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What You Learn from Having a Brother

After a couple hours of being home on my first college break, my fifteen-year-old brother decided to come behind me as I’m reading and scream in my ear. My first reaction after the terror:

As my heart pounds, I begin to feel not anger, but exasperation at this all-too-familiar attack. As I closed my book, frustrated, I thought of all the girls who grew up with a brother or brothers and now have all the life skills they need.

Well, first, we know how to fight back:

When brothers aren’t purposely trying to hurt you, they’re accidentally hurting you. Growing up came with plenty of trips to the emergency room (S/O to the metal airplane that landed in my head) and plenty of spontaneous attacks when doing just about every mundane task. The result: I can go from 0 to 100 real quick.

We learned to be assertive:

If you want a woman to completely disregard the patriarchy, give her a brother. You see, she’ll spend her childhood constantly “roughing it with the boys,” always right in step with them whether it’s soccer or video games. The result: the first time someone says she can’t do something a boy can (LIKE MAKE THE SAME AMOUNT OF MONEY), she’ll laugh in their face. 

We arent too boy crazy:

I mean they’re cute, but there are only so many times a girl has to squat over a peed-on toilet seat before she isn’t in a total rush to get married. If we’re attracted to men, that attraction has limitations. We know full well how disgusting boys can be, and they are anything but foreign creatures to us when we start dating one. (Yes, that means girls with brothers understand boys’ emotions. FEAR US.)

We let things roll off our back:

Not much really bothers me. I spent my whole life with my brothers trying to provoke a reaction out of me, and now I am almost always in perpetual state of zen. I had 18 years of pretending not to be extremely annoyed when my brothers (for example) randomly threw my things across the room or jumped on me when I was lying on the couch. Honey, believe me when I say I could care less we’re wearing the same dress.

Were unabashedly weird:

Perhaps the only people who are weirder are our brothers. Us girls have a silly sense of humor that comes from joking with them since day one, and a disregard for appearance (when we want to) since it never mattered to them when we were little. We were always laughing when we were little and we try to continue that in our lives today by making those around us laugh too.

For all that brothers are—frustrating, annoying, dirty—I know that I would not be all that I am without them and their chaos. 


Image Credit: Giphy, Becca Pachl

Becca, Colorado born and raised, currently attends Kenyon College and enjoys using Her Campus Kenyon as a means to bemuse the awkward/hilarious/stressful experience that is college. She enjoys feminism and cookies, especially cookies that push the feminist agenda. Becca is *probably* going to study English or Sociology, but hopes first to survive until Friday. 
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