I was chatting with Burnside contributor Diane Nienhuis this morning. As occasionally will happen, Diane brought up concerns over gender equality at Burnside, that we should have more female writers.
That's a topic for another day. I told Diane she should write an article about it, and she assured me she'd started one many times. Then Diane said something I've heard before: "If a man gets fired up about something, it's okay, but if a woman does, then she's an angry bitch."
I wholeheartedly disagree, and I told her so. I think claiming a double standard here is a trite cliche.
She said we should post it on the blog and ask the readers, so that's what I'm doing.
Here's my side: a jerk is a jerk. If you're a man who bullies others to get his way and treats others as inferior, then you're a @$$hole. If you're a woman who bullies others to get her way and treats others as inferior, you're a bitch. In my life, I don't want to deal with you either way.
There's this idea that our society somehow likes @$$holes! You know why Donald Trump had a hit TV show? You know everyone wants to see Kobe Bryant lose in the NBA Finals? It's because we can't stand these people, and we want to seem them fail. These people aren't famous because of how respected they are...they're famous because the world needs villains. It makes the good guys that much better.
Men are, to some extent, expected to be jerks more than women are. Our culture expects women to exhibit the finer qualities of humanity: kindness, empathy, caring. We expect men to be drink Monster energy drinks, read Maxim and act like idiots.
Do you see the problem there? It's not what we call women when they participate in the female equivalent of those endeavors...it's the way men are expected to act. Is the answer to change the standard so women are expected to act like idiots?
Anyway, let me know if I'm off here. I just don't see the double standard, but that's probably because I have a penis, and can therefore never understand the plight of modern women.