Monday, June 9, 2008

Double Standards

There are many, many double standards in our (and other) societies. A double standard is a standard applied more leniently to one group than to another. The most common being the double standards between males and females. If I were going to write about every double standard I can think about this post would easily be longer than any other post I've written; there are a lot of double standards. This particular post is about hitting and the double standard that is involved.

I dislike double standards. In my opinion there should be one standard that everyone attempts to follow regardless of race, sex, financial status, creed, etc., but the world we live in is absolutely full of double standards. One that pisses me off especially is the one that states that it is okay for a girl to hit a guy. Everyone knows it's not okay for a guy to hit a girl but for some reason people find it acceptable for a girl to hit a guy. The standard should be don't hit anyone.

While there are quite a few double standards in the Ranma manga (the manga even pokes fun at several of them) that particular one about a girl hitting a guy is the one I find to be the most annoying. In the case of the Ranma manga, it is acceptable to everyone (and a large percentage of the fandom) for Akane to escalate the arguments between her and Ranma to her using physical violence. Ranma ½ is a comedy that uses violence in the form slapstick on occasion which makes this somewhat more acceptable. The main reason I don't like that this particular slapstick is used is because the violence is one way (i.e. Ranma doesn't hit her back) and she has caused more damage to him than he ever has gotten in a fight. This double standard is not limited to comedy. Take Star Trek Voyager for instance Torres, the chief engineer, had broken the arm of her male subordinates without facing consequences or take Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Buffy alternated between sleeping with Spike and beating him up for being an unclean thing; had the roles been reversed (Spike doing the beating) it would have been viewed differently.

I'd like to say that this double standard is limited to fiction but it is not. This happens in real life a lot. A large part of this is because girls are physically weaker than guys. A guy hitting a girl is likely to cause more damage or kill. It is often the case that a guy will be called a wimp or sissy if he complained about the girl hitting him. I have encountered people who say that guys are more violent and aggressive than girls. This is untrue. There are many books and websites that show this belief to be untrue. For example the site titled REFERENCES EXAMINING ASSAULTS BY WOMEN ON THEIR SPOUSES OR MALE PARTNERS: AN ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY lists many studies that show that this belief is untrue. I hate when people say stuff like the world would be a better place if run by women because it is blatantly untrue, the world would be just as bad.

Here are some statistics that too few people seem to realize:
*Eighty two percent of all people have their first experience of violence at the hands of a women.
*Women are 3 times more likely than men to use weapons in domestic violence.
*About 60% of the women acknowledged they had more often been the first to strike a blow.
*Women hit their male children more frequently and more severely then they hit their female children.
*Woman kill more children then guys do.
--source of statistics is three separate studies done by The Family Research Laboratory at the University of New Hampshire, under grants from the National Institute of Mental Health.

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