IDIOMS

play the gender card

(idiomatic, often pejorative) To assert that sexism is involved in a situation, especially in order to exploit sexist or antisexist attitudes.

Example: 2008 January 8, Steinem, Gloria, “Women Are Never Front-Runners”[1], The New York Times, ISSN 0362-4331:
  What worries me is that she is accused of “playing the gender card” when citing the old boys’ club, while he is seen as unifying by citing civil rights confrontations.
2010, Robert Fedorchek, The Translators: A Novel, Bloomington: iUniverse, ISBN 9781450249430, page 463:
  […] the CAS was going to lose two of its best teachers; tolerate a mediocre one who had skillfully played the gender card by hiding behind her pregnancy; and retain an ineffective one.
2013 June 19, “Did someone play their gender card at you? Poor baby.”[2], We, the Intelligentsia, …, retrieved 2014-04-07:
  How can you tell the difference between someone playing the gender card and someone actually calling out misogyny when you so obviously have no expertise on the matter?