Those who plead their cause in the absence of an opponent can invent to their heart's content, can pontificate without taking into account the opposite point of view and keep the best arguments for themselves, for aggressors are always quick to attack those who have no means of defence.
~Christine de Pizan
I've been thinking about double standards lately, principally because people often don't even notice them. They hold people they like (or agree with) to a different standard than people they don't like. They can even be righteous about it. This is commonplace enough that people on all sides of the political spectrum do it. It's natural to cut people you like some slack, but nobody likes to be treated unfairly. Maybe we could consider, "Can I switch it around and see if it's still equitable?" (Unfortunately, I think a lot of people feel disrespectful enough about folks they disagree with that they don't care about being fair. Sigh.)
I looked for poems about double standards and found one by Frances Ellen Watkins Harper. You should read the whole thing, but here's an excerpt:
A Double Standard
By Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, 1825–1911
...Crime has no sex and yet to-day
I wear the brand of shame;
Whilst he amid the gay and proud
Still bears an honored name.
Can you blame me if I’ve learned to think
Your hate of vice a sham,
When you so coldly crushed me down
And then excused the man?
A quote that made me laugh:
A man once asked me ... how I managed in my books to write such natural conversation between men when they were by themselves. Was I, by any chance, a member of a large, mixed family with a lot of male friends? I replied that, on the contrary, I was an only child and had practically never seen or spoken to any men of my own age till I was about twenty-five. "Well," said the man, "I shouldn't have expected a woman (meaning me) to have been able to make it so convincing." I replied that I had coped with this difficult problem by making my men talk, as far as possible, like ordinary human beings. This aspect of the matter seemed to surprise the other speaker; he said no more, but took it away to chew it over. One of these days it may quite likely occur to him that women, as well as men, when left to themselves, talk very much like human beings also.
~Dorothy L. Sayers
Check It Out has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Jone!