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Real Women Don't Wear Dresses
aka: Real Women Never Wear Dresses

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Guess which of these women is the tough, competent one.
"And over time [the writers] realized that you don't have to put a sword in a woman's hand to make her seem tough."
Liv Tyler, on the development of her character Arwen from The Lord of the Rings
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A woman is shown as weak, incompetent, and ineffectual unless she dresses and behaves in a masculine manner (and in some cases, ditches her heterosexuality completely and becomes a Celibate Hero or Butch Lesbian because attraction towards men is a "weakness"), or is otherwise applauded for being "Not Like Other Girls." A variation is a Tomboy and Girly Girl scenario, where the tomboy is presented as superior. It's not hard to spot the Unfortunate Implications: that traditionally feminine traits are weak and worthless and women must "masculinize" themselves to be taken seriously. It takes the old prescriptivist gender roles and merely inverts them, creating a new prescribed gender role that female characters must adhere to or be shunned.

And yet, the trope persists, and we record it. Between a woman in trousers and one in a dress, the odds are the trouser lady is going to be the Action Girl of the pair and the one in the dress is going to be a Damsel in Distress. Variations exist, of course, especially in works after the third-wave "Girl Power" feminism. Many of the straight examples are from older works, when having proactive female characters at all was fairly edgy.

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See also Girly Girl, Pink Means Feminine, and the various tropes on Acceptable Feminine Goals and Traits. The Spear Counterpart inversion of this trope is Real Men Wear Pink.

Compare Stop Being Stereotypical and Tender Tomboyishness, Foul Femininity. Contrast Agent Peacock, Girly Bruiser, Kicking Ass in All Her Finery, Lady of War, and Silk Hiding Steel, where it is the feminine character who is presented as capable, Vasquez Always Dies, where trouser-wearing and competence aren't enough to keep a woman alive, and Nothing Nice About Sugar and Spice when a female villain is traditionally feminine but very, very dangerous. Compare Female Misogynist. A woman who Hates Wearing Dresses might dislike dresses due to this viewpoint. See also Girl-Show Ghetto, where a dominantly feminine "girly" work is considered lesser quality, presumably due to this. See also Action Dress Rip, which can be interpreted as a justification of this trope in some circumstances.

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Note: This is not an audience reaction trope. Only add examples where a character is derided by another character in-universe for having traditionally feminine traits, or where the work itself clearly portrays femininity as a sign of weakness, incompetence, or inferiority compared to other women.


Examples:

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    Comic Books 
  • Albedo: Erma Felna EDF: Averted in one story where Erma finds out, with Toki's coaxing, that she finds that occasionally indulging her feminine side, like buying and wearing a sexy dress and attracting the appreciative stares of males, is fun. However, she still is no less a soldier on this kind of off-time such as she spots a possible terrorist with a gun and she and Toki have him covered with their own sidearms instantly. It turns out to be only a camera with a pistol grip, but everyone assures Erma that it was a reasonable call.
  • Parodied in Rick Veitch's Brat Pack, with Straw Feminist superhero Moon Maiden. As she teaches her sidekick, Lunar Lass, that emotion and weakness are one and the same to warrior women. Attachments and relationships are for little girls and weaklings. When Lunar Lass gets pregnant, Moon Maiden freaks and speechifies about how a warrior woman needs no one, especially not a child. So she forces her to give herself an abortion with a wire hanger because she can't be a strong or respectable woman if she has a baby.
  • In The Fire Never Goes Out, ND Stevenson reflects on how in his teens he used to be averse to "feminine" aspects like getting married and wearing dresses. By the time he did get married in 2019 (to Molly Ostertag), he'd come to enjoy both for his wedding day.
  • Parodied as early as the 1950s, with "perfect little lady" Janie Jackson teased and compared unfavorably to the superheroine Tomboy ("That's what I call a real girl!") by her older brother, who never realized that Janie and Tomboy were the same person.
  • The Argentinian comic strip Mafalda: As Mafalda's ideas on women's rights were advanced by the standards of The '60s and The '70s, they come as more rude and stuck-up than well-intentioned to modern readers, especially when she constantly and very rudely tells her House Wife mother, Raquel, that she's "useless" and "mediocre" because she chose to raise Mafalda at home than juggle with work/college and motherhood.
  • Bendis' run on Uncanny X-Men mentions this trope. The female recruits are ashamed of wanting to go shopping "like normal girls". For—shock horror—clothes. And soap. And books. They have a whole spiel justifying it, but their teachers (of both genders) understand immediately and consider it a good idea.
  • The creation of Wonder Woman was William Moulton Marston's attempt to address this in society:
    Marston: Not even girls want to be girls so long as our feminine archetype lacks force, strength, and power. Not wanting to be girls, they don't want to be tender, submissive, peace-loving as good women are. Women's strong qualities have become despised because of their weakness. The obvious remedy is to create a feminine character with all the strength of Superman plus all the allure of a good and beautiful woman.

    Films — Animated 
  • The Emoji Movie has Jailbreak, a princess emoji who despises the gender roles associated with them. This causes her to define her life in opposition to femininity, even rejecting romance. She seems to revert back to the exact opposite role by the film's end.
  • There’s a moment in Moana where Maui calls Moana a princess, something she protests against, with both of them treating the title as something with inherently negative connotations. Moana herself is very tomboyish and an Action Girl, so the implication is that she is offended by being associated with something traditionally feminine and 'weak'. That being said, her most defining character trait is her compassion - a most feminine virtue.
  • Strange Magic: The main character Marianne is a pants-wearing Tomboy Princess in contrast to her Princess Classic sister Dawn. Marianne gets to be a sword-fighting badass while Dawn spends half the film as a Damsel in Distress.
  • At the climax of Wreck-It Ralph, after Turbo is defeated, Vanellope is revealed to be the princess of Sugar Rush, with a fancy gown. She only wears it once more at the wedding of Fix-It-Felix and Sgt. Calhoun, abdicating the throne because she feels more comfortable racing. In the sequel, her casual outfit inspires the other Disney Princesses to make their own casual wear outfits.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In the 1967 film Bonnie and Clyde, Blanche Barrow is portrayed as The Load in contrast to Bonnie Parker and, in the real Blanche's own words, "a screaming horses' ass." Significant in that the two male leads, Clyde Barrow and Buck Barrow, aren't foiled against each other to the same extreme.
  • Charlie Watson from Bumblebee never wears anything remotely feminine, usually wearing sleeveless band shirts and jeans to emphasize her role as The Lad-ette. When she is given a flower-style helmet by her mother as a birthday present, she is rather unimpressed with it.
  • Averted with the Tomboy and Girly Girl Goldstein sisters from Fantastic Beasts. Tina is the tomboy, down-to-earth cop who mostly wears muted colors and trousers, in contrast to the setting of the 1920s. Queenie is the flighty girly girl who wears lots of pastel colors and only wears skirts. However, they're both talented, powerful witches, and neither is presented as being more powerful or smarter than the other. They're just talented in different ways.
  • Subverted in Fighting with My Family - where Saraya looks down on her fellow trainees who came from dancing, modelling, or cheerleading (read: traditionally feminine) backgrounds. Initially thinking they're a shallow Girl Posse only using wrestling as a stepping stone, she learns that they do care about wrestling too - and uses her experience to help them improve. There's even a subplot where she goes blonde, tans, and gives herself a Girliness Upgrade to fit in - and it's not shown as bad because girliness itself is bad, but rather because she's suppressing her own personality when she was hired for her uniqueness.
  • In Conan the Barbarian (2011) Conan makes a crack that wearing a dress makes Action Girl Tamara look like a whore, then gets her some leather armor. He didn't think this was worthy of comment when they first met, and it's played as a sign she's earned his respect.
  • Casey's mother from the Disney film Ice Princess says, "I know ice skating requires a great deal of athleticism and skill, but I just can't get past the twinky little outfits." Never mind that male ice skaters wear outfits that are almost as "twinky" and in some cases even "twinkier". Also, she's saying this about a sport that is dangerous on the level of gymnastics but has metal blades! This being a Disney film, by the end of the movie, the mother realizes she was wrong.
  • In a World…...: Real Women Don't Talk Like Sexy Babies. The main character starts a voice training course to help women speak in such a way as to be taken seriously as professionals. Which, judging by what we see onscreen, mostly consists of speaking in a lower register... in other words, more like a man.
  • The female classmates of Elle Woods in Legally Blonde hold similar views. Although none of the women are butch — not even the Straw Feminist — they are prejudiced against the main character's ridiculously girly outfits and her fondness of pink. They all adopt a sober, toned-down style and minimal makeup, and of course, they consider Elle to be a shallow Dumb Blonde without any of the skills or abilities needed for Law School. Elle started to change her fashion sense and attitudes to merge with the other students and look more mature and professional, but it didn't work for her. She started to feel repressed and uncomfortable, and anyway it did little to change the way the other students saw her. In the end, Elle just destroys the prejudices by becoming a successful and smart lawyer while still retaining her girliness, although her style changed from that of a ridiculously girly — and childish — teenager to a feminine young adult.
  • Mean Girls shows Cady's Face–Heel Turn being accompanied by girlier outfits, more make-up, and feminine hairstyles - as opposed to her more casual style at the start of the film (she didn't even own anything pink beforehand). Granted it's shown that the Plastics are more complicated than just being a brainless Girl Posse, but the least-feminine Janis's flaws are ignored by the narrative and Cady's return to a more casual style at the end of the film codes her redemption.
  • Lisa (Grace Kelly) frequently wears Pimped Out Dresses in Rear Window, but after she risks her life to help expose the murderer, she wears a blouse and blue jeans in the closing scene. She also does this to impress her boyfriend, who thinks she couldn't adapt to his lifestyle.
  • In Small Soldiers, Alan's mother is contrasted with Kristy's. Alan's has short hair, mostly wears pants, and when the Commandos attack she fights them off. Kristy's mother is long-haired, notably spends most of the film in a pink dressing gown, and willingly hides in the closet when the Commandos are attacking. Also Kristy is presented as a bit of a Ladette which is shown as a very positive thing. Especially when her Gwendy dolls (which she admits she has always hated) come to life — they are presented as Girly Bruiser fighters and Kristy takes great delight in smashing them up. Nothing at all symbolic about a teenage girl smashing up her doll collection eh?
  • Twister has the love triangle between Bill Harding's estranged wife, a down-to-earth country woman, and his stylish new fiance. Guess who handles the tornadoes better.
  • While Wonder Woman (2017) doesn't play into this trope, it was all over the promotional material. Gal Gadot excitedly told Ellen DeGeneres how happy she was that her daughter would have Wonder Woman to look up to as opposed to the Disney Princess characters.

    Music 
  • Deliberately invoked with a twist in the very NSFW song "Only Straight Girls Wear Dresses" by CWA, in which a Lipstick Lesbian reads the title in graffiti in a bathroom, finds the perp, and convinces her otherwise; with sex.
  • Daya's "Sit Still, Look Pretty" pokes fun at other women who dress up and wear expensive jewelry.
  • The song "Jolly Old St. Nicholas" has a verse that traditionally goes: "Johnny wants a pair of skates./Susy wants a dolly./Nellie wants a storybook/She thinks dolls are folly." However, complaints got raised that the song was stereotyping all girls to want dolls, even though only Suzy wants a doll while Nellie thinks dolls are stupid. A politically correct version, therefore, was written, which goes: "Johnny wants a pair of skates./Susy wants a sled./Nellie wants a picture book./Yellow, blue, and red." So Suzy is no longer "stereotyped" but as a result, Nellie is now illiterate. Hooray for... improvements?
    • Another version fixes the new problem by saying "Nelly wants a storybook, one she hasn't read."
  • Marina Diamandis "Girls" is from the perspective of a girl who believes that her fellow female peers are boring and shallow because they don't "think like a guy." Marina nowadays admits to cringing when she hears the lyrics.
  • The video for P!nk's song "Stupid Girls" equates "stupidity" with feminine things such as playing with dolls, putting on make-up, and wearing anything pink while equating being smart with being a tomboy and physically strong. The end of the video has a little girl choosing to play football instead of playing with her dolls.
  • The Taylor Swift song "You Belong With Me" has the line "she wears short skirts/I wear t-shirts," and "she wears high heels/I wear sneakers," and makes it clear that her close friend's high-heel- and dress-wearing girlfriend doesn't understand him.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • Peanuts had Peppermint Patty, the most athletic female character, wear shorts in contrast to the other girls' dresses. What's interesting is this is actually a minor point of angst for Patty, who has severe self-image issues (she once broke down crying upon seeing the Little Red-Haired Girl, her Unknown Rival for Charlie Brown's affections) and wants dearly for someone to see her as beautiful. That said, however, a short arc showed Patty being not at all pleased with her school imposing a dress code forcing her to wear a dress. The conclusion we can draw from this is that while Patty wants to be seen as beautiful and feminine, she wants it on her terms, and not at the expense of her natural tomboy personality or athleticism. Lucy and Sally later stopped wearing dresses in the 1980s.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • La Tigresa's supposed issue with Amarillis in WWC was her being an untalented model hired for her looks. Turned out her actual issue was more along the lines of jealousy, as Tigresa wanted to keep Amarillis from becoming a good wrestler and getting into contention for her woman's title.
  • This is the reason Yoshimoto Women's Pro Wrestling Jd' failed to turn around after it was turned into JD Star by Hidenobu Ichimaru. Jd' had already lost its purpose after Jaguar Yokota left, as it was created to push her but Ichimaru's attempts to salvage it revolved around scouting girls with model-level good looks to train in the jd' dojo in an effort to produce wrestlers who would become actresses. The process produced both the worst and the best wrestlers to ever come out of Jd' but the very ideas of looks being first priority and entering pro wrestling as a stepping stone to something that wasn't even a sport were too off-putting to the wider puroresu community, with some joshi eschewing Japanese Politeness to state an "athtress" had no business in the ring with them.
  • Early TNA stable "Bitch Slap", Nurse Veronica, Traci Brooks, Cheerleader Valentina, and Trinity, were out to improve the image of women in the company by removing those they deemed undesirable. That's right, they were trying to remove the T&A from a pay-per-view company called TNA. Their main targets were cage dancers but they confusingly picked on jobber Daizee Haze too.
  • Implied by Nikki Roxx, when "Barbie Crusher" and "Bimbo Plant" were settled on for the names of her finishing moves. Fans had a tendency to chant "Barbi Doll" at her opponents too, up to and including Hailey Hatred (who often does wear a dress, incidentally) at APW's first ChickFight tournament.
  • Best known for working in CMLL and Southern Mexico's Women Wrestling Stars, her catchphrase, "Soy luchadora no modelo!", suggested Starfire was of this mindset. However, she did do photoshoots as High-Speed champion in World Wonder Ring ST★RDOM. Faced covered shoots, but shoots all the same.
  • Tammy Lynn Sytch's feud with The Lovely Lacey and later The Age of the Fall started when she praised Daizee Haze and Lacey for being real wrestlers and Lacey responded to say that Sytch was a Diva who did not belong in Ring of Honor. (it should be noted this was provoked by Sytch's past Stay in the Kitchen attitude, which Lacey never forgave Tammy for)
  • After her aspirations for grace, infatuation with "The Indy's Most Hated" Amadeus, and any friendly tendencies she had left all died, this became a part of Sienna Duvall's gimmick. Having encountered one too many "divas" in the business, it became her aim to root them out and beat them until they give it up.
  • After a brief stint with TNA, "The Wrestling Goddess" Athena returned to Traditional Championship and Mid-South Wrestling expecting acceptance from Malia Hosaka, who instead told her all Athena had done was prove she thought being in a squared circle was all about T&A. However, Hosaka had to grudgingly admit Athena was tough and talented after they split a series.
  • This became The Anti Diva Serena Deeb's secondary gimmick in FCW while she was in the Straight Edge Society of WWE. She soon enough inspired two successors in Anti Divas Sofia Cortez and Paige. (perhaps because they lacked the primary gimmick, the latter two got huge pops). Judging by some of Sweet Nancy's comments, it seems she and Leandra also took on an "anti-diva" mindset in EWO (and not to pops).
  • When World Wonder Ring STARDOM started up, one of the audience alienating premises was its imitation of the "glamour" approach JD Star took up midway through its lifespan, with the hiring of a swimsuit model or "gravure idol" Yuzuki Aikawa being a particularly strong point of contention. While Aikawa would quickly earn the sympathy of fans after recovering from a thorough thrashing given by Nanae Takahashi(which also established STARDOM as the most violent non shoot, non garbage joshi fed), several other wrestlers remained resentful, to the point efforts to ruin "Yuzupon's" looks so she couldn't return to modeling became a Running Gag.
  • This was turned into a storyline in WWE in 2011 with Beth Phoenix and Natalya's heel turns, the two of them proclaiming they were sick of the models in WWE. Interestingly on WWE's part, they kept both sides with a sympathetic point of view; Beth and Natalya wanting to make the division more serious and about wrestling, while the likes of Kelly Kelly and Eve Torres trying to prove themselves as wrestlers.
  • OVW had two new glamazons after Beth Phoenix got called up who provide two different variations. Paradyse is a femboy who likes his women mannish while Epiphany is a bully who likes torturing those she considers "divas".
  • This article discusses this trope in relation to the WWE Divas and offers a neutral stance on the debate.
  • TNA would be at it again with Jacqueline and ODB singling out Velvet Sky and accusing her of ruining the knockouts division with her girly girlness.
  • On the July 28, 2012 episode of Ring of Honor TV, there was a clip of Sara Del Rey attacking Maria Kanellis during a brawl between Eddie Edwards and Mike Bennett. This cut to an Edwards promo where he said that he could do anything he wanted to Mike Bennett but he couldn't put his hands on Maria, so he got someone who could. Sara walked into the scene and called Maria "disgusting. You worry about your hair and your nails when a real woman would break you in half."
  • Sara Del Rey subjected XFC cage doll dancer (and former queen of FCW) Angela Fong to an extended squash to prove models can't be wrestlers, at least not good wrestlers. This had extra humiliating aspects, as Fong was fresh off leaving WWE, had a strong reputation as a fitness model, and got completely dominated, with Sara winning all 3 falls, and Fong getting no offense whatsoever.
  • After being invited to compete at SHINE, Jessicka Havok took a liking to the company and became protective of it. Her first act in SHINE's name was to cripple earlier invitee Reby Sky, who Havok reasoned had only been contacted because of "smut" and had to be removed from the roster if the promotion was to ever get any respect. Interestingly, Havok tolerated sharing the Crossfire roster with Sky immediately before having a fit at seeing her in SHINE.
  • Jessie Kaye (JK Kennadi Brink on Sparkle to distinguish her from Jessie McKay of Team Australia) is a diva despising wrestler. Her issue's that she had an unhappy, fat childhood and saw the same type of people who passed her up and then continuing to do so in her profession of choice.
  • The Deathmatch Diva Slayer Jewells Malone, who would like to introduce her perky, dancing, rump shaking classmate Seleziya Sparx to a heavy object wrapped in barbed wire. Malone's not above wrestling in a mini dress, though.
  • On NXT when there were around six Divas, the babyface side consisted entirely of girls with Tomboy gimmicks: Kid-Appeal Character Bayley, woman-child Emma and the Anti-Diva Paige. The heel side was a stable of girly girls known as the BFFs - creating some Unfortunate Implications. In 2014 this was reversed as the heel side included Tomboy Becky Lynch and the face side gained Cute Bruiser Alexa Bliss.
  • Hayley Shadows was once a fairly girly girl by pro wrestling standards. But that girl died, and the former "cuddle monster" stated her "Dead Barbies Tour" in 2017 to add to the graves.
  • Jade Chung initially wore very flashy outfits, including tight dresses and skirts, early in her wrestling career, but when she decided she wanted to have more of an in-ring career, she adopted this mentality and mostly wrestles in more conventional ring gear.
  • Trish Stratus started out as The Vamp, using Distracted by the Sexy tactics to bamboozle The Dudley Boys during their feud with T&A, the tag team she managed. Later, she became a Gold Digger trying to seduce Vince McMahon. Her regular outfits consisted of short skirts and tight shorts. When Character Development made her a more serious wrestler, she mostly stopped wearing dresses and gradually phased out shorts in her ring gear in favor of long pants. Instead of trying to seduce men, she was more likely to be targeted by male wrestlers and authority figures, most of whom she had zero interest in.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The first known wargame, Little Wars, published by H. G. Wells in 1913, has a subtitle claiming it to be "a game for boys from twelve years of age to one hundred and fifty and for that more intelligent sort of girl who likes boys' games and books."

    Theatre 
  • In-story, Lady Macbeth has this opinion of herself. She calls on evil spirits to make her less feminine and able to kill Duncan.
  • At first, Wicked suggests that the pink-clad Glinda is an Alpha Bitch who betrayed the more hard-working and tomboyish main character. The two become best friends, and learn from one another to overcome their respective faults. The apparent "betrayal" was something both of them were in on.

    Visual Novels 
  • In Choice of Kung-Fu, if the player chooses to make their avatar female, this trope will potentially affect dialogue. When she sees a badly injured woman collapsed on the road, she has three options: to immediately help, to cautiously investigate the situation further, or to callously walk past on the basis that "it's women like her that make it so hard for women like me to get respect". Doing the latter will fail Master Zhuge's Secret Test of Character and earn her dislike. Zhuge is female, incidentally.
  • Averted in Long Live the Queen. If Elodie completely refrains from raising her courtly talents, she'll likely alienate her allies and stand alone against her enemies. As one review put it, "You can't make a successful Arya without adding a little Sansa."

    Webcomics 
  • Eerie Cuties: Tomboy Brooke rarely wears skirts or dresses despite having a very practical reason to do so (she occasionally turns into a half-snake and loses her pants to Clothing Damage). Lampshaded by girly-girl Melissa here.
  • Debated between skirt-hating Straw Feminist Susan and skirt-loving Action Girl Nanase in El Goonish Shive here (although though both were transformed into boys at the time) with Susan naturally taking the Real Women Don't Wear Dresses side of the argument.
    • Susan may be thawing slightly; she did pick a skirt over slacks avatar in one IM conversation (Vanellope Von Schweetz from Wreck-It Ralph).
  • Kate Beaton mocked this trope with "Strong Female Characters" in Hark! A Vagrant.
    Strong Female Character (while punching a Housewife in the face): Your reign of terror is over you cookie baking BITCH!
  • In L's Empire, Void asks why Daisy wears a dress if she's a tomboy. She responds as such:
    Daisy: DID YOU EVER THINK THAT MAYBE I LIKE TO WEAR DRESSES? HUH, DID YOU EVER THINK OF THAT?
  • Ménage à 3 / Pixie Trix Comix: Pro wrestler Roxie is absolutely determined to project a tough image, in and out of the ring, and seems to lack some confidence in her own feminine attractiveness; hence, she frequently invokes this trope, not only not wearing dresses but, for example, avoiding going dancing. Two of her girlfriends, Brandy and Zadie, put some effort into convincing her to be a little more flexible — Brandy gets her into a Pimped-Out Dress, while Zadie takes her lingerie shopping and dancing. Note that this is very much a confidence issue with Roxie, rather than a matter of principle; she’s a lesbian who very much appreciates “girly” attractiveness in other women.
    Zadie: Dance aggressive! Tough girls dance all the time!
  • Parodied in Sinfest when Monique cries over a TV show, and gets her "strong woman" card suspended. (Other characters have also had various cards suspended for not behaving stereotypically. For instance, Squigley loses his Brocard after he dares to acknowledge the athleticism of female tennis players rather than just watching for panty shots.)

    Web Original 
  • The Let's Player BrainWeasel notes that Final Fantasy X-2 "loses a few [feminism] points" because the female protagonist has a Heroic BSoD when her world is on the brink of (another) pointless war and she's forced to kill her aeons in self-defense. BrainWeasel also advises authors not to have female victims of Demonic Possession, because it makes them look passive and weak. Presumably, male characters can have the same thing happen to them but fully retain their "strong" credentials.
  • Use of this trope in advertising is conversed and critiqued on Cracked here.
  • This is a common criticism of Feminist Frequency from feminists. See, for example, the multi-part analysis from Liana K, who took special umbrage at Sarkeesian Slut-Shaming any woman portrayed as having prominent breasts.
    • Although there have been occasions in which this trope is inverted, as she doesn't count Mattie from True Grit, Zoe from Firefly, and Furiousa as being for real feminist icons for being "too masculine".
  • Discussed on occasion by The Nostalgia Chick, who seems to regard this as a Pet-Peeve Trope. She's been known to call badly-done Action Girls "Kate Beatonian Strong Female Characters" (see above). In contrast, one of the things she liked about Frozen was that it trusted Anna to carry the narrative without giving her inexplicable fighting skills.
  • Zoe Washburn of Firefly, of all people, gets this treatment from the livejournal blog of allecto.
    • Specifically in the episode "War Stories", where Wash survives hours, possibly even a day, of brutal torture, then leads the effort to rescue the captain with roughly thirty seconds of rest first, while knowing they probably have days. Zoe gets this treatment because she rewards Wash by cooking soup.
      • The same critic (presumably) also accuses Wash of abusing Zoe. Her (the critic's) argument for this is that all white male/black female relationships she's known have been abusive. Never mind that the show makes it abundantly clear that Zoe wears the pants in the relationship and any attempt to abuse her would put Wash in a body cast for a year, this woman claims her own limited experiences are conclusive evidence.
      • The same critic later attempts to make her point by claiming that when it came to the episode's bounty, Zoe began to say something about it being marked for the Alliance and Mal telling her to shut up (in Chinese), which would infer that Mal used his power as a man to dominate and "abuse" his female (and black, as the critic wastes no time pointing out) subordinate. In fact, it was Wash who had made the comment about the bounty being marked, and Mal telling Wash to shut up, not Zoe.
      • Whether Mal aimed his remarks at Zoe or Wash wouldn't have mattered, really. He wasn't dominating or abusing his female or his male. He was giving an order as the captain. Just because he's usually easygoing and pleasant with his crew doesn't mean he doesn't expect them to jump when he tells them to. Especially since when he decides it's time to start giving orders, the orders involved are often things like "fire at will" and "run like hell."
    • Allecto somehow applies this to all of the female characters. She rags on Kaylee for having the gall to want to hook up with Simon, Zoe for... erm being married...? (she seems to think that all marriages ought to be celibate or something), and Inara for her profession. Never mind the fact that Inara is the only one on the ship who makes a steady living.
  • Lampshaded in Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series in the Episode 15 match between Tea Gardner and Mai Valentine. After dissing the latter for being a flirtatious "bleached blonde," Tea announces, "I'm going to beat you, Mai! And when I do, it will prove that women are equal to men!"


Wouldn't that mean that real men don't wear pants? Just maybe. Though everyone can agree, "Don't Wear Short Shorts".

Alternative Title(s): You Say Girl Like A Bad Thing, Femininity Is Bad, Real Women Never Wear Dresses

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