Boys

Boys

What It Means to Become A Man

Book - 2018 | First edition.
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"The successes of feminism have led to greater opportunities for girls, by challenging stifling stereotypes about femininity and broadening the understanding of what it means to be female. While boys have travelled alongside this transformation, narrow definitions of masculinity and manliness haven’t faced the same degree of scrutiny. Whether they’re being urged to 'man up' or warned that 'boys don’t cry,' young men are subjected to damaging messages about manliness: they must muzzle their emotions and never show weakness, dominate girls and compete with one another. Boys: What It Means to Become a Man examines how these toxic rules can hinder boys’ emotional and social development. If girls can expand the borders of femaleness, could boys also be set free of limiting, damaging expectations about manhood and masculinity? Could what’s been labelled 'the boy crisis' be the beginning of a revolution in how we raise young men? Drawing on extensive research and interviews with educators, activists, parents, psychologists, sociologists, and young men, Giese--mother to a son herself--examines the myths of masculinity and the challenges facing boys today. She reports from boys-only sex education classes and recreational sports leagues; talks to parents of transgender children and plays video games with her son. She tells stories of boys navigating the transition into manhood and how the upheaval in cultural norms about sex, sexuality and the myths of masculinity have changed the coming of age process for today’s boys."--
Publisher: Toronto, Ontario, Canada : Patrick Crean Editions, HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, [2018]
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 9781443442909
1443442909
Branch Call Number: 305.31 GIESE
Characteristics: xxiii, 243 pages ; 24 cm

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DavidLapp_0
Mar 15, 2020

I'm glad there's a book about boys and about men as well; masculinity. I wish more books were being written about this subject. It's one of the tragedies of our time, and no one's talking about it. The media, with all its panic power, should be talking about stuff that matters - like the crisis happening in boys & men - rather than all the other stuff they needlessly get worked up about.

Now, on to the actual book. So, initially, I was intrigued by the subject matter, and about the unusual perspective of the writer, given her unique personal life, family, atypical political leanings, and also chiefly her personal experience in raising a boy. She had some parts of the book that were home-run sections, like the part about the educational system failing boys because they're required to sit down, shut up, be good, don't talk, and sit still. Profound. Desperately needs to be loudly talked about in society.

She writes in interesting prose, and uses unique & unexpected facts, figures, and research to bring to life her brief and colourful book. I was let down, I feel, though, by her quite obvious and unoriginal grasping at the usual liberal bogeymen, like President Trump, mass shootings, gender panic, etc. (Yawn...That's all ya got?...Sigh...) She didn't bring a unique perspective or look. We've heard all the PC stuff before. That's where she lost me, and she completely left the reservation. She at that point was entirely off-base, and veered into an oceanic dreamworld of sold-out bias. That was disappointing. Good thing the book was short (200 pg), otherwise it would have gotten even more insufferable. I had to remind myself that she is a CBC journalist, so comes from that zombie-like liberal army.

I would summarize it by saying that she started out well, by perfectly identifying the problem of boys/men being in a crisis......but then presents the opposite conclusion than the one that would be correct and logical and helpful. She is good at noticing the problem, but unfortunately hopelessly wrong in offering a solution. Tragic, actually. If she were a doctor, she brought us into the waiting room, took us into the examination room, but then misdiagnosed, and gave us exactly the wrong meds in treatment.

However....it was refreshing to at least know that she wrote a book about boys at all, and there were some good and refreshing points in there. You just had to wade in there, into the deep bog, and find them. But worth a quick survey read, I would say, on balance afterward. Read it, and come to your own conclusion; worth a read.

g
graysongardner
Oct 17, 2019

This is a subject that needs to be explored more by society in general. Boys and men in society have been ascribed to roles which seem inauthentic, and unfair. We need to focus on the mental wellbeing of society as a whole, not just it’s parts. The fact that this was written by a married lesbian woman shows the empathy involved and needed to change the superficial roles that are pushed by society. It’s funny, and i have noticed this, that we have become consumed by hyper sexuality in North America. What are we teaching our kids? We all need to be responsible for building a better world for everyone, even the so called majority. These days, people want to blame everyone for their problems. It’s time we look at ourselves. Only then, with understanding, can we move forward. I had a hunch recently, and seems to be somewhat confirmed by my reading recently, that all these young, white men involved in mass shootings are a sign that we are failing young men in North America. When I see reports where these pundits, journalists, and politicians saying “ I don’t know what the problem is. These must be deranged young men. “ it seems to me that these young men aren’t getting the point, and are not being treated as sensitive, sentient beings.
They are acting out their sad frustrations with the world, because for the most part, these are the nerds, the loners, the unwanted. White privilege is indeed a thing, but it is not easy to grow up in a world that expects these young males to be a certain way. It is not easy being the majority these days. I’m not sure it ever was. Men are supposed to be tough, straight, virile, successful, competent, insensitive, and stereotypes. The world isn’t that simple, neither are males.

m
mclarjh
Jun 20, 2019

Good journalism.

n
nickster13
May 03, 2018

This ideology driven drivel is written by a radical feminist Marxist lesbian. What does she honestly know (and love) about boys and men? And more importantly, she is trying to push an insidious radical agenda. Read at your own risk to your IQ, respect to the men of your life and your own self-respect.

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