Double standards are rules and principles we apply unfairly and differently to different categories of people. One should not confuse double standards for special treatment.
It is not a strict rule in itself that whenever a person applies rules differently to different sets of people then that person has double standards. Sometimes it is fair to give or show special treatment, an example being where a pregnant woman and a healthy man and woman are waiting in line for a particular service and the person working on them decides to serve the pregnant lady first. In such cases mostly where the lady is heavily pregnant it’s not unfair to serve her first or ahead of others. It is actually kind and humane. However it would be double standards if the person offering the service declines to help or serve a pregnant lady first and cites the first come, first serve rule. Then have this very person work on someone else ahead of others just because he or she knows this person.
We are all guilty of double standards at one moment or another in our lives. We apply different rules to ourselves, people we know and different categories of people. We accuse people for doing things and then try to justify and excuse others and ourselves for the same and sometimes for things that are worse. In most cases double standards begin in our very own homes. If you have an African mother then you can relate, whenever you drop something in the kitchen and it breaks they ask if they should bring more for you to break. In a way this is like saying that you did it on purpose.
But when she drops something and it breaks she won’t ask you to bring more items so she can drop them too. She will say the thing slipped from her hand. Recently I had a conversation with my mum about how unfair they are in such cases and she just smiled and didn’t put up any argument in their favour. Just a few days after the conversation, I was making us a meal and I dropped a sauce pan lid, my mum’s first question was whether we were going to go hungry and she came to the kitchen to check on me. So I start laughing and tell her she proved my point and she said that we make them out to be villains that don’t care which isn’t the case. According to her they usually ask whether to bring more things for us to drop because they determine very fast that we are alright since we give no cry of distress.
Double standards at home are also seen in the way parents treat daughters and sons differently. Girls do more house work which apparently is to prepare them for when they go to their marital homes and they are not let out a lot. While the boys that do almost nothing are let out to go and hang out with their friends plenty of times. Parents are also stricter when it comes to their daughters hanging out with boys because apparently they will lead them astray and I get that this is because they want to protect them. But then it is double standards to want to protect their daughters from boys and then let their boys go lead other people’s daughters astray. Parents have double standards and usually it’s the girls that get the short end of the stick.
People have double standards too in their everyday lives they judge people for actions they have excused themselves for in the past or eventually justify themselves for same actions in the future. You will find someone who cohabited before and even produced children out of wedlock looking down on others doing the same just because she eventually got married. For some reason some people believe its okay for them and not okay for others which is basically them having double standards. In fact you will find such persons advising others not to carry out wifely duties while they are still at the girl friend level.
However sometimes it’s not our fault that we have double standards. We have them as a result of what society dictates. The rules that society feels should be applied to women are not the same they apply to men. These include some of the ways in which society views a man and woman that have multiple sexual partners. While a man will be praised for his prowess, a woman will be insulted for her “looseness”. And I do realize that men and women aren’t built the same way but who made it okay for a man to sleep around and be praised and a woman to do the same and be shamed. In the same way a father is praised for taking care of his children. If he changes their diapers, feeds them and plays with them, he is branded a good or super dad. And yet when a mother does all that and then some, she is told that that is her responsibility so basically she is just being a mum. Society also has double standards when it comes to marital status of people in the community. Is it fair that we make women feel bad and unworthy for not being married like that means she has failed as a woman. Society does its best to make these women feel like they are nothing without men. But no one minds it when a man is unmarried instead they usually find excuses for him saying that he has been disappointed for so long he gave up. Society also has double standards when it comes to career men and women, its like a man can love his job but however a woman will just be trying to use her job to feel the void in her life. Society also looks down at men that cry and are stay at home dads like as if being that or crying or showing emotion makes them less of men and they become “wusses”. This is mostly men that look down at other men and have double standards also in the case of break ups while a girl can cry her eyes out a man isn’t allowed to do that without being judged by his peers or society for being a wuss.
In my point of view we all have double standards but that doesn’t mean we should let ourselves continue down that path. We can try to be fair and apply rules fairly to all people because I’m sure if positions are reversed we would not be happy or content with being the ones that were or are treated unfairly. So we should do to others what we want to be done to us.