#2: Why Boys Will Be Boys?

Why Boys Will Be Boys?

"Boys will be boys" is the old adage used to excuse or explain behaviour by boys and young men, whether as something as innocuous as rowdiness to something as serious as impaired driving or sexual violence.

I don't agree that boys will be boys in that sense, and this phrase has justified so many destructive behaviours over generations. I believe that boys need to be able to see that there is a huge range of diverse behaviour, experiences and identities that make them boys beyond this. Among many other things, boys will be:






















I wanted this site to turn the traditional meaning of the phrase in its head. Boys will be whoever they may be. And being a boy must never be used to excuse violent and dangerous anti social behaviour. All boys are worth so much more than that.


Amber Pohl


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#1: Welcome to Boys Will Be Boys!

On July 11, 2013, I gave birth to a son. After the dust settled (does it ever really settle with small children?), I began to notice that there was a wealth of wonderfully empowering resources for girls and young women, which is absolutely necessary.

But I started to realize that there is a major gap in comparable resources for boys. I'd often notice something geared to girls on, say, sex education or gender roles, and I'd think that this is something that boys need to see, too. If we want to move to an equitable and just world, we really need to focus on educating boys and young men on a range of topics that seem to focus mainly on girls while boys get left behind. Toxic masculinity is so pervasive and it harms everyone, not just men, just like misogyny harms everyone, not just women. I believe that educating boys is a big part of this equation.

And so I decided to create this site, and its associated social media pages, in the hopes that it might help change the conversation around toxic masculinity and to provide positive and evidence-based resources to help boys and young men. It's intimidating in many ways, and I have a lingering fear of getting it wrong. But I've decided that it's important and that the project's possible value should be greater than my fear. Our fear of making mistakes or not getting it right all the time shouldn't stop us from trying to make a difference.

I'm actually somewhat reluctant to present this as a project created by a mother, because I find that our society actually often devalues the contributions of moms: they're often seen as cute or light or overly earnest or worrying or what have you. And I think that toxic masculinity is much, much deeper than something that stereotypically silly mommies worry about, as it impacts every single one of us, mothers or not. We have a long way to go.

I sincerely thank you for visiting this site at its launch, and I also gratefully thank our community contributors. I must also thank the talented Bianca Smalley, who designed the look and feel of the site and whose input on this project has been invaluable.

I hope that you find something useful in the site's contents as it continues to grow.

Amber Pohl


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