The Unfair Sex/Playing With

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

Basic Trope: When she does something wrong, it's sympathetic. When he does something wrong, it's not.

  • Straight: Alice cheats on her husband Bob with Charles, while Bob cheats with Diane. Alice's cheating is just portrayed as a "moment of weakness", while Bob is made to look like a vile scumbag.
  • Exaggerated: Alice has increasingly torrid affairs with more and more men and receives no retribution; Bob looks at another woman for more than a few seconds and faces The Scourge of God.
  • Justified: Alice has a relatively sympathetic reason for her cheating, while Bob just wanted an easy lay.
  • Inverted: Bob's affair (the result of Alice not touching him once ever) is portrayed sympathetically. Alice's affair (which happened because Bob wasn't big enough) isn't.
  • Subverted: It seems like Bob's about to be in the doghouse - but wait, it turns out he's got a pretty sympathetic reason as well.
  • Double Subverted: ...That he was totally making up on the fly.
  • Parodied: Alice holds a ball, and is seen as only doing what she had to in that situation. Bob holds the ball, and gets beaten up by Alice's family and forced to leave town.
  • Deconstructed: Bob is never able to live down his affair with Diane, and he is subsequently kicked out of his house and loses his wife. Alice takes this as carte blanche to have as many affairs as she wants with no retribution.
  • Reconstructed: Alice's affairs are justified by being a part of her emotional breakdown from Bob's betrayal and the subsequent divorce. Meanwhile, Bob is now cheating on Diane with another mistress.
  • Zig Zagged: Bob had a pretty sympathetic reason too - but he just made it up. Then it turns out Alice was making her excuse up as well...
  • Averted: Alice is making excuses as to why she was justified in cheating, only to be told by her friend Elizabeth that there really is no excuse.
  • Enforced: "That scene where the wife got bitched out for cheating didn't test well with the females in the crowd, and we know they'll be buying most of the tickets. Change it to where she's portrayed all sympathetically."
  • Lampshaded: "How come with Alice it's always my fault?" "Because you're the guy, Bob."
  • Invoked: Alice desires to have an affair with Charles, but feels guilt (or frustration) because Bob is faithful to her. So she hires Diane to seduce Bob, knowing that if she is successful Alice can both have her affair and blame the relationship being ruined on Bob's infidelity.
  • Exploited: Alice cheats on Bob with impunity, knowing that if she ever gets caught, she can just use the old "I was just momentarily weak" excuse and she'll get off scot-free.
  • Defied: Bob finds out and divorces her, getting a huge alimony, the kids, the house, and the car because he's the wronged party.
    • Bob kicks down the door while wielding a shotgun.
  • Discussed: "You know, just because you're a woman, that doesn't make it okay to cheat."
  • Conversed: "How come women on TV are always able to get away with cheating?"

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