The idea of gender double standards is critical in today’s society. There are different expectancies in the ways which women should act, dress and even take part in certain activities versus men. One idea that I am very familiar with is the gender double standard of male dancers versus female. As a dance teacher and student myself, I have been exposed to many stereotypes that it is acceptable for a girl to dance but if a boy dances, he will be considered “gay.” I believe that a boy can be just as talented in this form of art as a girl can be. Only a couple of years ago, I had a friend at my dance studio that was a male who was a fantastic dancer and even went off to college as a dance major. He danced from the time he was two years old and all the way up to eighteen years of age. Through the years, I am sure that he was teased about dancing instead of participating in a more male- like activity, such as sports. Currently, I have two young boys in my classes where I teach little kids. Of course, the number of girls in the class is much greater, but the amount of talent is equal. We strive to make all of our students aware that it is perfectly acceptable for a boy to dance as well as a girl especially the younger girls who are already being told that a boy should play sports and a girl should be a dancer. I believe that anyone can participate in any activity whether it is a boy in dance class or a girl in football. It is all about taking part in something in which you enjoy and with practice you can achieve the same goal. This sexual double standard is one that may never go away, as there will always be those who believe as well as convince others that girls should be dancers and boys should be football players. I am hopeful that as time goes on, the amount of people who believe this stereotype will decrease and that they become more open-minded about the idea of a male dancer as well as the talent that they can hold.
Senior student Caroline Dillon has created a new blog “Under Lock and Key” to be hosted by Religious and Spiritual Life’s larger blog “This I Believe.” The title “Under Lock and Key” grew out of a troubling sentiment about male versus female sexual behavior Caroline heard circulating campus: A good key can unlock many locks, while a bad lock is unlocked by many keys.
With the help of Allison Lanza, Associate Chaplain, Caroline hopes to explore and promote awareness of the sexual double standard on campus. The sexual double standard is understood by gender scholars Kreager and Staff as a social phenomenon by which “sexual behaviors are judged differently depending on the gender of a sexual actor.”
This project is not about assessing the morality or ethics of sexuality but instead to reconcile and rectify the underlying mindsets that place undo scrutiny and pressure on females to conform to an often impossible standard. By constructing a safe place for people to share their personal experiences and beliefs, we hope to foster an understanding community of like-minded individuals who can support each other and raise consciousness. The blog, “Under Lock and Key”, hopes to accomplish this goal.
We look forward to your stories and submissions.