Separate the Men from the Boys – or Not

separate the men from the boys business cartoon

Idioms are funny things. They become so deeply embedded in a culture and its language that you don’t really pay attention to the actual words. They’re more shorthand than substance.

Take this one – “separate the men from the boys.”

I suspect we can all agree that the idea is sorting those who are serious, professional and accomplished from those who are lackluster, unprofessional and amateur. But when you really dig into it – it’s certainly sexist, possibly ageist and fairly demeaning.

I didn’t take it quite that seriously in playing with it for this cartoon. But it was enjoyable to poke a little fun at it.

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Mark Anderson Mark Anderson's cartoons appear in publications including Forbes, The Wall Street Journal and Harvard Business Review. His business cartoons are available for licensing at his website,

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