boys will be kind

My brothers are my world! I love them more then I love myself. I love them more then they will ever know. I would take a bullet for them on any given day and let them have sweets every other day. My youngest brothers are 9 and 12, which is 10-12 years younger then me. So even though they're practically still babies in my eyes, they are grown in theirs. They want more space and less hugs. A later bedtime and to not have their hand held when we cross the street. To take their own showers, to not have to use booster seats (despite being short little humans), to get cellphones, to play video games, to say the word "freakin" and "heck" and everything but being dropped off at school by their embarrassing sister and in her pyjamas!

When I was their age I thought I was grown, so I want them to be able to trust themselves and have a family that trusts them. To follow their instincts, to listen to themselves and vocalize that is one of the traits that is different from their childhood compared to mine. The boys also had certain talks concerning their safety long before I did as a child. The talk about sexual harassment, sexual abuse, physical abuse etc. This is a heavy talk to add to the "don't talk to strangers" or "check your Halloween candy" talks, because you can't talk about sexual violence without talking about sex. But one in six kids are sexually assaulted before the age of 18, by people that they most likely know and trust. So being temporarily uncomfortable about talking trumps putting them at risk. Knowledge is power and I nor my parents can't say that we love them if we can't/refuse to equip them with knowledge. With the truth. I love them and I want them to believe that the world is all sunshine and rainbows (believe me I would not want to take that away) but there are clouds. There are bad people who are born with dark stormy clouds above their heads who only want to make all those around them feel as dark and stormy. And as swell as it would be to live in Lala Land, I am relieved that my brothers know that there are clouds out there, but can still radiate sunshine and rainbows and everything good in this world!

 

The boys wanted to be featured in a blog post because they're sisters were on my blog a little while back. So here's a conversation about gender, consent, boyhood and safety to conclude this year's Women's Month...

 

How old are you?

Emmanuel: I just turned 12 two weeks ago.

Moses: I'm 9!

What are your favorite shows?

E: My favourite shows are Dragon Ball, Tokyo Ghoul and Naruto.

M: Hunter x Hunter, Naruto and Your lie in April.

What vegetable do you hate the most?

E: I would say I don't like cauliflower.

M: I hate black beans because they're so disgusting!

What's your favorite Pokemon? What's the most powerful Pokemon you own?

E: The strongest Pokemon in my video game is Mewtwo. Which is the second form of Mew.

M: I don't really know.

What's your fave Naruto theme opening?

E: Naruto Opening 16

M: Naruto Opening 16

What do you get in trouble for frequently?

E: I get in trouble for my many hilarious outbursts

M: When I'm close to my friends and their being loud, I get in trouble.

What do like to do on your free time?

E: Working on my book so I can look like a smart boy.

M: I like to draw and sing when I'm alone.

Describe Ma in three word?

E: Nice, Thoughtful, Hardworking

M: Good, Loving and Cuddly

What's a feminist? Are you a feminist?

E: A person who likes/tries to raise women('s rights)

M: I don't know.

What is good touch and what is bad touch?

E: Good touch would be like high five or props and bad touch would be a slap on the butt or awkwardly rubbing someone's back.

M: Good touch is when you pat someone and bad touch is when you see a random person and you just touch them and make them awkward.

Have you ever felt unsafe or uncomfortable? What did you do?

E: This one time in the first grade I chucked mud over the fence and on someone's car and I had to go home and tell my parents and that made feel uncomfortable (because of the guilt).

M: I don't wanna talk about it.

Describe consent in your own words?

E: To agree on something.

M: I don't know.

What are stereotypes?

E: How people assume how a majority of a group acts.

M: Stereotype is like girls are all the same and boys are all the same?

What are stereotypes who've seen in movies, shows, books and even your favorite anime's?

E: There was a youtube video

M: We read a book about how we can't be the same because we would all talk the same.

Do you feel confident in yourself?

E: I feel insecure in some parts of my personality.

M: I feel good.

Do you feel like you can be who you are?

E: I can be louder at school because I can relate more with the people at school.

M: Yes, I feel like I can be who I am, like it's just normal.

What's the difference between boys and girls?

E: Body parts and the way we act. "Girls go to Mars to be smarter and boys go to Jupiter to be more stupider.

M: Boys make fun of girls that wear dresses and girls don't feel safe around boys. Girls are annoying and boys go to far with stuff.

What is sexism? Have you witnessed it?

E: When genders are treated less then other genders. Yes I have witnessed when someone assumed my dad was gonna pick me and my mom couldn't drive

M: If a person doesn't like another gender. The boys in Mulan think girls can't fight.

What is good Mental Health?

E: Being stable with your medication.

M: It means about your health.

What does being a boy mean to you?

E: Nothing really.

M: I am supposed to be like strong and when someone says something rude I have to keep it in and not cry.

Have I ever given you decent advice, if so what was it?

E: "Be you, be confident"

M: "To just let my tears go down"

What characteristics do you hope teenage "you" develops?

E: I just want to be a geek

M: A good guy and a smart guy and a famous guy

What is your aspiration in life?

E: To be a biologist and an author. I want to feel alive and proud.

M: I want to be a singer, an artist, an actor and lip singer. I want to feel smart and that God is with me.

What do you want other boys to understand?

E: That I'm not gay because I hang out with girls.

M: To always include people.

Who are your favorite Marvel Superheroes?

E: Iron Man, Wolverine and Deadpool

M: Thor and Iron Man

Who are your favorite female Marvel Superheroes?

E: Black Widow, the Invisible Woman from Fantastic Four and Storm.

M: Black Widow

 

Not to say that boys are not kind, but that boys are not the taught the kindest of things. Boys are not taught that caring, kindness and compassion are sacred. Children are not taught to protect themselves with ALL the knowledge about their safety. Children are not that their babysitters, coaches, relatives, teachers might not all be trusted adults. Children are not taught to trust their instincts, to speak for themselves, and have their own sense of self. Besides knowing how to protect themselves physically, boys are not taught how to stand up for others, for girls, for those who can't stand up for themselves. A lack of progressive knowledge, a lack of an open dialogue and a lack of support is what results in boys just being boys and women suffering because of it.