When one talks about expectations, relationships, sex and moral standards on top of it, one can nearly always observe a certain phenomenon: people have double standards – one standard for men and one for women. You may now think you know where I am going with this – becoming an advocate for women’s rights – but I actually feel that I have to do the opposite! I have the feeling that men need someone to stand for them, too, because we have partly turned around the traditional gender prejudice and have missed creating equality in our judgement!
I believe it is a commonly known complaint of women that was even popularly voiced in several famous songs: if a man has several girlfriends at the same time or simply sex with several different women over a period of time, he is seen as a very great man. He earns respect from other men, they admire him and women practically stand in line to be the next. There are ‘how to’ guides to be like him, he is asked for advice by his friends and even people whom he doesn’t know very well and he usually has a strange arrogance for the fact that he had a big variety of sex partners and can ‘get any girl he wants’. He is THE man.
What happens if a woman does the same? If a woman has several sexual partners, even if she is not cheating on any of them because it is clear each of them that there is no commitment or relationship, she is seen in a negative light. If a woman has a high number of sexual partners, she runs the risk of being called a prostitute in all the different variations of the word. There are guides on how to not look like this woman and on how to get rid of such an image once you have it. Other women may interiorly wish they had the same success with men but show on the outside that they only have contempt for this woman. Men feel attracted to her – but don’t take her serious. They don’t even have much respect for her and they would never think of a serious relationship.
As I already mentioned, this is nothing new. People have been talking about this, some men have changed their attitude towards the playboys among them and women become a bit more free and accepting their own sexual needs. There are now a lot of women who don’t really care about what society may say – and maybe society doesn’t judge them as much anymore either! I would even say that it now started turning around. Men get the same kind of blame that women were getting while women insist on not being judged!
Yes, I am clearly saying that double standards are not only wrong when women are concerned but also when men are concerned! Equality does not mean that you give sexual freedom to women and control, blame, accuse and judge men!
Especially in the west great steps have been made for women to come out of their traditional gender roles. Women have reached leading positions in economics and politics, it is not anymore regarded as unusual that women study and start working before having children and go to work again a few years after giving birth. Fathers have started taking off work to be there for children and husbands contribute in household chores. Women are independent, strong and they know it themselves, too. There is still lots to do in countries like India and also in the west, things can still improve. Women still don’t get paid equally to men and the support to join work while the children are small is not strong enough yet.
BUT – and yes, that is a big but – with all the work done for equality, you have to remember that equality means no double standards at all! If you don’t judge women anymore, which is the only right way and what should be done, you have to stop judging men as well! Only then you can reach gender equality!