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‘Boys will be boys’

| Friday, April 1, 2016

The phrase “boys will be boys” has been long overused by many in today’s popular culture. The term often goes hand in hand with the thought that “boys will be boys and their hormones control their mind and body.” But I ask, how could anyone say that with such confidence? Every human being has hormones, both men and women. I’m not sure about you but my hormones do not send messages to my brain saying, “Go sexually assault someone, no matter what.” Hormones do not cause people to commit acts of sexual violence. But, how did we, as a society, end up having imbecilic phrases that clearly take blame off the male perpetrator?

We live in a world that produces mainstream “rape culture” media. Rape culture can be defined as the normalization of rape or other acts of sexual violence, usually depicted as male dominance over the female body. Think back to your favorite crime show. Often, the go-to storyline is, “a woman was violently raped.” Noticed how I phrased that? Another way media normalizes rape is taking the perpetrator out altogether from a crime. Rather than saying, “the perpetrator raped her,” or “the perpetrator committed a crime,” media often writes about the crime in a manner that seems to be induced by the victim: “The woman was raped,” or “A woman had a crime acted upon her.”

Now, here comes the disturbing part. Think of one of your favorite romantic comedies. Girl and guy fall in love and end up having sex. Next time, take a closer look at the sex scene (whoa, that’s something you don’t hear every day at a Catholic school). I’m serious though. How do the scenes start off? The man usually goes in for a hard kiss. Suddenly, the man slams the woman either up against the wall or onto a bed while ripping her clothes off. The woman never has a chance to say, “Take it easy,” or “No thank you!” Take the rom-com effect away from this scene and replace it with a SVU storyline: “Woman had her body thrown across the room while the man violently ripped her clothes off.” The same exact acts are happening. Rape culture normalization, my friend.

Rather than continuing to be angry with those who have used the phrase I mentioned, I pity them. I pity them for acceptance and use of the phrase. I pity them for the reason that we all will be continuously bombarded with rape normalization. However, I do not pity their ignorance. No. To pity ignorance gives power to the issue. We as Saint Mary’s and Notre Dame students cannot allow this power to reign. Rape will stop once we teach that excuses do not count as permission to perpetrate evil.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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About Caitlyn Jordan

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  • Great letter Caitlyn. As I wrote here about a month ago:

    “There are many ways in which Women and Men are treated differently on campus. The problem remains, as it has since the Fall of 1972 when we Women arrived: many in Administration feel it is better (in loco parentis) to “protect” Women from Men while allowing Men to behave like Boys. Just as it is with telling Women not to dress “sl_tty” and to travel in pairs at parties and “don’t do anything to entice boys”, as if a Boy-Man can’t be held responsible for his actions if he is “enticed” in any way.”

    “Boys being boys” = “Boys take whatever they want, no question asked.”

    Think of this analogy: Meagan and Patrick are dating. {Yes, people actually still “date”, although apparently on Campus this is {still} an anomaly.} They break up. Meagan then subsequently starts dating Matthew. Matthew posts an Instagram selfie of him and Meagan laying in a bed holding hands {outside the covers, of course, and fully clothed, not, also of course, in violation of parietals {nod-nod, wink-wink}}. What’s the universal response to the picture, and not just from Patrick and his friends? “She’s a sl_t.” “What a h_.”

    There will come a time, Caitlyn, We Hope when, to paraphrase Martin Luther King, Jr., people are judged not but the configuration of their chromosomes but by the content of their character. And, the consequences of their actions.

  • Ashley

    I have no idea what your point is.

  • NDaniels

    (with thanks in advance to Harvard Computer Society for their censor of links that contain extremely vulgar elements)

    Until that period of time when colleges, including the top and most selective, desire to develop young gentleman and young ladies who desire to be respectful of themselves and others in private and in public, we should not be surprised that it appears to some boys and some girls in the college setting, that it is permissible to behave in ways that can lead to demeaning, abusive, and aggressive sexual behavior.

    A culture of rape, can never be justified, which is why every college and university has a fiduciary duty to implement a policy that respects the inherent Dignity of the young men and women that have been entrusted to their care.

    It is important to note “boys will be boys” is offensive to those men, of which their are a multitude, who desire to be gentlemen in private as well as in public.