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Men Are Better Than Women

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NOTE: This is a counter-trope to Women Are Wiser, not Flame Bait or a comment on Real Life.

"If [women] were not fundamentally evil, they would not have been born women at all."

We all know that in works of media, the saintly women are more competent than those piggish men... Except when they're not.

This is a trope for works of media in which men are either portrayed as all-around more competent than women, or are stated to be superior. It isn't Straw Misogynist or He-Man Woman Hater, because those are about a character in-story having the worldview that men are superior to women. This trope is for when the author seems to have this worldview. In one of these works, male characters may not be sexist against the women, but they will certainly be mentally, physically, or morally superior to them.


Unlike Women Are Wiser, Men Are Better Than Women is not necessarily about male characters in the work being morally superior. Instead, it may be about men having an intellectual genius or fortitude that female characters are not shown in the work to have. It may even be combined with Women Are Wiser, creating a world where women are viewed as frail angels and men as competent movers and shakers.

Although not as frequent as in older works this trope is still sometimes played straight. When it is played straight the show will generally feature a male lead or male characters who are physical and/or mentally (fairly often even emotionally and morally) superior to female characters in the same setting even if said female characters are fairly competent in their own rights. This applies whether the number of male characters outnumber or are outnumbered by the number of female characters, in latter case the few or lone male character (usually the lead) still has the tendency to be superior to the surrounding female characters in most ways that are significant to the plot. A form of Double Standard, in that it holds men to an impossible ideal and depicts women as naturally inferior. Like its counterpart, the trope is inherently sexist, or at the very least grounded in Author Appeal.


A society that thinks this is a No Woman's Land. Spear Counterpart to Women Are Wiser. Contrast The Unfair Sex, Men Are the Expendable Gender. Compare and contrast Men Are Generic, Women Are Special, Double Standard, and Sliding Scale of Gender Inequality. Compare Acceptable Feminine Goals and Traits, Never a Self-Made Woman and Stay in the Kitchen. Someone who believes Men Are Better Than Women may also believe My Girl Is Not a Slut, or No Guy Wants an Amazon.



  • Trope Namer is the website
  • Arthur Schopenhauer uses this trope in his Author Tract Of Women.
  • Aristotle zig-zags/downplays this trope. He believes that male and female virtues exist, and that men ought to exemplify the male ones, and women the female ones, and that in the ideal relationship, the man and woman bring out the proper virtues in each other. However, he still believes that female virtues are lower than male ones, and that the male body and mind are more ideal forms.
  • In the Sector General novels, human women are nurses, not doctors. It is also outright stated that woman can't take Educator tapes (which involves having a recording of an alien mind inside your head). They just can't stand the experience. Since the tapes are standard for surgeons and absolutely required for Diagnosticians, the hospital's highest-level doctors...the implications are obvious and unfortunate. (This is mostly down to Society Marches On, but was too deeply embedded for the author to retcon it away.)
  • In Sorcerer To The Crown by Zen Cho, being a sorcerer is a men's only club. Upperclass women are not allowed to perform magic as they are believed to be too fragile and that their weak minds could not deal with the effects of magic. (Lower class women are also not be allowed to become sorcerers, of course, and also considered too fragile to use magic in theory but their using magic to improve their cooking or cleaning, etc. is tolerated.
  • Oscar Wilde's An Ideal Husband states that, essentially, men are meant to go out into the world and do great things, while the most a woman can ask for is to help and support a great man.
  • Averted in The Art Of Manliness; while it is chock full of advice towards men on how to live up to the traditional ideals of proactiveness, wisdom, personal strength, independence, elegance, and chivalry, it doesn't assert the superiority of men over women in any way, explicit or implicit. In fact, one of the site's owners and main contributors is actually a woman.
    • In its critique of The Art of Manliness, rival men's website Return Of Kings asserts that Men Are Better Than Women is true, and claims that The Art of Manliness ignoring this "fact" is what makes it inadequate as a men's website.
  • The Blacklist, though having competent female characters from time to time, tends to portray the men as being wiser and more grounded than the women:
    • The clear example is the relationship between Elizabeth "Lizzie" Keen and Raymond "Red" Reddington, as, despite the fact that Lizzie can show competence and insights, Lizzie almost always has to turn to Red for clues and advice, reaching levels where Red is the one telling Lizzie how to do her job. Lizzie is also quite impulsive and reckless, often needing Red or her husband, Tom, to keep her grounded.
    • On Lizzie's team, the only other woman is Meera Malik, who will provide clues and insights from time to time but is almost always overshadowed by Aram Mojtabi or Donald Ressler, who seem to always have the "key" clue.
    • On the criminal side, Gina Zanetakos, Madeline Pratt and The Judge are outsmarted by Red, with The Judge even getting a dressing down in terms of justice from Red. With regards to Jolene Parker, it at first appears that she's able to outsmart Tom but eventually Tom gets the better of her, often sounding more level-headed than the rash Parker.
    • Other women on the show tend to be nothing more than ciphers, being there to assist whatever male character is the focal point at that particular point in the narrative.
  • Historically, some societies have believed this. There are cases of prehistoric societies where bone and dental remains indicate that women suffered from nutritional deficiencies compared to men. In some cases of small hunter-gatherer groups, this led to demographic collapse; turns out, if you don't feed women enough, you lose lots of babies, and your culture dies out.


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