GENDER DOUBLE STANDARD
Double standards exist pervasively throughout our society. There is the age double standard; the race double standard and we have always had the gender double standard as early as the arrival of man on the scene. In current society, the gender double standard is further delineated in the fields of employment, human capabilities, inner and moral strength and social interactions. One area that is most striking is the double standard involving social interactions. Men and women in this field are on equal footing with respect to their interactions with members of the opposite sex. I make a point of it because it elicits paranoid behavior in both sexes. It is understandable, but quite perplexing when it comes down to the basic logic of it all. Let me explain.
Both sexes have relationships with members of their gender. That is, men have men friends and women have women friends. Further assume these men and women have ties, be it marital or relationships i.e. girlfriends, boyfriends. When the friendships involve a crossing of genders, that is a man has a friend who happens to be a female and a women who has a friend who happens to be a male, a problem arises for a rather obvious reason. The connotation or shall I say the suspicion of an interaction deemed inappropriate arises. It becomes deemed an inappropriate interaction simply based on gender. Why?
The suspicion is predicated on an automatic mistrust and therefore, a kind of misconduct. It is based on assumptions, however false, about the participants in the relationship. From the beginning , if we are male or female the given in this scenario is inappropriate behavior without even looking at the reality or intention. Again, why? That is the double standard. Each gender holds the other to a standard, perhaps in no small way that is biased and unfair. Mistrust is a given. “I’ll be home later, honey. I’m having a few drinks with Janet” Bob says to his wife, has an infinitely more of a suspicious impact than, “I’ll be home later, honey” I’m having a few drinks with Mike”. Both Janet and Mike may very well be friends of Bob’s family. Nevertheless, it doesn’t eradicate the presence of suspicion between Janet and Bob or even Bob’s wife with a male friend. The ‘double’ double standard will always be the rule
One might ask the question, Is it appropriate for a man or woman who is spoken for by another to have a friendly drink or date with a member of the opposite sex in the first place? Staunch advocates of the sanctity of the marital bond or even exclusive relationships might flatly answer, No. Liberal minded and free spirited thinkers might give a more ‘Swingers’ response, “What’s the problem with that? . Those sitting on the fence may deem it a ‘maybe’ or ‘it depends’ with a pending qualified answer .No matter what the particular circumstance, this standard seems to be imbedded into the fabric of societal relationships
It is unlike other classes of gender double standards such as employment which injects biases in salary and capabilities. An Inner emotional strength double standard to handle tasks that require a certain moral toughness. It is unique because the double standard of which I speak is not biased between the genders, one over the other. It is assigned to men and women equally. Men must deal with this basic assumption of mistrust as do women. So what is the resolution to all this? A relationship check-up assessing intentions and inner trust? Probably, this is the correct path to dispelling mistrust Nevertheless It seems no matter how introspective one becomes about his or her relationships, there looms the possibility of a misdeed or inappropriate behavior with this type of standard rooted in our thinking. It’s part of the human condition and perhaps, never will evolve to a higher state. It is part of the human condition.