Double standards against women

Double standards against women

Women may be safe from the diagnosis of hysteria in the 21st century, but the patriarchal paradigm is still weaving its way into everything we do. 

For those who may not be familiar with what a double standard is, Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines it as “a code of morals that applies more severe standards of sexual behavior to women than to men.” Simply put, this means men can get away with things that women can’t due to a social perception and vice versa. 

The problem with double standards is that they reinforce stereotypes and call for an imbalance between genders. Now, I wouldn’t say we’re moving backward, but I would argue that we as a society have been at a standstill when battling this issue.

For example, have you noticed the intense scrutiny that artists like Taylor Swift or Ariana Grande receive for writing about their relationships? When a woman shares details from her romantic life, she receives backlash from the media for dating too many people. However male artists such as Harry Styles and The Weeknd do the exact same thing and get away with it unscathed. Is anybody accusing them of being a serial dater or claiming that they only write about their exes? I don’t think so. 

On the other hand, maybe male artists receive such high praise for sharing their feelings because for so long, society has convinced them that they shouldn’t. While women are often painted as sensitive and weak, men are expected to be tough and strong. Thus, creating a stigma around men’s mental health and forcing men to bottle their feelings inside and rarely receive the proper treatment. 

A lot of double standards stem from tradition but we can’t move forward while still clinging to the ideals of the past. The notion that a woman is “less committed” to her spouse if she doesn’t choose to take his last name is not only incorrect but also deeply misogynistic. 

Why does a woman have to give something up in order to show her love for someone and why are men not being held to the same standards? While the expectation of a woman taking her spouse’s last name upon marriage may just seem traditional, I see it as another subtle form of suppression against women that needs to be rethought. 

Society continuously paints women as fragile and innocent, but, at the same time, demands that we are maternal and nurturing. We must carry the world on our shoulders and still be polite and accommodating at all times. Men on the other hand are characterized as the protectors and providers thus further emphasizing the power dynamic. 

It’s undoubtedly easier to pinpoint the double standards against women than the ones against men. That’s not to say that they don’t exist, but when the world is orchestrated to work in men’s favor, the few obstacles that they face barely cross their minds. 

As expressed, I think it’s time we let go of the double standards and allow people to break out of the traditional roles society has created. We don’t have to be at a standstill forever, and it’s not too late to change. 


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