Gah! How I hate this sentence. It infuriates me.
It’s the worst excuse in the world for bad behaviour, only further encouraging it. Nothing about ‘boys will be boys’ tells the child that they are doing something wrong or dissuades them from repeating the ‘offence’, however minor.
Pushing other kids over at soft play? Hitting a friend on the head with a toy sword? Tearing around somebody else’s home, leaving a trail of destruction behind? Oh, that’s ok. “Boys will be boys, won’t they?” Errr, no actually, it’s not ok. It’s so far from ok that I can feel steam coming out of my ears. So I’ll thank you not to lump my sweet boy in with yours and ask that you update your ideals, please. Don’t get me wrong, all children misbehave, regularly. No child is perfect, even my own, who are near as damn it (she says while cleaning rose tinted glasses). This is about archaic ideas of male and female and how detrimental they are to our babies.
When we say ‘boys will be boys’, not only are our beautiful boys listening to this blanket excuse (believing they can act with impunity), but so too are our little girls. They accept from a young age that excuses will be made on the grounds of gender and learn to make the same allowances.
I fear Bear growing into the sort of man who won’t take no for an answer, because I never stopped him from doing whatever he wants, when he wants. No means no. First time. Every time. Whether that’s ‘no’ to a Kinder egg at the tills in Tesco, or ‘no’ from the girl/boy in the bar. No.
I fear Bunni being treated like she is worthless. I want her to know how to say ‘no’. I need her to know how. ‘No’ to the employer who wants her to do the same job as her colleague, for less money. ‘No’ to the guy in the bar. NO.
We have to break the cycle. Our most important job (after keeping them fed & watered obviously) is to raise children responsibly, teaching them what is and isn’t acceptable behaviour, social boundaries and respectfulness. Failure to do so is to fundamentally fail them. It fails our boys and girls alike. There are no winners and society suffers as a result.
It is no longer acceptable to teach our children that boys are beyond reproach.
It is no longer acceptable to teach our children that girls are less.
It is no longer acceptable to victim blame.
It is no longer acceptable relinquish responsibility.
The world is shifting.
There is a murmur, a rumble underfoot.
People are listening, the brave are speaking out.
Voices are starting to be heard for the first time.
A generation has taught themselves right from wrong, despite what society showed them and they are shouting about it. They are shouting a message for us all to hear and oh my, they sound spectacular.
It is a lesson we must learn fast and one we have to pass down to our children.
The days of the boys club are numbered.
Their time is up and for the sake of both of my children, I for one am glad.