Less excuses and more accountability


Nishita Mukherjee

To reach a more fair and just society, it is necessary for everyone to hold teenage boys accountable for inexcusable actions.

Nishita Mukherjee, Managing Editor

I absolutely despise the phrase “Boys will be boys.” I am sick of hearing how men’s uncalled for actions and inappropriate behavior is merely waived because of their gender. I don’t want to have to talk with my friends about guys who “are not great but they are better than the others.” I am sick of the excuses, and all women should be too. 

Men and women have always been treated differently, with men holding more privilege, as you can see in the amount of rights they have compared to women, and how society has viewed them as the “dominant” sex for decades. Regardless of how much society changes, there will always be certain circumstances where I find myself questioning how much progress has really been made. Men are still continuously treated with more respect and privilege, and when that happens they believe that it becomes a sign to do whatever they feel entitled to do. 

Before teen boys become teens, they are just young children who don’t know any better than what their parents and what society has taught them. The problem is not just rooted in the boys themselves, but as how we as a community  decide how to raise these children. It may be harmless for a parent to excuse their son’s violent behavior if they are a young child who plays rough with friends, but it is not so harmless when they become a teen boy who does not know how to respond to the simple demand of a “No” when it comes to women.

The problem is not just rooted in the boys themselves, but as how we as a community  decide how to raise these children.

It may not seem like a problem when girls in elementary school learn that boys chasing them is a sign of love, but it is not wholesome when as a grown up they can’t tell the difference between love and violence. It is not innocent when all of a sudden your little boy grows into a teenager who disrespects girls, peers and elders. But really was a problem to start with and it became a nightmare over time due to no change in discipline from parents and grown ups during their childhood. 

I am so tired of hearing horror stories in the hallways about boys who do not understand what “NO” means. They do not even care about the consequences they can face because society has taught them that teen boys CAN get away with it and that most of the time they do. It should not be normal for boys to be able to go ahead and rate girls on their looks with no remorse. No one should be calm when someone tells them about all the guys that treated a girl horribly. I should never have to excuse a man just because that is what was taught to me in this messed-up world. 

Girls in school should not be criticized and be called a b*tch just because they decide to not deal with the bullshit teenage boys want to say and do. It should not matter if he “is better than the others,” he is still a horrible person who decided to be disrespectful and nobody owes them any excuses or forgivenesses. I am not stuck up for calling others out when they decide the rules do not apply to them,when they decide that consequences are non-existent after their poor choices. 

The problem does not just pertain to the boys themselves, but the environment that allowed them to behave in such a way. Not only within parenting, but also due to harmful stereotypes regarding men’s need to be masculine and strong that our society decides to normalize the violence and disrespect that flows within the culture of teenage boys. Though before we can hold teen boys accountable for their inexcusable behavior, we also need to hold ourselves accountable as a society.

In times where you see yourself excusing a boy’s behavior or downplaying the severity of their actions with no justification, it is important to understand why you are doing that and whether it is an active choice you are willing to make. Equality can only be achieved with the effort of an army and the willingness of our society.