No, Ellen’s photo with Katy Perry is not a double standard. Here’s why.

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There is no comparing these two people, for starters.

I’ve heard all of this before. “But not all men!” #NotAllMen! Twitter roared after the 2014 Isla Vista killing spree prompted women everywhere to share their stories about misogyny and sexual harassment after the murderer’s internet activity was found to contain hateful, misogynistic rhetoric against women. In the wake of the murders, women refused to be silenced by the #NotAllMen trolls. Because #YesAllWomen. Not all men murder women, but all women face the looming possibility. And as evidenced by the #MeToo campaign, most women have been victims of sexual harassment even if not all the men in the world were the perpetrators.

“But some women can be sexual predators! And some men can be victims too!” they insist.

Well, sure. I’m not denying that. But it’s not as common, not by a long shot, and it’s also not the issue at hand. The issue at hand is men preying upon and using power over women. That’s what’s actually happening, and it’s a systemic, widespread problem. Attempting to dilute it doesn’t help solve the problem, because if you aren’t allowed to even NAME the problem, you can’t fix it. It’s simple, and obvious. Yet when Alyssa Milano began the #MeToo hashtag, urging women to come foreword with their stories,  it took less than 24 hours for people to change the word “women” to “people.” Because god forbid we name the problem, or focus on women. That’s just too much.

Does any of this sound familiar? Any time an oppressed group says, “this is wrong and we want it to stop,” they get met with “but wait that’s not true 100% of the time, and what about all these other people?”

Does any of this sound familiar? Any time an oppressed group says, “this is wrong and we want it to stop,” they get met with “but wait that’s not true 100% of the time, and what about all these other people?”

“Black lives matter” was met with “All lives matter” in much the same vein. Because doesn’t everyone matter?

But let me get back to this specific photo of Ellen staring at Katy Perry’s boobs, and the fragile men (and anti-feminists and homophobes) who are whining on Twitter that if a man had done what Ellen did in that photo, they’d be treated like Harvey Weinstein. They’d be “nailed to the cross!” Their dicks might even fall off!

Well, guys, yes, you would, and you should. It’s called context. Women don’t have a long history of raping, attacking, sex-trafficking and oppressing women. Men, however, do. It’s not about individual men; it’s about the system that perpetrates it, and that system  is the reality that all women – #YESALLWOMEN live in, and it is absolutely a patriarchal system.

Women don’t have a long history of raping, attacking, sex-trafficking and oppressing women. Men, however, do. It’s not about individual men; it’s about the system that perpetrates it, and that system  is the reality that all women – #YESALLWOMEN live in, and it is absolutely a patriarchal system. 

Making a claim to the existence of a double standard is a logical fallacy in itself. What is a double standard, actually? According to Merriam-Webster it’s a set of principles that applies differently and usually more rigorously to one group of people or circumstances than to another; especially a code of morals that applies more severe standards of sexual behavior to women than to men.

So why do you suppose, in light of the statistics that clearly prove that women are frequently abused by men, and given that we live in a society where women live with the daily threat of male violence,  why then do you suppose we might need to require a more rigorous code of conduct for men than for women when it comes to certain situations?

What’s next, a complaint that you don’t get to say “dyke” because you’re not a lesbian, or the n word because  you’re not Black? Well, sorry to burst your bubble, but you don’t. Because you didn’t ever go through an experience that would make you have the need to reclaim those words in the first place.

In conclusion, no, men don’t get to ogle Katy Perry’s body and have their behavior treated in the same light-hearted context as when Ellen DeGeneres (who is a comedian, I might add) does it. That’s just the way it works.

Until then,  delete your account.

 

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