Reactions to Trey Songz's alleged sex tape highlight society's double standards for women

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A sex tape allegedly featuring Trey Songz was released recently — and positive internet reactions spotlight a larger societal issue.

The video, released Wednesday, appeared to show a woman performing a sexual act on a man, whose face cannot be seen, but many fans believe it to be Songz based on a distinctive tattoo on his left forearm. Though the 36-year-old singer has yet to confirm or deny if it is indeed him in the video, he did react to the clip on social media. He has also used interest in the video to encourage fans to check out his SoundCloud and Only Fans accounts.

Many responses to the “Slow Motion” singer’s explicit video included Twitter jokes and Instagram memes. A bunch even shared their “thirst” for the 36-year-old, whose legal name is Tremaine Aldon Neverson, commenting on his attractive looks and expressing their desire for and attractiveness towards him.

Songz has been embroiled in his fair share of controversy. In 2016, he was arrested and charged with felony assault of a police officer and misdemeanor aggravated assault for injuring a photographer, according to USA Today. More recently, he was arrested again at the Kansas City Chiefs AFC Championship game for trespassing and resisting arrest, which was allegedly prompted by refusing to wear a mask, TMZ reports.

This overwhelmingly positive response though is quite jarring for some and calls attention to the double standards women face when in similar positions.

As influencer Kalen Allen noted, “Misogyny does its thing again.” (Allen also made reference to actress and singer Chole Bailey, 22, who recently spoke out about the backlash she’s faced for sharing sexy — yet fully clothed — photos and videos to Instagram. In an emotional admission, Bailey brought up her struggle with body image. "It’s really hard for me to think of myself as a sexual being or an attractive being quite frankly," she said. "So, when I see all the uproar about my posts and stuff, I’m a bit confused. Like, I really don’t understand because I’ve never seen myself in that way or in that light. So I take it as a huge compliment that you all see me as a sexual, sexy being. I don't post what I post to get attention. I don't need that.")

Others echoed what Allen had to say.

La’Toya Hart, the founder of the Heartbreak Clinic, a resource that aims to help women heal from heartbreak through courses and other tools, says that because of societal standards, men gain status and notoriety for embracing their sexuality, while women face harsh backlash. She also notes that comparing the responses to Songz and Bailey is emblematic of larger issues.

“Unlike women, society has conditioned people to embrace the male anatomy. Men have the freedom to express themselves sexually without fear of backlash or ridicule; this can be observed in the lyrics and artistry of Trey Songz,” she tells Yahoo Life.

“Chloe has faced ridicule about her self-expression due to an age-old thought that women should be modest...any behavior which does not fit this image is deemed un-ladylike. This image deprives women of having autonomy over their bodies, sexuality and freed of self-expression.”

She adds, “Women deserve the freedom of self-expression without fear of backlash due to double standards. Fear of self-expression can contribute to women playing small in every area of her life, such as her career, finances, faith and even relationships.”

Hart believes these harmful norms can be simply combated by taking the time to reevaluate one’s thinking.

“Double standards arise as a result of overcomplicated ideas on a particular topic,” she continues. “Sometimes we benefit from double standards, and occasionally double standards cause harm. Once we’ve identified a dated thought that caused damage due to unequal expectations, we must challenge the rationale behind them and become the catalyst for change.”

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