What is a Saturday for? To many, Saturday is a day for rest and relaxation, a day to put down the hammer and the hoe and just simply live as a human being. To many, a Saturday signifies a day in which they can sow their oats wild to their hearts desire, partying and discoing all day long, and of course to many, Saturdays are for the boys. The phrase “Saturdays are for the boys” (SAFTB) originated from a drunk tweet of Barstool Sports blogger John Feitelberg and is a rallying cry for boys all around the globe.
Very similar to the widely known saying “bros before hoes,” SAFTB is a phrase used to signify Saturday as a day just for “hanging with the boys” and engaging in male bonding without women to “bother them” or pull them away from their bros. It’s generally used in jest and has become, in its own way, a meme. It’s also commonly uttered with a precursor like, “Fridays are for the men, Saturdays are for the boys,” which is mostly nonsensical, but draws a line between the weekdays and Saturday for males. Men are responsible and mature from Monday to Friday, while on Saturdays we turn into boys who are immature and free from our responsibilities. SAFTB represents a better part of brotherhood and relationships formed between boys.
While the conversation on brotherhood often surrounds the toxic parts of it, there’s another side that’s quite positive. The whole idea of “the boys” or its synonyms, “the bros,” “my dudes,” or “the guys,” is that of a male friendship of a couple guys who support and have fun with each other. When searching the Instagram hashtag for SAFTB, you can find pictures of groups of friends having fun with each other and engaging in mostly wholesome activities, albeit holding a lot of beer, all of course on Saturdays. Where SAFTB digresses from a more popular term like “bros before hoes” is that it doesn’t exist to disparage another gender, but celebrate its own. Experiences differ for everybody, but personally, I’ve found male-only communities at places like sleepaway camp or a gender-split Jewish youth group I’m part of to be special places where I’ve been able to form strong friendships and find brotherhood partly because of the fact of their purposeful gender segregation. Wanting to hang out with just the guys on Saturdays is a celebration of a special friendship, just as if girls wanted to hang with just the girls on Saturday.
Where SAFTB becomes problematic is when it’s used by men to rationalize disregarding responsibilities and delegating problems from themselves to women. A common stereotype of home life that has been historically very present in the US is that after men come home from work they are no longer required to do anything else for the family. He goes to his 9 to 5 job, comes home, eats the dinner his wife made for him, and then goes to drink beer or play poker with his friends while his wife takes care of everything at home. Even if the woman also had a job, this was still how it went and men would (and still do) expect women to take care of all responsibilities at home while they could be cooling off with their friends. In some ways SAFTB presents the idea that men have a right to be with their friends, drinking beer on Saturdays and perhaps especially if there’s other stuff that they should be doing. When a household and children are in the mix, SAFTB takes on the alternate meaning of Saturdays also being for women to take care of the children.
However, because the term is really used mainly among younger men, this problem is certainly alleviated somewhat, but it still in some ways upholds this toxic culture. In terms of toxicity however, SAFTB ranks very low, especially when compared to many other trends or aspects of male-centered trends. At the end of the day, it can be affirmed that Saturdays are indeed for the boys.