Monday, February 1, 2010

Doubling Up

Ever since I was a little kid, I've had a problem with double standards.

Matter of fact, I don't even like the phrase double standard. Let's just call it what it is, hypocrisy. I remember when my parents would forbid me to go somewhere or do something, I would fall back on that old stand-by of children and complain that other people's parents weren't so strict. Of course my parents would tell me the weren't other people's parents, they were my parents. They would tell me not to compare them to anyone else.

But, when the mood struck them, they would turn around and compare me to other kids. Kids who behaved the way their parents wanted them to behave. Kids who didn't have a penchant for mouthing off and questioning authority. Of course I saw the blatant hypocrisy in my parents' practice and I called them on it. And, promptly got told that I just didn't understand.

Bull feces. I understood just fine.

That said, adulthood has caused me to rethink many of the staunch positions of my youth. I've realized hypocrisy, or double standards, aren't as evil as I first suspected. Sometimes we have double standards because they actually make sense. Now those instances aren't as common as most people believe, but they do happen.

Recently a good fried of mine from college told me a story. He and another buddy of mine coach high school basketball, and are pretty successful. Anyway, they were leaving a game recently when they noticed something peculiar. A fairly attractive female assistant coach was giving one of the male players a ride home from the game.

Now some folks might not find this that unusual, after all, some kids need ride. But, men always notice what pretty women are doing, and my friends both thought it was strange to see this pretty woman on the sidelines and then shepherding a boy home. However, neither of them were too concerned about it.

Within the next few days the woman was being arrested as a child abuser. Turns out she was giving the basketball player more than one sort of ride.

Those of us who have been paying attention to the news in recent years know it's not unusual for a female authority figure to get picked up for engaging in naughty behavior with a teenage boy. And, we also know that the reaction from the public is quite different in those situation compared to when older men are caught preying on young girls. (Notice how I identified the female abuse as naughty behavior, but compared the male abuse to a predator stalking prey. Bet you missed that blatant double standard.)

The thing is, I don't have a serious problem with the fact that we treat men and women differently in this situation. Yes, I find the double standard slightly galling on the surface, but when I truly consider the issue I realize it makes sense. A teenage boy having sex with an adult woman is not the same as a teenage girl having sex with an adult male. The feelings, the power dynamic and the reaction from their peers are all different.

Speaking from experience, 15-year old boys are constantly plotting on ways to have sex with anyone who will let them. While young girls are typically thinking about love and babies, boys of the same age just want to ejaculate with a female human. Their feelings don't go much further than that.

I'm not saying it's impossible for a woman to abuse a young boy, it happens far too often. No, what I'm saying is that because of the differences in men and women, a teenage boy engaged in a sexual relationship with an older woman is not in the same sort of danger that a young girl would be in. I'm not saying these relationship are right, I'm just saying they often aren't abuse.

Sometimes double standards allow us to exercise common sense instead of just blindly following the rules. There is a difference between men and women robbing the cradle, just like there is a difference between male and female promiscuity. If you try to treat everybody the same all the time, you will make some horrible mistakes. Double standards are sometimes our way of doing the right thing, even if that means that some people get slighted.

True, people have abused double standards, but I'm realizing in my old age that people abuse everything. Besides, I'm not a big supporter of "fairness", I prefer "justice". Fairness seeks an unnatural balancing of the scales, while justice seeks to do what is right.

I'll stick with justice, even if that means embracing the occasional double standard.



Darth Whitey said...

Hear, hear. I spent an entire semester of German fantasizing about the teacher and not learning any German.

BUT I must dissent... you make it sound like girls are these innocent delicate flowers. They are not. They're as sex-crazed as guys. Usually THEY are the ones who seduce the older man and right there that guy is screwed. If he turns her down she'll say he tried to rape her or something. No-win situation.

Anonymous said...

Good post and this fill someone in on helped me alot in my college assignement. Say thank you you on your information.

Sakhalin said...

I'd agree with Darth Whitey, knowing a woman who participated in teacher-student relationships both as a teacher and as a student, the sex drive itself varies more between individuals than between genders. But I agree that the chance for abuse is higher in a male teacher/female student relationship.

Tit for Tat said...

I dont think the right term for your way of thinking is double standard. I think sexist probably suits it better.

Big Man said...

Tit for Tat

Meh, if it's sexist, that's what it is. I think there are core differences in men and women that affect how we deal with relationships. Some of it is genetics, some of it is nurture, but the differences exist.

I think that when girls are involved in a sexual relationship with an older man, it's rarely JUST about sex. With teenage boys, I think that's far more likely.

Tit for Tat said...

Big man

I guess its more the way you say certain things,

"A fairly attractive female assistant coach was giving one of the male players a ride home from the game"

It makes me wonder what you would think if she was fat and ugly? I would agree most boys think about sex but not all think about it the way you seem to.

Big Man said...

Tit for Tat

I referenced her attractiveness because that was a key part of the story that was relayed to me. My friends first noticed the woman because they thought she was attractive. They wondered why she was hanging around the team. Then they wondered why she was giving little boys rides home. I didn't really ask why her attractiveness made her hanging around the team seem more strange, but since some of my homies read the blog, maybe they'll respond.

For me, I wouldn't care how she looked. I would expect 15-year old boys to bang damn near anything that moved. I thought I made that clear. Teenage boys are slaves to their hormones and often lack self control and home training. Sure they would prefer a pretty older woman, but they aren't turning down blow jobs and back shots just because a woman isn't all that hot. Free, anonymous sex appeals to a vast majority of teenage boys.

Anonymous said...

(Notice how I identified the female abuse as naughty behavior, but compared the male abuse to a predator stalking prey. Bet you missed that blatant double standard.)

Explaining the punch line kills the joke.

Your readers may be smarter than you think.

Big Man said...


It's kind of like saying "Get it" in a rap song.

Sometimes you have to call attention to get props. Lol.

Thordaddy said...

Lil man,

What you see as a double standard is actually a single standard that maximizes a female's autonomy. In the case of older men and underage females, the understanding is that of predator and prey. It is the understanding that some evil men may kill the freedom of a young underage female. Other greater men then naturally desire to protect that autonomy. In the latter case, the older female and underage male is seen a WOMAN'S LIBERATION. The tendency is to justify her autonomy NAMELY BY CLAIMING that it is the autonomy of the underage male that brought her to this most unnatural of situations.

Quite diabolical, I say...

T.A.N. Man said...

@ Tit - Now, what's sexist, is calling men "men" and women "females."

@ Big Man - I get it. Most cats want sex--period. Young or old, it really doesn't matter. Here in Dallas, there was a story this morning about a 19 year old man who met a 12 year old girl on MySpace and showed up at her house at 3:30 in the morning, and proceeded to have sex with her in the back of his car. When startled by her uncle, he ran off and left his car there.

As you already know, I'm a firm believer in double standards and think they are useful and productive, if used in moderation and only for good, not evil. For example, I wholeheartedly believe that men should stand so women can sit, and would not be the least bit upset I a woman expected me to do so. And that in relationships, women should only pay bills after a man has exhausted his resources. I also believe that most women are unfit for certain jobs, like beat cops. I don't think that sexist, because I'm not ordering or applying some random gradation to the sexes, but rather emphasizing what I think either human nature intended or, in the case of chivalry and bill paying, what I think is one of a man's many roles in the home. I mean really, if you have to take a bunch of harmones and do twice the work to be the physical equal of you co-workers, you are probably forcing it. But, that's me. To each, his own.

Deacon Blue said...

While I agree with Darth's point about girls not always being fainting flowers and having the capacity for sexually rapacious and diabolic behavior (I blame those damn Bratz dolls myself...and Miley Cyrus...and MTV...), I do have to say that boys also aren't nearly as vulnerable to STDs from a woman as a girl is from a man...and no young teen boy is going to end up pregnant from being taking advantage of by a woman.

Anonymous said...

I was the friend who told Big Man this story and the reason why I mentioned her attractiveness was this. In my experience in coaching over the last 7 years..RARELY do you see an attractive woman that is not a wife of a coach, teacher or relative of a student involved with boys bball, it just doesnt happen. When I saw this woman driving the student home, it brought about an even RARER (is that a word?) instance in which an attractive female coach drove a player home. I've worked with an attractive female coach who HATED driving players home because the boys were using it to hit on her, start sexual conversations just to imagine things later..etc. So all in all, it was the rarity of all these circumstances (started by her attractiveness) that caused this to stick out to me. If the lady was unattractive I don't know if that would've stuck out as much...

Big Man said...

Thanks for clearing that up because honestly, I wasn't sure why it was strange, but I took your word on it since you have more knowledge on the subject and I trust your judgement.

Actually, your story about how the boys use those rides home buttresses my assertions about teenage boys and sex.

Thordaddy said...

Lil man,

Who cares if teenage boys are having David Lee Roth fantasies? You act like these twisted females CHOOSE the teenage boys that want them INSTEAD of these twisted teachers CHOOSING THE BOY SHE WANTS.

There is something twisted and unnatural about an adult female in her mid to late twenties seeking sexual contact with 12-??? years old BOYS...

You are, quite predictably, maximizing the destructive autonomy of seriously twisted females with your line of thought.

Big Man said...

You sir suck at reading comprehension.

I said I don't see these boys as victims. Doesn't mean I think she should be boning little boys.

There's a difference.

But, I know that's hard for you to grasp. She can be wrong as hell, and they can still NOT be victims.

Get it? The two things are independent. You need me to break it down again?

the uppity Negro said...

What about the adult male and younger male teenagers.....

Anonymous said...

When I was 15 years old, I was horny as hell, and so were most of my female friends. (I'm a girl ;)). I'm pretty sure none of us were thinking about long term relationships, much less babies or marriage. We're less willing to express the depth of our sex drives around men though, since it's less culturally acceptable (ie sounds "sluttish") and many men take it as a come-on (it can be, but most women are probably directing it at ONE person, not everyone).

Girls probably need to be more careful about sex than boys because we are much more vulnerable to STDs, and there is the possibility of pregnancy. However, I worry when we portray boys as always randy/ never victims, because that supports the portrayal that men are unrapeable, when it can be deeply traumatic for them.

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