Take a stand against double standards


by Maggie Knox, Page Designer

Consider the following: a man dressed in a suit presents a television program in which dozens of scantily dressed women parade around for points.


Seems like fiction, right?


Wrong. It’s the Miss America pageant.


I’m not saying women shouldn’t dress how they like. Women have every right to present themselves how they please.


I’m trying to convey the underlying expectations built by modern society: women must be judged on the sexuality of their appearances by fully-clothed men for points in a competition.


Why has this, and other double standards, become the norm?


Furthermore, why are men congratulated for expressing their sexuality because they are “embracing their masculinity’ while women are shamed and ridiculed for their utilization of their sexual freedoms? In other words, why are men praised for having sex with multiple partners yet women called sluts for doing the same thing?


Why is it assumed that women should wear revealing costumes on Halloween while their male counterparts can cover up?


Why are so many schools across the nation creating dress codes that take away the rights of young girls? Some girls in Kansas City grade schools have lost their right to wear pants because their legs are apparently too distracting for young boys. Why can’t society teach boys not to sexualize normal body parts instead of restricting girls to only wear long, loose clothing?


Why are women encouraged not to listen to catcallers yet are confronted with them daily?


I’ve been catcalled. I’ve listened to rude remarks about my outfits. I’ve gotten in trouble with school dress code violations. And I’m sure many of you have, too.


I’m sick of living in a society that lets these things pass by everyday. I believe women should have the right to wear what they like and they shouldn’t be judged for it. And, as a firm believer in the equality of the sexes, I also believe that men and women should be held equally accountable for their actions.


However, I do not condone double standards. I will never condone them. And neither should you.


Nearly all of society’s double standards favor men. This is not something to “brush off” and “deal with.”


Instead, members of society, both women and men, should work towards the elimination of these standards by just being educated on them.


The next time you are told that your outfit is too modest or too flashy or too inappropriate, ask that person on what are they basing their judgment. Let them know that you have the right to wear what you want.


The next time you are catcalled, ask that person how they think you feel when they say that. Tell them you will not be objectified and that they should keep their rude thoughts to themselves.


Teach your friends, both girls and boys, to take a stand against the inequalities between men and women. Teach them how those inequalities affect society’s double standards.


The next time you notice a double standard in action, remind yourself and the people around you that men and women should be judged on the same, single set of standards.
Or better yet, remind yourself and the people around you that men and women should not be judged. Period.