Ever wonder what boys envy about girls? Do teenage boys think about sex as much as the media thinks they do? What is it like being a male student in high school? This week I sat down with two of my three brothers (pictured here) and asked them to share their thoughts on friendships, dating and school.
Isaac, Noah and I are triplets and when I have a problem, their advice is invaluable.While my brothers’ opinions are not representative of all guys’ feelings and experiences, I hope my readers will benefit from their perspective as much as I do.
1. What do you think of all the girl drama?
ISAAC: Girls who fight over stupid things such as boys or worry about being popular seem childish but I think it is a result of the social pressures that are put on girls.
NOAH: I think a lot of it is about power within the groups. Of all my friends, only girls have gone from being best friends to hating each other. It seems very superficial. Little things mean a lot more to girls; anything and everything can be very offensive. A friend of mine is in a fight right now because the other girl didn’t come over to her house to get ready for a party together. Maybe guys do care about those things too but they don’t talk about it. They let it slide.
2. Are there male equivalents to frenemies, backstabbing etc.?
ISAAC: No. I think guys find it acceptable to just not like somebody but for girls, there are a lot more unspoken rules. It is as if friendships are more like romantic relationships.
I can see not being friends with someone if my girlfriend didn’t like them. But I’m not going to stop being friends with someone just because of another friend’s opinion. A girl will.
NOAH: Yeah. Of course! But it’s not as highly publicized. And friendships are not that extreme. If I’m close to someone I may drift away after awhile but very rarely will a guy start hating someone overnight. We don’t declare that we aren’t friends anymore. Generally, guys are cool with everyone. We don’t have BFFs and we don’t have enemies.
3. Do you think boys are pressured to not stress about school?
ISAAC: It’s not taboo for a guy to want to do well in school. But a girl who doesn’t do well in school may be seen as stupid. If a boy doesn’t do well in school you can still think he’s smart but may not necessarily be trying hard. Or he may be a “late bloomer” or “underachiever.” I don’t know why that is…maybe its because its okay for a guy to not be “book smart.” But for girls, that is the only way their intelligence is measured.
NOAH: Even at one of the most elite schools in this area, it’s not cool to study for a long time. You’re expected to just do well without trying too hard. Who makes really good study guides? The girls! I can ask girls for their study guides. But the only person I ask for study guides from is my sister.
LILLY: It’s true, I make a mean study guide!
4. How do teachers treat male and female students differently?
ISAAC: If a guy is not doing well, the teacher often assumes it’s because they are messing around. Girls get away with a lot more. They are late to class and sometimes skip classes altogether. Teachers are more suspicious of guys skipping classes. With girls, they wonder if she is feeling okay.
NOAH: Girls sometimes flirt with male teachers. It is a very odd dynamic.
5. What is the most common misconception the media has about teenage boys?
ISAAC: I think there is a misconception that guys really don’t understand girls. We know the mean girls are mean girls. In movies there is always the girl no one notices until she takes her glasses off and lets her hair down, and then everyone realizes, ‘Wow! She’s beautiful.’ We’re not that oblivious. We can imagine what you look like without glasses.
NOAH: We don’t talk or think about sex as much as movies like Superbad would have you believe. Because society is so afraid of female sexuality, there is an overemphasis on male sexuality. In reality, teenage boys are not one-dimensional, vulgar Neanderthals driven by hormones.
6. If you made a movie about what it is like to be a teenage boy, what would the title be?
ISAAC: Not All About Eve. No Country for Boring Men. For girls it would be All Quiet on the Western Front of the Class, There Will Be Blood, or I’m Afraid of Virginia Wolff…and All of her Friends.
NOAH: Shamwow because it sounds catchy.
7. Is there something girls get to do that you wish you could?
ISAAC: I wish I could get away with the stuff girls get away with. ‘I was tired so I slept in’ is not an excuse a guy could use to miss class. It would be nice if, the next time I was cold, a girl gave me her jacket.
NOAH: In middle school, PMS was such a good excuse to get out doing things!
8. What makes you happy that you are male?
ISAAC: It seems like high school is a bad situation for girls. There are high academic standards for girls as well as all this extra stuff to worry about. I don’t have to care about my appearance, for example.
NOAH: I am really glad I don’t have to worry about my weight. I can order what I want and eat what I want. I don’t have to be ashamed about what I eat. I hear girls saying ‘look how not anorexic I am’ or ‘I’m so fat.’ It’s sad girls can’t enjoy food.
9. Is there one thing that girls do that confounds you?
ISAAC: I don’t get why girls don’t go out with a guy their friend went out with a long time ago.
NOAH: I really don’t understand why girls talk about shaving their legs. I’m sure it is smooth but I don’t want to feel your leg. Also, going to the bathroom in groups is a little strange.
10. And most importantly, what is your favorite thing about me?
ISAAC: There really is too much that I like about myself to name just one thing. I guess my favorite thing might be that I’m always thinking of others.
NOAH: Your enthusiasm about being my sister.
Later that day…
NOAH: Were my answers better or worse than Isaac’s?
Lilly is a high school senior and guest blogger for RachelSimmons.com. Read more about her here.