If you've ever sneaked a peak at one of your girlfriend's magazines you may be labouring under the impression that, while many celebrity men are smouldering, stylish and romantic, most of the rest of us are slobby, unattractive and, frankly, idiotic.
You see, glossy mags and the women's section of newspapers are full of articles on why men lie, why we cheat, why we fail to put the toilet seat down and why we would betray you with your best friend at the drop of a hat.
But usually missing from this expert analysis is the reverse. In the world of women's media, women may be too fat or too thin, too self critical or just too damn caring, but rarely cruel or selfish.
In the odd case where women are portrayed as less-than-perfect, they are generally not very nice to other women, but still sweet as pie to their undeserving men.
And yet the fact is, women can be as cruel to men as men are to women, albeit in subtly different ways. Here are some of them, in our not-altogether-scientific list of the worst of womankind's wiles.
Some women cry easily, copiously and genuinely. And some women cry easily, copiously and because they've learned that crying can get them things that pleading, asking or arguing cannot.
A lot of men don't like to see women cry, so a waterworks show will have us apologising for things we didn't do, and splashing out on gifts we can't afford.
Women are much more likely than men to turn the argument volume button up to 11, and that's particularly true in public.
It doesn't matter where you are, women will flounce, sulk, slam doors, storm out and wash all your dirty laundry in public in a way that men would simply find too humiliating. It's a good ploy. Mortified men will quickly concede the point rather than risk public disgrace.
The drinks thing
She's gorgeous. She walks up to you and starts a conversation. She's funny, articulate and interested in what you have to say. You talk for an hour, before her friend comes and whisks her away and she says she'll be back later.
She doesn't come back. You never see her again. And then you realise that she downed three Long Island Iced Teas in an hour and you paid for them all. In other words, she batted her eyelids and you provided her pre-club drinks. Cruel, cruel, cruel.
Women tell their friends pretty much everything, but most women draw the line when it comes to personal and sensitive things about you. But not all.
Some women will use what they would argue is a harmless propensity to gossip as a form of revenge. So if you're in the doghouse and suddenly people you barely know are asking about your chronic haemorrhoids, you can guess where they got the information.
Stop having sex
Women possess the ultimate deterrent. In the cold war of stormy relationships, they have a nuclear option and we have a peashooter. Men can shout, cry, stay out late, refuse to talk and even threaten to bring the whole farce to an end. But we can't refuse sex.
Well, we could, but not for long. And let's face it, women wouldn't care half as much if we did. The withdrawal of sex is the most potent weapon in the female armoury, and cruel women threaten it with heartless regularity.
For some women, life is simply a series of opportunities to test their men. For them, birthdays and Christmas, anniversaries and Valentine's Day are not occasions for the simple and joyful uniting of souls, but traps to catch unwary, overworked, or forgetful partners. But cruellest of all is the impromptu date.
You know how it goes. You've arranged a night out with the boys, but she rings at the last minute and asks you to meet her instead. If she accepts your refusal without fuss, that's fine. If she starts using phrases like, "if you loved me you would...", you're in big trouble.
If you've rowed, cruel women know how to have the last laugh. They flirt with other men. And though you could flirt with other women, that is strictly forbidden and likely to result in the termination of the relationship.
Her outrageous flirting is, by contrast, a legitimate expression of her disappointment in your failure to put the cap back on the toothpaste tube.
So you've done something wrong. Nothing major you haven't cheated on her or anything, but you stayed out till 3am without telling her, or forgot your anniversary, or made a borderline insensitive comment at her expense. You've accepted blame and apologised.
But that's not enough. You are ignored. Sex is out of the question. Days later you are still subject to a nuclear winter of frosty looks and semi-detached conversations.
And no, you don't deserve it, and she knows you don't deserve it, but by exaggerating her hurt she has turned an unfortunate but minor incident into an example of your callous disregard for her feelings that can be used against you forever.