- In Casino Royale (1967), Evil Overlord wannabe Jimmy Bond (played by Woody Allen) has developed a strain of bacteria that, when released, would turn every woman beautiful and destroy every man over 4' 6" (that is, taller than him).
- On Venus, all the surviving men have been exiled to an orbiting moon in the sexist camp classic Queen of Outer Space, staring Zsa Zsa Gabor. All it takes to put these ladies back in their place is a trio of red-blooded American astronauts with enough Vaseline in their hair to a drown a bat.
- The Indian film Matrubhoomi: A Nation Without Women (2003). Set around 2050, female infanticide has caused a village to become entirely populated by men, so one man buys a 'wife' from a neighbouring village, using her as a Sex Slave for all the men in his family. When she tries to escape, she ends up being gang-raped by the other men in the village, who end up killing each other over her.
- The 2015 Canadian mockumentary No Men Beyond This Point is set in an alternate universe in which women spontaneously began exhibiting parthenogenic pregnancies that only produced daughters in the 1950s. Over the next few decades, male births declined and traditional human reproduction became obsolete, and society converted to a gynocentric one-world government, with the remaining men being shunted off to "sanctuaries" to live out their lives. The mockumentary follows the youngest man in the world, a 37-year-old from Vancouver who works as domestic help to a female couple and their six daughters, and eventually falls in love with one half of the couple amid great controversy. They marry and get pregnant with the help of reproductive technology, but the child's gender is not revealed.
- The 2019 movie Light of My Life takes place after The Plague killed off the majority of women and girls around the world and the protagonist has to protect his young daughter who is one of the few immune to the virus.
- We Are the Night: Louise tells Lena that all male vampires were wiped out by the females in the past because they were too reckless, and risked the vampire race being hunted down by humanity through exposure.
- In Joanna Russ' short story "When It Changed", a planet is colonized by Earth, but all the men die. In a twist, the women don't do a super better job at running things, though they are able to live fairly well on the planet. Unfortunately, men from Earth come and imply they will force the women to mate with them if the women refuse to do so willingly. As the women are all now lesbians (and have invented a way to have children), this does not bode well for them. Arguably anvilicious, but sf in the early 1970s still had some gender issues.
- Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale plays with a variant of this, in which 95% of all women were rendered sterile by a plague. This leads—in America at least—to a rigid theocracy which virtually enslaves the few remaining fertile women. The men are also frequently sterile but the theocracy insists that failure to produce children is the fault of women. This leads to handmaids trying to secretly conceive children by fertile men to prevent themselves being declared barren and sent to the work camps.
- In A Brother's Price, people are not so much sterile as mostly unable to produce male offspring. This results in a world where there is about one boy born for every ten girls. It is never mentioned what lead to this, but it could be a post-apocalyptic setting, with environmental pollution being the cause of frequent stillbirth of male babies. Society adapted to this, and the setting is quite cosy by postapocalyptic standards. There is, however, literal gendercide mentioned in an offhand comment about a family who has thirty daughters (born by ten mothers or so, but only one husband), and only one son, with someone saying that they would probably "litter the land with the dead bodies of female babies if they thought they could get away with it", as it is suspected they keep having babies in the hope for a second son.
- The feminist novel Herland, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman: Herland was founded in the wake of a volcanic eruption which killed most of the men, with the rest wiped out in civil war with the women.
- In Frank Herbert's novel, The White Plague, a molecular biologist driven mad by the death of his wife creates a virus that targets human females. The end result is that the majority of the global human female populace is killed, with the global gender ratio now at 10,000 males for every 1 female. Predictably, the global human male populace are begrudgingly forced to share their wives and lovers with each other (and young girls are now encouraged and expected to begin breeding as soon as possible upon their coming of age at puberty), for reproduction purposes, at least until enough females are already born to repopulate the Earth and restore the numerical parity between the genders.
- Joanna Russ's The Female Man features a man-less world as the home of one of the principal characters. It is unabashedly utopian, and though it's stated it's the result of a plague that wiped out men in the distant past, there's one or two hints it might instead be the result of one of the other alternate worlds, where men and women are at war with each other. Russ was anything but subtle about how
she feltwomen were held down by men. One of the longest, most detailed passages concerns a woman warrior from the latter world literally tearing a man apart with her bare hands, which may have been Russ working out some frustrations.
- The Rainbow Cadenza is a libertarian sci-fi novel by J. Neil Schulman where men outnumber women seven to one, and all women are drafted into prostitution for three years. This happened due to a number of long wars in which more men were created (via chemicals which affected the gender of the sperm) than women.
- Alice Bradley Sheldon/James Tiptree Jr.:
- The novella "Houston, Houston, Do You Read?" is about a group of male astronauts on a circumsolar mission who run into trouble and are trying to contact Houston to return to Earth. They get picked up by a ship crewed only by women, and spend a good deal of time asking where all the people (meaning the men) are. Turns out, their ship had slipped through time several hundred years and in fact a plague had wiped out all men and most of the women on Earth, leaving only 11,000 survivors. The world the guys returned to had no crime or war but also no advancement (the women must propagate by cloning, so by this time everybody is one of a certain set of types, which it's implied is the problem).
- The short story 'The Screwfly Solution' (also made into a Masters of Horror episode) has a rather disturbing version of this trope. Aliens distribute a virus that causes human mating behavior to change, turning men's sexual impulses into violent ones, essentially turning them all into psychopathic serial killers bent on destroying all women (and occasionally little boys). Once they have accomplished this, the aliens simply have to wait for all the surviving men to die before they move in and take over the earth. The story's title is based on a real-life method for eradicating Screwfly, which uses a hormone that subverts the fly's mating instinct so that the males mount the females in the wrong way, so no conception can occur. So, Truth in Television?
- John Wyndham's novella "Consider Her Ways" features a world in which men have been killed off by a virus, where women have discovered a way to reproduce without them, but this involves a whole caste of women whose sole duty is to squeeze out daughter after daughter for the rest of their lives all the while being fattened up for the child's health (several years ago it was believed a woman needed to put on a lot of weight to ensure a healthy birth, rather than the opposite we know today). The protagonist is a woman from our world who "travels" there while under the influence of an hallucinogenic drug and finds herself in the body of one of these birthers. It was All Just a Dream — Or Was It a Dream??
- Cordwainer Smith's "The Crime And The Glory Of Commander Suzdal": The settlers of an isolated planet nearly lose all the women to a virus or mutation which "turned femininity carcinogenic". A few surviving women actually turn themselves into men through massive testosterone injections and manage reproduction through embryonic implantation. Over the centuries their memories of womanhood and eventually the Earth itself are twisted into monstrous hatred. Then Commander Suzdal shows up in his scout ship...
- In The Knife of Never Letting Go, the protagonist Todd Hewitt grew up on an alien planet, in a town where there are no women. For his whole life, he believed that the reason was a Depopulation Bomb, which killed off all the women and had the side effect of allowing everyone to hear the men's thoughts. The truth is much more sinister. The thought-hearing is a natural effect of living on the planet, and the men in Todd's town couldn't stand that the women could hear their thoughts but not the other way around, and killed them all. There are women in other towns, but Todd has never met one.
- In The Queen of The Damned, the titular vampire attempts this with males. By her own power. Or worse. A bunch of boys and girls who are just entering puberty, and no adult supervision? And yes, that was the official reason for the lack of girls.
- Robert Merle's novel The Virility Factor, where a virus kills most men capable of reproduction, and a misandrist regime comes to power in the United States. When the cure for the disease is discovered, it falls, and the society starts treating the remaining men as sex objects.
- In David Brin's Glory Season, a space ship of feminist colonists goes to a far, far away planet in order to create a perfect society. The women are in charge, and whenever one of them finds their 'niche' in society, they clone themselves over and over. There are men left alive, because the scientists knew that if their society was completely stagnant, eventually something would kill them. So, there's the clone children, or "winter children" who are the majority of the population, and then "summer children" who are born when men who have proven themselves useful get to vent their genetically suppressed lusts during the summer. The summer children are also called "variants", and the protagonist's goal through the book is to find her 'niche' and be allowed to have a clone child.
- In Honor Harrington, the planet Grayson has a fairly mild, albeit long-lived, form. Some desperate genetic engineering to save the colonists from a Death World in the backstory results in roughly 2/3 of males being miscarried. This state of affairs continues for almost a millennium, until they get access to advanced enough technology to figure out what happened and reverse it. It's a lot less destructive than most other examples, however - they pretty quickly adopt polygamy and move on with life.
- In John Varley's Gaea Trilogy, the moon is bought out by a group of women called The Coven, who detest men. They're all lesbians, but they reproduce by ordering sperm shipments from earth.
- David Patenaude's Epitaph Road centered on a virus called Elisha's Bear, that wiped out most of the men in the world. It's revealed that it was intentionally released by an angry radical feminist.
- R. A. Lafferty's short story "Parthen" is set during a Gendercide, in which asexually-reproducing aliens who resemble pretty young women mingle with the human population, causing every man who sees them to fall chastely in love with them. This induced a form of Love Makes You Stupid, so the infatuated men quit working, abandon their families, and eventually perish in the streets. Human women clean up the bodies and replace men in the workforce, while the alien "girls" buy up property when the male owners desert it. A transmission from space had previously warned the Earth that aliens would destroy half of humanity and enslave the other half, yet even as they're starving to death, the male protagonists keep assuming it'll be a violent invasion rather than a Gendercide.
- In The Brides of Rollrock Island by Margo Lanagan, there is a variant of this. The witch Misskaella has made it possible for the men of Rollrock Island to marry seals transformed into beautiful women, or "sea-wives", instead of normal human women. The sea-wives are incredibly beautiful and considered superior to human women, since they basically do everything a man says. The families of the island actually begin killing girl babies, so that the sea-wives have no competition. This results in a cycle of men never seeing a woman until it's time for them to marry, at which time they get Misskaella to make them a sea-wife.
- Legacy of the Dragokin: This is the goal of the Kthonian Knights; exterminate men because they're all bastards. There is very little in the way of political messages as, in practice, they are indescriminate in who they kill and who they turn into a monster with The Virus. Also when Daniar convinces Kthonia that women are just as morally flawed as men, the latter decides to kill them both.
- In Andre Norton's Ordeal in Otherwhere, the white death had killed men and adolescent boys except for a handful — the most religious families and those with the least trust for the government, which they interpret as judgment.
- The Kreelans in In Her Name appear to be all female, this being one of many things human scientists just can't understand about them since, despite being aliens, they appear to be essentially mammals in most ways. It's later revealed (to the reader, not most of humanity in the story) that the entire species was cursed by the First Empress when an attempted coup resulted in the apparent death of her husband. Males, previously equals to the females, became non-sentient, greatly weakened animals who only live long enough to breed once and then die. Females were mostly rendered sterile, with the fertile ones being forced to breed every cycle (a Kreelan year, equivalent to several human years) or die horribly.
- Dying of the Light: It's theorized (and nothing is shown to contradict it) that this happened to High Kavalaan a long time ago, having massive effects on Kavalar society. The grieving widowers started to join into pairings called teyns, while women eventually became community breeders, kept in the securest parts of caves to avoid the plague. After a few generations, it congealed into a rather misogynistic society.
- Second Apocalypse: Before the first Apocalypse, the Inchoroi offered to make the Nonmen immortal by using their Tekne. However, soon afterwards, the Womb Plague swept through the Nonmen population and killed all of the females. The remaining men were left immortal and with a shattered, forever stagnant society. They slowly succumbed to madness and The Fog of Ages over the following millennia.
- The world of The Power sees women spontaneously gain the ability to create electrical discharges from their hands during puberty, similar to electric eels. As soon as this begins to destabilize some of the most repressive countries in the world (namely Saudi Arabia and Moldova), Mens' Rights groups on the internet start insisting that this is inevitable. It takes about a decade, but they're right.
- Sovereign: The ultimate goal of Graywytch, who attempts to use a spell to kill everyone on Earth with a Y chromosome (not just cis men). Millions are killed, but complete extermination is averted. (Ironically, Graywytch herself almost falls to her own spell; Danny speculates she was unknowingly intersex.)
- O Happy Day!, a short story by Geoff Ryman, involves this. After nuclear weapons somehow had got into the hands of gangs, causing massive death, a faction of radical feminists held that men, as the source of most violence, needed to be culled. They got into power by undisclosed means, then started rounding up most of the men to be exterminated. Gay men were spared as they considered them nonviolent, and help dispose of the bodies. However, the story makes clear not only are women also fully capable of violence (as some are behind the extermination, after all) but gay men too, who not only help with this but gang-rape a straight man who pretends he's gay to escape the purge (Ryman himself is gay).
- The Thebaid: All of the men of Lemnos had their throat slit in the middle of the nights by their wives and daughters who were furious at the men for abandoning the island to wage some foreign war. The only girl who doesn't partake in the massacre is Hypsipyle, who sneaks her father out of the island.
- Amoridere's Housecats and Sonogram has the mother selectively aborting her sons (using a cup of tea). Oh, how's life for the sons she did have? It's not great, as she gets them "fixed", which is her idea of being "nice".
- Gretchen Felker-Martin's Manhunt features a postapocalyptic society struggling with a virus that drives everyone who has too much testosterone and not enough estrogen violently rabid, turning them into rape-murder-cannibalism machines, which took out almost every man in the world. (One character sadly quips that she's "outlived every dad".) In addition to avoiding said Technically Living Zombies, regulating hormones so you don't turn into one is a constant concern. Fran and Beth, our protagonists, are trans women who make their living hunting down sources of natural estrogen to be distilled and sold, the few male children will have to be chemically castrated for their own safety, anyone who lives long enough to hit menopause is in constant terror, and reproduction is essentially a nonstarter because even if you do manage to get safely pregnant (a tall order in and of itself) if the baby has a testosterone surge in the womb it will eat its way out. Meanwhile Robbie, a trans man, is only alive and sane because he had to go off his hormones for a surgery right before the virus hit, and has to deal with people either freaking out at the sight of him or misgendering him. And that's before you get into the literal army of transphobes who want to exterminate every XY bearer who's still a person "just in case". Adherents of this army spout rhetoric reminiscent of a classic "women will build a better world without men" version of this trope, but are actually violent fascists.
- In an episode of Sliders, the group arrived on a world where an engineered virus wiped out most of the male population (as Arturo points out, statistically there will always be a small segment of the target group which will be naturally immune). The survivors are kept in isolation at a secure sperm-bank facility. Australia had become a world power due to its isolation and distance from the initial release area limiting the effect of the virus on its population.
- The Masters of Horror episode "The Screwfly Solution" involves an epidemic of male-on-female violence that results in the elimination of all women from the face of the Earth, ensuring inevitable human extinction. At the end it's revealed that a species of Angelic Aliens were behind it.
- Blake's 7. In "Power", a literal Battle of the Sexes is taking place between two gender-divided societies. Avon summed it up nicely: "It's a problem, isn't it? You can have war between races, war between cultures, war between planets. But once you have war between the sexes, you eventually run out of people."
- The Outer Limits (1995): This took place in the past of "Lithia", where the few surviving men were human popsicles. The thawed soldier protagonist proceeded to raise merry hell in the all-female society that sprang up, but it was prevented from being a heavy-handed misandrist Take That! by the fact that, as ham-fisted and ill-advised as the man's attempts to change it were, the new society was utopian only in appearance (i.e. what with the leadership's rampant favoritism in resource allotment and Big Brother-esque control on the information flow). It ended with him being "put down" (refrozen) and the leadership declaring that trying to make men return was ill-advised, and that all efforts to do so would be ceased which is implied was the real reason they thawed him (and the others before him)-they wanted the least suitable test candidates in the most potentially disruptive situation possible to give themselves Plausible Deniability why they stopped as well as "proof" that men were the cause of all of society's previous ills, most probably to maintain their power. Just to twist the knife further, the old woman who put him down was his fiancee, several decades older, and thoroughly convinced of man's evils by a mix of propaganda, his own actions and probably a lifetime of accumulated resentment over numerous issues.
- In the Doctor Who episode "The Vampires of Venice", the Saturnynians had their home planet destroyed by the Cracks. Only the males survived the journey to Earth. They tried to survive by turning human women into their own species, but the Doctor intervened. The matriarch gives him a What the Hell, Hero? before committing suicide. Fortunately, the Doctor later pulls a Reset Button on reality, meaning the Cracks never existed and the Gendercide of the Saturnynians never happened.
- Pretty much the premise of Oceanside in The Walking Dead. The Saviors rounded up every man and boy over the age of 10, and then executed them. It isn't until the season 8 episode "Worth" that we find out it was all the work of Simon and not Negan.
- "Cemetery Girls" by Schoolyard Heroes is about a Gendercide in which all males die.
- In "Extermination Day", by the NWOBHM band Angel Witch, a superior race of female aliens invades Earth and eliminates the male gender as punishment for violations of human rights.
- There was a hit rockabilly song in the 1950s entitled "Thirteen Women and Only One Man in Town"; it experienced a resurgence in popularity in the mid-1990s. What many people did not know, either then or now, was that the song alluded to the only fourteen people left on Earth following a nuclear holocaust. Lucky guy....
- At least in the revival version ("Big Bad Voodoo Daddy"), it's pretty explicit in the opening lyrics: "Last night I was dreamin'/Dreamed about the H-Bomb"
- The original Greek depiction of the very human Amazon civilization variably implied they replenished their numbers the way most warrior cultures did, from invading villages. And depending on how charitable the writer was, any male children were either returned to be reared in those villages, enslaved, or killed.
- In the story of the Argonauts, Aphrodite curses the women of Lemnos with a terrible odor for neglecting her worship. The odor drives their husbands away and into the arms of concubines. As revenge, the women invoke this trope. Only a single man survived, smuggled off the island by his daughter.
- In the Werewolf: The Apocalypse "End Times" sourcebook for the original Old World of Darkness run, various methods of having one or more Tribes fall to the Wyrm were given. As one of those Tribes were the Black Furies, naturally, their plot hook involved finally snapping at human misogyny, real and perceived, and rising up en-masse to massacre human males with the intent of reducing them to a small minority and thus allowing women to become the socially dominant sex.
- In the Curse of Strahd module for Ravenloft, the entire Dusk Elf race was subjected to this at the orders of Strahd von Zarovich, who had been infatuated with a female Dusk Elf named Patrina and arranged to marry her before her people discovered her plans and stoned her to death. Enraged at being denied his bride, Strahd ordered every female Dusk Elf to be hunted down and executed by Rahadin, his Number Two and chamberlain, himself a Dusk Elf who had betrayed his own people when Strahd first conquered them.
- The N64 game BattleTanx starts when a virus kills 99.9% of the women in Earth; the remaining ladies are promoted to living goddesses, the countries start fighting for other quarantine zones, and they finally engage in nuclear war. The protagonist Griffin Spade, who lives in New York, has his fiancée taken away by the government, so he seizes an M1 Abrams tank and sets out to travel across the USA to find her. In the sequel, it's revealed that an insane psychic named Cassandra created the plague, killing all women except those capable of Psychic Powers.
- Played with in Fallout; vault 69 was populated by 999 women and 1 man, likewise Vault 68 was the same, except with 999 men and 1 woman. The vaults were purposefully built social experiments of the cruelest nature, and were specifically designed to experiment on how much stress a society could take before the people broke down into civil war.
- Averted by Word of God in Touhou. Why would having both genders be present in a game be an aversion, the uninformed might ask? Because of the well over one hundred characters that have appeared in Touhou, no humanoid male has ever appeared on-screen, and the rare sentient male was a talking turtle or cloud. Apparently, in spite of having just as many male monsters as females, they just never decide to do anything.
- Note, however, that Rinnosuke, a half-youkai, appears in one of the supplementary works.
- ZUN himself has noted the popularity of Gensokyo's portrayal as a Lady Land, and it's bugged him on the occasions he's wanted to introduce male characters as major players. To wit, Byakuren's brother was originally supposed to be the final boss of UFO, and the final boss of Ten Desires is a genderswapped historical figure, because ZUN wasn't sure how male endbosses would be taken by the fandom. In other words, it's becoming an enforced trope.
- Left 4 Dead. Mentioned swiftly in a quote by Zoey where she sounds, not so surprisingly, less than happy. There are of course, many fandom plays on this, including a comic where Zoey has to go from killing Infected to killing men when the Survivors make it to the safe zone. Of course, when applying Fridge Logic, one can realize she isn't the last woman on earth, as we have not only Rochelle, but Amanda Slater, the boat man's wife, but still the joke continues.
Great...(slowly) That makes me the last woman on Earth.
- The backstory of Sword of the Stars describe the Morrigi as having barely survived through one of these: In Morrigi society, only females spend their whole life planetside while the males live almost entirely on starships. Due to a grueling centuries-long war with an unknown space-faring race, the entire Morrigi starfleet was all but wiped out and left what was left of the species (which wasn't much) with a 10-to-1 female/male ratio.
- The Syreen from Star Control II had a mirrored version happening to them: when their entire home planet was suddenly turned into a Lethal Lava Land, the few survivors were the species' budding space force... which was overwhelmingly female. At one point they state that they number 10,000 women to 500 men, so the species can likely survive if they're careful about breeding for a while.
- The obscure PC game Gender Wars had the men and women of the world square off in a fight to the death as independent nations. The implications are lampshaded in the first mission for each side, where the goal is to steal stored reproductive material from an enemy base.
- In Super Robot Wars Z3: Jigoku-Hen, Annarotta is the last surviving woman of Gadlight's race and pregnant with Gadlight's child. Their males cannot produce heirs of the same race (the child takes on the race of the mother) so without her they'll go extinct.
- LISA takes place in a post-apocalyptic future where an event only ever referred to as "The Great White Flash" has wiped out all but one woman. Civilization has completely collapsed and the surviving population have become suicidal or homicidal. It is implied that women still survive, but outside of the world the game is set in.
- Angels 2200: The entire background of the comic is based on a mysterious genetic plague that runs rampant and kills off nearly all human males, leaving the women to pick up the pieces (including an interstellar war with the unruly colonies). Leading to an almost entirely Amazon Brigade cast with occationally fanservicey and/or stripperiffic outfits.
- When King Roderick decides to obliterate the Orycalope Kingdom in Charby the Vampirate he starts by slaughtering their female warriors and gatherers whenever they are out of the caves in small manageable groups. He even manages to have one of his people slip in and assassinate their queen, leaving only men and children when he actually invades and massacres the rest of the survivors.
- The first story arc of The Dragon Doctors has them investigating a valley where men can't exist—if any go in there, they become permanently female, so the population of the valley is effectively suffering from this trope despite nobody technically dying.
- In a parallel world within Skin Horse, a Hate Plague had turned women's lusts on their heads so they'd kill men (mostly). The plague has ended, and few men survive.
- Woman World is set in a world where a genetic disorder has killed off all men and their artificially created children are always born female.
- One DnD story posted on /tg/ featured a sociopathic, misandrist tiefling bard swaying an elven queen into almost doing this. Before being killed by the party's (male) barbarian and (female) fighter.
- The Flash-animated series Gotham Girls had a large section of episodes where all men in the city simply vanished and ceased to exist due to some sort of strange mad science. Very fortunately, they were all brought back unharmed by the device as well. There are a few interesting implications of this; the police force loses the majority of its members due to cops being male-dominated, but the violent criminals were even more male-dominated, so there are less people for them to police. There's also a sub-plot about a missing female detective— turns out, she was secretly a transgender woman and vanished along with the men.
- Ember along with Spectra and Kitty succeed in doing this to all the males in Danny Phantom, because most of them were on bad terms with their boyfriends. The men get better thanks to Sam, Jazz and Maddie.
- In the Justice League episode "Fury", an Amazon with a serious bent against the male gender decides to release a disease into the atmosphere that nearly kills off all of the men on the planet. This includes the male members of the Justice League (even Superman and the Martian Manhunter are affected, despite not being human, and Solomon Grundy, who is The Undead. It's implied magic is involved). It's up to Wonder Woman and Hawkgirl to save the day (of course, this includes fighting against an all-female alliance of villains).
- Codename: Kids Next Door has a variant where a female villain develops a way to turn boys into girls and launches a war between the genders. This combined with her tyrannical rule creates a Bad Future where only a few boys remain, led by an aged Numbuh 4. Numbuh 3's Identical Granddaughter winds up teaming up with the boys to prevent it all via Time Travel. One actually does have to wonder how exactly the villain got to her age (she's very old) without finding out that her actions would cause humanity's extinction without men, though it's a children's cartoon so the writers can be forgiven.
- The weapon does also affect girls, primarily tomboys (Numbuh 5 becomes ultra-girly in the Bad Future timeline).
- In the Totally Spies! episode "Evil Bouquets Are Sooo Passe" the villain's plot is to eliminate all males on the planet, just because she was rejected by one guy.
- The Wolbachia bacteria is inside 40-70% of insects and can't be transmitted by bug sperm. So it kills males in their eggs. If a little male critter survives, the bacteria tries to transform it into a female.
- Some good news for male bugs everywhere. The Blue Moon Butterfly has evolved a resistance to the bacteria and went from males being 10% of the population to 40%. They did it in a year, which is 10 butterfly generations. Start your mutating, males! Survive! Survive!!!
- Paraguay, after the War of the Triple Alliance. Five years of nonstop war against Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay left about 50% of the prewar population and nearly 90% of the prewar male population dead. The word was that there was no male Paraguayan alive over the age of 12. Because of this, the Pope temporarily permitted polygamy until the population was replenished.
- Female children are often aborted in some regions of China and northern India, depending on local culture. Where this is impossible, such as in some of China's rural regions, baby girls are sometimes simply murdered after they are born. There are laws against this on the books, but they are either not enforced very rigidly or ineffective at curbing this. The cause is social mores that make male children more valuable — "girl babies don't count." The Economist magazine wrote that "it is no exaggeration to call this gendercide", adding that the number of women "missing" in this way is well over a hundred million. This has led to increasing criminalization of selective abortion of females, including banning the use of ultrasound for non-medical reasons, but the laws have had limited effect because it's hard to prove the doctor informed a couple of a child's gender. Yin Yin Nwe, Unicef's representative to China, refers the fact that the one-child policy brings many benefits for girls "but they have to be born first".
- This results in a (much less serious) social problem for men: it means that there is a perpetual drought of women for spouses. In China this problem is frequently "solved" by trafficking women, often North Korean defectors, and forcing them to marry men. The Family Planning Policy was enforced through a financial penalty in the form of the "social child-raising fee" which is a percentage of the annual income.
- The rules were later relaxed so that families are allowed to apply to have a second child if they live away from densely populated urban areas. As of 2007, only 35.9% of the population were subject to a strict one-child limit. 52.9% were permitted to have a second child if their first-born was a daughter; 9.6% of Chinese couples were permitted two children regardless of their gender; and 1.6% had no limit at all. In 2015, it was abolished completely, due in part to fears by the Chinese government their population had become too imbalanced. Despite this, the birth rate in 2018 was the lowest since 1961, 18 years before the policy began. However, this does not mean reproductive freedom: rather, couples are now limited to two children.
- Infanticide has a long history. Back before birth control - i.e., before the twentieth century - people dealt with unwanted children in one of two ways: abortion, which was common virtually worldwide, and getting rid of the baby after it was born. In Europe and its offshoots, this took the form of giving your baby to an orphanage or a guild, or simply to leave them someplace that someone might pick them up. Whether the child lived or died - and at least nine out of ten babies abandoned in this way did die - was irrelevant, because their parents had not, technically, committed infanticide. In the (Indian) Subcontinent and East Asia, they gave them (honourable) death. Of course, there's many a case of parents throughout Eurasia meaning to dispose of their unwanted child, only to find they just can't do it; related to this, there are countless cases of the adoption of unwanted babies by those unable to have (more) children themselves.
- Three types of children were abandoned or 'exposed' in Ancient Rome: disabled or deformed boys, younger daughters of 'respectable' families of any rank (although it was unusual for a poor family to keep even a single girl), and illegitimate daughters of freeborn mothers. Basically a boy had to be disabled or deformed to be exposed, while more girls were exposed than not. The Roman government frequently offered incentives - money, prestige, lower taxes, even higher rank - to parents with four or more children specifically to cut down on female infanticide; even so, by the time of the Good Emperors, poor men often joined the military because they couldn't find a wife in Rome.
- World War I saw the deaths of ten million soldiers — all of them male — and six million civilians. Given equal distribution of civilian casualties by gender, that's over four men killed for every woman. When Europe tried to pick up the pieces after the war was over, they were faced with a plethora of women and a dearth of men.
- WW1's overwhelmingly male casualty rate had knock-on effects for WW2: the onset of the second war ~20 years after the end of the first was in part due to the combatant nations needing a generation of young men to reach military service age to repopulate their armies. France, which of the major WW1 powers had the highest casualties as percent of population (over 4%)note , recovered very poorly. Its standing army and conscription pool had a high average age and low mobilization speed, which contributed to the rapid fall of France in 1940.
- This is why the spinster is such a prominent fixture in mid-20th C. popular fiction, especially in the Commonwealth.
- By contrast, World War II killed approximately sixty million people. Twenty-five million were soldiers (overwhelmingly male, although not entirely so this time aroundnote ), while around thirty-five million were civilians. Again, given equal male and female civilian deaths, that means a little over two men dead per woman.
- We have evidence that significantly more female civilians died than male, as paradoxically Red Army soldiers had a lower death rate than Slavic civilians in German-occupied Eastern Europe. Also, young Jewish men had a higher rate of survival than any other Jewish group; they were used as slave labour (where they had a small if real chance to escape) while their female and older relatives were sent directly to the gas.
- In many farms, due to the lack of use of male chickens (who don't produce the meat and eggs that hens do), almost all male chicks are killed when born, with only a select few being spared from the slaughter to mate with the females when they reach adulthood to keep the eggs fresh and fertile, and to function as biological alarm clocks. Be warned, many undercover videos depict graphic scenes of the chicks being slaughtered.
- Similarly, for cattle used in milk production, most of the males will be slaughtered as they're not useful. A few of course are kept around to mate.
- Some species of whiptail lizard have experienced this. We don't know the exact cause, but these species experienced a reduction in the genetic material on the male chromosome over time, until there were no more males of these kinds of lizards. They adapted though; these species consist entirely of females, and each one lays eggs that are an exact clone of her. To stimulate egg-laying, though, they still have to mate, and this is done by finding another female. The larger dominant female of a given pairing lays more and larger eggs.
- This trope is an annual event for the genus Antechinus, tiny Australian marsupials that resemble shrews. During their breeding season, which takes place over just a few days, males do nothing but frantically seek out females and copulate with them, never stopping to eat, drink, sleep, or attend to cuts and scrapes they suffer in their madcap Testosterone Poisoning-driven quest to breed. By the time all the females are pregnant, the males are all dead or dying from infections, organ failure, and sheer exhaustion. Then it's up to the ladies to raise the next generation of females and sex-suicidal males.
- Many species of rotifers (tiny algae-eating freshwater animals) go through this trope on a seasonal basis. When the vernal ponds and puddles they inhabit are regularly refreshed by rain, the females breed parthenogenetically and no males are present. As their habitat starts to dry up and/or freeze, the she-rotifers start laying male eggs. The males that hatch from these are much smaller than the females, and their only function is to impregnate as many females as possible, in the few hours before they all - having no digestive systems - die of starvation. The females then lay sexually-produced eggs which, unlike the parthenogenetic ones, can survive for prolonged periods when their habitat dries up or ices over. Once the water returns/melts, the male-sired eggs hatch out a new batch of females.
- Historically, it's been fairly common practice that after one group has defeated another all men and boys (over certain ages, often ten or so) are killed. The women and girls meanwhile are absorded into the victor's groups, as sex slaves/wives.