8 Modern Day Double Standards

1. The topless guy. When we’re in public and we spot a fit dude with chiseled abs, a pec-tacular chest and no shirt, it’s easy to say, “What a tool/douche/showoff/shmuck, etc.” But what if that man isn’t built like a Greek god? When a pudgy, doughy-bodied dude goes shirtless, we don’t say a word. We may squirm a little, and envy his confidence, but we don’t think he’s conceited. Or even skeleton-esque, skinny guys — they get a free pass as well. Perhaps it’s only fair to consider that every physically fit, topless guy isn’t arrogant or egotistical, maybe he’s just feeling hot — temperature wise.

2. The bad driver. You attempt to switch lanes. Last second you spot a car right next to you, and swerve back into your lane. They may honk, but you’ll still be defensive. It’s their fault for driving in your blind spot! Now reverse the scenario. You’re driving and someone unexpectedly merges into your space. You’ll question the legitimacy of their license, their blood-alcohol level, and why the universe allowed their existence. We’re all so critical of others on the road, but in reality nobody’s perfect. It can be an accident when you do it, but it’s flat-out incompetence when somebody else does.

3. The physically abusive lover. On occasions where poor-tempered females slap, punch, push, kick or throw things at a dude, it’s not always taken very seriously. Often her being pissed off is considered to come with reasonable cause. However, when a guy gets physical with a girl, it’s considered inexcusable behavior, and he’s instantly loathed. Now, in my personal opinion, there’s no scenario in which putting your hands on a female with the intentions of harming her is condonable. If the woman is trying to land blows or use a weapon, then obviously there are precautionary measures that must be taken (e.g. holding her tightly). My point is that physical abuse isn’t acceptable from either side, and it shouldn’t be treated differently based on the gender of the aggressor.

4. Jokes vs. insults. Since few of us are courageous enough to get on stage and perform standup comedy routines, we often feel the urge to release our humor in other ways. Unbeknownst to some unfortunate individuals, they’ll be the targets of our jokes. Maybe we’ll poke fun at what they’re wearing, or something they say — with the intentions of earning laughs. The thing is, when the scenario is reversed and the hilarity is at your expense, it might not be so funny. When someone’s comments are directed toward you, they aren’t amusing — and the attempted jokes feel a lot more like insults. If you’re going to dish out wittiness, be willing to be served some in return.

5. Dating the elderly. If a younger male dates or hooks up with older women, it is said that he just likes cougars. This isn’t typically considered taboo either. Matter of fact, many fellas will probably offer their mature-lover having friend a fist bump of approval. When it’s a younger woman dating an older man, she’s often times labeled a gold-digger. It’s unclear why a lady having a thing for men of a certain age is always in question, but who’s to say it’s not genuine feelings with no ulterior motives?

6. Recognizing good looks. It’s very common to hear a girl compliment the physical appearance of another woman. They call each other beautiful, and nobody thinks twice. However, if a dude were to tell another dude he’s handsome, a few heads would turn. I believe this is partly because it’s not typically in some men’s nature to audibly admire their fellow fellas. Whatever the case, guys can recognize when another man is good looking; I know damn well that Chris Hemsworth and Idris Elba are aesthetically pleasing to the ladies. It’s not because I find them attractive, but I understand why many women would.

7. Virgins. A guy who hangs onto his V-Card for a lengthy stretch is often labeled incapable of acquiring women. When it’s a female, she’s likely to be praised. The issue with this double standard is the foolish folks, who disregard the fact that a male might actually not want to have sex. Whether it’s because of religious beliefs, strict morals, high standards, or any other reason.

8. Breakup bad guy. Not all relationships end on great terms, and often times somebody has to be the villain. Unfortunately, this can be lose-lose for a guy. If he initiates the separation, he’s a jerk. If he’s the dump-ee, then various people assume it’s because he was a jerk, who deserved it. Sometimes the demise of a couple results in a damned if you do, damned if you don’t debacle for the male. TC Mark

image – fullyreclined


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  • maybemily

    Ohh, you should probably tell us more about how difficult it is to be a man in modern times.

    • http://www.facebook.com/joffre.leroux Joffré Leroux

      A *hot* one, especially.

    • Alex

      Okay, Privilege Police – these double standards exist, whether you like to acknowledge it or not. The author never insinuated that it’s hard to be a man in modern times; instead, he stated that these double standards exist. Whether you’re a man or a woman, you should want to combat double standards, stereotypes and other cultural stigmas.

      I’m not denying that this article could’ve been presented in a better way, especially because I noticed several grammatical errors.

      So what have we learned today? We’ve learned that we shouldn’t judge anyone, and we’ve learned that, rather than being counterproductive, we should support each other in recognizing double standards and other modern cultural barriers.

      That being said, if you’d like to whine about privilege, maybe you should go be offended elsewhere. A culture of offended people is not only irritating, but it gets nothing accomplished.

      • http://paintwithwords.tumblr.com L.

        it’s not about being ‘offended.’
        it’s about the universe not needing to continue to give space to those who’ve already got enough, while those whose existences are threatened on the daily, systematically and violently and continually continue to go voiceless.

        just wishing that that canon would become more varied, ya’ll.

        there are enough matthew mcconaughey and will smith films out there to speak to these issues. and millions and millions of dollars supporting the telling of those stories, to boot.

        i’m not offended.
        i’m tired.

        and i’m not the only one.

    • pw


    • http://gravatar.com/yjawhar Yousif Jawhar

      It’s pretty difficult!!

    • http://hotfemmeinthecity.wordpress.com natasiarose

      Agreed. I think the real double standard in #1 is that a man can go topless no matter what his body looks like, but if a chubby woman wears a bikini she gets raked across the coals by everyone who can see her.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joffre.leroux Joffré Leroux


  • http://www.itmakesmestronger.com/2012/07/8-modern-day-double-standards/ Only L<3Ve @ ItMakesMeStronger.com

    […] Thought Catalog » Life Add a comment […]

  • Kate

    Most of this is true, except for #1 and #7. A fat out of shape guy can walk around with no shirt on, no problem. If a fat out of shape woman walks around in a bikini (or similar) she is ridiculed by both men and women. Hot guys (and girls) are rarely judged for walking around with minimal clothing. As for #7 it’s more like wether you’re a girl or a guy, if you get to a certain age and you’re still a virgin people will take it upon themselves to judge that person or try and figure out why they’re still a virgin. It’s like if a guy or girl hasn’t dated in a long time, they simply must be gay. People are judgy.

  • truther

    you forget “everything liberals say”

  • http://paintwithwords.tumblr.com L.

    did you mean to write, “8 things conventionally good looking upper middle class and wealthy white cisgender men find ways to complain about inexplicably?”

    because then the rest of us could have known not to read this.

    • Veronica


      • Thamsa

        What type of person do you think has the right to write comments about double standards?

    • http://100yearsofsuitcases.wordpress.com 1secondtimetravel

      My name is also Veronica and I approve this message

      • http://100yearsofsuitcases.wordpress.com 1secondtimetravel

        L’s, to clarify

    • dana

      the author’s black but LOL good try.

      • http://paintwithwords.tumblr.com L.

        thanks for checking me on that one.

        i should know better than to make assumptions.

    • http://www.raymondthimmes.com raymondthimmes

      Hey now. I’m a “conventionally good looking upper middle class and wealthy white cisgender” male.

      We exist, we deserve love too ;-)

    • Mark

      Please go cry in the Corner of Oppression or something because everyone is tired of this shit.

      • http://paintwithwords.tumblr.com L.

        the corner of oppression is where most of the world’s population resides. and we’re all pretty damn tired, too…

        i’ve got my community, and they don’t need to be told anything. we already know. we live it.

  • Kate

    In response to #6: My boyfriend and his former roommate used to call each other handsome and pretty all the time. They did it under the pretense of a joke, but I think they genuinely admired and appreciated one another, and that’s how they felt they had to justify it. Indeed, why can’t anyone other than two women admire each others looks and beauty without it being assumed sexual? I have plenty of male friends that I would consider handsome, but to whom I’m not sexually attracted. Great article overall, but you really got me thinking about #6!

  • http://twitter.com/koviebiakolo Kovie Biakolo (@koviebiakolo)

    Fair points….all fair points. Especially about #3. I’m always seeing girls hit guys (and I think there is a statistic that girls are actually more abusive technically -don’t quote me) and it’s just really amazing to me. I mean guys are obviously a lot stronger physically so that makes sense that it’s a bigger deal when women get hit but still, ladies, we need to get it together with that.

  • Sam

    Alt post titles:

    “8 First World Problems for the Gym-Going Male”

    “8 Mundane Observations Generalized into Universal Truths”

    “8 Inconveniences that have Mildly Interrupted My Pleasant Existence”

    Seriously. This is some “real talk” and most of it could be copypasta from any Men’s Rights forum on the internet.

    • Brett

      hahahahahahahahaha YES

  • Brett

    A personal opinion article generally can’t be “un-true”…but this is coming close.

  • Sal

    Don’t you know you’re not suppose to talk about double standards unless you’re a women, minority, or homosexual. Wait is that a double standard? A double standard on double standards? A double double standard? A cubed standard?

    • Adam

      Sorry Sal, but these are instances of oppression that the author is either glazing over or completely ignoring. A heterosexual cis-gender male has a much lower level of oppression and cannot comprehend the type on institutionalized oppression the non-heterosexual non-cis-gender non-male portion of society has to face. While Mr. Hudspeth is non-white, he does has experienced that form of oppression, to the extent that he writes an opinion piece about double standards that ignores race entirely – Two cases of Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law are currently going through the court system, one with a black child dead, and one with a white man dead; guess which one went to jail immediately. I imagine this whitewashing of an opinion piece on Double Standards is what confused L way back up there. The fact of the matter is that heterosexual cis-gender white men cannot talk about oppression, because they do not know oppression, and rather than slinging mud, why don’t we take this opportunity to learn about institutional racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, abls-ism and size-ism that makes people ignorant toerags.

      • K

        Heterosexual, white, cis-gender men do not know what oppression is? Erm…Eastern Europe?

      • Sal

        It goes further than I thought. Its a hyper-cubed standard. Posting about double standards is fine, but posting about double double standards is met with scorn and reproach. That sounds like a double double double standard to me. I hate to burst your bubble but double double double is some seriously trouble. That’s double twice time two, enough to reduce civilization to rubble. Double double double is four times worse than a double.

      • http://paintwithwords.tumblr.com L.

        @ K: point well taken, as i have been in discussions where this has come up.
        the issue you raise is very real and important to note,

        but context and scale are important, too. i think maybe the most urgent right now is the lack of acknowledging things going on in and built into America, for one, and the rest of the Western “first” world.

      • K

        Oh for sure, I agree with you 100% but the idea (from Adam) that no group of people that includes white heterosexual males has never been oppressed was silly!

  • rachel

    Re: Virigns: Conversely, a guy who loses his virginity at a young age is a stud but a girl who does so is a slut. That’s the more hurtful side of the double-standard coin.

  • http://nakedself.wordpress.com sholstein

    Let’s not make this a bigger deal than it needs to be. Why must everything be a race, gender, sexuality, class, etc issue? THAT’S exhausting. This is a general observation about what imperfect humans do on occasion. Don’t pretend that those of you on your high and mighty horses have never sneered at a male with his shirt off who isn’t aesthetically pleasing to you, cursed that horrid driver, questioned someone’s life choices, or bristled when a joke was made your expense.

    • http://paintwithwords.tumblr.com L.

      everything *is* a race, gender, sexuality and class issue. everyone has a race and a class and nearly everyone has a gender and/or a sexuality. and EVERYONE interacts with, conforms to, bumps up against, questions and/or navigates race, gender, sexuality and class.

      they turn into “issues” that are “exhausting” typically when white or light-skinned persons are assigned a color, straight people are assigned a sexuality, and non-trans* and non-variant folks are assigned cis.

      it’s important, too, to question why these things are so “exhausting,” if, in fact they are “exhausting,” and for whom.

      for example, it’s pretty fucking exhausting to navigate a trans* or genderqueer or gender variant or genderless experience. except folks who experience dysphoria don’t get to decide to be “tired of it,” or to turn it off, or to stop thinking about it, or to come back to it later.

      folks who are misgendered eight hundred times a day, who can’t find a safe place to pee in public, or who are forced from homes, jobs, or families simply for existing don’t get to decide to be “tired of it,” or to turn it off, or to stop thinking about it, or to come back to it later.

      i agree. it is exhausting.
      but why?
      and for whom? and who is even given the choice to have any experience other than exhaustion (mind you, without walking around talking about it, correcting people constantly, crying about it, breaking down, or giving up–those aren’t usually options)?

      • Adam

        L., I think I love you. Can we please be best friends?

  • calamity

    Speaking as a straight lady, when I am out in public and spot a “fit dude with chiseled abs, a pec-tacular chest and no shirt” I promise you that what is running through my mind is nothing like “What a tool/douche/showoff/shmuck.” Maybe you should hang out with/talk to some more women …

    Also, past their early twenties, no woman is praised for being a virgin by anyone but the Rick Warrens of the world. Seriously, much of this list comes off as complaints about how hard it is to be male. Sorry if I can’t gather up much sympathy at the moment, but I’m too busy making sure that the rights to my uterus aren’t being legislated away …

    • Tk

      Hahahaha literally couldn’t agree more. When I read #1 I was like..what?!? The only people who will ever moan about a hot guy with no shirt, is other guys who are jealous!

  • shauna

    I only disagree with #8. It’s not completely wrong, but what about the “crazy ex-girlfriend” stereotype? That’s at least as prevalent as the jerk ex-boyfriend scenario, and in our society it’s better to be an asshole than a crazy person.

    I see where people are coming from about the privilege thing, but that doesn’t make this article less true. It might not be the best example of double standards, but it’s not wrong.

    • ok

      not to mention the “overly attached girlfriend” cliche

  • http://youlovemercedes.wordpress.com Mercedes

    I’m afraid to give a legitimate comment on this because of all the politically driven people here…. shesssh.

  • Jay

    Seems a little biased, coming from a man. But I like no.4 :)

  • Lo

    oh my god. i don’t see how any of anything that he wrote was offensive. it was fucking hilarious. true that to the bad driver. #1 was about how a guy will judge another guy for looking like a show off but ignore a doughy dude- females weren’t even mentioned. #2 nothing about gender, race, anything, except a fairly relatable scenario i’m sure someone from any group can recognize. #3 this is a valid observation which may not be universally true how the fuck does that make it not worthy of being written about? #4 again, just an observation about daily life #5 this was AWESOME of him to point out how ridiculous it is that women are judged unfairly about something that men are commended for. #6 ANOTHER AWESOME POINT in which he recognizes how sexism has oppressed men too (and if you think sexism against women has NOT raised many men to fit into a too-small box just as it has women, you will never have a part in changing the oppression against women). although yes, he says it’s not in men’s “nature” or whatever to compliment each other- that’s just ignorant, not OPPRESSIVE. how will people ever learn when they’re just attacked, though? #7 again, a TOTALLY VALID POINT. #8 was dumb, yes. but perhaps valid to his experiences. once again, why does that make it not worth writing about? by the angry commenters’ logic, men should never write articles any double standards because women have it worse. i am a feminist and i shake my head. stop applying your academic feminism to everything that has a period after it. i

  • http://duncansomerside.wordpress.com duncansomerside

    I didnt find it offensive, just boring, convention, and unthoughtful. What wasnt already known “double standards” were untrue. Boresville.

  • http://labelgeoisie.wordpress.com nathaliew817

    You should’ve called it: First world problems.

    No SRSLY
    Because 2 and 4 aren’t about double standards but the viewers perspective..

  • Andrew G

    File under “patriarchy hurts men, too!”

    And it’s okay to complain about that, as well. There’s a lot of things to complain about, and no need to have a go at someone just because you think you have better things to complain about than they do.

  • Sanity

    The responses to this piece are absolutely ludicrous. Come off it people and lighten the fuck up.

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