“Boys Will Be Boys” Should Be Seen As An Insult to Men and Boys Alike

Sexual misconduct is not a part of manhood

Senator Chris Coons, Democratic Senator from Delaware, said this during the Kavanaugh-Ford Senate Judiciary Committee’s emotional and explosive hearing:

I’ve been really troubled by the excuse offered by too many that this was a high school incident and boys will be boys. To me, that’s just far too low a standard for the conduct of men and boys in our country.

I could not agree more.

Where has sexual assault ever been part of boyhood? Where has sexual assault ever been part of manhood?

It has never been part of what it means a boy or a man. Never.

In the Quran, modesty and integrity is part and parcel of what it means to be a believer, man or woman:

Truly the believers have prospered, who are humble in their prayers, and who turn away from idle talk, and who give the alms, and who guard their modesty (23:1–5)

Yet, you know what the last part of the verse literally says in the original Arabic? It says: “guard their private parts.”

What does that mean? It means guarding themselves from promiscuity, from debauchery, from any sexual activity outside the bonds and protection of marriage.

In fact, in another passage of the Quran, God commands the believers to not only “guard the private parts,” but also lower their eyes, meaning not stare and lust after other people:

Tell the believing men to lower their eyes and guard their private parts. That is purer for them. Surely God is Aware of whatsoever they do (24:30)

Notice that the men are addressed first. The next verse then speaks to women.

God knows what boys (and men) can do, what they — if they succumb to their base desires — are capable of doing. We have seen it — in all its ugliness— with the #MeToo movement. It has taken down — rightly — people who I never thought could be capable of such things.

When President Trump was exposed on tape as grabbing women by their genitals, it was dismissed as “locker room talk,” which is to say, “boys will be boys.” This sort of behavior should never be excused or explained away as “boys will be boys.”

Senator Coons said that the excuse of “boys will be boys” is “far too low a standard for the conduct of men and boys in our country.” I go even further: it is not just “too low a standard.” To me, it is an vile insult.