“Boys will be boys.” Have you ever said this? I know I have.
And have you ever realised how degrading it is to say that?
Look, I hate it when someone calls me a “girl”. I’m a woman. I’ve had a woman’s life for the last thirty years, I’ve two kids, I’ve been married. I’m emphatically not a “girl”.
Worse still, a “good girl”. Call me a “good girl” and it’ll really annoy me!
So how can it ever be okay to call a grown man a “boy” and belittle his achievements in the same way?
Our world needs women. And men. Not boys. I’m not saying that we can’t be childlike at times, or playful. I’m not saying we can’t have our toys, or be fun. But I am saying that we need our adults, with our adult viewpoints and experience and responsibilities, more than ever.
The pic at the top of this article is degrading to both men and women. On the one hand, it supports the myth that only women can manage home duties. On the other, it degrades the ability of men to care for a home and family. Neither is true.
I know incredible single dads as well as amazing dads who are married. My own ex-husband is a wonderful parent, and I’d have no doubt at all in his ability to care for our kids on his own for an extended period should he have to.
Men from all walks of life can do these things. These are adult responsibilities for an adult to do, not a child.
Likewise, women are equally capable of holding down a part-time job or a high-powered career, whichever we choose. These abilities are not tied to which genitals we possess.
It’s not the least bit empowering to women to suggest that men cannot do tasks traditionally seen as “womens”, therefore women must do them. Instead, it’s actually a sneaky undermining of the equality that we seek, to the disadvantage of everyone.