Women Let Men Treat Them Poorly

Table Of Contents

Explanation of Conservative Trope

Women not standing up to poor treatment by men on screen -- romantically involved or not -- because they don't care, are unaware or just naive. They have the capability to react and change their circumstances, but inexplicably they do not.

Main Description

When women don't react to negative things done to them on screen where they would in real life that normalizes and encourages them to be treated that way. Especially if it is for laughs. There are instances in which women cannot help being treated badly by men and, for instance, become a "damsel in distress." But it is worse when women are written in situations where they in real life they would stand up for themselves but on screen they just let men treat them badly -- whether it's because they don't care, are unaware or just naive.

Conservative Trope Examples

  • Bridget Joness Diary (2001)
    Daniel (Hugh Grant) patronizingly tells Bridget (Renée Zellweger) to "just slow down. It started on Tuesday and now it's Thursday. It's not exactly a long-term relationship, is it?" after she expresses concern about what the rest of the office will think of their relationship.
  • 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?
    Other Tropes: Women Acting Ditsy
  • Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987)
    Gus's son Owen picks up Neal (Steve Martin) and Del (John Candy) for a ride to the train station in Wichita. The guys pick up a heavy trunk to load in Owen's truck, but he stops them and barks for his petite wife to get her "lazy behind out here and put that in back!" all by herself. The guys initially protest, but Owen insists she do it and says "She don't mind. She's short and skinny, but she's strong. Her first baby - come out sideways. She didn't scream or nothin."
    Staff Aside
    This scene is obviously played for laughs, but it also feeds into the idea that women are subservient to men and must do what they're told.