Boys are told from a young age that whatever they do will be excused under the “boys will be boys” mantra, and that “boys will be boys” mentality leads to what I call the “boiling frog” problem of women’s sexual boundaries. I call it that because if you put a frog into a pot of boiling water, it will jump right out, but if you put a frog into a pot of room-temperature water and slowly heat it to a boil, the frog will acclimate as it heats and never jump out, eventually boiling to death. Similarly, when we learn as young girls to tolerate “low-level” boundary violations like the ones we often are forced to suffer in silence at school, at home and on the street – bra-snapping, boob-grabbing, ass pinching, catcalling, dick flashing “all in good fun” relentless violations that adults and authorities routinely ignore – it makes it harder for us to notice when even greater boundaries are being violated, eventually leading to the reality that many women who are raped just freeze and fall silent, because that’s what they’ve been taught to do over and over since day one. You tell me what’s more infantilizing: repeatedly letting boys (and grown men) off the hook for their behavior because “boys will be boys” and we can’t ever expect any differently, or creating a consent standard in which all partners take active responsibility for their partner’s safety, and which acknowledges the truly diseased sexual culture we’re soaking in every day.
http://yesmeansyesblog.wordpress.com/2011/01/03/the-nonexistent-terrible-horrible-no-good-very-bad-consequences-of-enthusiastic-consent/ (via zoemelisa)
Reblogged for truth.
Two years ago, the daughter of a friend of mine, who is the same age as my daughter (we are talking second grade at the time) was accosted by a boy their age on the playground at school. The boy kept grabbing her in the crotch, and laughing, as if it was a game because it was upsetting her.
She told their teacher, who did everything right and called the school psychologist, and all the parents.
The school? Hushed it up, or tried to. The school psychologist kept excusing it away as “things kids do”. My friend was told that it wasn’t like it was sexual assault or anything, because they were only seven. A boy of seven can’t sexually assault a girl the same age, you see. It’s impossible. Dontcha know.
The psychologist went as far as to tell them all that if my friend’s daughter was ‘rewarded’ with attention for making a big deal out of something so slight as kids playing, that she was going to learn that she could “use something like this in the future for attention”.
We live in a rape culture, folks. A world where a seven year old girl can be sexually assaulted and then told that she is wrong and only looking for attention when she has the courage to speak out against what was perpetrated against her.
We are put in the pot as babies, and the kyriarchy keeps turning the heat up gradually as we grow.