“Boys will be boys.”

While I was talking to my friends Brandon and Melia the other day, I noticed a couple of scabs on Brandon’s hands. They were pretty obvious and large, so I pulled one of his hands to eye level for a better look. There were fairy deep gouges in his knuckles. It looked as if he had punched a wall.

“Where did you get these?” I asked him, shocked, just as Melia noticed the wounds.

“Oh my god, did you get in a fight? Who was it?” She further interrogated.

“No one you know. It’s no big deal guys. We worked it out.” He said simply and Melia easily dropped the subject. I didn’t say anything else, but I was really surprised and a little disappointed in him. Brandon is such a sweet guy. I never expected to get in a fight, especially one bad enough to bust his knuckles.

After Brandon left, I asked Melia what she thought about it.

“It’s not that uncommon. Boys will be boys.” She responded, and with that, we went on to the next topic of conversation.

I let the questions still bubbling up in my mind go, but I couldn’t bring myself to stop thinking about the fight. What does being a boy have anything to do with fighting? What if it was me who got in a fight? I feel like if I came to school with busted knuckles, a lot more people would be shocked and surprised. Why are guys so inclined to resolve their issues with violence?

Part of it might be biology, a mixture of testosterone, adrenaline, and some primal instinct that drives their anger into violence. But if the human race has moved beyond so many other such instincts, when don’t men move beyond this one?

Well, it’s probably due to the way in which the human race raises their children. Often times, it’s the father that passes his wisdom to the sons and the mother that her wisdom to the daughter. By doing this, males aren’t able to escape from the ideology that talking about your feelings rather than punching them out is for wimps. It is not always the case, but males are often taught to express negative emotions with anger from a young age. Whether they are feeling sad, insecure, or worried, men will lash out. Even if they don’t learn this from their father, they usually pick it up from other guys around them. They are expected to act tough and brave in a way that girls are not.

Don’t get me wrong, females have plenty of their own issues in the way they’re raised and the way they act. I could write several blog posts about the negative ways in which girls are raised, but this is something that put unnecessary pressure on boys and can cause lifelong anger management issues, as well as and unstable home and family life in the future.

If only we could raise boys to express how they really feel, maybe they wouldn’t keep so much pent up emotion and stress. That hidden emotion builds over time and has to come out at some point. If someone told me that for me to talk about my issues and feelings was for wimps, I would want to explode with anger as well. Maybe the next time my boyfriend or guy friends get mad at me, I’ll try to keep my cool and ask them why they’re angry, rather than jumping right into an argument. I expect the answer to be more related to hurt or insecurity rather than actual anger.

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