Female stereotypes  

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This page Female stereotypes is part of the woman series  Illustration: The Birth of Venus (detail), a 1486 painting by Sandro Botticelli
This page Female stereotypes is part of the woman series
Illustration: The Birth of Venus (detail), a 1486 painting by Sandro Botticelli

"Femaleness [...] is primitive and archaic, while femininity is social and aesthetic."--"Speed and space: Byron" in Sexual Personae (1990) by Camille Paglia

"One very interesting generalization is that in most societies the physical beauty of the female receives more explicit consideration than does the handsomeness of the male. The attractiveness of the man usually depends predominantly upon his skills and prowess rather than upon his physical appearance." (Ford, 1951, p. 86)

"In spite therefore of certain ideals of chastity presented by the Christian hagiographies, in spite of the incense burnt at the altar of Woman in romances, at tourneys and in the Courts of Love, there was never a time in the world's history in which women were more grossly insulted, more shamefully reviled, or more basely defamed than they were in the middle ages, by men of every class, beginning with the most serious writers of theology and going down to the mountebanks of the street-plays. The number of anecdotes, trivial or obscene, that drag women in the dirt is simply infinite…"--Vergil in the Middle Ages (1872) by Domenico Comparetti

Salome (c. 1530) by Lucas Cranach the Elder
Salome (c. 1530) by Lucas Cranach the Elder

Related e



Just as stereotypes of men, stereotypes of women vary from bad women to good women, from strong women to weak women, from promiscuous to chaste, from ugly to beautiful, from smart to unintelligent.



Femininity refers to qualities and behaviors judged by a particular culture to be ideally associated with or especially appropriate to women and girls. Distinct from femaleness, which is a biological and physiological classification concerned with the reproductive system, femininity principally refers to socially acquired traits and secondary sex characteristics. In Western culture femininity has traditionally included features such as gentleness, patience and kindness.


Madonna–whore complex

The term Madonna–whore complex refers to a psychological complex in Freudian psychoanalysis that is said to develop in the human male. The term is also used popularly, often with subtly different meanings.

According to Freudian psychology, this complex often develops when the sufferer is raised by a cold and distant mother. Such a man will often court women with qualities of his mother, hoping to fulfill a need for intimacy unmet in childhood. Often, the wife begins to be seen as mother to the husband — a Madonna figure — and thus not a possible object of sexual attraction. For this reason, in the mind of the sufferer love and sex cannot be mixed, and the man is reluctant to have sexual relations with his wife, for that, he thinks unconsciously, would be as incest. He will reserve sexuality for "bad" or "dirty" women, and will not develop "normal" feelings of love in these sexual relationships.

Strong and independent women

gynecocracy, feminism

Strong and independent women is a trope connected to third-wave feminism. If you think about strong and independent women in history you arrive at Lilith, Joan of Arc, Catherine the Great, courtesans and George Sand. To encompass it all are women's rights throughout history and in the 20th century: feminism. In the late 20th century there are Riot Grrrls and Girl Power.

Strong and independent women are in the first place financially independent, they can provide in their own means of subsistence.

Female stock characters

list of stock characters

The following is a list of stock characters, archetypes and stereotypes of women. These stereotypes are evident in media, art and literature.

A short list of female stock characters includes bad girl, black widow, courtesan, diva, dominatrix, Eve, femme fatale, Lilith, maiden, Medusa, mistress, supermodel, mother, prostitute, female reader, goddess, nude, damsel in distress, tomboy, hooker with a heart of gold, warrior, nymphomaniac, beautiful woman and ugly woman.

Long list

Angel, Assassin, Aunt, Avenger, Barmaid, Bimbo, Bitch, Blue stocking, Bond girl, Bride, Bunny boiler, Catgirl, Childhood sweetheart, Cinderella, Clown, Lucy Ricardo, Companion, Cook, Courtesan, Crazy Cat Lady, Damsel in Distress, Dancer, Dark Lady, Daughter, Diva, Dominatrix, Dumb blonde, Essex Girl, Fairy, Fairy godmother, Feminist, Femme Fatale, Fishwife, Gamine, Geisha, Girl next door, Girlfriend, Girls with guns, Goddess, Gold digger, Good-time girl, Gossip, Goth girl, Governess, Grandmother, Groupie, Guardian angel, Heroine, Hooker with a heart of gold, Housekeeper, Housewife, Ingénue, It Girl, Jewish-American Princess, Jewish mother, Lady, Latin Lover, Land girl, Lesbian, Love interest, Madam, Madonna, Magical girl, Jeannie, Maid, Matron, Mermaid, Mistress, Model, Mother, Mother-in-law, Mouse, Movie star, Musician, Nag, Nanny, Nerd girl, Newly-wed, Nun, Nurse, Nymphette, Orphan, Party girl, Pantomime dame, Peasant, Personal assistant, Pilot, Princess, Prostitute, Protective mother, Queen, Saint, School diva, Schoolgirl, Schoolmarm, Scientist, Scold, Secretary, Servant, Shrew, Singer, Single mother, Sister, Slut, Soothsayer, Spinster, Spoiled brat, Stewardess, Stripper, Suffragette, Switchboard operator, Teenager, Three Fates, Tomboy, Trophy wife, Tsundere, Typist, Ugly duckling, Urchin, Valley Girl, Virgin, Waitress, Weird Sisters, Wicked stepmother, Widow, Witch

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Female stereotypes" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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