A double standard is defined as “a rule or principle that is unfairly applied in different ways to different people or groups". In today’s society, people are often arguing about the double standards that both men and women face on a daily basis. The many gender specific double standards that exist are big topics of debate among people across the world. Both men and women are constantly arguing over who is targeted more and who has it the hardest. Double standards have existed for a long time, and it is only now that people are trying to drop the barriers and move away from these standards we have imbedded into our society. The main question is are we able to change, or are these aspects so important to our society that we need them to survive? Here is a small survey conducted with four men and four women who answered open ended questions about this debate. Their answers each reflect their personal opinions and ideas about gender double standards.
- What is your opinion on double standards?
Male A: My opinion is that they're very weird, that's the best way to say it I think. Sometimes they make sense, but most of the time they don't make any sense at all.
Male B: Double standards are wrong but they will always exist no matter what rallies are formed or what bills are signed.
Male C: I feel double standards are rampant. People can't live anymore without fear of a label being put on them, even though the opposite sex can do the same thing without fear.
Male D: Double standards, although a negative component of society, are inevitably impossible to avoid. The term "double standard" itself is misleading because a standard is a uniform principle that is applied across the board. I wish double standards didn't exist but with the forever growing popularity of social media double standards will forever be a part of our culture.
Female A: I think that it depends. Sometimes I understand why there are double standards, but sometimes I think they can be unfair and at times really annoying.
Female B: I think double standards are offensive. Being viewed as incompetent or having things "dumbed down" because I'm a female is disrespectful.
Female C: I believe double standards will always exist.
Female D: Personally, I believe double standards are a very prominent issue within society today because they affect both men and women. I believe they do exist and that society is aware of their crippling effects however change cannot take place overnight and requires compliance of all in order to completely eradicate double standards from our society.
2. What gender do you feel is more targeted through double standards?
Male A: I feel like men are more targeted for double standards. Being a male I know my mind can change very fast, but the difference between men and women is that we tend to be more outspoken about things when women never actually reveal all of their thoughts and feelings, but men can say something one day and feel strongly about it and feel completely different about it sometime down the road.
Male B: Men are more targeted in double standards.
Male C: I feel it's equal between both genders. Women have it hard because if they go and sleep around they’re seen as sluts and men are seen as players. On the other hand, if a man comments on a woman weight he's seen as a scumbag, while if a woman judges a man she's just having fun and it's all good.
Male D: Females are clearly targeted the most through double standards.
Female A: Women are definitely targeted more through double standards.
Female B: I definitely feel as though women are targeted more when it comes to gender double standards. Men are always viewed as the bread winners, the ones who have everything under control. Why isn't it an equal playing field?
Female C: Both genders I believe are equally targeted. I think women just bring a lot more attention to it than men.
Female D: I believe double standards regarding women is publicly discussed more and has been the main focus of attention due to the ongoing feminist movement within society. For this reason I can understand how it seem women are the ones mostly targeted through double standards however I do not agree. I believe both genders are effected equally and that it is just society’s pre-established double standards that prevent the acknowledgement of this. Women are expected to be the emotional ones who care about this sort of issue and are expected to discuss it where as men are expected to keep give off the persona that they do not have feelings and to hide them away.
3. What double standard do you feel affects your gender most?
Male A: Probably having a girlfriend that isn’t allowed to talk to guys when he’s allowed to have female friends.
Male B: "All men are ass holes."
Male C: I feel my gender gets hit with the opinion that we're all dogs and only hurt girls. All you see is stuff about how to empower women and how they need to get over guys, you never see it from our perspective.
Male D: As a male, it's hard to say which double standard affects my gender the most because there are so few. If I would have to pick one double standard, the standard would be height. Most girls don't find short guys attractive and aren't criticized nearly as much as men for having preferences of body type.
Female A: I think that the double standard which affects my gender the most would be the idea that women are supposed to stay at home and be housewives who cook and clean all day long.
Female B: There's a HUGE double standard when it comes to the workplace. Men, in many different careers, start out at a higher base salary more times than not in comparison to woman. Does not being a man make me unqualified to do the same exact work?
Female C: The double standard that affects our gender most is sex. Guys are praised for sleeping with a lot of females. Whereas females are shamed for it.
Female D: I believe women are mostly affected by double standards that surround their abilities in comparison to men. I see this within the workforce where high authoritative roles are occupied mostly by men and women receive lower wages when doing the same job as a man. I also see this within the sports world where it’s predetermined that women are unable to perform at the same level as men and are therefore unable to participate in particular sports or compete at the same level.
4. What double standard personally bothers you the most?
Male A: Personally, The double standard that bothers me the most is revolved around dating. But both genders are equally as bad, who you're allowed to talk to who you can't talk to. Example: a girlfriend can be mad that her boyfriend has friends who are girls mad give him a hard time but she herself has male friends, and vice versa.
Male B: False accusations of rape.
Male C: How men are all out to hurt girls.
Male D: The double standard of pay bothers me most. The fact that women earn less than men for the same amount of work is mind boggling. That's like having one team score a touchdown and earn 6 points and having another team score and only earning 5 points.
Female A: I think that the idea of women having to stay home and do nothing but take care of children, cook and clean, is the double standard that bothers me the most. I think that women should be able to do whatever they want, including going to work and making money for their families. If you want to pursue a career as a woman, you should be free to do so without being ridiculed and condemned for it.
Female B: When it comes to double standards, I think I'm most bothered by the workplace issue. I know personally for myself, I've always been a hard worker. I pride myself on my work ethic and I feel like it's constantly being questioned.
Female C: None of them really bother me that much at all.
Female D: Personally, any double standard that revolves around women not being able to do something as well as a man can bothers me the most. I think it’s absurd to predetermine someone’s capabilities solely based on their gender and then to enhance the ignorance even more by denying someone the chance to prove otherwise.
5. Have you ever been personally effected by a double standard?
Male A: I know I have been personally affected by double standards but to be honest I can't think of them off the top of my head, I can for sure say most arguments in the relationships I've had are all revolved around double standards just not one in particular comes into mind.
Male B: Yes.
Male C: I've never been affected by double standards.
Male D: I have been personally effected by a double standard. I didn't hit my growth spurt until the summer of 11th grade. Until that point I was only 5'4" and weighed less than 100lbs. Only until I hit 5'10'' - 6' did girls even consider me as attractive. I had a girl actually tell me "you'd be the perfect guy if you were taller".
Female A: I've definitely been effected by a double standard, many times. Whenever I act a certain way I will be told I’m not being "ladylike" and that "no guys will want to date me if I act that way". Just because I am a female doesn't mean I have to act proper and "ladylike" all the time, I should be able to act how I want to without being told these things.
Female B: Personally, I have been in work situations where I have the same exact job title as a guy and he was making more money than I was. We both had no prior experience in that field.
Female C: I truthfully have never been effected by a double standard.
Female D: I grew up as a tomboy; I hated dresses, the color pink and basically anything else associated with the female gender. My sister on the other hand was the typical girly girl and so naturally I did everything in my power to be the complete opposite of her. That being said it was constantly thrown in my face that my behavior was not “lady like”, that I should leave the roughhousing to the boys and that no boy will want a girl that acts like one of them. Looking back, I think I acted as such in part because I simply wanted to do everything I was told I couldn’t and in part because I simply just wanted to partake in activities that I actually enjoyed. I quit dance at a young age and asked to join the wrestling team but instead was placed into a Karate class, a similar activity that was deemed acceptable for a girl like me. I wanted to play baseball but was signed up for the women’s accepted equivalent, softball. Don’t get me wrong, I loved my childhood and wouldn’t change it for the world, but now I can see where society dictated what was acceptable for me simply because I was a girl.
6. Do you think double standards are necessary in society?
Male A: I don't really see a point of double standards in society, it really is just the core of most arguments. I'm all about being straight up and being fair.
Male B: No.
Male C: I don't think society needs double standards, it's a backwards way of thinking.
Male D: Double standards aren't necessary but they will always exist.
Female A: I think that in some cases, yes, they are. I don't think that men and women will ever be able to be called "equal" because for obvious reasons, we cannot be equal (physically). Some things like men not being allowed to hit women and men treating women with respect and being "gentlemen" I think should be necessary.
Female B: I don't think double standards are necessary. What do they prove or show? Everyone should be entitled to an equal opportunity. Just because someone is a man/woman doesn't mean they're more capable of doing something.
Female C: I think they are necessary to a certain extent because women are not as capable as men in every aspect & men aren't as capable of certain things also.
Female D: No. Double standards do nothing for society except give others a reason to practice ignorance.
7. How do you feel about how "women can hit men, but men cannot hit women"?
Male A: Personally I don't think anyone should lay a finger on anybody, unless they or their loved ones are in harm’s way and has too. I believe there are men who are abused by women but are looked at as cowards in society, but being raised I was always taught that it's cowardly to hit a women, so I guess that's a double standard in itself.
Male B: It's wrong that it is taken so strictly, however men are much more powerful than women.
Male C: The women can hit men quote is total nonsense no one should hit anyone but if you're just defending yourself I see nothing wrong with that.
Male D: Of course that is reasonable. Women are physically built on a smaller frame and have nowhere near the same muscle density as men. Of course women can workout and change some of those things, but a man should never hit a woman. A woman brings life into this world and striking that source is simply not acceptable. Although a woman may not necessarily need a man to protect her, a man should always be there just in case the need for protection arises. It's like carrying an umbrella on a cloudy day just in case it rains.
Female A: I don't think anyone should be using violence in general, but I don't think that a man should ever hit a woman. Men are typically stronger and can use more force than a woman can, and this also goes back to being a gentlemen. Men should respect women to a certain extent where they know it is not ever right to lay a hand on them, no matter what.
Female B: If a man can't hit a woman, a woman can't hit a man. It's that simple.
Female C: I feel that regardless of your gender if you hit someone you should expect to get hit back.
Female D: I do not agree with the above statement however I will admit that most of society does still adhere to its implications. When a women hits a man it’s viewed as funny or not taken as serious offence whereas when a man hits a woman it's deplorable and unacceptable.
8. What is your feeling on "how men are praised for the amount of women they are with, but women tend to be scolded for it"?
Male A: My personal opinion is that I really don't think men should be praised for how many women they have been with, I never saw a point in the whole "hook up phase". If you like somebody and engage in a relationship, what the two people do is their business and shouldn't be outspoken about. Most men who brag have no respect for the girls they've been with. On the other hand with a women, it is her business as well. She shouldn't be outspoken about her sex life, but I don't see her being any worse than the male. I think society looks at the female body as a “temple”, for lack of a better word, and that “temple” should be handled with care and respect. And women who “get around” are targeted as not respecting their “temples”
Male B: It is wrong that people think that way, people can be with whomever they wish.
Male C: The fact that men are praised for having multiple partners is fine, the problem is that women are shamed for it. If you are single and practicing safe sex, I feel there is nothing wrong with having fun until you meet the one.
Male D: Men are praised for how many women they sleep with because it's really, really hard to get with a lot of girls. For a woman, it's easy to get with a lot of guys because they have total control. In most scenarios, it's the woman who is giving consent second. A lock that is opened by any key is a bad lock. But, a key that opens all locks is a master key. There is one place, however, that this standard is applied equally to both men and women; when either sex wants to start a serious relationship. "Body count" is often a deal breaker for both sexes and when someone who may not have had sex with a lot of people here's a large number, they are often discouraged and turned off by that body count whether male or female.
Female A: I think that that is honestly ridiculous. A man shouldn’t get high-fived and slapped on the back while a woman gets ridiculed and scolded for doing the same exact thing.
Female B: Men are always praised for the amount of woman they get with. A guy could sleep with 30 girls and he gets a dap from his boy, but god forbid a girl sleeps with like 15 boys; she's a whore. And it's sad because this is our society. This is what we're accustomed to.
Female C: I think it's no one’s business who anyone is with and it is gross for both genders.
Female D: I agree that men are praised for the amount of women they are with but women are scolded for it. Being in a college setting that thrives off of a hookup culture, I am exposed to this way of thinking on a daily basis. I do have to admit however that there has been a decline in this sort of thinking parallel with the feminist movement where women are being encouraged to take charge of their own sexuality and to not be ashamed of it.
9. What do you think it would take to change double standards?
Male A: I think it would take amid of pride to be swallowed to get rid of double standards. Pride in my opinion is the number one problem with most relationships and friendships. People have too much pride and are never willing to budge from their opinion because they ultimately think they're always right
Male B: I don't think anything could end double standards unless there is a post nuclear war or a zombie apocalypse.
Male C: It'll be tough but everyone can overcome it. The only way to change a double standard is to change the way we raise our children when we show them the way to live their lives.
Male D: Double standards would have to be changed when individual sexes stop judging each other. Women need to stop judging girls based on how many guys they've slept with and guys need to stop judging other guys based on physique.
Female A: I don't think they will ever fully go away, but I think nowadays with the feminist movement they will change even more. I guess by just getting the word out there and influencing more people to be the change we could have an impact.
Female B: I don't think double standards will ever change. The olden days set the precedent for the type of "man" society needs/wants and I feel as though that'll be engraved in everyone's heads forever. Men will always have the upper hand.
Female C: I don't think they are ever going to change totally. As women get more educated they will lessen but they will always exist.
Female D: I believe the acknowledgement, of society as a whole, that double standards are still a prominent issue, which is not going anywhere, is the first step in changing and eventually eliminating them.
10. Do you think double standards will always be imbedded into our society?
Male A: I believe double standards will always be imbedded in our society because me personally I see our society going downhill fast. I'm a firm believer that every voice matters but sometimes I think people think they matter too much, I think that example shows how they will never go away because it's a double standard in itself. And I don't see society changing especially with social media being so toxic to the world now
Male B: Double standards will always be a part of society.
Male C: I feel double standards have always been around. It's drilled into our heads from the moment the doctor says it's a boy or it's a girl.
Male D: Yes.
Female A: Yes, I do. Like I said, we will never be physically equal to one another, so I don't think that full equality and the absence of double standards will ever truly occur.
Female B: Yes I do for the same reasoning as before.
Female C: Yes, I do think they will be embedded in our society to a certain extent for a very long time.
Female D: I would like to think that, one day, society will be free from double standards however one cannot ignore the fact these standards are rooted into our society from the start of time. That is not to say that complete eradication cannot be achieved however it will be a very long and complex process.