How many times have we heard this term? Growing up I didn’t give it much thought; even as a young adult I didn’t give it much thought. It wasn’t until I had children of my own did I actually think about this saying and the effects it has on our culture.
Boys will be boys.
What does that really mean?
Does it mean boys/men are expected to be irresponsible, noisy, rude, unpleasant, cruel, or boisterous? Does it mean boys/men will behave badly and it is okay? Does it mean certain things boys/men do is not surprising? Is it an excuse for boys/men to act however they please and get away with it? Yes, yes, yes, and yes.
I now have two children of my own; two boys ages 3 ½ and 1 and I refuse to say this to them or about them. Let’s be honest, kids are fucking hard. Not just boys; not just girls. All kids! When people ask me if I want to try for a girl I will openly admit that I did not want girls, but not for the reason you may think. I don’t feel one gender is easier than the other. My reasoning for not wanting girls is because I can’t do my own hair and makeup so how am I supposed to teach a little girl how to do it! Another reason I never wanted girls was because I always looked up to my Aunt Karen. She has two boys roughly the same age apart as my two boys (2 ½ years between my two) and I have always admired the relationship she built with both her very different boys. Now I know you can do that with any gender, but I look up to her for so many different reasons and always wanted to grow up and be just like her; somethings don’t change no matter how old I get. (Love you Auntie <3)
Anyway, back to raising assholes; boys are not predestined to be assholes. They aren’t predestined to be mean or cruel. We tell them it’s okay to act that way with these types of sayings. I don’t want to raise assholes. I want to raise my children to be respectful, intelligent, kind, and generous adults. The saying ‘boys will be boys’ is simply telling them they don’t have to be any of those things. They don’t have to respect me because ‘boys will be boys.’ They can door poorly in school because ‘boys will be boys.’ They can be rude to other people because ‘boys will be boys.’ They don’t have to respect the word ‘No’ or consent because ‘boys will be boys.’ They do not need to be held accountable for their actions (or sometimes lack there of) because ‘boys will be boys.’
I think you get the point.
Another reason I will not say this to my children is because I do not want to give my children a preconceived view on male and female roles. In my home, I expect my husband to help me with the cooking, cleaning, and other household chores. When my kids get a bit older I will expect them to contribute to the cooking, cleaning, and household chores (I can trust them with) as well. My husband helps with the night time feedings, early morning wake up calls, diaper changes, discipline, and all things ‘kid.’ I expect my boys to contribute as much to their future children as their partner does. I want my children to know they can be sensitive, they can cry if something hurts, but they can also be masculine and strong when they need to be.
If you didn’t catch on by now, you should know I am a feminist. However, that doesn’t make me hate this phrase any more. I would hate it if I was a feminist or not. It definitely doesn’t make me hate men, I love them! Shit, I better; I’m surrounded by them. 🙂
My ultimate goal is to raise my children into two competent adults who respect all genders, races, religions, and people. By letting them off the hook for any wrong doing I am not helping them; I am hindering them. I am setting them up for failure. I am not holding them responsible for their actions. By telling them ‘boys will be boys’ I am telling them they don’t have to worry about their actions or words. They can say and do whatever the fuck they want. They can grow up to be like Brock Turner or Donald Trump because ‘boys will be boys.’ I absolutely refuse to let my children, boy or girl, act like those two imbeciles.
With our current political figures and news stories, we need to change the way we think. We need to stop saying things like ‘boys will be boys.’ We need to raise our children to be better. We need to be better. Our children need and deserve good role models. That is our responsibility as parents. And let’s face it, our kids deserve our best.
And in comes the shitty house wife, how am I supposed to do this? How do we raise our kids to be respectful, intelligent, kind, and generous? Honestly, I have no fucking clue. I’m winging it and secretly hoping my husband has an idea of what he is doing. Any and all tips are appreciated!