Prose Fiction Essay 1
29 February 2012
Kate Chopin and Double Standards
According to Merriam-Webster, The definition of a double standard is a set of principles that applies differently and usually more rigorously to one group of people or circumstances than to another; especially: a code of morals that applies more severe standards of sexual behavior to women than to men. It’s ironic to me that the definition contains the example of sexual behavior. In Kate Chopin’s story The Storm I see her writing supporting women’s rights and also an example of double standards. Double standards are a huge debate in todays’ society, especially when it comes to sexual behavior. Men and women are biased differently when it comes to number of sexual partners and relationships. In The Storm I noticed many men in the class had a different opinion on the story than the women when it came to Calixta feeling guilty after she engaged in a sexual fantasy with Alcee during the storm while her husband and son were away. The question was asked during class whether it would be accepted the other way around, and many of the guys said no. This is a perfect example of a double standard. Many men believe it is acceptable for men to do something wrong rather than the woman. In the story, I believe this was one of the many ways Chopin was trying to get her point across when it came to the women’s rights movement. Chopin was a strong supporter of women’s rights, and double standards played a big role during that time, especially sexually. It goes way back to the Salem witch trials with adultery. Women are always found especially wrong when committing adultery, infidelity, or any other sexually wrong act. In her story, when Calixta performs infidelity with Alcee, you see no regret or remorse during or after the deed. This was sure to spark debate during the women’s rights movement, and exampled within our class the perfect example of a double...