Talk About a Double Standard.

This is quite a gem. It really puts forth the sexual double-standard in some of the clearest terms I’ve seen yet.

The run-down: Kathryn Jean Lopez hears about the Duke lacrosse rape case, vaguely think it’s unfair to the guys but doesn’t think much about it beyond, “Why are college guys having stripper drunken parties? That’s conduct unbecoming sensible young men.” It’s disappointing and depressing. Hiring strippes, fantasizing about skinning the for sexual pleasure, and gang-rape = disappointing and depressing.

But then Kathy hears about the women’s lacrosse team at Catholic University, who hired a male stripper for one of their parties and took pictures in “sexually suggestive” poses. Mind you, no rape, no violent fantasies, but still a scandal. Kathryn Jean’s reaction?

I had a more apocalyptic response: A women’s lacrosse team hires a stripper?! Crass conduct unbecoming ladies?! And they attend, for heaven’s sake, the Catholic University of America?!

All emphasis hers.

Young men shouldn’t be getting sloppy drunk and doing childish things and paying for a stripper. But young women really shouldn’t. There is something more disconcerting about the latter—and it is even more disturbing that we won’t all have that reaction. It’s not beyond the call of duty for women to encourage men to be gentlemen. It’s women’s work. .

And that is the burden of the vagina: You own one, and it’s your job not only to control yourself and your own life, but to control the actions of others as well (except when it comes to your own body, over which you should have no say). And when she’s encouraging control, she means control over the penis-owning members of our society who, without women to guide them and pick their knuckles up off the floor, would be raping and killing with abandon. (And apparently feminists are the ones who are trying to “feminize” and dominate men. Excuse me?)

That’s why the image we have of Lynndie England at Abu Ghraib is more jarring than if she had been a Lionel or Larry England abusing prisoners. Either is bad. Both are embarrassing for all of us. Seeing England pregnant during her court martial somehow made it worse still. I want our sons, husbands, fathers, brothers to have the utmost respect for women as fellow human beings, but as women, too. If women don’t have that respect for themselves—if daughters and mothers and sisters and wives don’t appreciate their own feminine calling—how can we expect the guys to?

True. Which is why she decides to give the Duke lacrosse players a pass, and instead target the women at Catholic University. Because she’s all about requiring that men respect women.

And as for following the “feminine calling,” that’s why she’s spending her days writing for the National Review, instead of, say, going home, having babies and baking cupcakes (two of the three of which I did today, because I’m a lady).

And look at that, it’s working! Now, creepy misogynist dads everywhere have somewhere to turn:

Thank you for the ammunition. I have a 15 year old daughter that thinks it’s OK for her to act like her brothers. I’ll have her read your essay and hear it from an independent source, and a woman, rather than from her conservative Dad.

Aww, thanks Kathy!

And she’s willing to use just about any bit of information to further her views about what women really shouldn’t be doing. I’ll just say, Twisty called it.

And apparently the same goes for serial killers, as it turns out that Jack the Ripper might actually be a Jill (god I hate my name sometimes). Kathryn Jean weighs in.

What an adorable theme. I can’t wait for tomorrow’s post: Men shouldn’t be writing for the National Review, but women really shouldn’t be!


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About Jill

Jill began blogging for Feministe in 2005. She has since written as a weekly columnist for the Guardian newspaper and in April 2014 she was appointed as senior political writer for Cosmopolitan magazine.
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10 Responses to Talk About a Double Standard.

  1. Women dressed like sluts, drunk, out of control men, alleged rape. This seems vaguely familiar a topic.

    “Why are college guys having stripper drunken parties? That’s conduct unbecoming sensible young men.”

    Why? Is this woman high or just trolling for a reason to end up on ‘The Biggest Oxymoron of the Year’ quote list? Next thing you know she’ll be shaking her finger at some sailors in Thailand buying some hookers.

    Jill, I think your degree compliments the substance your posts; it must make you more sensitive to the subject matter. I caught the transparent comment contrasting the two similar events- one ending up with just some naughty pictures, the other with a huge mess. I’m sure there are volumes written on that observation.

  2. Hugo says:

    Oh man. The old, hoary lie, beautifully expressed:

    It’s not beyond the call of duty for women to encourage men to be gentlemen. It’s women’s work

    Lopez calls herself a Catholic — and yet the Catholic tradition has always called men to radical self-control. Indeeed, the misogyny of the early church fathers made it clear that not only were women not expected to help men overcome their weakness, women were, in fact, weaker than men. In addition to being anti-feminist, the notion that men need women in order to civilize them is at odds with both Scripture and centuries of Christian tradition.

    I’ll try and post next week about why it’s so fundamentally different when women hire a male stripper than when men hire a female one. I’m sure most of y’all can figure out why, so it might not even be worth it.

  3. zuzu says:

    I guess she’s never hired a male stripper, or been at a party where a male stripper is performing for a bunch of women.

    I’ve been to a few; in college, my friends and I even got a student to perform for the princely sum of $40 (hey, it was all we could scrape together) for a surprise party. The dynamic is very different than when you have a bunch of men hiring a female stripper. There’s no expectation of sexual acts with the stripper for a little extra cash, for example, and the fun is in being naughty with your friends and letting loose for once, with no men around but the bouncers and the stripper. There’s no real menace, because no matter how much they’re whooping and hollering and drinking, women aren’t going to, say, gang-rape a male stripper. Even if he does a little lap-dance type of thing for you, the goal is not for you to get off; the goal is for you to have fun (and for your friends to have fun watching you).

  4. Lauren says:

    Nothing quite like having a dollar picked up off your face with a man’s ass, banana hammock included. And having your friends fall over laughing at your discomfort.

  5. Michelle says:

    Conservative Dad obviously thinks there’s something wrong with his sons behaviour if he doesn’t want his daughter acting like them, but apparently doesn’t see any harm in letting them loose on society. Hopefully his daughter will be no more likely to listen to this independent source than she does her dad.

  6. jenofiniquity says:

    The part of this that really makes my head hurt is Jill’s observation that feminists are blamed for wanting to “feminize” society but are also blamed for fomenting a culture of license that leads to women acting more like men. So feminizing the culture is a good, but only if the right women are trying to do it. Or something. Kathryn Jean really deserves a boot in the ass for being so unreflective.

  7. Anne says:

    Jenofiniquity, it’s easier if you just think “Everything bad is due to feminists, even if the bad things contradict each other. They are still bad and bad things are due to feminists, even if I don’t understand what feminism actually is.”

  8. the15th says:

    Feminists support both genders’ right to behave in non-sex-stereotyped ways. Men are the only part of society that matters to this kind of conservative (and there are a nonnegligible number of left-wing men who think like this too), so feminists are “feminizing” society.

  9. firefalluk says:

    And as for following the “feminine calling,” that’s why she’s spending her days writing for the National Review, instead of, say, going home, having babies and baking cupcakes (two of the three of which I did today, because I’m a lady).

    Jill, you have to lay off having more babies, the apartment is filling up…

    as for the NR review, it really is breathtakingly unaware. Where do they get these people from?

  10. bmmg39 says:

    “There’s no real menace, because no matter how much they’re whooping and hollering and drinking, women aren’t going to, say, gang-rape a male stripper.”

    Oh, really? You think the women at these events act like angels?

    Look, moves have been put on me while no one was drinking and I was fully clothed. (And I don’t consider myself “hot” by a long shot.) So what makes everyone so sure that women are any more responsible in this area than men are? Don’t you see? KJL is perpetuating a double standard that’s insulting to men (that they need women to reform them) and unfair to women. You’re just presenting the other side of that same coin.

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