battle of the sexes

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battle of the sexes (plural battles of the sexes)

  1. (almost always preceded by the) The persistent state of rivalry, opposition, or tension between males and females.
    • 1921, Basil King, chapter 7, in The Empty Sack:
      "You've heard of what they call the battle of the sexes, haven't you?"
      She thought she had.
      "Well, that's what it comes from chiefly—the crowds of polygamous men and the small number of polygamous women."
    • 1984 Jan. 22, Jon Pareles, "Chrissie Hynde makes peace with the past and moves on," New York Times (retrieved 28 Aug 2014):
      And when she returns to the battle of the sexes, she can state the situation in its starkest terms—"I hurt you/'cause you hurt me."
    • 2009 Oct. 26, "Men, Women and Society: Who Has Benefited Most?," Time (retrieved 28 Aug 2014):
      On the question of whether men have lost the battle of the sexes, a majority of both men and women disagree (62% of men, 58% of women).
  2. Any competition between males and females.
    • 1997 Nov. 16, Catherine Riley, "Golf: Men pull clear by a distance," Independent (UK) (retrieved 28 Aug 2014):
      As battles of the sexes go, the European Cup—a match play event between the PGA Senior Tour men and the LPGA European Tour women—might not have the same pulling power as Billie Jean King versus Bobby Riggs, but it has generated a fair amount of interest.
  3. (game theory) A situation in which two people want to do different things, but do them together.


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