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Stay in the Kitchen

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You dick.

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 insists that girls should be protected, not involved in the fight — that they should just Stay In The Kitchen! Never mind if the girl might be far more capable than the guy in question, they're girls, and that's what counts!

Nowadays, when this trope is invoked, this character is unlikely to be treated sympathetically for his opinion, 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 criticised 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 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 keep the number of strong females low, although that is changing. The prevalence of the Girl-Show Ghetto also has its influences.

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.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Tsubasa -RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE- by Syaoran of all people. Chunyan is left behind with Sakura, despite both having extremely powerful latent magic in a land where the three heroes have virtually none. Justified as, despite having great magical power, the girls have no idea how to use it: Chunyan's mother died before she finish her training, and Sakura is kind of out of it as she has only retrieved two feathers at this time. Kurogane puts it best when he says, "You never know when she's rowing the boat or asleep at the oar." The boys, on the other hand, are all veterans in physical combat.
    • In a filler arc, where the group returns to Chunyan's country, an Amazon Brigade has started up.
  • FBI agent Raye Penber chides his fiancee (who used to be an agent as well) for getting too interested in his case in Death Note. She had left her job prior to the series, as the couple had apparently decided she should become a housewife after their marriage... but she was also clearly the better agent of the two, and Penber would soon regret not listening to her.
    • To say the least. In a book that detailed a previous case she was involved in, she was so good she impressed L. Which makes her couple chapter appearance all the more annoying.
    • This is thankfully removed in the live-action movie adaptation, where Naomi warns him to be careful and not be reckless, and he merely playfully teases her about sounding hypocritical, as she used to go on dangerous missions with L a lot, but otherwise he doesn't seem to object to her interest in the case. Word of God is that she was Too Cool to Live- that she was "an obstacle that Light couldn't overcome at that time"- and was therefore grief-stricken with absolutely no luck.
  • Mazinger Z:
    • In the original TV series, Kouji Kabuto makes such comments in a semi-regular basis, mostly as (rather bad) jokes. Too bad for him that his girlfriend Sayaka is a hot-tempered Tsundere who won't have any of that, so she usually bitches him out or downright beats the shit out of him. And thankfully, it's taken out of newer continuities. The Irony of it is he is a pretty good cook and he is quite proud of it.
    • Great Mazinger: During Venus A's first battle he got in the way of Action Girl Jun Hono several times. In one of them he stated "Girls must not fight". The ironic -and frustrating- part is he intervened right when Jun was gaining the upper hand, and because of him, she was unable to defeat the Warrior Beast.
    • UFO Robo Grendizer: In the Gosaku Ota manga, when Kouji flew to make First Contact with the Vegans, Dr. Umon, Daisuke and Hikaru were watching it through a screen in the Laboratory. When the saucers tried to shoot Kouji down, Daisuke started yelling in pain. Hikaru offered to carry him to a bed, but Dr. Umon screamed: “You stay out of this, woman!”. In his defence, he was –understandably, given the circumstances- nervous and stressed, and he did not want her to discover Daisuke's secret, so maybe he would not say that in normal situations, but still… At least he never said anything like that in the Go Nagai manga and the anime series.
  • Martian Successor Nadesico:
    • The Jovian colonists have an all-male military, and while few of their women are shown it's heavily implied they follow this trope. The reason is because they based their society around Gekiganger 3, an old-school anime where the only major female character was The Chick.
    • In what could be considered a hilarious inversion of this trope, male lead Akito really, really wants to stay in the kitchen himself. And for his love interests to stay out of it.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima!:
    • Early on Negi Springfield sort of had this attitude toward his students, although it's less sexism and more the fact that he believes it's his fault that they're in dangerous situations to begin with, which makes it his responsibility to protect them.
    • His father Nagi, however, seemingly played this straight. Princess Arika refused, and, he took her refusal on stride... and they both went to annihilate an enemy base.
      Eishun: Is this what you call a night out?!!
  • One of the more off-putting moments in Fist of the North Star comes in a conversation between Rei and his lover Mamiya. Rei orders Mamiya to stay out of battle, as that isn't a woman's purpose. Her response is that she's gone through enough trouble that she isn't a woman anymore. The counterargument from Rei? He shreds her clothes, and when she covers herself in shock, he asks why she's doing that if she isn't a woman. Rei was hardly intending on laying a hand on her and the context of the scene has to do with Mamiya worrying about being useless in a fight, and after this, she becomes genuinely useful in battle itself, rarely needing help except when greatly outnumbered or fighting an opponent who is completely exotic — and this is a woman without Ken or Rei's ridiculous training and martial arts style.
  • Berserk: Casca, being a female knight in a Medieval European society, occasionally gets this treatment, especially from Adon, the leader of Tudor's Blue Whale Knights. Every time he and Casca fought, he would berate her for being a woman and threaten to have his men have their way with her (if he didn't take her first). Eventually, he gets killed by Casca. Guts also gives a speech to this effect to her once. At the time, she was having her period which got her to faint from exhaustion and got both of them to fall off a cliff as he tried to rescue her. Right after, he berates her by saying that a woman has nothing to do in war since it only took her PMS-ing to become incapacitated and that women's weaker and less enduring body was unsuitable for warfare. Casca being who she is, it doesn't work. Their ensuing Back-to-Back Badasses moment further proves him wrong and gets him to view her as a potential lover. However, among the Band of the Hawk, this trope is nowhere to be seen: Casca is second-in-command of the entire mercenary group, and the men of the Band have nothing but respect for her both as a fighter and as a leader.
  • Simplar, in the s-CRY-ed manga Akira Mijyou leader of La Résistance gets something the same with her lover Hannish Lightning, despite the fact we have seen her take down dozens of HOLY solders and save the main character. Lightning then gets his ass kicked by a woman, and has to be saved by Mijyou.
  • Not a straight example, as it was more "let's all kill Ban!" than "life-threatening fight," but Get Backers still has a funny example:
    Kazuki: Stay out of this, Himiko-san! You are a woman, after all!
    Himiko: What do you mean "after all," you cross-dresser?!
  • Shikamaru Nara of Naruto displays these tendencies at the beginning of the series, only bothering to fight in the final round of the Chuunin exams against Temari because Naruto shoved him into the arena with an encouraging slap to the back, and ends up forfeiting the match because he knows he's going to lose anyway and didn't want to bother with trying anymore. Temari later has to rescue him from yet another girl. He drops the attitude when Shippuden starts and seems to respect women more now. The implication is that he's actually afraid of women because of his parents. Ironically this has led to the fandom belief he will marry a girl like his mother. He ends up with Temari.
  • In the Sailor Moon anime, Jadeite (in the original Japanese version and the 2014 Viz Media English dub) makes a sexist remark directed at Sailors Moon, Mercury, and Mars, that girls are useless and can only run, scream, and cry, triggering their Berserk Button. They make a rather anvilicious speech about showing him what women can do and proceed to run him over with several airplanes that he had originally sent after them. He survives, though afterwards Queen Beryl freezes him to death in a crystal for failing yet again to dispatch the trio. The incident is also an act of Bond Villain Stupidity on Beryl's part, since he was about to reveal their names, and they could have been attacked while depowered.note 
  • Bleach: Orihime falls into this on occasion. Despite having immense Reality Warper powers, everybody except for Rukia and Chad is convinced that she should stay out of fights because she's not suited for battle. Which is true on one hand as she has a naturally gentle disposition and hates hurting even her enemies, but on the other hand she's very good at defense when properly motivated (the strength of her powers depend on her willpower and state of mind). However, the one time she decided to interfere a fight and saved Ichigo's life, Ichigo told her "Thank you, but never do this again." but it was to have a 1-on-1 fight with Ulquiorra. Future attempts at taking a level in badass don't really amount to much, as she's immediately sidelined before being able to do anything beyond healing. However, she's taken more steps as being Ichigo's shield from Uryu's arrows and protect him at times, even marching up with him to get to Yhwach. In fact, Ichigo when about to finally fight Yhwach tells Orihime he's counting on her to protect him.
  • In Tegami Bachi, Lag Seeing is initially unwilling to have Niche as his dingo partner, claiming that it's too dangerous for a girl her age, even if 1) having a dingo is necessary to take the exam and Lag has no alternatives in sight, 2) she fights well against the armor bugs, 3) he's only 12 himself while she is really two hundred years old and only looks like a child because she didn't experience the tremor of emotion that her sister did. He drops the attitude at the end of the arc in which he first expresses it, after recognizing that he couldn't have managed without her help.
  • Ranma ½'s eponymous character has this attitude towards his fiancee Akane, but only towards Akane —he has no problem with more skilled/more powerful Action Girls like Shampoo or Ukyou joining him on dangerous missions or training trips. Whether this is because he feels she would just get in his way (as he claims, vociferously) or because her relatively lower abilities (compared to the rest of the cast) make him sincerely worried about her is up for debate.
    • The manga and, more frequently, the anime, plays down this trope sometimes, leaving Ranma frustrated enough with Akane to try and leave her to her own devices against the current threat, until his worry eventually makes him eat his words and come back to save her.
  • Surprisingly, Katekyō Hitman Reborn!'s portrayal of women is quite often this (especially weird considering that the series' creator is a woman, and its target audience has changed to become women).
    • Kyoko, Haru, and I-Pin are shown to mainly just stay in the kitchen cooking and cleaning and doing the laundry for the men while the men go off to train and fight. And just when they get sick and tired of being lied to, and refuse to stay in the kitchen until the men at least tell them where they are, they get convinced by Bianchi and start feeling guilty that the men are completely incapable of taking care of their own health and food needs, and eventually reach the conclusion that they'll give up and go back to the kitchen (and if it weren't for Tsuna deciding to tell them anyways, they would've just continued on the same way as always).
    • Tsuna's mom who is rarely seen outside of the kitchen. Chrome too doesn't seem to be very strong despite being a guardian...Arguably, since the primary fanbase is women, they all want to see the cute boys act slashy with each other rather than the girl.
  • Gundam:
    • Mobile Suit Gundam Wing has Wufei who, thanks to the combination of a strict, traditional Chinese upbringing and a Freudian Excuse (his wife got killed in battle), is dismissive of female soldiers. This tends to get exaggerated in the fandom, and he does grow out of it relatively early on.
    • Yazan and his comments of not liking to see women on the battlefield for some unknown reason. This gets REALLY exaggerated in EU non-canon non-bandai games like Gundam Musou or SRW. All his in-battle quotes vs female pilots involve referring to them as schoolmarms, nurses, homemakers, or other such female-centric professions. Even against the heavy hitters like Haman, Puru Two, Roux, and Lunamaria, once beaten he derisively dismisses them and will occasionally quote the trope title at them. No Freudian Excuse though, he's just a hilariously over-the-top chauvinistic bully. Ah, if only Yazan could be in the same SRW as Gauron and Gates.
    • In Mobile Suit Gundam AGE, only one Federation pilot was a female, unfortunately she was also the only female pilot to survive the series.
  • In the Sorcerer Hunters manga, Gateau takes this stance with his younger sister, Eclair, telling her that girls are cuter when they're being protected; this is more than a little jarring, considering that Eclair is (and has always been) the more talented and stronger of the two. On some occasions she tries to accompany the team on missions, but Gateau refuses to allow it every time, even going as far as slapping her to make his point. Nobody comments on this, even though every woman in the manga is an Action Girl (with the possible exception of Salad). His attitude would be justified by the fact that she was kidnapped by series' main villain when they were younger, but the reason he kidnapped her and left him to die was because she was the stronger sibling and he wanted her to fight for his cause. Which she later did, willingly. On top of that, he had this attitude long before she ever went missing; a flashback shows him bringing her home after she beat the crap out of a guy who called her weak. He tells her she went too far and that if she doesn't act more feminine, no one will want to marry her. When she says it's too much trouble to depend on someone else and that she wants to be strong to protect her loved ones, he laughs at her.
  • Gender flipped in the Yozakura Quartet manga. As Hime and Kyousuke are trying to convince Akina to stay out of the fight, Hime tells Akina to stay in the kitchen, saying cooking and cleaning are more like him.
  • Fumio's boss tells Kenta that he personally thinks mothers should stay at home in the first volume of Karin.
  • Following his Face–Heel Turn and coming out of nowhere in a series with no shortage of prominent and very capable female characters, Justin tells Marie that although they're both Death Scythes hers is only "a woman's power" and therefore weaker. She quickly proves him wrong on that assumption by punching him into the air. Stein reasons that she might need his assistance on the basis that, unlike Marie, Justin became a Death Scythe without a meister but doesn't mention her sex at all.
  • Subverted with Nanami from Katanagatari. Her father refused to teach her Kyotoryuu and decided to make Shichika the next head of the Yasuri clan — not because she was a woman, and not because she was an Ill Girl, but because she was too powerful for him to properly train. Not that it mattered - she mastered Kyotoryuu anyway by simply watching her father train her brother.
  • Brave Series, full stop. While the guys have awesome adventures with their Humongous Mecha (who are also all men), girls are either The Chick or their mother. Only time we had a female Brave was in Gao Gai Gar Final, which was an OVA for an older crowd.
  • The protagonist of Nagasarete Airantou, Ikuto, ends up cast away on an inescapable paradise island inhabited only by women. He refuses to adapt to circumstance and insists that it's the man's job to protect the women from the island's dangers, despite being significantly outnumbered and less strong, competent, and knowledgeable about the island than anyone else. As a result he's constantly putting his own life in danger and consequently jeopardizing the colony's long-term survival prospects. Amusingly, he constantly gets the shit beaten out of him for this attitude. He can't seem to get over it, though, despite repeatedly being thrown all the way across the island because he took a blow for a girl.
  • Taken to nightmarish extremes in Shitsurakuen, in which the female students are "owned and protected" by the male students, have no rights whatsoever and are utterly miserable and downtrodden as a result.
  • In One Piece, one Marine officer suggests that Tsuru stay out of the battle with Whitebeard's forces. She indignantly responds that he's in no position to order her around and there's nowhere safe for her to go, and later is shown hanging some of Whitebeard's men out to dry like laundry. Literally. Messing with Tsuru is a mistake. Of course, it should be noted that this trope was probably not the reasoning behind that suggestion; after all, Hina, Tashigi, and a female member of the Giant Squad were all present and active in the battle as well. In Tsuru's case, it was likely more due to her advanced age and the fact that, unlike the cool old guys like Garp or Sengoku, she actually had an appropriately frail-looking appearance.
  • In Axis Powers Hetalia, Austria makes a brief attempt to forbid Hungary from fighting off the Prussian army. He quickly lets her do what she wants, when he sees how disturbingly determined she is to get Prussia's blood. In the anime, the dub of that episode makes a lot of jokes about Maria Theressa being queen and Prussia's belief that "chicks couldn't lead". There's an interesting inversion in a flashback of when Hungary realizes she's a woman. She comes to the conclusion herself that she should give up fighting and be content as Austria's maid, while Prussia tries to encourage her to stop wearing dresses and go hunting with him.
  • Crops up quite a lot in Princess Knight (which makes sense, as the series was made in The '50s and thus suffers from Values Dissonance). One notable example would be when someone must travel to the realm of Venus to get a potion to bring Sapphire back to life. Sapphires mother instantly volunteers only for Prince Franze to say, not unkindly, that she should stay in the castle and he ought to go, because men were more naturally suited for adventuring. There are two inversions. No one seems to mind that lady knight Fiebe is participating in tournaments and fighting the king's soldiers (granted her sole reason for doing this is to get a strong husband to settle down with). Also, throughout the series, all the heroes decry the law stating that women couldn't rule as being misogynistic and outdated. Eventually even the immature Plastic grows a pair and gets the parliament to unanimously agree to abolish that law, before giving Sapphire the crown and telling her she deserves to rule no matter what her gender.
  • A variant is done in Anatolia Story, where Ilbani tells Princess Alexandra that, Yuri aside, it wasn't proper for a noblewoman to go into battle. Given that he doesn't seem bothered by Yuri's three maids helping out with the fighting, apparently that philosophy doesn't necessarily extend to non-nobility.
  • In Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit, flashbacks show that Jiguro initially refused to train Balsa in because he thought women didn't have the muscles to fight. However, after he saw her reenact one of his battles for an audience, he changed his mind.
  • Rune Soldier Louie touches upon this twice:
    • This is self-imposed by the female mages of Ophun. When Jeanie and her friends come to Ophun in hopes of finding one to add to their travelling party, Ila and Louie explain that female mages in their town don't have the stomach for adventure and prefer to lock themselves away with their studies. Which is why Ila suggested they take Louie, instead (at 4:58-6:50).
    • Near the end of the 12th episode, Jeanie finally has it out with Louie for thinking he came back for her because she was a woman. Which struck a nerve since it reminded her of the time when her former comrade, Hector, sacrificed himself by staying behind so she wouldn't have to die. However, Farbe sets the record straight by explaining Hector had done it because he'd secretly been in love with her. Not because she was a woman; thus, subverting the trope.
  • In the OVA Mega Man: Upon a Star, Roll tries to help, but proves incompetent. Mega Man is only able to convince her to stop "helping" when she gets their only time machine destroyed. Interestingly, her gender isn't invoked - it's largely her lack of experience and her non-combat design. In a later episode, though, it is invoked when she tries to use powered armor to help out.
  • In The Seven Deadly Sins, in Jericho's backstory, her brother Gustaf told her to give up on her dreams of becoming a Holy Knight because she was a woman. Determined to prove him wrong, she succeeded in becoming a Holy Knight. Later, it's revealed that Gustaf truly cared about her and only said that because he was worried she would one day be killed.
  • In Street Fighter II: The Manga Politically Incorrect Villain Vega says this nearly word-for-word when fighting Action Girl Chun-Li.
  • Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’ has a scene where Krillin tells his wife Android 18 to look after their daughter while he helps battle Freeza's invasion, in spite of the fact that 18 is far stronger (which she explicitly points out). However, this seems to be less about sexism and more Krillin viewing it as Something He's Got to Do Himself, since Freeza killed him on Namek. Later on in Dragon Ball Super he has absolutely no problem with 18 fighting, and the pair even become a Battle Couple during the Tournament of Power.
  • Played a bit in Fullmetal Alchemist when, by the start of the last arc, Edward tells Winry to stay at home and cook a pie for him once he is back. Then again, Winry can't fight like Riza, Olivier, Izumi or Lanfan, meaning that she would only be in danger if she decided to help him like she asked many times. He doesn't act the same way with the other mentioned women, probably because he knows they would completely beat him if he ever tried.

    Comic Books 
  • This is one of the main character flaws of Jesse Custer in Preacher, 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 mens' 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. Interestingly he doesn't seem to be the only one...check out who dies first in those 80's terrorism movies! (The only exceptions are Knife Nut terrorists. They stick around to challenge the hero right before they get to the Big Bad, if they aren't the Big Bad themselves.)
  • 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 to 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.
  • Batman: 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 with 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.

    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.

    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.
  • An accusation leveled at 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 into 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.
  • 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 a 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.
  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • The Prayer Warriors make 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).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Vegeta maintains this attitude around Android 18 during their fight in Dragon Ball Z Abridged. 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 patriarcal 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 think 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 chauvanism 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 themselve to the kitchen, child-rearing and Church attendence. For most of them, this attitude tends not to survive a first encounter with women of the Smith-Rhodes family. The tales of A.A. Pessimal expand on this idea.
  • 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.
  • The Jorgenson clan is adamant to have Astrid marry Snotlout in Lost Boy as a means to take away her status as 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.

    Films — Animation 
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Near the end of Demolition Man, John Spartan is so determined on going to confront Simon Phoenix alone that he actually knocks out Huxley out with a stun-stick in order to prevent her from following him. Nevermind 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 credit, being wrongly incarcerated over the death of hostage can make it quite personal and several scènes have developped the animosity between him and Phoenix.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Turns up in The Film of the Book of Jurassic Park when John Hammond tries to argue that he should go on a dangerous mission to turn the power back on instead of Dr. Ellie Sattler. Especially ridiculous as Hammond is an 80 year old fragile old man, while Dr. 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).
  • 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 film-makers wanted to show how badass Sean Connery was). Fortunately, everyone forget 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.
  • 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 Hot Scientist 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".
  • Clash of the Titans: 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 movie was made.)
  • 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.
  • 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 go back home to Toronto. Meanwhile, Shirley Temple's character is a child in addition to being female, but everyone is totally fine with her being there.
  • 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.

  • In Dragon Queen, Badan tells Trava that she can't run the tavern without a man; it very much comes off as this trope.
  • In the Tortall Universe, noble women were mostly trained to be polite, beautiful and good at managing estates. Alanna decided she would be having none of that, so disguised herself as a boy and trained to be a knight. After revealing her gender, saving the land several times and the King marrying another competent fighter from another land, this begins to dissolve. The follow-up series, Protector of the Small, shows that the attitude is alive and kicking as sexists continually try to block Keladry from becoming a knight.
    • The prequel Provost's Dog series shows how this starts; a religious movement of the Gentle Goddess (or some such) that would eventually gain enough popularity to kill off the Action Girl. In hindsight, this shows why Alanna is the Goddess's champion; she must have gotten tired of being pushed aside and pretty much jumped at the chance Alanna offered her to gain her reputation back.
    • Note that the above examples pertain to Tortall, the main setting. Other cultures in the setting range from worse than the Tortallans to full gender equality, and in the case of the Copper Islands the rightful ruler is always a queen regnant.
  • In the Wheel of Time series, Rand repeatedly goes out of his way to avoid getting any women killed—even his Amazon bodyguard and the evil sorceresses trying to kill him. Rand is rapidly going out of his mind, and knows that this is stupid behavior and all it does is annoy said bodyguards and his three girlfriends but he can't make himself stop it. Likely a result both of upbringing and having killed his wife in his last incarnation. The aforementioned Amazon Bodyguards at one point threaten to commit mass suicide if he doesn't let them go into battle with him. Another time, when he does manage to sneak off without them, they then come in when he's canoodling with his girlfriend and beat him up as punishment.
    • Nynaeve and Elayne go on numerous adventures together and constantly grumble about the men wanting them to stay out of danger. However, they do have a point since they are under trained apprentices with no combat skills and get kidnapped often.
  • The Reynard Cycle: This is played straight and inverted. The Arcasians have this attitude, but their enemies the Calvarians are a gender neutral meritocracy capable of fielding entire companies of female combatants. Then Reynard adopts the Calvarian model when building his Army of Thieves and Whores and ends up with one fifth of his own army being women, some of whom are later made Chevalier (Knights) for their efforts. This doesn't sit well with the more traditionally minded Arcasian nobility.
  • Action Girl Brienne from A Song of Ice and Fire is frequently reminded by minor characters that "a woman's war is in the birthing bed," even though she'd really have no problem mopping the floor with all of them. It's very worth pointing out the society of Westeros is incredibly sexist, being based on medieval Europe, and Lord Randyll Tarly is not only against women being anything but wives and mothers he is also against noblemen being anything other than warriors. His merciless and brutal attempts to 'make a man' out of his cowardly, obese, book loving, song singing, home and hearth inclined son Samwell are wonderful evidence. Lord Tarly takes gender roles very seriously...
    • This is a particularly dark example because there's really nothing protective about his attitude toward her. He doesn't bother to hide the fact that he's really, really hoping something terrible will happen to her so that she'll learn her lesson and get back in the kitchen where women belong. Also deconstructed. This mentality actually puts most women in danger more than it protects them from it. Most women and girls in Westeros cannot defend themselves because they've been discouraged from learning how; nor can they enforce chivalry. Without male guardians, a situation that occurs frequently, especially for peasant women, they're sitting ducks. And there are many men out there who Would Hit a Girl.
    • The in-universe histories, set while dragons were still around, reveal that the Targaryen royal family and their Velaryon cousins used to have a lot more martially inclined women, although they were from a different cultural background. This trend seems to have died out with their dragons when they would likely have felt the need to assimilate more Westerosi cultural values as they no longer had their superweapons
  • In the Star Trek novel Ishmael by Barbara Hambly, a ST/Here Come The Brides crossover — an amnesiac Spock is taken in by Aaron Stemple. At one point two characters have gone missing in the rainy Seattle woods and Spock suggests Biddy Cloom lend a hand in the search. "But she's a woman!" says Stemple. "What has her gender to do with her ability to locate missing persons?" asks Spock.
  • In Jim Butcher's The Dresden Files, Harry has a chauvinistic sort of chivalry about him that firmly believes women shouldn't be in trouble, or hit, or anything like that. This might partly be because his chief mentor, one of the few people he really, genuinely respects, is about three hundred years old. Subverted in that he recognizes that it's a limitation, one that frequently almost gets him killed because as often as not, the people gunning for him are women themselves. It's just one he has to be really under pressure to start working around. Also subverted in that every woman he knows that's an ally is a straight badass, and the one he teams with most consistently is Karrin Murphy, who is also a Badass Normal, who only after several books came to understand the limitations of the "normal" part. She loathes it, but she understands it. And never let it be said Harry doesn't respect her. It's generally faded into non-existence by the sixth book, though he still does the opening doors and paying bills thing — though probably just to annoy Murphy.
  • In The Lord of the Rings, everybody tries to keep Éowyn away from the battlefield, and King Théoden wants her to stay in Meduseld and rule Rohan in his absence, thereby giving her another "man's job" instead. Éowyn disguises herself and goes to battle anyway (though it's never made clear whom she deputized to stay and rule Rohan). And while she's at it, she brings Merry with her, when he has also been excluded from the troops on account of being too short. She and Merry kill the Witch King of Angmar, a.k.a the guy who killed King Théoden. Who, we should point out, is thousands of years old and mighty enough to give Gandalf serious pause, and there's a prophecy claiming that no man can kill him. Isn't irony great? Possible subversion: In this case "the kitchen" is being regent of Rohan. Someone from a less militaristic people than the Rohirrim might have considered it a compliment.
  • Spenser and Susan Silverman in the Spenser series often discuss this, with Spenser often doing his best to protect Susan. It annoys her, but since he's an ex-cop and private detective and she's a psychiatrist she grudginly defers to his judgments on matters that could get them both killed.
  • H. Beam Piper's Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen does this with Rylla, who has been raised as a boy owing to her father's inability to produce a son. When she breaks her leg leading an otherwise successful cavalry charge, Kalvan tries to get her nurses to pretend that her limb hasn't healed so she'll hopefully miss the rest of the fighting. Fortunately for him, she figures out what he had been doing and leads a small squad of cavalry who happen to arrive in the right place to capture an enemy commander who had been attempting to flee the battlefield. In a twist, Kalvan knows entirely well that his wife is one of the better fighters around. He also knows that she's very reckless of her personal safety and that the dynasty cannot survive both of them dying in the same battle. Later on, when she finally learns to be a little more careful, he raises fewer objections to her leaving the castle.
  • In The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Susan and Lucy Pevensie are advised not to fight when they are given their weapons because "wars are ugly when women fight" (the movies left this line out). By The Horse and His Boy, however, which also introduces the Rebellious Princess Aravis, the grown-up Lucy has already made her way to the military as an archer, as Corin tells Shasta that she fights "as well as" a boy. Susan has decided to stay aside, but according to Corin it's because fighting just doesn't suit her sensitive personality ("Queen Susan is more like an ordinary grown-up lady. She doesn't like going to war, despite being an excellent archer"). Lucy becomes known as "The Valiant" and Susan as "The Gentle," making their involvement in combat a matter of personality, not societal rules. Jill is portrayed quite well when it's her turn to go out on adventures in The Silver Chair and The Last Battle. The movie threw this right out the window, with the producers pointing out that if Susan wasn't supposed to fight, Santa really shouldn't have given her a bow and arrow.
  • Star Wars Expanded Universe:
    • Depending on the Writer, Luke Skywalker is either somewhat protective of his prickly friend and later wife Mara Jade, wanting to stand between her and the worst danger but entirely willing to fight alongside her and acknowledging that she's better in some areas of combat than he is... or he's much more protective and less appreciative of her skills. Either way annoys her.
    • Tenel Ka goes through this with Jacen Solo. But she's less snide about it than Mara is.
  • Harry Potter:
    • The bizarre case of Tonks. Once she becomes a mother, Lupin and others are mostly concerned with keeping her safe. She's a fully-trained Auror, and probably the second best fighter left in the order. Once she shows up, though, she heads to the front lines immediately. Harry even notes this in Deathly Hallows, when Lupin offers to join the group on their quest and adds that Tonks is staying with her mother. Harry thinks this is odd and that Tonks would be more likely to want to join in on the action as well. This is right before he finds out Tonks is pregnant. When Tonks shows up to fight later in the book, it's after her son has already been born.
    • Also in Deathly Hallows, the entire Weasley family and Harry refuse to let Ginny join in the fight at the end. It's not that they think she's incapable, but that she's underage (everyone else underage has been evacuated) and they don't want to lose anyone else they love (Mrs. Weasley doesn't even want her other children fighting, but they're all legally adults, except for Ginny, and thus she can't keep them from doing so). Ginny is not happy with this, and cheerfully runs off to help the first chance she gets.
  • Discworld:
    • The entire nation of Borogravia is like this in Monstrous Regiment, although it's suggested it's less out of a feeling women should be protected, and more out of a feeling women shouldn't be allowed to do anything, or they might get ideas, and the whole thing is enforced more by old women than men, who prefer not to even think about it.
    • Parodied in Jingo, where Nobby complains that he's being expected to do the cooking, just because he's a woman. This is despite the fact that 1) He's not actually a woman 2) Nobody expected him to do the cooking, he just started doing it and 3) there is an actual woman present who everyone is very clear "doesn't do cookery". She's Sergeant Angua, so no-one's going to suggest she can't fight.
    • Jingo also parodies this when Carrot says that the D'regs have a particular view of women fighting. Jabbar, the D'reg Wise Man replies "Yes — we expect them to be good at it."
    • Lancre, despite being a very rural and generally "backward" place, has a reputation for producing very tough women who can handle themselves well. The presence of witches has a lot to do with it. Invoked in Carpe Jugulum when a (not local) priest demands to know why the townspeople have no problem with Granny Weatherwax going out to face monsters alone. They respond "Why should we care what happens to monsters?"
    • Subverted in Men at Arms, where the Watch is forced to get some new, "minority" recruits. They get a dwarf, a troll, and a werewolf. Vimes in particular is unhappy about this (he doesn't like werewolves), and so the others keep trying to explain that Angua's been taken on as a "minority recruit" because she's a "w—" and then looking horribly embarrassed and having Angua herself call their attitudes old-fashioned. At one point, Colon even says that "The Watch is a job for men." All of this sets up this trope magnificently. It then turns out her status as a female has nothing to do with their misgivings, and if anything, they're worried she'll be a little too good at fighting for comfort.
  • The Kzin of Known Space are what happens when a bronze culture gets genetic engineering. The Men are warriors and all violent. The women are modified into being non-sentient.
  • Played for laughs in The Alphabet of Manliness, especially in the Obedience section, which is a "taking care of your pet" manual... written for women.
  • Despite what they're famous for, this is the real point of John Norman's Gor books. Definitely meant as an example of the "sweet and well intentioned" variety but since every single woman enjoys being enslaved it just feels creepy.
    • At least in some of the early books it was more even-handed, discussing that all women want both freedom and slavery in different amounts at different times, and the same being true for men.
  • The well-intentioned but misguided variety shows up in Dracula, where the males think it's best if Mina is shielded from knowledge of their plans to kill the villain. This enforced ignorance means she's a sitting duck for the very man they wanted to protect her from. After their actions lead to Dracula attacking her, they quickly change their philosophy.
  • Exists to a lesser degree in the Antares novels — female spacers are a rarity on Alta. It is explained as a cultural holdover from when they needed to populate their world, women were expected to produce many children, and therefore avoided dangerous occupations. That said, nobody voices any objections to female spacers, especially when they need to expand their navy to defend against the Ryall.
  • Able Team. This backfires badly on team leader Carl Lyons when he deliberately leaves behind his Action Girlfriend, DEA agent Flor Trujillo, as they're about to bust a convoy of drug smugglers. The smugglers start shooting at them with an RPG-7 and Flor, who's commandeered a helicopter to catch up with them, flies right into it.
  • This was why Toulac, a career soldier, had to retire from the army in the Shadowleague trilogy by Maggie Furey.
  • In Eragon, the eponymous character desperately wants Arya to be evacuated with the children when Urgals attack, although not out of chauvinism but because he doesn't want her to get hurt. She doesn't listen, and she continuously shows over the series that she is a formidable (and superhuman) fighter and eventual Love Interest of the title character.
  • This is the twist ending to The Stepford Wives. It is revealed that the men of Stepford are quite happy to murder their wives, just to replace them with gorgeous robots that have no outside hobbies or interests and live only to cook and clean and care for their husbands. The result is that after roughly six months, the women seem to turn perpetually happy and talk about how they're giving up photography or whatever because they just weren't very good at it anyway and now they're too busy.
  • Wulfgar in R. A. Salvatore's Forgotten Realms novels (you know, the ones with Drizzt Do'Urden) starts getting entirely irrational ideas like this when he's to be getting married to Catti-Brie, even though he knows she's an Action Girl already. If he'd only admitted it made no sense and seen it was just his dumb culture keeping hold of his subconscious, but no...
  • In the Adrian Mole series, Adrian behaves this way with his first girlfriend Pandora, wanting to marry her straight out of school and for her not to work outside the home. Pandora, being promiscuous and The Ace, laughs him down.
  • In The Inverted World, Helward's wife Victoria complains that the Guild system encourages this kind of attitude: women aren't allowed to become Guild members and are expected to devote all their time to producing children. The root of the problem is actually the skewed gender ratio of births in the City: the live birth of females is so rare that, even with mandatory marriage at a young age, it is becoming difficult to keep the population up.
  • A variant in the Star Trek: Voyager Relaunch novels. Tillum Drafar has the view that mothers should not be working outside the home. Among his people, biological necessity compels women with young children to dedicate their time entirely to the infant. When confronted with B'Elanna Torres, who balances her work with her motherhood, he implies she is a poor mother for doing so and initially treats her dismissively. B'Elanna, once she understands the reason for his prejudice, manages to challenge it in a non-confrontational but effective manner.
  • In Death: Commander Skinner explicitly states this attitude to Eve Dallas in Interlude In Death. She quickly demonstrates that she just does not fit in his view of the world.
  • Fifty Shades of Grey has this be Christian's idea of the 'place for a woman'. He practically mentions the trope itself, by saying that he would much prefer Anastasia to be nothing more than 'barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen'. He seems to have no problem with his second-in-command, Ross, being a working woman, but that might have to do with the fact that she is stated to be a lesbian.
  • Oddly, Esme in Twilight. Rosalie and Alice are formidable fighters always in the thick of conflict, but there is never any question of whether or not Esme will take part. In fact, it is stated at one point that Esme is not a fighter. Presumably this is related to her role as "mother" in the family (and her conscious decision to refrain from violence), but it's still pretty strange since she must be just as strong and capable as any other vampire and they could always use the help.
    • In Breaking Dawn, Edward is constantly upset with Bella taking fighting lessons from Emmett, at one point outright forbidding her from having any one night. It's supposed to be because he can't stand the thought of her being hurt, but as a vampire there's very little that can harm her. Plus, she's a newborn and thus has more strength than a normal vampire, and the Volturi are coming for a fight, so having her be untrained for combat comes across as just silly.
      • It is implied to be because he has to see Emmett's thoughts about ways to hurt her that it bothers him, and he says outright that it is because he can't bear to think that way about her that he can't train her himself.
  • In The Cat Ate My Gymsuit, Marcy's father expresses this attitude toward her and her mother.
    Father says that girl children should be born at the age of eighteen and married off immediately.
  • Invoked by Septimus in Syren where he tells Jenna to stay with Milo Banda rather than follow him into the Ice Tunnels, as her survival is critical for the safety of the Castle.
  • In Animorphs, Andalite society has traditionally only allowed males to be warriors. Females can still be as highly respected scientists or artists, but not warriors. By the events of the actual series, where the Andalite's have been in a brutal war with the Yeerks for years, there are actually female cadets in the military.
    Rachel: Why wasn't I even in the group?
    Drode: You? A violent-prone sociopath like you, Rachel? (laughs) You were in a reeducation camp. This world has little room for bold, aggressive females. You were being taught your place.
  • Played with in EverworldDavid and the other guys often try to convince April to stay out of the fighting (even against Hel, whose powers mainly affect men). She always refuses and acts offended, but in her narration is ashamed to admit that she really, really wants to take those offers.
  • A twist in The Stormlight Archive - the Alethi have very strict gender roles (particularly in the aristocracy) that define "masculine arts" (politics, combat, commerce, etc) and "feminine arts" (art, science, history, etc). For either gender, stepping outside these roles is seen as scandalous - a woman who wanted to fight would be "told her place", but the same would go for a man who wanted to write a book. There are a few exceptions, though. The priesthood is open to both genders, and priests have at least some leeway in terms of gender roles. And since all the gender roles are based on an ancient book defining them, jobs that didn't exist back then (such as horse groom) are gender-neutral.
  • Enchanted Forest Chronicles: Princesses are expected to act in "proper" ways, which generally mean being ditzy and useless and waiting for a prince to save them from something and marry them. Cimorene is considered "difficult" by everyone in the castle she grew up in, because her practical mind lead her to wanting to do things that actually served a purpose and let her take care of herself. Subverted in Searching for Dragons, when Cimorene has just met Mendabar and tells him she thinks Kazul is trapped in the Enchanted Forest and is going to go search for her. Mendabar tells her she shouldn't do that, to which Cimorene angrily asks him if it's because he thinks it's improper behavior for a princess. He tells her no, it's because he's king of the forest and thus knows that it's an incredibly dangerous place, full of dangerous stuff she's probably never seen before, and plus as the close friend and assistant of the already-disappeared king of dragons, her getting lost or killed or enchanted would likely spark massive political problems between the dragons and the citizens of the forest, which is the very thing they're trying to avoid. Cimorene is amazed, because this is the first time someone ever gave her a legitimate reason not to do something. (She still goes, but accepts Mendabar's offer to come along and help her out).
  • In John C. Wright's The Hermetic Millennia, Lady Ivinia tells the male Chimera warriors that Chimera women, of course, obey their men, and as a meek and gentle woman, she has no place in the councils of war, she will only tell them, in the name of the motherhood, that they must overcome the foe they face, and they should commit suicide if they fail. Then she withdraws, and one warrior observes that he's glad that their women are gentle, because if they were bold, who could imagine what they would be like?
  • Gender-flipped in A Brother's Price where it's the men who are expected to do this type of thing. The main male character does follow his gender role but he's also an Action Guy which deeply impresses his wives-to-be even as it's driving them out of their skin with worry.
  • In The Infernal Devices, one of Benedict Lightwood's claims against Charlotte Branwell's leadership is that women are incapable of running the Institute.
  • In Dying of the Light, this may well be Stay In The Rape Closet, at least for native women. A Gendercide plague had forced communities to either do that or be selected out. A few generations later, it became the societal norm.
  • Agatha H. and the Clockwork Princess: Mention is made in a footnote that Bangladesh Dupree has encountered people with this attitude... towards her. Never more than twice though, and their replacements are always incredibly polite towards her.
    • Baron Wulfenbach, meanwhile, takes incredible strides to avert this trope, having entire all-female regiments in his army. Meanwhile, the number of the Baron's enemies who subscribe to this idea becomes increasingly small, usually because said all-female regiments have melted them, or blown them up.
  • This is oddly invoked in Agatha Christie's 4.50 from Paddington, or What Mrs. McGillicuddy Saw!—oddly because it's the woman herself who invokes it. Main character Lucy Eyelesbarrow is an intelligent young woman in her early thirties who attended Oxford University and excelled in mathematics, which might have led to a promising career in science. However, she realizes that academic jobs don't pay well; as she freely admits to liking money, she decides to go into the field of domestic service instead. The trope is then downplayed, as Lucy is able to make a fortune off of her work as a housekeeper/nursemaid/odd-job holder: British nobles pay highly for her services, she refuses to settle in a single home (despite being offered small fortunes to do so) because she likes making her own schedules, and she even takes luxurious vacations whenever she pleases.
  • The Honorverse has a (mostly) justified variant with the planet Grayson, a colony of Space Amish who left Earth on a colony ship to get away from all technology. Unfortunately, they unwittingly chose a Death World to settle, and by the time they got there, they didn't have the resources to go anywhere else. As a result of the absolutely toxic atmosphere (heavy metals, et al), the death rates in the early days of the colony were devastating, and the stillbirth and miscarriage rates were astronomical. As a result, Grayson men became extremely protective of their womenfolk, who faced enough risk and tragedy from their own bodies that subjecting them to any more was practically unthinkable.
  • Inverted in Catherine Asaro's Skolian Saga. The upper classes of the Skolian Empire are like this—some of them even forbid their male family members from seeing anyone who's not a relative except under strict supervision, although they're considered to be ultra-conservative and somewhat out-of-touch for it. The kidnapped princeling in Undercity desperately wants to go to university and become a marine biologist, but his mother won't allow it. After Major Bhaajan figures out that the kidnappers were able to get him because he was so unhappy he ran away, she relents, and by the end of the book he's enrolled.
  • This is true for most of the polities in Victoria. The New Confederacy finds women in the military incompatible with Southern chivalry, and the Nazis share similar sentiments, as does the reactionary Northern Confederation. The only significant exception is Azania, which is a Lady Land, and is mocked by the Confederation in particular for its female soldiers.
  • A Sweet Valley Twins book had the girls dealing with a homeroom teacher who had this attitude. Literally—he takes the money collected for the class to buy lunch on a class trip and gives it to the girls for them to buy supplies and make lunch for the entire class. He also assigns the girls clean up duties and seems genuinely incapable of believing that the girls are just as adept at sports and class offices as the boys are.
  • The Dreamblood Duology: The city-state of Gujaareh reveres its women as "goddesses", which, conveniently for the men, generally involves keeping them comfortably sequestered in the home with minimal actual power or involvement in public life.
  • Books of the Raksura: Gender-flipped and Downplayed with Raksura Consorts, the only males among the titular shapeshifting Draconic Humanoids who can reproduce with Queens. They generally lead pampered lives within their home colony and almost never leave, so some of them see Moon, a Consort who grew up outside a colony and remains an active, deadly fighter after joining one, as a sort of Rebellious Princess for not playing the role properly.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Non-Super Sentai Tokusatsu has women staying away from the Transformation Trinket. Those that kept women from the trinkets managed to do well.
    • An example would be Kamen Rider; most entries in the franchise have the women away from belts and so far, these series were very well received. The others? Not so much.
    • A common observation in the fandom was that every female Kamen Rider was doomed to a very quick death, though there are exceptions.
      • Kamen Rider Decade's second movie, where Kamen Rider Kiva-la actually survived the movie she was featured in.
      • Kiva has two women who temporarily use Rider powers; one dies off-camera, apparently nothing to do with being a Rider, while the other (her daughter) survives the whole series. Hibiki had a female villain who made it most of the way through the series.
      • Faiz had a few girls use Rider powers, some of whom survived the show, but Faiz just liked killing people regardless of gender.
      • A particularly odd example is Kamen Rider Den-O, where female lead Hana is a badass, take-no-crap Action Girl — and yet for some reason she has to enlist the help of klutzy, luckless Non-Action Guy Ryotaro to become Den-O, rather than taking up the belt herself. There may be a justification in that Den-O is next to powerless without a contracted Imagin and at the start of the series Hana despises Imagin so much that there's no way she'd partner up with one.
    • However, the franchise is quite notorious for this, really, because, well... read the above. Before Decade, all female Riders indeed die, unless you want to extend "female Rider" to mean "borrowed someone's suit for a matter of seconds." This has let up in recent years, though, where Kamen Rider Fourze's movie Rider is revealed to survive after she sure appeared to suffer the standard girl movie Rider death, and Kamen Rider Decade not only gave us Kamen Rider Kivala, but also gave its alternate versions of several such past characters happier endings. (It's joked that Kivala gets to survive because of an earlier Life Energy-draining incident; death is still obligatory but hers has already happened! This leaves her in the clear.) We're still waiting for the first woman to have Rider powers, keep them long-term, and survive.
    • After 40 years it's happened once: Wizard lets Kamen Rider Mage keep her powers and her life, though her suit becomes the one everyone has in The Movie's alternate world where everyone can use magic. Though, at the end of the series she also gets to take up the Wizard name after Haruto leaves to begin Walking the Earth.
    • If you want it character-to-character, you want Kamen Rider Kiva. In the 80s time period, Yuri was constantly being told that Fangire-hunting was no pursuit for a woman. Like the Doctor Who Double Subversion, you wanna say "yeah, you go girl!" when she refuses... but then you see what happens when she tries to be useful. She exists to get beaten up so whoever is currently holding the IXA Knuckle can show up to save the day - and the "getting beaten up" is part is extended and brutal and Once per Episode. Her daughter continues the role in the present day.
    • Kamen Rider Dragon Knight turns this on its head. It took Ryuki's Kamen Rider Femme (the usual: appears in a non-canon movie, gets killed) and used her footage (and a whole mess of new footage) to make Kamen Rider Siren. As one of the original Ventaran Riders, she's a soldier and not someone who Fell Into The Cockpit, so she's Kamen Rider Wing Knight's equal in being badass. The duo becomes a Power Trio. When Kase is taken out, the Siren powers are borrowed by Maya, which is incredible if you're familiar with the franchise.note  Eventually, Kase gets better and Maya decides superheroing is more Kase's thing than her own. Two female Riders for the price of one, both effective, both with happy endings.

  • Adam-12: When a female officer rides patrol with Reed, Wells never stops complaining about it. Reed himself doesn't care.
  • Melinda Culea left The A-Team because the show's producers refused to give her character a more active role. It is still unclear whether she quit, or was fired. When her character was "replaced" by Tawnia Baker, it became something of a running joke that Tawnia wanted to get involved in the action and really be a part of the Team, but either through her own ineptitude or the Team's machinations to keep the woman out of the way, she rarely got much accomplished. According to Tawnia's actress, Marla Heasley, George Peppard told her twice that no one wanted her on the show except the network. In later years, Dirk Benedict would also comment that a woman had no place on The A-Team.
    • Speaking of Dirk Benedict, witness his infamous rant about Battlestar Galactica (2003):
      Women are from Venus. Men are from Mars. Hamlet does not scan as Hamletta. Nor does Han Solo as Han Sally. Faceman is not the same as Facewoman. Nor does a Stardoe a Starbuck make. Men hand out cigars. Women 'hand out' babies. And thus the world, for thousands of years, has gone round.
    • Subsequently, the remake of Battlestar Galactica saw far more commercial and critical success than the original did, with the female Starbuck often praised as a well-developed character.
  • Boardwalk Empire shows how different the Thompson's brothers are on their on their view on women in the 1920's. Eli believes a woman's only role is to be a housewife(even telling his daughter she doesn't need to go college and the only things she needs to learn are cooking and cleaning) and it's ok for husbands to beat their wives. Nucky on the other hand is a women suffrage supporter, likes strong, independent women and detests domestic abuse. Ironically, Nucky is a womanizer who sleeps with many women and despite his faults, Eli truly loves his wife and feels very guilty when he had a drunken affair.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer played with this particular trope often, mostly because the Action Girl protagonist bore a really strong resemblance to a very soft, slender, feminine teenage girl. Merely suggesting this is a good way to get Buffy to punch you in the face.
    • Typically, however, it is played for humor.
      Riley: I'm taking you home. Come on.
      Buffy: Oh, did you ever think maybe I'm gonna take you home, huh? What? You think that boys can take care of themselves and girls need help?
      Riley: Yeah.
      Buffy: That is so Teutonic.
    • Hilariously inverted in "Some Assembly Required", where Buffy and Willow are sitting around chatting while Xander and Giles dig up a grave. When the men point out that Buffy could help, very effectively thanks to her Slayer strength, she replies "I'm an old-fashioned girl. I was raised to believe the men dig the graves, the women have the babies."
  • Completely inverted in Charmed (1998). Even before he loses his powers and becomes mortal Leo was nearly always left out of the fight while the sisters went up against demons alone, despite being actually invincible. Phoebe tries to do this to Cole when he loses his powers. This being Cole, it doesn't work.
  • Parodied in Chinese Paladin with Elder Shi's comically outrageous order that the girls to stay home, scrub the floors, and embroider. Played straight later in the series when Xiaoyao asks Ling'er to stay behind from a battle—because she's just given birth and is in no condition to fight. It's implied that he does so just to give her face, since she is the most powerful combatant in the group.
  • The Cosby Show
    • Sondra's boyfriend Elvin acts rather sexist towards Claire. She quickly puts him in his place.
    • Rudy's friend Kenny had a brother who fed him similar philosophies. The first time Kenny (and by extension his brother) put on this hat, Cliff was so used to dealing with Elvin's sexism that he called Kenny by the wrong name.
  • CSI: NY seems to have this with Russ, who'd rather Jo be a stay at home mom than have her career, that's why they divorced.
  • In Defiance, this is the attitude of the very traditional Castithans. They consider their traditional values as the reason they are in charge of the Votan races. In season 2, when Stahma takes over from her husband Datak his criminal empire (since their son Alak is far too weak for the job), this causes outrage among the other Castithans (at least, those who don't work for her), especially the religious leaders. Stahma, inspired by Amanda's tales of American women standing up for their rights (although she can't understand why any woman would burn her undergarments), gathers several other Castithan women to try to convince them that it's time to break with this particular tradition, only for them to tell her that her female ancestors would be ashamed of her. She goes to Plan B and poisons the three women, framing the local Castithan religious leader who has been speaking out against her. Even Datak, whom she had kicked out of their house, is visibly impressed.
  • In Dickensian, despite all the evidence that Amelia Havisham is a very intelligent and practical young woman, and her brother Arthur shows no signs of being anything other than a wastrel, he is genuinely baffled that their father's will leaves her the brewery, because he's clearly more suited to running a business.
  • Doctor Who, due to being a Long Runner from the 1960s, has its share of this across the decades.
    • The oldest serials will often play it straight due to the time period, but as the show wore on and Women's Lib took place in the real world, this trope tended be deliberately invoked to show the strength of the female leads when she proved them wrong. Given that the show is themed around time travel, this trope most often rears its head when the Doctor and his companions end up in the past and interact with people from far less progressive time periods, providing a scene where the woman from the present has to handle the culture shock. Some specifics examples of this trope in play include:
    • Played with in "The Dalek Invasion of Earth". Barbara and Susan get taken in from wandering around unprotected by the Resistance against the Daleks, and their leader presses them on their useful skills. He asks Barbara if she can cook — she says she can get by — and then asks Susan what she does, who replies "I eat". In response, the leader clarifies that he's not asking for gender-based reasons — the resistance is just currently short on cooks. Susan's sarcasm is confirmed when we later see her cook an apparently delicious rabbit stew from a wild rabbit she hunted and prepared herself.
    • A running theme with Polly is that people always patronise her by making her get the coffee. When employed as a secretary in the Post Office Tower in 1966 in her first appearance, she was constantly told to stay out of the computer science and go and make coffee. Even as a companion, Ben taunts her by saying things like, "Polly, put the kettle on" while he and the Doctor are planning things a way of escaping the monsters. In "The Moonbase", she gets coffee for the weather machine operators (leading to the Doctor solving how some people were getting a disease), and there is one specific moment where she's planned a clever Science Hero way of defeating the Cybermen and Ben makes her stop because "this is no job for a bird".
    • In "The Faceless Ones", Ben and Polly depart the TARDIS crew and the Doctor says his goodbyes. He tells Ben to go back to the Navy and work his way up through the ranks and become an Admiral. He tells Polly, "look after Ben". Particularly callous since Polly is generally shown to be clever, more competent and ambitious than Ben, and because a big part of Polly's reason for hooking up with the Doctor in the first place was because in her real job she was being treated like an ignorant teamaid by sexist computer engineers. Notably, in The Sarah Jane Adventures episode "Death of the Doctor" from 2010, Sarah Jane notes that she did hook up with Ben... though it notes both of them are working in an orphanage in India, suggesting she at least got to do something better with her life than just be "Ben's wife."
    • In "The Tomb of the Cybermen", the white male archaeologists divide up several investigation parties for exploring the tomb. Victoria and Kaftan, as "the women", are asked to stay behind in the first room for their safety, accompanied by the team's only black man for their protection (keeping him out of the way as well). Victoria is unimpressed and insists on taking them all investigating, then promptly gets herself shut into a sarcophagus and has to be rescued (although by Kaftan). Keep in mind Victoria is from the 1860s and has more progressive views of gender roles than anyone else in the plot.
    • "The Talons of Weng-Chiang" has the Doctor tell Leela to wait in safety multiple times. Played with in that he's telling her to wait more because he knows how deadly a warrior she is, and is trying to limit the amount of deaths she causes.
    • "The Idiot's Lantern": Jerkass Eddie Connolly, from 1953, believes this to the logical extreme, that women are only good for housework and staying at home while the "real men" fight and protect them. This leads to a very satisfying moment where the Doctor calls him out by asking him if he thinks that the Queen does her own housework.
    • In "Dinosaurs on a Spaceship", the Doctor goes on an adventure with Amy, Rory, Rory's dad, a great white hunter, and Nefertiti. The hunter is initially not happy with Nefertiti not being submissive to him, at one point threatening to spank her for being rude to him (her response is along the lines of "I'd love to see you try"). Amy lampshades this at one point by suggesting he needs a lesson on "gender politics". By the end of the episode, he seems to have begun to respect Nefertiti's strong will, at least enough to take her with him back to hunting big game in his own time.
    • Used as a Running Gag in "Twice Upon a Time", where the First Doctor dropping these kinds of comments to Bill constantly both insults her and humiliates the Twelfth.
  • Alex on Family Ties espoused this attitude in some of the closest times his conservative nature ever got to being the strawman.
  • Wonderfully averted with Zoe in Firefly, who regularly goes into dangerous situations with Capt. Reynolds and Jane far more than her husband and ship pilot Wash. The episode "Our Mrs. Reynolds" appears to play it straight, with Saffron more than willing to be Mal's doting housewife, much to Zoe's extreme disgust.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Tywin Lannister seems to have had this attitude towards his daughter Cersei. He never expected her to be anything more than someone he could use to cement a marriage alliance. It's one of the reasons she's not a capable ruler — he never raised her to be one. On the other hand, Cersei also has plenty of emotional problems (again, partly due to Tywin's parenting) that get in the way of her ability to rule. Tywin flat out stated that her problem isn't her gender, her problem is that she's not as clever as she thinks she is.
    • Women with traditionally masculine aspirations like Brienne are looked down on.
    • Ambitious women like Margaery generally achieve power by controlling the men in their lives, due to this being a general belief in Westeros, though not north of the Wall.
  • The Handmaid's Tale: The Republic of Gilead believes women should not work, nor own property. First they froze all of the women's credit cards and bank accounts, then had them fired. When Serena Joy tries to draw on her publicist past and give Fred advice on how to deal with an Aunt who escaped to Canada and has sold her story, he quickly shuts her down and refuses to let her read the news story.
  • Sometimes pops up in Horrible Histories, and is usually Played for Laughs (like pretty much everything else). The "Historical Wife Swap: Spartans and Athenians" sketch is one example:
    "These Spartans are unbelievable! At school, Spartan girls are taught how to wrestle and throw javelins! Imagine that - a girl going to school! They should be at home, learning how to sew!"
  • I Love Lucy usually revolves around Lucy's desire to circumvent her husband's wishes and get into show business because Ricky "wants a wife who's just a wife."
    • Given that one of the running gags throughout the show was that Lucy (the on-screen character) had no performing talent to speak of (she never let it stop her), Ricky might have been playing the "traditional wife" card as a way to keep her out of the show without hurting her feelings.
  • Artie Kendall, the ghost of an old-fashioned lounge singer who occasionally appeared on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, always sung three wildly offensive songs. His "song for the ladies" would always consist entirely of this trope. For example:
    Oh, women should be forced to stay indoors
    And never fed until they've done their chores
    But men should all roam free
    To commit adultery
    With an endless string of sleazy German whores
  • LOST:
    • Jin often has this attitude towards his wife Sun, especially in early episodes. Of course, as we get more development of their characters, we find out he had his reasons for this, which while not right, at least made sense.
    • The last season revolves around a list of names Jacob, the master of the Island, made in his cave, which turns out to be the list of people who can potentially replace him. A big deal is made of the fact that Kate's name is crossed out, but when she confronts him about it, he reveals it's just a low-key version of this trope: She became a mother, and he assumed she would rather stay with her son.
      Jacob: It's just a line on a wall, Kate. The job's yours if you want it.
  • In Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, set in The Roaring '20s, this causes friction between Dot and her fiancé Hugh when Hugh assumes that Dot will quit her job as Miss Fisher's aide and become a housewife once they're married. Dot surprises them both by calling off the engagement until he relents and strong-arming their priest into dropping the "Stay in the Kitchen" elements of the wedding homily for good measure.
  • On The Mod Squad, Julie always stood around whenever Pete and Link had to fight the bad guys.
  • Averted hilariously in NCIS. Gibbs orders Ziva to remain behind while the men go and pursue a serial killer who has a woman tied up somewhere. A female park ranger says to her sympathetically "I hate it when men try and protect you coz you're female." Ziva said, "Oh, he's not trying to protect me. He's worried I'll kill [the guy] before he tells us where the girl is." And it was a good thing too, since it turned out the man they were chasing wasn't the real killer.
  • One Life to Live: When Kevin Buchanan was accused of participating in a gang rape (wrongly, as the traumatized victim had merely confused him with those who did attack her), his Uncle Bo suggests his girlfriend Nora for his legal representation. His father/Kevin's grandfather Asa irritably snaps, "Bo, if God had intended for women to be lawyers, he wouldn't have invented the kitchen."
  • In Only Fools and Horses, this is a source of conflict between Rodney and Cassandra; early in their marriage Rodney is annoyed to find that Cassandra wants to devote time to her career, rather than staying at home as he'd planned. They eventually resolve their differences.
  • Power Rangers has had a few of these in its history. In a lot of cases, the Pink Ranger will be the one helping the innocent bystanders get to safety while the others are defeating the actual monster. This was subverted when Super Sentai was brought over from Japan however, since they turned one of the male rangers into a female. This left one of the women in the fight while the other was helping victims. In general, the American Power Rangers franchise tries to promote more active female combatants where possible.
    • This was subverted in Mirai Sentai Timeranger, in which the Pink Ranger was the leader of the team, though the always male Red Ranger was the actual field commander (despite far less experience).
    • This carried over into its American equivalent, Power Rangers Time Force, to a point - Wes got standing-in-the-center-during-the-Ass-Kicking Pose privileges because that's how the series rolls and sentai footage demands it, but Jen was definitely in charge. However, as Wes is not a Time Force officer, if anyone's going to stand his ground against her when her judgment is impaired by a certain element in her past ( Since Jen lost her fiance in a brutal murder and is shown as being traumatized by this, having the Red Ranger as backup can count as a 'safety measure'.) it'll be Wes, and as time goes on, she's more likely to listen to him. Also, a lot of Wes' taking point was justified by the tech: Wes was using his descendant's DNA-locked gear, and before he died, he definitely was the leader. That means there's one morpher that has to be unlocked before the others can be, one Zord cockpit that has the most control, and so forth, and it's not Jen's. However, Wes clearly didn't outrank her, and one episode even treats us to the rare (and fairly awesome) sight of a Pink chewing out a Red for not obeying her orders.
    • Sentai has had other female team leaders with NinjaWhite and GekiYellow, although in both cases the male Red Ranger was still the main character.
    • Used among the villains of Power Rangers RPM. A general thought lost in the war on humanity reappears, and spends most of his introduction being condescending towards Dark Action Girl Tenaya 7. Although it did have equally as much to do with the fact she looked, and was programmed to think, feel, and act like a human, nevermind her gender.
    • Samurai Sentai Shinkenger toyed with this in the role of the Red Ranger. For most of the series, Takeru is Shinken Red, thus maintaining the Always Male role. However, near the series conclusion, it is revealed that Kaoru, a girl, is the true 18th head of the Shiba house and the real Shinken Red. She finally takes the position for herself, becoming the franchise's first Red Ranger...for a grand total of five episodes at the end of the series. She relinquishes her position back to Takeru by adopting him as her son and successor, thus making him the 19th head of the Shiba house. It's explicitly stated this is more because the team was loyal to Takeru first and worked better with him than with Kaoru. In the epilogue she's told to marry - which she flatly refuses to do. She also takes up the Shinken Red banner again in some of the subsequent crossovers afterwards. It's up in the air how Power Rangers Samurai will handle this arc, though as a woman has been cast to play a similar character, it's expected this trope will appear again.
    • Now Samurai is complete, and not only did we get the arc kept largely intact, Lauren gets way more development than Kaoru.
    • Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue looks like it's doing this in an early episode, as Pink Ranger Dana is assigned a seemingly unimportant mission to escort an old friend of their mentor (and her father) back to the Aquabase so they can spend some time together, while the rest of the team is on a different escort mission, bringing a scientist with a special fuel cell back to the base. Dana is very annoyed with this, feeling her father doesn't trust her skills... until she finds out he'd subverted the trope and sent her to guard the real fuel cell while the rest of the team was protecting a decoy.
  • Played straight to the point of lampshading with Saturday Night Live's Herb Welch, a senile, bumbling, elderly reporter incapable of covering a story or carrying out an interview. In one skit, a female anchor asks him a question. When Herb pointedly ignores her and is admonished for this by the male anchor, Herb snaps, "Well, she can go back to her kitchen." In another skit, this time he responds by sarcastically asking if she's finished cleaning her living room.
  • JAG: In "Scimitar", Lt. Dumai is not terribly well respected by her Iraqi male peers, and does her best to keep her head down rather than draw their ire.
  • Sledge Hammer!: Inspector Sledge Hammer doesn't approve of his partner being a woman, which at one point leads to the following exchange:
    Doreau: What, you think all women should be barefoot and pregnant?
    Hammer: No, I encourage women to wear shoes.
  • Subverted in the pilot of Stargate SG-1. O'Neill's objection to bringing along Samantha Carter initially seems like this trope, but he later clarifies this his objection to her is not that she's a woman, but that she's a scientist.
  • In the Star Trek universe, this was pretty much part of the hats worn by Ferengi. Women were considered property and were pretty much barred from doing anything, even wearing clothes. However, by the time of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, it would take Quark's mother, Ishka, to finally drive home that Ferengi women could help bring in even more profit (their major hat) by wearing clothes and starting businesses. By the end of the series, the reforms are in full swing and that part of the hat is on the way out.
  • Strong Medicine. Dr. Andy Campbell, an Army surgeon, attends a recruiting event and is dismayed to see that the male officer has this attitude towards every female interested in joining. When he displays the same attitude towards her, she angrily reminds him that he's not only speaking a fellow officer, he's speaking to a superior and tells him to shut up.
    • Dr. Dylan West actually does not have this attitude, but pretends to occasionally in order to irritate the local Straw Feminist Dr. Lu Delgado.
  • In an episode of Warehouse 13, Pete and Myka Mental Time Travel to 1961 to find a killer who uses Cinderella's Glass knife to turn several women into glass, leaving to Literally Shattered Lives. Their prime suspect is the victims' boss, a magazine editor who appears to be a typical 60s chauvinist, chastising women from socializing at work, claiming that it's a "place of business, not a knitting circle" before going to chat with some other men at work. They find out that he has another place where he, apparently, keeps his mistress (one of the magazine employees). Subverted when it turns out that he's been working with these women to try to take over the magazine and introduce new ideas with their help (such as suggesting a swimsuit issue for Sports Illustrated 3 years before the first one came out). That's right, he recognized that the women he worked with were smart and capable and could do much more than this or work a typewriter. His "second home" was where they met to plan their takeover. Unfortunately, he didn't think to tell his wife, who assumed he was having an affair and used the Knife to kill the women.
  • The X-Files episode "2shy" features a local detective who has this way of thinking towards Scully. Never mind that she's an FBI agent. With a medical degree. And a gun, which she can handle quite well.

  • 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!"

    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 it's 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.
  • 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 three games or so (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 Kelly Kelly fight The Undertaker in the 2005 game, but for the second decade of the 2000's, 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 woman 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 believe that A Real Man Is a Killer.
    • K'kree are both more simplistic in their philosophy of the proper treatment of woman 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 then 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 — are the game's most poorly-supported and lowest-selling army. 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 are not supported well by the company (the aforementioned Sisters being the best example of that).
  • 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. Its 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 its 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.

  • 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 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 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.

    Video Games 
  • In the Mega Man (Classic) series, Rock's female counterpart Roll is occasionally depicted this way - but not in the games themselves. In the original game series, she was built as a household robot and unlike Rock, never upgraded into a combat robot. In other alternate universes of the game series, she often plays a supportive role in combat, as Mega Man is usually better equipped for most combat scenarios he encounters, but she does tend to accompany him in some way and is never rebuffed for it.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Final Fantasy VII:
      • Cloud spends most of Disc 1 falling into these speeches, though Aerith unfailingly objects. If Aerith hadn't gone with Cloud, she couldn't have saved the World at the very end of the game, and then everybody would have died.
        Cloud: You gotta be kidding. Why do you want to put yourself in danger again?
        Aerith: I'm used to it.
        Cloud: Used to it!? ...Well, don't know... getting help from a girl...
        Aerith: A girl!! What do you mean by that!? You expect me to just sit by and listen, after hearing you say something like that!? [to Elmyra] Mom! I'm taking Cloud to Sector 7. I'll be back in a while.
      • Strangely, he never talks to Tifa like this. Although it could have something to do with the fact that Tifa has a black belt in martial arts, is a licensed outdoor survival guide, AND a key member of a high-profile eco-terrorist group, whereas Aerith sold flowers and didn't seem to have any real fighting experience. Also, Tifa punches tanks with her fist. And at one point while he's lecturing Aerith, she even calls him out about his double-standard between her and Tifa — "So it's alright for Tifa to be in danger?", to which he weakly responds, "No, I don't want Tifa in...". Tifa, who made Cloud promise to protect her if she was ever in trouble and has fixated upon this idea, seems to want to be protected more than Aerith, who makes Cloud her bodyguard but otherwise acts autonomously (at one point even telling Cloud "Don't tell me to go home.")
    • In Final Fantasy IV, Cecil insists that Rosa and Rydia stay behind while he and the others board the Lunar Whale to face the Big Bad on the moon. The two girls protest and then decide to sneak aboard anyway. Cecil's reasoning? He didn't want to put Rosa and Rydia in danger, which sort of goes against the fact that A) the girls have proven many times that they are more than capable of looking out for themselves, B) Cecil's group would be dead without their dedicated healer and spellcaster, and C) Cecil didn't seem to have a problem with either of them tagging along for most of the game.
    • In Final Fantasy XII it is revealed that the Viera invert this trope. According to the lore, male Viera are few in number, thus they are not allowed to fight or pretty much do anything and are nothing more than breeders. A similar case happens with the Male Mithra in Final Fantasy XI. Final Fantasy XIV also followed the same trend with the Miqo'te, another cat race, until there was demand from fans to include playable male versions.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones:
      • Around Chapter 10 (Eirika's path), if you rescue Innes the Archer with his Pegasus Knight sister Tana, Innes almost immediately tells her to "stop playing soldier and go home". This is explained later in their supports as being a part of Innes' Big Brother Instinct: he thinks Tana is too innocent and inexperienced (and she has just finished her Peg Knight training), therefore he wants to spare her from the horrors of war but handles it so bad that Tana resents him. Innes' attitude is similar with Lady of War Eirika, and slightly towards White Mage L'Arachel, especially in their support conversations — he refuses to let a woman guard him even when injured or exhausted. Nobody reacts well to this attitude — Innes is often portrayed as overly arrogant or narrow-minded.
      • This doesn't come up as much in his supports with the Pegasus Knight Vanessa, whom he often praises for her skill and her maturity. As much, Innes says that she was Just a Kid when they met, but she's grown up into a great knight and suggests that they are unstoppable as a team. This might have something to do with Vanessa's lifelong status as a Pegasus Knight in his charge - Pegasus Knights are always female (because Pegasi don't trust men enough to fly on them) and are expected to guard his entire family.
    • In Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance, the Mia/Largo supports involve Large Ham Largo mentioning this to Genki Girl Mia, Hilarity Ensues. This trope is apparently why Mia is so obsessed with her sword play.
    • And in Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War, Beowolf has a conversation with Raquesis where hefakes this attitude toward her before offering to help her train. Later, Seliph tried to dissuade his cleric friend Lana (or Mana) to stay in Tilnanogue while and he and his merry friend (which includes Larcei (or Radney), an Action Girl) go on the battlefield, because "Nuns and warfare DO NOT MIX". He's quickly talked out of it, and he apologizes. Amusingly, this sort of shows up in his later conversation with his lover. In most cases, he admits that he's afraid of losing her, which is why he wants her to stay back. Larcei (or Radney) is once again the sole exception, with Seliph only asking if something's bothering her.
  • Kingdom Hearts: Sora does this with Kairi, claiming coming with him to the final world was "too dangerous" and that she "would kinda be in his way".
    • Thankfully in Kingdom Hearts II Kairi gets to participate in the final world and fight the Heartless with a keyblade given to her by Riku. Justified in the first game in that Kairi was unarmed, had no combat experience, and no way of defending herself. At worst, the scene was misplaced, as it would have fit better in regards to going to End of the World than Hollow Bastion (where all the other unarmed, lacking in combat experience Princesses of Heart are just fine hanging out at). By the second game, Kairi has a year to become more athletic... plus access to a weapon of her own. Sora also regularly tells armed men to leave the battlefield, a notable (and particularly funny) example being Shang in Land of Dragons.
    • This does get awkward in the Port Royal stage. Though Sora does tell Will to leave early on, it's rather strange that he would tell Elizabeth to do the same later in the stage when she actually played an active role in combat in the portion of the movie the game is covering. He also doesn't brush off Will.
    • Despite the ending of the last numbered title, in the secret ending for Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, Kairi has to stay behind while Sora and Riku leave again for the Mark of Mastery exam, which seems fine until you remember that in the main story, the similarly novice Keyblade wielder Ventus was able to attend his friends' exam as a spectator, so it's bizarre that Kairi can't do the same for her's. At least there's still the justification that someone has to stay behind and keep the island safe.
  • Mass Effect:
    • A somewhat darker variant in Mass Effect 2, where a batarian hiring mercenaries tells female Shepard to go to the stripper quarters. This is one of the rare times the main character's gender is mentioned in the plot (aside from the romance arcs), as the rest of the time, the experience of being a female soldier is never discussed despite female soldiers in the real world still being a minority.
    • The krogan segregate their females and leave them to child raising, though this is actually a result of their severe population loss requiring them to keep women and children protected to ensure survival of the species. It's suggested in the past that krogan females were not originally restricted in this way (references are repeatedly made to the female warlord Shiagur, a powerful krogan matriarch whose death caused her male followers to go on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge) until after the deployment of the genophage made females capable of viable pregnancies such a rarity. Wrex mentions a strategy at one point which involves using sterile females as disposable decoys in battle to prevent the fertile ones from being found. When the other characters object to this, Wrex hastily adds that it was the females who came up with the plan. The Krogan clan in the fourth game that has largely overcome the genophage averts this trope.
    • The series presents a unique version of this with the salarians. As they are amphibious haplo-diploid egg layers, females are created by fertilizing eggs. Social customs restrict only a fraction of these to be fertilized, creating a race that is roughly 90% male. Females thus hold all political power and rarely leave their homeworld, while males fill all other positions of power in salarian society (such as military and academics). A case where women are relegated to a single role...but that role is the one that determines how everything works. The games also mention that women of the race are highly respected.
  • In One Piece: Unlimited Adventure, shortly before the final battle, Sanji tells Nami and Robin to stay back. Nami, however, insists that she and Robin are strong, too, and Robin notes that "it would be impossible to travel with such super-human people otherwise."
  • In Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals, Maxim pulls this several times on Tia and Selan. The first few times, the girls tell him where to shove it. The results are different — Selan never needs help, being a mighty general and extremely talented. Tia, however, needs a fair amount of rescuing, but the plot makes sure to note that this is because she's a shopkeeper with no real desire to fight except to keep close to Maxim. When Maxim marries at the end of the first act of the game, Tia returns to her shop as she has no more reason to fight. In the run-up to what everyone believes will be the Final Battle, Maxim actually tells the girls why he wants them out of the fight: they're the only ones who can coordinate an urgent evacuation effort. It works. Then, after Maxim and Selan marry and have a child, it's time to fight again. Maxim tries this, but Selan won't have it.
  • Mount & Blade:
    • Matheld, a female character, makes it clear that if she is treated like some sort of housewife on the battlefield, she will break the character's neck. She gets along well with the team's warrior poet though. Being a former Viking helps too.
    • King Harlaus denied Lady Isolla's claim to the throne of Swadia entirely because she was a woman. It's unknown how much of this comes down to Harlaus being a selfish, sexist asshole and how much comes down to Deliberate Values Dissonance.
  • In Star Ocean: The Last Hope, Edge does this to Reimi and Lymle when they land on 50's Earth, telling them to stay on the ship while the men go explore. The ship gets raided, Reimi is kidnapped (Lymle escapes), and thus follows a rescue quest to get her back. What did he learn from this? To keep her with him so it's easier to protect her, naturally.
  • In Romancing SaGa, Lord Rupolph of Isthmus Keep has two children: Diana and Albert. Diana is repeatedly stated to be the better fighter, consistently besting her little brother in training and serving as a soldier, yet her father treats her strength as lamentable and begs her to act more ladylike. Despite his misgivings, however, it's implied that Prince Neidhart chose her as his bride because she's capable of taking care of herself. She also manages to survive the inevitable fall of the keep, unlike her parents.
  • Possible unintentional use in Dead or Alive 4. In his pre-fight cinematic, Ryu Hyabusa finds Kasumi about to face her evil clone Alpha 152. He does a "Stand back, I'll handle this!" and moves forward to protect her. Made unintentionally hilarious by how difficult the boss is. Presumably, Kasumi is just offscreen facepalming.
    • Depending on the character you're playing. As Ryu, he says it's because it's his duty. As Kasumi, she has to do it, as it's her clone.
  • Shows up in various places during Dragon Age, though rarely focused on.
    • Sten from Dragon Age: Origins has a very comprehensive list of the professions of women (priests, shopkeepers, farmers, administrators), as the qunari believe these are the jobs meant for them — choice has no factor in it. This also applies to men (laborers, soldiers, officers), hinting that the Qunari believe men to be stronger but less intelligent or charismatic. If you're using a female Player Character, he says that either she isn't a woman or isn't a warrior. The former seems more likely to him.
      Sten: I don't understand. You look like a woman.
    • In Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening you encounter a male Qunari named Armas who has rejected the Qun by choosing to make his living as a merchant. He outright calls the Qun a lie if you ask him about his unorthodox career choice.
    • In Dragon Age II we learn that female Qunari can serve in combat roles, with the major distinction apparently being that while they can have jobs involving fighting, they are not soldiers or warriors; the Ben-Hassrath, an organization in the Qunari priest caste, are similar to the Templars, though rather than direct might they seem to prefer highly directed force, non-violent or otherwise. This ranges from assassination of or spying on a political enemy, to kidnapping and re-educating important figures or vashoth; those who have left the Qun. Qunari society is divided into three castes. The Antaam handles military and labor, and are always male. The matriarchy handles administration and infrastructure, and are always female. The priests are responsible for education and enforcing the qun, and can be either sex, because the wisdom of the Qun speaks to everyone. Tallis is a prime example. She is a female elf sold into slavery and then taken by the Qunari, who converted and trained her as an agent of the Ben-Hassrath. Her role, as reflected in her name/rank ("tallis" means "to solve" in Qunari) is to hunt down escaped Saarebas (Qunari mages, literally "dangerous thing"). Female priests may or may not have roles that require them to fight, but they are not soldiers or warriors.
    • Arl Howe's rant towards a human noble Grey Warden late in the game is extra-dismissive if said heavily armed warrior or rogue who slaughtered her way through his guards is a woman, laughing at her acting like a man. Outside of the Qunari, female soldiers are extremely common, so this is just more of him being a jerk than an accepted attitude, or possibly just trying to piss her off given his many female guards and soldiers.
    • After Morrigan lists the skills she can (reluctantly) provide to the party in battle, Alistair immediately asks her if she can cook. Her irritable response makes it clear that she interpreted the question as this trope, but he quickly assures her that he only asked because his cooking will kill them, and given the assumption that a Warden of either can't cook either, it's a fair concern.
    • In Dragon Age: Inquisition, Cassandra can question Iron Bull on the Qunari's stance of women fighters in party banter. He explains that a Qunari who desires a role normally associated with the opposite sex, such as a woman who wants to fight, and displays a level of proficiency for that role that is normally expected of the opposite sex, is functionally treated as transgender and become a member of the desired role (note that his own second in command is a female to male transgender warrior). Such people are known as Aqun-Athok. After all, your role in society is more important to the Qun than your gender. He's also implied to be doing some mental gymnastics to justify the female warriors on the team; when they're armed and armored, they're male, when they're not they're female. Cassandra in particular is bewildered by this attitude. This also sheds light on Sten's claim that a female warden is not female. All three player characters, if female, display a proficiency for fighting that would have them declared Aqun-Athok. He does make it clear he's oversimplifying to translate a complicated concept that falls outside his field of expertise; the only time he actually uses the term is when he's explaining that trans men like his second who live as men all the time are considered men.
  • Halo:
    • Averted in the UNSC, where females can serve as Marines and Spartans alike. The series takes place in the 26th century, and societal views have clearly changed a great deal from today. Plus the whole business with the species-threatening war against technologically-superior genocidal aliens strong enough to physically rip a man apart, necessitating every able body available to buy time and stem the tide of invasion.
    • Played straight with the Elites and Brutes; the women of both species do not serve in the military. That said, Elite females are trained to fight, as they're expected to be able to defend their homes from invading armies, and media like Halo 5: Guardians have shown that more progressive Elite factions like the Swords of Sanghelios are starting to allow women to serve in the military.
  • Jak X Combat Racing has Samos telling his daughter Keira that "a woman's place is in the garage fixing cars!" This is in response to her wanting to get out into the Vehicular Combat action, and is partially justified as he doesn't want to lose his little girl. Regardless, he's lucky he didn't say that while Ashelin was within earshot.
  • Fallout: New Vegas: Caesar's Legion is notorious for many atrocities like slavery and crucifixions, but they are also noted as being raging misogynists. Many within the Legion consider the role of women to be limited to bearing sons to add to the Legion's army, willing or otherwise.
  • Quest for Glory: Elsa von Spielburg receives this treatment a lot. When she manages to learn sword fighting by watching the castle guard training, the swordsmaster refuses to formally train her because she is a girl. When the hero finally reaches her, she (now the Brigand Leader thanks to being Brainwashed and Crazy) is so skilled she can kill him in one blow... and right after being rescued, her asshole of a brother tries to keep her from being a warrior. By the time QFG5 begins, she has already proven herself a hero in her own right, and spends most of the game in second or first place in the Rites of Rulership. And yet, everyone still thinks she's incapable of fighting (despite being the best fighter in the series), is incapable of ruling a kingdom (despite running a massively successful bandit gang), and should just leave the contest to the men (despite two dying very quickly, one being a Frankenstein's Monster, and the last in it for other reasons).
  • Face from Battle Fantasia has this attitude toward Princess Olivia. Even though she's actually quite capable of taking care of herself, he insists that women should stay as far away from fighting as possible.
  • Ward in The Orion Conspiracy is explicitly stated to be sexist, so he would obviously feel this way toward women.
  • In Fable III, several of the gnome insults towards a female Hero are along these lines. It's a joy to shoot them after that. In a more literal example, if you marry your childhood friend/lover of either gender, they can always be found in your home's kitchen.
  • The whole point of Lost in Blue. Upon meeting the female lead, the male lead steps on her glasses, thus confining her to a cave and making her responsible for cooking, cleaning, and handicrafts. She also can't do anything outside the cave by herself and is likely to starve to death no matter how much food and water you leave for her.
  • Justified in Dragon Quest V, your wife forces herself on your travel while she's carrying your unborn babies up until you reach the castle of Gotha, where she ends up collapsing and has to stay there. Unfortunately, you won't get her to fight with you again anytime soon. Then again, you can invoke it by putting her in the castle along with Madchan for the rest of the time she rejoins.
  • The female Gender Role Doll advertised in Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and Damned enforces this among other gender-specific tropes.
  • Xenogears plays this trope straight on numerous occasions.
    • Right at the start of the game, Alice is getting married because the women of her village are expected to. Then she dies and the point becomes moot.
    • More notably, Fei is constantly demanding that Elly, a trained military officer, quit the military and not fight because it's unbecoming of women. Most notably, after he tries to force her to stay behind with such forceful language that she runs off crying, they make love and she's okay with it. She even gives a speech on why this is laudable and necessary behavior when another woman objects to being treated like this:
      Elly: Men like someone to watch the home when they are fighting. They can't fight if they don't have the peace of mind that they will have somewhere to return to.
  • Valkyria Chronicles pulls a Rule-Abiding Rebel version of this trope. Alicia gives up her Action Girl schtick by way of marriage and motherhood; she does get to run a bakery like she always wanted, but despite being so sweet it might shut down your pancreas the impact that has on the ending is purely cosmetic, since it still has Welkin coming home from work to find his wife cooking and looking after their little girl.
  • Junpei in Persona 3 Portable's female path is offended and irritated that in a group of three girls he's not the one in charge, though Mitsuru shuts him down hard before he can keep complaining about it. His attitude is mostly a product of Junpei being a particularly immature teenage boy who has self-image problems and desperately wants to be special; he grows out of it over the course of his Social Link and has matured noticeably by the end of the game.
  • Intended to be averted in Dwarf Fortress, female dwarves are equally good at fighting. Unfortunately, they're also very fecund, and their Dwarven Baby Shields don't last long in combat — when Mama Bear goes mad with grief, quality steel weaponry and high combat skills make her killing spree all the messier.
  • In Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 2, Rock Lee expresses the viewpoint that women should be protected from battle. Late into the game, Naruto starts getting letters from Lee, and you decide what sort of response for Naruto to send back. This becomes problematic, as one of the letters has Lee ask Naruto what he thinks of women on the battlefield and the possible responses are that female fighters can hold their own or that women should leave fighting to men. If you choose the former, Lee will get angry at Naruto and end their correspondence, temporarily locking the player out of the ability to recruit him. There were no in-game hints to Lee's stance prior to that letter, and the game had displayed plenty of capable females on the front lines by that point.
  • Red Dead Redemption has the animated short "Beaumont the Burly", which, having been produced before the story takes place (1911), warns the audience about the dangers of women's suffrage.

    Visual Novels 
  • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney:
    • Godot, in the third game of the series, spends most of the game hating Phoenix for not protecting Mia, with whom Godot had been in love, never mind that she was stronger and more capable than Phoenix was at that point, and there probably wasn't much that Phoenix could have done about the situation. In the end, he forgives Phoenix — not because he realizes that the woman in question was responsible for her own life, but because he realizes that he was angry at himself the whole time for not being able to protect her, and was trying to blame Phoenix to avoid admitting that, and the entire thing could have been avoided if Godot had just let Pearl and Maya in on the plan to begin with, thus making sure Dahlia was never channeled to begin with. His opinion of most of the younger Fey line seems to be fairly low.
    • A more blatant example would be him telling Franziska to go away during the investigation, his implication being that it was "men's work" through his openly insulting language related to her gender. While he was in the right to get her to leave as she was in the process of being relieved and he could be forgiven for being abrasive due to her own aggression to him, the gendered language plants it firmly in this trope. However, no one else in the series implies that law or detective work is the realm of men, and throughout the series women are depicted as serving every conceivable position in law. The opinion is clearly Godot's alone. Nobody ever calls him on it however, and Franziska, despite being an overall violent individual who resorts to whipping people that enrage her, does not retaliate.
    • Well not against Godot at least, who leaves before she gets her tongue back (and seems to intimidate her in general). Phoenix gets a whipping, just for being present and in range.
    • In one story in Miles Edgeworth: Ace Attorney Investigations, Detective Gumshoe is called in to help guard a museum's most valuable painting. One of the employees is Monet, the curator's teenage niece. She promises to do everything she can to help guard the painting, only for Gumshoe to panic and tell her that the situation is too dangerous "for a girl". When she tells him that she's a black belt though, he is fine with her helping out. Later, after Edgeworth joins in the investigation, Monet offers to stand guard at the only exit, to keep the culprit from sneaking out. Edgeworth gives the same argument Gumshoe did (that it's too dangerous a job for a woman), but also lets her go ahead after Gumshoe tells about her blackbelt.
  • 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 actually a shallow excuse cooked up 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 Comics 
  • 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 because 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 theirs 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 the he's had more experience cooking on his own while female than he has as a malenote .
  • 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.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Lampshaded by Donatello in an episode of the first series of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: "No, April. It's too dangerous. You wouldn't last 5 minutes in a ninja pizza parlor!" [turns towards Fourth Wall] "I love saying lines like that!"
  • Hudson in Gargoyles tried to pull this. Once. Doesn't work well.
  • One Aladdin: The Series episode has the Sultan tell Jasmine it is too dangerous and she should stay behind. Never mind that she'd already taken a level in badass between the movie and the series, and that there is a semiphenomenal, nearly cosmic genie around. She responds to this by disguising herself as one of the guards and saving Aladdin. A later episode had Sultan upset because Aladdin was telling him to stay behind from rescuing Jasmine because he was too old. Double Standard much, Sultan?
  • Parodied in a Justice League episode in which the team ended up stuck in a reality based on a comic book from the fifties. It therefore wasn't considered at all awkward for the only female member of the 50's-esque team to suggest to Hawkgirl that they go get cookies while the "men" talked out the whole dangerous supervillain issue. The Flash is amused. Hawkgirl... isn't.
    Hawkgirl: One word and you'll be the Fastest Man Alive with a limp.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: Women in the Northern Water Tribe are expected to use their waterbending for healing purposes only, and leave the combat to men. In fact, a big plot point in the Northern Tribe episodes is to have Katara making them realize that this attitude is harmful - especially in regards to Master Pakku, possibly the most powerful Waterbender alive at the time, who gets some karmic retribution, as he realizes that his chauvinism cost him the love of his life: Kanna, Katara and Sokka's grandmother and his Runaway Bride, who fled to the Southern Water Tribe (the opposite pole of the world) to escape the strict gender rules. Since Pakku did genuinely love Kanna, and one of the reasons he was so bitter against women was her rejection of him, this counts doubly and is vital to his Character Development and acceptance of Katara. And by the Grand Finale, Pakku gets Kanna's forgiveness and they tie the knot.
    • The Southern Water Tribe is more progressive in its attitudes towards women, since female waterbenders are seen fighting in flashbacks, but Sokka plays it straight at first, then gets character development after meeting Suki. The next time he meets her, he now has a overly-protective attitude, since his last girlfriend turned into the moon. As it turns out, the only reason she came along in the first place was because she had the same attitude towards him.
    • The Fire Nation averts this, since women are at every level of authority - you see female Yu Yan Archers, female guards, and no one is gonna tell Princess Azula, Ty Lee, or Mai to stay behind unless they want to be chi-blocked into paralysis, skewered, or roasted. The only exception was in the finale, when Azula was told to stay home by her father, but that was more due to her father seeing both of his children as rather disposable and not her gender. She didn't take it well.
  • Batman Beyond: One episode uses this by having a man tell his wife to "Get back in the kitchen!" to show off how horrible a father he is, which is why his son tries to escape his life (it's a Drug Aesop episode). It has since gone under Memetic Mutation.
  • The Simpsons:
    • Played with in episode "She Used to Be My Girl". At a conference for women, Homer tells Marge to stay there while he goes to rescue Lisa, whereupon he's booed by the women. He then says that he'll stay there, and Marge can go and rescue Lisa, to which he's booed at again. Homer then asks the women what they want (and both he and Marge end up going).
    • In the King Kong (1933) parody segment in "Treehouse of Horror III", Smithers avers that "women and seamen don't mix" while the crew is sailing to Ape Island with Marge in tow. Given what we now know about Smithers, this could be interpreted another way.
      Mr. Burns: We all know what you think.
  • Used against Chowder by Gorgonzola in a baseball-like game. And he really would prefer to go back.
  • The Powerpuff Girls had exactly 2 episodes in its entire six season run about sexism. One was a Take That! at Straw Feminism, but the other involved the girls meeting this trope when they tried to join a Justice League expy.
  • Played for one-off jokes in The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan. Anne the tomboy has to put up with "just a girl" comments from her brothers now and then, but it's clear they're just busting her chops and at the end of the day think of her as their equal.
  • Futurama
    • Master Fnog in "Raging Bender" refused to send Leela, his best student, to the Junior Karate Championships, instead sending the two students she defeated in the qualifiers, because he claimed she did not have the Will of the Warrior - which according to him, only men can possess. Later, Leela encounters him during Bender's final bout in the Ultimate Robot Fighting League as the trainer of a new star, Destructor. She eventually uncovers Fnog was cheating and though he still taunts her for being a woman, she gets to beat him.
    • Also shows up in "A Bicyclops Built for Two", where Leela meets a surviving man of her species, who seems nice at first but acts increasingly sexist towards her. It turns out he wants women to stay at home because if they wandered too far from their mansions, they might discover the other mansions containing the other women he's seduced.
    • In "Insane in the Mainframe", Fry thinks he's a robot and Leela tries to get him to snap out of it.
      Leela: I'm going to remind Fry of his humanity the way only a woman can.
      Professor Farnsworth: You're going to do his laundry? *slap*
    • "Roswell that Ends Well" has the cast sent back to Rosewell, New Mexico in the year 1947. As part of the preparations to get back to their own time, Leela and and the Professor have to buy a new microwave. Because this is before microwaves were invented, the appliance store salesman they speak to tries to convince Leela to buy a state-of-the-art oven, pointing out one of the features being a basin to soak her feet. "After all, you're going to be standing in front of it all day!" After Leela "accidentally" hits him with the oven door and coolly repeats her request for a microwave, the salesman decides she's hysterical and only interacts with the Professor.
      Salesman: This baby can cook a roast in five hours.
      Professor Farnsworth: Ohh, that's good news! You know, you really don't cook enough roasts, Leela.
      [Leela sets his tie on fire with a burner]
  • Touched in the Batman: The Animated Series episode "Harley and Ivy", where Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy team up, and grumble about the lack of respect they get from males. At one point they briefly get the upper hand on Batman and ask him if he is bothered by being beaten by "mere girls".
    Batman: Man or woman, a sick mind is capable of anything.
    Poison Ivy: A very enlightened statement, Batman. We'll carve it on your headstone.
  • Self-inflicted variation in The Penguins of Madagascar: a faulty DNA test convinces Skipper he's actually female, and so he intentionally starts acting in a way he considers feminine, e.g. by wearing a pink bow, refusing to get into "dangerous" situations, and (horror of horrors) asking for directions.
  • Ben 10:
    • A variation of this occurs in Ben 10: Ultimate Alien after Kevin's Heel–Face Turn. After Kevin suffers With Great Power Comes Great Insanity, Ben insists that he's too far gone and it's time to Shoot the Dog. Gwen continues to argue they should find another way with Ben, and later Max, both state that she should just stay out of the way. More because Gwen is Kevin's girlfriend then anything else, she would try and stop them.
    • There's also an example of this in the original Ben 10 series. When Ben, Gwen, and Max arrive at a Navajo festival they're attacked by an alien that is first believed to be a Yenaldooshi. When Wes, an old friend of Max's, prepares to go out and track it down, he refuses to allow his granddaughter to join them and says "only Braves (men) are allowed to track." This also extends to Gwen, who obviously objects and has been helping since the beginning, but Max simply replies "Their land, their rules."
  • This is Cotton Hill's from King of the Hill general attitude toward women, he gets called out on it several times especially from Peggy, especially during the episode where Bobby started imitating him. In the episode "Goodbye Normal Jeans", Peggy inverts this trope by telling Bobby to "get out of her kitchen".
  • The Biker Mice from Mars occasionally treat Charlene like this—even though she's not burdened with an ego as massive as they are.
  • Numbuh 19th Century from Codename: Kids Next Door believes that girls are inferior to boys, as he holds antiquated views from his original time period, the early 1800s. When he is thawed out after having been frozen in time, he is appalled to see that there are female KND operatives in the present day. Numbuh 86 arrives with the intent of decommissioning him (as he is technically "like, forty-eight kamillion years old!"), and the very first thing he does is to tell her to make herself useful by cooking and doing his laundry. He is subsequently clobbered by her.
  • Inverted in Ed, Edd n Eddy: the Kanker Sisters view the Eds (and men in general) as weak and more fit for housework.
  • American Dad!: "Stan of Arabia: Part 1" has Stan sing a musical number about how he wants Francine to adhere more to this trope.
    Stan: I want to be greeted with a massage and a martini, the way Master was by his Jeannie!
  • Adventure Time: Marceline's ex-boyfriend (who stole her memory of her breaking up with him so he could keep her as his girlfriend) tells her she needs to get back in the kitchen and make him dinner. She responds by kicking him right between the legs. This is followed by Finn jumping on him and a super-sized Jake crushing him beneath his foot.
  • Inverted in the Hercules episode "Hercules and the Girdle of Hippolyte". Herc and resident Amazon classmate Tempest get into an argument during a Home Economics class. Taking Phil's lead, Hercules insists that Tempest do all the work, on the grounds that she's a girl, so of course she has to do the housework. Tempest, being an Amazon, was raised to believe that men are the ones who should do all the housework. Later Herc actually meets Tempest's parents. When her father intervenes in her mother's overly militaristic handling of Tempest's mistakes her mother actually tells him to "Get back in the kitchen." He refuses and then delivers the episode's aesop.
  • In Daria, combining this trope with Obnoxious In-Laws: after Jake's heart attack, the family is visited by his mother, Ruth, whose more traditional views on homemaking clash with her Workaholic daughter-in-law, Helen. Later, Daria hears her and Jake talking about their bad memories of Jake's father, and Ruth admits that she'd do a lot of things differently if she had the chance. The next time Daria hears her berating Helen she brings this up, and Ruth seems to realize that her attitude isn't really helping things.
  • Subverted in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Donner tells his wife to stay in the cave ("No. This is man's work.") simply because he feels responsible for Rudolph having run away and believes that he should be the one to look for him; the whole gender roles thing was merely a convenient excuse.
  • In the Mega Man cartoon made by Ruby-Spears, in the first episode Roll is explicitly told to stay home because Mega Man doesn't need a "girl robot" getting in his way. However, this only happens in early episodes, and she still goes out to fight in spite of it. By the fourth season 1 episode, it's never brought up again.
  • In The Flintstones, Fred often made comments like this towards his wife Wilma, but this was more of the Innocent Bigotry variety.
  • Duke Igthorn says this almost verbatim in the Adventures of the Gummi Bears episode "You Snooze, You Lose" while attacking Castle Dunwyn:
    Calla: Your ogres won't get in here without a smarter general!
    Igthorn: Why don't you run off to the kitchen, little girl, and make me some tea? I'll be joining you in just a moment!
    Calla: What's that supposed to mean?!
    [one minute later, Calla's catapulted him into the woods]
  • One Care Bears episode depicts Braveheart of the captain of a ship who believes that boys can handle fights better than girls. During an attack on their ship by pirates, Braveheart puts the Duchess he was transporting in the captain's quarters for safety. Unfortunately, he did this right when the Duchess was overpowering the leader of the pirates.
  • In Super 4, this is Pirate Girl Ruby the Red's Berserk Button. Tell her that she should stay in the kitchen, that girls are too fragile to fight, that she should switch her cutlass for a rolling pin, or any variation thereof, and you're certain to have a swordfight on your arms. Then again, she used to be a tavern wench in a pirate town, and she heard this during her whole childhood from the macho pirates, so it's understandable that she'd be sick of it.
  • In the Canadian short Hot Stuff, when the caveman's husband tries to advise the him not to listen to the gods (again) when they offer to give him warmth, he tells her to stay out of it, with his snake adding "Go back to your apple turnovers!".
  • Kaeloo: In Episode 130, Mr. Cat says that he believes that girls and women should cook and do housework. He puts a bow and an apron on Kaeloo, makes her stand in the kitchen and asks her to cook something while he sits on the couch and watches sports on TV. Kaeloo doesn't take this very well - she winds up Hulking Out and then chasing him around with the frying pan.
  • SpacePOP has a particularly forced example with Captain Hansome, whose first few missions have him asking the girls to spy on things and report back, which they disobey and end up destroying Geela's weapons. He also attempts to break in and rescue them during another mission, only for them to rescue him and demand he treat them with respect from then on. Despite this he still does it on occasion, and it's made worse by Luna's crush on him, ignoring how he treats her and her friends.
  • In the Rugrats episode, "Aunt Miriam", the title character makes it clear to Didi that she thinks Didi should be a "full-time mother" rather than continue to teach.

    Real Life 
  • Nazi Germany was well known for this. The famous German phrase "Kinder, Küche, Kirche" (translated as "children, kitchen, church") is nowadays often attributed to the Nazi Party, but it had actually been in use since the 1890s. The Nazis still saw motherhood as the most important duty for women, and actively discriminated against women who worked outside the home. Mostly they hung on to this attitude even when it had clearly become a bad idea (e.g. they didn't replace enlisted factory workers with women to anywhere near the degree that the Allied countries did, which impacted industry output quite a bit). On the other hand, they did allow women to join the military, even in combat roles.
  • After WWII, US women were BOMBARDED with propaganda telling them it was now their "patriotic duty" to stop working in factories and return to the kitchen, since the men were coming home. Never mind the fact that women proved not only capable of the job, but that they sometimes did it even better than the men via more attention to detail, causing one foreman to quip, "Nothing gets by them unless it's right." This will apparently lead to a second generation of feminists in America that focuses on ending gender discrimination, pushing for more economic opportunities for women, and more sexual freedom.
  • This is still largely practiced in sports — men and women's sports are segregated by sex, with the men's team considered the "real" sport. This can be seen in the case of Mina Johnson, a student of Southampton Academy that is also a JV starting defensive tackle. While the school had no problems letting her play, she chose to sit out a game against a rival academy that threatened to forfeit if they had to play against her. To further extend this trope, the treatment of Johnson led to her team wearing pink socks and armbands as a show of unity for her and trouncing the opposing team 60-0.
  • The majority of detractors of the WNBA are either talking about sleeping with them, insulting their gender (and race) outright, or quoting this trope.
  • In Brazil, the most common phrase for this attitude is "Go back to the washboard!" (even though with the advent of washing machines, hardly anyone does manual laundry). "Go back to piloting stoves!" is also popular, especially when driving since the stereotype that "All women Drive Like Crazy" is still strong there.
  • In Greece conscription is mandatory. For men. Women who want a career in the Army can join a military school (and not waste about a year of their life). This is also the case in Cyprus (which is not part of Greece) and in Russia.
  • Mandatory conscription was the case in Colombia but the rules changed so women can join the Army without a problem, but they're usually out of the battlefield. Some have relatively high ranks.
  • Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn famously told a female colleague: "Woman, go cook". It wasn't meant as a friendly joke.
  • American feminist groups in The '70s would hand out "barefoot and pregnant" awards to politicians who referenced this trope.
  • Curiously, where actual cooking is involved, only domestic cooking is considered feminine. In professional cooking, women are still expected to stay in the kitchen —or rather, stay in the other kitchen. This kitchen is a man's world, since allegedly "Only a man can be a chef. A cooking woman is merely a cook." (Julia Child blew this aphorism to hell.) On Iron Chef America, only two of the ten chefs thus far were women (Cat Cora and Alex Guarnaschelli) and none in the original series. (However, there were multiple female challengers in both shows.)
  • The Chinese character 安 (also used in Japanese) for "safe and secure" represents a woman inside a house. Similarly, the Korean word for one's (own) wife is still anae (the one inside) or jibsaram (house person).
  • Many of the conservative sects of mainstream religions still advocate this. In some cases, this is due to their belief that family is always more important than a career or money.
  • The conservatives in Saudi Arabia believe females should never be allowed outside without being covered from head to toe. Even when they're trying to get out of a building on fire. In 2002, fifteen girls died because the religious police locked them inside their burning schoolhouse and barred rescue workers from doing their jobs as they weren't covered.
    • This, by the way, is against the Holy Quran. There's a little something called the Law of Necessity (Quran 2:173) which provides for life-or-death situations, for example you may eat pork if the other choice is starving to death; by Allah's command, those girls should have been rescued even if they were naked in the shower.
  • East Germany was a thoroughly repressive, Orwellian police state run by Communist overlords. Yet it also had ample opportunities for career-minded women and a robust platform of social services to help them, utterly trouncing the conservative West Germany of the 1950s. It's almost like the Communists were deliberately trying to spite the former, ultraconservative regime. Post-unificaton, many people pointed out the new, "liberal" attitudes were a step backwards for the east, particularly obvious when the pre-war 'Kinder, Kirche, Küche'note  slogan reappeared to discourage women from continuing to work.
  • In life-threatening survival situations (such as fights between colonists and native Americans), some men have been reported as maintaining this trope, even when outnumbered and with the woman being a good shot.
  • In Afghanistan, there is a delightful proverb which says that, "a woman's place is either in her husband's house or in her grave." Conservative Afghan mullahs are known for inaccurately appropriating this phrase to The Qur'an. Of course, things were especially bad for women under the Taliban. One of the few good things about the pro-Soviet government of the 1980s was that it was pretty good with women's rights, although the Mujahideen viewed that as just another reason to hate it.
    • When the Taliban took over Afghanistan in 1994, women were forced out of their professions and confined to their homes. They were made to wear shoes that kept their footsteps silent, and windows were required to be painted black so that no one could look inside and see them. They were not allowed outside without a male chaperone, and were forced to depend on husbands and male relatives for survival. (Those that had no such things were forced to beg or prostitute themselves in order to survive.) And those men could have them harmed or killed for even the tiniest infractions. This No Woman's Land situation especially impacted healthcare: female doctors and nurses were forced out, many relief workers had fled the country, and male doctors either could not or would not treat female patients. So many women were left to suffer and die of treatable (even curable) diseases, and to die in childbirth. (Many women were also suffering from mental problems, such as depression and anxiety, related to their being forced out of professions and public life.)
  • During the Vietnam War, male nurses in the U.S. Armed Forces were allowed to carry guns for self-protection, but female nurses were not. In theory this was because women were not supposed to serve in combat. However, since there were practically no front lines in Vietnam and female nurses were exposed to the same dangers as everyone else in-country, they were exposed to the same danger as men without the same right to protect themselves.