Boys Will Be Boys
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Politics and Activism

Boys Will Be Boys

Boys will be... HELD ACCOUNTABLE.

Boys Will Be Boys

As a forward to this article, I want to make it clear that I am not referring to all males. I am referring to the outliers among the male population, and I do not believe all men think they don’t have to be held accountable. Most men I know are responsible, caring, and genuine. The males to which I am referring do not represent the male population as a whole. I also realize males are also victims of harassment and assault. In no way am I being dismissive of them or any male victim, but I am speaking on behalf of females simply because I am one.

When I was in elementary school, boys were gross. They played in dirt, picked their noses, pulled girls' ponytails, and thought farts were funny. When a girl would question their behavior, grown-ups would say, "Boys will be boys.” I have always thought that is a strange saying. This strange male behavior is widely accepted simply because, stereotypically, all males behave this way? However, as I grew older I began to realize that the saying transcended into adolescence and adulthood. Here's what google had to say about the phrase:

Boys will be boys

phrase of boy

  1. 1. used to express the view that mischievous or childish behavior is typical of boys or young men and should not cause surprise when it occurs.

The first time I was cat-called, I was sixteen. I realized that in other cultures, it’s widely accepted and not strange at all, but regardless, it made me feel uncomfortable. My third day of college, I was cat-called while wearing a yellow dress. The guy stopped at a stop light yelled, “Imma call you Miss Sunshine! Whewwww, man! That a$$!” By this point, I knew how to deal with catcalling. I ignored it. However, that guy never knew how uncomfortable he made me, or how embarrassed I was, or that it was inappropriate to make a comment like that toward me. I was simply wearing a yellow dress. One that went past my knees and that I had worn to church on multiple occasions.

I began to question this event, did the guy really know he was making me uncomfortable? I tried to give him the benefit of the doubt… maybe he was from a different cultural background where that was okay, maybe no one ever educated him on the matter, maybe, maybe, maybe. As time has passed, I have been catcalled on numerous occasions and made offers to “hang out” by men that I did/do not know. When I would mention it to friends or colleagues, I was often met with the response, “Guys will do that. They don’t mean anything by it,” or something similar.

Honestly, those friends are probably right. Most men wouldn’t let it go past a single, uncomfortable encounter or a hidden-agenda-type offer. However, women have been conditioned on how not to get themselves raped or assaulted or harassed. Don’t wear too short of shorts. Be more direct and clear when rejecting males. Say “no” clearer. Don’t get drunk around males unless other females are present. Don’t look like you’re “asking for it”. That advice is good advice, though. Preventative measures have proved to be effective for a lot of women, but I think males should know when it is appropriate and when it is not appropriate to approach, offer, touch, suggest, or isolate women. Regardless if a woman responds “clear enough” in rejecting someone (man or woman), the other individual should know what is appropriate to say and how to act.

Here is a video I came across a few months ago. It's a video about 10 hours of walking around as a woman in NYC and all the catcalls this lady received. She is a stronger woman than I, for I would have gotten into arguments and I would have wanted to dropkick a few of the men who spoke to her.

The whole “boys will be boys” saying is said to women as an excuse for the actions of males. If you disagree, I understand, but in all my experiences, that is how the phrase has been used. I’m tired of it. “Boys” should know that they will be held accountable for any and all actions that they take. Remember the Miranda rights? Yeah, those are the same for all genders.

“Anything you say or do can and will be used against you in a court of law.” It’s time all people start acting like it. I think women should feel more comfortable saying the word “no”, not because they’re told if they don’t, they could be held at fault for something that happens to them, but because a female “no” should be weighed the same as a male “no”. I think males should know that making women feel uncomfortable or dehumanized is not okay, even if they don’t have malicious intentions.

Here is another video of women getting catcalled in the city, but this time the video shows how the women's fathers react to it.

Catcalling is just an example of childish and disrespectful behavior that is often dismissed as "harmless". Reject it. Let people who catcall know that you’re not comfortable with it. People who catcall, don’t do it, even if it’s for a “good laugh”. Speaking from personal experience, it makes one feel embarrassed, belittled, and disrespected. Boys will be boys held accountable, as women will be. Respect one another. Be professional. Be human. If you have comments or questions about anything in this article, respectfully let me know.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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