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Do a Double Take

by Published: Jan 27, 2012

Double standards are with us wherever we go, but do you really notice them in your everyday life?

I never noticed them before I left for college, now it is almost impossiable for me ignore them thanks to education.

Look at the entertainment industry, for example. Girl punches guy: comedy. Guy punches girl: abuse. Lesbians are hot, but gay couples are gross. If a guy sleeps around, he’s a sex god. If a girl does it, she’s a whore.

We have all seen these stereotypes in movies and other forms of media, and yet we normally don’t think anything of them. These examples are the most common, but there are hundreds more lurking in our lives — especially on the Internet.

There is a demotivational poster floating around the Internet that has a picture of a lock with a caption that says, “A key that opens many locks is an awesome key, but a lock with many keys is just a bad lock.” I will leave your imagination to the task of decoding this ambiguous message.

Many of these double standards stem from attitudes based on traditional stereotypes of gender roles. Regardless of how you look at it, men and women are treated differently.

Have you heard young women on campus call each other “bitches?” I have. It astounds me that it is supposedly meant as a compliment (judging by the fact they were smiling). But if a male called a female this name, I doubt he would be walking in a straight line afterwards.

A friend of mine once told me that everyone in his engineering classes is always shocked when females enter the class. He says these classes are mostly male dominated and having a female in the class is unusual at best. You see this attitude in the business world as well.

When I went to last year’s career fair on campus, I quickly discovered that no matter how assertive I acted, the potential employer would look over my head at the next candidate: a male. This was especially true for employers in the construction or technology industry.

If you look on the website called notalwaysright​.com, a website for people to post their humorous customer stories, they list several examples of customers who will refuse to work with female employees in the technology or video game industry because they assume she doesn’t know anything about the subject.

I have only discussed gender double standards, but there are so many more including racial. I remember my friend in high school telling her friend he was not allowed to call her “white” if she could not call him “black.”

We take these double standards for granted because we have been desensitized to them. They are our cultural norm. Pay attention as you go to class. Challenging your view on the world can help you grow as an individual.