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Playing With / Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male

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Basic Trope: A Double Standard with Unfortunate Implications where a girl hitting a guy is Played for Laughs or otherwise dismissed as not all that serious.

  • Straight: Alice has a habit of slapping Bob around, something their friends either ignore or find amusing.
  • Exaggerated:
    • Alice crosses the Moral Event Horizon in her idea of how to deal to Bob, and his friends laugh and call him 'henpecked'.
    • Even more so, it's considered good for Alice to beat up Bob.
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    • Every woman in the city goes on a man-abusing spree and nobody gives a crap about it.
    • Alice is known to torture and rape Bob on a daily basis, and nobody cares about it.
    • Alice brutally murders the innocent Bob and nobody cares.
  • Downplayed:
    • Alice occasionally hits Bob, which is frowned upon, but no one does anything.
    • Alice playfully hits Bob every now and then whenever Bob says a lame joke and people (including Bob) are fine with that. Actually punching Bob, however, is considered off-limits.
    • While a girl hitting a guy is usually tolerated, there are certain males that are off-limits for everyone such as young boys or disabled men, because that would be just wrong.
  • Justified:
    • Bob is a masochist.
    • Both of them are into that sort of thing.
    • Alice was on the receiving end during her formative years, and is borderline androphobic, but she likes/ tolerates Bob for some reason. Bob knows this and takes a few hits for the sake of their relationship whenever he says something offensive, and/or has agreed to act as her punching bag to train her out of her Extreme Doormat status. He also makes sure their friends know too.
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    • Alice is not the sanest girl in the world, and everybody knows it. Bob is trying to provide her with love and support, and sometimes she lashes out - he's willing to take it, in the hopes that he can heal her.
    • "She can either smack me now, or let it fester. A bruised cheek is preferable to whatever she'll cook up if she thinks about it."
    • Bob is an Amazon Chaser. To quote the page, "I love the kind of woman who could kick my ass."
    • Bob can't or can only feel pain. A slap is a genuine display of affection on Alice's part.
    • Bob has been beating and berating Alice for years. This is the first time Alice has hit back, and it's part of her character development toward becoming more assertive and leaving him.
  • Inverted:
  • Subverted:
    • Alice slaps Bob around as usual, but is then scolded by her friend Christine. "How dare you slap Bob around like that?"
    • Alice hits Bob, but he eventually hits her back for revenge.
    • Bob eventually stands up for himself and succeeds at talking Alice into behaving herself and find other ways to let out her anger than slapping him every time she needs to explode, and this confrontation shames her friends into realizing their marginalization of the situation.
    • Alice slaps Bob without repercussion and no one seems to mind. Then she slaps his son, and Bob makes it abundantly clear that while he will take it because of societal pressures, if she does that to his son again he'll dangle her out a window. By her feet.
    • "We have a system. The more she hits me, the more starch I get to put into her underwear on laundry day."
    • Alice hits Bob, and gets in trouble.
    • Alice hits Bob, and he legsweeps her in self-defense.
    • Alice hits Bob, and a few scenes later, a flashback is played where Bob attempted to hit Alice first - clearly, Alice only hit Bob in self-defense.
    • Alice hits Bob, and it is Played for Laughs. Later in the episode, Bob hits Alice, also for laughs.
    • Bob is Alice's sensei. He is letting her hit him as part of her training.
    • Alice hits Bob and gets away with it, but it's portrayed as a bad thing.
    • After years of abuse, Bob arranges a little accident for Alice...
    • Alive is about to hit Bob, but then stops, because it's against her morals.
  • Double Subverted:
    • "...How dare you slap Bob around like that, without me?"
    • "Oi! Alice! No hitting Bob until I get me the comfy chair and a beer!"
    • "Alice! How dare you slap Bob like that! You could hurt your hand! Use this baseball bat."
    • Everyone gets mad at Bob for hitting back.
    • But the rest of society continues to mock Bob for what happened.
    • Alice hits the son anyway- Bob either doesn’t back up his threat or does and gets arrested.
    • "We never agreed to that!" *hits him again*
    • But she’s Easily Forgiven since she’s a woman.
    • Bob is arrested for defending himself.
    • But Bob only hit after putting up with Alice’s verbal and emotional abuse for so long.
    • The audience complains about Bob hitting Alice being played for laughs but not the inverse.
    • But Alice is verbally abusive and controlling towards her Sensei, and nobody sees a problem with this.
    • Until the sequel comes out and Retcons the story so Alice was right all along.
    • But he gets caught, and gets No Sympathy from anyone. Instead he is convicted and forever painted as a cruel, heartless misogynist while Alice is considered a kind, pure saint who was Too Good for This Sinful Earth.
  • Parodied
    • Whenever Alice beats Bob up, he dies. Luckily, the fate of the Universe, making Bob a Chew Toy, decides to bring him Back from the Dead over and over again- just so that Alice can beat him up. Everyone finds this amusing, but would be horrified if the genders were reversed.
    • "The next time you hit Bob, I'm going to give you a spanking."
    • *Slap!* "Ow, my hand!"
    • Alice regularly beats Bob, stabs him, shoots him, etc. in broad daylight and nobody gives a shit. Eventually, Bob has had enough and tells her to knock it off. Everyone immediately vilifies Bob for speaking to a woman with such a "confrontational tone", and he gets a reputation as being verbally abusive and sexist.
  • Zig Zagged:
    • Alice's abusive behavior towards Bob is taken seriously, and his friends help him get out of a bad relationship. Alice then leaves the series/their social circle; however, in her last appearance, it's revealed that she's gotten together with Derek, a misogynistic pig. When they learn about this, her ex-friends laugh and say the pair deserve each other.
    • Alice hits Bob for petty things and gets away with it. However, when she really hurts him or it hits a breaking point, she's told to stop.
    • Alice beats up the much physically weaker Bob, and a bystander calls the police. However, the police laugh it off and let Alice off with a warning, since they don't believe a female can abuse a male. However, later that night, the cops show up at Alice's door to arrest her for abuse... of anabolic steroids. And they let her off because they don’t believe that drug abuse is a “serious” issue among women.
    • Bob finally hits back, and it degenerates into an all-out brawl from there.
    • Bob hits back and Alice gets turned on.
  • Averted:
    • Alice's abuse of Bob is portrayed as just as bad as Bob hitting her would be.
    • Bob hitting Alice is portrayed just as humorously as Alice hitting Bob.
    • Everyone abstains from abuse altogether.
    • Alice has an in-universe habit of punching a specific pillow whenever she gets mad. At some point, she performs this habit while Bob is resting his head on that exact pillow. Alice is shocked that she somehow missed Bob's presence entirely and apologizes profusely.
  • Enforced: "People love Slapstick humor! Let's have Alice beat Bob regularly."
  • Lampshaded:
  • Invoked:
    • Alice is fully aware of the Double Standard and plays it to her advantage, having chosen Bob because he's too meek to stand up for himself and would get flack from his "friends" if they knew he was being bullied by his girlfriend.
    • Or this:
      Bob: (wearing a foam rubber boxing helmet, and holding a box of Oreos) Okay, Alice. I'm going to ask you to do something lewd, and, rather than doing what I ask, you are going to hit me and call me gross for it. [Insert favorite sexual activity here.]
      Alice: N-No! (weak tap) Y-you're a p-p-pig. B-Baka!
      Bob: Good girl. Have a cookie. With feeling, this time...
    • Bob's RPG character has the "Gynephobic" flaw (He used the +4 skill points to amp his hit-chance). His only reason for this was "Carl's mum wanted a girl."
  • Exploited:
    • Always will be by the mean characters who happen to be women and abusive.
    • Bob allows himself to be body-swapped by Alice. Now he can take his revenge and gets away with it.
    • Bob does a genderbend to take it out on Colin.
  • Defied:
  • Discussed:
    • "Why are you looking at me like that? In the movies, nobody ever takes notice of this kind of thing."
    • Alice hits Bob. Their son Charlie asks, "How come it's okay for you to hit dad like that?"
    • "You know Alice, if I were hitting you, I'd be going to jail right about now."
  • Conversed: "How come women in movies can abuse men and get away with it so easily?"
  • Deconstructed:
    • Bob is treated as a victim of domestic abuse, unable to realize this fact and escape the situation because he and his friends don't think a woman can abuse a man. He eventually dies from internal bleeding and Alice is not implicated because the police decide that if there was a fight between them, he must have started it.
    • Alice kills Bob in one of her rages and she escapes justice; however, the guilt eats away at her and eventually she goes insane and has to be put into a madhouse.
    • Bob is mentally traumatized due to the abuse, resulting in harmful consequences both for himself and for Alice.
    • Society realises that because Alice constantly beating up Bob is no big deal, they decide to let men off the hook for doing the same thing.
    • Bob is developmentally disabled, generally regarded as a good-natured, lovable simpleton. He lives in mortal terror of "Bad Alice," the nickname he's given his sister's Hair-Trigger Temper.
    • After having enough of Alice's abuse, Bob snaps and gives her a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown.
    • Bob is a Jerkass, as Alice found out the hard way as he did more than beating her back.
  • Reconstructed:
  • Played For Laughs: It's a sitcom, and 20% of the laugh track is triggered by Alice slapping Bob.
  • Played For Drama:
    • Alice's abuse is growing worse and worse, edging ever closer to crossing the line over into outright murder. Yet Bob's so-called friends don't realize how much trouble he's in, and Bob is afraid that the authorities won't take him seriously either, or arrest him, given that's what the law is in some places. Time is running out, and he doesn't seem to have anyone he can turn to for support.
    • Everyone likes Bob because he is a really gentle guy and suggests that he dump Alice, fully aware of the situation and the incompetence of justice to treat a male victim of domestic abuse. However, Bob loves Alice and thinks he can change her, but on a day when Alice had a bad time at work, she beats him so hard than he dies. She invents a lame excuse and is believed. She is free of jail, but the people around her, being friends of Bob, start to alienate her and tell everyone what type of bitch she is. Because of that, nobody likes her and she is finally isolated, and dies alone without any friend or lover.
    • Bob, a Gentle Giant, finally loses it and fights back. Alice gets a new nickname (Stumpy) and Bob gets committed.
  • Plot Foundation: Alice kills Bob during one of her fits, and manages to weasel out of a jail term, since everyone figures it was self defense. Bob begins to torment Alice from beyond the grave, going to such lengths as superimposing his blood-slathered and/ or rotting face over hers on every mirror she happens to look into, destroying her favorite furniture, dishes, and other belongings while leaving his bloody handprints everywhere, screaming "I didn't mean to... I'm sorry... what are you... Alice, NOOOOOOOOOO!!!" and performing Mind Rape whenever Alice dozes off, possessing her leftovers and making Alice hallucinate blood on her hands and forearms. The town medium finds out the reason he's haunting Alice, but dismisses it as something trivial, triggering Bob to say "Fuck you. She tortured me to death, and now I'm gonna do the same to her!" and splats The Necromancer with a refrigerator, splashing Alice in the face. Bob's rage, grief, and hatred causes the house to collapse into a vortex, leaving Alice homeless, bat-shit insane, blood-drenched, and suicidal. And since this is a horror story (and those always have Downer Endings, unless one wants the antagonist to get their comeuppance), Bob keeps at it until she finally jumps off a bridge, or torments her to the point that she cannot escape from Bob's wrath and numerous fates worse than death for all eternity.

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