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

Society still praises men for things while deriding women for the very same actions. 

Users of a popular internet forumn shared the most glaring double standards modern women must navigate.

Body Hair

Woman wearing a white bathrobe and white towel on her hair sitting on the side of a bathtub shaving.
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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.
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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.
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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
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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 receive 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
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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.
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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
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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
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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. 

Getting the Job in the First Place

woman sitting alone in a small row of chairs waiting on an interview.
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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. 

Bragging About Your Conquests

Happy proud young man with a big smile on his face pointing to himself.
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Women would never get away with the same level of arrogant pride men enjoy when discussing their sex lives. Some guys enjoy “hero” status for their success with women, and while a few people scoff when they brag, everyone would harshly judge a woman for the same behavior. 

Not Wanting Children

Sleeping infant wrapped in light blue bear blanket on a blue grey background.
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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. 

You Should Smile!

Pretty woman with an annoyed and bored look on her face on an orange background.
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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. 

Girly Things Are Automatically Bad

A man faceplaming
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The things women enjoy are somehow “lesser” then things men enjoy. It hurts men too, who face ridicule for enjoying “feminine” activities. 

Men share the weirdest things they’ve been called “girly” for enjoying
 

Everyone Should Ditch the Life Script

happy carefree woman in a field
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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
 

Reasons Not To Have Kids

Woman crossing her arms in a refusal gesture.
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Despite all the pressure to procreate, it’s perfectly valid not to want kids. Millennials and younger generations are opting out of parenthood at record rates. 

Here are their top reasons for not wanting kids

Don’t Miss Anything Life Has To Offer

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

Source: Reddit