A Dangerous Double Standard
Women face many dangers in society. Women are generally smaller and physically weaker than men, so a female can be said to be a potential victim for a male. However, oftentimes, females become endangered simply because they are women.
In effect, women are endangered daily by societal double standards with regard to their attitude, clothing and chosen activities.
Women’s bodies are the subject of much attention from the media. The ideal body type is stamped everywhere. Women who are able to achieve that body type, or nearly achieve it, are likely to want to show it off. Thus, if a shapely female where’s a plunging neckline or a short skirt, people may consider her to be inviting sexual overtures.
However, a man in a shirt which reveals his muscular stature would receive no such insult. This look can even cause a woman to be the victim of unwanted sexual advances, even rape. In an extreme case, one attacker was actually freed because his victim was dressed the way she was. According to a sexual assault case in the UK, “a pedophile who raped a 10-year-old girl will be free in just four months after a British judge said his victim had ‘dressed provocatively’.
In addition to her appearance, a woman who seems confident, or even aggressive, can earn distasteful responses from both men and women. Confident women seem to present a challenge to men, even though no such standard exists for men.
Men may, again, sexually pursue these women. Women may feel intimidated and fail to rally behind these women, pushing them to the side, failing to protect them. Some women are even considered bold and fiery. Most men and women do not know how to deal with this type of woman, and some might set out to try to make them fail. As an example, some women who choose to express what is considered an extreme are insulted and even tormented.
For example, aggressive women are termed feminazis. One opposed to this view noted that “These are the staunch feminists that destroy homes and marriages. I’ve met a few feminists in my lifetime and I could see that they were just begging to get into an argument. Some women really thrive off attacking men every chance they get.
Many marriages have been destroyed by a meddling feminist. Of course, hen pecked husbands and sissies are exempt. A real man is a threat to the feminist’s agenda. Feminism is sin. It is wrong because it is a rebellion against authority (and against God)” (Militant Feminazis).
Finally, women seem to have less latitude in choosing their own activities. If a man walks alone at night, drinks too much and flirts with the opposite sex, or sets out to undertake a highly physical adventure, people are impressed. If a woman does the same thing, she is placing herself in danger.
A woman walking at night is subject to attack. A flirtatious woman may not be in control of the advances of the men she is flirting with. A woman who attempts a physical adventure may be seen as overreaching her bounds. All of these can have cataclysmic results. If a man is hurt, it is a tragedy. If a woman is hurt, it was bound to happen.
For example, former CIA agent Dr. R.J. Hillhouse writes about her experiences as an agent. “Dr. Hillhouse has run Cuban rum between East and West Berlin, smuggled jewels from the Soviet Union and slipped through some of the world’s tightest borders. From Uzbekistan to Romania, she’s been followed, held at gunpoint and interrogated. Foreign governments and others have pitched her for recruitment as a spy” (Hillhouse,) At every corner she met with problems that the male agents did not.
Sadly, double standards do exist. A woman can be hurt by the choices she makes, whether they be her fashion, her attitude or her activities. Even though this is not the way things should be, women should heed these issues lest they become victims.
“Girl provoked pedophile – judge.” News.com.au. Retrieved 26 June 2007. http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,21969117-2,00.html
Hillhouse, R.J. The Spy Who Briefed Me. Retrieved 26 June 2007 from http://www.thespywhobilledme.com/
“Militant Feminazis.” Retrieved 27 June 2007 from http://www.jesus-is- savior.com/Womens%20Page/militant_feminazi.htm