From the time we are young we are told
If he's mean to you, that just means he likes you.
If he pulls your hair, he thinks you're cute.
If he picks on you on the playground, he must have a littlecrush.
But that's okay, because boys will be boys.
When we reach middle school we are told
'Kids are cruel'
'Girls just mature faster'
'If he's mean, he probably likes you.'
Girls don't have cooties, but we're treated as such.
But that's OK, because boys will be boys.
In high school, we are told
"Give in to him, - But 'don't."
If you have sex you're a whore and if you don't you're a prude.
But 'let him do what he pleases,' because boys will be boys.
In high school we are told
"I cheated- but it was a mistake"
But you should forgive him
Because he's just a 'dumb boy'
But forbid a girl if she were to do the same
Because then, she's 'easy'.
But that's okay because boys will be boys but girls have no excuse.
On a college campus we are told
"Sexual assault is of zero tolerance"
But when it comes down to her body or the school's reputation, which do they choose?
Because "she could be a liar"
Because "it was a 'mistake' "
Because "she probably regretted it"
Because her clothing meant she 'asked for it'
But that's not his fault, right?
Because boys will be boys.
When you are a women you learn if you are ever in danger yell "fire" because no one will help you if you yell the word "rape"
When you are a woman you learn those men on the street that catcall you,
You should feel honored.
Because that means you are attractive.
Because they, random men, have deemed you worthy.
And you know not to yell back because they could be armed
They could get angry
They could fightback
But we're supposed to roll our eyes and cover our chests because what can we do?
Boys will be boys.
Here's what we can do.
We can stopshaming women for the bodies they were given
We can stopallowing men to make us feel uncomfortable in our own skin
We can stop teaching our sons and nephews that they can do what they please and treat women how they please because "boys will be boys"
Because when in our stages of growing up do we draw the line
What does it take to say enough is enough?
When a woman comes home battered and bruised in black and blue war paint from a night out with her beau
Do we say that's it
Or are boys just being boys
When do we stopcalling it harmlessboys being boys
When do we call talk of harassment for what it is and not "locker room talk"
When do we think about the victim who was too drunk to consent
and who will be affected for the rest of her life
and not the grown man who 'shouldn't suffer' for only"20 minutes of action"
When does it go from pulling on my pigtails to punching my face
When do we hold men AND women accountable for their actions?
Because it's not just boys- girls are just as viable to sexually assault someone
But when do we call everyone out for their wrongs
When do we take a 180 from what we were taught
And when do we teach something new
When do we teach the next generation to treat everyone with respect
Where no one has any excuses
Because boys may be boys
But we can't let that be enough.