4 Gender Double Standards Everyone's Apparently OK With
Ever heard someone complain about a gender-based double standard? How women can get away with X while men can't? Usually, that's how it goes. There are probably sometimes women who bitch about how men can wear jeans and nothing else to answer the door, but I don't know. And you know what, it does happen sometimes. Sometimes, in very selective circumstances, some women may have things easier than men. But a lot of times, that double standard is kind of a load of crap if you look into it even a little.
Check out this sweet poster from the University of Oklahoma:
Excellent use of an old-timey phone receiver. We don't want Adele harassing us in the 1980s, not one bit. But graphic decisions aside, the point of the poster raises some questions. Is Adele a sexually harassing potential rapist? The absurdity of the question speaks directly to the point of the poster, and the perceived double standard of how our society thinks the idea that women can sexually harass men at all is silly. And let's be honest: While in a scholarly way, we're willing to admit that any scumbag thing a man can do, a woman can do as well, it's generally with a reluctance that anyone would admit to a sexual crime perpetrated by a woman against a man.
Generally speaking, we find sex crimes against men kind of funny. Sounds weird to say that, but it's a large part of the plot of movies like That's My Boss and Horrible Bosses. And I'm going to be honest, I wish Jennifer Aniston's dentist character was my dentist. I'd get my teeth cleaned so much more often if I had that going on. I'm part of the problem. I know that.
She can unfavorably compare my goods to her water pick anytime.
So, looking at this poster, you have a sort of MRA view of flipping the script on sexual harassment. I'm not going to shit on MRAs the way so many other people do. I get it. I get frustrated sometimes. I used to have this pair of dress pants, and they were the only ones I had because I never had a lot of reasons to wear them when I was younger. One day, I needed to wear them again, and I had grown about a foot since the last time I wore them and gained maybe 50 lbs or more, and I just couldn't get the damn pants on because they have that stupid hook latch thing instead of a button -- you know, the way dress pants do? You have to pull it way far over to get it to hook, and after struggling for a solid 20 minutes, I got them done up, but then, with a sound like a tiny gunshot, the little latch thing tore right off and flew across the room as my pants fell down. I was enraged. So I get being angry about stupid shit that no one else cares about.
The thing about a double standard is that you need a standard first to double. Adele here has not doubled a standard. You can't look at Adele's words and think, "Oh my goodness, if a man had done this, why ... I can't imagine!" while waxing your mutton chops and shooting a buffalo. The reason for this is that Adele's writing her song at the ass end of a long history of songs that are effectively about stalking someone you're in love with. "Every Breath You Take" by the Police may be the most beloved of them all. But there's also "Hello" by Lionel Ritchie, "Ava Adore" by Smashing Pumpkins, "You Belong To Me" by Carly Simon, "I Will Possess Your Heart" by Death Cab for Cutie, "Run For Your Life" by the Beatles, and probably at least one song by every musician ever.
And Michelle is still running to this day.
When people want to be offended, this is a great way to do it: misreading song lyrics. We all know it's on purpose, and it's funny when the lyrics fit the misreading. It's delightful out-of-context chicanery. But anyone who takes this seriously is kind of an asshole. Historically, the pursuit of a beloved is the basis for romance. It's as old as writing. It happens in Greek romances and in Shakespeare. And the assholes can say that Romeo was a stalker, and maybe so was Lloyd Dobler. Or maybe there is something to be said for someone who doesn't give up on love and pursues someone they care for because relationships are confusing and take time sometimes. Maybe Adele just wanted to talk to someone she was in love with and isn't insane. Lighten the fuck up, University of Oklahoma.
Sex Tapes / Selfies In The Media
Remember the cleverly-named "Fappening"? When numerous pictures of nude celebrities were released en masse and, apparently in celebration, many a sad person masturbated as one? There's a really fun image someone on Reddit once posted showing Gawker's headlines (yes, I'm referring to Gawker as "media," I'm a bad person) about the celebrity picture scandal and how porn sites were refusing to remove them, set against Gawker's own stories about the Hulk Hogan sex tape and how they were refusing a judge's order to remove the tape from the site.
This is just one sad example from a site with the journalistic integrity of me after ten shots of whisky and a bribe, but it's noteworthy for the way at least some of the media approaches the idea of invasion of privacy: Men have none, while women do. Hulk Hogan, whom not even science wants to watch have sex, must be watched! Jennifer Lawrence, darling girl of the Internet, must be white-knighted to the safety of Gawker towers, where none shall dare even glance at her ankles again!
Then this shit happened. Two venture capitalists actually have a bounty out for a Donald Trump sex tape. Two people so badly want to shame someone that they've put up money in the hopes this unicorn of debauchery may somehow exist in the world. This should be mind-blowing in its multi-layered awfulness -- like an onion of revulsion ready to offend any and all sensibilities a person can have, whether they love, hate, or are indifferent to Donald Trump altogether. And then you look at it from the opposite point of view again.
While still imagining this man having sex.
Say, for instance, someone came right out and offered Jennifer Lawrence $60,000 for a sex tape. Could you imagine the uproar? Could you imagine the disgust and the worldwide headlines? And just before I finish this paragraph, can you imagine how many people are ahead of me because they know where I'm going with this?
Pippa Middleton was offered $5 million for a sex tape in 2011. One didn't exist; some dude just offered her money to make a porno. Larry Flynt just offered Rob Kardashian and Blac Chyna a load of cash to make one. Vivid even made alleged child-murderer Casey Anthony a $1 million offer once (then rescinded, because even porn connoisseurs found that tasteless). Octomom was offered money, and actually made one. Miss Colombia was offered $1 million. Fact is, women get offered money to pork on camera all the time. It's part of business when you're even mildly famous.
$10 million if she got the Queen and Philip to join in.
The media's chivalry over the nude selfie leak was self-serving at best, a reflection of the already-prevalent public disgust very much alive on social media. Many news outlets happily posted photos -- it was only when sites like Gawker noticed a public backlash of people saying "Well shit, a lot of us have nude pics on our phones; celebrities deserve to keep that stuff private too" did they develop a sense of morality on the matter. If people on Twitter and Facebook hadn't spoken up, Gawker would have turned Jennifer Lawrence's boobs into their new logo.
Hillary Clinton Vs. The World
Carly Fiorina, presidential hopeful and business fucker-upper, has said that Hillary Clinton doesn't deserve a free pass just because she's a woman. That's a reasonable thing to say in politics, if you live in a bubble where none of the words I have just used have ever been presented to you in any form before and you are totally unaware of who Hillary Clinton is or how her campaign's been going. If anyone realistically believes Hillary Clinton's been getting a pass on anything because she's a woman, they may be what we in the industry call "drunk as shit."
In June 2015, the New York Times ran an article entitled "Why It Matters That Hillary Clinton Wore Ralph Lauren." Rather than waste time reading the article, I'll cut to the chase and tell you why it matters: It fucking doesn't. All the candidates could wear fucking burlap sacks -- how does this have any effect on politics? Go back to writing crosswords, New York Times.
"She wore blue! That must mean she's all womany and sad, for womany reasons!"
In December 2015, The Daily Mail -- that UK repository of journalistic integrity and off-colored turds -- ran "Hillary's 20 Fashion Faux Pas." "Faux pas" isn't French for something that could ever even be vaguely important. It's just making fun of Clinton's clothes.
"Hillary Clinton Wore A Red Power Suit" comes from Esquire. "Hillary Clinton Reveals The 'Cold Shoulder' Donna Karan Dress is Her Favorite" is another Daily Mail winner. There are more paragraphs dedicated to Hillary Clinton's fashion choices than there are to explaining any of the dozens of insane promises Donald Trump has made during his campaign.
We could at least pen a few thinkpieces on whatever the fuck his son's wearing.
Sure, people have made fun of Donald Trump's hair -- because they always do and always will, because it looks like the pubic hairs of a particularly wicked lich trying to grasp out at the souls of the vibrant and youthful -- but even that is often relegated to a single paragraph in a larger piece. He doesn't have page after page of articles discussing his shoulder pads. People discuss his policies, right? His promises and threats. Maybe Clinton is getting a free pass, since we only care about her clothes.
Except Clinton's getting raked over the coals for her emails, for her husband banging an intern about 20 years ago, for Benghazi, for various financial and ethical issues, and for her Wall Street ties. In other words, people have an entire list of genuine concerns about her as a politician. And then they want to know why she's wearing an orange pantsuit. Clinton's "free pass" costs just as much as any candidate's, with the added bonus of having a dress code.
"Answer the question, Mrs. Clinton: Did you or did you not order those soldiers to stand down while wearing horizontal stripes?"
Amy Schumer's Speech
Amy Schumer had been embroiled in a joke-stealing scandal recently which I followed pretty closely, because I hate the idea of plagiarists taking other people's work and making it their own. This story interested me a lot because I have a big doofy crush on Schumer. I think she's hilarious. She seems so normal -- like, what I consider normal -- in her stage persona. I dig it. I like her sense of humor and timing. I like her material. If her material was stolen, that would totally suck.
I watched all the videos people had made and heard what comedians like Kathleen Madigan and Tammy Pescatelli said, and yep, there are some similarities. But I think the fact Amy Schumer is sitting on top of a comedy empire right now is actually her own best defense. Would Seinfeld have stolen a 20-year-old one-liner? Would Richard Pryor or George Carlin? I don't think so. Why would they? That's idiotic. And it's equally idiotic to say Amy Schumer would.
These two aren't exchanging four-follower-strong Tumblrs to gank gags from, I assure you.
I think Schumer may have heard some of those similar jokes years and years ago and not even realized it. And some of that got incorporated into her act. That's reasonable to me. I've done things like that -- thought of something that seemed funny and found out someone else did it already. It happens a lot. Amy Schumer has a weekly TV show and stand-up specials and all that jazz. I bet it happens to her too.
But while reading about this topic, I ran afoul of something even more insane about Amy Schumer. It all traced back to a 2014 story about a speech she gave. It's pretty moving and insightful and it contains, in small part, the story of an awkward, disappointing sexual encounter with a drunk guy. A Thought Catalog article focused on his encounter, and it called a rape.
To read just the Thought Catalog piece, you might almost agree. The man is so drunk that he's fumbling and stupid. He can barely get hard. It's like he doesn't know what's going on. My God, Amy Schumer is a sex devil! But read the actual words Schumer spoke, and it actually reads closer to her being the one sexually assaulted. The only difference is that because she was hopeful for the encounter -- because she wanted it to be good, to be that fairy tale romantic moment -- she allowed it to continue. She didn't rape the man; she let a drunken bum get off on her while she effectively rubbed a lamp and hoped for a romance genie to appear. But it never did.
In lieu of actual footage from the event, here's John Cena doing basically the same thing.
Again, this isn't an issue of a double standard. If a man had shown up to a drunk girl's house the way this was written, the difference would be the sex would have been easier, simply due to biology. Now imagine it as an awkward guy who wasn't sure what he's doing while a drunk chick falls asleep blowing him, maybe leans over the bed, and pukes on the floor.
Fact is, the speech criticism is a lot like the joke-stealing accusations. They're forged in a place stripped of context to make Schumer look bad. And why? If you don't like her sense of humor, then you can just not watch. But people don't react that way. Anyone who reads the comments on Cracked can assure you of that. Haters gon' hate, it's what they like to do. But they need everyone else to know it, for some reason. If a neckbeard hates a tree in the forest and he doesn't bitch about it on a subreddit, did he really hate it at all?
"Oh, of course you'll give the girl shade. And exactly how much trunk did she give you in return?"
When the initial accusers backed off of Schumer, that should have been enough. To keep prying at it showed some kind of bizarre agenda. A need to prove she'd fucked up somehow. Spurred on by ... what? Can't be a double standard. Probably more just a generally shitty attitude.
For more truth, check out Cracked's You Might Be a Zombie and Other Bad News: Shocking but Utterly True Facts!