Women Acting Ditsy

Table Of Contents

Explanation of Conservative Trope

Ever heard someone call a man ditsy in real life? How about the other way around? How often do you see men depicted as "ditsy" on screen? Occasionally it happens but as a purposeful subversion of the trope usually for laughs. Hollywood shows stereotypically depicted "ditsy" women all the time.

Main Description

Women are often depicted as hopelessly ditzy and incapable of serious thought in movies and TV. Regardless of the genre a film or show falls under, many women--especially teenage girls--are portrayed in such an over-the-top demeaning and degrading way that they are reduced to a mere parody of what a stereotypical woman is.

There is no equivalence when it comes to how men are portrayed on screen. Men are rarely depicted in a way that makes them appear foolish or silly and when they are it is often exaggerated so the audience has no doubt that it's supposed to be funny. Women on screen have never had that luxury.

Conservative Trope Examples

  • Fool's Gold (2008)
    Tess gets Gemma to flirt with men on a rival treasure hunting boat in a bikini to distract them so that Finn can investigate their work undetected. She acts overly ditsy & dumb in the scene and yells out when she sees Finn in the water ruining the ruse.
  • The Girl Next Door (2004)
    Three different adult actresses are depicted as dumb and super over the top ditsy in multiple scenes in contrast to co-star Danielle (Elisha Cuthbert) who is quitting the business.
  • EuroTrip (2004)
    Cooper jumps into a hot tub uninvited with a lone female student named Candy at their high school graduation party. She yells out "Cooper Harris, you're a pig!" and starts to get out but he is able to convince her to stay by saying "before you go, you might want to clean that off." He gets her to rub her breast repeatedly trying to clean off whatever it is, but apparently it is not working. She's encouraged to take off her bikini top and then rub her breast some more. That still doesn't work so Cooper offers to do it himself at which point her friend shows up and she finally realized Cooper was tricking her. There was not something on her breasts after all. Ha, ha, he got her!
  • Tomcats (2001)
    Kyle gives golf lessons to a woman he's dating who is depicted a ditsy and overly subservient. Michael joins him in the golf cart desperate for his help, and so she is forced to walk the course while they drive. She is not very good and acts and talks very ditsy-like. When her golf club goes flying on a failed swing attempt she says, "That's ok. Keep it. I've got more in the bag" not realizing every club is important and needed. Her next swing she falls over and Kyle, not paying attention, runs over her with his golf cart. She yells out, "I'm ok" and continues to let him treat her badly. She struggles to carry her bag to catch up to them while they ignore her and continue driving. They stop and she crashes into the cart and falls on her back. Undeterred, she continues to try to catch up as they ignore her and continue driving until the scene ends. But, that's not all, the end credits scene she's back for more laughs! And they show her on the same golf course losing her balance and falling down a hill into a pond while calling out to Kyle.
    Staff Aside
    Would they show a heterosexual man acting ditsy struggling with a sport while a woman mistreats him for laughs?
  • Clueless (1995)
    A distracted and distraught Cher (Alicia Silverstone) drives well under the speed limit, takes up two lanes, nearly hits a bicyclist, sideswipes a truck, and then parks in the middle of the street to complete her driving test. Even after all of that she still excitedly asks the instructor how she did and is shocked when he tells her she failed and won't be getting her drivers license.
    Staff Aside
    This is obviously played for laughs because it's a teenage comedy, but it perpetuates the trope that teenage girls can't drive well. Can you think of a movie where a teenage boy is depicted driving the same way?
    Other Tropes: Women are Bad Drivers