The Double Standard that Needs to End

Most likely, any woman reading this article currently has at one point in her life, been called a whore, slut, hoe, or skank by someone either to their face or behind their back. It can also be assumed that probably, the majority of men reading this have not been degraded as intensely as a direct result of his sex life. 

How is it that in today’s society, girls become the blank canvases to splatter the blame on? Why are we the target for shaming that leads to self-consciousness and embarrassment? This is in no way an article about self pity or one that targets the opposite sex; that would accomplish nothing. Instead, I would like to point out the double standard that occurs socially in our culture, specifically regarding sex.

Why is it that a girl should be sexually experienced, but not too much so? That she should be modest during the day, but at night she shed that innocence? These expectations are ridiculous and are unfortunately, very real. Women should not feel the pressure to conform to what our society has dictated as the status quo. To women reading this article, I encourage you to not accept the condescending and hurtful names we are called as the direct result of us engaging in sexual activities. To make life choices and stand by them. To not give in to the judgement that society presents you.

What bothers me the most is not people’s opinions but more so, what our culture holds to a higher standard of trustworthiness. In a hypothetical situation, when a girl and boy “hookup,” both drunk, and then proceed the next day to state what happened, nine times out of ten, the boy’s story is taken as truth and the girl becomes irrelevant because her intoxication completely strips her side of any validity. This is not okay. 

Why are there numerous, harsh words that specifically attack a woman’s sex life yet not one that solely pertains to a man? Why is there a preconceived notion of what a woman’s “number” should be, but a man is socially allowed to have sex with however many women he wants? 

While these questions will remain hypothetical for the present time, I encourage men and women to change the way our society views sex and the opinions that innately form based on a person's gender. Like I stated before, the point of this article is not to shame the whole male gender as a group, because they shouldn’t be. The point I strive to make is to acknowledge the double standard in hookup culture today and create awareness of it, and its hypocrisy between sexes.

Feminism is defined as the “advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality of men.” I identify myself as a feminist. I believe that gender should not be a factor when making decisions, forming opinions, or taking actions. I believe that people are people and no physical characteristic should elevate one human over another.

Today, feminism is painted as man hating and the process of making women become the dominate gender, which most educated people would know is not the case. The first step to fixing any problem is creating awareness and the problem today is the degradation of women and their sex life. While the issue disregards a man and the amount of women that he sleeps with, the name calling and opinion formulation stems from both genders. 

Ideally, one day we will live in a world where both genders are equal and society will not favor one over the other. Both men and women must stop targeting women and their sexual choices to make this possible. We must learn not to judge others for their personal choices and create a social ideal of what each gender must act like. So girls, make your life choices without fear of being ridiculed and ostracized because as a human being, it is your given right to do just that. But also, make sure you always make the smartest and safest choice because that is the obligation you owe to yourself.