Letter: Men must outgrow ‘boys-will-be-boys’

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As a woman, a sister to two brothers, a mother to a son and as a timeline cohort to Edgar Allen Beem, I want to tell him that I am energized and hopeful about the current historic dynamic going on between the sexes.

When Beem says: “I’m afraid most men are dogs, sniffing around and prone to stray” (“The Universal Notebook: I believe the women, but …”), he hits a nerve with many of the women I know. An age-old “boys-will-be-boys” mentality has allowed men to make unwanted comments about women’s bodies and to make sexual advances without consent.

My younger brother is 65 and he recently reminded me that as a boy he heard the men around him referring to women as broads and much worse. I wonder what words young boys are hearing the men in their lives using about women? If men really want to clean up the culture of “male chauvinist pigs” (a term used by Beem), it will happen in the company of men calling each other out and challenging each other to new and better behavior.

Patricia O’Connell