Who exactly coined the phrase “boys will be boys?” Let’s see now…it was probably a man…he probably lived centuries ago…he was bigger and stronger than most people…and lazier than most. Historically, this school of thought has been advantageous to those of you who have penises (sorry, Jim, I know you hate that word but I just can’t bring myself to call it the d word), but I humbly suggest that it has been a great disservice to you, as well. While this has been a quick and easy “umbrella” excuse for naughty activity, it has also given men a bad rap (which they don’t deserve). Almost any male behavior can be easily brushed off with this simple sentiment, but it’s also left them with the stigma that they are lazy, uncaring, unaccountable, stinky, selfish, out-of-control, lust-crazed, mean and nasty creatures. Dare I say that this is not true…this strange phenomena only occurs when men choose to be this way.
The last time I checked, I, too, was capable of all of these same traits. But what’s my excuse? Well, let’s see…for me to get off the hook for behaving badly I’ve got LOTS of explaining to do. Where’s my easy out? Where’s my get-out-of-jail-free ticket? Where’s my I-don’t-have-to-be-accountable-for-my-behavior pass? Why do the guys get to have all the fun without consequences?
Even my father, whom I view as one of the most liberal, non-chauvinistic beings on the face of the earth, counseled me as I grew up, that it was the girls, not the boys, that had to be responsible for not getting pregnant. Why? Because boys couldn’t help themselves. They had “special needs.” They couldn’t be expected to control themselves. To that I say “POOFAH!” I’ve had plenty of “special needs” throughout my life and managed to keep from getting knocked up. (Oh, yeah…there was that time when I was 33 and got knocked up. How embarrassing! I was old enough to have known better. Now my “girls-will-be-girls” moment has grown into a 13-year-old who is handsome and bright and stinky and he’s my gift from God.)
There are some allowances for my first husband. I won’t give him the “boys will be boys” angle, but perhaps a small stretch…the “Satan will be Satan” excuse.
And then there’s my second husband (my son’s dad-the one who knocked me up and then I finally caved-in to marrying (under duress) because I was hormonally challenged and needed the health insurance) whose excuse was simply that he was raised by parents who bought into the whole “boys will be boys” concept and let him get away with all sorts of naughtiness, so he’s just simply beyond the point of redemption and will forever remain a behavioral zombie.
When did we all come to accept this theory as gospel? I personally refuse to accept this!!! I expect more out of the men in my life! I have known men who are capable of more than this! Those of you who know me well know that I am, by far, the most jaded and cynical person in the world when it comes to men and romance (I still throw up a little when I hear that word but I’m desperately trying to get in touch with my inner Juliette). However, thanks to some very dear “friends with penises” (aka FWPs) that I have come to know in the past couple of years, (this includes some of my dearest friends’ husbands), I have come to appreciate men more than I ever have. I love their qualities that ARE different than ours…they’re bigger and stronger and more handsome and can make us feel sexy and they feel nice in our arms (I think I need a moment alone with these thoughts) and can make us see the world from a totally fresh and different perspective…AND NO ONE WILL EVER CONVINCE ME that they are not capable of being loving, selfless, nurturing, intelligent and valuable companions…not to mention bigger, stronger, more handsome…heavy sigh (you’ve already heard my laundry list)…no matter how many times you try to convince me that “BOYS WILL BE BOYS.” How ‘bout we start a new saying…something along the lines of…”boys can be men and men can be our heroes.” Hhhhmmmm…maybe that’s a stretch. Oh, crap…there goes that cynical, jaded part of me again. Oh, well…cynics will be cynics. Right?