These days, it’s pretty common to see videos online where women are being catcalled, or worse, some rude men are exposing themselves to young women, mostly students. This form of sexual harassment just shows that here in the Philippines, the sad truth is that sexism and a lack of respect for women, are still widespread.
What is the “boys will be boys” mindset?
In a nutshell, the “boys will be boys” mindset is whenever rude, unkind, or even offensive behavior is justified or excused as them just “being boys”. This way of thinking enables young men to grow up, thinking that they can get away with anything, just because they were born male. This sense of entitlement leads to a lot of people, not just women, being hurt, and even abused, by men who feel that they’re entitled to do whatever they want just because they’re men.
And this way of thinking doesn’t only happen in men, there are some women who still excuse male behavior as “boys will be boys”. There are still mothers who think that their son’s rude behavior towards other people, especially women, is excusable since they’re boys. This way of thinking only perpetuates the myth that “boys are better than girls” and leads to even more inequality in our society.
What can parents do?
Gender equality starts at home. Parents who have both male and female children should treat them equally. A good example would be when it comes to the chores that their kids need to do at home. In the old way of thinking, some chores that involve heavy lifting or significant physical activity is usually left for boys, while girls do chores such as washing dishes, cleaning the house, or doing the laundry.
Instead of dividing chores into ‘boy’ and ‘girl’ chores, why not let your children do all of the chores equally? That way, your children won’t feel that the other gender is superior, but rather they would feel that both men and women are equals, and that men aren’t superior to women.
It’s also important to teach your children to be respectful of everyone, regardless of gender. And whenever your son does something rude or hurts someone else, and uses their gender as an excuse for their behavior, you need to tell them that being a boy doesn’t exempt them from anything. They should treat everyone as equals.
Teaching your children to have a sense of humility and a lack of entitlement also helps them when it comes to dealing with people. They’ll be better equipped to talk to different people from all walks of life, and they won’t feel that they’re superior to anyone else, just because they were born a certain way, or to a life of privilege. Teaching kids to be humble and kind to everyone should always be a top priority for all parents.
READ: “Why I want to raise my son as a feminist” a dad’s perspective
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