Brothers and Sisters

 Recently, while rifling through my scrapbook, I came upon a book cover written by Joanne McQueen. It is entitled, “Interpersonal Relationships with my Brothers: How Brothers Affect Brother and Sister Relationships.” This idea was fascinating to me, as I have a brother of my own. I reflected on my own relationship with him and how he impacts our relationship. I thought about the different ways boys and girls are raised and how brothers are met with a different society than their sisters due to the difference in their gender. I thought about how my brother and I have very different things that we have to worry about. I worry about campus sexual assault and being catcalled while walking to class. He doesn’t worry about the same things that I do. But he doesn’t have to worry about the same things that I have to worry about. He wouldn’t be able to understand what I have to worry about. Not through lack of knowledge or ignorance, but just because he will never truly be able to understand the worries of a female without actually walking in our shoes and experiencing the same society that we females experience on a daily basis. I thought about the power imbalance between my brother and I in reflection of society and I thought about how my own brother affects our relationship.

Boys are raised in a patriarchal society that reminds them that they are superior to women in many ways. They are not second class citizens but rather the elite. My brother being a white male makes him the most privileged demographic in the US currently. Thinking about the difference of brothers and sisters and how they affect each other’s relationship led me to think about how boys and girls are raised differently and how maybe this plays into the prevalence of campus sexual assault. Are boys raised in a way that makes them more likely to commit campus sexual assault?

I think there should be more emphasis on educating boys about campus sexual assault and domestic violence. There should be more education in societies and reform in communities in order to tackle these issues. Educating the young generation before they become old enough to commit these acts is crucial to me. My high school was very good about emphasizing these things throughout multiple programs they held at school before we graduated high school. I’d like to think that one day all our brothers will be able to understand the imbalance of power in society and how that is perpetuated in things like sexual assault and domestic violence. I think about my brother. He has two sisters and 5 step sisters. I think about how tender he treats my mother and my grandmother and how his girl friends at school told me how he is their most protective guy friend. Does having sisters relate to that? Can having a sister help you become a better man to women in the future? I’d like to believe so.

Posted 3rd October 2016 by Lexi Miller