Are you tired of hearing me talk about gender and double standards? I don’t blame you. Can I guarantee I’ll never talk about this issue again? Of course I can’t. Making promises on the internet is pointless. In a digital world, anything you write (and even some stuff you don’t write that gets attributed to you anyhow) can come back to bite you down the line. So please, I beg of you, don’t make me belabor this more than I have to.
Double standards are important to point out, especially with respect to gender. There’s a reason I chose to explore this subject. It’s not just relevant in an era where Chris Hemsworth is a sex symbol when he takes his shirt off, but Nicki Minaj is a slut for shaking her ass too much. It affects my aspiring career as an erotica/romance writer.
Gender dynamics are kind of an important component of romance and erotica. By important, I mean that trying to work around them is like trying to perform open heart surgery on an angry lion. These dynamics shape and guide relationships, characters, and the overall sexiness of the product. These are all factors I must take into consideration when crafting a sufficiently sexy story.
I don’t just want to tell stories about some random guy or girl going out and falling in love/getting laid with some schmuck. I want to forge a relationship of equals. There are enough of those on the market today, from erotica novels to re-runs of Jerry Springer. Relationships of equal are more difficult and, as a result, much rarer. That’s why I went out of my way to highlight one when it showed up in an X-men comic of all things.
I won’t pretend the results of my efforts are perfect. I’m positive I’ll mess up along the way. Every writer does. Every goal worth seeking requires at least a few mistakes along the way. That’s exactly why we need to be aware of the obstacles in our path and double standards are just one of those obstacles, although finding a publisher has been a bit harder at times.
So in the interest of belaboring double standards just enough to get the point across, I’ll turn back to the fine folks of Cracked.com. They’ve been an insightful source for information and comedy on this blog before. As it just so happens, they did an article earlier this year on double standards we, as a society, just accept or turn a blind eye to.
Some are small and indirect. Others have major political implications that people on talk radio won’t shut up about. They’re all relevant in the sense that they’re a byproduct of these powerful double standards that shape relations between men and women. The more I think about it, the more I’m amazed that either gender can resist the urge to strangle one another.
With that upbeat thought in mind, here is another wonderful article from Cracked.com about double standards and the implications for gender relations. Just to be safe, keep your hands in your pocket for a while after you read it. You’ll thank me later.
Number Four: Adele – Stalker
Seriously, listen to the lyrics of Adele’s hit song, “Hello.” I love that song too. Don’t get me wrong. However, if you really listen to what she’s saying and what she’s doing, it’s hard to differentiate that from a stalker. If a man sang this same song, then he’d be in line for a restraining order.
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.
Number Three: Sex Tapes/Selfies In The Media
Let’s be honest here, something that the internet often has a problem with. There are a lot of naked women on the internet. Men like looking at naked women and women (and even other men, to some extent) love to shame them. As for the naked men on the internet?
Well, we just all shrug and go back to searching for pictures of baby kittens on our phones. Jennifer Lawrence gets her phone hacked and nudes of her go all over the internet. Suddenly, she’s this tragic victim who had her privacy violated. Hulk Hogan gets his privacy violated, arguably in a way much worse and nobody can give two licks of a donkey’s ass. Is that fair? Hell no, but since when do double standards give a damn about fairness?
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!
Number Two: Hillary Clinton vs. The World
I am not going to get overly political on this blog. I would rather bathe in a tub of honey and stick my face in a beehive than talk politics. It’s the fastest way to ruin relationships, kill a mood, or offend everyone around you in a way on par with chronic diarrhea.
That said, I don’t think it’s disputable that Hillary Clinton and female politicians in general have to play a rigged game with a stacked deck. On top of that, she has to play cards that nobody with a white penis ever has to deal with. Again, it’s not fair. Regardless of what you think of her or her policies, the double standard here is pretty disgusting. Seriously, nobody should have to defend their record on anti-poverty spending and fashion choices at the same time.
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.
Number One: Amy Schumer’s Speech
Specifically, this one refers to a speech that comedian, Amy Schumer, gave back in 2014 where she recalled an incident with her, a drunk guy, and a night of sloppy sex. Now there’s nothing inherently wrong with sloppy sex. It happens. It’s the reason why romance/erotica writers like me have a job. We like to imagine stories where it doesn’t involve alcohol, regret, and a lack of orgasms.
However, if you break down the details of the story, you see a pretty serious double standard here. Listen to it again, reverse the genders, and what do you get? You’ll get a guy whose life is over because in the court of public opinion and Twitter hash-tags, he assaulted her. Anything a woman does while drunk makes her a victim. If a man is drunk though, then screw it. He’s drunk. What does it matter?
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
For safety reasons, I recommend everyone still keep their hands in their pockets for a few more minutes. It’s okay. The kind of sentiment you’re feeling is normal. As I said before, our caveman brains do understand fairness on some fundamental level. By exposing these double standards and the unfairness behind them, we can let caveman logic do the best. It’ll be good for both genders in the long run.