Tuesday, November 14, 2006

double standard?

So I was involved in a conversation with 3 other females. We were talking about 4 people: Man A, Man B, Woman A and Woman B.
All except Woman B are married with kids and there was shameless flirting that had gone on between the women and the men. The kind of flirting that made the people around them uncomfortable and that had people talking.

The discussion moved in the direction of who was acting the worst in the situation in the context of each of their lives. All of us agreed that Woman B was the better of the four "evils". She wasn't married and whilst it isn't the most honest thing to flirt with someone's husband, she herself was not married and is therefore the one that should have an ok time sleeping at night.

It really got interesting when it came to classifying the remaining three. I personally felt that all three were equals in this situation. All were acting in ways that they wouldn't want their spouses to see and none of their actions were less reprehensible than the actions of the others. All had children and would cause equal disruption if their actions were to lead to marital discord.

Two of the other women involved in the situation felt that Woman A was the "worst" in this situation because she was the mother of small children. The impression I got was that somehow because she was a mother, it was worse.

I didn't have time to ask if maybe they expected worse from men than they did women thus when women act in ways that may imply infidelity it is more reprehensible. Or maybe they had other reasons. But I do not agree and I don't really understand logic behind their opinions.

Is this a common double standard? Are there more people out there that feel that Woman A was more wrong than the two men? Does anyone think that the men are more wrong or that perhaps Woman B was the "wrongest" of them all?


Heather said...

I think that people think it's worse for women because if they get divorced they're the ones that end up with the kids? (generally speaking, not that I agree with that at all because men should get the kids too).

I think they were all in the wrong, but the women who wasn't married for sure was less in the wrong... I don't think she was wrong for flirting with a married man, because he could have chosen to not flirt back, but he didn't.

Those are my two cents

lu said...

and my two cents...

i think that we generally expect women's lives to revolve around their children whereas men, generally, do not have the same internal/external expectation. if a woman were flirting with someone (married or not), they would be doing something for themselves and that is considered a bigger no-no.

men don't seem to have the same expectation to give up their own hopes, dreams, and interests so if they were married and flirting i doubt it would seem as 'wrong' even though i think it is equally troublesome as if women did it.

and why is it that women are the most critical of how other women run their lives and relationships?

Fred said...

There was an article on CBC just recently asking if marital infedility is on the rise. Perhaps so, and having just seen to families implode I can say that the sin seems equal 'cause certainly the pain is.

kris said...

Hmmm, I'm not sure if it's the person with the hottest spouce or the person who is the hottest who is the most to blame. I'm leaning towards the hottest person because with great power comes great responsibility.

PS - when did Belinda start blogging under Heather's name?

Inallseriousness though, to answer your questions:

Yes, I would say there's a common double standard. Society expects less out of one's they've labelled "pigs" and we all know "men are pigs".

I would say they're all equally "wrong" in the sense that each of us should be aiming to strengthen the relationships of people around us not purposely acting in ways that could harm them.

"Here's my 10 cents, my 2 cents is free."

liz said...

I think when it comes to "shameless" flirting, it's far more common for women to be seen as "throwing themselves" at men, whereas it's seen as in men's "nature" to flirt - which I think might be part of the rationale for putting more blame on the married woman (a rationale l which I clearly don't agree with).

Anonymous said...

Yes, the three married people were all behaving in a way that is not going to to be good for their marriages and therefore were in the wrong. I would also say that the unmarried woman, assuming she knows that the men were married, is also in the wrong. I spent a good chunk of time last night in a conversation with a friend who is dealing with her husband's infidelity and she often said "What kind of woman would do this?" (No, her husband is not off the hook, believe me). It really made me realize that unmarried people also have the responsibility to stay away from married people. They were ALL wrong. Sandra

Anonymous said...

I agree with Sandra: unmarried people also have the responsibility to stay away from married people... Or see it in an other way: Bachelors or bachelorettes have to know the limits when they're around another couple. BUT the danger also can come from somewhere not expected: For instance : Woman from couple A is flirting with the man from couple B,or the other way around... Is that allowed? Not in my opinion.

Have a nice day to you all

Anonymous said...

Hey, this is my story: My boyfriend has been flirting with a girl, and she was flirting with him too. He felt in love with her, but the "love" didn't last long time (he knew her for like a few hours ). A few days later, he recovered from the "falling in love" and he realized he had been acted stupid...
He broke off the contact because we probably won't see her again (she moved to another city, 200 miles from here) and he realized he hurt me with it.. I do encourage new contacts, but not with such a bad start. Do you people feel the same way about this?

Ann from Sweden

ps: nice blog, K, very interesting subjects! Love to be in a discussion like this! It makes people think!!