The assumption is "men are powerful, women are weak". Ergo "men abuse women". Sexism and male privilege works both ways: women are viewed as perpetual victims (though of course, given the unfortunate state of our society, they often are) while no man worth his salt would allow himself to be abused, least of all by a woman
. It's a very ugly and complex stereotype. As I'm sure you're aware, men who've been abused have to go through hell twice, the second round to convince people that no, they weren't just playing along with their attacker. Women, meanwhile, are told at every turn that their role is The Victim, or The Victim-In-Waiting, because no matter how hard she tries a woman can never beat a man. So yeah...
Not sure what you mean by playing to the double standard. I try to make myself see all my characters as interchangeable people - ageless, sexless, faceless mannequins, with nothing but personalities to set them apart. That helps, but double standards are terrifyingly hard to get rid of, especially in your own work. It's like cleaning oil from a really dirty
edited 6th Nov '12 4:50:16 PM by LongLiveHumour