My father used to say, “Boys will be boys.” I don’t think he meant anything negative by it – just that, in his eyes, boys fighting and being rough was just the way it was.
Boys were allowed, and even expected, to be somewhat aggressive and combative. This was, and still is to some extent, the accepted, conditioned view.
But as a boy I suffered a great deal from this attitude because I was not particularly aggressive – that is, “manly.” I did not like fighting with my male friends or being aggressive with girls, as many of the other boys were. I felt pressure to be aggressive and to dominate, yet I couldn’t live up to this expectation. So I got picked on, bullied. And it hurt, both physically and emotionally.
I still feel hurt, late into my adult life. And I know it has its roots in my childhood.
Respectfully yours, Dr.T. Webster-Doyle