Ditch the Double Standard: Women shouldn't be judged for dating any number of people
Updated: May 30
If you’re a bonafide Swiftie or have watched “Ginny & Georgia,” you may have heard about the sexist joke regarding Taylor Swift that slipped into the season finale of the new Netflix original.
“What do you care? You go through men faster than Taylor Swift,” Ginny says to Georgia — her mom — during a fight. Though it’s a short, seemingly insignificant line in the episode, the words caused an immediate uproar among the singer’s diehard fandom and warranted a tweet from Swift herself.
The show still did well regardless — taking the top spot on Nielsen’s weekly list of top streaming shows in the U.S. But rather than going after the show and dropping zero-star reviews like so many people have, the important thing to take from the situation is to check on your own gender stereotypes, especially if you didn’t see anything wrong with the line. I know I didn’t.
The misogynistic line opened my eyes to a double standard about women that I’ve been harboring unknowingly. The sad truth is, if the claws of cancel culture didn’t reach the show, I wouldn’t have noticed the harmful words at all. Let’s talk about why it’s not OK.
First off, ask yourself: why does everyone care so much about how many men Taylor Swift has dated? Why does it matter how many men a woman dates, or any gender for that matter? It shouldn’t. When I learned about the drama around the line, my first thought was, “Well, she has dated a lot of guys… ” because I believed the societal idea that women should date fewer people than men.
But when I shifted that standard and looked at celebrity men, like Leonardo DiCaprio, I realized the ridiculousness of it. DiCaprio has famously dated dozens of high-profile women — and is applauded for it. When a man dates many women, he’s “the man,” someone who deserves a pat on the back. But when a woman does the exact same thing, it’s looked down upon and joked about in Netflix originals.
This double standard is something Swift even brings up in her song “The Man,” in which she sings, “‘I’m so sick of them coming at me again / ‘Cause if I was a man then I’d be ‘the man.’” The song alludes to the fact that if she was looked at with the standards of a man, then she would be praised for her number of past boyfriends, not criticized.
Let’s take this back to the Netflix show. By making that jab at Swift, the show reinforces the idea that it’s bad for a woman to date several men and that they should be considered flighty or promiscuous for doing so. This standard is idiotic and irresponsible to spread, especially today when our society is finally moving away from these age-old sexist beliefs.
At the same time, the show doesn’t deserve to be “canceled” for this line, only held accountable. “Ginny & Georgia” should have never included the line, and someone on the production team should’ve spoken up and stopped it. But these sexist standards can be so ingrained in our minds by society that it’s easy to forget when something is unacceptable. It’s important to realize the fault in the show for including the line, make sure you understand why it’s wrong and move on from the situation.
After all, the show sheds light on many other societal issues, from racism to sexual assault, and it shouldn’t be disregarded because of a 5-second slip-up. There’s still plenty to learn from “Ginny & Georgia,” and this controversy acts as another opportunity for education on sexism in our society.
— Francesca Stamati, TeensForWomen Writer