+

This past week, one tired old idiom resurfaced to unprecedented attention.

Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) said it when he addressed Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.

The Atlantic featured it prominently in a recent story.


In an interview, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, speaking into her lap, recalled how she, and “every woman of [her] vintage,” found themselves tyrannized by it.

The Guardian, PBS, CNN, Quartz, Dictionary.com, Merriam Webster, UrbanDictionary.com, Huffington Post, The Weekly Standard, Christian Science Monitor, Psychology Today: all have think pieces or definitions to contribute.

The idiom, of course, is “Boys will be boys.” And all its attendant cultural noise forced me to think: What about its natural, largely unused counterpart: “Girls will be girls?”

Unlike “Boys will be boys,” which crowds my mind with behaviors ranging from rowdiness to rape, “Girls will be girls,” virtually empties it.

When I try to make it mean something, a blank unfolds in my brain—a kind of prolonged end-of-gong silence.  

When I Google "Girls will be girls," the first and most prominent hit is a 2003 drag comedy—a campy romp that mostly mines humor from a time-honored sight gag: men dressed as women. Of ten results on Google’s first page, this minor movie occupies eight. The other two: an online clothing boutique featuring items like ‘Sabrina python mini dress’ and ‘Nicole leopard palazzo jumpsuit,’ and a forgettable pop song by a young artist named Sophie Beem (in the YouTube image, Ms. Beem stands limply—dead-eyed, gape-mouthed—in a midriff-baring school uniform.)

Remarkably, not one result remotely addresses female behavior (whatever that means).

Come-hither schoolgirls, sexy jungle jumpsuits, men in drag: this is still the realm of "Boys will be boys," in service to the male gaze, and, well, the male gays.

So, I narrow my search, add "idiom" to the phrase, and enter a refreshingly nerdy corner of the internet, occupied mostly by grammar forums, where I discover this gem, on stackexchange.com, contributed by an anonymous user:

It seems "Boys will be boys" is a well established idiom and, according to Cambridge Idioms Dictionary, 2nd ed… it is, "something that you say which means it is not surprising when boys or men behave in a noisy, rude, or unpleasant way.

So I began to wonder if "Girls will be girls" is a phrase that begins to take on an idiomatic meaning in English. Is it so?

To which a user responds:

Excellent question but, no, GWBG is only a derivative, jocularly replacing girls for boys, because culturally girls don't act like boys at all. …GWBG does not stand alone in meaning by itself — its meaning depends on its connection with BWBB.

As an expression, “Girls will be girls,” a bit like Pop-Star Sophie, doesn’t stand so well on its own. “Girls will be girls” is the linguistic equivalent of our most powerful gender-related narratives—from Eve to Echo to Galatea—that reinforce our most damaging patriarchal myth: that men exist independently of women, but women require men to exist.

Suddenly, I understood why “Girls will be girls” —as a phrase—made my mind blank. That blankness did not, as I assumed, signify a lack of meaning. The silence, the blankness—was the meaning.

"Girls will be girls" means reducing oneself to a blank upon which "Boys" can more easily project their desires. “Girls will be girls” means calcifying into the silent wife-face who watches her husband from the back of a courtroom, stands beside him as he confesses his affairs, or witnesses him take oath for office. “Girls will be girls” means voiding yourself, transforming yourself into an empty space for "Boys" to invade, occupy, and destroy.

To those, including our shameful President, who doubt, even mock, Dr. Ford’s testimony—to those who believe if she’d truly fled the house in severe distress, someone would have noticed; to those who find it suspect she kept quiet for 36 years, and if she’d truly been assaulted, she’d have reported it:that’s not how this works. Brett Kavanaugh was a "Boy" that night—loud, brutal, self-obsessed—and, in turn, Christine Blasey Ford was a "Girl"—mute, blank, invisible.

This is what women are doing when they bravely speak their truth—when they loudly protest the status quo, clamor for justice in public squares, and corner Senators in elevators: they are refusing to be "Girls." They are annulling their end of a corrupt bargain, in which they are expected to take responsibility for the actions of others, and clap their own hands over their own mouths. Because the accepted patriarchal narrative—about boys existing independently of girls—is wrong. The opposite is true. Without girls who are "Girls"—without that roaring collective silence— boys who are "Boys" will cease to exist.

All images provided by Bombas

We can all be part of the giving movement

True

We all know that small acts of kindness can turn into something big, but does that apply to something as small as a pair of socks?

Yes, it turns out. More than you might think.

A fresh pair of socks is a simple comfort easily taken for granted for most, but for individuals experiencing homelessness—they are a rare commodity. Currently, more than 500,000 people in the U.S. are experiencing homelessness on any given night. Being unstably housed—whether that’s couch surfing, living on the streets, or somewhere in between—often means rarely taking your shoes off, walking for most if not all of the day, and having little access to laundry facilities. And since shelters are not able to provide pre-worn socks due to hygienic reasons, that very basic need is still not met, even if some help is provided. That’s why socks are the #1 most requested clothing item in shelters.

homelessness, bombasSocks are a simple comfort not everyone has access to

When the founders of Bombas, Dave Heath and Randy Goldberg, discovered this problem, they decided to be part of the solution. Using a One Purchased = One Donated business model, Bombas helps provide not only durable, high-quality socks, but also t-shirts and underwear (the top three most requested clothing items in shelters) to those in need nationwide. These meticulously designed donation products include added features intended to offer comfort, quality, and dignity to those experiencing homelessness.

Over the years, Bombas' mission has grown into an enormous movement, with more than 75 million items donated to date and a focus on providing support and visibility to the organizations and people that empower these donations. These are the incredible individuals who are doing the hard work to support those experiencing —or at risk of—homelessness in their communities every day.

Folks like Shirley Raines, creator of Beauty 2 The Streetz. Every Saturday, Raines and her team help those experiencing homelessness on Skid Row in Los Angeles “feel human” with free makeovers, haircuts, food, gift bags and (thanks to Bombas) fresh socks. 500 pairs, every week.

beauty 2 the streetz, skid row laRaines is out there helping people feel their beautiful best

Or Director of Step Forward David Pinson in Cincinnati, Ohio, who offers Bombas donations to those trying to recover from addiction. Launched in 2009, the Step Forward program encourages participation in community walking/running events in order to build confidence and discipline—two major keys to successful rehabilitation. For each marathon, runners are outfitted with special shirts, shoes—and yes, socks—to help make their goals more achievable.

step forward, helping homelessness, homeless non profitsRunning helps instill a sense of confidence and discipline—two key components of successful recovery

Help even reaches the Front Street Clinic of Juneau, Alaska, where Casey Ploof, APRN, and David Norris, RN give out free healthcare to those experiencing homelessness. Because it rains nearly 200 days a year there, it can be very common for people to get trench foot—a very serious condition that, when left untreated, can require amputation. Casey and Dave can help treat trench foot, but without fresh, clean socks, the condition returns. Luckily, their supply is abundant thanks to Bombas. As Casey shared, “people will walk across town and then walk from the valley just to come here to get more socks.”

step forward clinic, step forward alaska, homelessness alaskaWelcome to wild, beautiful and wet Alaska!

The Bombas Impact Report provides details on Bombas’s mission and is full of similar inspiring stories that show how the biggest acts of kindness can come from even the smallest packages. Since its inception in 2013, the company has built a network of over 3,500 Giving Partners in all 50 states, including shelters, nonprofits and community organizations dedicated to supporting our neighbors who are experiencing- or at risk- of homelessness.

Their success has proven that, yes, a simple pair of socks can be a helping hand, an important conversation starter and a link to humanity.

You can also be a part of the solution. Learn more and find the complete Bombas Impact Report by clicking here.

popular

Woman left at the altar by her fiance decided to 'turn the day around’ and have a wedding anyway

'I didn’t want to remember the day as complete sadness.'

via Pixabay

The show must go on… and more power to her.

There are few things that feel more awful than being stranded at the altar by your spouse-to-be. That’s why people are cheering on Kayley Stead, 27, from the U.K. for turning a day of extreme disappointment into a party for her friends, family and most importantly, herself.

According to a report in The Metro, on Thursday, September 15, Stead woke up in an Airbnb with her bridemaids, having no idea that her fiance, Kallum Norton, 24, had run off early that morning. The word got to Stead’s bridesmaids at around 7 a.m. the day of the wedding.

“[A groomsman] called one of the maids of honor to explain that the groom had ‘gone.’ We were told he had left the caravan they were staying at in Oxwich Bay (the venue) at 12:30 a.m. to visit his family, who were staying in another caravan nearby and hadn’t returned. When they woke in the morning, he was not there and his car had gone,” Jordie Cullen wrote on a GoFundMe page.

Keep ReadingShow less
Education

How a 3,800-year-old stone tablet helped create modern legal systems

'Innocent until proven guilty' isn't that new of a concept.

Kind of looks like the Matrix code...

The modern justice system is certainly not without its flaws, however most can agree that the concept of “innocent until proven guilty” is one that (when not abused) stands as the foundation of what fair due process looks like. This principle, it turns out, isn’t so modern at all. It can actually be traced all the way back to nearly 3,800 years ago.

historyLady Justice, the image of impartial fairness. Photo by Tingey Injury Law Firm on Unsplash

English barrister Sir William Garrow is known for coining the "innocent until proven guilty" phrase between the 18th and 19th century, after insisting that evidence be provided by accusers and thoroughly tested in court. But this notion, as radical as it seemed at the time, can, in fact, be credited to an ancient Babylonian king who ruled Mesopotamia.

During his reign from 1792 to 1750 B.C., Hammurabi left behind a legacy of accomplishments as a ruler and a diplomat. His most influential contribution was a series of 282 laws and regulations that were painstakingly compiled after he sent legal experts throughout his kingdom to gather existing laws, then adapted or eliminated them in order to create a universal system.

Those laws were inscribed on a large, seven-foot stone monument, and they were known as the Code of Hammurabi.

Keep ReadingShow less
via UNSW

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


Dr. Daniel Mansfield and his team at the University of New South Wales in Australia have just made an incredible discovery. While studying a 3,700-year-old tablet from the ancient civilization of Babylon, they found evidence that the Babylonians were doing something astounding: trigonometry!

Most historians have credited the Greeks with creating the study of triangles' sides and angles, but this tablet presents indisputable evidence that the Babylonians were using the technique 1,500 years before the Greeks ever were.


Keep ReadingShow less