My hopes for our young boys. I hope he will not bottle up his sadness and grief just because people around him tell him that “boys don’t cry.” I hope he will be surrounded with positive male role models who don’t subscribe to the “boys will be boys” mentality that excuses disrespectful and irresponsible behaviour of boys.
According to the campaign, we might be surprised to learn that saying things like “boys will be boys” and “it’s OK, he just did it because he likes you” excuses disrespectful behavior in the minds of young people. When we say these things, we not only excuse the disrespectful behavior of our boys, we also, unfortunately, teach our girls to accept it.
Kudos to all the men who believe that manhood is defined by building relationships based on respect and equality; shared-decision making and shared power; speaking out against violence in your society; and having the strength to ask for help.