This just in: Eva Mendes is the latest lady rehab. (Hmm, she was "hanging out" with Joaquin Phoenix for a while.) Does this mean she'll be even more of a paparazzi target? Beverly Hills psychotherapist Rebecca Roy says that troubled young female stars are treated more harshly by the public and media than their male counterparts. "Heath Ledger's death is being treated with kid gloves, for instance, yet Britney Spears is afforded no privacy at all in dealing with her issues," Ms. Roy notes. She says that women don't get the respect men get: See Owen Wilson, who reportedly attempted suicide last year. "Not only do the women have to deal with an impossibly high body image standard, but they are savagely attacked when they don't meet expectations on that front." Robert Downey Jr., Colin Farrell, Jesse Metcalfe, Joaquin Phoenix and Jonathan Rhys Meyers all went to rehab with a lot less fanfare than Lindsay Lohan or Amy Winehouse. Sure, Joaquin was never photographed on the beach wearing a bikini and a alcohol-monitoring anklet — but he was never pursued, hounded or relentlessly photographed the way Lindsay is.
Do we hold women to different standards? Is it rough/sexy/dangerous when a man battles with drugs and alcohol, but disgusting/sad/inappropriate when a woman does? A new study has found that young, single, poorly-educated or mentally ill females are at a higher risk for suicide. And that's not just in this country: The study included data from 85,000 people around the world. Put aside your Britney fatigue for a moment and consider the implications of her being stalked by a 15-man crew 24 hours a day, whereas Owen Wilson is free to swim or what have you: "There are jackals at the gate just waiting for her to commit suicide," Ms. Roy says. "It's a travesty." Why are we ready to give the guys another chance, but cruel, pitiless unforgiving and when it comes to how we expect women to behave?