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Playing With / Stay in the Kitchen

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Basic Trope: A character insists that girls can't get the job done and should let the men handle things.

  • Straight: Kelvin tells Marcy that it's too dangerous for her to fight, and she should let him handle the monsters.
  • Exaggerated:
    • Kelvin, a poorly skilled superhero, tells badass Scarlet that she's got no place on the battlefield, because women are naturally weaker than men. She demonstrates the logical fallacy with that argument.
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    • "Scarlet! Kitchen! Sammich! NOW! And don't act like you can actually do something else! Your purpose in life is to serve me!"
    • Anton is a sniper who attacks enemies sneakily from a distance, while Scarlet is so badass she can confront the enemies head-on. However, Kelvin insists that Anton be in the front line and Scarlet be out of the battlefield. Neither are amused.
    • Marcy is shackled to keep her in the kitchen. She has seven giant guards, all of them experts in martial arts just to keep her there, and a security complex around the kitchen to rival Alcatraz. All of this is absolutely necessary.
  • Downplayed: Kelvin, the Lightning Bruiser, tells Mage-in-training Marcy that it's too dangerous for her to fight, and she should let him handle the monsters.
  • Justified:
    • Marcy is inexperienced and doesn't have the sort of training and protection Kelvin does.
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    • Marcy is Kelvin's slave. If Kelvin wants her in the kitchen, by golly that's where she is gonna be.
    • Kelvin has suffered from a Cartwright Curse long ago and doesn't want to get Marcy killed.
    • Marcy is Kelvin's sister/daughter/person-dearest, and he wants her away from the danger regardless of whether or not she is capable of protecting herself.
  • Inverted:
  • Subverted:
    • Alternatively: Kelvin tells Marcy to stay home... because they need someone they can count on to defend their families should the worst happen.
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    • Kelvin tells Marcy to stay in the kitchen... because it's a good spot for sniping from, something he knows she's good at and is needed due to a fight happening outside.
    • In Scarlet's society, women are raised to think of the kitchen as their headquarters and private turf. But they are also trained as well to go into the city and be merchants, craftswoman, and politicians, are trained to take part in the defense of the city, and have their own martial-arts style.
    • "The Kitchen" is the nickname for the throne room of an interstellar empire.
    • Scarlet is told to stay in the kitchen... because they're on a spaceship, and no other room has oxygen at the moment.
    • Scarlet says that she's actually too weak to handle serious battles and that she must stay out of trouble, else she'll just be a burden...
    • Kelvin actually lets Scarlet and other girls fight when they say they want to help...
  • Double Subverted:
    • ... but she only says it to flatter and reassure Kelvin's ego so she can actually get the job done once he's gone without having to bear with his irrelevant machismo.
    • ...but only because he knows they can't do it, so he teaches the girls the hard way that they should stay out of battles and leave the heavy lifting to him.
  • Parodied:
  • Zig Zagged:
    • Kelvin forbids Marcy to go on the battlefield, but later lets Scarlet enter the fight since her skills are exactly what he needs to defeat the Big Bad, only these skills are magic chants which leave her vulnerable to attack and force Kelvin to protect her anyway.
    • The kitchen is on board a Cool Starship exploring the frontier. It is often as dangerous a place as any. Kelvin is The Captain, and Marcy often yells advice to him while he is on The Bridge.
    • Kelvin and Marcy are nomads. Marcy stays in the cook's tent, but when it is time to move, she gets on a horse like everyone else.
  • Averted:
  • Enforced:
    • The writer is sexist, well-meaning chivalrous, or delivering An Aesop about how non-action roles are just as important as the action ones.
    • The writer is feminist and gives Kelvin this attitude just so he could be proven wrong.
  • Lampshaded: "You know, Marcy, I'm sure Kelvin is gonna tell us to stay behind while he handles the fight because we have a vagina or something like this."
  • Invoked: "It's a man's duty to make sure women don't get hurt. You may not like this, but it's an insult to our manhood if we let you get hurt in a battle."
  • Exploited:
  • Defied:
    • "Kelvin, if you believe women are unable to make any impression in a fight, you're sorely mistaken!"
    • Kelvin tells Marcy that he will protect her and she won't fight, Marcy gives him a splendid "The Reason You Suck" Speech and goes to fight, ignoring Kelvin's whining.
    • Kelvin is making a long speech about why Marcy should really just stay behind and let him and the other guys do the fighting. He does not notice the assassin sneaking up behind him, so Marcy quickly plants a throwing knife between the assassin's eyes.
    Kelvin: What the hell was that?!
    Marcy: Women can't fight, you say? Tell that to the guy behind you. Oh wait, you can't, he's dead!
  • Discussed:
    Kelvin: Scarlet, you shouldn't be fighting.
    Scarlet: Oh? Why is that?
    Kelvin: You're a woman.
  • Conversed: "In these time of fierce, competent women, there are still guys who still think 'Girls can't fight! They must stay safe at home!'?" "Well, someone has to defend the house while the men are at war..."
  • Implied: Kelvin is shown to not believe very strongly in the idea of an Action Girl, and the females who work with him do so in non-action roles (such as the kitchen).
  • Deconstructed:
    • Kelvin alienates Marcy and any other women who might have been willing to work alongside him because he isn't willing to accept them as equals. The only allies he can find are like-minded guys who also take a dim view of what women are capable of. This further tarnishes Kelvin's reputation and creates serious problems for him.
    • Kelvin refuses the help of Scarlet on the grounds that Scarlet might get hurt. Scarlet goes back home to the kitchen, while Kelvin goes off to fight the Big Bad. Kelvin gets killed because he lacks any assistance or backup.
    • The men were also offended by Kelvin because he implies Men Are the Expendable Gender. Now Kelvin has to either fight all by himself or with the girls.
  • Reconstructed: Marcy has work to do behind the lines which, while not glamorous, is suitable to her skills and important to the mission, and both she and Kelvin come to appreciate the value of her efforts.
  • Played For Laughs: Marcy is clearly stronger than Kelvin and repeatedly rescues him while he fumbles with his heavy armor and comically oversized weaponry.
  • Played For Drama:
    • Kelvin and Marcy have to work together, but his condescending attitude and insistence on "protecting" her wear on Marcy's nerves, creating tension between them — tension they'll have to overcome if they're going to have any chance at surviving.
    • Marcy and Kelvin are a private detective team. The kitchen is where Marcy serves as the firm's Mission Control and Techno Wizard.
    • Thugs invade the home and threaten Marcy's dear little ones. She ferociously hacks them to pieces with a kitchen knife.
    • Marcy is a Shell-Shocked Veteran. The kitchen is her refuge from painful memories.
    • Scarlet can't go on this mission due to her not having the right combat experience - perhaps being too melee-focused for a fight where long-range tactics are favored. When Kelvin is asked to relay this information to her, he tells her it's because she's a girl. Offended, Scarlet delivers a verbal (or physical) beatdown to Kelvin and shows up for the mission anyways, where she's either diminished to The Load or injured in combat due to her inexperience.

The main page is too dangerous for you, get back to the kitchen and make my food!

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