It is Not Just “Boys Being Boys”

The “Horror Movie” is back! Just like the Australian band the Skyhooks used to sing – “It’s the six-thirty news! Right there on my tv!”  It is irksome, maddening and frustrating when a I thought we could sit down together to watch the news, we catch a snippet of gangs harassing people, particularly women, being described as “boys being boys!”

A presenter, excusing this unlawful behaviour as boys always follow the leader!  Have they thought through the message they are presenting to our children, and society? Particularly, to the young men and women watching these stories unfold!

Please think before you speak:  Our children are listening!

Upon changing the channel over to a different news report because my young son does not need to hear how a woman standing up for her rights is facing formidable ostracizing.  No reprieve is forthcoming, in summary another reporter describing the bunch of hooligans as predators and then subtly suggesting an erroneous assessment as there were only questionable victims seeking justice (translation = young woman with their friends in the evening).

Then we come to the memes about the news story. My goodness, many feed into the very behaviour we wish to eliminate! Think! Children are watching! I wish people would be more thoughtful creating them.

People forget that children look up to them and are monitoring their actions. What happened to giving alms to the poor and protecting the weak?

What happened?

  • What happened to empowering those that would speak out and stand up for others?
  • What happened to the amnesty for whistle-blowers?
  • What happened that allows harassing and predatory behavior to be excused as “boys being boys”?
  • What happened to make it acceptable behavior to blame the victim?
  • What happened to justify “trial by media” developing as the only way victims may secure consideration?

The issues I fear are greater though – worrying about someone being falsely accused when there are symptoms of dis-ease infiltrating our society. This is what leads to the real fear our daughters may be assaulted!

Our children should be safe playing in the street, at the movies, going to a friend’s party, or shopping with a friend! We, as parents, grandparents and guardians of children should not have to second-guess our decision anytime we let our child leave our side.

I have again turned off the horror movie on the tv, but it had already had a resounding effect on my young son. I am now answering his questions, carefully, one by one.

Parenting young sons and a daughter does not need to become more difficult!  Mothers need to learn how boys’ brains work. Instinctively, we can make a reasonable guess on our daughters’ concerns.

Boys think differently. They act differently.

Before you jump up and down, there is science to support this remark. Boys hang out together – typical boy behavior mothers across the world encourage for developing healthy energetic sons. Honestly, their energy level makes me dizzy! Sending them to go rumble and play is a sanity saving exercise for mothers. I can channel my daughter’s energy into positive easily without the extra exercise because I am a girl.

Although, with two younger brothers “outside to play, please” works quite well for the time being. The exasperating, trial-and-error filled experience that ensue on occasion, for a mother finding the same positive distraction for her small sons does not leave one looking favorably on media who are not thinking through their remarks.

Small mischievous boys grow up to be kind caring young men whilst playing with their siblings and friends. Some enjoy playing soccer, playing chess, making cupcakes for afternoon snacks before dinner time, kidnapping the washing from the washing machine to hang on the line without being asked, and watching Star Wars movies, and the like, so that they can be discussed ad nausea.  Usefully engaging is the aim of the game here, and whether athletic or geeky these activities should be described as “Boys being Boys”!

Playing is how we learn the right way to do things so:

Let’s teach all our children, no matter how small, when someone says “No!” “Stop!” “I don’t like it!”, then it is everyone’s responsibility to ensure the game stops regardless of whether you are a boy or girl, and even if everyone was having fun the minute before!

Let’s stop small boys asking questions like “Do they think we are all bad?”

Let’s help our children are safe all of the time!

Let’s not use “Boys being Boys” as an excuse…


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