Proud2Bme | Should Men Be Praised for Recognizing Double Standards?

  • Body Image
  • Body Positivity

Should Men Be Praised for Recognizing Double Standards?

By Palmer Hipp--Benjamin Cooper's Facebook post addressing the double standards in women's clothing sizes has reached over 1,200 likes and 300,000 shares since it was posted in May 2016. This comes as no surprise to women, who, for decades, have known the struggle of going into a store and not knowing what size to pick up.  

Sizing standards started in the 1940s, and by the ‘80s, standardized sizing evolved into vanity sizing (aka when the chaos began). In other words, companies were free to choose their own sizes. That brings us to present day, when a man puts on his girlfriend's tank top to prove what women already know--sizes are messed up.

Cooper illustrates the reality that clothing sizes promote the thin ideal and inconsistent standards. So why does Cooper's Facebook post make this not-so-unknown problem worth discussing? Women have been preaching this concept for decades—but it’s only when a man challenges the double standard that it gets merit. I think it's great when men address critical issues within the current status quo, but I don't like when their voices and opinions are valued more than women's opinions are.

This extends to other issues women face. For instance, over Mother's Day John Legend tweeted this message:

Okay, okay, yes, let's all give a collective "aww" because who doesn't love America's cutest couple?

This tweet is a remark on the constant criticism his wife, Chrissy Teigen, receives from the public regarding her behavior and looks (such as when her outfit was “insensitive” to new moms), while Legend receives none.

You see men receiving praise for supporting basic human rights and calling out double standards, while women who work to change these injustices every day get trampled with criticism. Glorifying a man who is raising awareness of gender inequality only enhances the patriarchal idea that a man must stand behind an idea in order to validate it.

As a woman, I believe we need men like Benjamin Cooper and John Legend to stand up for the double standards, inequalities and problems women face. Saying you don't want someone, such as a man, to help a cause only hinders its progress. But we cannot continue to let men’s opinions be valued more than women’s opinions are. Men who acknowledge the difficulties women face are welcome, but their actions should not be glorified. Ultimately, as the viral video sharing simmers down, women are still going to be dealing with and talking about the same issues.

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