A new cliche? Male VS Female

To be honest I don’t know how new this is but I’ve noticed it increasingly often. This post was inspired by, of all things, the new Settlers 7 game trailer. It also starred in a fairly recent episode of The Bill.

The set up is that a male VS female bet/dare/competition has been started, the scenario plays out and it looks as if the male side is going to win but then the female side unexpectadly pulls off a coup, usually by doing something smart or cunning that the male side wouldn’t consider and wins at the last moment.

Apart from the whole sexism aspect (Intelligent women VS not-so-bright men) what annoys me the most about this particular cliche is that as soon as it appears on screen you know the female side is going to win, therefore ruining any actual suspense or interest that may be built up by proceedings.

Is this a real cliche or just a product of my fevered imagination?

I’ve noticed it, too. I really, really hate the men-bashing that goes on in the media today. I have a son AND a daughter…I want them both to be happy and successful.

I don’t know if this quite fits, but it reminds me of the first time I noticed this, when Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs challenged each other to a tennis match in 1973 and called it “The Battle of the Sexes.” A big deal was made of this by the media because it was so unusual–up until then, I guess men and women didn’t play against one another in professional tennis.

I bet you can guess who won.

Sure it’s a cliche. It’s just not new in any way, shape or form. It’s at least as old as Katharine Hepburn & Spencer Tracy’s movie “Adam’s Rib.”

There are entire sitcoms built on pretty much that premise. Apparently, tv audiences like it and find it challenging and interesting. Shame video games are falling for this crap too. I guess the war against boys continues.

What genres is this prevalent in, and what is the target demographic for said genres?

This is probably the oldest cliche in the book. And it is quite sexist, too, but possibly in the opposite way you might think.

By having the woman beat the man, they are implying, “Hey, this is an unexpected twist! Since we all know men are superior to women, this twist should surprise and amuse you!”

If I were a woman (and overly sensitive)(which I’m neither), I’d find it insulting…TRM

The boys’ score is the square root of pi while the girls still have a crudely-drawn picture of a duck. Clearly, it’s still anyone’s game.

I didn’t even hear of this match up until it was on one of those VH1’s “I Love The 70’s” clip shows. When I saw the lead up interviews I was like … "Woah. Woah… If the battle between the sexes is going to be decided once and for all, can we not pick a guy who’s an arrogant, insufferable ass? I mean I this is THE defining moment, couldn’t the cabal of Men Who Actually Run The Planet TM have picked someone else?

Something like this exists very largely and blatantly in commercials too. If you need a household product, it’s because your kids are brats and your husband is an oaf.

If you need financial stability, your wife will help your dumb bumbling ass get through all the different credit card companies offers. The end results being you getting a card from Chase (I believe is the worst offender of this with credit cards).

It’s been around for years. I remember T-shirts with the slogan “Anything a man can do, a woman can do better.” The Brady Bunch aired an episode in 1971 where Marcia proclaims, “Anything a man can do, a woman can do better.” I’m sure the origin is even further back. I wouldn’t be surprised if Carry Nation would bust saloons with her axe screaming, “Anything a man can do, a woman can do better.”

I would pay so much money for a T-shirt featuring Carry Nation bursting into a saloon with an axe, screaming, “Anything a man can do, a woman can do better!”

I think a lot of the problem has to do with the fact that if they showed the man winning, they’d be afraid of being accused of sexism. So they show the woman winning. It works in large part because so many people are determined to pretend we are still in the 50s/60s, and women being inferior is still the cliche.

Bobby Riggs wanted to PROVE to Billie Jean King that men were superior. He was sure he would win. He set the whole thing up–I doubt the Cabal was called upon.

I was a child at the time and this match was a HUGE deal. Keep in mind that women back then were not allowed to have credit cards in their own name and often their husbands would be contacted if they tried to get a job (to make sure it was ok with the Man of the House). People who didn’t live then truly cannot understand what it was like. Yes, sexism still exists today (it has morphed into different forms and methods) and yes, this “men are stupid troglodytes” is annoying. It may well be a perverse manner of sexism as stated by some here: the default is still that men are superior so the change up of having the women win at the last second keeps the tension and interest high.

IMO, it’s all ridiculous. Men can be and ARE good at soothing babies and cleaning and teaching young children; women can be and ARE capable of investing money, changing tires and pitching baseballs etc.

“I think of a man, and I take away reason and accountability.”
–Melvin Udall, As Good as it Gets
“Even though you’re only eight, your possibilities are infinite…”
‘You are greater than or equal to the boys…’
–The Simpsons
The confident (to the point of arrogance), dominant man finding a woman endearing after she bests (or at least equals) him mentally or physically is a pretty common media trope. Basically it is understood that the male character in question is better than most men at everything, let alone women. So when she beats him, she demonstrates herself to be worthy of his respect.

This is a slightly different trope from the ones where a hot woman is married to a fat, stupid jerkass.
It isn’t new. I can think of it going back at least as far as an Solo and Princess Leia or James Bond and Pussy Galore.

But in the aggregate, women tend to be better at the former and men tend to be better at the latter. To think men and women are the same is to bury your head in a sand of denial. (Not that you are. I’m arguing against a position you haven’t explicitly stated, but that is often inferred based on the argument you did make.)

Bobby Riggs wanted to put on a spectacle. I find it shocking that any woman in her right mind would buy into that match as anything other than a total circus. But I’ve seen a woman post on these very boards who thought it was a real contest that really showed that women and men were on equal footing on a tennis court. The mind boggles.

I don’t think he wanted to prove anything. He wanted to make money, and he behaved in the way that would bring the most attention for the match. I don’t think it’s a surprise that King kicked his butt - although it’s worth noting he beat Margaret Court, the #1 women’s player, earlier the same year.

Anyway, yes, when you see a head-to-head battle of the sexes in a sitcom, it seems like the women usually win. I don’t think it’s any more annoying than a thousand other cliches.

Yes, my understanding is that he played up the “male chauvinist” aspect for ratings.

If a woman beats a man, she gets a medal. If a man beats a woman, he goes to prison.

I am not making that argument. I don’t believe the sexes are “equal”. I believe that each person has talents and skills that should be used within society. Men are not the same as women and vice versa. I also believe that neither is superior overall to the other, but that each brings their own strengths to bear.

I dunno. I think Riggs was an asshole who held a very common belief that women were inherently inferior to men. I don’t believe at all that men and women are equal on a tennis court (the musculature alone gives that argument the lie). Of course it was a circus and things were extrapolated from it that were irrelevant to the game. But imagine if King had lost. What then?