Gender Double Standard

28 Jan
Jersey Shore's Sam and Ron.

Jersey Shore's Sam and Ron.

I used to be reluctant to watch the show Jersey Shore. But – in my opinion when the President of the United States references Snooki in a speech, along with terms and quotes from the show becoming main stream in everyday life, it means it’s time to get on the band wagon. It meant that Jersey Shore was going to be an iconic part of our generations culture – like it or not. I started watching just to have an awareness of the show. Needless to say, I now religiously watch Jersey Shore every Thursday and have even got my Mom hooked on it.

I’ll be the first to admit there are many times when I’m in extreme disagreement with the way one of the men treats a woman or with one of the women when they’re physically fighting or talking shit about another one of the women in the house. And there are a plethora of times when I feel a sinking crush of sadness for a random girl that’s called a grenade or made to feel ugly or unattractive. Who do these guys think they are anyways? I also think there’s a serious double standard in the house about the acceptableness of the guys having sex with (or I should say smooshing) multiple random partners on many different nights, but the women are called sluts or dirty if they do the same.

I feel there’s a disconnect with what’s allowed for the women in the house to own and act on their own sexuality. Personally a very triumphant moment for me was when Jenni recently left her boyfriend, Tom. She was obviously in a very emotionally and mentally abusive relationship. It blows my mind that as beautiful and powerful and confident as she is, she still felt she didn’t have the strength to leave the relationship. I think there are many women out there in the same position and I believe that watching Jenni find the strength to walk away and take her happiness into her own hands probably gave a lot of women the strength to do the same. JWOWW is now a positive role model in my book.

What I really want to discuss is what happened on the most recent episode. Sammy and Ron have this relationship thats undeniably toxic. To themselves and to the house. But what happend last thursday night and the gender double standard that we witnessed totally shocked me.
Watch the clip below or click here:

If the roles had been reversed and Ron had laid a closed fist punch on Sammy’s face . . . we’d be up in arms. We’d never stand for that! Remember how the men in the house reacted when a guy punched Snooki?
Watch this clip below or click here:

When Snooki gets punched every single person in that bar wants to distroy that guy because it’s the ultimate immoral act for a man to punch a woman in the face (especially in public). Yet, after Ron got punched by Sam, the entire cast (excluding Jenni) had a sit down with Sam to try and convince her not to leave!! And then, to put the icing on the cake, Ron agrees to give Sam another chance.

Hidden Hurt – a site for men in abusive relationships says:

“They [men] are likely to feel deeply shamed, frightened, experience a loss of self-worth and confidence, feel isolated, guilty and confused about the situation. A lot of male victims of abuse however, have great difficulty defining it as such. This is partially due to the image our western society generally has of Man. Men are often thought of as strong, domineering and macho. Boys, even at a young age, are taught that it is unmanly to cry (“big boys don’t cry”). To many, the idea of a grown man being frightened or vulnerable is a taboo, the idea of a man – usually physically the stronger – of being battered, ludicrous. Hence many male victims of abuse may feel “less of a man” for suffering abuse, feel as though they are in some way not manly enough and ought to have the ability to prevent the abuse.”

I’m not trying to say that Sam is continually physically abusing Ron. We see Ron, (as Snooki would say) as this big gorilla, guido, juice head and after the fight he breaks down and starts crying. Which is a gender double standard in it’s self. I think Jenni was dead on when she tried to explain to Ron that he was on the victim end of his relationship with Sam.

Obviously I’m only privy to the edited reality that we are seeing via MTV’s story twisting producers. However, I can’t ignore the gender double standard of this very public, abusive relationship. From what we’ve seen on the show, we can fairly assume their relationship is entirely unhealthy, but I feel it crossed a line last night when Sam physically assaulted Ron. We’d never and shouldn’t be okay with our young girls watching women be punched in the face and then taking their boyfriend back, and we shouldn’t be okay with it when it happens to a man either.


One Response to “Gender Double Standard”

  1. Dick Patterson January 29, 2011 at 12:33 am #

    Less than human?
    As usual you are right on target with every word. I have come to the conclusion that it takes a lot longer for a boy to become a man than a girl to become a woman. Some of both genders never quite get there.
    I have a major problem with the show and MTV. I personally can’t watch it. I have been over someone’s house when it was on and that was enough for me. I have also seen bits and pieces of interviews of cast members. The personalities and behavior of the cast seems awful. MTV audience is skewing younger. A major part of the audience is young teens or even tweens. Life today requires both parents to work for the family to survive. So many of the viewers learn from Snooki and friends how life should be conducted and what “love” is all about. MTV is really hurting these kids to make money. Further, I think our president diminishes himself for mentioning Snooki in a speech.
    Another interesting thing is what we consider to be fame. Are we at the point where the worst of human tendencies is worthy of the word? Do we reinforce negative behavior because when Snooki and her crew get air time? Some of the very best people I know have been many of my students at the Academy and UT. They work hard and struggle to survive in the worst economy I have ever seen. Snooki gets the attention and I’m sure the money for very wrong reasons.
    Every word you said was true, but I do think the world would be better off if we never heard of Snooki.

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