Photo courtesy of UK Gov

Boys will be boys,

And that girl who was groped in the back of the bus,

Will go back home,

See phantom handprints on her clothes,

And wince every time someone comes close.


Boys will be boys,

And the young woman who was raped at gunpoint,

Will struggle to breathe behind closed doors,

Won’t let people in,

Long after the case has been closed,

Long after he’s served his sentence,

And gone back to his beer and his sports.


Boys will be boys,

And the girl who was molested on the streets,

Will hold her breath every time she walks past a man,

And tell herself, “your thumb needs to be on the outside of your fist”,

As she is told she should have known how to defend herself better.


Boys will be boys,

And girls will be scared, humiliated, ostracized, carry a fear

That lasts them their entire lives,

Carry the shame that is forced upon them,

Carry the worry that they were at fault all along,

Suffer the anxiety and the PTSD,

Walk on the streets with their heads held low,

-Labelled as whores-,

They’ll never be free

Of the bruises on their bodies

Of the scars in their minds,

Of the phantom hands that caress them and beat them black and blue,

Of everything they must become and all that they must do,

Of the myth that they should shed parts of themselves just to

Retain a dignity they’ve been told they’ve let themselves lose,

Girls will live their lives in fear, and in grief, and with guilt.


And boys will be boys.