Living in the post #metoo era has really got everyone talking about the important topics like sexual harrassment and rape culture, and maybe it was because of the timing, or because as a society we were ready to expose the shitness of the world, but it’s taken the world by storm. Before when everyone tried to bring attention to topics they would be shut down instantly, but #metoo held everyone responsible for their own actions, and how toxic masculinity is fucking with everyone – which brings to the point of my title: wneed to raise our boys better.
Maybe it’s because I’ve always argued against my parents when they tried treating me different to my older brother, but I truly beleive this is an important thing to discuss. Men don’t become predators because of their man bits or genetics, it’s socialisation. From a young age they’re treated different to girls or their sisters, they’re excused from chores and are made to look up to ‘strong men’ and superhero figures. They’re then taught to never cry or show their emotions and are constantly berated to think of manlyness as higher then femininity. This leads to ‘throwing like a girl’ or ‘acting like a girl’ becoming a ridiculous insult.
It doesn’t happen overnight, but then the boys grow up. They grow up having to be ‘strong’ and dominant. Since the idea of ‘boys hitting girls means they fancy you’ was planting into them as children, play fighting becomes forcefullness. The notion of ‘no means yes if you keep asking’ then seeps into their relationships, which leads to the idea of women oweing them sex, or intmicacy.
Now these topics are talked about a lot, I know, and no matter how much people deny it, it’s the little things that lead to this disgusting culture. We need to stop teaching girls how not to be raped, and teach boys not to rape – it’s as simple as that.
But also one thing that I don’t see a lot of, we need to teach boys that its ok to be intimiate, emotional and cry. When you think about it, girls compliment each other all the time, we show each other so much love it’s wonderful. But in a lot of western cultures men don’t have as much freedom to do this. Think about it: when was the last time you heard boys/men compliment each other? Or just show some love without stating ‘no homo’.
This leads them to literally be starved of intimacy, so when a girl they’re into shows them even the smallest bit of affection they go crazy. I truly believe it’s how all the stalking stories and crazy stories are created – young boys who never had intimacy, becoming starved, and then going nuts and becoming dangerous when they’re given anything. We can agree to disagree on a lot, but we can’t deny that a lack of love really fucks someone up.
So basically we need to do better!