We’ve all heard* that age old saying: “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.”
Well, maybe not all of us. I heard it from my grandparents and older relatives but for some of you younger folks who’s grandparents
are still in their 30s aren’t really old, this may be your first time. But the sentiment is basically if it works for you it should work for me, in other words their shouldn’t be any double standards.
Unfortunately, as humans, we have a tendency to self-serving more than we have to be fair. Hence, you may have heard “Do as I say and not as I do”, “Life isn’t fair” and other such adages that provide the user with a self-appointed sense of righteousness and exclusion from the rules. Sometimes, as in the case with a parent-child relationship, it will fall under the guise of protection. Sometimes it falls under the guise of what behavior is appropriate for your assigned gender role, as in a sexual/intimate relationship*.
What they’re really saying is “I can do it but you can’t. Because when I do it I’m alright with it, but when you do it, it makes me uncomfortable. I could lead by example but then I would have to stop doing it and I don’t want to. So, I’d rather just tell you not to do it and by using this catchy little phrase, I’m exonerate myself from any wrongdoing and disavow any effect my behavior may have on you because I told you not to do it. Therefore I cannot be labeled a hypocrite. Got it? Good.”
So why can’t we just be honest and say what we really mean? Maybe because we don’t want to live with the consequences. Maybe because unlike the Different World theme song, we can dish it but we can’t take it.
* I didn’t want to leave my GLT readers out of the loop as I just assume they encounter these issues just as much as their hetero counterparts.