Double Standards of Social Media Comments

I met my wife back in August 2007. We met for dinner on a Sunday night after she spent the weekend away with her sister and friends. During her return trip home she asked me if I was on Facebook and up until that day I hadn’t really given it any thought. That morning I set up my profile and uploaded a photo. Later that night, after I dropped her off at her apartment she logged on and invited me to become friends on Facebook. She was my first connection.

Over the next few weeks I was introduced to her friends. We would meet up with some for brunch, others for lunch, and of course many for nights out having a few drinks. As it was heading towards summer in Sydney, we were experiencing many hot days just made for catching up with friends and having a few cold ones on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Family Violence Partnerhip
This sparked a discussion in my Dad Blogger’s group
Picture Courtesy of http://www.coloribus.com/focus/public-awareness-advertising-child-abuse/11167855/

It was on one of these occasions that I was introduced to one of my wife’s sister’s good friends. I remember the day we met because of two things; she has what many women would call “hair to die for” and she was wearing a bright yellow dress which reminded me of the one that former Miss Universe Jennifer Hawkins wore at the launch of Myer’s Spring/Summer 2006 collection. Like many of my wife’s friends had done before, she connected with me on Facebook.

Fast forward a couple of years down the track. I think it was during her first pregnancy that she decided to go through her wardrobe and clear out many of her dresses and sell them on eBay. As many people do, she posted a status update to inform her friends that she was about to sell these items and if anyone was interested in any of them she would be willing to sell them off before listing them.

I can only go off memory and my best recollections of this event as we are no longer friends on Facebook – the reason why I will get to – but I remember many of her friends made some rather positive comments about her sense of style and the garments themselves. On one of her status updates about her pending sales I made a comment that read along these lines “well, if you’re selling that yellow dress you were wearing the day I met you, then there’s going to be one lucky girl whose partner will be suitably impressed.”

Shortly after, that comment was deleted and at the request of her husband we were no longer friends on Facebook. You see, because I had made a comment about how much I liked that dress, the assumption was that I had a thing for her. That is an interesting concept and in the current social environment that we live in, it is a perfectly understandable one. If a man makes a compliment about a woman, he MUST be attracted to her.

My wife has plenty of attractive friends; she wouldn’t be surprised to read that statement, so don’t worry about that affecting our relationship. One way that I know how attractive her friends are is that many of their female friends tell them. You see, it is not a strange thing for one woman to compliment another woman on her looks. And this is where I end my story and present to you the double standards of social media comments.

Men who make positive comments about women’s looks want to bed said women.

Example; Woman posts selfie of her dressed up ready to hit the town.

Comments from female friends which are acceptable;

“Wow you look hot in that dress”

“I love your hair, you look damn sexy.”

“Wow! You look amazing. Love it!!!!”

“You look gorgeous! Wear that one Saturday! It will go really well with mine!”

(Those are all real comments on various friends’ recent photos)

Comments from male friends which are not acceptable;

“Wow you look hot in that dress”

“I love your hair, you look damn sexy.”

“Wow! You look amazing. Love it!!!!”

“You look gorgeous! Wear that one Saturday! It will go really well with mine!”

(The last one would be exceptionally weird if I do say so myself).

Men who make positive comments about other men’s looks must be gay.

In the examples shown above, never is it assumed that when one woman makes a positive comment like these to another woman that either are lesbian or even that way inclined. Like best friends who kiss on the dance-floor to turn guys on, it doesn’t matter how sexual or sensual women’s comments or actions are, it is never assumed they are gay.

Example; Woman posts selfie of her dressed up ready to hit the town.

Comments from (straight) female friends which are acceptable;

“God you scrub up well. You are one sexy woman.”

Example; Man posts selfie of him dressed up in a suit.

Comments from (straight) male friends which are not acceptable;

“God you scrub up well. You are one sexy man.”

Men who make positive comments about children’s looks are paedophiles

One of my fellow Dad Bloggers recently posted in our private Facebook group one of those Photo-shopped advertisements created for the Family Violence Partnerhip in Milwaukee back in 2008. For those not familiar with the adverts, there were a series of three posters where the heads of prepubescent girls were Photo-shopped onto the bodies of big breasted women.

We were all pretty disturbed by this, as were the test audience back in 2008 which is why the campaigned was dismissed. But during our discussion it got me thinking about comments that women/mothers can make about children versus those that men/fathers can make.

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Example; A mother or father posts a photo of their son on Facebook.

Comments from female friends which are acceptable;

“OMG he’s gorgeous. He’s going to be popular with the ladies when he’s older.”

“I bet the girls will think he’s a hunk once he hits high school.”

“He has beautiful piercing eyes. He reminds me of a young Matt Bomer*.”

(*An actor that many women find attractive and I guess would love to, you know, bed…)

Example; A mother or father posts a photo of their daughter on Facebook.

Comments from male friends which are not acceptable;

“OMG she’s gorgeous. She’s going to be popular with the men when she’s older.”

“I bet the boys will think she’s hot once she hits high school.”

 “She has beautiful piercing eyes. She reminds me of a young Charlize Theron*.”

(*An actress that many men find attractive and I guess would love to, you know, bed…)

I have to admit that I have gone to extremes with some of those comments, but even if you tone down the way it’s been written, the sentiment is still the same.

All of the examples that I have given are aimed at highlighting the difference in the language we allow women to use and disallow men to use, and I expect that these are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to double standards.

So what do you think, do we have double standards for the way men comment on things as opposed to the way women do? Do women get away with more than men do?

2 thoughts on “Double Standards of Social Media Comments

  1. I agree that there is a double standard for sure. As a rule I don’t make any comment on-line or in person that might give people the impression of sexual attraction. I don’t think it is fair that people have decided their is functionally no difference between a regular male, and a sexual predator.

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