The Student Media Site of William Clarke College

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The Student Media Site of William Clarke College

We Are

The Student Media Site of William Clarke College

We Are

“Boys will be Boys”

Taken by Adrià Crehuet Cano, from Unsplash

 When growing up with my three brothers I have learnt a lot. One of the things I learned is that boys can be excused for things under the pretence of ‘boys will be boys’. I will never forget the day my older brother broke my barbie flip phone lip-gloss, the type of object that I would have lost in a month and found 10 years later under my bed. It was worth $2 and to anyone else it wouldn’t have mattered but to my 6-year-old self in the moment it was worth everything. My loving and oh so kind older brother knew that and threw my lip-gloss onto the concrete footpath on our front lawn breaking it, completely destroying something that I loved; his justification being that I accidentally kicked a soccer ball over the fence. 


When I ran inside to tell my parents, instead of being comforted and guaranteed the satisfaction of knowing my older brother was getting karma he deserved, I was told to calm down and that ‘Boys will be boys.’ 


The first time I heard this I was confused, why did it matter? How does it change anything? 


Throughout my time talking to the adults around me I was quick to figure out that it was a simple way of saying, I don’t want to deal with it just ignore it and move on and act like nothing happened. It’s especially frustrating when you’re trying to get some form of justice for an act of rudeness. and instead, your told to just ignore it.   


It isn’t the fault of boys; they cannot help but be like this. Without pressure nothing will change and there isn’t enough pressure for them to want to change. Girls are told to be lady like before there able to talk, whereas boys can be excused with the simple phrase of “boys will be boys”. What’s more, when it comes to school, there aren’t high expectations when it comes to behaviour in a classroom setting. I have seen boys get merits for sitting quietly. Being rewarded for the bare minimum makes you think that the bare minimum is the goal. This is simply the reason why boys struggle to do the right thing.  


During my time at school, I have had countless boys make fun of me or my friends. There have also been countless times that I’ve been told its best to just ignore them, that reacting is just making them motivated to annoy me more. Why would anyone be more motivated through that? They’re just motivated to see how much they can get away with. Push boundaries to see how far they can go. The boundaries being pushed for them and not others give them a sense of proudness.  


Now I’m not man hating, I have boys in my life that I love. I just think that if guys were given the pressure of being nice and polite, the same way girls have, maybe we wouldn’t have to learn to just deal with it and instead feel comfortable around guys, knowing we can stand up for ourselves without being told boys will be boys and called emotional and irrational.  


I think in some ways boy’s being boys can be helpful, it encourages people to not take life so seriously. To have a laugh and actually talk to others, while boys can be rude, destructive and annoying they can also be kind, caring, protective and human. At the end of the day, we are all human and have our faults.  


So instead of boys will be boys, I will start saying let them be human.  


Removing the ability to avoid accountability while ensuring that girls have a support to their own mistakes. At the end of the day, we are all human and we will make mistakes instead of correcting one and not the other I will always say; Let them be human.  


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  • SophieMay 10, 2024 at 3:06 pm