Boys Will Be Boys
I must admit I had never given these phrases much thought before.
But as a Mum to 4 girls, maybe I should have been.
In days gone by, men were able to give all sort of reasons to excuse bad behaviour.
” She made me do it”
“She was asking for it”
“She didn’t really mean no”
“But I’m her husband”
“Look at what she was wearing”
This Mum recently went into a hospital emergency room with her daughter. Her daughter had been the recipient of rather a nasty left hook to the face by a boy in the school yard.
In an effort to lighten the mood the hospital worker attending the pair offered the off the cuff remark ” that just means he likes you“…… I’d hate to see the end result if he didn’t!
How many times have we heard this phrase growing up, indeed how many times have I used this phrase myself? Maybe not to excuse physical violence, but perhaps to minimise the effects of some nitpicking in the playground.
I remember watching Anne of Green Gables in my youth and I remember a young Gilbert Blythe pulling on Anne’s pigtails and calling her “carrots” (something that aggravated this certain redhead beyond belief), something we dismissed at the time and apparently now know as “love”….. I guess pulling her hair meant he liked her.
- “Boys will be boys”
- “He’s such a boy”
- “He tends to play a bit rough”
- “He just can’t help himself”
- “He breaks everything he touches”
- “He’s a boy, he doesn’t mean to hit so hard”
If we applied the above reasoning to excuse the behaviour of a fully grown man, what would that say about our society?
Then there are the comments that subtly put a girl down. These make us feel downright angry and uncomfortable and have been used for decades by men and boys.
- “You run like a girl”
- “You hit like a girl”
- “You must have PMS”
- “You are such a girl”
- “Maybe we should ask your husband”
- “Is it that time of the month?”
- “Man you are a pussy”
- Wolf whistling as you pass a group of guys.
- “But your’e a girl”
- “Is the man of the house home?”
- “Your’e not just a pretty face”
- Men converse, women apparently gossip
And some of these I only just heard this week!
My ten year old daughter wanted to play cricket at lunch time the other day at school.
This was all good until the boys in her year told her that she couldn’t play. Not because she didn’t know how, but because she was a girl and girls don’t play cricket….apparently…
I guess they hadn’t heard that the Australian womens cricket team were successful in winning the Ashes…. And the men? Well let’s just not go there shall we!
As someone who has absolutely no experience raising boys, I have to wonder where coments like these are stemming from.
Are parents teaching boys to be responsible for their own bad behaviour and not excusing it as a result of their gender?
Are they teaching them to be respectful and accepting of the fact that girls can do anything boys can do?
I certainly hope so, because the boys of today will become the husbands of my girls and the fathers of their daughters tomorrow.
I don’t want my girls to have to put up with the never ending merry go round of acceptance and feeling as though they have to prove themselves over and over again, just because they are girls.