Double Standards: 10 Things Men Can Do Freely While Women Face Judgment

Double standards are still very real. Just ask Reddit, where one member of the popular R/ask community posted a question about society’s different expectations for men versus women. 

The user asked others to share things that are socially acceptable for men to do, but frowned upon for women. 

Reddit answered. The thread received over 2000 upvotes and 3000 comments. 

Here are some of the most interesting responses. 

Body Hair

Woman wearing a white bathrobe and white towel on her hair sitting on the side of a bathtub shaving.
Photo Credit: LightField Studios via

A top comment simply said, “letting body hair grow.”  Women with hairy legs and armpits frequently find themselves on the receiving end of scorn and judgmental faces, with society claiming it’s “unhygienic.” 

But if the hair is unhygienic, why is it okay for men to keep it?

Going Grey

Pretty middle aged woman with greying hair.
Photo Credit: Roman Samborskyi via

Women aren’t allowed to age gracefully. They must go to great lengths to maintain a youthful appearance for as long as possible, which includes hiding any signs of grey hair. 

Some women shared how society reacted to their decision to stay grey. “I used to dye my hair obsessively to hide the grays and decided I was tired of doing it in my mid-30s. I did a hard stop immediately, and nearly EVERYONE I knew made a comment about it. Had a coworker ask if everything was okay at home,” she said. 

Conversely, men get to be “silver foxes” and “distinguished” as they age. 

Eating a Ton of Food

Woman eating one donut and holding another in her other hand.
Photo Credit: Dean Drobot via

A woman who serves herself up a mountain of food at the party table gets side-eyed at best, while no one bats an eye if a man does the same thing. 

“I can put some food down. I always get remarks about how I’m “going to get fat” or “it’s unhealthy to eat so much!” shared one user.  “I’m 31 years old; I’ve learned my body pretty damn well. I trust myself over advice of some random,” they added. 

Being Overweight

obese man on a chair with fast food in his lap
Photo Credit: Creativa Images via

Others mentioned that overweight women receive far more criticism than overweight men. 

“I’m a heckin chonker,” said a male Redditor, “but the only time anyone mentions my weight is people I know discussing workouts and diets with me or people being antagonistic to pick fights.” 

Women often receive much harsher treatment. Everyone feels the need to comment on women’s bodies when they don’t fit the mold, from doctors to potential dates to random folks on the street. Those who don’t comment tend to ignore overweight women, pretending they don’t even exist. Overweight men still get to be human. 

Work Over Family

Mom at a computer with two kids trying to work. She looks stressed
Photo Credit: Kaspars Grinvalds via

The cultural expectation of men as “providers” leads to a horrible double standard regarding working hours

Men are allowed, even expected, to put in long hours at work, sacrificing time with the family to bring home the bacon. Women who work long hours are harshly criticized “Why are you letting someone else raise your kids,” society asks, even if the father is a stay-at-home dad.

This double standard hurts both men and women. Women get judged for not being available 24/7 for the kids, while men hear harsh comments about “not providing” or emasculating statements of “not being manly” if they choose to stay home. 

Going Topless

Group of friends hanging out at the beach.
Photo Credit: MakanaCreative via

Men can walk around topless whenever they please, while women who do so risk arrest for indecent exposure in certain places. 

Although this double standard is mostly understandable, many women fought against indecency laws regarding breastfeeding. “Breastfeeding in public just became legal in all 50 of the States in 2018,” commented one user. 

Despite the legality, some women still get judgemental looks if they dare feed their baby in public. Nobody cares if a man has an exposed nipple. 

“Babysitting” Your Own Kids

family celebrating Easter holiday
photo credit: Pixel-Shot via

When a mom watches her kids, it’s called parenting. She’s expected to know everything about what they eat, their schedules, how to handle meltdowns, and all the ins & outs of parenting. 

When dad watches the kids, he’s “babysitting.” No one cares that he can’t figure out the difference between crackers and cookies, he gets a trophy for just being present, and nobody expects him to know how to handle a crying baby. 

Moms could never get away with “babysitting” their kids. 

Being Treated with Respect in Male-Dominated Fields

straightforward business man
Photo Credit: Gyorgy Barna via

One user had a specific example that speaks to a broader societal problem women face in male-dominated careers.

The user shared that their mother was a welder, and men would constantly mess with her and assume she doesn’t know what she was doing, despite having gone through the same training and doing the job for a lot longer than most of them. 

Another shared they helped a boyfriend overcome deeply held misogynistic beliefs he didn’t even know he had when he shared that he didn’t want to hire the most qualified candidate because “Well, she’s a woman. She won’t be able to do the job.”

Ultimately, he ultimately hired the woman, who turned out to be his best apprentice. 

Not Wanting Children

Sleeping infant wrapped in light blue bear blanket on a blue grey background.
Photo Credit: via

A woman who doesn’t want kids is a pariah. Women are expected to want kids. Marriage and motherhood should be the ultimate goal of any woman’s life, so women who go against the script often find themselves subject to ridicule and scorn. 

Though men sometimes face the same questions, the “lifelong bachelor,” and men who dedicate their lives to their passions are granted far more leeway. 

Society still believes that a woman’s only achievement is raising a family, while men are allowed to pursue other interests. 

Not Smiling

Pretty woman with an annoyed and bored look on her face on an orange background.
Photo Credit: via

Men would be shocked at how often a woman hears “you should smile more” or some other version. 

“My husband was shocked when I told him how often a man tells me to smile when I’m just going about my business,” shared one user. 

But no one tells men to smile. Men can frown, be lost in thoughts, or have pensive expressions. Women hear remarks from strangers about how pretty they’d be if they smiled and that they need to smile more as if they exist solely to please random strangers they run into while existing. 

Everyone Should Ditch the Life Script

happy carefree woman in a field
Photo Credit: Maria Markevich via

You don’t have to get married and have kids to be happy. The life script isn’t for everyone. Here’s why you should ditch it and do your own thing

More from Partners in Fire – Don’t Miss Anything Life Has To Offer

Pretty woman enjoying Santorini
Photo Credit: Maridav via

The world abounds with opportunity. There’s tons of stuff to do and see in the world. 

Check out our epic list of over 200 bucket list ideas to find adventures to enhance your life. 

Complex Feelings About Being a Female Breadwinner

Pretty money throwing money around on a light pink background
Photo Credit: Pixel-Shot via

As female breadwinners are on the rise, it’s important to discuss the complex feelings that can arise when we shrug off societal expectations

Legal Scams We All Have To Deal With

woman with mad and confused facial expression holding one hand up as if to say "what?".
Photo Credit: Dean Drobot via

Society is ripe with folks legally scamming you out of your hard earned cash.

Here are the top scams we all just accepted as normal. 

 Tedious Behaviors Your Friends All Want You To Stop

bored woman on pink background
Photo Credit: Asier Romero via

We can’t always tell when we’re being a bore. Do you engage in these tedious behaviours that make people lose interest?

Find out here: 10 Tedious Behaviours We Wish You’d Stop

Source: Reddit