It’s a boy thing? Give me a break.

So I’m sat here, desperately trying to finish one of my essays before its deadline tomorrow when thoughts of life naturally distract me and I just can’t stop. Guess it’s blog time to get it all out then. The topic? The phrases: “boys will be boys”, “they’re a boy, what do you expect?”, “it’s a boy thing.” I have had enough.

I have had enough of those pathetic excuses for people to treat other people badly. I’m sorry; gender does not excuse bad behaviour. Manners are not gendered; neither is being a good person. So please, please, please can we stop using maleness as an excuse for not being a good person? Whilst this may seem like an attack on men and boys, it’s not. It’s an attack on the excuses we use to let people get away with bad behaviour.

Recently between myself and my friends there have been a fair few instances of boys letting us down. Fair there have been girls too but when girls do it the default is to blame the individual. It’s the girl; she just is a bad person. So why do we use the collective for men and boys?

It is not a male thing to not have emotional capabilities. I know because I see them have these capabilities when it suits them. So why all of a sudden do we use the excuse that they’re a boy when they’re unable to be there for another person. Being a friend means being there. That is just a simple most basic component of being a friend. I don’t see how it can be so hard for some people and that their gender can make it okay.

My mum will constantly say to me: “well he’s a man what do you expect?” Friends try to justify situations with similar statements. Hell, I’ve used it before. Which makes me equally mad at myself but that’s how far the institutionalised gender norms and stereotypes have gone. Even strong independent women who know better still in their mind default to using it as an excuse. No more. I can honestly send this warning out to the next poor soul who tries to say it to me: I will not take it. I expect the same things from a man as a woman… to be there and to be a good person. I expect the same of you as I would expect from myself if the roles were reversed.

Can I just add too, it’s detrimental for boys. They’re better than that, or at least they should be. We need to stop using it as an excuse for them because they should be held to that higher standard. Why do we think they aren’t capable of being a good person? You are capable and you are so act like it.

When I started writing this I was so mad and as I finish I’m still mad but I’m also so disappointed. Disappointed that as a society we allow these stupid phrases to continue. As a New Year resolution I’m going to make a real effort to stop these gendered excuses and you should too. It’s not beneficial to anyone; it’s annoying and needs to stop.

With that I shall return to essay hell,

Becky xx

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