“Saturdays are for the boys” is problematic, discriminatory

Saturdays are for the boys is problematic, discriminatory

Gigi Wade, Opinion Editor

Saturdays are for misogyny.

The saying “Saturdays are for the boys” is widely used at ETHS by students ignorant of the sexism and prejudice that it represents.

The phrase, first used in a 2016 Tweet by John Feitelberg, a writer for Barstool Sports, is supposed to signify that Saturdays are carefree days where “the only responsibility is to get drunk with friends.” It has now become a rallying cry for teenage boys everywhere.

Since, my Instagram feed has been flooded with “SAFTB” captions, typically under photos of groups of boys (sometimes, if I’m lucky, they’ll be holding American flags or they’ll be dressed in camouflage as well.) The saying has become proudly employed and incredibly widespread at Evanston, either because students aren’t aware of its significance, or are willing to accept it.

From its origin, SAFTB was deeply grounded in sexism. Barstool Sports, the organization which created and continues to promote it, has been repeatedly criticized for its hiring of “token” women and for condoning jokes about rape. In fact, according to the Guardian, ESPN ended its partnership with Barstool in October due to numerous complaints about the organization’s explicit gender bias, especially against its own female reporters. For example, former Fox Sports college football host, Elika Sadeghi declined a position at Barstool after being asked to sign a contract indicating her willingness to work in an environment where she “might be exposed to offensive speech explicitly relating to gender.”

This expression and others like it (see “she’s FTB (for the boys)”) are rooted in misogyny and promote the idea that men and women are not meant to do the same things. The phrase supposes that men need a day to themselves, presumably to escape femininity. Typically, the aforementioned Saturdays are used to drink and party in groups of men, which creates a barrier for women who want to participate in the sort of partying that can and should be open and accessible for all.

Furthermore, SAFTB perpetuates a culture of heteronormativity that is apparent within the specific groups who use it. “The boys” are almost always white, wealthy, and straight. In this way, users are alienating all who don’t subscribe to the same ideas of masculinity as they do.

It is important to recognize that the phrase is almost always used lightheartedly. There is rarely explicit intent behind it’s use, people are merely ignorant. That being said, casual use normalizes the sort of sexism and heteronormativity that is already becoming dangerously normal in our country.

In order to resist patriarchy and discriminatory systems, it is necessary to reject situations that we know are problematic from the onset; “Saturdays are for the boys” is one of these situations.