It’s the 21st century, and women are certainly more liberated than they have been in the past. We can vote, we can work, we have a voice in the nation, and we’re no longer confined to the kitchen. But as much as we’ve progressed, even women in modern societies are plagued by the ever present societal codes: the double standards. For whatever reason, we have perpetuated within society these ideas that differentiate what behaviors are okay for men and women. Some things are certainly deemed perfectly common to men, while being vilely unacceptable behavior for a woman. There are four double standards that continue to impact the way we act, and place boundaries according to gender:
1) A man with many conquests is a conquistador; a woman with many conquests is a whore.
Men are supposed to be hunters. It’s perfectly normal for them to go after a girl and bring her home, and move on to the next flavor of the week. For men, that behavior is almost expected. We attribute it as «guys will be guys,» because clearly they have some kind of charm, and their way with the ladies makes them seem even more appealing. Girls are judged on a completely different spectrum. If we go out and decide to go home with a man, we cease to be ladylike. We’re held to completely different standards, and as women, we even encourage this. Our biggest critics, we’re quick to judge the girl who is openly sexual, and we let this difference between the sexes become the norm. He gets to be Casanova, while we’re stuck between Mary and Mary Magdalene.
2) A man’s aggression is assertiveness; a woman’s is just creepy.
Men are expected to be passionate. They’re warm blooded, and they’re allowed to demonstrate jealousy. In fact, women find this overbearing «protectiveness» to be a sign of their undying affection. Men don’t hold back, and it’s perfectly commonplace for them to communicate nonverbally. This «cave man» act is constantly revered, because that the man is indeed manly, that he is and should be the dominant power in the room. While it’s perfectly acceptable for him to display emotion, women must refrain and act ladylike. If we’re passionate and fervent and openly admit how we feel, it’s «creepy.» God forbid we show any kind of emotion, because that makes us crazy, and we lose our appeal. Men are supposed to be assertive, and women are supposed to know their place, which is complacency and conformity.
3) Women love shoes, men love football.
As a football fanatic myself (and I mean FANATIC), this one offends me the most. It is commonplace for men to be indisposed on Sundays, for them to be drinking beer and «speaking football,» which is a language we’re not supposed to understand. Girls are supposed to be occupied with makeup, clothes, shoes and accessories. When we deviate from that norm, we’re questioned and criticized. I can’t recall how many times my love for football has been met with disdain, brushed off as «cute,» even though I know my football better than my average male counterpart (GO PACKERS!). Women belong in the department store, while men belong in the stadium, as it «should» be.
4) Men love sex; «Classy» women keep it to themselves.
Men constantly brag about their sexual prowess, how good they are in bed, what they like, etc. There is never a shortage of stories about sex in a male dominated group, but women are commonly condemned for displaying the same behavior. If I talk about what I want, how I want it, how much I love sex, or what it takes for me to have an orgasm, it’s common for my openness to be misinterpreted and inaccurately labeled. This idea of «classy women» is directly at odds with the kind of woman who dares to be openly vocal about her preferences. While men go about this daily, women have to choose whether they want to be ladies, or overtly sexual, without an in between.
I don’t know that we’ll ever surmount the world of double standards. As much as we’ve progressed, society has limited us to a certain image. Even today, there is no in between. I can’t be classy and kinky; I can’t watch football and like shopping. When we try to defy the standard, we reinforce the judgments and misinterpretations of others. While we may not be able to change the unshakeable double standard, we can try to break free from it. It all starts with being who you are not who society wants or expects you to be. I will never apologize for my love of sex, football, AND shopping and neither should you.
About Ana Lopez (8 Posts)
A 21 year old college senior, i’m open minded, outgoing. I love football, football, and football, and of course, i’m more than happy to share my awkward dating disasters/ perspective with you all.