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This Pop Phrase That Is So Unfair: “双标 (shuāng biāo)”

Jul. 15, 2020


We all hate them and know they aren’t fair but are you guilty of having any “双标(shuāng biāo)?” It means double standard but the full term is “双重标准(shuāng chóng biāo zhǔn)”. Maybe you aren’t even aware of what a double standard is! In that case, it refers to the opposite judgment or behavior of the same nature according to one’s own preferences, interests, and other reasons, or providing different evaluation standards. Or, in more simple terms, a rule or principle which is unfairly applied in different ways to different people or groups. Now it is often said as 双标狗 (shuāng biāo gǒu) double standard dog”.

The word “dog” is commonly used on the internet to refer to people in a negative way so “double-standard dog” means people who use “双标(shuāng biāo)double-standards”. Be cautious in using the word 双标狗 (shuāng biāo gǒu) though as it can be quite offensive.

Several common examples of how double standards are used

1. Gender double standard

In ancient times, China was influenced by Cheng and Zhu’s neo confucianism of “the starvation is a small matter, but the breach of integrity is a big one,” and vigorously promoted women’s chastity. Women were to maintain the virgin body, but men were able to have three wives and four concubines.

And another example is in love and marriage, both parties want independent freedom and respect, but believe that men should shoulder most of their responsibilities.

2. Facial appearances also have double standards

Now is an era where facial appearances can make a difference in how one is treated. For those who look good, everyone is more tolerant of their behavior. Even if they do something wrong they will not be too harshly punished while those who are less aesthetically pleasing will be more harshly reprimanded in all aspects. In fact, this is also a double standard phenomenon.

3. Double standard from parents

(1)Attitude towards children of their own and others can be the opposite.

Others’ children are seen as really lovely and kind while the parent sees their own children as less virtuous.

Another parenting double standard is when the parents believe that the kids should follow the rules (simply because they’re kids), but the parents don’t have to.

(2) About falling in love

In China you may hear mom say “ during your school days, young love is not allowed, students should concentrate on studying.”

Then once graduated you might hear “Why are you not married yet?!”

Usage of “双标”

双标 (shuāng biāo): n. double standard

双标狗 (shuāng biāo gǒu) : n. double-standard dogs

nǐ zhè bú shì shuāngbiāo ma ?
你这不是双标吗?
Aren’t you practicing a double standard?

Wǒmen yào yuǎnlí shuāng biāo gǒu
我们要远离双标狗。
We have to stay away from double-standard dogs.

HSK 3 quiz

Please make an example about “双标” that you encounter in your own life. Which ones are you guilty of or which ones have you experienced?

You May Want to Learn More:
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“Tickets are sold out? Better find a “黄牛党 (huángniúdǎng)” – (Beginner)”

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HSK 1 quiz

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