A needed conversation

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Boys will be boys mentality is toxic

By Alex Woodliff, Staff Writer

Growing up I noticed times when most guys I knew got into any sort of trouble there would always be those who would say “oh, boys will be boys!” The thing is that type of mindset is not something that should be taught at all. The more excuses one makes for someone, the more they feel entitled. I was rarely offered such lenience and when I did something wrong I was disciplined accordingly.

When boys grow up to be young men, and eventually adults that type of thinking can forever alter their view of how the world should function. They are forever in the mindset that they can do or say anything, often without consequence. Now, though, with so many people’s actions being recorded and uploaded across social media it is harder to say or do certain harmful actions.

Now due to social media we have people challenging such actions. Examples being the Brock Turner rape case, the Donald Trump and Billy Bush recording and the more recent Harvard Men’s Soccer team sexist scouting report. When it comes to these incidents the people behind them are not sorry they said them or did them, they are just sorry they were caught.

Incidents like those have always existed but now with more people taking action perhaps a conversation will spark. Why does society wait until such a severe incident to address the way boys are raised? Teaching young boys to respect women and others who are different from them as could save headaches and heartache of possible horrid things they may do as adults. How many hollow apologies must we hear or read about from perpetrators?

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“Boys will be boys” mentality is toxic. (Photo courtesy of Odyssey.com)

“Boys will be boys” is an antiquated ideal that should be forgotten. Teaching young men that there are consequences for their actions should be the ideal. The more this mindset is taught and reinforced will allow certain individuals to face little to no consequence for any harm they cause. We don’t hear “girls will be girls” because they are held to a different standard than men.

When something happens to a woman, even when everything points to it not being her fault, she is still taught she was wrong, even when she is the victim. Victim blaming and slut shaming keeps girls from speaking up and boys feeling almost invincible. Boys grow up pulling a girl’s hair and grabbing her inappropriately to not understanding the words “no” and “stop.” These actions are not playful boyish behavior. This is assault and it can be hindered if society teaches boys that there are consequences for such action and that they need to learn how to respect others.