Double Standard Abuse (Female on Male)

    Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
    It's supposed to be funny when she does this to him.

    Female-on-male violence is viewed as more acceptable in life than male-on-female violence. Often, a woman using physical violence on a man will be Played for Laughs; sometimes it will be Disproportionate Retribution. The key is that in most works where this trope is in effect, it would be completely impossible to imagine the same violent situation play out with the participants' genders reversed without a large dose of drama getting added into the mix. The basic Double Standard at work in this trope is sexist on both sides: no woman is strong enough to harm a man, so any man weak enough to be harmed by a woman isn't a real man, and that's funny.; that way, also, you get Amusing Injuries instead of broken bones and cuts.

    Alternatively though, don't think that people who believe that a woman can harm a man don't believe in this double standard. Oh no, for those people, female-on-male violence is treated the same way as Batman Grabs a Gun, as women are often considered to be inherently nonviolent as well as morally superior to men. Therefore, any time a woman hits a man, he must have done something to deserve it; because how could a sweet, innocent woman ever be violent towards anyone unless they were seriously provoked?

    The trouble is that because of stereotypes and double standards like these, often men don't fight back for reasons including that they are either afraid of hurting the woman, or they are afraid that if they fight back, they will be considered the aggressor by the authorities despite any retaliation being in self-defense [1] And if the woman actually is charged, her sentence will probably be far less severe than the other way around, statistically speaking. Conversely, since stereotypically men are tough, a man may be ashamed to admit he was hurt by a woman, leading to victims not coming forward at all.

    Note that this trope does not describe situations where violence is genuinely morally justified, such as Wonder Woman attacking Lex Luthor in defense of Metropolis. Nor does it apply in situations where universal humorous abuse is delivered to the Butt Monkey or The Chew Toy by both men and women for equally flimsy reasons – that is just Comedic Sociopathy. Obviously, it likewise doesn't apply in situations where female-on-male violence is treated as a serious subject. An exception to either case is when one or more of the female characters involved in dealing the violence actively invoke this trope in an attempt to morally justify their own behavior, whether out loud or within the privacy of their mind.

    Related to All Abusers Are Male, All Women are Doms, All Men are Subs, Domestic Abuse, Double Standard Rape (Female on Male), Men Are the Expendable Gender, and Stalking Is Funny If It Is Female After Male. Belligerent Sexual Tension often has elements of this trope. Compare/Contrast Would Hit a Girl. A very similar anime/manga trope that does not always include abuse, but typically often will involve a woman violently beating a man and is played for comedy is Tsundere. The female half of this trope is very often a Jerk Sue.

    Due to the very nature of this trope no Take That edits and no social Natter or personal opinions.

    Domestic abuse is a horrible experience to go through, and all too often the victims are shamed by their attackers into silence. If this is you, you need not be afraid, and here's some help just in case you need it. There are people who can and will help you. Please read Abuse for help and resources. You Are Not Alone.

    No real life examples, please; tell the police, not us.

    Examples of Double Standard Abuse (Female on Male) include:


    • Apparently it's okay to teach little girls that tying up boys is okay as long as you get to take their delicious sandwiches made with Hillshire Farms ham!
    • The original version of a 1990s Canadian TV car commercial had a man, walking down the street with his girlfriend or wife, steal a glance at a car another woman was driving. His partner, assuming he was staring at the woman, smacked him in the side. That ad, as reported widely in the press, received so many complaints of the "Would you have thought it funny if the genders had been reversed?" variety that the ad agency quickly withdrew it and shot a second version where she mimes shouting at him instead. Because verbal abuse is much better.
    • There was a PSA about fitness. It started with a young boy running away from three girls, apparently he wasn't fit enough and he started slowing down, the girls caught up to him and started kissing him, a thing that the boy clearly didn't want.
    • During the a sell of a Virgin Mobile package, the company decided to make some commercials of a woman stalking a man. In the commercials, the actress acts crazy and creepy. Rightfully, men started to complain and the commercials were removed from most stations. Of course, if the situation was reversed, the commercials would have never been given the green light in the first place.
    • Eaton's department stores in the 1990s advertised their new "female focus" with a commercial in which a wife kept her husband literally chained to the kitchen sink. The ad was deemed so offensively misandrist that it was pulled less than a month after its release - a real life subversion.
    • "Boys are stupid, throw rocks at them" was the slogan on a tee-shirt marketed by the David and Goliath tee-shirt company. Eventually, a very public controversy resulted in the shirts being removed from many stores. To show how pervasive this Trope is, many people supported the sale of the shirts, including a professor at the University of Illinois who said she thought it served as revenge for boys' (assumed) bullying.
    • There's a new, rather weird example for "Five Hour Energy." In short, a guy used to sleep later than his girlfriend (wife?), who used the time he was sleeping to work out. Then he started using Five Hour Energy and decides he'll start working out with her. For no adequately explained reason, she now hates him. He mentions that they're not on speaking terms and at the end of the commercial, she throws what looks to be a shirt in his face. Once again, it's not entirely clear why she's so angry, making it look like she's just a little unstable.
      • It also causes you to wonder how this is supposed to make the product appealing to potential customers.
    • An ad for Sears air conditioning services, wherein a wife yells at her husband for not being quick enough on the ball to have already called Sears air conditioning services, was criticized when it was pointed out that if the gender-roles had been reversed, and it was the man who was domineeringly commanding "YOU'LL CALL NOW!" at the women, the company would have been picketed.
    • Used in this superbowl ad for Pepsi Max, in which a wife physically abuses her husband for various transgressions including ordering french fries instead of a fruit cup and smiling at a pretty girl. Given the ending (where the husband hustles the wife away from the scene in a panic after she accidentally knocks another woman unconscious), the message of the commercial seems to be "Its okay for women to beat the crap out of men, but horribly wrong if she harms another woman". The fact that the couple is black led to charges of portraying a stereotypical Angry Black Woman as well.

    Anime and Manga

    • Domina no Do: this manga is practically made around this trope.[context?]
    • Rumiko Takahashi has been frequently accused of loving this trope a little too much. Case in point, three of her best-known series -- Urusei Yatsura, Ranma ½ and Inuyasha all make heavy use of this in the name of comedy.
      • In Urusei Yatsura, Ataru Moroboshi is constantly harassed by the women in his life. In particular Lum uses her electricity to shock him five times a day (due to her being insanely possessive of him) and Shinobu and Ryuunosuke beat him senseless with their super-strength and martial-arts respectively. This is a case where everyone has a decent reason for treating him this way, though: Ataru is an enormous pervert (and not at all Chivalrous Pervert) who is always pissing people off, even knowing the kinds of responses he'll get by doing so. To cap it off, Ataru has an absurdly high tolerance for punishment and shrugs off his abuse frighteningly fast.
      • Ranma ½ uses this so much that for early 90s anime fans it was considered the Queen of this trope. The series is notorious for how the interactions between Ranma Saotome and Akane Tendo tend to boil down to "Ranma says something insulting, purposefully or accidentally, and Akane gives him a Megaton Punch, boots him (through the roof need be) into LEO, slaps him, hammers him over the head with a random object or otherwise physically abuses him in response". Partially justified by a series where everyone and their grandmother seems to practice Supernatural Martial Arts, until one notices that it's only the boys who are allowed to be beaten up for comedy's sake. The only girl in the series who ever gets abused is Ranma himself, and it's always treated as Serious Business if another guy does it but comedy if a girl does it.
      • And in Inuyasha, she largely dispenses with Megaton Punches, and presents instead a simple scenario: a half-demon, wearing a cursed necklace which allows their master to force to the ground the one who wears it with a single word and as the series goes on this ability is often used for even minor transgressions. Given the page you're reading, no points for guessing that it's a male half-demon, a female who controls the collar that frequently uses it over romantic angst, and that it is played for comedy.
      • Also in Inuyasha, there's the frequency with which Sango hits/slaps/bludgeons Miroku for groping her (before their engagement) and flirting with others (after it).
    • In Bleach, there are several cases of this. Almost everyone of either gender in Bleach is insanely violent in their free time, and it gets played for laughs. Guys are still almost always the victims.
      • Shinji of the Vizards always gets the crap beaten out of him by Hiyori for no other reason than her being pissed off and it's always played for comedy. She showed the same behavior towards Kisuke Urahara back when she served under the 12th division, and it's likewise Played for Laughs. Notably however, it's partially subverted in that Shinji occassionnally does fight back without it being portrayed as drama (though he is usually less violent to Hiyori than she is to him), and Uhara was implied to be clearly able to fight back but merely didn't bother because he was too nice for that and feel it wasn't worth it.
    • In Sket Dance, repeatedly played for laughs with Bossun, who would often get on Himeko's nerves, and thus end up experiencing a world of pain. So much, that he gets both hands broken. Ouch.
      • Averted in the "Ogress" backstory arc, where the abuse is very much not intended to be funny.
      • Also, one of the characters the Sket Dan help, Koma-chan, has a tendency to violently shove or throw people when she's embarrassed. Considering she's insanely strong, this can have painful results, so much so that the group start referring to it as the "Koma-Cannon". Guess who's always on the receiving end? You guessed it, Bossun.
    • In Love Hina Keitaro gets horribly abused by pretty much every female he encounters, every second scene ends with Keitaro getting hit by one of the girls, either unfairly or for no reason, sometimes forcing him into seeing flesh just so they can abuse him. And he blames himself for it. Naturally, it's Played for Laughs. The scene when Keitaro's sister Kanako punches Naru across the room to defend her brother was one of the most satisfying in the series.
      • The manga's a bit better about this, where Naru especially is actually called on her behavior at least once, Keitaro eventually learns to avoid these attacks, and the girls stop doing them eventually.
      • Ken Akamatsu seems to have largely outgrown this trope during the course of his Long Runner Negima. Mind you, considering Negi's only about 10 years old and the girls are fifteen, he probably thought it would look like child abuse, though in one storyarc where Negi was aged up to 15 or so, he suffered a few Keitaro-esque smacks in the face himself. Later, when Anya, Negi's best friend from home, comes to visit him, she's able to beat him up as much as she wants (with flaming punches and kicks, no less) since they're the same age.
    • In Fruits Basket, Machi is incredibly aggressive when she gets embarrassed (and she's shy so she gets easily embarrassed) and her half-brother Manabe gets it the worst. Once when Manabe gave her a embarrassing and rather forward compliment she punched him in the face through a bag of meat and Yuki looked onward calmly stating he told Manabe he'd be hit if he said that. Even his girlfriend was more concerned with the meat than Manabe, but she kinda has an obsession...
      • Manabe even lampshades it at one point, when he comments "I'm risking my life playing the stooge here." It was said in regards to Yuki, but he seems to have the same goal for Machi (getting them both out of their shells).
      • Kagura's abuse of Kyo is played for laughs in the series, even though it's ridiculously over the top.
      • To a slightly lesser extent, Uotani towards Kyo as well. She picks fights with him whenever she feels like when he's otherwise not bothering her at all. Kyo explicitly states after having his chair kicked by her because "it's easy to kick" that he doesn't retaliate BECAUSE she's a woman.
    • Averted hard in the 5th Kara no Kyoukai movie where Tomoe's parents are mutually abusive to one another, and Tomoe's mother hitting his father in the back of the head with a skillet and killing him before killing herself and Tomoe in a murder-suicide is played as horrific and wrong on all sides.
    • Subverted in Rune Soldier Louie with Louie and the girls, at first it looks like this trope is being played straight but later on in the series after Jeanie was hitting Louie again he actually fought back. While Melissa and Merrill were worried the fact that Louie fought back is still mostly depicted as a good thing causing a bit of Character Development for both Louie and Jeanie.
    • Louise in The Familiar of Zero pretty much embodies this trope. Many fans found it horrifying even without the gender-flipping. Many bailed on the Louise/Saito pairing after one incident has her beating on him with a whip until he passed out bloody and bruised. Somewhat subverted that on at least that occasion, it wasn't really played for laughs. Louise's peers were very disapproving of that, but were unable/unwilling to do anything.
    • Shouko from Baka and Test: Summon the Beasts might be even worse than Louise, routinely tazing Yuuji, sticking her fingers in his eyes so he doesn't even look at other girls, and doing things like breaking his arm and calling it "holding hands" or breaking into his house because she felt like it (and then burning his porn), among others. What's more, the other characters actually believe they make a good couple and try to pair them together, and at the end, even Yuuji seems rather accepting of the idea. If Yuuji even did to Shouko 10% of the things she does to him, people would deride him as a Complete Monster, but Shouko can keep doing this with no backlash whatsoever. Sure, it might be a comedy, but it's taken to a level you feel more pity for the guy than anything else, not to mention that Yuuji is far from accepting the idea of being with her. That entire episode dedicated to putting them together had him trying to run away from her. Every time he tried to flee from her and avoid Shoko resulted in his friends putting them together or framing him for stuff he didn't did only to make the situation worse. When the Jerkass couple continued to make a fool of themselves, Yuuji was generally trying to get them to win the contest because his friends rigged it to the point where no matter what he did, they would get the right answer. It wasn't until the end of the episode where he changed his mind about Shoko because the Jerkass couple continued to make fun of them both. Next episode, he's trying to run away from her. Final episode, his best friend sold him out to her and she forced him to sign a marriage contract. Stockholm Syndrome anyone?
      • Not that it justifies the actions she takes, but episode 11 of Season 2 shows their backstory and why she's so obsessed with him. She was a Lonely Rich Kid, and he was the only kid who talked to her, but he says he talked to everyone the same. He then stands up against some bullies who are jealous of his intellect, and they attempt to frame and humiliate him by writing that he cheated on his tests, but Shouko tries to stop them. They end up attacking her instead, and Yuuji, feeling a lot of guilt for this, steps in and attacks the bullies. Later, he arrives home, tries to downplay his saving Shouko, and his mom gives Shouko her full support in the girl's efforts to marry him.
    • Winry from Fullmetal Alchemist beats Ed with a spanner (one time even a chainsaw) every time he breaks his automail (that's often). This is a subversion however as Edward is the Butt Monkey (often for being a genuine Jerkass) and everyone abuses him for it. Most glaring is Major Armstrong who repeatedly crushes him with vicious bear hugs one time even opening a large, bleeding stomach wound and once even creepily stalked him and happily admitted it. It's perfectly okay however because he's doing out of love.
      • Major Alex Armstrong suffers major abuse at the hands of his sister, the badass General Olivier Armstrong. She sees him as weak, worthless, and a disgrace to their family name, and either verbally abuses him or beats the crap out of him every time they see each other. There is an air of professionalism to this, as they're both members of the military and Olivier is her brother's superior, but her bullying of him is far meaner than anyone under her command (which says a lot). We later find out that there's more to it: The reason she views Alex as a failure is because he succumbed to post traumatic stress during the Ishvalean massacre and lost his will to fight.
    • Girls Bravo: Kirie constantly brutally beats up her best friend Yukinari for being an Accidental Pervert (In Episode 1 she punches and knees him in the face, and he bleeds profusely and later kicks him so hard his head hits the edge of the bathtub) and it's Played for Laughs. For the most part, she never gets called out on her behavior and nobody ever stops her as she's beating him up. It's also shown that the abuse Yukinari has taken over the years has left him severely psychologically damaged, he has developed an allergy to women because of the way she was treating him. But instead of keeping her away from him the others just ignore her violent behavior, the story continually shows her behavior to be ok and you are supposed to feel sorry for Kirie, because the man she has abused and bullied for years does not love her.
    • A semi-example from Neon Genesis Evangelion. On the one hand, Asuka slaps Shinji all the time, often in front of Misato and for little to no reason, and once the pair have moved in together she unleashes what can be best described as verbal abuse on him every time they're together. She never gets any comeuppance for (specifically) this, mainly since Shinji is a Butt Monkey and far too much of a Shrinking Violet to fight back. On the other hand, Asuka certainly isn't really intended to be nice, and this behavior is indicative to the audience that she's a bitch. Some fans also feel that Asuka's Mind Rape toward the end of the series was punishment for her treatment of Shinji and acting like a bitch to everyone in general, although it would certainly be a rather cynical, disproportionate one (This is EVA after all). Also, Shinji's inability to stand up to her, and Misato not attempting to help are treated seriously as failings that they feel guilt for during the Mind Rape ending. Asuka's abuse is still played for comedy early on though.
    • Averted in Black Lagoon. Revy does hit and abuse Rock, even almost shoots him at one point, but it is never portrayed as normal or acceptable. Moreover, Rock eventually stands up for himself and succeeds in convincing her that there are other ways to solve her issues than her guns. She feels ashamed after this confrontation and mostly stops abusing him after that.
    • MM! has an out for this: the main character is canonically a masochist.
    • Pretty much the entire point of Bludgeoning Angel Dokurochan. Ludicrously over-the-top violence visited on the male lead by the female lead is a series staple. To Dokuro's credit, she at least resurrects him post-her every horrible and fatal beating and apologizes. It's not a bad example however since it's so over the top that you can't take it seriously, and Sakura takes abuse for the sake of comedy from everyone, including his largely male classmates, his male teacher, his own father in the manga, various animals who hump him while Sabato another female angel suffers her own share of arguably worse abuse and misfortune for the sake of comedy.
    • My Bride is a Mermaid subverts this trope. Nagasumi is attacked by his wife's bodyguard and her rival but never by his wife herself. She is a loving Yamato Nadeshiko who often has to protect him. Even her Rival only ever resorts to sexual harassment which is very mild compared to the brutal attempts of the male cast which included having a shark try to eat him. One of those males is his father-in-law. If Nagasumi's mother-in-law didn't keep her husband in line he wouldn't have lived to the series' conclusion.
    • Sakura from Naruto, but only in the anime. Fortunately for Naruto, she's not as bad in the manga.
      • It actually gets even more uncomfortable in Shippuden, where she's not only developed a more fiery temper, but has also gained Super Strength as a power. Let that sink in for a few minutes.
      • Even more fortunately for Naruto, Sakura, compared to her mentor seems to be holding back for most of the time as her strength actually packs an even more powerful punch. Let's just hope he doesn't sign a death wish like his master once did.
        • The result: Jiraiya had 6 broken ribs, both arms and legs broken as well as several ruptured organs for trying to peep on Tsunade. And let's not forget he counted it as one of 2 moments where he nearly died before he died for good
    • Averted in The Sacred Blacksmith. After Cecily beats up Luke for witnessing her wardrobe malfunction, he's very upset with her, and she's ashamed of what she did.
    • Sonic X vented Amy Rose's Tsundere quirks Up to Eleven, her temper lending to her pulling out her hammer on people for much more trivial reasons (usually Sonic). The first season finale also involved Rouge handing Knuckles a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown because his egotistical grumbling was getting too irritating (even considering Knuckles' Jerkass tendancies, this was pretty brutal).
    • In Mysterious Girlfriend X, Urabe's treatment of Tsubaki is gradually moving from mild aloofness and weirdness to mind-games that have an increasingly abusive element to them. In the later chapter she adds physical abuse as well, when she almost bites Tsubaki's finger off after agreeing that he could place it in her mouth. However she did this mainly to finally make him forget about another girl he couldn't stop thinking about, despite wanting to. And it worked.
    • In A Certain Magical Index this trope is played for laughs with Touma, who almost always get a punch to the face when some girl who know him get pissed.
      • Index is known for biting Touma.
      • Then there is Mikoto, who could probably take on an entire army by herself and uses every single bit of that power on him. Was it not for his absurd reflexes and his Power Nullifier ability he would have been fried alive in more than one occasion, and they both seem to know it. She was shown to be horrified the one time she actually hit him when he was trying to stop her from getting herself killed by Accelerator
    • Working!! double subverts this one. The series tells us Inami is not supposed to hit men and is bad when she does it, yet they not only almost always show her violence Played for Laughs, when her habitual "target" Souta gets fed up and calls her out on this, everyone treats him as the bad guy and acts as if Inami didn't deserve his calling out, thus firmly planting the series on this trope, period.
    • Misa Amane and Light Yagami of Death Note have a very unhealthy "relationship" if it can be called that at all. Misa stalks Light and forces a relationship with him. It is shown time and again that he appears to have no sexual interest in her and only tolerates her presence because he needs her for her powers and to keep her close to keep her from spilling his secrets. If he refuses her she could kill him. However after her initial appearance enraged Misa isn't taken seriously despite the fact that she could just as easily kill him as he could kill her. The "men are Made of Iron and women are Made of Plasticine" idea doesn't matter much when you can kill someone by writing on a piece of paper. Her slapping him around is Played for Laughs and is seen as allegedly "deserving" of being hit when he admits he doesn't feel the same way about her. She only gets away with her pushy and sometimes violent behavior because of the male characters' chivalry.
      • Aizawa is also a possible victim of this, coming into work with a bandaged head one day. When asked about it, he says he and his wife were in a fight, and the other men barely register that he's been physically injured by his wife.
    • In the hentai manga "Anette XXX" one of the sisters evokes this trope saying: "A sister can tease her brother if she wants too".
    • Deconstructed in Operaton Liberate Men. It is perfectly acceptable for women in the Para Kingdom to abuse men for perceived wrongs, or even for no reason at all. Nobody but Sooha, a foreigner, even bats an eye at the murdered corpse of a man. However, Sooha often ridicules the women for their abuse and allowing such a mindset to exist.
    • While this trope is generally played straight in Daily Lives of High School Boys, but in the case of the former Enfant Terrible-grade bully "Archdemon" Habara, it was Deconstructed—it is a very serious business, indeed, especially when the she is clearly quite traumatized about what she did, not to say her social life with any teenage boys in town has been completely ruined because of her her previous acts. Karasawa, her next-door neighbour and came up the worst off of her victims, harbours both a grudge and a phobia towards her.
    • Maji De Watashi Ni Koi Shinasai:
      • In episode 2, the girls chase after a dog in the bath house naked. They then catch it when it runs into Yamato's room. After some initial embarassment and screaming, the next scene shows Yamato all bruised up as they continue chasing after the dog.
      • Momoyo also puts him in what appears to be a very painful headlock earlier in episode 2 because he wasn't around the night before when she called him (due to him being at a meeting at the time). This is fairly standard behaviour from her.
    • In Axis Powers Hetalia, Hungary is infamous for beating other nations senseless with her frying pan. Justified in that the nations she's angry with correlate to real-life nations that Hungary didn't have good relations with at the time (for example, one point when Hungary beats the shit out of Prussia represents the War of Austrian Succession). Subverted in one instance, where God orders Hungary to beat France with her skillet and while she's tempted, she is still conflicted as she knows it's wrong to attack France for no reason.
    • Chi-Chi and Goku share this relationship in Dragon Ball Z, though considering Goku was pushing Physical God by the time they were married, his fear of her is completely Played for Laughs.
    • Jiro from Mayo Chiki is forcefully beaten up by his sister for "wrestling practice" every morning, and as a result develops gynophobia similarly to Yukinari from Girls Bravo from it. He's also attacked regularly by Subaru as well, yet its entirely Played for Laughs, and no one seems to mention anything about it.
    • Averted in Sensitive Pornograph with Mari. Ten days after his wife's accidental death, he's still badly bruised. His childhood friend Gouzou is worried and somewhat shocked when he hears of the domestic abuse. Also Played for Drama and heartwarming as Mari's little twin sons ask Gouzou to not hurt Papa.

    Comic Books

    • V for Vendetta : No one felt sympathy for Conrad Heyer, the abused husband of the domineering and ruthless Helen Heyer but everyone felt sorry for the equally abused Rosemary Almond whose horrible husband would neglect and batter her at the drop of a hat. The characters in-universe likely didn't care about either case due to it being a Crapsack World. The reader, however, is meant to feel just as sorry for Conrad as Rosemary. Whether or not they actually do is obviously up to the reader.
    • Impulse: This in a one-issue story where Impulse noticed one of his male classmates turning up with suspicious injuries. It actually did get remembered for a (little) while, as in a later issue the boy's mother gets visited in the mental hospital she was put in.
    • The Maxx: Deconstructed through the back-story of Mr. Gone, the main villain, who was sexually abused as a child by his aunt, who subsequently blamed him for the abuse. His inability to seek serious therapy and sympathy from others exacerbates the psychological problems that poison his relationships with his three ex-wives, and cause him to ultimately take out his self-hate and shame on several women through rape and serial killing.
    • The powers-that-be at DC thought it was perfectly fine for Black Canary, one of the most powerful martial artists in the DCU, to lamp Green Arrow with a full-strength punch because she was angry at him, only to then have sex with him. And why was she angry? Because he was raped by his archenemy way back.
    • Les Légendaires does this occasionnally:
      • Gryf's love interests Shun-Day and Shimy both abused him physically at some points, and it's always played for laught. While Shun-Day did this due to Accidental Pervert moments, Shimy's attitude was partially justified most of the time, especially when it turned out he had cheated on her.
      • Sheyla's violence on her brother Razzia was slightly played for laught in a flashback, though it was justified; she had just rescued him from bullies, and was mad he didn't defend himself. Ironically enough, he eventually learnt how to fight and became stronger than her, only to end up killing her by mistake when they ended up on opposite sides.
      • Tenebris has moments hitting Razzia during Book 13 when he start displaying peeping moments when seeing Jadina in underwears. This is gradually deconstructed as the book goes however, with her becoming more and more aggressive as the story goes, in a less and less funny way (she ends up treathening him to cut his other arm off when he call her out for trying to kill Kasino's assassins and taking pleasure to it). It's eventually revealed to be justified, due to Abyss brainwashing her with his Puppeteer Parasite abilities.
    • Dixie from What's New? With Phil And Dixie regularly smacks, punches, or hammer-KOs her partner Phil, which combines this trope with Take That Me because he's Phil Foglio's Author Avatar.
    • The "free comic day" Scott Pilgrim comic surprisingly confronts this; Scott is attacked by female ninjas and, much to the chagrin of Ramona and Wallace, refuses to defend himself because he doesn't want to hit a girl. Despite its somewhat important message, it should be noted it's Played for Laughs.

    Scott Pilgrim says...
    Sometimes girls can be very, very mean. They might pull your hair or kick you in the shins really hard. It can feel like they're sticking razor blades in your heart. Or maybe they actually are sticking razor blades in your heart. Just remember, in real life you should never hit a girl. Unless it's a serious emergency.


    Fan Works

    • In Myah Lyah's The Princess and the Frog stories, this is very present, as Tiana slaps her husband's cousin for forcing himself on her, her husband for showing up at her mother's home and kissing her after she believed he cheated on her, her son's baseball coach for attempting to romance her while he was secretly married, and kicked a banker in the groin for requesting sex in exchange for a free loan, which was made worse by his being married to Charlotte. All for very deserving reasons, admittedly, so it could be understandable that none of them received any complaints, but then Naveen's mother lies to her husband about whether she wrote notes which successfully split up Tiana and Naveen's relationship and then kept this secret for 5 years, and when Naveen's father finds out what she's done, his only reaction is to grab her by the arm and briefly scold her. And even this gets a comment in the reviews!

    Your story is pretty good. The only thing is that the whole scene between Nagina and Kabir dropped the story down a couple notches in my opinion. I can understand a man having an argument with his wife, but for him to grab her wrist and attempt to intimidate her into submission was too much. Especially since the two of them had been acting very much in love at the beginning of the chapter. Two people in love to that extent could have a nasty fight but the love shared between the two would still be there. The dramatic shift from loving to hating was too abrupt and unnatural.

    • In The Darkness Within Us, a Persona 3 and 4 crossover, Chie becomes a princess and she basically has possession of Yosuke's very SOUL. And she uses it whenever she damn well pleases. Like if she wants a free feast. Mainly so he can't run away from her even though he's the fastest character on the good guys. It's Played For Laughs every time. The creator actually found nothing wrong with her abusing her friend and love interest and apparently he didn't know that that was something people sympathize with, not laugh at. WTF, indeed.
    • There is a Neon Genesis Evangelion fanfic, Scar Tissue, where Asuka steps up the abuse to physical (and later sexual) levels yet Shinji keeps covering for her because they both believe he deserves it. Misato turns a blind eye to his constantly replenishing bruises and broken bones... until Asuka goes overboard and puts him in the hospital with life-threatening injuries. Cue Misato issuing a death threat to the girl who fully wanted to protest but was busy being terrified beyond rational thought. Yet again Shinji is a dumbass and he doesn't hold her at fault, instead rebuking her genuine advances with basically "for God's sake stop trying to be nice and just hit me already!" This is deconstructed later when Touji, Kensuke, and Hikari find out a few chapters later and are really angry with Asuka and horrified by her actions.
    • The Love Hina and Kamen Rider Double crossover Love Hina Double Trouble deconstructs this to a brutal degree. As you know, Keitaro isn't the first guy that Naru and Motoko would always wail on. In this story, one of their victims (who is a real pervert) gets back at them by killing another pervert and chucking his body near Hinata-Sou, thus framing them both for murder. Never in their life did they believe that their actions had consequences, until that moment. The real murderer even calls them out for their actions "Don't you two get it? You two are the monsters, not me! You two attack people just for gesturing at you wrong! I know! I've done my research into you two bitches! Parents tell their kids to stay away from people like you! You two are ten times scarier than I could ever be!" (says the guy that gropes women daily and even murders a guy). Always thinking that they were exacting justice and never thought otherwise, this chilled both girls to the bone. Thankfully, this case has a happy ending, and the girls are cleared of all the charges and gain better control over their tempers... at least until Kirihiko moved in, unlike Keitaro, Kirihiko is considered to be something of an Acceptable Target.
    • Deconstructed in Warhammer 40000 Trouble (where everything is played Grimdark-style). Rito actually retell his wacky story about how he became a sandbag a year before the invasion to his foster Brother and Sister, Sousuke and Kisaki. He emphasis the one that bugging him even now, where the girls rushing into bathroom without knocking yet he's the one got beaten. SAME thing happened to Sousuke, except Dude, Not Funny style (especially that Sousuke is a Chaste Hero and Broken Bird) where Sousuke is traumatized, Rito is NOT amused...
    • The highly-controversial, flamewar-spawning Ranma ½ Dark Fic The Bitter End portrayed an Alternative Character Interpretation of Akane which proposed that her violent outbursts, instead of comedy slapstick, were the result of deep-seated psychoses and possessiveness stemming from a massive inferiority complex. Not only that, but instead of taking the abuse like anyone else would take a light slap upside the head, Ranma was actually and seriously injured by Akane's abuse. And like many abuse victims, not only would he refuse to get away from Akane or even acknowledge that what she did was wrong, but his passivity would lead to progressively worse treatment. Eventually, had Ranma go to a support group for battered spouses... which is entirely made up of women, most of whom can't understand why this strong-looking man is among them. Though Ukyo calls them on this, they stand firm on turning him away... until Ukyo reveals his curse, calling him the one guy who can truly understand what being a woman is like. After this, the group gradually warms up to him, especially as he teaches them self-defense and gives them another perspective on 'mens' minds'. "The Bitter End" is extremely well-written and well-researched, and it is widely considered a classic must-read for being one of the first Ranma ½ voices to speak openly about this delicate subject matter. (Though Fanon and character-bashing factions in the fandom, sadly, would take this interpretation and run with it as though it were canon.)
    • Inverted in the third chapter of The Last War. Harry and Ginny are presented as being in an unfulfilling marriage in which she's unequivocally the bad guy, to the extent that Harry physically assaults her (and is still considered the hero).
    • Somewhat annoyingly, very common in Axis Powers Hetalia fandom when it pairs Belgium and Netherlands or Hungary and Prussia. In the first case, Belgium becomes a Bastard Girlfriend and it's okay because it's fetishized; in the second, Hungary beats up Prussia at the slightest provocation -usually with her Frying Pan of Doom- and it's okay because it's Played for Laughs. And let's not even discuss Belarus with Russia or Lithuania...Bela/Liet seems to be heading a little into Dude, Not Funny territory lately, though.
    • Both played straight and averted in Naruto fanfics. Played straight in that many authors regularly have Tsunade blasting off Jiraiya with Super Strength punches, normally sending him to the female onsen for even more of a beating, as a source of comedy. Sakura's treatment of Naruto, however, is often treated as abuse and she's called out by other characters or treated cruelly by the author for it, unless it's explicitly said that Naruto allows her to do it as a stress relief, and he's too tough for it to be a cause of concern (as it's implied to be the case with Jiraiya).
    • In the Death Note fic Fever Dreams many people just find it amusing when Misa stalks Light (or even consider him "lucky" to be stalked by a hot celebrity chick) and only when Misa gets really violent and crazy does anyone even consider calling the cops.


    • Some Lifetime Movie of the Week movies.
    • Played with in My Super Ex-Girlfriend a romantic comedy about a guy, who in response to him leaving his super-powered girlfriend for being crazy, she proceeds to do all sorts of vicious things, ranging from throwing his car into orbit, getting him fired by using her powers to strip him naked in the office, and throwing a shark at him. Though it's played for laughs, we still seem intended to sympathize with the guy. Once people realize both that it's G-Girl who's after him and that she's angry over the breakup rather than trying to capture him for some undisclosed crime, they get a lot more upset with her, and she wasn't quite a Karma Houdini either, she is briefly Brought Down to Normal in a plot to stop her tirade, when she refuses to let it go even after that, the guy's current (much less unhinged) girlfriend uses her new found powers to beat some sense into her.
    • Played With in The Hangover: Stu Price is dating a nagging, controlling woman who cheated on him with a bartender and who beats him. "That was only twice!" defends Stu desperately to keep his Manliness; he even goes so far as to claim that one of her beatings of him was actually justified. It's completely Played for Laughs in the beginning, but his friend Phil constantly reminds Stu of how horrible Melissa is and tells him to break up with her. Stu later wises up at the end of the movie, then breaks up with her at the wedding.
    • Played straight in Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist when the titular characters are arguing and Norah gets so upset that she hits Nick in the throat. The double standard is particularly striking, considering that Michael Cera (Nick) has the build of a twelve year old girl, making Kat Dennings (Nora) looks like an Olympic powerlifter compared to him. There's also the fact that Nick was getting over a break-up with Tris, who emotionally abuses him.
    • Subverted in Kingpin where the main characters, a man and woman, get into a fist fight. While it's played for laughs when the woman does a few Groin Attacks it's viewed as equally hilarious when the man responds by using her breasts like punching bags.
    • Played straight and averted in Kung Fu Hustle. The landlady always hits her lecherous husband, even tossing him out the window in comical effort at one point. However, both of them are highly trained martial artists and the landlord could have easily dodged the landlady's hits if he wanted to. And the landlady could have easily hit a lot harder if she wanted to.
    • Korean Rom Com My Sassy Girl is pretty much two straight hours of this trope as an excuse for slapstick.
    • Tokyo Zombie includes a scene in which a meek abused man buries his mother in a giant mountain of trash and corpses at his girlfriend's instance (specifically, when threatened with sex deprivation). Not content with that the girl proceeds to kick her head into orbit while still belittling her boyfriend.
    • The War of the Roses plays with this trope slightly. The film revolves around an exaggeratedly brutal Escalating War between two bitter divorcées. While neither are portrayed as particularly sympathetic, Barbara is established pretty much from the get go as being more swift and vindictive than Oliver, and generally endures a lot less pain and humiliation than she dishes out. Of course, given that they wind up literally killing each other...
    • In the original |Parent Trap, in a fit of anger at one point Maggie socks her ex-husband Mitch in the eye. His dialogue seems to imply she'd done stuff like that back when they were married: "Why do you have to get so physical? Can't even talk to you about anything, you're always trying to belt me with something." The movie tries to make the whole situation seem cutesy by the awkward and girly way in which she throws the punch, but for the modern viewer it casts an ominous tone over their eventual reconciliation.
    • Played straight in Birthday Girl. Sophia participates in the beating, robbery, torture, and kidnapping of her husband John. She gets angry at her co-conspirators later and decides to free John, but never so much as apologizes for her actions - and the fool nonetheless sticks with her and they live (happily?) ever after together. There are even disturbing intimations that John deserves to be victimized because he is a fan of bondage porn, although he never even hints at acting out his fantasies on Sophia, and he is mortally embarrassed when he realizes that she knows about his tastes, even though she implies that she regards them as harmless.
    • Averted in both the film and the novel of The Dead Zone. Frank Dodd's lifelong abuse at the hands of his mother is portrayed as horrific, and as the main if not the only reason he has become a Complete Monster.
    • Played straight in Troll 2: Holly and Elliot's relationship would probably have been handled differently if the roles had been reversed.
    • More or less played straight in Baby Boy. Yvette (Taraji Henson's character), in a fit of rage, starts swinging her hands toward her boyfriend Jody (Tyrese's character). While one could certainly understand why Yvette's upset, what with Jody's constant cheating and lying, that does not excuse her violently wailing at him to the point of punching him in the eye really hard. So when Jody fought back after failing to restrain Yvette, he smacks her in self-defense, which anyone has the right to do. Of course, the movie unfairly paints Jody's actions as a Moral Event Horizon moment.
    • Discussed in In Bruges, overlapping with Wouldn't Hit a Girl. Ray mentions the phenomenon, and notes that he himself would not attack a woman in self-defense if she attacked him first, unless she was armed. This later becomes relevant to the plot.


    • Some examples in The Wheel of Time
      • The nation of Altara has institutionalized this trope. Women are legally allowed to murder men, and all wives carry a ceremonial dagger that they are supposed to use to slice up their husband if he gets out of line. This is all treated like a curious local custom at worst.
      • Mat Cauthon is stalked, sexually harassed and eventually raped at knife-point by the much older queen of Altara. It's played for laughs and the female characters consider this his just desserts for being a flirt.
      • One of the major themes of the series is the dysfunction that rises from gender imbalance, and the author's favorite way of pointing this out is to switch gender roles in certain situations. Because of this, the Altara situation is probably meant to provoke Fridge Horror when a reader inevitably thinks about how this would play if the character's genders were flipped.
    • The Dark Elf Trilogy ultimately averts this. The society of the drow (dark elves) is built upon the concept of females being blameless and superior, while males are intrinsically worthless; abuse is not only accepted, but actively encouraged to keep the males in their place. However, drow are one of the setting's most notoriously evil races, and the writing makes it clear that this is one of the chief reasons why.
    • In Terrier by Tamora Pierce, protagonist Beka Cooper's first chase scene is with a woman who has doled out plenty of drunken violence against her timid husband and three children. The neighbors seem to believe this trope, wondering why her husband didn't just fight back, but Beka certainly seems to disagree, and when the woman is eventually put on trial, she doesn't get off especially lightly.
    • In L. Frank Baum's The Marvelous Land of Oz, Jinjur tried to take over the country. She has a cameo in a later book, placidly explaining that she is content with her quiet life with her husband—and her husband is nursing a black eye because he had milked the cows in an order she did not approve of.
    • Strongly averted in Misery, because Paul Sheldon is so utterly helpless after being badly hurt in a car crash. And Annie is nuts.
    • Sisterhood series by Fern Michaels: The Jury has the Vigilantes finding out that Paula Woodley has had every bone in her body broken by husband Karl Woodley, a Complete Monster who is the National Security Advisor, The Napoleon, and had the President himself as his best man at their wedding! So the Vigilantes go to his home and break every bone in his body! Collateral Damage reveals that Paula has been non-physically abusive (for the most part) to Karl, making him eat baby food and watch her eat a fine Southern meal, confining him to a few rooms, and taunting him when they do interact. By this point, he is wheelchair-bound, and he has lost his ability to talk. Female characters take Paula's side, while male characters seem to be uncomfortable with the whole situation (possibly because they are wondering if their spouses or loved ones will do this to them next!). In short, the series does its best to justify Paula's treatment of her husband. However, this trope is not justified for Maggie Spritzer's treatment of Ted Robinson and Abner Tookus. Fortunately, Maggie finally wakes up to the realization that she's been unfair to both of them and attempts to make amends in Deja Vu. Home Free has her hooking up with Augustus "Gus" Sullivan, and she realizes that she can't take advantage of him the way she did to Ted and Abner.
    • Lampshaded in Robert A. Heinlein's The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress. Manny explains to Stu LaJoie that a woman "can hit you so hard she draws blood; you dastn't lay a finger on her," and that this is because there are nine men for every woman on the Moon. The consequent intense competition among men for female favors means that men not only tolerate abuse from women, but will enforce its acceptance on each other. Attitudes on Earth are completely different because there is no huge sexual imbalance there.
    • Subverted in The Underland Chronicles. Fairly early in the first book, Luxa slaps Gregor across the face and is immediately reproved - first by Boots, then by Vikus.
    • In Eclipse and some of Breaking Dawn, Bella's attempts to force Edward to sleep with her are Played for Laughs, even though the same situation with a gender reversal would seem horrific. Even amongst criticizers of the series, Edward's controlling behavior is primarily focused on, with the despicable things Bella does generally going unnoticed.

    Live-Action TV

    • The example from 24 is especially gut-wrenching: a bloke is nearly tortured to death by (male) terrorist and is in the hospital recovering after it happened. His girlfriend sees him there depressed after what he went through and repeatedly slaps him in an attempt to invoke Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!, telling him to stop feeling sorry for himself after he nearly died. This is apparently what he needed as he returned to work later that day.
    • Played for laughs in an episode of According to Jim when Jim, Andy, and Andy's ex-girlfriend's ex-boyfriend goes to her cabin for a weekend of fishing and relaxing to make Andy forget about her. Jim goes to a nearby bar (to get booze) where, as luck would have it, it's "ladies' night." He mistakes all the women for men and then they make sexual advances on him; when he says he's married, they dismiss it by stating "What did you expect coming here dressed like that on ladies' night?" (Jim is, as always, in jeans and a flannel shirt; apparently in the bar's area this is a very sexually provocative outfit, as even the bartender makes a remark about his "sexy attire on ladies' night.") He proceeds to give the ladies lap dances and is later shown being won in a poker game and having his shirt and belt stuffed with dollar bills.
    • Averted in Angel: he's shown to have no problem punching Buffy if she punches him, he even points out that she's the stronger one. This is also played with in season six of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, with Buffy's treatment of Spike. He may not have been a clean, innocent victim, but it is hard to deny that Buffy initiated almost all of the verbal and physical abuse, and was a fair bit harsher. Numerous characters, including both Buffy and Spike, point out how over the top, unfair her treatment of him is. Buffy is not portrayed as innocent in any of these events and some of them set Spike up as being used, and rather unhappy about it.
      • Though played pretty much straight in the episode "Five By Five" where Faith mugs a guy and punches out an entire club full of men. True that does add assault to her murder charges but imagine it'd been a man punching out a club full of women. He would be considered far less redeemable than Faith, and bear in mind Faith is a lot more powerful than the average woman.
      • Averted also in Spike's backstory: his mother, once sired, abuses him verbally and tries to abuse him sexually. Made even worse by the fact that now being a demon she actually had the physical strenght needed to overcome him, at least in theory, and she knew he would have likely been too shocked to react properly. Both the abuse per se and the sexual assault are treated very seriously and have deep consequences for Spike.
    • Closely subverted in an episode of Friends, in which Joey's new girlfriend is constantly hitting him, hard (though not as a punishment, she's just trying to be playful), and his friends all laugh at him for being terrified of her - until Rachel gets a taste of it and understands their mistake. The episode implies that said new girlfriend is fully aware of this trope and is using it under the excuse of playfulness. When Joey actually protests the hitting, she says "Oh, you're making fun of me! Stop making fun of me!" while smiling... but she says it through gritted teeth and while hitting him even harder than before. At the very least she thinks she can get away with hitting people if she smiles while she does it, since she does it to Rachel when Rachel says something she doesn't like much.
    • Two and A Half Men plays this trope shamelessly straight with Alan and Charlie's mother who virtually exists to criticize and berate them at every opportunity. But then again, this is Two and A Half Men we're talking about, and it has no shortage of Double Standards against both sexes, so...
    • Lampshaded in the Red Dwarf special "Can't Smeg, Won't Smeg", when Lister comments about whenever a woman can't come up with a good comeback, they always hit people. Kochanski responds by whacking him with a frying pan.
    • Tool Academy frequently shows the girlfriends slapping and punching their Jerkass boyfriends after their improprieties have been revealed. If the resident therapist ever suggests they not resort to violence, it's never shown.
    • In Jersey Shore, MTV was pressured into not airing the footage of Snooki being punched in the face by a man in a bar. Yet, clips of the girls fighting each other, J Woww hitting The Situation, and Sammi punching Ronnie in the face were A-okay.
    • The relationship between Sam and Freddie on iCarly is built on this. It took until iKiss before Sam finally acted like a decent person towards Freddie, and she revealed his biggest secret to the world and had to be guilted into apologising by Carly! That was 33 episodes into the series. Sadly, a large part of the fandom seem to think that not only is it funny or okay for him to be beaten up and abused, but that the only reason she does is because she's secretly in love with him, despite the fact that abuse in any circumstance, including love, is not okay.
      • It's usually played straight, such as "iMeet Fred" (Sam beat Freddie with a tennis racquet until it broke in half, and later pushed him out of a treehouse and then jumped down on top of him) or "iSell Penny-Tees" (Sam pushed Freddie onto a couch and spanked him). However, it was subverted in "iCook" when Sam slapped Freddie and he slapped her back.
      • Many iCarly fans have defended Sam's behavior by citing her terrible home life (which, admittedly, is pretty awful), by claiming that it's "slapstick" and not meant to be taken seriously, and by arguing that Sam is understandably angry because she's in love with Freddie and he only has eyes for her best friend, Carly. It seems highly unlikely that any of these justifications, especially the last one, would be accepted if it was a male character physically abusing a female character.
      • At the beginning of the fifth season, Sam and Freddie actually became a couple for about four episodes. At one point, it was revealed that Sam was still hitting Freddie. Again, it was not viewed as abusive, and Carly thought it was sweet that Sam had stopped punching Freddie in the face.
      • The episode when the kids find Lewbert's ex-girlfriend Marta, a woman who was so miserable to him that he faked his own death and changed his identity just to get away from her. When the kids witness her beating him and forcing attacking him with scissors (to give him a haircut) they at least seem appropriately horrified, admitting she's as much of a "monstress" as Lewbert said she was, but her abuse of Lewbert (especially considering he's an antagonist on the show) is still largely played for laughs.
      • In "iFight Shelby Marx," Carly, Sam, and Shelby all gang up on Nevel, and it is implied that they beat him up. Some viewers have argued that it was justified because Nevel tried to manipulate Shelby into beating up Carly by falsely claiming that Carly had deliberately tried to injure Shelby's grandmother. Justified or not, the fact remains that it would never be considered acceptable for three male protagonists to beat up a female antagonist, no matter what she did.
    • Averted in The Mentalist to become Abuse Is Okay When It Is Anyone On Jane. For example, Lisbon punching Jane in the nose after he made her believe she was going to die is treated as fine, women slapping Jane or throwing things at him after he's done something particularly bad is fine, and most of the men who punch him are excused. In this case it may be more about Jane being an Acceptable Target than anything related to gender.
      • Him being a Jerkass makes it hard to feel sorry for Jane when he gets hit.
    • An aversion happens in the first post-McLeaning episode of Charmed. Paige, a social worker and newcomer to the craft, is put through a tough moral decision regarding an abused child. After the climax of the story, where she nearly uses her powers to teleport the father's heart from his body, the man turns to his wife, arms clasped protectively around his son's shoulders, and says, "I'm not gonna let you hurt our son anymore."
    • Tyler Perry's House of Payne spends an episode on domestic abuse featuring a woman being beaten by her husband, a man being repeatedly stomped and electrocuted by his wife and two other women while they tell a 911 operator he's trying to kill them, and Delante being beaten within an inch of his life by two women he's dating. Only one of these is ever treated as domestic abuse or anything short of hilarious.
    • Brilliantly averted in a recent storyline of the Irish soap Fair City. Suzanne Halpin's abuse of her husband Damien swiftly escalates from constant insults to a once per episode No-Holds-Barred Beatdown (this is rendered fairly tragic when one considers that Damien Wouldn't Hit a Girl, even in obvious self-defence, due to his own father's abuse of his mother), and is treated with appropriate outrage and shock by everyone who finds out, including Suzanne's own father, Bela. His reaction is to publicly, tearfully apologise to Damien for what his daughter has put him through. Now, if only the acting quality weren't so horrendous...
    • Played brutally straight in the TV miniseries Betty Broderick. The title character spends several YEARS stalking, harassing and terrorizing her Jerkass ex-husband and his new wife before finally shooting them dead. But Betty's behavior is somehow justified because her husband dumped her for another woman and SHE is the one made out to be the victim/heroine in the ensuing murder trial. The fact that Ms. Broderick was played by Meredith Baxter Birney also makes it Hilarious in Hindsight—Birney herself probably wouldn't have minded.
    • Pretty much anytime Lois Lane attacks a main character in Smallville, it's an example of this trope. A recent example had her kicking a man somewhat painfully for removing her from the premises. The thing that makes this even worse is that he was a security guard, and she was trespassing.
    • The Cosby Show tends to subvert this trope several times.
      • In "Elvin Pays for Dinner," Sondra pushes her luck with Elvin by repeatedly insisting that Elvin go out to dinner with two old female friends, over his own protests that he not go out. Despite this, when Elvin comes home, Sondra gets in a sour mood over her own version of the evening, locks him out of their bedroom, and refuses to talk to him the next day, simply because he failed to understand her real thoughts on the matter. Elvin ends up completely bewildered as to why Sondra is so angry at him, groveling for forgiveness, even though he hasn't really done anything wrong. However, Sondra was later called out by Clair for not communicating her feelings properly and getting upset with Elvin, who was completely innocent.
      • Another episode had Elvin directly asking Cliff and Grandpa Russel about what to do when Sondra blames him for something he didn't do. They (rather gleefully) tell him "Take it", with the implication that it's just something women do and it's their job as husbands to just put up with it. However, when Elvin decided to face Sondra, the other guys look in the kitchen to see Sondra and Elvin clearly having made up.
      • There have been times when Cliff forgot something about his wedding (which Clair seems to quiz him on regularly) and she "puts him in a headlock." This includes incredibly minor details like what color his tie was or what kind of gown his mother-in-law wore.
    • Many modern sitcoms with Bumbling Dad heroes may include the mother of the family taking part in constant belittling and emotional abuse, while still being portrayed as sympathetic, and woe if the bumbling father says something to hurt his wife's feelings.
      • Notably averted in Married... with Children, however, where both husband and wife are miserable to each other... and their kids... and the dog... and their neighbors...
    • Most soap operas are guilty of this (compare the way betrayed wives are allowed to treat cheating husband with the reverse), especially the Australian ones. Home and Away had local cop Angelo Rosetta, who'd been turned into a Type II or III Anti-Hero, twice assaulted by a woman simply for trying to solve crimes and arresting suspects. He actually tried to charge one of them with assaulting a police officer, only for his fellow officers to let her go on the grounds they liked her more than him. Rival show Neighbours isn't as bad on physical violence but does seem determined to have its male characters humiliated by the female ones as often as possible. (A 2011 episode saw Doctor Karl Kennedy, the show's regular figure of fun even when he's right, forced to dress up as a woman in public and loudly declare women were better than men by his wife and her best friend. Which is a normal day for him.)
    • Brutally averted in the Cold Case episode "Churchgoing People" about the murder of a church deacon. While the family is initially portrayed as the typical upstanding Christian family (church deacon father, organist mother, straight-A kids), flashbacks reveal that the MOTHER was an abusive drunk who frequently assaulted her husband (who installed locks on his bedroom door to keep her out) and eventually murdered him in a jealous rage over his infidelity. Another episode, "Blackout" had the detectives discovering that the victim was a pedophile who had molested her son and was now turning her attentions toward her grandson. Her actions are treated with the same disgust and revulsion as if she'd been a male perpetrator.
    • Both averted and played straight on Robin Hood. Marian punches Guy in the face (and deliberately puts on a ring beforehand to use as a knuckle-buster) just before she bails on their wedding; this is largely Justified in that he's already physically tried to prevent her from leaving and threatens her father's safety if she doesn't go through with the ceremony. However, in a later episode she punches Robin in the stomach so hard that he doubles over in pain just because she's frustrated. This is played for laughs.
      • As a point of interest, the fact that Guy/Marian was immensely popular in the fandom means that certain viewers argued that Marian was completely out of line when she punched Guy to facilitate her escape, but that Robin fully deserved to be physically attacked after he jokingly/affectionately tells Marian: "you look gorgeous from any angle" whilst she's comically dangling from one of the outlaws' traps.
      • However, the trope was rather appallingly Inverted in the third season with the arrival of Isabella, Guy's Long Lost Sister, who was suffering from the psychological effects of a seventeen-year abusive marriage. Guy and Robin are constantly man-handling her (choking her, pushing her, slapping her across the face) in ways that are never treated as that big a deal, but whenever Isabella reciprocates, it's meant to demonstrate how she's Slowly Slipping Into Evil. Her abusive husband is never seen as anything but a Complete Monster, but the fact that Robin responds to Isabella committing a self-defensive kill (to prevent herself getting raped/strangled) by calling her a murderer and shoving her off her feet is more than a little unsettling.
    • The Saturday Night Live sketch mocking Tiger's abuse was performed on the exact same episode where Rihanna was the musical guest, just to bring that point home, and yet, when an Entertainment Weekly writer brought up this point after the SNL episode aired, most commenters told her (yes, the writer is female) to shut up and let them enjoy the few funny moments that SNL has left; completely oblivious to this double standard, with very little criticism towards Elin Woods. Keep in mind that during the entire Chris Brown debacle months earlier, they were singing an entirely different tune.
    • Everybody Loves Raymond plays this trope absolutely straight, with Debra smacking Ray played for humor. Debra seems to delight in beating up her husband Raymond for the most minor mistakes. In one episode, he actually calls her out for acting this way and she responds by shoving him into the bookshelf (although it was that time of the month for her). The most maddening thing for Debra's detractors is that Debra gets the studio audience crazy with cheers every time she does it, and the worst she gets is other characters commenting on her anger issues and cruelty. Ray calls her a "cranky yell machine" and many others insist that "Debra should treat him better".
      • In one episode, Debra forces Raymond to go with her to a marriage counselor. This ends up biting her in the ass, as Raymond starts going on about how Debra abuses him with the counselor clearly taking his side (even though they're supposed to be impartial). Debra, of course, is frustrated, as her goal was to humble Raymond. Debra's main frustration appears to be living next door to Raymond's parents, but then again, Raymond doesn't much care for that either, so it's not really fair for her to take it out on him. A flashback episode even showed that Ray was against moving across the street, but Debra decided it was the right choice (and after the flashback ends, Debra chews Ray out for not stopping her).
    • Same as Carrie Heffernan of King of Queens.
    • Titus averts this, with the title character actually showing the after effects of a fight with his ex-girlfriend. This was based on an actual relationship Chris Titus had, and the episode actually showed him going to her funeral to make sure she was really dead, he was so scared of her.
      • In the stand-up routine the series was based on, he goes into far more detail about the relationship, including the time when the police showed up at the house and arrested him, despite the fact that not only was he the one who'd called them in the first place, but he'd been making such calls on a regular basis.
    • In one episode of Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Will goes on a date with a pretty girl who at first seems rather sweet. However, at the restaurant, she completely changes, speaking to him in a rude, snide voice, she tells him where they will go to college, what jobs they will both have, how many kids they will have and what genders, she tells him what to eat and what not to eat (saying that if he orders cottage cheese now he'll have a heart attack at middle age and leave her with the kids), and when he looks at the waitress to place his order, she yells at both him and the waitress. Later, she chooses his wardrobe and buys him a beeper with the obvious intent of keeping track of him 24/7 (in real life, behavior like this is a huge indicator of an abusive relationship). When Will tells his aunt and uncle about this, they shrug it off, saying that the dictating what jobs and how many children they'll have is a sign that she has goals, and her getting angry over him looking at another girl, and telling him what he can and can't eat is just proof that she doesn't want to lose him. By the episode's end, she's hanging on his every word, eagerly promising to handwrite his class notes and send out his mail—and with one disapproving look from him, apologizing and quickly saying she'll deliver it door to door. This has major Unfortunate Implications: Will is told, after the girl becomes Carlton's doormat, that when a girl acts abusive like she did, it's his job to "man up", and show her who the man is in the relationship. Overall, the way it's delivered comes off as more "it's your fault if you're abused because you didn't yell at your abuser enough."
    • Memphis Beat has an interesting take on this. The trope is initially played straight and even Played for Laughs, but eventually subverted. One of the male police officers - a very big man and a sort of Cloudcuckoolander - is seen apparently taking quite the verbal batterment from his wife on the phone, then later in the episode comes in with odd bandages. Three other officers - Whitehead, Dwight, and their female boss - ask him what happened, and he says, "My wife stabbed me" as though it were no big deal. Dwight and the boss don't so much as bat their eyes, but old-fashioned, curmedgeonly Whitehead tells him he should stand up to his wife. At the end of the episode, Dwight tells the officer he shouldn't let his wife push him around, and the end of the episode shows him standing beside her in the booking line - presumably she's being booked for assault. It went from Actually Pretty Funny to Tear Jerker pretty quickly.
    • In the first episode of Vexed, Kate physically attacks her husband when she (wrongly) thinks he's having an affair, resulting in him spending the whole of the second episode on crutches. It's not played entirely for laughs - they're seen attending couples counselling and their marriage is acknowledged to be on the rocks - but by the end of the episode it appears that he's prepared to take her back.
    • Discovery ID's Wicked Women plays this trope straight with their advertising, in which a sexy woman lounges at the side of a pool as her dead husband floats behind her with a knife in his back. Ironically, the programming itself does not. "Deadly Women" and "Wicked Attraction" - the two shows that fill the "Wicked Women" programming block - are filled with Nightmare Fuel and the latter doesn't shy away from portraying women as the instigator in episodes where it appears that the woman was the dominant parter in Real Life - although occasionally parents of the bitches show up to protest that it must have been the evil man who forced their sweet little Angel May to gleefully hack up old people. "Deadly Women" has done several episodes about women who were abusive towards the husbands they eventually murdered, and yes they call it abuse. Never Trust a Trailer.
    • Hawthorne plays this alarmingly straight. Christina's Bratty Teenage Daughter Camille comes in with a black eye, Christina manages to get that it was her boyfriend Marcus who hit her out of a bunch of whining and silence, and chases Marcus through the ER throwing things at him. Later she finds out Marcus - the ultimate Nice Guy - never touched Camille. She was wailing on him after his friend forwarded a nude pic to him and she mistakenly believed that he was cheating on her, and in the process tripped and hit her face on a defibrillator. (They were in an unmanned ambulance at the time.) Christina's response? "What were you thinking, laying your hands on a man? Do you know what he could have done to you?" So ... a boy hitting a girl is a crime bad enough to justify being chased through his place of work and having objects thrown at his head, but a girl hitting a boy is only bad because he might have to hurt her defending himself. Furthermore, Camille was perfectly content letting her mother believe Marcus hit her until Christina called in a police officer friend of hers. Later Camille tells Marcus that she only went so crazy on him because she loves him.
    • In Glee, Quinn is constantly verbally abusive towards Finn, repeatedly telling him he's stupid, attempting to control his hobbies and activities. She is also willing to let Finn raise and pay for a child that isn't even his (he's in the dark about this fact), pretty massively affecting his life. When he eventually finds out the kid isn't his and dumps her, it's clear that we're supposed to see him in the right and her as a bitch. Despite that she and Finn resumed their relationship for some time the next season.
    • Terri does quite a bit of the same to Will, and has the audacity to wonder why she needed to resort to faking a pregnancy to keep Will around.
    • That's My Bush! inverted this by parodying The Honeymooners famous line, "One of this days, to the Moon, Alice!" Bush would say, "One of these days, Laura, I'm gonna punch you in the face!". It should be noted that he never hit his wife and even in the show itself, it was just supposed to be a joke. It received a lot of complaints from audience members who felt that even joking about such a thing was terrible. The creators of the show (Trey Parker and Matt Stone) must've heard said complaints because later episodes change the line to, "I'm gonna punch you in the face! Then the stomach! Then the face again!"
    • Law and Order Special Victims Unit, of all the things. Although there are exceptions, an example of this is "Taboo" - in which a man and his twenty-year-old daughter were having an affair. Despite their protests that it was consensual (arguable but near impossible to prove) and the DA's assurances that it was a relatively low-level crime, Anvilicious Olivia Benson went storming around determined to prosecute the man for incest (ignoring the fact that the adult woman would also have to be prosecuted), attempting to browbeat the girl into admitting that he raped her and had knowledge of the two children of theirs she killed (which he didn't). She even yelled, "SO ELLA [the woman] GETS ATTEMPTED MURDER AND HE GETS OFF?" at one point—well, yes, Olivia, that is what happens when a woman commits infanticide.
    • Another Law and Order Special Victims Unit example: in a Season 12 episode, Olivia argued that, if a man and woman went upstairs drunk to have sex, it's all the man's fault. Regardless of circumstances. So, if the man and woman go upstairs equally drunk and the man is the same/more affected than the woman, it's the man's fault! If a woman gets slightly drunk and the man is completely hammered to the point of being unable to understand what's going on - it's not woman/male rape, it's the man's fault! It's a particularly egregious examples since in several episodes, when any of her colleagues try to play Double Standard Rape (Female on Male) straight, Olivia has been outraged and done everything possible to avert this trope. Since any series that stays on the air long enough will eventually accumulate episodes where Flanderization and the Idiot Ball drive the plot. Olivia, as the iconic feminist archetype, ends up an example of this trope when it's her turn to run the idiot ball for an episode, and subverts it when she gets to play defense against it.
      • And yet another example of playing it straight occured last season, when a man was raped by several women, and Elliot is reluctant to believe him or go after the offenders. Later on there was an episode with a teenage boy who revealed he had been repeatedly molested as a little boy by his babysitter, and both subvert this trope by reacting with due horror and concern.
    • In the fourth episode of How I Met Your Mother Ted dates a girl who, it transpires, studies Krav Maga. Granted, he acts like a jerk towards her, but the public beating she doles out to him at the episode's end - during which no one in the crowded restaurant attempts to help or intervene - is hardly justified. To make matters worse, when he tells his friends, and even his children, what happened, all any of them do is laugh because he 'got beat [sic] up by a girl'. Even worse, in the 21st episode of the fifth season Ted reveals that the crowd in the restaurant cheered her on. Furthermore, for anyone who knows a little about Krav Maga, an Israeli martial art. The premise behind it is that, in a real fight, no quarter is given to the enemy. You fight to inflict maximum pain and damage in order to accomplish your goal and ensure your safety. Everything is permitted, including eye-gouching and Groin Attacks.
    • NCIS S3 Ep14, "Light Sleeper", subverted this. The initial suspect in the murder of a Korean woman is her Marine husband. Their neighbor claimed she frequently heard them screaming at each other, leading her to believe that husband was abusive. However, the husband reveals to Gibbs that she was the abusive one and proves by lifting up his shirt to reveal a large burn mark where she hit him with an iron. The woman is later revealed to have been a North Korean sleeper agent.
      • Another example in the Season 6 finale "Aliyah", when an emotionally distraught Ziva, upset that Tony shot her murderous, rogue Mossad boyfriend to death in easily justifiable self defense, pins Tony to the ground and points her loaded pistol at his chest. Despite the immense severity of this act, it is brushed aside with nary a mention, and Ziva is treated as the one who was wronged.
    • Slightly complicated example with Amy and Rory in Doctor Who. Although she's clearly in love with him and has breakdowns when he's in trouble or dead, while he's perfectly happy with being the submissive one, she's a Broken Bird with abandonment issues and so will take him for granted reasonably often. She's been much better after the cracks have gone, but according to "The God Complex", she's apparently hit him hard enough to knock him to the floor.
      • It's very complicated because Rory is also The Last Centurion, a 2000 year old figure who has written himself into Earth's legends as the ultimate Badass (which he lives up to on several occasions). Amy is a tough girl but any retaliation he might take against her might be seen as unnecessarily cruel.
      • Rory's true character is shown in the episode where he's trying to find Amy, who has gone missing. As he's facing down dozens of Cybermen, he doesn't bat an eyelash when the Doctor destroys an entire Cyberfleet with thousands of Cybermen aboard and calmly offers to repeat the question as to the location of Amy.
    • Played for dark laughs on 30 Rock when it's revealed Frank had a sexual relationship with his attractive eighth-grade teacher:

    Pete: Guys, a teacher preying on a student is wrong... if the teacher is male and the student is female. What happened to Frank is awesome.

      • Something else involving a female teacher and male student is discussed in The George Lopez Show. After the neighborhood discovers a sex offender moved in down the street, they form a mob and go over to beat him up...only to discover that the offender is actually female, and she admits she had sex with her underage student and she's in therapy for it. Everyone except Angie just shrugs and decides to leave her alone because she's a girl and, as George thinks, the boy was lucky to have gotten to sleep with her. Later Subverted when he thinks Max may have slept with her and realizes that regardless of the genders, abuse is abuse.
    • Averted in the Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior episode "Smother": the town tried to get the unsub's mother arrested because she was still breastfeeding her son at the age of seven, but without signs of further abuse, they weren't able to do anything. Later her son confesses he was abused, and the mother kidnaps another boy to continue the cycle. Everything is taken seriously.
    • Averted by Kamen Rider Double where Saeko's verbal and physical abuse of Kirihiko is shown to be pretty much as bad as it is, building her up to be more villainous and leading to a Redemption Equals Death arc for him.
      • Akiko's constant physical and verbal abuse of Shotaro (who is technically both her tenant and employee, and thus would risk eviction from his home and unemployment of himself and his dysfunctional sidekick Philip if he protested too much) is always Played for Laughs, however.
    • Averted in Frasier regarding Maris's treatment of Niles, but that may have been because the abuse was mostly emotional and psychological rather than physical. It may also be because Maris was never seen onscreen, meaning that her actions were described rather than seen, and things that could have been Played for Laughs in action suddenly didn't seem so funny when described out loud.
    • Subverted on Degrassi as Jenna hitting KC with her guitar is treated seriously and the first sign that she's losing it dealing with the pressure of being a teen mom.
      • Played straight by a large part of the fandom however with that moment being listed as a Crowning Moment of Awesome.
    • Averted in The IT Crowd when Roy gets kissed on his butt by a masseuse. Although Jen finds it hysterical, no one else finds it a laughing matter and Roy presumably wins a court case against him.
    • A lighter example, but the entire UPN series The Parkers (starring Monique years before Precious and BET's The Monique Show) was built on this trope. Despite Professor Oglevee constantly giving [Monique's character] Nicki Parker numerous signs that he's not interested in her, she still harasses and stalks him on a regular basis, and keeps telling everyone else (especially other women Professor Oglevee may be attracted to) that he's her man. At one point, it went to the extreme of Oglevee getting drugged to lower his inhibitions to sleep with Nicki. All Played for Laughs of course, but if any male on any sitcom behaved similarly for the five years that passed during The Parkers series run, he'd have been arrested around episode two (in fact, when one of Nicki's ex-boyfriends forcibly tried to marry her if she lost a poker match, he's portrayed as evil). The most infuriating thing though came from the series finale. Despite Nicki finally moving on and getting married to someone else, Professor Oglevee crashes her wedding to profess his secret love to her all along; convinced, of all people and of all places, by his reflection in a mirror, reminding him of all the good things he'll miss about Nicki (as opposed to the harassment 95% of the time). So ladies, if you got your eye on a man that you think is your soulmate, bug the crap out of him until he loves you back!
    • Played straight in the US version of Shameless. After Steve pulls a terribly stupid prank Fiona actually punches him in the face, knocking him down. Because the prank was stupid, it's treated as though he deserved the beating and at no point does she apologize (he in fact must apologize to her for the prank with the physical abuse a non-issue).
    • Malcolm in the Middle. While Lois isn't shown as being physically abusive to the boys, she certainly has a temper to her and is guilty of Financial Abuse too. Consider if the genders were reversed, then it'd probably be more of a Soap Opera than a Sitcom. It's also deconstructed since Francis, the eldest son, is shown to hate his mother for what she put him through, and now that he's out of the house realizes that she's a Complete Monster.
      • This is also subverted because Francis was quite a hellion when growing up, causing much of the distrust.
    • Virginia Grey Sylar's adopted mother also his aunt on Heroes serves as (part of) Sylar's Freudian Excuse as to why he became a head-chopping Serial Killer. It's telling that in a moment of conscience Sylar would sooner call his Arch Enemy then call his mother. She was at least very emotionally abusive to her son to the point where he developed a massive inferiority complex needing to be "Special"... no matter the cost. In their scene together she's seen slapping him and when she learns of his powers, she reacts much like the mother in Carrie: she calls him a demon and tries to kill him with a pair of scissors.
    • Averted in Father Ted with John and Mary. They are both horribly abusive to one another, verbally and physically. Violence from either party towards the other is always played for laughs and Mary gives just as good as She gets.
    • Coronation Street managed to subvert it as uber bitch Tracy Barlow was constantly manipulating Steve to get money out of him for their daughter and sometimes just for the hell of it. One episode saw Steve get his own back where he insulted Tracy in the pub and compared her to his ex-wife. This pissed Tracy off and she punched him in the face. Steve immediately phoned the police and Tracy ended up spending the night in jail for assault.
    • British puppet adult comedy series Mongrels has an episode (first of the second series) that could be argued either way. The episode's song on the matter ("Just A Little Tap On The Nose") literally says it's okay to abuse males but uses stereotypically male excuses for domestic abuse (playing it down, rationalising) to the point that it becomes rather squick. This is probably deliberate. Also, Destiny is literally a female dog and doesn't get a happy ending.
    • In The Office (US Version) episode "Test the Store," Andy gets punched by a young girl, and when the office finds out, they ridicule him. Somewhat subverted when the girl's mother forces her to apologize. But, Andy later gets punched by Kelly, and it's again Played for Laughs.
    • Averted in New Girl. Schmidt is the only male in his workplace and is often on the receiving end of psychological abuse from his female co-workers which includes dismissing his work, passing him over for promotions, harassing him constantly, insulting his appearance and degrading him and destroying his self-esteem at every opportunity. While it is played for laughs, the women are still shown as being very much in the wrong and characters even point out how fucked up the situation is. Interestingly it can also be seen as a motive behind Schmidt's constant cockiness, his objectification of women and his control freak tendencies, making him a more three dimensional character.
    • Step by Step : Both played straight and averted in the episode in which Mark is being picked on by a bully named "Max," which turns out to be short for Maxine. Frank is disgusted that Mark is "letting" a girl push him around, and he can't believe that Carol isn't embarrassed by her son's behavior. The fact that the girl in question is twice Mark's size doesn't seem to matter to Frank. Fortunately for Mark, though, the rest of the family doesn't share Frank's sexist views. Despite her antagonistic relationship with her stepsiblings, Al sticks up for Mark, and threatens to beat Max up if she doesn't lay off him. Later, Mark stands up to Max, who immediately backs down. Unaware that Al had intimidated Max into backing off, Mark eagerly tells the family what he did. Frank and Carol figure out what Al did, but they and Al all let Mark believe he did it himself. The entire family, Frank included, are proud of both Mark (for standing up for himself) and Al (for sticking up for Mark).
    • Averted on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, in one episode Kira and Odo are reading over the criminal activity reports and when they get to the assault, Kira asks why the hell the husband stays with his wife when she beats him so often. Later that same night they were arrested for "Public Lewdness." Which brings up another trope to try and justify why he stays.


    • In Welcome to Room 305 Yoon Sung accidentally punched a woman and was kicked out of a pub and gets berated it continuously (even though he later apologised and the woman in question forgave him). Later his sister physically beats and bruises him enough that he doesn't want to leave the house (which was her intent) and nobody batted an eyelid.



    "'Misery' is about the desperation of wanting someone really badly in your life but having it be very difficult. Kind of what all the songs I write are about. I'm not treading on new ground, but I think a lot of people – including myself – deal with that all the time. Relationships are difficult, and it's good therapy to write about them." (source)

    • When Florence + the Machine's "Kiss With A Fist" came out, a number of critics condemned it for its Romanticized Abuse overtones—fair enough, except that they all seemed to see the female singer as the poor, innocent victim, despite the fact that she's clearly giving as good as she gets (she hits him, slaps him, sets fire to his bed, breaks his jaw...).
    • Carrie Underwood's "Before He Cheats" is all about a woman destroying her boyfriend's car because of the cheating he might be doing. The video says she was right in her unconfirmed suspicions, but there's no way she would be able to get away with it with the genders reversed.
      • Let's see: "I dug my key into the side/Of her pretty little souped-up 4 wheel drive/Carved my name into her leather seat/I took a Louisville slugger to both head lights/Slashed a hole in all 4 tires/And maybe next time she'll think before she cheats". Um, yeah. Changing four pronouns changes the connotations quite a bit.
      • She wouldn't even get away with it in the real world regardless of whether or not her boyfriend/husband was actually unfaithful. Infidelity isn't illegal, vandalism is.
    • The video for Christina Aguilera's "Can't Hold Us Down" has an entire street full of women ganging up on all the men and spraying them with a fire hose. Why? Because one guy grabbed Christina's ass as she walked by. I guess Xtina believes in collective punishment.
    • In the Offspring song "Self Esteem", the singer describes himself as being pushed around and generally mistreated by his girlfriend, but he lets her get away with it because he's "got no self esteem". However, if we were to flip the gender roles in the song, it would turn into a really not okay situation that would have the critics ranting.
      • It's really hard to say where the song falls on this. It could be interpreted as a straight example... or as actually mocking the kind of mindset that says it's better to put up with an abusive, cheating, hateful girlfriend because it's better than being single and "not getting any".
    • In what is supposed to be comedic (presumably) but comes off as just seriously disturbing is the music video for "I Pray for You" by Jaron and the Long Road to Love. The song itself is about the narrator grumbling about an ex-girlfriend who has treated him badly and praying all sorts of horrible things happen to her. But the video is just sadistic. The video starts with the man walking into the house, where his girlfriend throws several vases at his head and a hot cup of coffee in his face. The next scene has the man tied up in a bathtub full of water while his girlfriend teasingly dangles a hairdryer over him! The the man gives her a teddy bear. She cuddles it close and then kicks him in the crotch. She then proceeds to try and smother him with the teddy bear.Later, she lays a trip-wire of dental floss that makes him fall down the stairs. And when he tries to leave, she runs over his car with a monster truck. And this is played as funny. If the gender roles were reversed, this would probably be the music video to a tragic song about the horrors of domestic violence.

    Newspaper Comics

    • Dilbert. The character Alice has a short, violent temper and often punches men with her "Fist of Death". This is always Played for Laughs. Then again, the comic plays everything for laughs. At least Alice is treated as the violent nutcase that she is.
    • Peanuts could be considered a case of this. Lucy is always throwing her weight around and slugging the other kids (not just Charlie Brown - probably her most frequent target is her own little brother Linus), but the comic never really makes it seem like she's in the right or sympathetic - often calling her a "fussbudget". The other kids never really call her out on this or try to stand up to her though, and she rarely gets in trouble. Although in the case of the kids standing up to her, they might just not want to get on her bad side, and as for her getting in trouble, There Are No Adults.
      • Shulz also went on record in several interviews as saying that while a boy bullying a girl wouldn't be seen as funny, the gender reversal in a girl bullying a boy would be seen as funny.
    • In Bringing Up Father, the title character Jiggs would often have various kitchenware thrown at him by his wife. An early Mad Magazine parody from The Fifties deconstructed this by having an Art Shift on every other page where Jiggs is suddenly drawn realistically, and is covered in blood, scars, and has missing teeth due to his wife's beatings.
    • Likewise, in For Better or For Worse, Elly would sling coffee mugs and similar objects at her husband John from time to time, particularly in its declining years as he faded Out of Focus by spending all his free time playing with his trains.
    • Played for laughs in one strip of Luann, where apparently the classic sawing-a-girl-in-half trick is seen as violence against women. When Bernice suggests sawing Gunther in half, the counselor doesn't see a problem with it.
    • Averted in Calvin and Hobbes, where Calvin and Susie beat each other up in roughly equal amounts and are both portrayed as just typical vendetta-driven kids being kids.
      • Played with even, Word of God indicates that this is their way of liking each other.

    Professional Wrestling

    • TNA Impact has had a rule imposed on it by Spike TV that they can never, ever show men using violence against women. The reverse of this is not true, and, as TNA discovered when they ran a storyline where Cody Deaner stole the women's championship belt and claimed to be the champion, this applies even within the confines of a sanctioned wrestling match. Therefore, every single match where a woman was trying to reclaim the belt had the woman absolutely beat the crap out of Deaner for 3-4 minutes, with Deaner getting absolutely no offense whatsoever in, only for him to either win in the end with a fluke roll up, or lose and sneak away with the belt anyway. The aftereffects of this basically killed his TNA career.
    • Much like the above, the WWE video games have almost the same standard. A man can't hit a woman at all, whether it be by accident, self-defense, or in a sanctioned match without being disqualified. The only time a man and a woman can be in the same match are if a woman comes out with a guy, or in a mixed tag match, where if a man tags in a woman, he has to leave the ring or get a DQ. A man can be disqualified for hitting a woman, even if she isn't part of the match at all.
      • WWE itself had this as a standard for years after it went mainstream, exploiting it to the max—merely threatening a woman was a way to create instant heel heat. Then they exploited it again when they introduced Chyna, who intentionally used this trope to smack around male wrestlers without repercussion.

    Video Games

    • Final Fight is known for replacing female antagonists (such as Poison and Roxy) with males in the console adaptations of the arcade games. Because... well, you know. It's not right for a man to abuse a woman and all that stuff. Made even more egregious when both the second and third sequels featured a female protagonist. It's also perfectly O.K. to beat up trans people and men in drag, as Poison's identity as a "newhalf" started with Capcom trying to get around not being able to show women being beat up by claiming Roxy and Poison weren't really women.
      • Became really strange with some later iterations of the franchise, as the Capcom translation team wanted to declare Values Dissonance Early Installment Weirdness on Poison being a transwoman and just say she was a ciswoman again (since, you know, she was). This sparked outrage, with feminists feeling that having Poison no longer trans was trans erasure, until Capcom relented.
    • Contrast to the aversion in Double Dragon, where the "Linda"-class enemies show no mercy, and expect none. Of course, Linda's usually depicted as a mannish-muscular woman with a mohawk, which raises its own set of unfortunate implications.
      • And averted in the Battletoads/Double Dragon crossovers. In this one, Linda's a buxom long-haired blonde in camo pants and a tight shirt - and the Toads and Dragons hold her up in the air by her hair and punch her in the stomach repeatedly.
    • Averted in The Sims 2. When a Sim has an affair, the cheated-on-Sim will slap the cheater regardless of either sims' gender. However, there was a thread on the official site's forum that scolded the game producers for allowing male sims to slap females. The poster didn't mention women slapping men at all.
    • Averted in The "Wicked and Weak" ending of Silent Hill: Shattered Memories. Especially that last glimpse at the camera which is held by the couple's young daughter.
    • Apparently murder is okay if it's female on male in the Dead or Alive world, as an Accidental Pervert is thrown off a fast moving train in one of the endings.
    • Final Fantasy XIII: Lightning spends a good portion of the storyline psychologically (and occasionally physically) attacking her soon-to-be brother-in-law Snow. While it's not exactly Played for Laughs, she's never really called out on it, and a large segment of the fandom cheers when she does it. Sazh has been hit a few times as well, and Fang more than once. Hell, there's a scene where she pushes Hope out of her way.
    • The game Hey Baby is a complex case (the targets are not innocent and the setting isn't normalising the violence in the way that many entries in this list are), but the idea that violent reactions are more acceptable if they're aimed by women at men does appear to be at work.
    • Tekken 3's ending for Mokujin has his wife gives him a Megaton Punch both in the beginning and the end of the scene.
    • The web-game The Boyfriend Trainer, where you play as a girl who abuses her boyfriend so that he can become the "perfect boyfriend."
    • In Persona 3, Ryoji and Junpei joke around about staying in the hot springs past the allotted time for men, even though they actually panic when girls start coming in for real. When they hear Mitsuru come in also, Akihiko all but freaks out, saying that she'd give them all a Fate Worse Than Death if she catches them in the hot spring—the same Akihiko that is otherwise fearless (bordering on Blood Knight) when facing Eldritch Abominations in an Eldritch Location every night and has been Mitsuru's best and oldest friend for years. When Junpei says that they'd just explain and apologize to the girls, Akihiko insists that it wouldn't matter to Mitsuru, she would "execute them" anyway. And indeed, if you fail to escape after a stealth-action minigame ensues, the girls are righteously enraged by the guys' presence and Mitsuru follows through with this "execution" that reduces all men to quivering wrecks by the next day, and has the girls either berating them or giving them the silent treatment for at least the following week.
    • Persona 4 had a few scenes of this:
      • In the first class trip, a camping trip in the country, Yosuke proposes going swimming at the river because he wants to see the girls (Chie and Yukiko) in bathing suits. They refuse, but reluctantly agree when he shows he brought suits for everyone. At this point, the Main Character can compliment one, the other, or both girls, and they'll respond favorably to this. When Yosuke compliments them and Kanji suffers a subtle Nosebleed, they push all three guys off a cliff and into the river below (a river that is only waist-deep.) Lucky for them the Soft Water, and not the riverbed, broke their fall.
      • Another incident with a hot spring happens when the gang relaxes at the Amagi Inn. The guys go to take a bath at the spa and get assaulted by the girls, who are currently inside and think the guys have showed up to peep. It later turns out the girls showed up during the men's hours and were completely in the wrong, but later laugh off their assault on the guys.
    • Catherine features a scene wherein Catherine seriously beats up Vincent and all his friends laugh it off and ignore it. It's actually subverted once it's revealed that they can't see Catherine and as far as they knew Vincent was alone and making weird noises.
    • Played straight with Rita in Tales of Vesperia, who will repeatedly hit Raven or Karol. This is usually just treated as a quirk of her personality, rather than a serious flaw. While Raven arguably deserves it for some of his more lecherous comments, sometimes she hits him/uses magic on him just because he's annoying her, and her abuse of Karol is almost completely unprovoked.
    • After getting beaten by Yui Mizuhara in Battle Golfer Yui, Mitsuru Hagata is turned on by Yui abusing him. Yui has to verbally abuse him in order to get some answers.

    Yui: You wanna take a pitch to the back of your head?!
    Hagata: Beat me with a metal bat, my Mistress!


    Web Comics

    • There is a strip in Sexy Losers where the author reverses the genders of Kenta and his horny mom (leaving them a teenage girl being sexually molested by her middle aged father). The audience he's presenting his gender-flipped version to beats the crap out of him. Making sure to completely point out the Double Standard that people let him get away with it due to this trope, he even says in the final panel "It's the same damn joke!"
    • PvP plays with it here and for a few other strips - Jade is genuinely surprised Cole and Brent hate being play-punched by her. The entire Double Standard is brought up in the next strip. Jade (very grudgingly... and all the while maintaining that the men are being ridiculous for even protesting her punching them in the first place) agrees to stop.
    • Heartbreakingly averted in Digger. The reason Ed--by leagues the gentlest character in the strip, mind--was exiled was because, after constant abuse from his wife, he found out she was also abusing their child, and killed her while she slept. Then being hyenas the females are stronger--and the one's with combat training--he wouldn't have stood a chance in a fair fight. Ed is a male but to hyenas gender roles are reversed, it's possibly more accurate to think of this as a male abusing a female. Regardless, the tribal elders were completely on Ed's side but failed to prevent his exile. They still feel guilty for that, and the main reason Ed was still exiled even though the elders thought he was in the right was that (much like British law) tribal law made no allowances for the situation; if anything like this had happened before, there were enough key details missing that the law was predicated on the notion that wives just plain don't provoke their husbands into killing them, and they certainly don't do so to a degree that makes their husband the good guy.
    • Looking for Group has an extreme example in that when Pella cuts off Richard's hand some fans actually started shipping them! Admittedly his hand got better, and all things considered, her doing that was about as significant to him as a slap on the wrist. Richard seems to find her methods of dealing with him amusing.
    • In Sluggy Freelance, Gwynn beating up male cast members is Played for Laughs.
    • Discussed in Misfile. One day at school, Ash, a very reluctant male-to-female Gender Bender, punches a long-standing male rival in response to extreme—but purely verbal—provocation. A physical confrontation results, and the rival gets a severe punishment, while Ash gets off very lightly. Ash irritably notes that this is completely unfair, since he threw the first punch, and was only treated differently because he is "female". Ash is upset both about yet another reminder that he's "a girl", and the sexist Double Standard .
    • In Twokinds, Flora ripping through Eric's shirt and leaving bloody gashes on his chest is played for laughs. Eric's brother pulling his slave Katharine's hair makes him a dickhead.
    • In Schlock Mercenary, the female mercs often send male mercs to the infirmary needing reconstructive surgery, in response to accidental insults or reflexive lechery. The reverse never happens, and the women are never punished. And on occasion the female doctor performs said reconstructive surgery without pain relievers because of finding out about said "chauvinism".
    • Subverted in Questionable Content when a woman who drives around in a vespa attacking boys who are awful to their girlfriends is stopped by Martin and Faye. When they ask her to imagine a guy doing the same to women who treat their boyfriends like crap, she says that she'd have no problem with that...and ask for his phone number. In the same comic, the fact that Faye uses Martin as a punching bag is shown to be the result of severe mental trauma, and she gets called out on it more than once and tries to be better about it, mostly shifting to snark as the comic goes on.
      • Actually not that subverted. Faye's abuse is still often Played for Laughs as much as it is a "cry for help", and a sign that she needs help and tolerance. Meanwhile, when Sven has sex with another woman after having sex with her (after her repeated insistence that she was not in a relationship with him and her refusal to actually acknowledge an emotional connection with him, and him telling her he had no intention of being monogamous with her), he is treated as having crossed some sort of Moral Event Horizon by all and sundry. Basically, the strip treats female violence against men as not being okay... because it means the female is suffering, not the male. Men are still expected to be moral paragons lest they be classified as abusers.
    • Bittersweet Candy Bowl, Lucy's past habits of violence. She got better. Also eventually deconstructed with how this affected Mike's opinion of her in the long run; he becomes very bitter, to the point where his repeated rejections and denials of her feelings for him become emotionally abusive.
      • You'd have trouble convincing a lot of the fans of Lucy's misbehavior though.
    • The Ciem Webcomic Series averts it hard. Both sexes are treated exactly the same, with everyone being either a Complete Pincushion or Complete Monster. Poison Dart Eddie's attempts to drug Candi and Amy stand out as particularly contemptible. Candi only gets off the hook for stinging him because she was trying to spare other women from becoming victims of a serial rapist. Her burning Don to death becomes a haunting guilt that terrorizes her throughout her life, in spite the fact that he had already tried to burn her to death and tried to rape her. However, Kelsea Linney blowing up the Levens family's house is depicted as her crossing the Moral Event Horizon. She gets no sympathy for the false stalking allegations she makes against Denny either, especially since she stole his debit card for no reason.
      • Played a little straighter in chapter 24 than elsewhere, but only because the Kerpher Gang is made up of child molesters.
      • The book is also a bit straighter, as Candi discovers after Don's death that It Gets Easier when she snuffs a vampire. Granted, it was self defense both times, and she still despised having to kill, but she is fully aware of the slippery slope she's on.
    • The implications of Double Standard Abuse (Female on Male) in an episode of House are explored in this FUU Comic. A woman commits credit fraud, puts nude pictures of him up on the internet and steals his facebook account. The moral? Chase is wrong for spurning her because they were sexually incompatible.
    • Wayward Sons: Hermaz snarks one too many times, so Ethaynia uses her power to castrate him. Fortunately, he and most of the other characters have a Healing Factor.
    • Dan Of Footloose is quite often smacked about the head by his sister, at no point does he retaliate. None of the others seem to have a problem with this.
    • In The Whiteboard, the male characters are quite free to beat up other male character and the female characters are quite free to beat up male characters. This strip and the one after it shows that Pirta hit Doc hard enough for him to have another near death experience.
    • Toyed with in Homestuck, though not so much in-story as in the fandom's interpretations of it. Vriska harasses and torments Tavros from the very start of the troll's arc, having paralyzed him and then demanding he apologize for being handicapped because he was weighing her down. This is all presented up-front without comment, since most of the trolls are somewhat morally dubious by human standards. But some fans have responded that Vriska's actions were justified, since she was 'only trying to help.' But if the genders were reversed, most readers would find Vriska's psychological abuse to be outright unacceptable, opening up a whole minefield of Unfortunate Implications.
    • In Greg there are many instances where Greg gets abused by women. Here he is, taking it in the family jewels. Here he is getting his skull bashed in.
    • Dumbing of Age: Joyce, an extremely sheltered girl entering college, honestly believes punching Joe has no effect as men are stronger than women. He very much does not think this is so.

    Joe: Pray for me? Maybe I'll pray for you to learn it's not cool to punch people in the face!
    Joyce: But... but... guys can't actually get hurt by a girl. Guys are, like, strong.


    Western Animation

    • Janet Barch from Daria is the pure, unadulterated, research-grade form of this trope. The show portrays her as being violently unhinged in early episodes, which is where most of the actual abuse is confined to. Later episodes portray her as something of a Defrosting Ice Queen as she begins a relationship with Mr. O'Neill, which is portrayed as being weird but not necessarily dysfunctional. ("The F Word" does seem to imply some consensual "abuse" in their sex life, though.)
    • In the animated adaptation of Wayside School, Maurecia, an Action Girl with a crush on Only Sane Man (and Butt Monkey) Todd, hits her love interest with an unprovoked Megaton Punch every chance she gets. She never gets in trouble for this, even when a teacher has seen what happened—although Todd sometimes does. The punches are implied to be something like a sign of Maurecia's affection, or her confusion about her own feelings, and in either case, totally harmless. Although Todd always rebuffs Maurecia's romantic advances (the only way in which he "provokes" the abuse), he still considers her a friend, spends a lot of time around her, and never, ever complains to a teacher about getting Punched Across the Room. And this is all in a series aimed at children...
    • Half-played, but half-averted in Hey Arnold!. Helga regularly harasses characters in the series, especially Arnold and Brainy (who has a tendency to appear behind her and get punched after he breathes down her neck). Averted when a psychiatrist does visit PS 118, spots her behaviour, and immediately wishes to assess it. By the end of the episode, when Helga asks if she can still punch Briany, she's told, "No, that's the reason why you're here". Granted, it's not entirely a punishment, but she did get repercussions for her bully tendencies.
      • Also, in one episode Arnold is fed up with Helga verbally abusing him in art class, and after she throws glue and feathers on him (and then laughs at him, shouting to the whole class "Arnold's a bird!"), he retaliates by throwing a cup of paint on her. The teacher, who never did anything when Helga abused him, is shocked at Arnold and sends him to the principal's office, and his grandparents are notified.
    • Averted in The Cleveland Show. Although it's Played for Laughs, the characters never act like it's okay that their friend is being beaten by his girlfriend or mock him about it, and the main plot of the episode is about trying to get her away from him.
      • Family Guy did a similar episode, satirizing this.
      • If its a Seth MacFarlane show, its going to have this. Family Guy is also never above using violence from either sex against the other as comedic fodder, finding dark humor in it.
    • Raven's frequent smacking of Beast Boy, either physically or telekinetically, is almost always Played for Laughs in Teen Titans due to the cartoonish style of the serie.
    • Occurred on Total Drama Island, but ten times worse during Total Drama Action as Courtney ascended to Jerk Sue status. She has kicked her love interest, Duncan, in the crotch numerous times just in order to win competitions, and sometimes just for flirting with her when she was in a bad mood.
    • A non-romantic example: The way Gaz treats her older brother, Dib, on Invader Zim. Early episodes just portrayed her as threatening him but never doing much, but by the second season she had been Flanderized into beating him savagely for minor deeds, and Fan Fiction took that even farther and made her into a God Mode Sue Jerk Sue. Though Dib is only a year older than her and Gaz is clearly stronger than any normal child her age could be, the idea of her beating him in ways as bad or worse than an adult could are rarely played for anything but laughs. There is a small but vocal Hatedom of Gaz for this very reason, which often produce a genre of Fix Fics where Gaz suffers in some way for her actions. It also doesn't help that between their lack of a mom, their dad being at the lab all the time and usually only communicating with his kids through a screen, and the authority figures at their school being totally worthless, there really isn't anyone who seems willing to correct her behavior.
    • An early episode of South Park revolves around Stan being beaten and everyone being sympathetic toward him over it...until they find out that the one beating him up is his sister. Then they mock him and call him a pussy. This is despite the fact that Stan's sister is older and bigger than he is, and is also a violent sociopath.
      • Majorly averted though when they find out Ike is sleeping with his teacher. The obvious message of the episode is that it's statutory rape and still terrible. Of course, the adults in South Park are oblivious, and seem pretty much ok with it, subscribing Double Standard Rape (Female on Male). A policeman even said it wasn't a crime because "she's hot".
    • June towards Henry on KaBlam!.
    • Played with in The Simpsons. This is apparently so common, Springfield has a Men's Shelter. Bart and Lisa are a subversion, as the two of them have beaten up on each other repeatedly, and take as much as they dish out.
    • In Ed, Edd 'n' Eddy, the Eds are commonly beaten up by Ed's sister Sarah, not to mention all the times they've been possibly raped by the Kankers, who are the walking definitions of Do Not Want. Not only are the Kankers beasts, but the entire cul-de-sac is scared of them. So while their treatment of the Eds and anyone who annoys them is usually played for laughs, there are times that it is wrong and quite likely illegal, but those moments are never actually on screen and only inferred or alluded to. It's to the point that when they drag Eddy's brother away for 'mouth to mouth', it's viewed as his comeuppance. Granted, he's a Complete Monster that abuses Eddy but still...
    • Home Movies: Brendon is trying to stop an older kid from beating him up, and gets him to turn placid and mellowed out. Melissa, who was harboring a crush on the guy, angrily beats up Brendon for changing him.
    • Oddly played for laughs in Phineas and Ferb when a Super Villain is hit by a chair thrown by his wife, who then demands they go shopping for more "throwing chairs."
    • Muppet Babies: Piggy does this to Gonzo in almost every episode. When Gonzo Sweet talks Piggy into liking him, she gets very mad and beats him up in the most hilarious ways imaginable.
    • In the Ren and Stimpy episode "Ren's Bitter Half" near the end Ren's evil side decides to replicate himself so that the world will be full of Evil Rens, the first clone turns out to be female and they fall in love, near the end after they get married they playfully get into a fight, you will notice that none of his punches are able to strike her and she is able to beat him up all she wants.
    • Averted in the King of the Hill episode "Leanne's Saga". When Luanne's mother, Leanne, is released from jail, she stays with the Hills. She starts dating Bill. Things aren't too bad at first, even though she does show some gold digger tendencies, with her getting him to spend all his money for her, but after she succumbs to her alcoholism again, she starts to abuse Bill both physically and verbally. Even if the audience may be amused, the characters in the show are apalled by her behavior and treatment towards Bill. Leanne was also originally in jail for stabbing Luanne's father with a fork, and that he subsequently moved to an oil rig, refusing to come back to the mainland until Hank faxes him Leanne's death certificate. (This was later RetConned to him being in jail too, but still applies to the episode in question.)
    • In American Dad Francine frequently vents unstable violent tendancies on Stan, she once beat him mercilessly for forgetting their wedding anniversary, and once threatened to shoot him kneecaps off for another disception (which he only avoided by having her gun down his double by mistake). On both occasions they kiss and make up by the end. Granted however Stan is a Jerkass whose belitting treatment of Francine is also usually Played for Laughs (albeit in a verbal manner, the one time Stan was falsely implied to have beaten Francine, and at a much less brutal scale than the genuine occasions vise versa has happened, he was labelled a monster and jailed). There is also more than one episode where the couple have all out bloody fights with both sides giving and getting and at least one where he's implied to have been literally torturing her off camera. He also accidentally threw a javelin at her, although he was trying to hit a bear (It Makes Sense in Context). Luckily, she's still fine... then she's shot by Cleveland.
    • An episode of Batman the Brave And The Bold Triumvirate of Terror! shows this. Lex Luthor, Cheetah and Joker decide to switch arch enemies. Joker takes on Wonder Woman and subdues her using trickery and had earlier knocked out a heap of Amazons using laughing gas. Cheetah meanwhile takes on Superman and gives him a brutal beating (subverting Standard Female Grab Area in process). Joker is never seen hitting Wonder Woman and is stopped before he can, compared to Superman who is badly beaten and gets his costume torn in places. Wonder Woman is also the only one of the three heroes who is shown hitting Cheetah on screen.
      • Subverted in Night of the Huntress! with Batman punching Mrs.Manface saying "The hammers of Justice are unisex!"
    • The Proud Family plays this trope horribly straight. Oscar is beaten up, sometimes twice an episode, and usually by his wife or mother. Most of the times it's because he flirts with other women, which is of course wrong, but if Trudy ever flirts with another man and Oscar says something about it, he is portrayed as over-reacting. One particulary egregious example from one episode: Trudy makes a joke about leaving Oscar for Denzel Washington. Everyone laughs. Oscar makes a joke about leaving her for Halle Berry. Trudy and Penny glare at him before Trudy drops his foot, which was bandaged after an earlier accident.
    • In the Fairly Oddparents, Vicky's abuse of Timmy. While she's quite obviously a villian and many times her treatment of Timmy is Played for Laughs; ask yourself this question-If the show centered around a ten year girl who was being terrorized by a sixteen year old boy, would the audience be as amused, or as tolerant of it? In addition, Timmy has been stripped down to his underwear by Vicky and many times forced to wear a dress. Think of the audience reaction if this were a teenage boy doing this to a little girl.

    Other Media

    • This YouTube video shows how this trope is used in both TV and movies along with All Abusers Are Male and discusses how they affect people’s perception of them in the real world.
    • Very common in Real Life. Men who are victims of domestic abuse often find getting help extremely difficult because the police and social services tend to follow this trope to a T. In some places there have even been rules that in the case of a domestic abuse call, the man is arrested even if he was the one who called for help. Abuse to men goes unreported far more often because men are less willing to ask for help, and the instances of abuse tend to be more dangerous because women more often use a weapon in the attack.
      • As Kevin Hart put it, a man could call the police because his girlfriend/wife is physically attacking him and get arrested if "he grasped at her as he fell."
      • There was an advice column letter in The Toronto Star a few years ago on this very subject. A male abuse victim wrote in saying that his wife would often punch him during arguments, and that he didn't know what to do. He also mentioned he had several male friends who suffered abuse from their wives or girlfriends as well, including one who was put in the hospital as a result. None of them seem to have even considered going to the police, or leaving. And the letter really, really heavily emphasized that the man would never hit his wife—he repeated this point so many times, the letter almost sounded like he was the one apologizing for something. So, the (female) columnist's advice? "Remember that your wife might be under a lot of pressure at work, avoid assigning blame, and consider couples therapy."
      • A small newspaper in Colorado had several advice columns regarding this trope and verbal abuse. A 17 year old male wrote about concerns his mother was becoming quite violent, especially since she would constantly get very angry at him and verbally abuse him for even the smallest screw-ups, such as bringing home a C- grade, dropping something, accidentally hitting a nail in the road, etc. Not only would she constantly criticize him, but she'd also do the same for her husband and the writer's brother. The female advice columnist advised the boy to listen to her a little more, since she only wants the best for him, and acknowledge that she's probably under a lot of pressure and stress as a mother of two teenagers. A later letter, written by a mother of two, complained of her husband doing nearly the exact same thing. This time, the advice columnist said, "That sort of behaviour is really not okay. Verbal abuse can hurt just as much as physical abuse!".
      • Advice columnists are improving on this, slightly. Numerous advice letters written by men describing abusive behavior from their wives and girlfriends are now often labeled as abuse. However, counselors don't always advise the man to end the relationship (whereas they would always tell a woman to do so) and if they do, they don't mention anything like calling a domestic violence hotline, seeking shelter, and filing a restraining order (again, advice they would always give to a woman).
      • A recent letter to Dear Abby was from a woman who was horrified to realize that she was an abuser, but determined to get help and redeem herself. Abby responds by lavishing praise on the woman for her insight and for her decision to get help, and assures her that with sufficient counseling, she should be able to function normally in a relationship. Would she have heaped such praise on a man who achieved similar insight? The fact that the woman recognized the pattern of behavior is encouraging, so perhaps Abby would have been as supportive of a male abuser. That said, it could definitely go either way.
    • Nobody seemed to suspect Dave Pelzer's mother of child abuse for quite awhile, frequently blaming Dave Pelzer's injuries on nobody but himself. Amusingly, when his brother Richie became the scapegoat, nobody also seemed to step in or even notice anything was up.
    • As noted above regarding the TV miniseries about the incident, LA socialite Betty Broderick's husband dumped her for a younger woman after nearly 20 years of marriage. She spent the next several years stalking, harassing, and terrorizing them before finally breaking into their home in the middle of the night and fatally shooting them as they lay in bed. In the ensuing trial, her lawyers portrayed BETTY as the victim, implying that her crime was one of self-defense and that she had simply snapped after years of emotional abuse. It seems the jury didn't buy it, though, since she got 32 years to life, and her parole committee is apparently aware of this trope.
    • Kate Gosselin. She did some pretty terrible things to John, among them keeping him from going to his own mother's funeral. What was really annoying, even frightening, about the show was how many people (in blogs, message boards, reviews, etc.) whitewashed Kate's manipulation as just being a 'little bit stressed.' John wasn't exactly an angel either, but their justifying comments probably have an unpleasant real-world effect on people who might also be involved with an emotionally abusive person.
    • In one of the many pointless late night shows in the UK displaying CCTV recordings from various suburban areas multiple Double Standards were presented one after another during one clip. The scene showed a dispute between a couple which had turned violent, the girlfriend of the pair repeatedly hitting, punching, and attacking the boyfriend for well over a minute while he blocked her attacks. The only response he gave was repeated requests for her to stop until he finally took action, grabbed one punch and pinned her against a wall. Only to be body slammed and set upon by several people who had been watching while this took place, but did nothing while the girlfriend was attempting to beat him senseless. They then pushed him to the ground and began a literal No-Holds-Barred Beatdown. Eventually after several minutes he was allowed to limp away with the narrator informing the audience that he was sentenced for several months of his 'assault' and made a snarky comment about treating women better. Also contains some interesting Moral Dissonance since the bystanders "protected" a "defenseless" girl... by beating the crap out of her attacker using their numerical superiority.
    • Viciously deconstructed in What Would You Do. When the man is abusing the woman, people were quick to step in and stop him. When the woman abused the man, it took hours of filming and over 150 people passed by (including a police officer) before someone stepped in and called the cops. One woman was actually cheering on the abuser and saw her as a "role model." Unfortunately the comments for the video indicate that a lot of people agree with this trope. Then again, it is YouTube...
    • This Trope seems prevalent because the common belief is that men are stronger than women. On average this is true (the difference isn't much though [2]), but many people, including far too many women, assume that it means that they can't cause significant damage, or even pain to men no matter what they do. Cue punches and kicks that can break bones. This often happens even if the victim is a lot younger or a lot older than the harasser. Or if the victim is physically disabled. It seems people who support this Trope's ideology don't understand that it really doesn't take a lot of strength to harm somebody, especially if the abuser is using some sort of weapon, which can make all the difference in the world - even martial artists can be caught off-guard by someone with a weapon. Women also tend to go for the weak spots of the body, such as the eyes. It doesn't matter much how weak she is, the important part is that if she can make it past the other person's guard, it will be bad. A serious catfight is rather brutal.
      • And don't forget shoes. Do you have any idea how painful they can get? There was a good reason there was a country song about a woman's rampage with a lyric saying, "Call the boys at Neiman Marcus and tell them to lock up the high heel shoes". This also isn't including Stilettos. Just to show how dangerous shoes can be in a woman's hands...
      • This, in turn, may stem from people's tendency to mentally equate "woman" with "attractive woman", the latter of which aren't exactly known for toughness (as opposed to, say, a 7-foot-tall, musclebound truck driver. Not to mention people's tendency to assume women are housewives or are in "women's jobs": several abuse cases come from couples in which the woman is in the military or law enforcement and the husband is a civilian...
    • Lorena Bobbit. Horrific mutilator, hero of misandrists everywhere, source of jokes for a good decade afterward. Yes, he was a serious ass, but, dude...
      • And more recently still (July 2011), we have this case. She even went a step further than Bobbit, and threw the severed penis into a garbage disposal. However, they did manage to reconstruct it, though it's now partially prosthetic.
    • The Investigation Discovery series, Deadly Women often subverts this, as many of the women featured in the series had either been psychopathic or sociopathic. And even the ones who pre-meditated the murders didn't get off as light, but it's not subverted when they actually get off relatively light. Sometimes, it's actually played straight and subverted at the same time.
    • This piece of sh...oddy journalism from Thankfully, averted by CNN in its coverage of the same story. It's also rather refreshing to see that the story was simply reported, no editorializing at all or any comments at all about the genders of the two people.
    • In 2002, Cleveland Indians pitcher Chuck Finley filed for divorce from his wife Tawny Kitaen and charged her with domestic abuse after she beat him with a stiletto heel. When he started a game in Chicago not long after the incident, the stadium's musical director mocked him by playing Whitesnake's "Here I Go Again" as he warmed up. (Kitaen rose to fame as a direct result of her appearance in the song's video.) Finley was not amused. The man was eventually fired, and the White Sox apologized to Finley.
    • An indirect form of this trope comes in the form of "AdviceMama" Susan Stiffelman. A man who identified himself as "Facebook Father" father sent her a letter asking for advice about his ex-wife setting up Facebook accounts for their two kids (neither a teen yet, which is against Facebook rules), making them look older than they really are, teaching them to screw ethics and break rules to get ahead, and cutting him off from talking to them online because he complains about it. Rather than the obvious courses of action involving emailing Facebook, going to court, and saving and printing out all pages involved for evidence, Stiffelman's advice is the equivalent of inverse morality—namely, that he, the concerned father who actually wants to be a part of his kids' lives and teach them to do right, should walk on eggshells and try to go around to guide her, the sociopath using custody to teach her kids to be Manipulative Bastards while endearing them to sex offenders, down the path of righteousness so as not to offend her. You can imagine someone who calls herself "AdviceMama" wouldn't have recommended such a passive, downright submissive route if it were the big bad host father corrupting the concerned mother's children.
    • This case. A group of 8th-grade girls ganged up on and held down a terrified 5th-grade boy and forcefully undressed him on camera. The mother of the victim doesn't even press charges. Who can doubt that if the genders were reversed, the police would get involved anyway, and that the public outrage would be several times more intense?
    • Horribly done in an Indian game show, where the female host curses at a contestant and slaps him (not according to script), and when he slaps back, the entire set gangs up on him and beats him to the ground. It turns out that the point of this entire segment of the show is actually this trope. The woman was supposed to insult and verbally abuse the two male contestants, and they were supposed to take it without losing their temper, and when she was unable to get a rise out of them, the contest's managers told her to go out and get more aggressive with them. Imagine if the roles had been reversed: a man going out and screaming insults in a woman's face? Detestable. A woman doing it? Fine and dandy. Luckily, the contestant was able to sucessfully sue the show for assaulting him, as he was nearly hospitalized. What was worse is that the video itself became famous, as people apparantly found it funny that the man "cried like a little baby." Because obviously, only "babies" find the idea of being beaten black and blue by 20 men to be unpleasant.
    • Its only sexist when men do it!
    • This trope in general is part of the reason that more than a few people are saying that teaching your sons to never hit a woman is a bad idea. There are multiple studies showing that women are just as likely (if not moreso) to be violent in a relationship. They also realize that female-on-male violence can actually be worse since 1) a man is less likely to fight back or report it, partially because of this trope, and 2) since women realize they're outmatched strength-wise, they're more likely to use weapons. They think that it should be changed to basically "don't be abusive, but don't be a punching bag either. if your girlfriend is drunk, angry and coming at you with a baseball bat, don't feel guilty if you give her a hearty shove to get to safety." This article (from a woman) sums up the argument pretty well.
    • The Wife-Basher Basher trope, when a man/woman goes and beats up some random guy(and it's almost always a guy) for beating up some random girl, and it is seen as a Crowning Moment of Awesome or some other positive thing, even when they beat up the guy much worse than he may have hurt her(or in some cases, go so far as to kill him). And in most of these cases, the WBB never bother to do proper research/simply call the police/listen to the man's side of the story, and it rarely ever comes back to bite them in the ass(in fiction), because All Abusers Are Male, so the WBB ends up being right anyway. But that still comes back to the whole "Disproportionate Retribution does not apply to WBBs". Hell one look at just the page image will tell you that.
    • Apparently the Spanish law system believes in this trope, because a woman who beats her husband gets half the jail time of a man who beats his wife.
    1. In some areas, the policies assume women are acting in "preemptive" self-defense, meaning male victims can be arrested without actually laying a finger on the woman, even if they were the ones who called the cops on her. This also includes, in some cases, "defending" a child or pet.
    2. about 40-50% in upper body strength and 20-30% in lower body strength, according to the other wiki