Injustice against young women is always put in the spotlight. Bias against young men, however, is an argument that very few find notable. It’s quite hard for some people to see how boys truly are discriminated against in a society that’s generally considered a “man’s world.” Yet while women have a lot to say about inequality, men also have something to complain about. Author Christina Hoff Sommers started her column last year in The New York Times with this: “Boys score as well as or better than girls on most standardized tests, yet they are far less likely to get good grades, take advanced classes or attend college. Why? A study coming out this week in The Journal of Human Resources gives an important answer. Teachers of classes as early as kindergarten factor good behavior into grades -- and girls, as a rule, comport themselves far better than boys.” The claim that boys suffer from inequities can be challenged by the belief that girls struggle even more than do boys. Still, boys do face bias. Stephen Spencer, 14, from Boston Latin Academy, says that during the summer he met a young boy who wanted his nails painted, which then led to other youngsters thinking that this was abnormally girly. “I said it doesn’t matter,” he said. “If he wants to get his nails painted, then go ahead. It’s his own life.” When asked if she would negatively judge a boy for wearing a dress, Kaman Hau, 14, from BLA, answered: “No. Everyone has the freedom to wear anything they want.” Kiana Nguyen, 13, from Boston Latin School, says there are one too many self-defense classes made for girls and girls only. She believes that everyone is capable of earning the help they need. “There should be gender-neutral programs for both girls and boys,” she said. “Pepper spray is pepper spray, and we all have fingers. I think we can all squeeze the bottle.”
Read more…
No rules! Sounds sweet doesn’t it? If you were able to move out of your house before you were 18, would you? Pretend for a second that you have the money to do it. “No, I get too many things for free,” says Lisha Omoroghomwan, a freshman at Boston Latin School. There are teens who like not having responsibilities and would much rather just live with their parents -- possibly forever. Then there are those who can’t wait to get out. Students like Nathaniel Sarjeant, 14, from West Roxbury Academy, think that they are ready to live in their own space. “I would be out!” says Sarjeant. He knows it wouldn’t be easy. “You will realize how responsible you have to be,” he says. Still, living at home is nice, Sarjeant says, but in his mind it is good to be let loose. “I want to see what it’s like,” he says. Daijah Rodrigues, 17, from Dorchester Academy, says she has no reason to want to move out. “Everything is perfect,” she says. Plus, she doesn’t like the idea of living on her own. “That’s scary,” says Rodrigues.
Read more…

Although it’s not usually portrayed that way, 16-year-old Kadidiatou Bah, from Dorchester, thinks swag and class -- two current states of style -- have more similarities than the average teen might think.

After all, it may not be so much about what you wear as how you wear it. For example, where you would tuck your shirt in for class, you take it out for swag. Dressing classy or with swag depends on your personality. Michael Miller, 18, of Roxbury, considers himself more of a dressy dresser. “When you think of swag you think of informal clothing,” he says, “but class is more formal wear.” Miller adds: “I can honestly say I only have, like, two pairs of sneakers in my closet.” Josiah Huggins, 19, of Dorchester, is more about swag. “I’ve only dressed classy three times in my entire life,” he says. “My swag consists of some fresh J’s, a nice shirt, some dip jeans, and a snapback to match.” He adds, “Oh yeah, don’t forget my Gucci belt.”
Read more…
Seventeen-year-old Amal Egal believes that if someone is truly her friend, that person would not betray her. However, if she was subject to harm, she would understand. “I have snitched on someone before because I thought it would be the best thing for them at the time,” says Egal, who goes to the John D. O’Bryant School of Math & Science. “It is important to note that as a friend you should understand that your friends’ health and happiness holds immense significance.” Sometimes, whether to snitch on someone or not can be a huge dilemma. Both your promise to say nothing -- and your decision to tell all -- could be a dangerous thing. “Being a good friend means that you would do what you think is best for them, even though they might end up hating on you,” says Zusex Romero, 18, from Roxbury. Mu Xian Chen, 18, has felt the sting of being sold down the river. “I felt disappointed,” says Chen, from the O’Bryant, “when I found out that the friend that I would trust the most would snitch on me.”
Read more…
A mother looks into her daughter’s eyes and sees she no longer has that connection. Someone else has filled her nights with closeness, trust, love, and intimacy. Someone else has come into her life. The daughter now has this battle between trying to weigh out what should occupy her more: her school work or trying to figure out if her relationship will end tonight or maybe after her big math test. Love is a feeling that obtains your life in one swallow. Love is when you go through hell and back, and still manage to hold it together. Love can often hurt. Sixteen-year-old Shatara Wimes, of Dorchester, knows that love may not last forever, but when it grabs hold of you, you would do anything for that person. “Love to me is a deep affection and a passionate feeling towards another person -- whether you guys are in a relationship or not,” says Wimes. “No matter how many wrongs or rights the person has done, you can still want them in your life, even if they are just a friend.” When Nya Ross was 10, she thought love was gross. As she grew older, she explored life and has been in relationships where she has ended up making lifelong friends. Love to her is a new experience each time. “You can fall in love more than once,” says Ross, now 17, of Dorchester. “It’s not a one- time thing.” Deion Ducoste, 17, of Dorchester, believes that you truly know love when you go with the fl w. “You learn to love when you learn to live,” says Ducoste. “When you learn to enjoy your life to the fullest, you learn to love every aspect of life.”
Read more…