Sunday, July 7, 2013

Double Standards

I mentioned double standards in yesterday's blog post.   I first developed my thoughts on double standards, when reading a book from the 1940's  (when the term had a different meaning).

The modern definition of "double standard" is a situation where two groups (or things or people) are treated differently, even though they should be treated the same.  Double standards are objectively wrong.  I won't go into the ethics of why they're wrong, since that would take us a bit off-topic and nobody seems to be arguing the contrary.

By definition, a double standard involves two groups.  Logic tells us that this means both groups are negatively impacted.  Usually, the negative impact is larger on one group than it is on the other.

I want to emphasize the point that a double standard is bad for both parties involved, not just the victimized party.  As Abraham Lincoln once said, "As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master."  It is wrong when there are slaves or masters, even if many people would prefer being a master to being a slave.

For an example, I'll use Prince of Persia: Warrior Within.  That videogame is blatantly sexist; it features women in extremely skimpy costumes, in an attempt to appeal to men.  This is wrong for women, because it promotes the idea that women are sex objects that exist only for male pleasure.  It is also wrong for men, because it promotes the idea that men are sex-crazed maniacs who can't (or shouldn't) control themselves around women.  In other words, this is a lose-lose situation where both genders suffer, even if one gender suffers more than the other.

Hopefully this an adequate response to some of the comments I got on yesterday's post.  There are some double standards where I get bad treatment for being in a minority, and that is wrong.  There are some double standards where I get special treatment for being in a majority, and that is also wrong.  More on this tomorrow.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Michael, you just take my breath away!!:):):) I really like how you bring these important topics out into the public. It is awesome. Maybe people don't like it, because it is the truth. But the truth sets us free and I know God is pleased!!!:) God Bless you, Michael!!:)
P.S. Liked the part where you mentioned about the skimpy-clad women, because that is sinful and it hurts God.

Anonymous said...

I agree largely with your post. However, although I do concede it's wrong to have this two party system, you do at least have the benefit of repeaing the rewards of a majority sometimes. There are some people, some groups, who are NEVER in the majority, and it's those people I think about and worry over the most, those who have never seen justice and or even the occassional equality. Like I said, even though you are the minority sometimes, you are in the majority during others, and that's not something everyone can say. That's my biggest concern.

Breanna(; said...

I have had a pretty rough life, a lot of things have happened to me in my life that were more bad than good and I have a different outlook on life than a lot of other people because, of all of the hurt I have had to suffer and I just like to treat everyone fairly and try to understand how they feel, because, you never know what they may be going through. I am not looking for any sympathy for myself, I just think we shouldn't say harsh things to people and treat them like they are unimportant, because, they are different or have an a different opinion than yours. The old saying "you should never judge a man until you have walked a mile in his shoes." Is a very good one and something I take to heart. I'm not perfect and I don't claim to be I just think we should think about what we are saying, before we say it and make sure that it is accurate and fair.

Kuhna said...

I'm not quite grasping your explanation.

My understanding of "double standard" is this:

When a woman sleeps with a lot of guys, she's a slut. If a guy sleeps with a lot of women, well, dang, he's just awesome. That means that the male group is being treated considerably better than the female group.

Take the flip side: A woman likes doing householdish things like cooking, cleaning, maybe she wants to be a teacher. That's cool, she can do that if she wants. If a man likes to cook and clean and wants to be a teacher, he's seen as feminine, maybe even creepy, and is ridiculed for it. In this case, the male group is being treated worse.

Stephanie Braddock said...

I, too, take "double-standard" to mean what Kuhna describes. I always saw it to mean that one group is negatively impacted, and the other positively impacted, but both for the same reason. You do seem to be promoting equality, but you're going about it in quite an odd way, and I can't say I find it to be fair or just. I feel as if you're actually trying to discredit the few of us trying to promote this inequality by calling forth double standards, as if we actively practice these. Please, correct me if I'm wrong, but that's what I'm interpreting from this, and it seems oddly hypocritical.

Anonymous said...

9:17 Anon - seriously, are you 10? Get out a little. These topics are being talked about in places other than this blog. Stop being such a puppy-love-crazed fangirl.

Also, they way someone dresses isn't sinful. Are you going to say tribal African women who don't cover their breasts are sinful? If that's what you think "hurts God," then, well, wait until you get out into the real world. Your head may just explode.

9:18 Anon - I definitely agree with you. The twoparty system really hurts us. Australia has a pretty good electoral system for the most part, in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

Who is the girl that is saying, "Oh, Michael you just take my breath away"? One word, What. You act like you are married to him.

Anna said...

I agree. I once had a conversation with one of my friends where I told him, "If a girl is dressing skimpy and someone says she is asking for it, it insults men as well because it makes it seem like men are all closet rapists who can't control themselves" and your blog basically backs that statement up.

Anonymous said...

Anna, so true! We see all of these "women need to learn to protect themselves" by learning self-defense, carrying pepper spray, and not walking around outside by themselves, but why can't we put just as much effort into teaching that's it's not ok to rape and sexually assault? Of course, you can't stop everyone, but it certainly wouldn't hurt.

Purple said...

Yes, I agree that a double standard is bad for both parties involved if we look at the inequality from an objective point of view. If a particular double standard does not apply to us in any manner (which is difficult since most examples of double standards now are based on gender) and we simply observe it, then we can see that it's causing a misrepresentation of both parties.

However, based on society's present interpretation, the common explanation of double standard insists that one group is very visibly subjected to an inequality. This group then, is the one that usually fights it and declares that an injustice has occurred. The other, seeming to have the more desirable treatment, rarely recognizes that they too are being labeled as something that they might not find desirable.

It gets confusing for many because we are more exposed to double standards today when it comes to gender as it as becomes a typical example. It is used as an argument within the Feminist movement, so we are accustomed to understand that one group benefits and another is presented as something deemed untrue. But, if we think about double standards based on the Abraham Lincoln you used, it makes sense that both representations of parties involved are wrong and misleading.

I think that when we consider double standards, it is useful and helpful to define what subject your examples fall in, be it gender, racism, etc. Emphasis is often put on the group that has been victimized. Many do not see or ignore the fact that the other group is also subjected to mistreatment. In this case, we must view the situation from the outside-- as if we are not part of anything to point out inequality within both parties and come to a more generalized understanding of what a double standard is.

Anonymous said...

You should also remember that the makers of the game assume its players are men who want to ogle women. Video game players are about fifty-fifty women/men. However, there is still a shortage of not only "women's" games but also popular games that don't portray women as a stereotype, trope or plot device. I don't see any men starting a video game company to make games specifically for men. That's because there is still a problem with gender bias. There are problems with racial bias as well. Have you every wondered why "flesh colored" band-aids are pink?
Systemic bias is still prevalent. You may feel excluded, but you aren't being discriminated against. The point of these rallies is to make things better. It's a way to celebrate gender or race because it's not being celebrated in daily life. Frankly, I say to people who feel they are missing out on equal treatment- "This is how large groups of people have been feeling for a really long time."
If you want to participate in an event like the ones you listed, why not consider volunteering to help. I'm sure they would love the support, and people of all genders and races speaking out for a cause is just plain awesome.
So Michael next time you feel negatively impacted by affirmative action just ask your sister how she feels about making less than men, doing worse in math because of a stereotype and being discounted because of her gender.
Also because many of the comments are turning towards this subject: women and men are NEVER asking to be raped. The way people dress has nothing to do with sexual desire. There are language barriers towards women sexuality (e.g. women who have sex are "sluts", but there is not appropriate synonym for men). Slut-shaming and walks of shame are huge problems for women.

William D said...

Wow, Michael, your paths of logic are amazing and I must say how blown away I am by you. You are truly right about everything! In many games and movies, men are portrayed as sex hungry beasts, ravaging the world of women. The women are always being abused morally, physically, and spiritually.
I have to agree with Kuhna a little bit. I like doing house hold stuff, and I appreciate cleaning. But some people just think I'm weird for that.