Column: ‘Boys will be boys’ is no longer a valid excuse on why girls and women are held to higher standards

Women always receive the blame for problems that occur, and as a result our society has held them to a higher standard than men.

Olivia Apostolovski is a freshman pre-journalism major at MU. She is an opinion columnist who writes about social issues for the Maneater.

Nothing gets more publicized on social media more than cheating. This is showcased on Twitter now more than ever before. Often times couples will post screenshots of their partners, along with how long they had been together and what had happened that led them to split up.

The most recent example of this has been the cheating scandal between Tristan Thompson, Khloe Kardashian’s ex-boyfriend, and Jordyn Woods, Kylie Jenner’s ex-best friend. There is a video of Kim Kardashian in which she sings along to a song that has the lyrics “find your own man,” implicating Woods.

I only bring up this example to talk about how more often than not, it is the female in the relationship who faces the most backlash. Bad relationship culture, especially when talking about the toxicity of certain behaviors, has become normalized. Cheating has become something that men are praised for -- the ability to sleep with multiple people at once heightening their ego and reputation. Women, on the other hand, are called slurs for having multiple sexual partners in their lifetime.

Shifting the blame to one specific gender is not anything new, and infidelity is not the only situation in which it happens. Women are supposed to dress in a way that does not draw too much attention, which means that we can not expose too much of our legs, our midriff shouldn’t be showing and our breasts must be concealed. We are also expected to not get drunk in public, always be aware of our surroundings and take extra measures to be safe because if something happens to us, then we are at fault. We are responsible because it wouldn’t have happened if we didn’t wear that skirt, pour ourselves a drink, take that one road home, stay out too late or whatever the circumstances may be.

The sad reality of these examples is that women are taught at a very young age that there are certain things they are not able to do that men can do.

Thankfully, college has a more relaxed environment than the majority of high schools so women can come to class basically wearing whatever and no one will bat an eye.

From elementary school to high school, dress codes have always been more lenient towards boys than girls. No spaghetti straps, your fingertips need to be longer than your shorts, your shirt must cover your shoulders, the list goes on and on with the dos and don’ts that all girls had to adhere to. Even though these silly rules and regulations are laughed at, girls are taught from a very young age that they are a distraction and that they need to cover up.

These same rules follow women into their adult life and in the workplace as well. We are taught that our clothing needs to be a shield because we are a distraction. Even though we are all there to do a specific job, our outfits seem to be more important than the actual work itself. Women have made strides in the workplace in regards to what they are required to wear, but ultimately it must be conservative enough for the company. This ultimately means slacks and a blazer, which is not the only item of clothing women want to wear.

The reality of all of these rules and regulations set in place is that girls are taught that they are supposed to grow up fast, they are to be the more responsible and more mature ones. On the other hand, however, the common slogan is “boys will be boys” and the immaturity is allowed to pass off as a personality trait for boys of any age.

Sadly these behaviors and these thought processes have become so ingrained into our society that the likelihood of anything changing is slim to none. It is scary to think about having to teach our children in the future, especially our girls, that they must always protect themselves because no one will protect them.

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