Women are not the same as men.
They are the females of the mammalian species Homo Sapiens, in case one needs to be reminded.
They have distinct bodies, which have distinct processes, which have distinct hormonal rhythms.
They have a distinct biological role, and that biological role has defined to a very great extent the social and moral restrictions placed on them.
Of course there are "double standards" when it comes to male and female sexuality. "Double Standard" assumes a pejorative and hypocritical stance, whereas a more neutral phrase would be "distinct standard".
These distinctions in social and moral restrictions can be summarily brushed aside as unnatural and unfair only if one does not understand their evolutionary bases.
A woman is expected to act more modest socially. Her modesty has traditionally been her shield against unwanted male advances. It signals that she is not easy, and that there are going to be commitments and investments and social negotiations before a man is to even attempt to impregnate her.
A woman is "free" to disregard this traditional guideline of modesty just as someone in Iowa is free to not wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle. There is going to be increased risk, and society as a whole is going to have to pay for undesirable consequences when they occur. Divorces, night patrolling, care of fatherless children, termination of pregnancies, sexual harassment regulatory overheads, matrimonial litigation, all are significant economic costs which traditional societies avoided by having strict rules for women.
Many of those rules caused hardship to free thinking women, who were intelligent enough to make wise sexual decisions and didn't need to be overseen. And it is an interesting facet of law and morality that they are both wide-ranging and do not account for individual differences.
All sexual morality is the consequence of the biological facts of a woman being a female mammal requiring protection and support while she gives birth to and brings up the offspring and thus helps to propagate the genes of the father. There may be idiosyncrasies such as genital mutilation of females in certain societies, but then there are such idiosyncrasies related to men as well (e.g. circumcision).
Females and males are sexually unequal, and always will be. This fact can be consciously disregarded, but reality has a way of catching up in a hard way if you ignore it long enough.
The other arena of the so-called "double standards" is leadership.
Traditionally, power and leadership has been synonymous with readiness to engage in conflict. And to this day, conflict can quickly escalate into insults, ruthless negotiations, property disputes, physical violence, warfare. Armies and police forces all over the world are still predominantly male. It is no wonder that women military leaders have been conspicuous by their non-existence. There have been some notable female heads of state, but again, the vast majority of rulers have been men.
Coming to white collar environments, can a woman be a leader of men? The conflicts in these environments are not physically violent, but they do require a certain "toughness", an insensitivity (not blindness) to others' suffering and emotional states (ref, mass layoffs), and competitiveness.
A woman in a position which requires ruthlessness will understandably have to prove herself as being "man" enough. A man doesn't have to prove himself capable of ruthlessness, it is assumed that he is, by virtue of his gender. On the other hand, it is a fair question to ask of a woman leader whether she has got the requisite "guts" and "balls".
To what extent are traditional morality and social restrictions related to women still relevant? And let it not be thought that it is men (or only men) who subject women to the "rules". In fact most men who are not socially invested in her well-being would like her, for obvious reasons, to be more promiscuous and available and skimpily dressed and so on. Women have been brainwashed to think that "men" are restricting their sexual freedom, when factually speaking, societies (both men and women) have evolved these morals and rules to avoid hardship and a breakdown of the community.
In modern urban settings, the breakdown of the community is a non-factor, the community not being there in the first place. Similarly, sexual morality, being a communally driven phenomenon, is relatively non-existent. Hence, in a metro, a woman is, more or less, free to do what she wants.
But, there is a caveat.
Because an atmosphere of amorality and lack of community does not equate an atmosphere of implicit safety (in fact it is quite the opposite), increasingly vicious forms of women-friendly legislation have been put in place in most modern societies. Presumption of guilt is quite widespread when a woman complains against a man for some sexual or matrimonial indiscretion.
Equality before law is another topic of debate. No society treats all its inhabitants equally, even formally speaking. Illegal immigrants do not have the rights granted to a citizen. There is affirmative action for various classes of underprivileged people. Certain jobs require youthfulness. Most jobs require suitable credentials. Only high-net-worth individuals can invest in hedge funds.
It is politically correct to say that one must not discriminate against a particular race, income class, gender, and so on.
Most feminists I have talked to, or listened to, are not in favor of equality before the law. They would rather have preferential treatment for women, because they are the "oppressed" class. In most modern societies, laws favoring women vastly outnumber laws favoring men (if the latter at all exist).
I am of the firm opinion that one can't have it both ways. Either admit that women (as a class) need protection, and that they are more vulnerable to abuse. Or admit that women are equals, and that they do not need protection or special treatment. In the first case, a special right (or protection) will have to be accompanied by certain responsibilities on part of women. In the second, women can do what they want, but they had better take care of themselves when shit hits the fan and not run to the "society" for taking care of the fatherless child, or to men for "alimony" and "maintenance", or to judges for "bail based on gender".
(to be continued)