“Boys will be boys.” I’ve heard this expression used countless times as a way to justify violent and aggressive behaviors among boys, oftentimes towards women. Donald Trump’s cavalier response to his leaked audio files about groping women is a perfect example. He dismissed his demeaning comments as simple “locker room talk,” placing the responsibility of his words not on himself, but on all men.
With this action, Trump sent the message to people that making such snide comments about assaulting women is normal, boyish banter. His excuse was that this was simply another “guy thing.” After all, boys will be boys, right?
Boys and men, however, are not inherently aggressive and brash. They do not have to demean and objectify women to be “real men.” Several athletes such as Jamal Crawford, Lebron James, and Chris Conley said on Twitter and in interviews that this is not the way boys or athletes talk in locker rooms. James said, “We don’t disrespect women in any shape or fashion in our locker room. That never comes up.”
These athletes, who are oftentimes seen as the epitome of masculinity, publicly denounced that norm and refuted Trump’s cry of “locker room talk.” Clearly, it is not all men who talk about women in such degrading terms.
Therefore, we at Andover must refuse to condone Trump’s inexcusable justifications for his behavior. It is our duty to rise above the objectifying and degrading messages that Trump has encouraged and to understand the great harm caused by his words.