Basic human decency

Not all boys are acting like kind young men

Rebekah Mann

Managing Editor Rebekah Mann discusses gender mistreatment she has witnessed and experienced. Graphic made through

Rebekah Mann, Managing Editor

My 14-year-old sister was riding the bus home two weeks ago when a sixth grade boy looked her in the eyes, moaned, and said, “You make my nipples so hard.”

I think the worst part about this is that when my sister told me this, I brushed it off as just another misogynistic comment from the plethora of boys in the area that lack humane behavior when it comes to girls. My younger sister, who I am supposed to take care of and protect, felt violated, but I was so accustomed to misogynistic, sexualizing incidents that I almost didn’t care. 

I, someone who would identify as a “raging feminist,” just told my sister who was made uncomfortable by the words of a boy to “get over it.”

On the first day of my freshman year, a girl in my first period Pre-AP Biology class told me that an upperclassmen boy slapped her butt in the hallway. She did not report it because she thought that that type of treatment came with being a high school girl. Later that year, a different classmate of mine had a boy also grope her during a passing period. She too did not report the incident, but that was because she turned around and punched him in the face. 

In eighth grade, a 13-year-old boy slid his hand up my leg on the bus ride home because he thought I was a “slut.” This boy thought that I had previously talked about dating two boys at once, which is not something I have ever done—nor claimed to have done— but he felt entitled to my body because of that. Regardless of what this middle school boy thought about me, there is no situation or condition that gives anyone permission to my body without my verbal consent. Yet, myself and other young girls are consistently sexualized and violated by male classmates.

After my sister disclosed the treatment she received on the bus, my dad reported what happened to the district. My father was going to make sure that this boy was held accountable for his words and actions. After the boy was reprimanded, I called my dad a “feminist icon” for reporting what happened. To this, he informed me that what he did was merely “basic human decency.”

No man, or boy, has to be a feminist to respect women, and I have no idea why the same decency my dad showed is not expected out of every young man today.