Sleepover talk is a totally normal thing. I don’t see why everyone makes a big deal about it. It’s not that out of the ordinary for a group of us girls to sit around eating chocolate, painting our fingernails while watching romantic movies and talking about all things boys right? Can we talk about how more realistically in a room full of girls, we might be looking around wondering who else fits the statistic of being the 1 in 4 who has been sexually abused? Girls will be girls.
Oh and duh, pink. Since girls will be girls, it’s not totally abnormal to share with our friends about where we bought our super cute pink mace keychain. It’s just so adorable that when we carry ours, multiple friends ask where we got it so they can get one too. Not to mention, it might actually come in use. Girls will be girls.
Bathroom break? Sure, let’s walk together because girls can never go to the bathroom alone. Silly girls. Or maybe, even though we are in a crowded area surrounded by others, we don’t feel safe walking alone. It’s the crowd of strangers surrounding us that makes us nervous in the first place. So, we will continue to go to the bathroom in groups. Girls will be girls.
Have you heard about the really awesome nail polish that students from North Carolina State tried to develop? How amazing that it changes colors and can detect date rape drugs in your drink! What a relief to finally have something like that. We remember seeing the video posted in 2014 by almost every other girl on our Facebook feeds. We remember thinking, “what a relief to know technology is advancing and that this might be a thing that protects so many of us.” Of course we continue to share videos like that on our Facebook feeds because videos like that give us hope. Girls will be girls.
In elementary school our bra strap is snapped and we speak up to say something only to be told we are being dramatic and sensitive. In middle school crude jokes and advances are directed at us and we speak up only to be told we are being dramatic and sensitive. In college, the worst thing imaginable happens, but this time we remain silent because we don’t want to hear again about how it’s somehow our fault. Man, we can be so over sensitive and dramatic at times, especially when we try and express ourselves. Girls will be girls.
Five, this is five of hundreds of examples. The reality though, as long as society accepts that it’s totally normal “for boys to be boys” and that “it’s harmless locker room talk”, “Girls will be girls” will continue to be a thing.
I don’t know about you, but I want better for my daughter. I want better for my daughter’s daughter. I want better for my niece, for my friends and sisters. I want better for the youth group girls that we work with. I want better for my mom and grandma.
We have to raise the bar. We have to stop accepting that “boys will be boys” is an acceptable excuse for boundaries being crossed. Instead, let’s help “boys will be boys” become an acceptable term for when boundaries are respected.
One boy makes a crude comment and another speaks up and says “hey, that’s unacceptable, we don’t talk about girls like that”…this can be “boys will be boys”.
One boy touches a female’s bra strap inappropriately without permission and his friend calls him out and asks the girl if she is okay…this can be “boys will be boys”.
One boy sees a girl walking alone down a dark alley to her apartment. He asks for permission to walk her to her door and make sure she gets inside safely…and then he goes home with no expectations at all…this can be “boys will be boys”.
If “boys will be boys” can change. Maybe “girls will be girls” won’t have to exist anymore.
Disclaimer: This post is on no way intended to minimize that men, women and children of all ages, races, religions, and economic classes can be and have been victims of sexual assault and that Sexual assault occurs in rural areas, small towns and larger areas. It is intended to bring attention to the issue discussed, not to distract from the other issues at hand.