Author: William Norris, Spring 2014
Great strides have been made over the last couple centuries with the goal of eliminating gender double standards. However, they are still prevalent in today’s society, and people often question if women are equal in terms of how they are observed and assessed in the world today. Often times, females are held to a different standard of conformity in the world, as opposed to men. While it is universally accepted that women deserve complete, justified recognition in every facet of today’s society, awareness must still be promoted in order to totally reject and change the sexism that some individuals continue to show. The first personal example of the double standard that I have encountered is in the sport of golf. Interestingly, many are unaware that golf was first founded as G.O.L.F., meaning Gentleman Only Ladies Forbidden. Although today’s sport has undoubtedly shifted with society to become accepting and welcoming to women, it is relevant that sexual discrimination is something that has been around since the 17th century founding of the game. Today, there is a professional tournament association for women called the LPGA, or Ladies Professional Golf Association. Stereotypes such as the belief that men are superior to women in the sport are common, and are extremely ignorant. In fact, most of the women on the LPGA tour can hit a golf ball farther than 90% of golfing men. Ironically, distance is something that many men take pride in and use as an example of the superiority that they assume. I believe that great measures have been taken in order to promote the awareness of ignorant sexism today, but some people continue to discriminate, sometimes without thinking twice. Existing in both the sport of golf and also in today’s world is another topic that many address when referring to the double standard, which is dress. While women can be scrutinized for wearing something that certain people can judge them for, men seem to not have this problem. The question that nobody has a valid answer to is, “why is it this way?” There is no basis for argument here, and with today’s movement toward total equality I believe that over time, we will see a change in everyday activities regarding women. Lastly, the thought that men are generally the superior of the two sexes because of the idea of masculinity is one that needs to be seriously addressed and changed. It comes from the tradition of men being the working partner in a relationship and women staying at home and raising a family, which is how American families functioned following the Revolutionary War. However, this idea also has no foundation for an argument either. Looking at the statistical facts, data shows that women actually hold more positions of authority such as executive or manager in the present business world. I believe that participation in all activities should be welcomed to all, regardless of gender. Additionally, women should not be considered as less capable than men, or judged for a matter that men have no issues with. It is my belief that the sexual double standard will be disposed of eventually, but already it has taken too long. Hopefully sooner rather than later, gender stereotypes need to be disregarded by all, and I believe that lies in our near future.