In this piece of writing I’m just gonna get straight to the point, because I tried drafting this out on Friday night after finding the inspiration to write and it came out so waffly that I lost the point of it.
As girls, we get shat on a lot. There’s a whole sociological theory about women being the ‘takers of the shit’. Time is making progression, and we are finding our way, and mass improvements are being made despite there being a bit of a glass ceiling.
I’m really proud of women for making change and I’m thankful for our fierceness. I’m particularly proud that the narrative we give young girls has changed so much.
You now teach little girls that they are so fierce and powerful. We give them affirmations, and we emphasise that they can do anything they want to. Girls are empowered, and they are taught from mediums such as pop culture, school, social media, maybe even parents- that if your needs aren’t met, you walk away. There is a dark side to it all, I’m not discounting that- but there is no denying that things are better than they were.
Us girls needed that.
But you know who else needs to be raised differently?
Boys need to be raised differently. Different to how they have in the past, that is.
They say that you should raise boys and girls the same way, and up until now I would agree. Because I am a feminist, and because I believe in equality, and because I am an advocate for loving your child in the most freeing way possible.
That said, from working with children and having nieces and nephews and younger siblings- from learning the psychology of kids; I now understand that boys and girls may not actually be receptive to being raised the same way. Purely because a lot of the time, due to whatever factors that might affect it, boys and girls don’t operate in the same way.
I’m not a parent (yet), but I’m not blind- and if I’ve learned anything about children I’ve learned that you should never force them to fit a certain model, or force them into being raised a certain way. Listen to them.
The fact that the two (conventional) genders operate differently should not in any way dictate the opportunities made available to each gender, nor should it cause oppression or discrimination.
It’s just a fact.
So girls have been empowered and that’s so, SO marvellous. Keep loving your girls and making them feel free and responsible and boss. Keep encouraging them to not stand for any crap, to make the changes they need to make. They deserve that self-love.
What about the boys though?
Little boys don’t know their place anymore. And seeing what that does to boys as they grow has really kinda opened my eyes and left me with second-hand heartbreak.
I’m friends with a lot of boys. I think they’re great. I also think they’re very emotionally and communicatively oppressed, and I think that’s what makes them ‘trash’.
Boys don’t know to leave girls, believe it or not. You may have been played by a boy, gaslit by a boy, abandoned by a boy, maybe even abused by a boy. It’s common, and no I am not excusing their behaviour, because frankly as an adult it’s your duty to take it upon yourself to do better.
But no matter what the action was, in a boys head, they don’t know when or how to leave girls. And it’s because of how they are raised.
A good boy, in society, is a boy who is taught to commit to a girl and do her well.
Love her when she is hard to love, serve her, provide for her, work for her.
That’s the exact programming that we are trying to get rid of in girls because it resulted in a lot of unhealthy and co-dependent relationships. It’s not healthy for boys either. Their co-dependency shows up in different ways. When they finally break out of a relationship they feel stuck in, the way they protect themselves is by shoving their heads so far up their arses that they become numb to what’s going on outside of themselves.
Girls, we can also have unpleasant tendencies.
In no way am I saying that a boy mistreating you is your fault. We all need to take responsibility for our own actions. I’m simply exposing a pattern.
Women, we grow up and there is such a strong emphasis on our ability to be independent. So in our early stages of going out with boys, it might be the case that we go too much the other way.
Some girls tend to not realise that a relationship means giving as well as taking. We are capable of taking advantage, too.
Being in a relationship means being a team and working with a person as opposed to having total control over when you see them, what you do with them, what purpose they serve in their life.
It’s about talking and listening in balance.
Walking away from someone when they don’t align with your life, not trying to change them.
Women can manipulate. Women can gaslight. And women can take advantage of the way that men lack in the ability to express themselves.
This needs to be put out in the open, by a female, so that we can all take responsibility for our actions and take ownership for the part we play in things going wrong.
Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned- but sometimes, we aren’t even scorned.
So why did I just drag women with the truth?
Because men aren’t very emotionally mature (on the whole, just in general terms)- when they are mistreated by a woman (or live in fear of being mistreated by a woman), they play.
And that’s when we get shat on.
Not necessarily because we were the ones who did the guy dirty. It could have been an ex, or maybe even a mum. Maybe we’re just one girl in a long string of girls that this guy has claimed as a victim after getting his heart broke at age 16- but that’s why it happens.
They become afraid of commitment, they shut people out, they cheat and lie and abuse. They hurt women because they feel hurt and scared inside and don’t know how to get out of it.
This is not a womans fault.
This is something that men need to take responsibility for.
Where a woman might be more inclined to go within and heal after a breakup, men aren’t as commonly familiar with that. So they will go out and be toxic, because they don’t know how to tend to their wounds.
That’s their problem and it’s something that they need to fix. But we don’t have to be at war with each other. If the pattern is exposed, and if men and women are both willing to work together in harmony, we can break this pattern.
Underneath all the anger is a world of hurt- and it starts by how we raise our boys.
The main change that needs to take place in a boys childhood is teaching them how to express their emotions with words. In a healthy and well put way. To not be afraid of showing their imperfections, to understand that people are there for them as long as they are there for others, and to be secure in the knowledge that people love them unconditionally. We need to teach boys, as well as girls, that they are enough.
The assumption is often made by caregivers that boys don’t care. Even from a really young age. Then when they hit the terrible two’s or the whingey age of about 9- they act up and people just put it down to the age. If your boy is frustrated, they need to learn to use that frustration productively the same way a girl does.
And when they grow to recognise that they are privileged, because they are able to express themselves in a healthy way, they will be less inclined to be the problem. In fact, they will be in a position to crush the problem. The problem being inequity in society. Yes, inequity.
At the moment, boys don’t recognise their privilege because all they know is emotional repression. They don’t feel privileged. So once we tackle that emotional oppression they will be able to see just how much the glass ceiling is still there.
They will be able to influence, act as a role model, and use their privilege to protect the vulnerable instead of denying they have it. THAT is how you can empower your boys in a healthy way. They’ll be far happier and rewarded this way.
If you are a boy in a bad relationship- take this as a sign. You need to heal. Yes it feels lonely, yes it feels dark, but yes it is worth it. Now is the time for you to learn how to do that. Stop wasting your own time.