a double bind

double bind

A no-win situation. When both of Sally's jobs scheduled her to work on the same day, she was put in a double bind. She needed both incomes and could not afford to lose either position.
See also: bind, double

a double bind

If you describe a situation as a double bind, you mean that the situation is impossible, because you have a problem that you cannot solve without causing another problem. It is the absent dad's double bind: abandon your children and you are attacked as irresponsible; fight to keep contact with them and you are accused of disrupting the child's new family life. Note: You can also say that you are in a double bind or are caught in a double bind. Women are in a double bind: they are expected to act like men, but are criticized when they do.
See also: bind, double