Boys Will Be Boys! (By Dr. Nida Aziz)

What a queer phrase: “boys will be boys”. Isn’t it kind of saying trees will be trees? Of course, trees will be trees, but boys, they can be whoever they want to be. They are not just boys. They are kind, thoughtful, sweet humans, running around the house playing all sorts of pretend games. They are voracious readers, immersed in tales of glory, and kingdom, and green gables and wonderland. They are respectful young adults, helping you carry a grocery bag when they see you struggling. They are the kind cashier at the grocery store, letting you pay by card because you forgot to bring cash. They could also be the group of friends who catcalls every time they see a girl, the bunch of bullies that scare all the little ones on the playground, the inappropriate toucher you try to avoid in a cramped area. They can be the evil that rapes, murders or worse. Boys will be boys, yes. That’s who they are. However, they will be criminals if that becomes an excuse for unsocial, bad behaviour. On the contrary, you could argue that all of this could be anyone: your neighbour’s daughter is an avid reader, your local grocery store has female staff, your helpful librarian is a transgender. A girl in a house two streets down murdered her entire family and ran away with their money. You are right. Anyone can be good or bad. Judging their behaviour based on of their gender is what is inexcusable. Now, 111 years from when women started their struggle against patriarchy for an equitable world, its time we stop blaming boyhood for evil human beings, recognise that the world needs more justice, empathy, kindness and love and make sure that we check our gender-based judgements. Down with patriarchy.

Written by Dr. Nida Aziz


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