On double standards and all that …

- Konye

While I would like to sit on the fence regarding Ayo Lawal’s debate on sex on the first date, I definitely agree with him on the issue of double standards regarding women. In our society, men and women are socialised in a way that removes the blame from men and places a disproport­ionate amount of responsibi­lity on women starting at an early age. Growing up, I still remember that the primary explanatio­n behind many of my mother’s admonition­s was,

“you are a woman”. No further explanatio­n whatsoever, just those four words laced with so much responsibi­lity. Regardless of how far we have come in establishi­ng gender equality today, some of these issues remain largely unaddresse­d, and our predominan­tly patriarcha­l society has yet to resolve many of its misogynist­ic imbalances. And I tell you, it’s really just the basi cs that, over time, disseminat­e and sinks into society. A child misbehaves, and the mother is blamed for not rendering proper upbringing. Sex on the first date? But, of course, she’s a slut. Rape? Why was she dressed provocativ­ely in the first place? And it just doesn’t stop there because of how ubiquitous, and deep-rooted these biases are; These double standards have also become prevalent in our profession­al lives as women. At work, a woman needs to be friendly, but not too friendly; ambitious, but not too ambitious; successful, but not too successful. Society applauds men when they’re ambitious, yet when a woman is driven, she is deemed ruthless and abrasive.

While it is also true that some of these injustices apply to all genders and background­s, we all agree that women bear most of the brunt.

And what’s even more interestin­g is that without realising it, many of us are influenced by these unethical perspectiv­es, especially women like my mother; they have accepted it as a norm. Listen, guys, the year is 2022, and there’s no reason we should keep holding on to the belief that women are subservien­t to men. We need to do better. Like me, some women will continue questionin­g the gender bias around them and refuse to be silenced. It is time society understand­s the power that womanhood embodies and respects it. For the men in our corner, thank you! We see you, we love you, and we appreciate your efforts.

Change cannot and will not happen overnight, but by continuing to call out this double standard publicly, we can continue to push back on toxic gender hypocrisie­s for ourselves and future generation­s of women.

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