Double Standards: Society's Eyes

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Do you think women are really seen as equal to men? Do you think things are already fair or do you still see and feel how the other side weighs a lot heavier?

The 19th Amendment to the Constitution was eventually approved on August 18, 1920, enfranchising all American women and stating for the first time that they, like men, are entitled to all citizenship rights and obligations.

Today, women have much more freedom than they do before. Women can get accepted in any job, women are allowed to do many things that they weren’t allowed before and many more things have changed since then. However, despite these changes and upgrades, we can’t deny that “double standards” are still a thing. Double standards is the term used to describe the difference between how society sets standards for men and women.

There are many examples that I can give - including my own experiences to my observations. First, let’s start with the smallest things we can observe double standards from.  Men can have a lover at a young age just because they’re “men” and apparently that’s what feeds their ego- however, when a woman gets involved in a romantic relationship in her teenage years, she will get called inappropriate names and be shamed for it. As an only girl in a family of four with an older brother, I always get told how I shouldn’t get into a relationship at a young age and should wait until I turn 25 or graduate college, and if I go against this, I am told that I should leave the house. On the other hand, at a young age (as young as 13 years old) they are jokingly and openly asking my brother to introduce a girlfriend to our family. Funny, right? If you would ask what their reason for this is, all they can say is “he’s a boy and you’re a girl” which doesn’t make sense at all.

Another example is an observation of mine - when girls surround a man, he’s popular and a heartthrob while if it’s the other way around, the woman gets slut-shamed. Now, let’s dive deeper into much more serious things that should seriously be talked about and fixed. Up until this day, women are getting shamed for breastfeeding in public because apparently they are “brazenly” displaying their chests, while men can walk around completely topless.

Body image standards: when a woman has a big figure, they are shamed for it - they are asked to go on diets that lead to many health problems, be it mentally, emotionally, or physically. People expect women to be skinny, tall, fair, and all pretty adjectives while men are allowed to be as gross as they want just because again, they’re men. However, this also goes the other way. When a man tries to be “clean and proper” and use make-up, do skincare, dress well, and many more “girly” things to do, they are shamed for it and people go around assuming their sexuality.

Another example is a situation in the workplace. In most workplaces, women are expected to do the light things while men are expected to work harder. This is because women are usually seen as weaker and incapable, and it is assumed that men can always do better.

My last example is the gatekeeping of “boy things”; there are a lot of hobbies that society classifies as "boy things", such as playing basketball, watching anime, playing video games and more. When women try to do any of these things, people prevent them from doing so because it is un-ladylike and women shouldn’t be interested in it and join the bandwagon. As someone who plays video games, I’ve been in situations like this. When players realize that I’m a girl, they would only do two things - either they would insult me the whole game and tell me to go work in the kitchen or overly sexualize me. This made me afraid to talk in game lobbies anymore.

You might say, “just mute or report them” - no, this shouldn’t be tolerated. Just because I muted them and decided not to hear anything from them doesn’t mean they would stop and wouldn’t do it to another girl. Choosing not to listen at all wouldn’t solve anything; rather it would make things worse.

Girls shouldn’t be afraid to explore things and definitely shouldn’t be prevented to do their hobbies. That is why when I realized this, I stopped ignoring them and started to defend myself to shut them up. Women don’t deserve to be oppressed, we deserve the same rights as everyone else - for all people are equal no matter what their gender and sexuality is. The rights women fought for would all go to waste if people continue to have the same mindset as before. People have to realize that the world is changing, and it wouldn’t forever revolve around the same things.

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