# 8 Boys will be boys

A phrase often used to suggest that when men or boys are behaving noisily, aggressively or inappropriately, that this is typical male behaviour, to be expected and will never change.

As you read Diane & Rick’s story consider the questions below.

Why might Diane feel a sense of responsibility for Rick’s behaviour?

How do we systematically blame women, including mothers, for men’s behaviour?

Is it common for those arrested & charged with violent offences to be released to their parents address?

What might the risks of this be, particularly as those parents age?

Let’s take a look at Diane, 68. She is separated from her husband & mother to Rick, 44.

Rick is an only child, who has several children of his own, who he no longer has contact with.

As a child, Rick was very sporty, often the captain of various sports teams, he was often getting into fights at school & known as a trouble maker.

He was encouraged by his father to fight like a man. 

Into adolescence, Rick developed a reputation of being a ‘bit of a lad’, with a string of girlfriends who Diane frequently had to console after he had broken their heart, when they’d discovered his infidelity.

His father would fist bomb him, declaring his pride.

He was considered a likable rogue, but as Rick became a father himself to several children by different women, Diane was disappointed he hadn’t calmed down. His behaviour resulted with her relationships with each of her grandchildren being limited to the odd phone call or card, as their mothers moved far away to escape Rick’s temper.

Diane frequently funds Rick’s legal fees & his fines from the CSA when he has failed to pay child maintenance. She knows without this financial support, she would likely never see him.

Rick is manipulative, & he has an aggressive side, which Diane only see’s when she refuses to help him with a debt. So she’s learnt it’s easiest & safest to just give him what he needs, & go without. His father does the same, so he drifts between the two of them, knowing as their only child he can persuade or if necessary, force their hand. 

Rick is currently living with Diane, whilst he awaits trial for non fatal strangulation & coercive controlling behaviour of his former partner. Living with Diane is part of his release conditions.

Rick has a long record of being arrested for sexual assaults of colleagues & previous partners, but he has never been charged, cases are dropped with no further action. Leaving Rick feeling he is invincible.

Diane has only recently discovered this, during contact with the police. A secret Rick had kept from her for years. 

Diane is persuaded by Rick of his innocence, that he is targeted by women, who are attracted to his tall, muscular build, but make ‘false’ accusations when he is unfaithful. Diane believes the narrative that they are doing it as an act of revenge.

She believes he is weak when it comes to ‘irresistible’ women who tempt him to stray, just like his father was. He convinces his ‘Mamma Bear’ (his nickname for her) that he is a lover not a fighter & would never ever harm a woman.

Diane has doubts, but pushes them away. Deep inside, she wants to believe her son’s innocence, after all if he is guilty, she would blame herself.

She is his mother, she raised him & he is her responsibility. She feels ashamed & often asks herself where she went wrong.

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