I am a pretty tolerant person but there are things that just make me want to flick people right in the eye. One of those things is the saying "boys will be boys". It makes me cringe; totally eye rolling, flick inducing cringe.
I don't like it because it implies a level of excuse for bad behavior that I just find appalling. I embrace the differences between boys and girls and men and women. I love things about men that I find unique to them and it makes me think fondly of the men who have been romantically part of my life as well as being one of the things that I find gives me balance as I also count myself lucky to have all of these men who are friends in my life.
So whenever this saying comes up it is never like " look at that boy he did something good" no it is always in the context of over rough play or bad behavior that should be excused or tolerated because they are boys. This "excusing" is one of those things that somehow is the pass from small infarctions to larger ones as they grow up. I just don't buy it that it is ok if you are boy to hurt anyone or anything intentionally. I understand that boys have different types of play than girls - even if you are one of those uber granola parents who refuses to buy gender specific toys you will experience it - I have seen it. Boys do tend to be attracted to games that involve more conquering and girls I find are more into building. Now I know there are exceptions but this is my observation not a scientific study.
I think this "pass" also can be seen in the multitude of violence and abuse incidents that we hear publicly about, or painfully privately about. This thought of how the women often are not seen as the victims or survivors but somehow the instigators with there mere being - because after all the sight of a woman on campus, holding a beer is an excuse for "boys to be boys" and sexually assault her. This was evident in the disgraceful letter sent to sororities at UVA, a place that decided it's multitude of sexual assault complaints needed to be addressed - so they did via this letter. To the sororities .. you read that right. Telling the women that if they were found near frat houses, you know the places were boys were getting drunk and had drugged them or raped women if they got drunk, they might lose their charter. After all boys will be boys right ? Girls on the other hand .. well they can control themselves. This devalues are males as non thinkers and our females to think they should just accept whatever happens to them.
We see this with imposition with religious dress codes - those boys will be men and we must shield them from the mere sight of our hair, wrists, elbows ... am not even going to BOOBS!!! After all girl will be responsible for negative reactions because yeah boys will be boys. This is so demeaning to the complexity of both sexes and I think much more of them.
This shit just does not fly for me. I am raising boys who will be men. Men who will respect women and the choices those women make. Men who will not try through god or law to make choices for these women. Men who do not need lame excuses because they need to own their behavior good or bad toward every one. So yeah in this house boys will be boys gets you a lecture because I also think it is demeaning to the multifaceted people I am raising - they are not one dimensional even if they are slightly obsessed with video inflicted damage. They are fully able to differentiate right from wrong even when they do not always choose right. They are boys who will be men -- boys who will be boys but not as an excuse but as part of the excellence that makes us different.