Double Standards Every Woman Should Know Essay

For this book analysis I chose to read a book from this list of books that hasn’t been mentioned much in class. We have been talking about God and topics that are more controversial in society. I read the book He’s a Stud, She’s a Slut, and 49 Other Double Standards Every Woman Should Know by Jessica Valenti. This book was easy to read with Valenti’s short essays and thoughts on modern feminism, stereotypes, and heightening one’s awareness to pervasive myths about women.

Double standards are nothing new. Women deal with them every day. Take the common truism that women who sleep around are sluts while men are studs.

None of the information was really unexpected or suprising to me because it’s all true. Every women is stereotyped by the way she talks, the way she dresses, her personality, etc, while a man isn’t really stereotyped because people think it’s ok for men to do the things they do, that it makes him look like a stud not a player.

The examples Valenti uses are familiar and widespread: he’s tough, she’s a tomboy; he’s a bachelor, she’s a spinster; he’s angry, she’s PMSing; he’s successful, she’s a showoff. Perhaps the most widely cited is the “he’s the boss, she’s a bitch” scenario, which has been the subject of countless editorials in the past decade.

Some of the questions I was seeking to answer when reading this book were am I a feminist? What can feminism do for me? This book made me realize I am a feminist. I believe men and women should all have equal rights and opportunities. Some people may not want to admit they are feminist because they think that feminists are mean, angry, man hating, hairy, lesbians, but they really aren’t. In all of reality feminism refers to movements aimed at establishing and defending equal political, economic, and social rights and equal opportunities for women. Some questions that have arisen are why is it that men grow distinguished and sexily gray as they age while women just get saggy and haggard? Isn’t it unfair that working moms are labeled bad for focusing on their careers while we shake our heads in disbelief when we hear about the occasional stay at home dad?

3a. “When I was in high school, I had a reputation—a bad one,” she writes. “It felt, at the time, like the reputation…had materialized out of nowhere. And I was confused.” That experience helped to shape her fascination with how the prevailing culture puts men and women into different categories, even when they act in the exact same way. She was categorized because of her sex which wasn’t fair to her, and it isn’t fair to many other women that are being categorized because of their sex. Men aren’t any better then women. 3b. When Valenti said “He’s dating a young woman, she’s a cougar?” Really? I thought men were cradle robbers. Men aren’t studs anymore, they’re usually players or, simply, douche bags. I probably agree that some double standards do exist but I tend to think that this whole patriarchal society thing, while it is somewhat valid, is honestly most often perpetuated by women judging each other.

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