Feminism Double-Standard?

Via Waylon Lewis
on Sep 17, 2013
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…Not to mention Superman, Batman, etc etc etc etc etc etc. So let’s all get together and try and love one another right now, shall we? We’re in this silly world together. We’ve got to deal with silly media catering to our silly insecurities, together. Maitri is the answer. Be here now. Stop fidgeting. Just be. Breathe. In, out. Come back to the present moment, again and again. Boom. Simple. Peace starts at home. And home starts right here, and now.


About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now elephantjournal.com & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


9 Responses to “Feminism Double-Standard?”

  1. lisab says:

    You're right, Waylon. I won't for one second argue that the Patriarchy, our media, etc. is not also bad to men. However, sexism is still very real. When the time comes (and I pray that it does) when women are not being beaten, exploited, abused, sold into slavery, and raped to death all over the world, then we can say a double standard actually exists between men and women. But until that day, when men and women would legitimately have the same rights, opportunities, and choices, double edged swords can't exist between the sexes. The reason… inequality. It's time to move our culture away from the pursuit of power and dominance (which is exactly the type of toxic masculinity that He-Man and his physique represent) and towards a culture of partnership and love. We can only make those changes by seeing the world first through a critical lens and recognizing the actual inequities that keep us separate from each other. Much love.

  2. Monique says:

    Don't worry, feminism doesn't like He Man either. Why is this being presented as antithetical to a feminist perspective? Like Lisab says above, patriarchy is bad for men, too. Seems like this piece is an attempt to be divisive. I'm confused.

  3. elephantjournal says:

    Wonderful! I agree, and we've been supportive (from a personal pov) of equal rights, gay rights, and women's rights including pay equality for many, many years. 11 years, now, through elephant. I just thought this was interesting, and in the 80% female readership world of elephant, this kind of question doesn't get brought up much.

    I'd just add: the kind of double-standard does exist and does tilt the world, as you say, toward aggression and away from peace. If He Man and his kind (superheroes) weren't held up for boys to imitate or feel bad about not measuring up to, would there be less aggression in the world? I think so. If Cary Grant were a current idol, instead of The Rock or Batman, would being kind, funny, gentlemanly, peace-loving be cooler?

    I guess it's good to see folks like Robert F. Downey, Jr in a superhero suit looking funny and vulnerable, and it's made great box office.

  4. elephantjournal says:

    Hunh? I think you are confused, a bit. It's a question to contemplate. The answer might be (though everyone shall have their own answer): media and society and our own insecurity hits us all. Let's stop trying to measure up and out, and start trying to love ourselves. Let's get together and love one another right now, as I wrote above.

    PS: I didn't create the image. It seemed interesting to me, is all, a point for discussion. I wrote the words, above. Yours sincerely, White Male Half-Jewish Buddhist Poor-since-Birth Doing-Well-Now Well-Educated Privileged Waylon

  5. Lydia says:

    Waylon I'd say feminists agree with you that this isn't good for boys either. (But notice that these are defined as superheros while Barbie's supposed to be a regular person.). The point of feminists making these observations is that they are connected to the fact that woman are oppressed relative to men – we are paid less,make up more of the world's poor, have worse healthcare, less access to positions of power make up more than half the worlds population and share less than 10% of it's wealth.

    We can practice Matri and fight injustice at the same time? I think we can. I'm very suprised that you don't identify as a feminist yourself.

  6. lisab says:

    I'm not really a fan of super heroes. Other than Superman… but he's an alien, so no worries about unrealistic human male expectations. 😉

    Like Monique said below, Feminism is not big on those macho stereotypes. It's actually very toxic. I think what perhaps we both saw here was a downplaying of the harms to women and girls caused by Barbie, the fashion industry, media in general, etc. This is just another example of the unrealistic expectations all of humanity is taught to live up to in our particular patriarchal culture. But He-man is strong while Barbie is pretty and weak. One says good things (to some extent) to boys like "men are strong and capable", "you get to be a hero", "you get to have a story", "you get to leave the house and do stuff". And the other says to girls "you need to be pretty", "you must be dainty", "what are you going to wear?", "what does your hair look like?", etc. So He-man tells a boy that he can be a person who does things, who matters and all that. While Barbie tells a girl she'd just better be quiet and look pretty and if she's not, no one will want to play with her. Does that make sense? 😉

    In movies, even the goofiest, fluffiest dude often takes on his own hero's journey and gets the girl. But people are actually brought to anger when women are not "attractive enough". Especially when that women has any power. (Politics is famous for this one.) So, what I'm trying to say is that men and women are not treated equally which means they can't be held to the same standard thus no double standard can yet exist.

    Sorry if that all sounds convoluted. Some things are difficult to put into words and I'm not always sure I succeed. This is definitely a great conversation starter and I love your willingness to debate. I just think this image was probably created as a "why don't those women shut their mouths about inequality" thing. But maybe that's me being bitter. 😀

  7. lisab says:

    "We can practice Matri and fight injustice at the same time? I think we can. I'm very suprised that you don't identify as a feminist yourself."

    Yes! Of course we can.

    I'm would be surprised if any Buddhist could learn about feminist theory (esepcially as written by bell hooks – All About Love: New Visions should be required reading for humanity) and not see a correlation. Feminism could really be called Humanism, but the name was already taken. 😉

  8. HeroGames says:

    Thank you very much, is great topic on double standard.

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