Stop saying ‘boys will be boys’

By: Brittany Escalera - Staff Intern

Over the summer when parents are more likely to let their kids play outside longer and take them to the park to enjoy the day, a lot more bumps and bruises are also bound to happen.

When two little boys fight and one ends up falling and scraping their arm and they go running to their parents about it, the response is more than likely to be “Oh well honey, boys will be boys.”

But here’s the deal, as innocent as it may seem to use the phrase “boys will be boys,” there’s really nothing innocent about it.

That phrase reiterates the idea that little boys being rough and pushing and shoving is normal and seen as masculine. However, if a little girl is the one playing rough and rolling around on the dirt she’s seen as wild, aggressive, and more often than not is yelled at for getting her clothes dirty.

Boys will boys is the phrase people use to excuse their bad behavior. And in my opinion it sets the bar pretty low on what we expect from boys.

He pushed another kid on the playground? Oh well, boys will be boys. He doesn’t want to come inside and wash up for dinner? Boys will be boys. He pulls a fellow classmate’s hair and consistently bullies her but doesn’t get punished? But it’s fine because he’s just a boy being a boy, and let’s not forget that aggression is how boys show you they like you.

It is 2017. When are we going to stop pushing these false ideas of masculinity onto little kids?

By using that phrase we are implying that boys don’t know any better and that they can’t be held accountable for their actions because they are boys. As they get older they become more and more acquainted with the idea that they don’t have to take responsibility for physically or emotionally hurting someone because they have been excused from that their entire lives.

We have to start demanding that our boys be better human beings, not just big strong men but compassionate and caring human beings.

Brittany Escalera Escalera

Brittany Escalera

Staff Intern