Why can’t Boys be friends with girls?
Not “why can’t boys and girls be friends”, because they can, I’ve seen it, done it. Why can’t capital-B Boys capital-J Just be friends with lowercase-g girls?
There is a boy I consider a brother. I would die for him and more than that, I would live for him. We’ve skinned ourselves with honesties until raw bone shone through and we’ve sewn back all the pieces so that no one else could see. And when I told him “I love you like a brother, not a lover, not a friend”, his response was equivalent to
“I think me and Taylor may still have sex”.
And I realized that while he is and will remain one of my closest friends, He will never be. his name and his self are my allies but His Boyhood, the all-prevailing masculinity he sports like a varsity jacket, is enemy to lowercase-g girls like me.
His Boyhood makes objects out of girls like me.
His Boyhood doesn’t understand the word “no”.
His Boyhood is a broken streetlight on a 2:00 AM speedwalk to the door, is the whiteness in my knuckles as I Wolverine-grip my keys.
It’s the same Boyhood that makes mothers struggle for respect from their own sons, daughters from their own fathers, working women from their employers, collegiate women from their professors, women of color and trans women and disabled women and Muslim women from an overabundance of attackers.
The same Boyhood that laced the invading tongue and gloved the defiling hands of the last capital-B Boy I trusted.
So when this Boy I loved like a brother so graciously reassured me he still saw me as my sex and my Sex and what sexual dreams may come, I knew
His Boyhood prevails.
And for as long as his identity as a patriarch is more important to him than his identity as a human being, than My identity as a human being,
Boys cannot be friends with girls.