There’s a double standard that exists in this world.
You know it and I know it.
There’s sexism and there’s discrimination and there’s inequality, and no matter how many feminists get together or how many movements there are, it will always exist to some extent. Of course it can get better (and has!). We have created so much important legislation that gives women what men have always had. But even with our right to vote, fight in the military, and work, we are still treated differently than our counterparts.
Because men are men and women are women and that’s that.
Whenever I say this, feminists get angry. They tell me I don’t know what I’m talking about and that I’m “anti-woman.” That’s ridiculous. I’m simply stating the truth because no problem is going to get solved if it can’t even be discussed. Living in a fantasy land is hardly conducive to making a change. From a legal standpoint, we’ve made leaps and bounds, but socially that’s just not the case.
One of the biggest signs that we’re a long way from where we need to be (from where I’m not sure we can ever be) actually comes from The Bachelor. (Trust me when I say that nothing brings me greater pleasure than relating a real-life problem to my favorite TV show.)
Unless you’re living under a rock, you know The Bachelor has a spinoff show called The Bachelorette where the men vie for the heart of one (lucky) lady. There aren’t many differences between the two shows, but one that struck me as downright disturbing was the contrast between how the villains of both shows were perceived. (For those still under that rock, each season has a “villain” who stirs up drama.)
VILLAIN #1: OLIVIA CARIDI
Olivia was the villain on the last season of The Bachelor. She bad-mouthed the other contestants, was a little too cocky, and was hated by everyone in the house. When the season aired, she was hated by what seemed like everyone in the world. Death threats flooded her inbox and everywhere she looked – Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, gossip websites – was flooded with the meanest comments you could possibly imagine. If it’s a word terrible enough to make you want to cry, she was called it.
As I was watching the show with my friends, we all hated her too. Every week we’d hope this was the week Olivia would get sent home and cheered with excitement when she did. Olivia Caridi was mean, cocky, and undeserving of Ben’s love. She got what she deserved.
Villain #2: CHAD JOHNSON
Then there’s Chad. Good ol’ Chad. Like Olivia, he was the villain on the latest season and did all of the typical villainy things. Only worse. Where Olivia would only speak negatively when prompted in interviews, Chad threatened to find a contestant at his house after filming. Where Olivia simply used words, Chad threw fists. Where Olivia was a little cocky, Chad was absolutely enamored with himself. Chad Johnson was mean, cocky, and undeserving of JoJo’s love.
And yet…people loved him.
If you look at the comments on Chad’s Instagram pictures, it’s full of a bunch of women who are obsessed with this man. Yeah, there are a few negative comments, but they’re pretty much cancelled out by all of the swooning women. Immediately, people jumped to his defense and made excuses. “It’s because his mom died not too long ago!” they cried. “It’s not his fault!”
But where were Olivia’s defendants? Where was Olivia’s excuse?
If a woman is confrontational, cocky, and controversial, it’s the end of the world. But if a man is those same things? It’s no big deal. For some, it actually makes him more desirable.
You can make all of the laws you want, but how are you going to change perception? The problem, I’m afraid, isn’t going to be solved in Washington D.C. It goes so far beyond that. Unfortunately, I don’t have a solution but I think a conversation is a pretty good place to start.