Bros Before Hoes: Does It Still Apply?

Should we still use and encourage the phrase “Bros before hoes”? Does it still apply, or did its meaning change over the years? In this article, we’ll examine some negative and positive effects of the bro code. We’ll also show you how the code is changing to stay relevant and keep up with our evolving society. 

The Bro Code

Firstly, “Bros before hos (or hoes)!” is a legendary slang expression that many guys live by. On the surface, the saying appears degrading and offensive. Yet, its general meaning translates to “friends before women/partners.” In a nutshell, it means that men should not forget about their male friends and abandon their relationships with those friends in exchange for pursuing women. 

If you take away the gender bias, the idea behind this phrase actually becomes worthwhile when placed in the right context. Essentially, the saying “Bros before hoes!” tells you to never forget your friends. It can be used by both male bros and lady bros. 

What’s more, the saying is very popular in college environments as it is very easy to lose track of your friends when you are an adolescent looking to get laid. Still, some people could be offended by its choice of words and its surface meaning. However, the saying seems to have lost its significance over time, along with many other parts of the bro code. Others can still misunderstand it and use it to perpetrate sexual objectification. 

Men Started Growing Up

It seems that trends in male friendships are rapidly changing. The bro code is not as hip or amusing as it used to be. Men have either forgotten or outgrown it, but some have also started to see it from a different point of view.

For example, one of the biggest rules of the bro code was to never hook up and have sex with your friend’s ex. Currently, this isn’t a big deal. Most guys are fine with it as long as their bros are aware. Another reason is that the code has changed is that men are becoming more aware of misogyny and gender prejudices. We are moving past the goofy Barney Stinson type rules that used to be encouraged by contemporary culture to sexualize and objectify women. 

Guys are also becoming more aware of their language as it is considered incredibly offensive to use phrases that encourage gender prejudices. On the other hand, our language is changing. For instance, the word “hoe” has taken on a different meaning over the years. It is not exclusive to women anymore. Therefore, the “Bros before hoes!” motto can apply to anyone now. 

However, you will also see instances where guys have started to ignore the code altogether. Some still engage in socializing that allows them to speak badly about women. Others have group chats with their bros and frequently share non-consensual nudes and videos of their female partners or flings. Also, some could use the bro code to cover their bros back for infidelity and other behavior. Such behaviors could hurt a bro’s partner while releasing him of any responsibility. 

The Good Brotherhood

As you’ve seen, the bro code isn’t what it used to be. Many guys simply change the set of rules according to what suits them. The bro code was previously all about men looking after each other while testing their limits and having fun responsibly. In a way, it was a “ride or die” approach, and you just don’t see that anymore with today’s men. 

Since the times have changed, men don’t support their bros anymore. Alternatively, they do so in a way that disregards the principles of the bro code. For example, bros don’t support bros who are about to do something bad. Instead, they encourage them. Quite often, that can end in infidelity or even sexual violence. 

Obviously, the bro code is incredibly controversial. It all depends on how you define and use it. It seems that a single set of loosely-explained rules are not clear enough to provide ethical and effective guidance for all men. Still, if we look past the gender-based biases and think about using the rules for a positive effect, we could benefit from a new and improved bro code.

The New and Improved Bro Code

The bro code isn’t a new concept. It has probably been around since the first male humans became friends with other male humans. While the code has created some cultures that undermine the values of modern society, the rules have changed. 

Fortunately, our new society has created more conscientious men. We can now identify the lines that we absolutely shouldn’t cross. Also, men are unlearning the old behaviors of friendship etiquette. One new bro code rule encourages bros to help other men with their emotional issues. The “men don’t cry” approach is quickly becoming outdated. Another rule welcomes open communication and compassion between bros. It entails that no topic should be off-limits, no matter how sensitive or awkward. Guys have even adapted some rules from the girl code to become more attentive.

There are many other examples of new rules, but it’s important to note that we’re not all the way there. Some men still exploit the code while others disregard it. 


Ultimately, we need to change the bro code culture and understand those changes to encourage healthier bromances that do not endanger anyone. The bro code is changing, but it is still a controversial topic, and the rules are easy to manipulate for your own gains. So the next time you discuss the bro code with your friends, spread the good word and show them some of the new rules to make the world a better place!