The War Against Boys: How Misguided Feminism Is Harming Our Young Men by Christina Hoff SommersOh, my... So many reviewers giving this book low ratings just because Sommers is focusing on boys, as if shes not looking at the right group, even though she proves that girls get almost all of the attention. (A recent edition of the book replaces feminism with policies in the title, probably as a response to outcries) This book gained some notoriety after a Tumblr feminist was shown burning it into a fireplace (calling it trash) to keep warm. The fact that this important book is written off so easily as patriarchal garbage (???) just proves to me that its detractors just havent read it. The book never attacks girls; it just tries to bring attention to problems that many boys face in the school system. And with the success gap between boys and girls getting larger and larger as the education system panders to one sex, this book desperately needs more popularity.
Sommers expands on points she made in her previous book, Who Stole Feminism? another thoughtful and well-researched read. I dont agree with all of her points: she states that emotional stoicism is the way to go and that we should dissuade children from talking about their feelings; while I believe no one should teach children that feelings are more important than anything, and I dont encourage an excess of emotion, one of the reasons that the male suicide rate is so high is that males are discouraged from discussing their feelings and problems because its not manly. Anyone should be able to talk about their feelings if they need help. While Sommers obviously doesnt discourage that (she aims more at the assignments where the writing prompts are one long how do you feel? after another), I was just bothered by that.
Overall, I highly recommend reading it after reading her first book. I highly doubt that the education system will make serious reforms towards egalitarian (or, as Sommers prescribes, single-sex classrooms, which are shown to be surprisingly effective) policies, but it still is an enlightening read.
What schools can do to help boys succeed
The War Against Boys: How Misguided Feminism Is Harming Our Young Men
As reviewed by Nathan Glazer. The War Against Boys was first published in At the time, the shortchanging of boys in school and in key areas of social development was less evident as a problem than it is today, and the proponents of policies to advance girls in school were much more prominent. This new edition of the book need take nothing back: the refusal or inability often as a result of litigation of schools to take into account or respond to the distinctive characteristics of boys is even more marked, the gap in school achievement between boys and girls even more substantial and troubling than in As our schools become more feelings centered, risk averse, competition-free, and sedentary, they move further and further from the characteristic sensibilities of boys. Studies continue to show boys and men falling behind: young women caught up with young men in the percentage of those with four years of college in the early s, and by far surpassed them, 36 percent to 27 percent.
Richard Bernstein "The New York Times" The burden of [this] thoughtful, provocative book is that it is American boys who are in trouble, not girls. Sommers's voice is impassed and articulate. Mary Eberstadt "The Washington Times" This book promises to launch and influence an enduring national debate The author trains her empirical and polemical skills on an issue of demonstrable and often poignant urgency. Sommers has written for numerous publications and is the author of Who Stole Feminism? How Women Have Betrayed Women. She is married with two sons and lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland.
Danielle Crittenden "New York Post" In Christina Hoff Sommers's splendid new book she shows the damage that is being done to our sons by adults.
you re your own worst critic