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The Unfair Sex

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"I yearn for true gender equality. I have no patience for one who talks about female privilege when it suits them and then complains about someone 'not being a man' when it's convenient!"
Kazuma Satou, KonoSuba

A special kind of Double Standard that completely screws around with a show's internal logic. A male character is portrayed performing an act that seems evil and unfair in a relationship, like say, looking at another woman. Meanwhile, a female character can perpetuate the exact same actions but not receive any sort of negative consequences for it. As such, the end result is usually both that male sexuality (and the expressions thereof) are presented as inherently "wrong", "dirty" and "ugly", and that any problems that arise in a heterosexual relationship are automatically the man's fault.

This most commonly appears in long-running series. Shorter works rarely deal with the characters long enough for the disconnect to be very obvious. This is also highly abstract in execution. Expect the target of the discontent to be a guy or girl of the week.

For a look at affairs in general, see Good Adultery, Bad Adultery. (Interestingly, the more involved named characters a work has in any given adultery plot, the closer to 1:1 the Sympathetic Adulterer ratio between men and women reaches.) I'm a Man; I Can't Help It overrides this trope. The Inverted Trope of My Girl Is Not a Slut, for the post-Women's Lib era. Contrast Blame the Paramour, where the "other woman" is blamed even if innocent.

Overlaps with Females Are More Innocent, Women Are Wiser, The Mistress, and Never My Fault.

Note: this only relates to the double standard against men in relationships. If anything relates to abuse, please see Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male. Furthermore, no real life examples, please.


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  • In a State Farm commercial featuring a boyfriend and girlfriend, the girlfriend uses the genie-like powers of the State Farm jingle to make her boyfriend more attractive. When the boyfriend immediately does the exact same thing to her, she's absolutely furious at him. In this case, it's possible that this one was meant to be played for laughs.
  • One Allstate commercial has a husband and wife playing Rock, Paper, Scissors for their Allstate Safe Driving Bonus Check. He wins and says "Rock beats Scissors." She then takes the check from his hand and smugly replies, "Wife beats Rock". Unlike the State Farm commercial, it was not played for laughs. (Presumably, having the husband take it back again with the line "Husband beats wife" would not have gone over well with the focus groups.)

    Comic Books 
  • Green Lantern: Writer Geoff Johns reinvented the Green Lantern Corps so that now there are seven Corps, each representing a different emotion. The Violet Corps represents love. All of its members are female. It's especially notable because every single other corps are fully integrated regardless of race or gender. When asked why, Johns just said, "most men are not worthy". Let's hope he meant that the all-female Zamaronsnote  didn't consider men worthy. Since the Sapphires run on every kind of love, people like crazy stalkers can (and one was possessed by Predator, the embodiment of love) become sort of Sapphires, if not official members.
    • Considering Guy Gardner, of all people, has worn a Sapphire ring it would seem that it's more a prerogative of the Zamarons than the rings. Other male wearers include Krona with his Guardian "hack" of the corps' rings and Kyle, thanks to Said doing the same in his favor. That the latter of these two has fully learned to harness love like any female Star Sapphire only illustrates the arbitrariness of this recruitment policy.
    • To further enforce the trope, the Predator, the stalker entity is male. The only male being associated with the violet light is a stalker. The stalker tendencies of the female Star Sapphires are justified with the retcon that Star Sapphire power source had a design flaw that overwhelmed the psyche of the bearer.
    • Another is that the closer you are to the edge of the Emotional Spectrum, the more said emotion drives or even overwhelms the person. As such, the Violet Corps of Love are driven pretty nuts by love (in the same way the Red Corps are driven insane by anger.)
  • Monica's Gang: Where to begin? No matter the circunstances, the boys are never able to properly get back at Monica for the constant abuse she puts them through, with Jimmy Five being the most common victim. And this even extends when Monica meets with her weekly Love Interest: She'll interact with them, the boy will reveal that they don't reciprocate the feelings, she gets angry and beats the ever loving crap out of them, even with their reasoning being that they find her too aggressive. And this pretty much can extend with all of the girls in the cast in their worst days.
  • Ninja High School: The comic has a character named Sammi, a Chinese food delivery female forced to dress like a male due to the stupidity of her father making a bet with his friends to have a son (it's a long story), a secret only a few close friends of Sammi's know about. In one of the stories, she runs afoul of the local cheerleaders who are very feminist and one of the girls takes a liking to Sammi (again due to looking like a boy). Sammi tries to let the girl down gently that she isn't interested. But this only offends her friends since they think Sammi figures she's not good enough, to the point they nearly kill Sammi over it. Said girl isn't a saint either, practically trying to force Sammi to be her boyfriend. In the end, when Sammi finally reveals her secret to the girl, said girl gets angry (for her VERY psychotic mistake) and hits Sammi with a mallet for the embarrassment. Granted its played for laughs but their unreasonable mentally through the whole thing was completely deplorable and the fact they only backed off just because Sammi was a girl only made it worse.
  • X-Men:
    • Cyclops cheats on his wife Jean Grey with Emma Frost in his mind (though that was actually Emma telepathically messing with his mind) and he's seen as a cruel cheater. But nobody mentions that earlier, Jean had lusted for and even made out with Wolverine, as well as previously lusting after Gambit and Fantomex. In fact, prior to finding out about the 'affair', she actually propositions Wolverine, only for him to turn her down out of loyalty to Cyclops (ironically, after years of trying to get her out of her pants with no respect for Cyke's feelings in the matter).
    • Years earlier at the beginning of The Dark Phoenix Saga, Jean is subjected to similar manipulation at the hands of Mastermind (Jason Wyngarde) and is seen as a completely innocent victim. Scott wasn't so lucky. Mastermind, in that case, was treated with the same scorn a rapist would get and Jean treats him to a Fate Worse than Death for his manipulations. Here, Emma is not only forgiven by both Jean and Cyclops, but Jean actually encourages Scott to date her as she dies, using telepathy to basically Mind Rape him past the stages of grief. In the end, Jean is dead and as such immune to criticism, Emma is dating Cyclops, and Cyclops is left hated by a big portion of the fanbase and the X-Men in-universe, including his daughter.
    • Then, of course, there's Cyclops' 'jealousy issues'. Whenever Wolverine was putting the moves on Jean, Cyclops would warn him to stay away and Jean would call him out for being so petty and jealous. One time this was flipped, with Psylocke trying to do the same to Cyclops, Jean also got jealous, but didn't get treated as an obsessive yandere the same way Cyclops does. Though, it was, at least, inverted with the lusters: Psylocke later apologized to Jean, explaining her actions as a result of still recovering from being merged with a psychic assassin.

    Comic Strips 
  • A rare Gender Flip occurred in For Better or for Worse: when Creator's Pet Anthony was emotionally unfaithful to his wife Therese, readers were supposed to be perfectly okay with it because the other woman was Elizabeth, one of the Pattersons. This didn't work out so well... not simply because of the prevalence of this, but due to Anthony being a detestable Creator's Pet.
  • Subverted in Doonesbury, when JJ left Mike for scruffy bad boy Zeke, she was portrayed the entire time as a fool for doing so, for both her reasoning (she felt she had to "seize the moment" to achieve happiness) and for her taste (Zeke has never been portrayed as other than a dumb slacker). On the other hand, played pretty darn straight by Joanie, JJ's mother, who (back in the 1970s) breaks her husband's nose, abandons her kid and is lauded as a liberated woman.

  • Justified in A Brother's Price: Men are expected to remain chaste until marriage, while women having homosexual relationships before marriage is seen as no big deal. Considering the fact that this is all due to fear of STDs, and heterosexual sex is much more likely to transmit diseases than lesbian sex, this makes sense. (As men have Gender Rarity Value, male homosexuality is never mentioned, so it is not known what people think about it.)
  • Paul Nathanson examines the double standards affecting the portrayal of men in pop culture and pop culture criticism at length in his non-fiction book Spreading Misandry: The Teaching of Contempt for Men In Popular Culture.
  • A Zig-Zagging Trope in The Wheel of Time. For the first few books of their marriage, Faile internally complains about her husband Perrin not magically knowing and abiding by the relationship mores of her home country that she never deigns to explain to him, never considering that maybe she should adjust to his culture, especially considering that that's where they live and there are no shortage of female role models to teach her how things are done there, whereas Perrin is stumbling around in the dark when she expects him to treat her according to her culture's customs. After the fans were well and truly sick of this aspect of her character, she suddenly realizes how unfair this is and arranges a touching romantic gesture to show him that she's willing to meet him halfway. She promptly forgets all about this in the next book.
  • Intentionally invoked in The Belgariad, as the main characters engage in a long-running exchange of witty banter over the "fairness" of which gender gets to do which things, complete with an informal scoring system for particularly telling jibes.
  • In one of the Warhammer books about Malus Darkblade (Bloodstorm, to be precise), Malus mentioned in passing that a druchii woman could have as many lovers as she wished, while a male druchii was expected to be faithful. This example is especially notable due to the context - Malus's half-sister had discovered that her lover, Bruglir, was cheating on her. She got so angry that she literally became a living saint of the god of murder himself - and the first two times she appears, she was in the middle of her harem and having an orgy, respectively. Psychologically justified in that the overlord of the Druchii is the Witch King Malekith, who has a major Oedipus complex with his mother Morathi, who used to head up the largest Slaaneshi cult in the elf world. Malekith was born, and reached prominence, by his mother screwing the king of the elves. In short, the entire kingdom of Nagaroth is built on the back of matriarchy, or rather the matriarch's penchant for being on her back. Other instances include only females are allowed to use magic, baby boys are rounded up for mass sacrifice one night a year, with the few survivors becoming assassins who are by game mechanic unable to lead their female counterparts. Strange how the evil elf races are always this trope in spades.
  • Subverted in Last Night at Chateau Marmont by Lauren Weisberger: throughout the novel, as Brooke and Julian's marriage falls apart, Brooke seems to constantly put the blame on how much Julian's career takes him away from home and otherwise causes him to neglect her. All while she insists on putting her career first by continuing to work sixty hours a week at two jobs, income from which they don't need anymore now that Julian's first album has gone platinum within its first week out. The subversion comes from the fact that she admits as much at the end when they reconcile, acknowledging that she's guilty of the same thing.
  • In one of The Princess Diaries books, Mia's friend Tina is dumped by text message by her boyfriend after she fails to return his calls, leading to her friends calling him a sexist pig. Granted, he broke up with her in an obnoxious way, but nobody calls her out for being rude enough to ignore his phone calls. She is indirectly called out to this, as Mia's mother says during a conversation that it is just plain rude to not return somebody's calls.
  • The Anita Blake series practically runs on this trope after Narcissus in Chains. The main character has about 8 official lovers and sleeps with many other men during the course of each book, yet, except Richard who's treated as the resident Jerkass, none of her main lovers are allowed to even look at another person, and she has dumped some lovers for being unfaithful. The author tries to justify with Magical Addiction to sex.
  • In The House of Night series, Zoey initially was slightly hesitant about having a relationship with Erik because he had previously dated Aphrodite. This is after (A) she walked in on Aphrodite all but raping Erik (trying to force a blowjob on him while he repeatedly asked her to stop) and (B) it was made pretty obvious that Aphrodite and her friends made use of Erik and other boys in such a way. Zoey does hook up with Erik...and dives into a relationship with a teacher at the school while rekindling a relationship with her human boyfriend. At the end of Chosen, we're apparently supposed to think Erik's such a mean guy for not being so kind and understanding that Zoey had sex with said teacher and just had "We share a bond" as an excuse.
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: In-universe, there's a mild case of this: girls can go into the boys' bedroom without problem, but there's a charm on the stairs to the girls' bedroom that turns it into a slide if a boy tries to enter. Hermione Handwaves the rule as being old fashioned, though she doesn't seem nearly as incensed by the Double Standard as she does about, say, House Elf Equal Rights.
  • The Notebooks of Lazarus Long by Robert A. Heinlein: From his "ingredients for a happy marriage":
    In a family argument, if it turns out you are right—apologize at once!
  • The Crosses-Boy's Counselor: When Dover and Sitara are discussing the circumstances that led to his divorcing his wife Keisha, Dover takes offense at what he sees as Sitara's suggestion that he had a part to play in the breakdown of the marriage. In his eyes, it is sexist and biased to suggest that when a wife cheats, it's somehow the husband's fault.

  • Cosmopolitan magazine and others like it run on this. Some examples:
    • This article offers some signs that the reader should note to tell whether their partner is cheating. They range from more-or-less reasonable to being rather paranoid, but all could have potentially innocuous explanations outside of infidelity. Take note, however, that number five on this particular list is "he becomes suspicious of you". While it is Truth in Television that one of the signs of being in an abusive or unhealthy relationship is irrational jealousy (and there exists a human tendency to be quick to spot one's own flaws in other people, justifiably or not), the author apparently doesn't notice the double standard of suggesting that a man being suspicious of his partner's fidelity is itself suspicious in a list which is practically encouraging women to suspiciously micro-observe their male partner's behaviour for signs of infidelity.
    • This article offers some suggestions for punishing a man whom the reader suspects has been unfaithful (and note that the article is called "10 Things to Do if You Think Your Man Is Cheating", and none of the suggestions is "make absolutely sure first"). They include stealing his property, painful 'practical jokes' (including poisoning him with laxatives), public humiliation and, in the case of number ten, a good old fashioned Groin Attack. The lesson being, adultery bad (when the man does it), but assault, abuse, and theft a-ok (when the woman does it). The article also begins with a leader about a prominent male celebrity who has recently been in the news for adultery, which says something along the lines of "we don't know the full story, but one thing's for sure; his wife's a frigging angel". However, the identity of the celebrity changes depending on which matter of celebrity adultery is most timely; at one point it was Tiger Woods, another Arnold Schwarzenegger, and so forth. Not only is the automatic assumption that — the man's adultery aside — the woman is an innocent at no fault in the relationship, but in only changing the celebrity and wife in question the further assumption is made that every relationship is the same and the man is always at fault.
    • A really interesting element of it is the contradictions involved. One article said that both being more affectionate and less affectionate (more because he's guilty, less because he's "busy") are signs he's cheating (both of which had the aforementioned abuse and assault as his "punishment."). It seems increasingly likely that if all the innumerable "signs he's cheating" lists were combined into one, there would literally be nothing a man can do that isn't a sign of infidelity.
      • And another list includes "if your man is happy, he's cheating". It seems he can only be happy if he's with someone other than you because apparently, you make him miserable. And if you listen to the advice of Cosmo, it's no surprise he's miserable.
    • And, of course, it's fine for a woman to sleep with her ex-boyfriend's best friend, just to screw with said ex.note  Along with hacking into his Facebook profile, defacing his car with a sticker, ruining his next date, stealing his remotes, make him think he got you pregnant, and burning your names (inside a big heart) onto his lawn.
      Commenter: Or you could just grow up and not handle things like a child. Jesus, Cosmo, what's wrong with you?
    • One really hopes that no one takes this seriously, as ethics aside "advice" of the kind given above, if acted on, could send you to prison.

  • At the end of R. Kelly's video for "When a Woman's Fed Up," a caption reads, "There is no such thing as a no-good woman, only women made that way by a no-good man."
  • Beyoncé's "If I Were a Boy". Really interesting is that while she has plenty of songs about no good, lying, cheap, using, cheating men, but in "Jumpin' Jumpin'", she pretty much says "go out and party with men not your boyfriends because they are well off" and that "your boyfriends should just accept it". At least the men get similar advice, which actually means that all the similar songs decrying men for doing so are even further hypocrisy. And lets not even get into Diva.
  • TLC's hit single "No Scrubs" contains a litany of materialistic reasons to reject a man (first and foremost among them being if he cannot afford his own vehicle, forcing him to "[hang] out the side of his best friend's ride"). "No Scrubs" was followed up with "Unpretty," which is all about how men make women feel bad about themselves for petty and shallow reasons. The irony is thick. A One-Hit Wonder rap group, Sporty Thievz, made a response song entitled "No Pigeons". They pointed out the shallow lyrics of "No Scrubs" and gave examples of how it would look if men acted the same way towards women.
  • Rihanna's 2006 song "Unfaithful". Rihanna is cheating on her boyfriend with another man and feels bad because her boyfriend is aware of and hurt by the affair. Yet she doesn't break it off with either of them, despite her claim that she feels like a murderer for betraying her beau. Contrast with her 2008 "Take a Bow," which is all about the woman refusing to accept excuses or apologies for the man's philandering. One line from the chorus pretty much sums it up:
  • "White Liar" by Miranda Lambert falls into this. The whole song is about the POV character calling out her no-good cheatin' boyfriend for fooling around on her. It all seems like righteous indignation until the end - when she reveals, "Here's a bombshell just for you/ Turns out I've been lying too." It's not a totally straight example since in the final repeat of the chorus she more or less calls herself out on this by using the same harsh words on herself as her boyfriend ("I'm a white liar / Slips off my tongue like turpentine").
  • Country music, in general, tends to run on this. We were supposed to cheer for Carrie Underwood in "Before he Cheats" when she destroys her boyfriend's car. Same thing with Miranda in "Kerosene" when she sets her boyfriend's house on fire. Miranda tends to be the worst offender simply since she doesn't seem to have as many love songs to balance out her "jilted ex" songs. She's done at least three: "Kerosene," "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend," and "White Liar."
  • "Tears Dry On Their Own" is about Winehouse being the other woman and it portrays her in a more sympathetic light than "You Know I'm No Good" or "I Heard Love Is Blind", however, it does not place any of the blame on the man she was having the affair with at all or portray him in a negative way either. "Tears Dry on Their Own" puts the blame of their affair and Winehouse's reasons for feeling miserable about it afterwards solely on her " I don't know why I got so attached. It's my responsibility, you don't owe nothing to me".
  • Shakira's "Don't Bother" is a woman talking to her boyfriend, presumably in his absence, about the affair she knows he's having, and how she would do anything to keep him, and passive-aggressively saying that she'll be fine. "She Wolf" is Shakira bragging about how her beau is not keeping her satisfied, and how she goes out (or plans to go out) and sleeps with hot dudes, possibly to spite him. And she's going to tell him about it.
  • Back in 2001, Blu Cantrell released "Hit 'Em Up Style." When she finds her boyfriend cheating, she maxes all his credit cards, sold everything he owned, and brags that she completely ruined his life. Although, even she admits she doesn't like the song.
  • Shania Twain's "Any Man Of Mine" can basically be summed up like this: "I can and will cut your balls off if I want to, but you better treat me like a queen."
  • The Meghan Trainor song "Dear Future Husband" has the line "Even if I was wrong, you know I'm never wrong," pertaining to a fight between her and the male partner.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Pendragon:
    • In the later time periods, the concept of courtly love arises, which considers this not just normal but desirable behaviour. A lady should make outrageous demands of her suitor and expect him to carry them out with no reward but the faintest expressions of favour, because how else is he going to prove how absolute his love for her is?
    • However, Queen Guenever might take this a little too far even by those standards, especially since she's frequently jealous of any attention Lancelot pays to other women while of course she herself is Happily Married the whole time she's sleeping with Lancelot on the side. The Great Pendragon Campaign sums up their relationship the best:
      Guenever calls him a liar and accuses him of being false to her again, just like before (with Elaine, of course); Lancelot is too meek to mention that he was bewitched at the time and it was 26 years ago... And didn't he just prove he was the best knight in Christendom?

  • In Dreamgirls, Lorrell has an affair with Jimmy Early, who's married. Throughout the entire play/movie, he is made out to be a total sleaze for treating her badly and sleeping with two (possibly more) women at the same time. However, Lorrell is shown in a strictly sympathetic light, despite the fact that she's knowingly and willfully engaging in a long-term affair with a married man.
  • "La Belle Héléne" (a parody of Helen's abduction by Paris) has a number in which it is patiently explained to Menelaus that a husband who comes home early and without warning his wife has only himself to blame if he catches her being unfaithful, and that a wise and caring man takes great care to turn a blind eye to such things to save his marriage note . His own brother Agammemnon is among the people telling him this, particularly ironic if you're aware of his fate.

    Video Games 
  • Discussed in, of all places, Dragon Ball Fighter Z:
    Yamcha: When I was a strapping young lad, guess who I was going out with? ...Bulma. That's right. Yeah, a lot happened...we went our separate ways. But I still know her pretty well, you know! For example, if she gets like...super ticked off at you for some reason just do ready? ...Apologize. Apologize 'til the cows come home. You did it. You're wrong. That's the only way.
  • Tales of Legendia does this with its main plot between Senel and Shirley. Senel is clearly holding a torch for Shirley's older sister, Stella, despite the fact that Stella is long dead. When Shirley tries to tell Senel that she loves him, Senel rejects her, saying he has to "stay with Stella." This makes Shirley finally accept her role as an Apocalypse Maiden called the Merines, who will flood the entire planet in seawater and kill every humanoid that isn't a Ferines, who can breathe underwater. The majority of the Playable Characters say that Senel is the one who screwed up, and treats Shirley sympathetically, even if they do tacitly acknowledge that she's overreacting. Sure, Senel is being rather stubborn himself in still latching onto someone who died a long time ago, but Shirley gets woobiefied with the party going out of their way to avoid having to kill her, while Senel is consistently berated for his rejection.
  • Dragon Age: Origins (specifically, Leliana's romance) plays this for laughs.
    Leliana: [after giving a heartfelt declaration of her feelings for the Warden and being told they're reciprocated] You made me say all those things, why couldn't you have said them first?! Oh, how very awkward!
    Warden: But I thought you said you were comfortable around me?
    Leliana: Well yes but...don't question me! I am a woman and I reserve the right to be inconsistent.
  • Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening unfortunately plays this straight. One side quest features a dying Grey Warden, Keenan, who asks the player to deliver a message and his wedding ring to his wife, Nida. When you find her it’s revealed Nida's having an affair with another man. She justifies herself by saying that she never wanted her husband to be a Grey Warden and that “love can only take you so far,” while the game provides no option for the player to call her out on her infidelity. She always gets the last word in. It's as if the game automatically assumes the player sympathizes with the adulterous wife rather than her dying husband who, with his last breath, wanted to give her closure.
  • Dragon Age II plays it far more straightforward with a side quest involving a man whose wife has left him. Not only was she unfaithful, but she also was apparently quite open about it and throwing it in her husband's face. While the husband is definitely a complete jerk, there's absolutely no option to at least acknowledge that what the woman was doing was wrong... every dialogue option involves shaming, scolding, or mocking him. Though on the other hand, he's not very broken up about her death, being much more concerned with his social status. If you try to give him her wedding ring, he nervously says that perhaps you should keep it, as it could make things awkward for him.
  • Utawarerumono:
    • In the first game, Sopok tends to take this view. Eruruu, too, to a lesser extent. Karulau forcing herself on Hakuowlo under threat of injury? That's totally his fault. And as Eruruu is the lead heroine as is treated sympathetically in this regard and Sopok's "men are things to be tamed and girls need to be catered to" attitude is treated as a voice of wisdom, you can kinda say that the work, in general, takes this view.
    • The second game, Mask of Deception takes this much further, where anything and everything even slightly bad that happens is Haku's fault and he is physically punished for it, regardless of his level of involvement in it. There's even one scene where an overexcited Kuon strips and jumps in the bath in front of him (knowing full well he was there), and then has the gall to beat him senseless for... being present when she unexpectedly disrobed? And every time, the other characters just laugh about it.
  • In Mass Effect 3 if previously romanced, male Shepard calls out Ashley on this attitude, noting that if he chose to romance someone else in the second game, it was only because Ashley made her feelings abundantly clear on Horizon that they were over.
  • In Fire Emblem: Awakening, if you pair Chrom with a female avatar, in their B Support he walks in on her naked. It's his fault. In their A Support, she walks in on him naked. It's still his fault. To be fair, though, she does apologize and admit she was wrong to freak out at him afterwards.
  • Dragon Quest IV: The Queen of Femiscyra/Gardenbur insists on referring to the thief of the bronze rosary as "him", since she can't conceive the possibility that the hypotetical criminal may be female.
  • In the 24/7 mode of Smackdown vs Raw 2008, you are given the opportunity to spend the night with a member of the female roster who is already in a relationship. Even if you choose not to, you are lambasted throughout this particular portion of the game as a homewrecker. The female in question, however, is not criticised at all for her actions and even takes the time to say that you deserve your punishment for saying no to her. note 
  • In Spider-Man (PS4), Mary Jane gives Peter the cold shoulder for daring to date Black Cat after the breakup she initiated, before admitting that she had no right to be as she dated several guys in the interim herself, with it all being Played for Laughs. Before that, she spent the entirety of the game holding Peter responsible for their breakup before they reconciled, when it was her own Going for the Big Scoop tendencies and refusal to listen to reason that caused it in the first place.
  • Zig-Zagged and left to personal interpretation in The Witcher 3. Phillip Strenger, the "Bloody Baron" was an alcoholic Adipose Rex with a history of violence towards his wife Anna but things aren't nearly as cut-and-dry as they seem despite several characters laying all the blame at the Baron's feet. It's revealed he was a Shell-Shocked Veteran who turned to drink to cope, and Anna cheated on him with a childhood friend of hers while he was away on a campaign before trying to run away with him with their daughter. Phillip snapped and killed the man, and was forced to hit Anna in self-defense when she came at him with a knife, starting The Masochism Tango between the two. He genuinely loved his wife while she quietly despised him, frequently provoking him to violence in the hopes he'd go too far and kill her one day. Phillip hoped having a second child would give them a chance to start over but she makes a Deal with the Devil to abort it behind his back which leads to her getting captured. If Geralt saves her the Baron becomes The Atoner and changes his ways for his family, while if he fails he's Driven to Suicide.

  • In Questionable Content, this is one of the main problems with Dora and Marten's relationship. She repeatedly accuses him of attempting infidelity, at one point giving him the third degree because he intentionally didn't mention that a girl had asked him out - despite that he immediately turned the girl down, and despite that Dora's workplace routinely has to deal with customers asking the staff out and she doesn't think that is mention-worthy. She also blows up on him for getting a haircut without consulting her on it, but when she gets one and he says he preferred her old look, she dismisses him. She also goes digging through his porn folder just to sate her curiosity when he explicitly asks her not to, yet expects him to respect her own boundaries. However, she has been called out on this behavior, repeatedly and the last example is the catalyst for their relationship's to breakdown; Marten, not unreasonably, flips his shit when he discovers her violating his privacy, and when they break up Dora is informed in no uncertain terms that she ruined a good thing for stupid reasons and needs help.
  • Something*Positive features this fairly often, but it's spelled out best here.
    Aubrey: Like it or not, it's your fault she put you in a situation where you could only hurt her feelings or suffer through sex with her. It's how women are, and even when we're wrong, you're the one who's wrong.
  • One occurrence pops up during the wedding arc of Better Days. Both the bachelor party and the bachelorette party hire strippers. When the girls find out, they are outraged and treat it essentially as the groom "cheating" on the bride. They don't see anything wrong or hypocritical about their own party choices since they're convinced that all male strippers are gay. (Exactly how does that justify lusting after them?) Eventually one of the male strippers calls everyone out on their stupidity, explain the facts and force them to make peace.

    Web Original 
  • This Cracked article demonstrates how magazines like Cosmopolitan can take this trope to extremes. However innocuous his actions or behavior may be, the reader is encouraged to treat their partner with the utmost suspicion and respond with over-the-top, vicious, humiliating and even abusive reactions. It also deconstructs them, by presenting them from the point of view of a man whose girlfriend subscribes to these attitudes — she comes across as a temperamental, unstable and paranoid psychotic.
  • Inverted on erotic fiction platform Literotica, where stories about cheating usually get the heaviest criticism from readers of the same gender as the person being cheated upon. Most of the site's users are male, so stories where women cheat on men often score two points lower than similar stories where men cheat on women. (And it goes even lower if they cheat on a white man with a black man...)
  • Gears of War Versus Marriage is a video depicting a man playing Gears of War's Horde Mode online. His wife asks him to find some information about their friends' wedding so they can use their airline miles to buy tickets before they expire. He responds in a distracted manner, and she leaves, only to return and confront him under the reasonable assumption he was ignoring her. He then cuts her off by providing the information she asked for, in detail, since he's playing the match with the groom in question. Well and truly shut down, the wife has no response other than "Okay, you win this one.."
    • This trope kicks in not with the video, but with the response to it around the Internet; the husband is apparently still in the wrong for "being rude" and "ignoring" his wife (when he didn't) and not telling her that he was talking to "Mike" right then. He ignores her, he's wrong. If he accidentally makes her think he ignored her, he's wrong. Any response short of "Yes, honey, I'll get it done right away" or "I'm playing with Mike right now, I'll ask him" is unacceptable. What's more, the alleged rudeness is apparently more important than whether he actually ignored his wife.
  • Things I need to tell my teenaged daughters about boys. The entire piece is misandrist, but one bit, in particular, stands out. The list says that men are boring and their heads are "full of landmines and useless whining," and that the teenaged girl in question shouldn't bother trying to get into a man's head for at least ten years, and says that men don't have genuine interest in girls for another 10 on top of that. Then it denigrates men for not allegedly being interested in what women are thinking and being self-centered. Also, young men are "frequently ill-equipped to handle the emotions that arise from having sex." Nothing about young women, who can often be just as irrational.
  • A recurring theme on the 'Social Justice Sally' meme, several examples of which — according to Sally (and the 'social justice warriors' she parodies), at least — suggest that anything, no matter how innocuous or excusable, immediately becomes reprehensible if said, thought or done by a straight white man, and anything, no matter how reprehensible, immediately becomes not only excusable but moral (as in, you are a horrible person if you don't do it) if it is being said, thought or done to a straight white man.


Video Example(s):


Men: We Don't Know What We Did

A guy has small talk with a girl in what he believes was an innocent conversation. Somehow, the girl is offended enough to run screaming and crying out the window, and the guy is treated like a dirtbag for it.

Apparently, the girl wanted him to walk her to class.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (13 votes)

Example of:

Main / TheUnfairSex

Media sources: