The Dreaded Double Standard: Who Do You Dress For?

I don't consider myself the best teacher but I strive for this.

As a high school teacher, I often find myself very amused by the stories and anecdotes my students share. Recently, one in particular sparked my amusement and I began to realize that these students needed more of a lesson in human behaviour rather than the topic of healthy relationships – which was what we were discussing.

Teaching a bunch of sexually charged teenagers, or as they more commonly refer to themselves as “horny”,

I am constantly being challenged by how to teach these youngsters ways of conducting themselves properly in a not so proper world. I use my own life experiences to infuse a bit of credibility into the facts being taught however,

I often find myself at a crossroads.
I don't consider myself the best teacher but I strive for this.
I don’t consider myself the best teacher but I strive for this.

I cannot speak to my students the same way I speak to my girlfriends. But it was the comment that was made on a Friday afternoon as the seasons began to change from winter to spring then back to winter it seems, where I found myself explaining to a class of adolescents this terrible notion of the “double standard”.

One of my students brought up the idea of his girlfriend getting “dressed up” (but in reality dressed down) for a party. What he meant by this was she was not wearing much clothing and was leaving very little to the imagination. He was concerned that guys at the party would get the wrong impression and would hit on his girlfriend.  He didn’t quite understand why girls insist on dressing, as he called it “whorish”. “Are they trying to attract other dudes?” he asked.

Ahhhh, the “double standard” rears its ugly head.

One of my female students jumped on this response. She explained that girls do not dress like that for others all the time. It’s often that she wants to dress a certain way to feel good about herself. She might show off a little more because she is proud of what she’s got.

He nodded with a sense of “yeah I get it but…” so I proceeded to ask him, “why is it ok then for you, a guy, to check out another girl dressed in a similar manner?  Better yet, don’t you like it when YOUR girlfriend dresses in such a manner for you?”

Get to know the story before you misjudge.
Get to know the story before you misjudge.

He said, “Yeah, it’s just I don’t trust the other guys”. I answered simply, “You might not trust the other guys, but you should trust your girlfriend. Give her a chance to prove that you CAN trust her.”

Inspired - I Think he's got it!
Inspired – I Think he’s got it!
And then the lightbulb went off.

I try to teach my students how to be good people. I try to teach them that you cannot judge a book by its cover but rather by its content. It’s hard to explain to them that I too sometimes wear clothes that accent my assets when I go out (albeit far less revealing than the average 17 year old girl). I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, being single is tough. Yet, I don’t necessarily find myself getting dressed up for someone or with the hopes of enticing some guy when I go out.

I am who I am and I dress for me, if someone happens to like what they see, let’s call that a bonus. So, if I splurge on a mani-pedi, I’m doing it for me and I’m ok with that!.

Until next time, keep fit and have fun.

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