George Clooney Is a Bachelor, Kim Kardashian Is a Spinster

It’s official. As Kim Kardashian approaches her 30th birthday in October, she is joining the ranks of women such as Jennifer Aniston and Jessica Simpson: modern-day spinsters. There’s no comparable expression for men, such as 49-year-old unmarried George Clooney, who has traipsed around the globe parading a rotating bevvy of babes. Oh wait, he’s a bachelor.

As Jessica Valenti writes in He’s a Stud, She’s a Slut, and 49 Other Double-Standards Every Woman Should Know:

They’re bachelors, with cool apartments and the freedom to do whatever they want without judgment. Sure, they may catch occasional shit from their mother about “finding the right girl,” but for the most part they’re respected. Single women, on the other hand–especially single women who have the gall to be over thirty–we’re old maids. Spinsters. Desperate to be Bridezillas and moms. There’s no such thing as a happy single  woman. We’re all just wives-in-training or crazy cat ladies. There’s something about unmarried women that society just doesn’t like. That’s why the media is constantly telling us how miserable single women are.

Like celebutante-turned-mega-brand Kardashian. In addition to the standard hoopla about the reality star’s cleavage, her famous curves or her appearance at a variety of red-carpet events, the media has increasingly honed in on her personal status, which mere months ago when from “in a relationship” to “single” after she and football star Reggie Bush called off their on-again, off-again relationship.

Take last month’s group chat with George Lopez (sitting in for Larry King) with most of the major players in the Kardashian-Jenner clan. Naturally, most of the interview questions were directed at Kim, and they kept swinging back to her single status. Lopez made comparisons to Kim’s sisters– Khloe, who married Lakers star Lamar Odom, and Kourtney, who recent gave birth to a child–hoping that she’d admit pangs of jealousy. Is it weird to be the only unattached sister? Is she lonely? Didn’t she think she’d be married by now? Did she want to get married? Blah, blah, blah.

Since ex-husband Brad Pitt paired up with Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Aniston has also been painted as the unlucky-in-love, pathetic-ex envious of Jolie’s fecundity and subsequent hold on Brad. Similarly, following Jessica Simpson’s divorce and subsequent failed relationships, tabloid stories focused on her supposed jealousy of sister Ashlee’s marriage, baby and sleek physique.

In the interview with Lopez, Kardashian didn’t take the bait. She said that while she imagined herself married with children by 30–and still wants that someday–her single status has given her the ability to achieve things she dreamed of. Still, Kardashian is not framed as an powerful, independent woman able to make conscious decisions about her own life, but as desperate and unable to make wise choices. There must be something wrong with a woman if she’s over 30 and single.

Interestingly enough, Kardashian, Aniston and Simpson have all been previously married. Given this, one would logically assume, as my friend Theresa puts it, that “you can’t go back to being a spinster, just like you can’t go back to being a virgin.” Well, apparently, in our culture you can do both. Meanwhile, eternal bachelor George Clooney goes about his single-man business with few questions–because he’s independent, she’s pathetic.

While I have been quite vocal about my issues with Kardashian’s rise to fame, her incessant focus on her body and her mixed message of empowerment while hawking diet pills and seeking cosmetic surgery, I don’t condone the media’s increasing focus on her relationship status and the countless double-standards contained therein. Despite women’s increasing numbers in education and the work force, women are still viewed as “naturally” interested in relationships, especially the heterosexual kind that culminate in marriage and children. Ultimately he’s gonna be a success, she’s gonna be a stay-at-home-mom. In fact, Kim’s focus on her work is presented as one of the major obstacles to finding true love.

Kim’s “pickiness” is also cited as a detriment to obtaining the picture-perfect fairytale romance. If she didn’t set the bar so high, she might finally find a mate. I don’t hear anyone chastising “hot guys” for only dating “hot women. ” There’s a big, fat double-standard when it comes to physical attractiveness and gender. I mean, really, when do men “date down”? Why should Kim have to settle?

I don’t tout Kim as a feminist role model, I don’t think her decision to remain single and focus on her career is a political statement and I don’t see her pointing out the double-standards–but I’m happy to do so.

Photos of Kim Kardashian and a waxy George Clooney from Flickr.com users Kalumba2009 and cliff1066 through Creative Commons License 2.0

Comments

  1. I completely agree with the author’s argument of the double standard. As a woman I find the double standard extremely frustrating. I grew up with an older brother and constantly compared myself to him. The opportunities he had because he was a male were complicated through my mind and hard to digest. I still become heated when I am told I cannot do something a male can do just because I am a female. I find it ridiculous that men are idolized for the more girls they can “tap” in one night, however if a woman were to reveal in “tapping” more than one guy a night she would be shamed and labeled a slut. Double standard much? There is a range of labels, if you must, in between prude and slut. Labeling is ridiculous regardless but the double standard harkens its range and meaning.

  2. The author here I must say very clearly portrays the Double standard society holds so tightly in all our lives. That a man who ages and is yet still single and sexually active can be happy, attractive and successful, yet a woman who is ageing and still single is desperate or something is deeply wrong with her regardless of all her other successes nothing can be equivalent to her lack of a family and being a mother. What I find shocking is where did all these ideas such as the double standard come from what caused this what is the root of it, why did it come about because it so distorted in its logic, I don’t know how it came to pass and am shocked it did.

  3. I have to say that I agree with the author. There are many double standards in our society today in regards to women and men. If a women has had multiple mates, she is supposeduly a “slut”. On the other hand, if a man has had multiple mates, he is known to be “powerful” or a “real man”. On the contrary, if a women has had no mates, she is known to be “prude” or “pathetic”. But, if a man has had no mates, he is known to be “independent”. I believe that these double standards are very detrimental to our society and we should not conform to them.

  4. I agree completely that the media aggressively promote a double standard for women, but men are gradually coming under more pressure as well. It’s not the same thing because men aren’t indoctrinated from birth that they need to spend money and time chasing an impossible vision of perfect beauty. Also, male actors don’t face the fear that the end of their careers will come once they hit 40. How many female movie stars over 40 can you name? I also agree that it’s awfully hard to use the words “feminist” and “Kardashian” in the same sentence. But, the author’s observations ring true to me.

  5. I am in complete agreement with this point of view. I don’t often analyze articles I read in Gossip magazines for their bias but it is quite apparent that women are viewed as inferior to men. Women are constantly belittled by sexist remarks about their bodies, their relationships, their independence, it makes you wonder if they can have a self-esteem at all. In regards to Kim K, she is gorgeous and despite her being happily married, an entrepreneur, a great mother, whatever, she will always be that girl that got famous from a sex tape and that is a fact. We all know that Snoop Dogg released a video where he had “women” on leashes and never has that issue been brought to the world’s attention like Kim K’s “issues”, which vary from…”has she had her butt done?” “has she had her nose done?” “has she had her boobs done?” Really, I wonder if people realize the harm they can do to a woman by constantly remarking on her life choices. Why does a double standard exist!? Men have always been superior and will be given praise for the same act committed by a woman, who will be constantly criticized. The first step is realizing that women are the target of criticism and then find out who the criticizers are, usually women are harming themselves, “like crabs in a barrel.” (pulling each other down rather than helping each other out.

  6. SO TRUE. We congratulate men for what we shun women for. It’s pure inequality; it’s the infamous double-standard. And what’s even more shitty about this is the fact that it’s marketed towards women. You’ll see a story like this in WOMAN’S MAGAZINES where Clooney is seen as the older hunky player that women dream of be womanized by, and Kardashian is the supposed soon to be spinster who’s only approaching her thirties. The importance: women are marketed this idea that it’s not okay for them to be over thirty, single, and childless BUT it’s okay for men to be within their fifties, single, and childless while dating women 25 years younger than himself. Better yet, not only is it okay for men we should desire these men.

    I grew up in a traditional, patriarchy household which by its systematic nature is also sexist and full of double standards. Me and my brother were CONSTANTLY treated differently simply based on our genders. When I turned 20 I realized I had saved up enough money to hopefully move out soon, but when the subject was brought up my mother ripped me a new one. She yelled, “you need to be wherever I am; what will people in the community think of you; this will ruin your chanced of getting married within the community.”

    I laughed in her face and explained that the “community” can go screw itself. Because a community that shuns a hard working 20 year old women, who works full time, and goes to school full time, who was frugal enough to save her hard-earned money, and confident enough to move out on her own, take care of herself, and be independent, is NOT a community I want to be a part of. My hard work, and desire to be more independent makes me a loose whore and lessens my value to get married? It’s ridiculous and offensive. And worse than it being ridiculous, I must be shunned by my own mother for even considering it? And worse than that, my brother would never be shunned for it. If anything he’s encouraged to be more independent, and move out.

  7. In my opinion back then when you wrote this article, in regards to the media, unless a woman had a man in her life, all of her success was no longer noticed or credible. Nowadays, for example take into consideration when Kim married Kris Humphries! NOBODY knew who this guy was until she married him. When they were married he was soon brought into the media and the “social world”. Now that they are divorced, what happened to him? Also I definitely agree with you when you say, “There’s a big, fat double-standard when it comes to physical attractiveness and gender. I mean, really, when do men “date down”? Why should Kim have to settle?” There is a bigger emphasis for woman to get married as soon as possible and for the male to be single for as long as possible. The difference of a single woman and a single man shows how a single woman is looked down upon, while a single man is admired. Looking at how Kim is treated is a perfect example of the double standard.

  8. I personally am so glad someone is pointing out the double standard the media has when it comes to single men and women. We have never, ever seen George Clooney criticized for being single. We’ve never seen any famous male criticized for being single. Most of the time they’re single status is either ignored or it’s praised, but its rare, very rare, that they are looked upon negatively. No one said anything negative about Reggie Bush concerning his relationship with Kim. It’s usually their ex-partner, if that partner is female, that is painted as pathetic and alone. When a male celebrity goes through a lot of relationships, he’s seen as a bachelor who isn’t ready to settle down but when a female celebrity does the same thing she is either labeled as a slut or labeled as dysfunctional. It’s said that she CAN’T keep a man. This double standard supports the harmful, patriarchal stereotype that females aren’t deserving of love if they aren’t perfect. While I’m not a fan of Kim Kardashian, it bothers me that she is labeled as a slut just because she’s out doing the same things male celebrities are, which is having sex. No one ever talked bad about Ray J for that sex tape, but for Kim to engage in anything sexually risky with someone she is in a committed relationship with automatically labels her a whore. It is obvious sexism.

  9. This article clearly defines the double standard that is present in society today. I also clearly agree with the argument that the article is making. When a man is seen with multiple women, society praises him and he is seen as hyper masculine and has “game.” He sets the example for younger boys and he is often the man boys look up to because he can get all the ladies. Sadly, on the other hand, when a woman is seen with multiple men, she is called a whore and a slut. She is then looked down upon and especially if she is a celebrity like Kim Kardashian, the tabloids and the mass media shame her and call her names. I think this double standard is detrimental and comes only to support the patriarchal system in which males are praised and women are looked down upon.

  10. CourtyanaF says:

    Before reading this article, i never once thought to criticize a single bachelor male. I spent many years criticizing Kim Kardashians relationship decisions. They are not any that i have agreed with but i should be judging the next male bachelor in the same manner. This article brings focus to the double standard that the media sets. because of the media i was unaware about george colonies ways with women. They focus on women like Kim K so much , who else do i have to judge. THis is thee reason many guys think its ok to just judge women because of her relationship status or on and off speedy relationships. Men do the same exact thing and is unfortunately praised for it. MAybe if the media decided on someone else , maybe a male, or better yet stop judging celebrities relationships. its hurtful at time and can mentally mess up your head. (britney spears for example).

  11. There definitely exists a sexual double standard in our society. It celebrates and encourages male sexuality such as George Clooney’s and shames female sexuality through negative sanctions such as hating on Kim for her sex tape. Also, the fact that women’s main desire has been forever and should still remain marrying is just false. As Bell Hooks puts it best in her novel, “ Communion: The Female Search For Love”, women can fulfill their needs through community not just in straight relationships. It is not a woman’s fault that we have found our two feet in society and can maintain ourselves so why shame us for not clinging to a man? Furthermore, the media pitting two sisters against each other is just buying into the stereotype that women are naturally catty and envious.

  12. I agree with Klein’s argument of the double standard. I’ve noticed that many women try to act and impersonate the role and actions that a man would do. And as I grew up i’ve met and witnessed girls and women constantly comparing themselves to men doing unappropriate acts that men would do.Such as being a swinger and acting heartless such as a man would do. But as a result of this women on the other hand would be shamed and labeled as a slut if they were to commit such acts. And when women are told that they cannot do something a male can do just because they are a female women become furious at the fact that that double standard doesnt apply for men but it does for women. And overall in my opinion i think that both men and women should have a little bit more respect for who they are and what they stand for and stop acting so foolish committing shameful acts to end this doubles tandard issue.

  13. In our society, a woman’s goals is to get married and have babies. Or at least, that’s what patriarchy wants. Personally, I don’t like kids, and don’t see myself ever getting married. I have no problem with other’s wanting that, but for me, I don’t. My family always jokes and says that I will, sure, maybe I will, but right now I don’t. They insistently pressure me, and whenever I see a family member all they want to know about is if I have a boyfriend. No questions about my future academic goals, nope, none of that. Only men, boys, cute guys, etc. This article only highlights what is huge double standard within our country. Women are expected to want to live in the private sector, while men can choose. I personally believe, it’s up to the woman. I don’t like Kim Kardashian or her “values” to me, she’s just selling herself for fame, but I do recognize the societal pressures on her. I hope that our society considers decisions made by independent women that don’t follow traditional paths as inspiring, and not negative.

  14. I agree with the author it’s completely doubled standard. We all are human, we like to live our lives differently. Women can enjoy sex just as much as men, sex is not just for men. Sex takes two, so women can’t be looked down upon such nonsense.

  15. I love this article because every magazine I see or read there’s always something about the Kardashians and of course the main focus is on Kim Kardashians. There are articles like “Kim fighting to get Reggie back”, “Kim wants a baby girl like Kourtney”…etc. Although, I find it impressive that some woman can have marriage and a successful career, not everyone can balance it that well. I can’t even balance mine that well, and I don’t have a career, just school and work. But why is that media and tabloids see women who aren’t married, lonely and desperately seeking for love, instead of looking at their success. And sure majority of women have this natural instinct to marry and have kids, but does it mean we’re doing it wrong if we’re doing it over 30? Honestly, I’d like to succeed and do everything I’ve wanted to do before I have kids. There’s so many things I want to do and I feel like sometimes marriage and/or kids will hold me down from doing something. I feel like when you’re single and your life is going in the right way, love will come to you, instead of you “desperatly” looking for it.

  16. George Clooney reminds me of Charlie Sheen in the show “2 and a half men,” a old bachelor who gets seen as a god. It’s also funny because the only shit he gets is form his mom on the show. I never thought of women though being old and just single and having fun. Whenever I think of women I think of wanting to get married young and having kids young and that’s what makes them happy. Listening to conversations in my family about how a certain cousin is not married and it makes her look bad makes me think its what all women want to do. I’ve never met a girl who doesn’t want to get married young. When I say get married young i don’t mean just become a house wife, but married and still follow her dream or career. It’s funny to me how Kim K. is judges so much for not being married. I think it’s just people hating on her for being who she is and having the career she has. People should be able to do whatever they want and not have to worry about getting judged.

  17. CharlleneA says:

    It is true that society puts men on such a pedestal esspecially the media and this is a great example of it. It really doesn’t matter who the woman is, whether it is Kim kardashian or any other woman that has reached her 30’s due to the fact that she has been around and has not settled down yet she is considered a slut to the world. But no, George Cloony is no man whore because well hes male and so that makes him a Bachelor. I do not agree with what this says but it is true that that is what the world sees and it is so sad that we women give them that advantage to skew facts into discrimination against women and men.

  18. Natalie A says:

    It is quite unfortunate that within the society we live in today there is such double standard where men can be old and single bachelors and not fear being judged for still being single, yet women will. Men like such will furthermore not only, not be judged, but they will also be respected. It’s a shame that todays society is this way and that there is such a great pressure on women not to be single. Women who are single and don’t get married and have children at a young age are looked down upon, such as Kim Kardashian who is constantly compared to her sisters. I think that older women, who may be single, yet are hardworking, independent and successful are in fact the ones that should receive the most respect by others.

  19. I feel like ever since I could read I always questioned the logic of releasing your relationship status on the front cover in a magazine that everyone who frequents to a supermarket would see. Because of my immediate doubt I never put the least amount of credence into the thought that a word uttered by these magazines would be factually accurate. Who knew that my still developing mind was onto an interesting and important train of thought. I remember watching the latest bond film featuring the famous agent 007 named “Skyfall” and thoroughly enjoying the emphasis that was placed on judy dench and her character but just the same, found dissappointment lurking at the end of every shot. In particular, there’s an incident where 007 has been captured and is being held by javier bardem’s character and as a result, must play along with javier bardem’s series of taunts. One was extremely bothering for two reasons. The challenge was to knock a small shot of whisky off of a bleeding woman’s head. Between bond and Silva they each have one classic one shot pistol. Bond takes the first shot and misses, while Silva takes the second shot and shoots the woman in the stomach making her drop the whiskey and Silva announces he won. To tease bond he begs the question if he feels bothered bond looks conflicted and finally states: “what a waste of whiskey” he then proceeds to take control of the entire island by overpowering the assailants and calling in reinforcements. My two issues would be first and foremost that a women’s life is put as a wager for a text Silva knowingly admits bond will fail before even handing him his weapon. Bond had previously failed all of his agent texts making him unfit for fieldwork. My second gripe would be bonds exclamations of wasted whiskey because he is either needlessly performing his masculinity or being a chauvinist alcoholic to stand by the loss of life as a mere joke.

  20. This author has a great point because in everyday life we live by a double standard that men can freely be single and mingle, and women have to hurry and tie down before they begin to be called “sluts”, “whores”, “gold diggers”, and many other harmful names. It is definitely not far to have double standard saying one this okay for one sex but not the other we are all human and face the same consequences. Women can enjoy the single life just as any male can, and they can freely have sex with who they like and should have no names stamped on them if man do not. Double standards are very immature and not well thought through.

  21. I find the unfortunately familiar topic of double standard very upsetting. While in cinema characters like 007 are adorned and glorified, individuals like lora craft are sexualized and co-opted having childish naive manners of thinking. The dichotomy is extremely upsetting and if in today’s day and age goes relatively unchecked or hindered. I excitedly look forward to any chance that the dichotomy may be queered or shifted to provide a stronger social commentary about men and women in media rather just following the norm.

  22. Ashley K. says:

    I completely agree with this article. Personally, I see how people give single woman much less respect than they would if she were married. I find this to be such a ignorant way of judging someone. If anything, a single woman should be praised for her ability to ignore societies judgments and be happy. A strong woman is one is does not settle, one who would rather be happy single than to be unhappily married. It is so true that when a woman over 30 is not married, she gets so much guilt and pressure put on her, but a man over 30 not married is not even seen as anything out of the ordinary. Similarly, it is true that when a woman only wants to date physically attractive men she is looked upon as “picky”; however, when a man only dates attractive women, he is basically praised by other men. This double standard definitely needs to be recognized.

  23. Ariella M says:

    It is very true that single women are looked down upon in our society. It is so funny to me that a man is considered a bachelor and a girl is called a spinster when they are single. Prior to reading this article I have not heard of a girl being called a spinster because she is not married, but I have heard the crazy cat lady idea over a dozen times. I do not think that it is fair for a single woman to be looked down upon. Single men are simply pressured, if at all, by their family members, but single women are pressured by society in order to settle and start a family. I know a lot of girls who are told from a very young age that they must learn how to talk to men/act around men and the importance for them to get married at a young age. I feel that a lot of this pressure in some cases is due to biological facts. Women have eggs that can produce healthy children until a certain age. This is the only justification I can have for the pressure women experience about settling down and getting married. For example Kim Kardashinan decided to freeze her eggs because she realized that she was getting old and she was still single. Other than this biological reason I do not think it is okay for women to be the only ones under pressure for finding the right one.

  24. Jasmine Gh says:

    There is an apparent double standard in our society. Men can be single into their 30s while women are shamed into being single into such an age. Men and women should be together out of love, not because their biological clock is ticking. Though Kim Kardashian rose to fame by marketing her body, she should not be shamed for the same reason George Clooney is praised. Why are women not allowed to wait to find a person they love and trust, yet men can be bachelors for throughout their lives? In my household, I also feel this double standard because I am more restricted than my brother. Who knew that 1 chromosome, the Y chromosome, could make such a drastic difference?

  25. It is a terrible double-standard to look at unmarried men like George Clooney as desirable – as someone who has the strength of character to remain unmarried and ‘out of reach’ of all the women who are ‘chasing’ him – while looking at unmarried women like Kim Kardashian as weird, or sluttish or somehow not able to ‘get her man.’ Clooney is even more attractive because he is single, while Kardashian (still 20 years younger) is almost ‘on the shelf’ and desperately using her appearance and media appearances to catch her wealthy and successful husband – he is a beautiful ‘bachelor’ and she a calculating ‘spinster.’ Like many other ways in which women are portrayed in popular culture, this is very demeaning and degrading to them. Why not respect an unmarried 30-year old woman as strong, independent and even successful or career-minded? This, for sure, is often the case.

  26. Kayla K says:

    I find the double standard of age to be disgusting. As men age, they become distinguished, hot bachelors. As women age, they become old, haggard spinsters. I do no understand why this is, and feel extremely discriminated against because of it. Women are taught to fear age, and to fear any sign of it. Men are free from such fear and thus do not have to feel any pressure to place any time and energy into finding a partner, having kids, or maintaining their physical youth. This amount of strain and pressure put on women takes away from so much from their potential to achieve in every other aspect of their lives. This obsession with age ads to the obsession with beauty and maintaining youth, because apparently once a woman hits 30, her life is over. A woman must find her soul mate, have at least one kid, and look like a model all before the age of 30, and if not, there is something wrong with her. That notion makes me extremely upset and sad that women are forced to do this, rather than living their lives by their own choices, without any social pressures. I do not see Kim Kardashian as a role model, but she is an example of how society will attack women for not meeting this standards. However, George Clooney is always praised for his looks and resistance to settling down. At worst, he is called a “player”, which is more of a elbow-jab, tease when Kim Kardashian is chastised for turning 30 without a husband.

  27. This article points out a great example of a double standard that exists between men and women. George Clooney is single yet still happy and successful, but Kim Kardashian is deemed insecure and miserable. This double standard sends out the message that if a woman is single, there must be something wrong with her. I showed this article to my neighbor because she is almost 30 and still single. She feels a certain pressure to settle down and start a family, especially because all of her friends her age have already done so. She is afraid of being alone for the rest of her life, and she is afraid that no man will want her because she is “old”. She also feels that there is something wrong with her for not following the norm of settling down by age 30. So far, I have never heard of a male feeling unsure of himself because of his marital status. I wanted me neighbor to understand there is absolutely nothing wrong with her. She should learn to embrace her single status instead of be ashamed by it. Women that are single are independence and strong, and should not feel the need to rely on a man for happiness.

  28. Roxana GM says:

    It is so “entertaining” and humorous to watch the depictions of female single lives and male single lives whistle past you without understanding the true knowledge that remains behind it. There is not one idea or phrase in this article that I disagree with. Although I am not very fond of Kim Kardashian myself, I know that she is always completely bombarded and victimized for her failed relationships and marriages. This is similar to all women the age of 30 and over. Questions about marriage and family are always raised, but with men who may be 50 and still single, it is completely acceptable in society. This proves how many citizens affiliate age with marriage and how normal the double standard is in our communities.

  29. Bryan S says:

    I think its really ridiculous how women are expected to be stay at home moms before 30, or else they become “old maids” who must have something wrong with them which is why they are unable to “settle down”. It’s disgusting how the mass media praises and admires old single guys like George Clooney and Jack Nicholson, constantly portraying them as the epitomes of masculinity, while women like Kim Kardashian are lambasted in the media for not being able to settle down.
    It’s really unfortunate because the double standards are socialized into the public because of the growing power and presence of the media. I think its great that websites like msmagazine are able to disseminate ideas and images about women that don’t conform to those of the mainstream media.

  30. Shahien Hendizadeh says:

    I agree with the author when she speaks of the double standard. While men like George Clooney are put on a pedestal for luring and having relationships with all these gorgeous women, female celebrities like Kim Kardashian are vilified for having multiple boyfriends without having ever to settle down completely. What suprises me most is that women like Kim have been married before and are trying to settle down with ne man, However they have obviously not have had the best of luck. This is were society has played its cards incorrectly. George Clooney has never previously been married so you can put him in the category of being a playboy, however someone like him has tried and given marriage a shot, therefore she cannot be put into that category.

  31. Cristine B says:

    There is no question that there is still a strong double standard when it comes to men and women — especially when it comes to sex and relationships. I do appreciate that even though the author uses Kim Kardashian as an example that she isn’t really a good example of role model for feminism. The fact remains that women are still called sluts if they sleep with a lot of men, even among other women, but if men do the same, they are rarely called sluts, and are revered by their male friends.

  32. I completely agree that a double standard exists in our society. Women are generally looked down upon for doing what men are put on a pedestal for. A woman is expected to get married as soon as she reaches a certain age, and if she does not get married right away, society immediately thinks that there is something wrong with her. On the other hand, if a man does not marry at a young age, he is still considered independent and successful. Hopefully, this wrong perspective will evolve.

  33. In no way am I a supporter of Kim Kardashian. She used her sex tape and sexual innuendos after that to get famous and rich and I do not think that is proper for any sex. It seems as though she even married Kris Humphrey for free press and money. However, I also do not applaud Clooney for dating young women and getting good press for it. In my view, people are free to stay single or get married, however, I do not think highly of those who jump from one partner to another or those who have two partners at once, be they male or female. Society on the other hand, does have a double standard. They would call someone like Kim a “whore,” which has a negative connotation, but they would call Clooney a player, which has a positive connotation. Even in the Persian community, girls become “torshide” or spoiled if they reach the age thirty and are still not married but the term is not used for men, meaning that only the women could become spoiled and unwanted as they age. I would understand why the term was used before. After all, before it was viewed that all women want to get married and have children and since after a certain age fertility becomes an issue for a women that women would be spoiled and unwanted because she might not be able to have children. Furthermore, since men can reproduce until they enter their grave, they would not become “spoiled”. However, it seems that society is still stuck on the notion that all women want to get married and all women want to have children. Furthermore, there are also medical ways for women to insure that they could have babies at an older age.
    Even in television shows the same double standard stands. Charlie from Two and a Half Men is praised in the show for being an eternal bachelor but Phoebe Halliwell from Charmed is constantly reminded and advised in season six that she needs to get married and have children. Either society needs to label everyone, men and women, who does not get married negatively or they need to stop labeling these people in general. After all, it is really no one’s business if someone wants to get married or not. Oprah has never gotten married and she’s happy. Why can’t other single people be?

  34. This article points out one of many double standards existent in our society, ones that function to put people in boxes and disallow any straying from the expected norms. This spinster vs bachelor standard played up by the media and in everyday life is harmful because of the negative sanctions that result: labeling and trashing women solely on their marital status regardless of any other accomplishments they may have made in their careers or education. This double standard can be directly related to the virgin-whore dichotomy: a woman must be a pure virgin who settles down in her twenties and if she sleeps around and doesn’t commit then she is considered a whore, while a man doing the same thing is praised for his sexuality and is called a “bachelor.” This binary dynamic leaves no room for variation and puts high pressure and expectations on all women. What’s more, this double standard pegs women as being dependent and helpless without a man, incapable of taking care of themselves. Men AND women should be free to choose when to settle down when they feel is right without any pressure or negative sanctions.

  35. I strongly concur with this article. The author perfectly argues many valid points, the biggest being how backward our society is. It is considered unacceptable if a successful woman is over 30 and not married in our society today. People tend to think that there is something wrong with a woman if she cannot stay in a long-term relationship. Where I am from, women are expected to have an average education, get married, and have a child by 26-28. If not, then you are considered a spinster and more likely to never be married. In my circle of friends it was not the case, the majority of my friends are married and have kids. The ones that are not married, or are pursuing academic careers are more likely to not have long-term relationships or to be married. According to one of my unmarried friends, “The guy just turns off when I talk about serious issues.” People often give her looks of pity, thinking that no man would want to marry an older woman. Innocence and youth are what is attractive today. Men, however, the older they get, more attractive and desirable they become.
    Consequently, this creates a double standard in which the value of a woman is determined by her physical appearance and youth. Men supposedly become more refined with age, while women simply “expire”.

  36. Jacqueline C says:

    Okay, when I first approached this article, I thought: “Ulghhhh an article about Kim Kardashian, this should be utterly boring.” However, I liked the spin on her “spinster” status. Of course I agree. I have noticed this double-standard in more than several scenarios, and this is one that is quite common. I appreciated the fact that Jennifer Aniston was included in this scenario; because she is one I believe most definitely does not deserve any heat. The Kardashians on the other hand………To be honest back when this article was written; I was a Kardashian fan, just like any other obsessive fan girl. It wasn’t until a friend of a friend of mine guest-starred on the show several times, and reported to us just how heavily scripted the entity of the show really is, that I realized my idiocy of following their show, making sure to watch each and every new episode right when it came on, not to miss any part of their glamorously precious lives. We should be using that time to focus on our own lives. Aside from this, The Kardashians have an immense amount of public disgust in their regard, which is why I believe the Jennifer Aniston reference was more powerful in the way that, more people (lime biased little me) would be more willing to understand, agree with, and appreciate the truth this article points out, in that our dear America’s Sweetheart, Jen, shouldn’t be chastised for being who she is, and that includes her perfectly respectable bachelorette lifestyle. Who likes Brangelina anyway? I’m for Team ANISTON.

  37. I’m not quite sure who Kim Kardashian is or why so many other people who commented on this article dislike her so much, but I have definitely seen the “spinster” trope play out on tabloid magazine covers many times before, and I know of George Clooney’s bachelor-status infamy because of them as well. Those magazines are practically everywhere you look in line at the grocery store, and they constantly, not-so-subtley hint at the notion that an old, single woman is an unmarriageable woman. It is as if there must be something fundamentally wrong with a woman who has no interest in getting married or being in a relationship, which detracts from her agency in the matter. I know that, at least for me personally, marriage is off the table. I just don’t want it. But that doesn’t make me a lonely, pathetic, cat-hoarder, just like it doesn’t make George Clooney anything less than he is: an independent human being with his own agency and ability to decide who is worthy of his time, if anyone at all. For so long, I was embarrassed to even think that marriage might not be for me because of what it would say to my family and friends about my fundamental character. This article, and what Professor Klein has been teaching in class, have shown me that the reality behind the “spinster” trope is far different from the message the media had cultivated in my mind all my life.

  38. There is one primary difference between Clooney and Kardashian, a sex tape. George Clooney is a fantastic actor, with SKILL and APPEAL. Meanwhile, Kardashian only got out to the public because she released a sex tape with a famous black hip hop artist named Ray J. When this video came out, everyone knew about it and instantly called Kim a slut, which I feel she is. Despite me being a huge fan of her, I think she is beautiful however she didn’t become famous because of her talents. She made herself into an object, the media didn’t In that video, she chose to make the decision. Clooney never had to do a stunt like this. Calling this a double standard isn’t accurate in my personal opinion.

  39. Maritza R says:

    I completely agree with this! Women are constantly forced to conform to societies standards but when men don’t do so they find something positive to say about them! Even when a women does everything she can right society always has something negative to say. Like in the case of Kim Kardashian no one praises her for having a “good” career or for being an independent women. Instead they focus on things like her still being single even though she is 30. Society has socialized all of us to hold a certain standard for women that is not applicable to men. If women choose that they don’t want to get married or that they never want to have kids everyone is quick to assume something is wrong with her. Of course that is not the case for men. If a woman has many relationships or sexual partners she is quickly labeled a slut but when a man does it he is praised for getting that many women. There is definitely a binary dynamic that puts a lot of pressure on women to be what society wants them to be. There are thousands of double-standards that always work to attach a negative connotation to women while they boost the male self-esteem.

  40. What really struck out to me in this article, is the correlation with negative sanctions and a single woman. In our society, there are so many standards that woman must fall under to be considered a good woman, but what about men?! Anything a woman does or does not do will always be held accountable, and this is the sad truth of our society, whether its exposed through the media, or at your own home. Hence, this correlation comes from patriarchy. Although I do not agree with Kim’s decision to make a sex tape, she has become a successful business woman, and people often overlook that because of her past. Compared to Kim, Ray-J barely had any negative comments thrown at him after the sex tape even though he took part in it as well! It is unfair that woman must always shape their lives and ideas just to mold into what society desires.

  41. Reading this article reaffirms my knowledge of the double standard between men and women. It’s embarrassing to admit that if a man gets with a lot of girls then they are considered a “player” but if a woman does the same, then she is considered a “slut”. This double standard that is presented in our society is shameful in that men are praised for what women are negatively criticized for. To criticize women based on their marital status and being 30 years old and still single, is very upsetting to me. When a man says that he’s 33, people respond by telling him that he has time to settle down and have children. But if a woman says that she’s 29, people shake their heads in disappointment and tell her that the clock is clicking. People look to women as being virginal and pure and men as being controlling. I think that Kim Kardashian should not be scrutinized for being picky in the men she dates. She has built such a great life for herself and is financially secure so she should not have to date down just because she is 30 and single, when any guy in that situation would not be expected to date down. The double standard presented in this society can bring down women while it praises men.

  42. Daniella S. says:

    3) I completely agree with the author on this article. This is so true! This article states the double standards that women are subjected to within our society. This article uses bachelor George Clooney and Entrepreneur Kim Kardashian as prime examples of two people who are constantly being praised and judged by the media in the tabloids. Kim Kardashian was constantly being bashed for being an independent successful woman who was still single. George Clooney is praised for his actions and the many relationships he has with random women while Kim Kardashian gets ridiculed for every relationship she gets into. The culture that I am from expects young ladies in their early and mid twenties to get married and start a new life and family with their loved ones. If they do not get married before the age of thirty they are usually looked down upon. It is sad that this double standard exists in our society today. Both men and women should not be pressured into settling down when they are not physically or mentally ready.

  43. I wish I knew why this sexual double standard was accepted in our society. How is it that men can just sleep with whichever women he wants, whenever he wants, and be praised for sleeping with multiple women, but if a women were to do the same she would be slut shamed? a women should be able to have high standards and find a man who is worthy and deserving, similarly to how men are able to choose hot women. When reaching adulthood women are pressured into getting married, while men can sleep around until the find the right one. Kim obviously hadn’t found the right one at the time so why should she be looked at as a negative role model to women? Instead she should be praised for not falling into society’s tricks and being independent and strong.

  44. Nathan P. says:

    Based on what I have seen and heard about Kim, I don’t think I can say that I like her very much. I don’t know if it is just influence from the media or because I feel that the choices that she has made have been wrong and have put a bad name for other women. However, reading this article and learning about how she has been treated, I do feel a lot of empathy towards her. It must be hard for someone like her in her position of fame and fortune to find someone she truly likes and someone that truly likes her for who she is. It makes me angry to see that women are slut-shamed and made to be the villains when things fail. It relates back to the concepts of male dominance and love. If the relationships fail, the blame falls on to the women. No one really questions the men because that would tarnish the powerful and dominant reputation of men.

  45. Michael S. says:

    Within our patriarchal society, many times women must abide by the rules and live up to the stereotypes to be considered a true woman. However, male do not receive anything near as much critique. There is always what feels like a sense of leeway towards men that is just not present when it comes to women. This is just another example of how truly male-dominated our society is. Even though I think Kim Kardashian is stunning, I do not agree with her decision to make a porno with mediocre hip-hop artist, Ray-J. Kim was called and is called to this day, a whore, tramp, slut, etc., for her decision. However, everyone just brushed it off on Ray-J and it just made him more famous. Ultimately, I feel as if women are much more scrutinized than men in almost every single aspect of society.

  46. In our society, women who have power are regularly devalued and have their images contorted to make them look weaker. Although Kim Kardashian said that having a single status enabled her to have freedom to make choices, the media revealed her as someone who is lonely and desperate to find a man. If we look at women like this, then why do we celebrate a man for being single at the same age? In many television shows today, older men are praised for being single because they are able to sleep with different women constantly. The media sends the message that not only is this ok but this type of behavior is valued, which is appealing to young men who watch these shows. As men who constantly see these images are encouraged, women only become afraid that they won’t find a man or that they must expose themselves as sexual objects to find a man.

  47. Caroline F-H says:

    Say it ain’t so! Being a young woman myself with no adamant plans for marriage and children, don’t think that women over 30 are anything less than who they were before the magical day they turned thirty. Honestly the fact that there is even a deadline age to achieve such great feats like marriage (more like a business arrangement) and having children (other lives that you are now responsible for whether you like it or not) is purely and utterly ridiculous let alone putting the pressure on just one half of the population. It’s as though some invisible puppet master is trying to cause an imbalance in our culture. Any woman celebrity or not shouldn’t be judged based on the attachments she has by thirty.

  48. Tatiana Kohanzad says:

    I agree with the author’s point. I believe that there is a huge double standard when it comes to relationships between men and women, and when at what age they stay single or not. Although I am only twenty years old, I know of many single girls around the ages of twenty-six to twenty-eight that get much criticism for not being married. They are almost considered unmarriageable at this point and it’s as if something is wrong with them that they aren’t married. It is such a different case for men, though. Men that are aren’t married are almost sought after more because of their ‘single status’ and every girl wants to change that. They are considered cool, and independent and receive not nearly as much backlash than woman do.

  49. My sister is 33 right now, and recently got married. During her late 20s, I remember one morning she was talking about relationships and marriage with my mom. Thinking about it right now, she probably was struggling and feeling a bit worried whether or not she was going to get married. Its sad and terrifying to see how media discourages single women reaching the age of 30 and even the ones above 30. To be honest, Im not a fan of Kim Kardashian, but reading this article, touched me to an extent that I felt sorry for her for a moment. As the person before me stated, its obviously hard to live in a packed society and constantly being criticized for her single status. On the other hand, no one really talks negatively towards single men over 30 like George Clooney. I honestly think we live in a corrupt and weird society, where we degrade women for just their relationship status. I think the media should just let the people carry out their own lifestyles and appreciate their decisions..

  50. So, although I do not condone Kim Kardashian’s rise to fame, I totally agree with this article. Just because Kardashian is unmarried and without children that means there is something wrong with her? Yet George Clooney is a bachelor waiting for the “right” girl to come around. I say, good for Kim for staying financially independent and waiting on a man that truly makes her happy. This double standard is ridiculous. Single men over 30 are seen as hot shots, and players, and enjoying the single life. But single women over 30 have something wrong with them and would be married by now if they were suitable?? Although I agree with the article that Kim isn’t staying single to promote some political/role-model message, she indirectly is, and I say good for her. Women deserve to wait just like men do, and shouldn’t be rushed into finding the right man. Women shouldn’t have a “deadline” to be married with children before they are no longer considered marriage material.

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