I have no fear of the the dark until a man is present. When I was in middle school, the prospect of a first relationship was poetic and thrilling, something I had fantasized about since a young age. It didn’t take very long for me to realize, however, how profoundly unsafe I felt in the presence of a boy. It quickly struck me that boys are seldom properly educated on how to control themselves and their desires. Even if certain parents do make an effort to educate their sons, the atmosphere that boys create for each other is unfailingly toxic.

As I reached my teenage years, I delved deeper into the mysterious world of boy-girl relationships, and grew increasingly wary of boys. It amazes me how early on boys learn to mistreat girls, often times without even realizing it. After nearly four years of high school, my concern has only grown. I hear what boys say in the halls, outside of school, how they the act with each other and how they act with girls. With the exception of a handful of boys, I would be reluctant if not panicked to be alone with one of them for an extended period of time. The majority fails to grasp the concept that they are not entitled to women, and a lot of this lies on a very subconscious level. They don’t realize the gravity of the things they say and the jokes they make, how easily they can change or ruin a life.

If I ever have the privilege of raising a son, I will work tirelessly to make him be different. If a woman walks down the street alone at night and passes by my son, I would want her to have nothing to fear. The panic that ripples through a woman as she walks at night and sees a man is simply cruel. The sons, boys, and men of the world need to understand that effect they have. They must be held accountable for what their words and actions, because no one deserves to feel such fear.

Photo by SparkFunElectronics

Photo by SparkFunElectronics

CC BY-SA 4.0 Alone at Night by Emma is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

2 Comments
  1. Judge Thomas 6 months ago

    Emma,
    I feel drained—most days I believe—because of the way I think that I have not fully become my dreamt-of-future self. My dreamt-of-future self is caring, loyal, friendly, and funny. In other words, my parents and my teachers raised me in a way where disrespecting anyone is beyond inappropriate. The way I have acted towards others today holds true to my dreamt-of-self. However, I feel drained because of the way most individuals see me as a guy. Since the beginning of middle school, I have always found it easy to talk to girls and to hang around them was just normal for me. Consequentially, this has not made my ability to make friends with guys any easier. During my time in middle school, I was bullied for every little thing I did, whether it was asking my crush to a dance and then having a guy tell that girl to say no right in my face, or being kicked over on the ground by another guy when gathering my supplies. I believe my view on what it means to be a guy is different from others because of the way I was treated by guys my whole life. My drained feeling goes back to these experiences because of the way I have observed other guys act around me. I could probably say that my disposition wasn’t trained to conform to the “guy group.” Additionally, I guess I could say that it is still a bit hard for me to make friends with other guys but when I find guy friends who genuinely want to be friends and not just wanting to social climb, well, then, those relationships are pretty awesome. Anyway, enough about me, my point is that I do connect to your post. I believe that it would be beneficial that guys look at themselves, slow down, and to pay attention to who they are as a person in society; to stop and realize how themselves and their bros may present an image to the rest of us.

    -Tomasz

  2. Annie 7 months ago

    Emma,
    Your piece was very powerful, and very relatable in many regards. I especially loved your final paragraph where you made it clear that men were not inherently a burdened, but having a son would be a “privilege”. I think this is really important for a lot of people to understand because many believe women fear men and avoid them without ever really getting to know them because they believe they are “too much to handle” or simply extra baggage in their lives. This paragraph also suggests the change you hope to create in the world, and the change you hope to see in this world. In all reality, the way to make change isn’t all that difficult. The way a man is raised has everything to do with the way he behaves when he is a man. Raising a boy correctly is vital to his behavior and actions as an adult later on in life. Check this out for more: http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2014/12/19/371679655/some-early-childhood-experiences-shape-adult-life-but-which

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