Minutes before his body was placed on the pyre to be cremated at the Waterloo Cremation Site, Sharon Bickaroo held up a framed photograph of her son, Jesse Beephan, and kissed him “Goodbye.”
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Is it safe for boys to be boys?
Boys being boys is a gateway to risk. There is nothing wrong with boys, but the activities associated with being boys have increasingly become harmful to themselves and to others.
We associate boys being boys with an inability to sit still in school. Just being boys includes popular acceptance of early experiments with sex, alcohol, and minor forms of delinquency and illegality. Being boys remains that phase for learning about toughness, aggression, physicality, and greater freedom than that allowed to girls.
To say this sounds like taking away boyhood’s green days by the river, but anyone concerned about the disturbing murders of 19-year-old Shakam De Ravenaux, 17-year-old Michael Miguel, and 15-year-old Jamal Braithwaite and his nine-year-old brother Jadel Holder needs to see why boys being boys must change.
Anyone concerned about the numbers of men in prison, the levels of male violence against women and other men, the higher levels of male substance abuse, the lower numbers of boys in higher education, and the multiple dangers boys face in their own communities has to ask about why boys being boys, growing up amidst other boys and men, threatens their futures and their lives.