There are boys lying awake, hating themselves. There are boys screwing for the right reasons and boys screwing for the wrong ones. There are boys sleeping on benches and under bridges, and luckier unlucky boys sleeping in shelters, which feel like safety but not like home. There are boys so enraptured by love that they can't get their hearts to slow down enough to get some rest, and other boys so damaged by love that they can't stop picking at their pain. There are boys who clutch secrets at night in the same way they clutch denial in the day. There are boys who do not think of themselves at all when they dream. There are boys who will be woken in the night. There are boys who fall asleep with phones to their ears.
Emotional neglect lays the groundwork for the emotional numbing that helps boys feel better about being cut off. Eruptions of rage in boys are most often deemed normal, explained by the age-old justification for adolescent patriarchal misbehavior, "Boys will be boys." Patriarchy both creates the rage in boys and then contains it for later use, making it a resource to exploit later on as boys become men. As a national product, this rage can be garnered to further imperialism, hatred and oppression of women and men globally. This rage is needed if boys are to become men willing to travel around the world to fight wars without ever demanding that other ways of solving conflict can be found.
Guns, she was reminded then, were not for girls. They were for boys. They were invented by boys. They were invented by boys who had never gotten over their disappointment that accompanying their own orgasm there wasn't a big boom sound.
Many boys, probably most boys, have a first love before they fall in love with a woman. It begins the moment two boys realize they'd die for one another, that each cares more for the other than he does for himself, and it lasts usually until a second love comes on the scene, because most hearts aren't big enough to love more than one person like that.
Boys' aggressiveness is increasingly being treated as a medical problem, particularly in schools, a trend that has led to the diagnosing and medicating of boys whose problem may really be that they have been traumatized and influenced by exposure to violence and abuse at home. Treating these boys as though they have a chemical problem not only overlooks the distress they are in but also reinforces their belief that they are 'out of control' or 'sick, ' rather than helping them to recognize that they are making bad choices based on destructive values. I have sometimes heard adults telling girls that they should be flattered by boys' invasive or aggressive behavior 'because it means they really like you, ' an approach that prepares both boys and girls to confuse love with abuse and socializes girls to feel helpless.
There are boys you look at and want to touch with your mouth, and there are boys you look at and want to wear one of those surgical masks everyone in China had during bird flu. There are a lot more bird-flu boys at large.
Are boys encouraged to express sadness, fear, or anxiety? In general, our society gives boys permission for one emotion: anger. If a boy is hurt or upset, he may be comforted briefly, but then he is told to stop crying and "be a man." This message usually implies he should hide his feelings. Boys and men are supposed to be solid unemotional rocks. Demonstrations of emotions are seen as "silly." Anger is seen as a sign of strength. Males are considered to be standing up for their rights if they react to a frustrating or undesirable event with anger. Outrage is often the only reaction to an injustice that is allowed from boys.