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Stay in the Kitchen

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Hammond: But you know, I should really be the one going.
Dr. Sattler: Why?
Hammond: Well, because you're a... and I'm a...
Dr. Sattler: Look, we can discuss sexism in survival situations when I get back.

When a character or the narrative insists that women must be barred from action/office and stay on the sidelines. Never mind if they might be far more capable than men, they're girls, and that's what counts!

Most straight examples of this trope were made several decades in the past. Nowadays, as a result of Values Dissonance, when this trope is invoked, this character is unlikely to be treated sympathetically, if he isn't an outright Politically Incorrect Villain. He may get himself killed when his "protection" does more harm than good, get An Aesop from seeing the girls fight (if it's a one-episode affair), or have the women he's holding back label him as The Load and decide that they should Just Eat Gilligan. Occasionally, the chivalry will be played as sweet and more or less well-intentioned, but still comes off as misguided. Sometimes there will be an unfortunate Broken Aesop wherein our white knight is criticized for suggesting that the women should be protected, only for these particular women to prove that they really did need protecting.

This attitude is prevalent in the real world. The United States military, for example, officially barred women from direct combat until 2013 with The Dulcinea Effect as their reasoning, believing that male troops would be too distracted protecting their female squad members or turn into loose cannon killers if they got hurt, destroying their cohesiveness as a fighting force; they didn't allow women in combat zones at all until the 1990s. Women currently require roughly half of the physical requirements of men, but combat pushes even those men past their ability to contend with. In the Middle East, the male squadmates often must carry the females' packs on long patrols. Current and former female Marines and soldiers seem to approve of the military's consideration of possibly requiring female infantry to pass the male physical requirements.

When it comes to cultural bias, things are less pretty and there is no chivalry involved, especially if this stance comes from male fans unfairly judging female characters. Apart from the usual projection of one's own (bad) experience with women, male fans who use this trope contend that a woman just can't be as badass as a man, just can't achieve anything by herself and that women fighting each other looks too titillating and ridiculous to actually be taken seriously. In short, women's only acceptable behavior according to such fans is Extreme Doormat or else their impact on the story will always be negative.

Even with the plethora of anime and manga series with physically strong female leads, this trope is still seen in Japan, as old gender roles still linger. In the West, the prevalence of more conservative, old-fashioned social mores keeps the number of strong females low, although that is changing. The prevalence of the Girl-Show Ghetto also has its influences.

Conversely, it should also be noted that there are, in fact, women who genuinely prefer to be homemakers and mothers rather than, say, having a high-powered corporate career; this trope should not be used to write those women off as inherently 'lesser'. This trope is about characters who think that all women should fit into this model, not about saying that women shouldn't be allowed to stay home and raise children if they so choose.

Remember that "Stay In The Kitchen" is a Non-Indicative Name; the trope deals not with demands that women cook, but with incidents where men attempt to belittle women (or, although quite rare, protect them) from danger by insisting that they stay uninvolved or only involve themselves on the periphery (and in doing so, act on the tacit assumption that women cannot protect themselves or fight competently). For the version directed at children or otherwise with the assumption that the person's age or experience rather than their gender makes them unequipped to deal with what the speaker is dealing with, see Most Definitely Not Accompanying Us. Subtrope of Men Act, Women Are.

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    Comic Books 
  • Captain America (yes, he of the Politically Correct History) expresses this sentiment in Marvel Adventures: Super Heroes #8 after both him and a female Intrepid Reporter get in each other's way while pursuing a disguised Nazi, telling her that if she really wants to help the war effort, there's plenty of sewing for her to do. The comic ends with An Aesop that all great people are flawed, but the good that they do outshines their imperfections.
  • Preacher:
    • This is one of the main character flaws of Jesse Custer and a large source of friction between him and his capable, gun-toting girlfriend. This started when he saw her get shot in the head. It's portrayed more because he loves her and is afraid of her getting hurt, not because she's a girl. On the other hand, when a horse thief says that where he comes from "whores" know their place and stay out of men's business, Jesse unhesitatingly kicks him in the crotch.
    • Herr Starr subverts in the beginning when he exhorts German Special Forces to always shoot female terrorists first because any woman who gets picked for that kind of work in the sexist, male-dominated world of international terrorism will always be far tougher, stronger, and more fanatical than her male counterparts. This attitude was Truth in Television.
  • In the graphic novel Bone, Fone Bone tries to allocate chores as Thorn (the girl) does dishes, Fone Bone chops wood. Because, after all, chopping wood is a "manly" job. Unfortunately, he's not tall enough or heavy enough to even get the axe out of the chopping block, and as he's hanging from it, realizing this. He never pulls this trope again. (However, the only reason he tried this in the first place was so he can impress Thorn.)
    Thorn: What sort of manly activity is that?
    Fone Bone: Chin-ups! Go do th' dishes!
  • ElfQuest:
    • Shortly after the "barbaric" Wolfrider elves settle into the home of the more civilized Sun Folk elves, the two tribes learn of an approaching stampede of dumb but powerful horse-like Zwoots. The Sun Folk plan to hide in the caves until the stampede is over, but the Wolfriders decide to turn the stampede so that it avoids damaging the village. When Leetah spots petite Dewshine heading out to join the other Wolfriders, she objects.
      Leetah: But it is not a maiden's place to—
      Dewshine: What? Why not?
      [Leetah can't come up with a good answer]
      Dewshine: Don't you know your own mind about anything?
    • The Wolfriders themselves had a policy of employing males-only war parties under Bearclaw's leadership, which wasn't sexism in action, but their chieftain's pragmatic realization that his tribe was so diminished, it couldn't afford to lose any more "life-bearers" for fear of extinction.
  • Fantastic Four:
    • Reed Richards was like this with Sue for a while after their son Franklin was born. He would insist that she stay behind on more dangerous missions, on the grounds that she was "the mother of my child". This didn't last long (Sue put her foot down), and it was specific to Sue — he had no problem with the female Crystal or Medusa taking her place on such occasions. His worst moment being his infamous "Wives should be kissed, and not heard" line.
    • "The Micro World of Doctor Doom!" has Doom plot to have lizard people enslave the Fantastic Four. He tells the heroes that the lizard people would force Reed to do research, Johnny to help burn cities, Ben to work in the mines, and Sue to... cook everyone's meals.
  • The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck:
    • Chapter 5 "The Laird of Castle McDuck:" Scrooge is called home to help his family protect their ancestral castle from their rivals, the Whiskervilles. He arrives just as his Fiery Redhead sister Hortense is singlehandedly sending the would-be intruders running for their lives. Cue his father, with no commentary on the idiocy of this plan, telling his uncle to take the women home for their safety... including Hortense! Most likely a combination of Deliberate Values Dissonance and Rule of Funny.
    • "The Sharpie of Culebra Cut:" President Roosevelt repeatedly attempts this on Scrooge's sisters, and Hortense just as repeatedly disagrees.
  • Asterix:
    • In Asterix and Son, Impedimenta is told to "get back to your pots and pans, woman." She promptly smashes the offending Roman over the head with a pan.
    • This is also a central theme in Asterix and the Secret Weapon when the village calls for a new bard to improve the education of their children. They get Bravura, an independent woman who bucks social norms by wearing breeches as well as taking up a traditionally male career. Needless to say, the male inhabitants of the village are equal parts amused and irritated, especially when Bravura starts to influence their wives into becoming more proactive.
  • Legion of Super-Heroes has a couple of notorious '60s stories in which Brainiac 5 tries to tell Saturn Girl that the mission of the day is "too dangerous for a girl." The first time she goes along with it; the second time she insists on taking her chances along with everybody else, and the subject never comes up again.
  • Ms. Marvel:
    • In her earliest stories, Carol Danvers got this treatment from J. Jonah Jameson, who, as her boss, was something of a strawman misogynist.
    • Carol's father also seemed fond of this trope, telling her that the whole reason he refused to send her to college, sending one of her less academically minded brothers instead, was because as a woman Carol was supposedly too weak and fragile to handle college and a career in the real world and told her the best thing for her to do was just marry some random Nice Guy and let him take care of her. Naturally, Carol rejected this foolishness and joined the military, which ultimately led to her becoming a superhero.
    • One Avengers annual saw the Kamala Khan incarnation of the character read a fanfic where she took over the Captain Marvel mantle from Carol...only for the original Captain Marvel to show up and espouse this view, which she readily accepts. The story ends with the fanfic Kamala planning on baking muffins for the male Avengers and the real Kamala absolutely seething with rage.
  • Batman:
    • In a comic story from the 1940s, Robin imagines what would happen if Batman were to marry Kathy Kane, the original Batwoman. Robin, insecure about his place with Bruce, imagines Batman believing in this trope to make himself feel better.
    • This was the motivation for the "Dumpster Killer(s)" who Batman dealt with in several issues from the 1980s. They felt that feminism was making women act above their station in life, so they killed and mutilated them to send them a message. Or they were just jerks.
  • A Superman comic called "Mrs. Superman" features Lois Lane going into a coma and dreaming that she is married to Superman. The real Superman, in the hospital room watching her sleep, makes a suggestion that she left her job to marry him and was replaced by Lulu Lyons, whom Clark invented to make her jealous and wake up from the dream.
  • In issue 14 of Pocket God, Ooga suggests the girls should stay put while the boys search the jungle for supplies. Kinsee points out how sexist that is, but Ooga justifies it by arguing that since the since girls lost their Jewel of Life, they can't risk dying or else they'll be dead for good.
  • Supergirl traveled to a misogynist planet, Torma, in "The Heroine Haters" from Adventure Comics #384 (Sept. 1969). On Torma, women were raised to believe that they were inferior to men and fit only to serve them because a misogynist "Visitor" had zapped them with a brainwashing "suppressor beam," and each subsequent generation indoctrinated the girls to be subservient to men, who would never accept a superheroine. Supergirl visits a home where the wife brings a tray of food and the husband tells her "Return to the food preparation center now." She bows meekly and obeys. Supergirl resolves to fight this sexism and show these people what a woman can do, and soon after a Torman superheroine, inspired by her example, rises and carries on fighting misogyny.
  • Played for drama in the Astro City story, "Her Dark Plastic Roots". The robot Beautie discovers that she was invented by a prodigy daughter of a Gadgeteer Genius. However, he denounces Beautie because he thinks engineering and mathematics are not proper fields for girls; this causes the daughter to angrily renounce Beautie, ordering her to go away and "FORGET FOREVER!"
  • This is the attitude of Kang the Conqueror's soldiers from the far-advanced future in Marvel Comics.
    Were twentieth-century men so foolhardy as to allow powerless women to join them in battle? No wonder we now call their century "The Age of Unreason"!
  • Castlevania: The Belmont Legacy subverts this when Christopher tells his wife Illyana to stay behind in their castle, while he and his companions go confront Dracula. However, it has less to do with her being a woman and more with him being worried about her safety, considering one of his companions Pascha is a young woman and very capable of taking care of herself while Illyana herself... isn't.
  • Wonder Woman:
    • Steve Trevor occasionally spouted this viewpoint in the Golden Age, though conveniently only when it would be best for him and Diana if "Diana Prince" was out of the picture for the moment so Wonder Woman could arrive and help save the day. He never took issue with Wonder Woman, Etta Candy, the Holliday Girls, or any other women jumping into a fight so it's unlikely he actually felt this way.
    • Vol 1: When Robert Kanigher took over writing duties following Marston's death Steve started spouting this viewpoint at least three times an issue to and about every and any woman on the planet, including Wonder Woman, as whatever he was headed out to do was suddenly always "no job for a woman". He tended to be outright downgrading and insulting towards "Diana Prince" and Etta Candy despite having worked well with them before and only trying to exclude Diana, who in that identity supposedly had no fighting abilities when going into a fight.
    • Sensation Comics: Selldom Wright, a writer and editor for the misogynistic Fearless Men Magazine says "Oh, somebody ought to chain all women to the kitchen sink so we men could have some peace and get our work done!" when Chic tries to tell him about the activities of a gang he'd been writing an exposé series on.
  • Wonder Girl Vol. 1: This view is espoused by the talk show host ranting about the then-recent events of the universally reviled Amazons Attack!. In their own words "Women should be tending to hearth and home—not invading the capital and slaughtering innocents!"

    Comic Strips 
  • One of the reasons Anthony's marriage to Therese in For Better or for Worse failed is that he somehow expected her to do this trope and give up her highly successful career in finance after the birth of their daughter...and is completely shocked that she went back to her career. This being For Better or For Worse, though, we're supposed to see Therese as the bad guy. (What makes it worse is that Anthony promised to be the House Husband when he convinced Therese to get pregnant, and more or less went back on his word after her birth to chase after Liz.)
    • Liz had a more traditionally female career of teaching, and her sister-in-law Deanna gave up her career as a pharmacist to — get this — run a sewing school.
    • This is Played for Laughs in an earlier storyline, where the family visits relatives on a farm. The relatives' neighbor is a farmer with rather old-fashioned values, and at one point the aunt tells Elly that he doesn't think women are intelligent enough for good conversation and that their place is in the kitchen. The last panel shows the farmer dully commenting to John and the uncle on how it looks like rain. Another comic has Elly drive a tractor out to the fields. She reflects how easy, carefree, and fun the job is. The last panel has the farmer interrupting her, telling her "You get on home now, little lady. This here is men's work."
  • In Blondie, Dagwood at first objected furiously to Blondie starting her own catering business, as he was opposed to her working; he changed his mind quickly once she told him her predicted profit margin and realized he could help inspect what she made for her inventory.
  • A Biggles comic book set in modern times had the all-British hero declaring there's a place for skirts. In the end, he recants this sexist statement as his female sidekick has proved her pushing a single button. Admittedly it was the Big Red Button to activate the Self-Destruct Mechanism of the Supervillain Lair, but still...

    Fan Works 
  • Avatar: The Abridged Series:
    • Said almost word for word by Master Pakku to Katara (in a hilarious Scottish accent) "Now either learn to heal or get in the kitchen and MAKE SOME BABIES!"
    • Later, as she obviously wants to be involved in the fighting, he explains that in RPG conventions, girls are always healers, so he tells her to "Get in the back row and cast some bloody cure spells!" She doesn't take that kindly.
  • One of the bigger problems of Undocumented Features is that, regardless of their status in their canon series, women are almost always pushed into secondary roles while the men do all the fighting. "Justice and Mercy", in particular, is notorious for opening with Kei and Eiko being practically '50s sitcom wives.
  • A Crown of Stars: In chapter 74 Shinji tries to convince Asuka to stay behind as he fights because he is frightened of her dying. Consider that Asuka has been training for longer, she is their Transforming Mecha main pilot and -both know- she is a better pilot and soldier than him and you will fully get how dumb that was. Of course, Asuka takes it as good and readily as you would expect, and both sortie.
  • Elisif the Dragon-Queen:
    • Following the Battle of Whiterun, Jarl Balgruuf expresses disapproval towards Elisif upon learning that she actually took part in the battle herself, telling her that she was supposed to just give a Rousing Speech and then retreat to safety. Though this has less to do with Elisif being a woman and more to do with the fact that she is Skyrim's acting High Queen, and without an heir, her death would throw Skyrim into a Succession Crisis.
    • Deconstructed. It's later revealed that Torygg deliberately kept his wife Elisif out of political matters because he wanted to "protect" her and didn't feel that she needed to do any work of her own as his queen. When Elisif is forced to become High Queen after Torygg is killed by Ulfric, she is completely unprepared for running a kingdom because she never learned how.
  • In Eroninja, some of the kunoichi bitterly reflect that the reserve forces are jokingly called the "United Mom Alliance" because when a kunoichi gets pregnant (especially with a shinobi), she's expected to retire so her child doesn't lose both parents to missions gone bad. Though at least some try to justify this that one parent should retire, and the mother is going to be out of action for months anyway so it's more logical for her to retire than the father.
  • Fallout: Equestria: Stable 24 did this, presumably as part of a traditional bizarre social experiment. It starts with Littlepip being surprised that there's an Overstallion instead of an Overmare, and Calamity being insulted that she doesn't think stallions should be allowed to be in charge. It quickly becomes apparent that this is the least of the Stable's problems; every position of any real power is explicitly filled by stallions, the few positions that mares are allowed to hold (such as teacher) require them to get help from stallions for basically anything, and the entire Stable is filled with propaganda posters of powerful stallions protecting cowering mares from anything and everything, culminating in a leaky faucet.
  • Frigid Winds and Burning Hearts: Chapter 3 has Big Macintosh tell Twilight Sparkle (who knows magic and is considerably better-educated than he is) to go help Apple Bloom with the cooking while he patches up Luna's wounds. Later, when the Royal Guard attack, he tells her to run for the Element of Harmony upstairs while he holds them off... even though she can teleport, meaning there shouldn't have to be any fighting at all. This is just the beginning of a very unpleasant trend.
  • As an old-fashioned world, the magicals of Harry Potter can be given this view, at least the purebloods and other jerks. While pureblood females are generally accepting of this policy in fanon, many a Ron have found out telling Hermione this is a good way to get hurt.
    • The Last War takes it into the realms of unintentional parody by not only having Hermione spend the entire first chapter navel-gazing about the No Woman's Land that LoPEF's version of the wizarding world apparently is, but this happening (for lack of a better term) in her actual kitchen.
    • A common complaint about Dumbledore's Army and the Year of Darkness is that Ginny, who was heavily implied to be the leader of the DA when Harry was absent in canon, spends the majority of the story in the background, following Neville's orders. The other two "spotlight" DA women, Hannah and Susan, are entirely defined by their roles as love interests. That's still better than what happens to Lavender, whose only purpose in the plot is being raped.
  • Vegeta maintains this attitude around Android 18 during their fight in Dragon Ball Z Abridged. Most blatantly, he refers to her as a "washing machine" and immediately clarifies that he's not saying that because she's an android, but because she's a woman. By the time it gets to him calling her a "smug cunt", he's practically asking for 18 to apply her boot to his arm and break it. So she does.
  • In Sword Art Online Abridged, Grimlock states that Griselda not adhering to this trope is a valid reason for killing her that any man would agree with. Long story short, even Kirito was disgusted.
  • Bel is quite disgruntled by Terasu Sawada learning to fight in Death's Gambit, as he was raised with the patriarchal ideology that a man is the protector of his family, and if the women were forced to fight it meant the first line of defense had failed. To his credit, he doesn't forbid Terasu to train her fighting abilities, he just thinks she shouldn't have to fight and so decides to help Tsuna to improve his own fighting abilities.
  • Girls at the Assassins' Guild School in the Discworld still get this attitude from male peers who are either slow to catch up, or else from countries with more socially conservative values. Miriam bint-Alhazred makes a point of confounding the expectations of her Klatchian male peers - and on her return home to Klatch, learns to exploit the chauvinism of her male peers to her advantage. Male students from Rimwards Howondaland also tend to have an expectation of women - that they are expected to confine themselves to the kitchen, child-rearing, and Church attendance. For most of them, this attitude tends not to survive the first encounter with women of the Smith-Rhodes family. The tales of A.A. Pessimal expand on this idea.
  • The Jorgenson clan is adamant to have Astrid marry Snotlout in Lost Boy as a means to take away her status as a shieldmaiden. They do this because they know that she could easily beat Snotlout as her generation's best fighter, hoping to use their political standing to essentially allow Snotlout to cheat his way to the top.
  • In Mega Man Reawakened, Roll encounters this at first due to the others thinking it's too dangerous for her, but Robert allows her to go fight.
  • In Mega Man Recut, this is much more pronounced than in the Mega Man cartoon, where it only happened in the earliest episodes. Here, it's ongoing as far in as Cold Steel, and feeds Roll's insecurities and wanting to prove herself no matter what.
  • This is seen in early episodes of Mega Man: Defender of the Human Race, but it faded when Roll confronted her family about it.
  • Memoirs of a Master has a moment when Shifu's dear female friend, Song, insists on accompanying their friend, Zigsa, in getting villagers to safety rather than joining the upcoming battle. Shifu confesses in his memoirs that he was secretly glad she did that because the thought of Song being captured and carried off by a Mongol in the battle was too horrifying to contemplate. However, he does know how insulted Song would take that notion.
  • Vault from The Night Unfurls holds the view that the Princess Knights should be doing what a man tells them, not the other way around. The normally stoic and detached Kyril breaks into a fit of laughter upon hearing this in the original version due to how ridiculous it sounds.
  • The Prayer Warriors makes it clear on many occasions that a woman's place is in the kitchen or in other feminine duties, rather than on the front lines of battle. Interestingly enough, this also ends up being a Broken Aesop, as the women are actually fairly capable when they're allowed to fight (In Battle With the Witches, Ebony gets three out of four of the keys- killing Harry Potter and Ron Weasley, and converting Hermione- while by contrast, Michael gets his off Ebony's corpse after she's killed by Hogwarts, thwarting his attempt use her to get close to Dumbledore).
  • A Prize for Three Empires: Carol Danvers' father Joe didn't take well when his daughter declared she was going to join the Air Force instead of becoming a housewife. He protested, but Carol didn't budge an inch and was backed by her mother, so he was left with no other choice but to accept it.
    And not even Carol, his favorite, could convince him to spend the money on a college education. Her grades were good enough. Her test scores were high enough to have some schools sending her brochures asking them to consider spending four years worth of time and tuition money with them, and even offering some incentives in the way of scholarships.
    Joe wouldn't have it. Sure, he'd taught Carol to fight. He'd taught all his kids to fight. That didn't mean she wasn't supposed to be a lady, and a lady's place was in the home, not acting like some harlot on a movie screen or in Vogue or being some spinster career girl. She was going to get married, and that was that. No sense in spending tuition money when she could have her pick of men right there in Boston. But, he said, she could go to secretarial school, or learn to be a nurse. Those were useful things.
    So she went and joined the Air Force.
  • Rocketship Voyager is Star Trek: Voyager written In the Style of a 1950's sci-fi pulp. Captain Janeway is proud of coming from a long tradition of female space explorers, as the first astronauts were women due to weight restrictions, and even after more powerful atomic rockets were invented married couples were preferred for emotional stability on space voyages that could last years. However social mores are changing as Humanity moves from exploration to colonization requiring women to return to being child-bearers, and a UN committee has recommended that only men be accepted to command rank due to their "natural authority".
    'Natural authority! That's what happens when men are raised in community crèches by robots, instead of at home by their mothers,' Janeway thought bitterly.
  • Somos Familia: When Hector returns to his family, the soon-to-be-retired shoemaker who's teaching them his trade expects him to relegate Imelda to housewife duties. Hector instead gives the shoemaker a "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
  • Son of the Sannin: It's mentioned during Asuma and Kurenai's wedding reception that this was a common attitude during the Warring State Period, as women were often barred from participating in battle so they could produce and raise the children due to the high mortality rate. This mostly died down with the founding of the Village System since the lower death toll meant that constantly replacing dead troops didn't become as high a priority.
  • It happens in the Shazam! story Here There Be Monsters when Ibis visits Jim and Susan Barr -formerly known as Bulletman and Bulletgirl- to talk them into rejoining the Squadron of Justice for one mission. Jim makes clear he does not want to perform heroics again, let alone allow his wife to risk her life. Very angrily'', Susan reminds him it is not his decision. Jim tries to talk her out of it again, but he wisely ends up relenting.
    Bulletman: "In case you've forgotten, Susan, you're a wife and mother now. My wife, Jimmy's mother. We stopped wearing the helmets and costumes six years ago. I won't have you gallivanting around—"
    Bulletgirl: "You won't? Mr. Jim Barr, in case you've forgotten, I agreed to be your wife, not your bondservant. I'm also not employed full-time. If I want to put on the suit again, I'll damned well do it. If the guys we used to fight before are loose again, I think we have a responsibility to put them back."
  • Deborah's father in Junior Officers. His wife had to stop working after she married him, and he forced his daughter to quit her part-time job so she would be home to make dinner (that, and because her boss was a tiger).
  • In Whom She Found, a The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade crossover, reveals that the Saceans tend to zigzag this. While the normal view of Sacaen women is to do the domestic chores while the men hunt and do battle, and in fact the women are quite happy to do so (implied to be for another trope), on rare occasions a female Sacaen will have the drive and talent to be a capable warrior. And, any who do so are treated with respect. Granted, they are as rare as all hell, so they aren't easily recognized to the point that on their first meeting, Guy accidently insults Lyn enough that she challenges him to a Victory by First Blood duel.
  • In X-Men 1970, Scott believes he can get his wife to stay at home while he takes cares of an emergency, but Jean disabuses him from that notion very, very quickly (and loudly).
    She began to get out of bed on the other side. "I'm coming with you, Scott."
    "No, you're not," he said, heading for the closet.
    A second later, he found himself lifted off the floor and propelled backward. "Don't you ever tell me 'No, you're not!' about something like this, Scott Summers. I mean it!"
    "Jeannie, this could be dangerous!"
    "And Magneto wasn't? Or Sauron, or Quasimodo, or the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, or any of those others?" She walked over to face him, still holding him six inches off the ground. "Well?"
    "Damnation," he said. "All right. But..."
    "But what?"
    "Where do you have our uniforms?"
    "I'll go get them," she smiled, and lowered him to the ground as she went to the dresser.
  • In Xenophilia, two instances of the gender-flipped version crop out. One is demonstrated when the human Lero mentions offhandedly that he had a mare ask him why he wasn't following this trope and Rainbow Dash (who he had just started dated), Twilight Sparkle and Applejack are completely livid. Later it's shown that this attitude can be manipulated when a stallion named Chuck Wagon deliberately picks a fight with Lero by insulting Twilight and Dash, planning on sitting back and letting one of his mares fight with Dash and Twilight. Needless to say, this isn't well-received by Lero, who proceeds to prove that he can take care of himself without hurting anyone by Neck Lift-ing Chuck Wagon's unicorn wife before she can cast a spell and scaring the stallion shitless in the process.

    Films — Animation 
  • In Disney's Beauty and the Beast, Gaston makes it quite clear that his dream marriage with Belle includes her having "six or seven" sons with him, massaging his feet, and no reading. This is taken one step further in his song in the musical ("Me"), in which he sings that women "occasionally" serve a purpose in marriage, specifically "extending the family tree". He's clearly portrayed as a villain because of this.
  • In The Book of Life, Maria sarcastically brings this idea up when discussing a hypothetical marriage to Joaquin with him. He's too preoccupied with her looks to notice her disdain for what she's saying and unknowingly agrees with her, which briefly drives her off.
  • Portrayed semi-sympathetically while being deconstructed in The Incredibles, just before the final battle with the Omnidroid. Mr. Incredible's reason isn't that he thinks his wife can't fight, but that he isn't strong enough... to lose her or the kids again (as he thought they'd been killed earlier in the film). Violet and Helen still fight anyway.
  • This is the entire driving force behind Mulan. First, Mulan is considered a complete screw-up because she fails at her session with the matchmaker and thus seems unlikely to be married. Then she is nearly killed for disguising herself as a boy and fighting in the army. She wins the respect of everyone by the film's end (though her female relatives still believe in this trope and care less about the fact that she saved the country than the fact that she incidentally caught the eye of a suitor more to her liking than any of the local boys while doing so) and the sequel has her serving as a warrior for the Emperor again, this time openly as a woman. This is encapsulated in the song "Honor to Us All", which lays out what that period thought the proper jobs for women should be, mainly getting a good marriage and being "calm, obedient, and work fast-paced". One part of the song also has how men should serve the Emperor by fighting, while women should do their duty by giving birth to sons.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Discussed in Advantageous:
    Gwen: Am I too old, to be of use?
    David: What are you talking about Gwen?
    Gwen: So many women are out of work. Some are in real trouble.
    David: ...To be frank, there is talk among recruiters about letting women stay unemployed and well, return to the home. The perception is it's safer than putting millions of desperate men on the street.
  • In Airplane II: The Sequel, Elaine's fiance is adamant that Elaine is going to give up her stewardess career after their wedding and start making babies instead, despite her own wishes. This is the first hint that we're not supposed to like him.
  • The Big City: Many men in 1963 India say this. When Arati first raises the idea of a job, her husband says in Hindi "There's a saying in English," then delivers the saying in English: "A woman's place is in the home." Priyogopal, even more traditional than his son, is not happy at all when Arati goes to work.
  • This happens in '70s martial arts/blaxploitation flick Black Belt Jones when the title character is called for help during a dinner date and love interest Sydney asks to go with him. He refuses, suggesting that she should stay and "do the dishes" instead. Sydney responds by picking up a revolver, and "doing the dishes" with hot lead, convincing Jones to let her help.
  • Somewhat downplayed, but present in Captain Marvel (2019). No one in the present day doubts Vers's skill, with those trying to keep her down doing so because they fear her power, not because of her gender, but any of her flashbacks not focused on plot-information instead focus on sexism she faced from her childhood up to serving in the Air Force.
  • Carmen y Lola: The Spanish Roma have a very traditional patriarchy where women mostly spend their time raising children and caring for the home. Lola hates this idea (although her being a lesbian also gives her even more reason to reject it). She wants to attend a university, as a budding artist.
  • Clash of the Titans (1981): Perseus has decided to travel to the Stygian Witches to obtain information so he can save Princess Andromeda.
    Andromeda: We will ride with you as far as their shrine. It is a long and perilous journey.
    Perseus: Too perilous for a princess.
    Andromeda: You are not my lord and husband. Not yet. In the absence of the queen, it is I who command. Herald?
    Herald: Your Highness.
    Andromeda: Return to the city. Inform the queen we are riding as escort to Prince Perseus.
  • A much more realistic version shows up in The Conjuring, where Ed Warren repeatedly entreats his wife Lorraine to not follow him into danger — not because he thinks she's incapable of protecting herself, but because she is the love of his life and he simply cannot bear to lose her. Lorraine talks him out of it:
    Lorraine: I'm not leaving you!!
    Ed: Damn it, Lorraine, I'm not doing this with you in here!
    Lorraine: 'God brought us together for a reason'? This is it.
  • In the 1923 silent Western The Covered Wagon, it's actually our hero, Will, who tells Molly that she can't ride his horse because "he's not safe for a woman." Meanwhile, it's the bad guy, Sam, who encourages her to "show him you can ride any horse." Naturally, this doesn't work out for her, and Will has to ride to her rescue.
  • Demolition Man: Near the end, John Spartan is so determined on going to confront Simon Phoenix alone that he actually knocks out Huxley with a stun-stick in order to prevent her from following him. Never mind the fact that she has proven her value to him many times over, including in a fight just a few minutes earlier where she beat up mooks with her martial arts skills and saved Spartan's life by shooting one who was about to kill him. This was later ridiculed by The Nostalgia Critic in his review of the film, going as far as to put together a compilation of all the things Huxley could have done to help Spartan in the final battle when he's getting pummeled. To Spartan's credit, being wrongly incarcerated over the death of a hostage can make it quite personal and several scènes have developed the animosity between him and Phoenix.
  • Escape to Witch Mountain: Downplayed during the riding lesson. The teacher can't refuse to teach Tia because he is paid to teach both siblings, but he clearly thinks that she is too delicate to handle a horse.
    Teacher: Now, Tony, I know I should be "ladies first". But I think that if you show Tia how easy it is... You know, a little filly the size your sister, sometimes they get easily scared.
    (She proves he is dead wrong by making friends with the fierce Thunderhead, a horse that "never was tamed". And she rides him barebacked.)
  • Girlfight: Diana's father and one of the trainers both believe women have no place in boxing. She doesn't let this stop her for even a minute though.
  • Juliana: The title character asks her friend Clavito whether his boss, Don Pedro, would let her work for him. Clavito refuses and tells her that only men can work as ambulant singers. This is done to showcase the hard-lined sexism of Peruvian society in The '80s. Women could work only if they were poor and the job had to do something with food, cleaning, or caregiving.
  • Turns up in Jurassic Park (1993) when John Hammond tries to argue that he should go on a dangerous mission to turn the power back on instead of Dr. Sattler. Especially ridiculous as Hammond is an 80-year-old fragile old man, while Sattler is a young, fit woman who lives in the Montana badlands digging up dinosaur bones with Dr. Grant. This is also more a case of Hammond having a bit of Values Dissonance than him being an asshole, at least in the movie (the greedy, amoral Hammond of the book wouldn't even make the offer). The Nostalgia Critic review had Doug Walker point out how it's funny that Hammond is confusing strength with gender when most of the creatures on the island trying to kill him have a vagina (since the park bred the dinosaurs as female to avoid breeding).
  • In the Ken Loach film Land And Freedom, when the egalitarian POUM militia is integrated into the International Brigades the female combatants are forced to become ambulance drivers or cooks (even though the woman concerned is a lousy cook).
  • Subverted with Mina Harker from The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Even while everyone on the team knew that she is an immortal vampire, she is not allowed to hunt Mr. Hyde because Allan Quartermain tells her that she is a woman (or the filmmakers wanted to show how badass Sean Connery wasnote ). Fortunately, everyone forgets this trope from Venice and on. Well, everyone except for Tom Sawyer, but he is overconfident in himself. Mina is also clearly disgusted at being left behind during the fight with Mr. Hyde, mockingly repeating Quatermain's words "It's far too dangerous for a woman, even one such as yourself!" Justified, given that Venice was the point in the film when everyone realized that they all had to pitch in if they wanted to survive.
  • The Matrix:
    • Near the climax of The Matrix, when Neo sets out to rescue Morpheus, Trinity insists on going with him, only for him to refuse. She tells him in no uncertain terms that Morpheus is important to her, that he needs her help, and that with Morpheus gone, she outranks Neo, so her insistence on coming along is an order. Neo promptly shuts up and lets her come with him.
    • Similarly, near the climax of The Matrix Reloaded, Neo asks Trinity to stay behind, having seen a premonition of her death. Trinity ends up having to go in after one of the teams failed to carry out their mission since their failure would have resulted in Morpheus, Neo, and the Keymaker's deaths if she hadn't done anything. Trinity gets fatally shot by an Agent, as Neo predicted, but Neo saves her.
  • Played straight in Plan 9 from Outer Space. A woman alien berates us Earthlings for our evil and is pushed aside by her husband, who tells her that there are roles for women and roles for men.
  • Prey (2022): Downplayed. Naru's mother tells her father he gave her his weapon so she could cut vegetables and doesn't see why Naru wants so badly to prove herself as a hunter, citing Naru's talents as an herbalist and potential medicine woman. The young Comanche hunters aren't too thrilled with Naru not gathering roots and herbs or preparing meals with the other women in their tribe as she was at the start of the film and regularly insult her, demean her, and question her worth. They also rough her up, sucker punch her in the head from behind, and tie Naru's hands together when she tries to warn them of the monster which killed the bear and is spooking the animals. However, though their actions fit the trope very well otherwise, none of the hunters ever explicitly demean her for her gender, but rather because she is an inexperienced hunter. It helps Naru's case that Taabe is their leader and actively praises her talents in tracking, observation, and healing, which is implied to be why they even tolerate her tagging along.
  • In Robot Monster, Ro-Man wants to see the daughter of the family to negotiate. She's actually tied up to prevent her from leaving.
  • The Secrets: Ultra-Orthodox men don't believe women have any role outside the home, which the women who have aspirations of being rabbis are fighting against.
  • The Shirley Temple film Susannah of the Mounties provides a weird example. The only adult female character, played by Margaret Lockwood, is repeatedly told that it's too dangerous for a woman on this frontier outpost and she should return home to Toronto. Meanwhile, Temple's character is a child in addition to being female, but everyone is totally fine with her being there.
  • Sylvie's Love: Lacy's attitudes towards Sylvie's job fit in with The '60s. He's fine with Sylvie long as it doesn't interfere with her duties at home. And given that he's just landed a big account, he tells her she can afford to stop, missing that she enjoys the work.
  • Inverted in the classic 1954 monster movie Them! The military gasses the nest of giant killer ants; the next stage is for someone to go down into the nest and confirm they're all dead. This is universally recognized as a very bad idea, yet Dr. Pat Medford argues firmly and convincingly that she has to go down into the nest because the only other expert they have (her father) is physically incapable of doing so and she can't give the two male leads "a crash course in entomology".
  • Pan Am offers passenger service to low Earth orbit and the Moon in 2001: A Space Odyssey, but the flight crews are all men and the flight attendants are all women (which was the case in the commercial airline industry in 1968, when the film was made.)
  • Wonder Woman: At a military summit in the year 1918, Diana is continuously treated as if she were a child interrupting adult business, with the generals alternating between offense and amusement at a woman being present.

  • The Dar Williams song, "The Babysitter's Here", is about a young girl and her hippie babysitter, who has a boyfriend named Tom with this attitude. The girl asks Tom if they'll get married and he replies, "Not if she's going to college, we won't." Later in the song, the teary-eyed babysitter asks the girl to never date a guy who would make her choose, revealing that she broke up with Tom and is going away to college.
  • Ray Charles' "I Got a Woman" includes the line "She knows a woman's place is right there now in her home!"
  • No Doubt's "Just a Girl" uses dripping sarcasm regarding women being patronized as weak and worthless ("'Cause I'm just a girl, little ol' me / Well don't let me out of your sight / Oh, I'm just a girl, all pretty and petite / So don't let me have any rights").

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Tammy Lynn Sytch had not been shy about her belief that women shouldn't be wrestlers, despite having participated in several matches during her brief stay in SMW and proving she even had the potential to be decent in her few WCW matches. In 2007, she had a change of heart and began training more seriously in order to prevent Alicia and Becky Bayless from making a mockery of WSU during its transition to being an all-women company and began using her Ring of Honor appearances to promote Daizee Haze, Sara Del Rey and The Lovely Lacey, who she deemed worthy representatives of the sport (which really irked Lacey).
  • Several female wrestlers throughout the history of the WWE, such as Chyna or Beth Phoenix, have attempted to fight this attitude, which is pervasive in both the company and the fanbase. Chyna had a lot of success with this, winning several matches against male competitors and even having a run with the Intercontinental Championship, as well as defeating Jeff Jarrett, who at the time was playing up a sexist gimmick, in a match that ended up actually being Jarrett's swansong with the WWF. Beth was less successful at breaching the gender barrier, but she did have a couple of memorable runs in the company's annual Royal Rumble match. That attitude has changed since 2015 when the Women's Evolution started to take off as WWE's female talents have increasingly been booked the same as their male counterparts and not as eye candy as they were in the past.
  • Because of this mentality, the WWE rules from the Brand Extension onwards indicate that any male wrestler who even attempts to attack a female wrestler during a fight is disqualified. Naturally, no such rule exists in reverse, nor does this prevent women and men from being in an altercation where the man isn't allowed to fight back, or he's an asshole.
    • This gets even more creepy in the video games, the later versions of which have gone to extreme lengths to enforce this. The prime example? Not only is the instant-DQ rule in Mixed Tag matches strictly enforced, but they are the only type of match in the game that cannot be set as no-disqualifications. Additionally, certain Create A Storyline scenes are gender-restricted, including any scene that shows violence between a male and a female.
    • The game series is strange in itself because, while barring hitting a female wrestler has always been present, only the most recent games (starting in 2010) have enforced the above instant DQ rule. In the older games, male and female wrestlers could actually fight normally, one-on-one, no restrictions. Yes, you could actually have Trish Stratus fight The Undertaker in the 2005 game, but for the second decade of the 2000s, you can't.
  • Little Jeanne regretfully felt she had to fight Ashley America in Valkyrie Women's Wrestling over their difference in opinion, having worked her whole career to create more opportunities for women just to see Ashley come behind her and use those opportunities to try and undo Jeanne's work.


    Tabletop Games 
  • Traveller:
    • In the Sword Worlds most women do this except for the more eccentric ones. The Sword Worlds are a blatantly patriarchal society though not as extreme as some in this regard. Swordworlders almost worship homes and consider hearthfires sacred symbols. The housewife is considered the family priestess among them. They are also expected to be informal diplomats and find face-savers for times when Honor conflicts too much with Reason.
    • Among Aslan is a possible inversion. The women ideally do every job except those which have to do with war, politics, and tending a ranch. This is because Aslan believes that A Real Man Is a Killer.
    • K'kree are both more simplistic in their philosophy of the proper treatment of women and more extreme than either Sword Worlders or Aslan. The only purpose of females among them is simply to adore the males.
    • Baseline Imperial Culture from which most PCs will come is theoretically indifferent to gender roles both legally and socially. However non-starfaring Imperial citizens from self-governing planets (usually NPCs) will naturally be more inclined to their world's culture than the generic interstellar one and local culture can vary. If appropriate this discrepancy can be demonstrated in the Gurps version by giving a PC "Intolerance (uppity women)" as a disadvantage.
  • Exalted averts this trope. Generally speaking, men and women are equal - if anything, the most powerful people tend to be female; Queen Merela, Brigid, Salina, Lillith, Raksi, the Scarlet Empress, Mnemon, Tepet Ejava... Three of the four most prominent Solars in the first age were women who literally shaped history; the fourth is a man most known for using mind magic to abuse his - physically far more dangerous - wife.
  • Averted (sort of) in Warhammer 40,000. In lore, pretty much none of the significant factions have any compulsions against sending women off to fight alongside the men — the setting is enough of a Crapsack Galaxy that everyone needs all the help they can get and anyone capable of firing a weapon — including children, in the Imperium's case, and the dead if you have a crystal/robot for them to inhabit — are fair game for military service. However, in actual gameplay, very few of the armies have actual female models (even ones like the Imperial Guard or Eldar which, canonically, rely on females as much as males) and the one all-female army — the Sisters of Battle — were the game's most poorly-supported and lowest-selling army until their massive revamp in 8th Edition. Games Workshop has stated that the reason for this is because female models don't sell well, although their critics suggest it's because the model lines were not supported well by the company (the aforementioned Sisters being the best example of that).
  • In Warhammer most human nations are like this, though there is some leeway (particularly in specialist areas like magic) and (like the medieval/early renaissance Europe they they tend to resemble) social class counts more for than gender and noblewomen can be quite powerful. Within the Empire, men make up the vast majority of the Imperial State Army, but there are, for instance, female Battle Wizards and Witch Hunters (and women are more commonly seen fighting as grunts within the Free Company Militias and other mercenary bands).
    • Bretonnia definitely plays this straight. Under Bretonnian law, women have basically no rights, though this is also true for male peasants - it's a messed-up version of King Arthur's England and medieval France where the nobles are utterly infallible. The Damsels of the Lady of the Lake have some legal autonomy and exemption from many of Bretonnian laws, they are expected to serve the state religion for life - no resignations accepted. There have been a few instances however where Bretonnian women have been personally blessed by the Lady and accepted as Grail Knights, which immediately made them nobility of the highest order (as was the case with Repanse de Lyonesse, who was a peasant girl).
    • Dwarfs subvert this a bit. The population imbalance between female dwarfs and male dwarfs is reportedly enormous, so female dwarfs are treasured and rarely leave their holds, but it is implied that they hold incredible social power - if the Karak is run by a king, his wife is still likely to be The Woman Behind The Man. Then again, there is nothing saying female dwarfs cannot leave or take up artisan or even warrior positions - every dwarf from the lowliest goat's cheese merchant to the High King is expected to know how to wield an axe to defend hearth and hold, and women are no different.
    • Elves pointedly avert this in many cases, but it manifests differently between the cultures. For the Asur (High Elves), most positions are fielded by either men or women and there is little distinction between gender. For the Asrai (Wood Elves), gender-exclusive roles exist within their society but neither outrank or outclass the other and plenty of gender-neutral roles exist too. For the Druchii (Dark Elves), gender doesn't matter so much as your murderous prowess and capacity for cunning and cruelty; but there are a few gender-specific roles like the Sisters of Slaughter, who take in only women (and are implied to murder young Druchii boys in rituals). Domestic roles in society also reflect this: High Elves let any gender fill the role, Wood Elves don't really have a domestic life (as their magical forest provides all the perks of an industrial society) and the Dark Elves largely rely on slave labour.
  • Part of what makes the Theocracy of Jarzon in Blue Rose one of the jerkier factions is that it follows a religion with seriously misogynistic traits. Indeed, there's so much emphasis on keeping women barefoot and pregnant, and legally barring them from most of the high-status roles (including all roles in the priesthood save the Hospitalers, who are still expected to obey their male superiors without questions), that it borders on No Woman's Land. Jarzon escapes being an obviously evil faction because care is taken to point out that they still do a lot of good in the world, or at least have the potential to do good, and there are reasons why it's such a hotbed of bigotry.
  • Averted in BattleTech as the gender barrier is almost non-existent, anyone can be a soldier, commander, or ruler in the Inner Sphere. It's even averted in Clans, as the only rule they have is you have to be a badass, with many females filling roles of warriors and even Khans. Also, even implying this trope in the Magistracy of Canopus is a good way to get shot.
    • Played somewhat straight but deconstructed in the Draconis Combine. Sexism is very prevalent in the Combine, as it's the only Inner Sphere state with Agnatic (no women can inherit) succession laws. In addition, the 'ideal' woman is portrayed as being meek and dutiful, and even when they join the Combine military they don't tend to get good positions. However, this is portrayed as being a mistake: two of the best rulers in the Combine's history were women, and Theodore Kurita encourages the creations of new regiments that don't follow the hidebound traditionalism of the traditional Combine military, including treating women as equals. These regiments are the best in the Combine military and part of the reason it survives the Federated Commonwealth's onslaught during the War of 39.
  • Pathfinder:
    • Downplayed with Erastil, the Lawful Good god of hunting, agriculture, family, and rural communities. One of the most ancient deities of the pantheon, he actually has no problem with strong women or even female warriors, he just thinks they should at some point get married to equally strong partners and start families with them (that is to say, he thinks that settling down is something everybody should do). He's mildly baffled by fellow Lawful Good goddess Iomedae'snote  disinterest in marriage, but at the same time has an Odd Friendship with Neutral Good Love Goddess Shelyn, due to her own support for marriage and families (Shelyn herself is part of a thruple with Desna and Sarenrae).
    • Taldor, the local Fantasy Counterpart Culture for the Roman Empire, enforced strictly patriarchal gender roles. These have softened over time, especially after the loss of their foreign territories, but are still somewhat present: one of the sticking points in the War for the Crown Adventure Path is the proposal to handle the looming Succession Crisis in Taldor by allowing women, specifically Princess Eutropia, to inherit titles.

  • In one of the few examples where the trope is actually An Aesop, Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew involves a man verbally abusing his rebellious wife to the point that she becomes docile and obedient. Then there's the end when she pleads with women in the audience to follow her example and act like reverent homemakers. An otherwise good play, the ending really hasn't aged well, and in many modern adaptations gets removed entirely, and there's an oft-cut prologue which sets up the rest of the play as the dream of a man married to a shrew, so it might count as a 'fantasy of a henpecked husband'.
    • Thanks to the lack of stage directions, the play is left open to a good bit of alternate interpretations. Many productions try to soften the blow by having Kate deliver the final speech in a sarcastic way, indicating that it's not to be taken seriously. The Elizabeth Taylor/Richard Burton film has Kate give the speech seriously... but then has her sneak out of the party while Petruchio is taking his bows, humiliating him exactly how he humiliated her at their wedding.
    • It's also worth noting that in the Elizabeth Taylor/Richard Burton film, there's a scene (not included in the original play) where Kate is lying awake after Petruchio's first abusive tirade, initially looking fearful...until a look of recognition comes into her eyes, and she laughs to herself. This implies that she knows what Petruchio is up to, and is simply playing along until she can have some revenge of her own.
  • Trifles, a play set in 19th/early 20th century, has a narrative/symbolic example, as the men go to investigate the barn and the bedroom, where men would traditionally have more dominance, while the women (Martha and Mrs. Peters) are left to search the kitchen, a place where women would hold more authority, where they find a key piece of evidence, Minnie's dead canary. Adding to this, Mr. Hale directly invokes this trope with the title drop, "Well, women are used to worrying over trifles."

    Visual Novels 
  • In Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc, this is largely inverted, with the girls and other guys generally encouraging the men to handle more physical stuff. When Kirigiri wants someone to examine Fujisaki's dead body so they'll realize that she's a he, Asahina tells Ohgami that she should let one of the guys do it when she offers. Kirigiri also has Naegi do things like pry a scrap of paper out of Ishimaru's death grip and later claims he can handle receiving a Tap To The Head from the Mastermind when checking out the secret room in the bathroom since "he's a guy", something Naegi lampshades.
  • In an odd sort of deconstruction (starting with the fact that they're both male), Leo from Echo takes on this attitude toward his (ex-)boyfriend Chase. Though Chase is just as capable as anyone else, Leo is overprotective and infantilizes him to the point that he thinks Chase is incapable of helping a drowning friend... despite the fact that Chase is an otter. Many exchanges on Leo's route involve the wolf attempting to coax Chase into dropping out of college, giving up all of his career goals, and moving in with him so that he can clean and cook meals while Leo serves as the breadwinner who cares for his "sensitive" boyfriend. All of this is painted as the reason for which their relationship just can't work out.
  • Shirou of Fate/stay night during the Fate route repeatedly tells Saber (and only Saber) that girls shouldn't be fighting and that she should leave it to him. This is because of a combination of Shirou's martyr complex and Saber being near-fatally injured protecting him from Berserker. When his love interest is an Action Girl who doesn't spend half the story on life support he proves much more egalitarian, and even with Saber he stops around the time it becomes apparent they're gonna be fighting together regardless of her condition.
  • In Umineko: When They Cry, the Ushiromiya family operates with very strict gender roles, and as a result, there are characters who suffer because of it. Eva, Kinzo's second child, was repeatedly told by her father and older brother while growing up that she could never be the head of the family because she was a woman. In EP3, she solves the epitaph, giving her the right to become the next head, but it also gives rise to the cruel, sadistic witch EVA-Beatrice, Eva's Literal Split Personality who was born from her resentment of how she was denied the headship in the first place just because of her gender. Natsuhi also gets this treatment from her husband Krauss, which is shown to really not be helping his case since she has much more common sense than he has.
  • In Pillars of Eternity has the Brotherhood of the Five Suns, a paladin order serving the ducal congress of the Vailian Republics, which — implied to be somewhat archaic for the setting — true to its name prohibits women from joining. Despite this, the only member shown is a woman, Pallegina, but this is because in addition to being archaic about letting women serve they are also archaic about the definition of a woman: the Brotherhood's definition requires being able to conceive children, so female godlike like Pallegina are not, from their perspective, women, all godlike being sterile.

    Web Animation 
  • Tanabata Manga: A father and son pair force their spouses to do chores around the house. The son eventually crosses the line by forcing his 5-year old daughter Yuki to pick up the laundry in the middle of rain. One day, the son forces his daughter Yuki to make tea in front of a company president and threatens to hit her if she doesn't do what he said, causing the president to call him and his father out. The president also terminates his contract with their company and their spouses also divorce them for their trouble.

  • Mocked in this VG Cats strip; in a reference to Cooking Mama, Mama offers alternatives to this attitude. Shigeru Miyamoto responds poorly.
  • Angel from Domain Tnemrot doesn't see as much action as Dae in the arena, but is shown to be a much more capable fighter than him. The main reason she doesn't fight in Tnemrot is that she's recovering from abuse and still has some suicidal tendencies.
  • Played with in MegaTokyo with Erika, who is often offended by Largo and Junpei's attempts to "protect" her against her will—she is, after all, able to casually snap the arms of people who deserve it. She does, however, actually need their help; not because she's a woman, but because hundreds of rabid fanboys are vying for her attention and personally inflicting violence upon them wouldn't be a good solution. Largo convinces Junpei to let her deal with the fanboys herself, but he intimidates them into not showing up in large groups.
  • In Ronin Galaxy Taylor actually opts to stay in the kitchen after being offered a job by Cecil. He still ends up insulting her, though.
  • Averted in Dominic Deegan with Luna and Stunt.
  • Comes up twice in El Goonish Shive.
    • First, Straight Gay Justin is told to stay behind while the girls do the rescuing. He asks "Is it because I'm gay?" but everyone else just rolls their eyes. He quickly realizes that this is because the ones going are Nanase (homosexual) Ellen (bisexual) and Grace (Teddsexual).
    • Second, Sarah and Susan are discussing the implications of a Zelda-expy's Damsel in Distress tendencies in relation to her possible Gender Bender. Susan thinks the idea that a princess has to turn into a boy to be useful is insulting.
      Susan: Maybe you just can't imagine a girl being stronger than a boy.
      Sarah: Nanase, Ellen, Grace, and my boyfriend literally turns into a girl to get stronger.
      Susan: Yes, yes, I realized it was stupid as soon as I said it.
    • At one point, Tedd mentions being better at cooking as a female. Upon realizing that it sounds like this trope, he quickly elaborates that it isn't that he thinks women are inherently better at cooking, it's just that he's had more experience cooking on his own while female than he has as a malenote .
    • Subverted with Magus, who at a couple of points makes comments suggesting this, but it turns out to be more complicated — his home dimension has strict gender roles, but also widely used and accepted Gender Bender magic. He doesn't think women should stay in the kitchen, exactly, he thinks that if they don't, they should be men!
  • Girl Genius: According to the novelizations Bang gets this occasionally. The Baron allows it because anyone who tries it is clearly Too Dumb to Live and needs to be pruned out of the organization, and a steady stream of deserving victims keeps Bang happy.
  • Subverted in Gunnerkrigg Court. Eglamore is reluctant to have a sparring match with Jones:
    Eglamore: Ah come on. That wouldn't be fair.
    Antimony: Because she is a woman?
    Eglamore: Haha! No, because indoors, and at close range, Jones would flatten me.
    [Jones proceeds to flatten him]
  • Torg in Sluggy Freelance was determined to keep Zoe in the dark and out of the way to protect her from Oasis. After she'd been in equal danger a dozen times for related and unrelated reasons, she pointed out how stupid that sounds.
  • Subverted in Scurry: Master Orim keeps his daughter, Pict, out of a long scouting/scavenging mission. She thinks it's because he's being overprotective. He tells her that he needs someone he trusts to stay behind, as he suspects Resher is up to something. He's right.
  • Unsounded: In Alderode it is considered a woman's duty to have children, plats in particular see children as their replacement in the community since they have such short lives, and it is illegal for women to become wrights. A woman who wants to practice spellcraft has to give up her womanhood to become a detested Third Option, seen as heretical and spitting in the face of god who gave them their body.

    Web Original 

    Web Videos 
  • Mans1ay3r's Gamer Poop series has a few jokes about this, most notably the sketch from Oblivion with a scam artist.
    Woman: Women... girls... back to our kitchens! [women leave]
    Guard: Well, you got all of them back to cooking and cleaning!
  • In this Hardly Working sketch from CollegeHumor, Sarah comes up with the idea of doing a '60s Theme Day. Unfortunately for her, her idea of the theme was more geared towards the late 1960s and the Summer of Love, while the men take cues from the early '60s and make remarks about Sarah that wouldn't be out of place at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness in The Nostalgia Critic, as a 2008 list that included Cinderella had him mention that "making a woman do chores isn't that bad". Later on, he was all about that amazon chasing.

    Real Life 
  • Even though they both graduated at the top of their law school classes from prestigious schools, the first two women Supreme Court justices Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg had trouble finding jobs post-graduation because they were both married. O’Connor took a job at a district attorney’s office and then later worked for the Army when her husband was drafted. She took a few years off while her kids were young before finding her way into various offices in Republican politics in the state of Arizona and then to the Supreme Court in 1981. Ginsburg ended up in academia where in her first job she was told she was being paid less because her husband had a good-paying job. In the 1970s, she ran the ACLU's women’s rights project while teaching full time. She was appointed to the federal bench in 1980 and then to the Supreme Court in 1993.
  • Helen Louise "Nellie" Herron was repeatedly told by her mother that if she got a career it would ruin her chances of marriage, and even after she began a successful job as a teacher, Mrs. Herron kept trying to get her to quit. Against her mother's predictions, Nellie went on to marry a successful lawyer by the name of William Howard Taft.
  • Congolese preacher Purviance Mavoungou caused a Memetic Mutation in the Francophone world in 2020 with his infamous "Woman's place is in the kitchen!" speech. Most likely due to how hammy it is.


Care Bears

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / StayInTheKitchen

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