Women Bad at Using Guns

Double Standard Bias   Minor Impact
Table Of Contents

Explanation of Conservative Trope

Whenever a movie wants to have a moment of levity in a serious situation, you can always count on women being scared of guns: dropping them, using them wrong, shooting the wrong person by mistake or accidentally shooting the right person out of random luck.

Conservative Trope Examples

  • We're the Millers (2013)
    Daughter Casey Mathis and mother Rose O'Reilly both panic when father David Clark disarms a drug dealer trying to kill them all. Scared Casey picks up the gun and treats it like a hot potato and passes it to Rose who is also over the top scared of the gun and also treats it like a hot potato until it accidentally goes off shooting the bad guy in the shoulder. It wounds him just enough for the son Kenny to save the day by knocking out the bad guy with a punch.
  • Knight and Day (2010)
    Cameron Diaz is evading a kill squad with Tom Cruise who gives her a machine gun while he takes out some bad guys. When he returns, she mistakes him for a bad guy and shoots wildly and uncontrollably all over the place luckily managing to miss him.
    Staff Aside
    She does atone later shooting bad guys successfully from a motorcycle, but this scene was overly bad
  • Grosse Pointe Blank (1997)
    Debbie (Minnie Driver) is hiding in the bathtub with her father while her hitman love interest played by John Cusack defends them from assassins, and when he checks in on her she hands him the gun he gave her and tells him to "make this work" and he releases the safety and gives the gun back to her.
  • True Lies (1994)
    During an escape from the terrorists, Helen (Jamie Lee Curtis) has trouble operating an Uzi machine gun and yells out in panic as she clumsily drops it down the stairs. The gun continues to shoot while bouncing down the stairs though and magically kills several bad guys.

How Trope is Biased

Double Standard

  • Women are depicted as scared of guns (usually for laughs) much more often than men
  • Men still use guns much more often than women on screen (although it's gotten much better in recent years)
  • When men are depicted as bad at using guns, it's usually always because the character is a buffoon and not scared. They are bad at many things.

Conservative Biases

  • Women bad at using guns supports social conservative beliefs that women are less capable than men
  • Guns ARE dangerous if not used properly and in real life you read stories about people (usually men) mishandling all the time. On screen though, it's usually the women or male buffoons who are bad at it.
  • It has been a recent phenomenon for woman Republican politicians (along with men) to flaunt guns excessively, and so portraying women as bad at using guns reflects negatively on Democrat and Republican gun owners. However, there is always a segment of the Republican base who believe women are less capable, and this trope is still overall conservatively biased towards that belief.

Impact of Trope: Minor

Severity: Minor   Prevalence: Uncommon