Boys Will Be Boys

Oneworld Pubs.. Jul. 2019. ISBN 9781786076632. pap. 384p. $17.95; ebk. ISBN 9781786076649. SOC SCI.
Ford follows up her powerful book Fight Like a Girl with a much-needed, unapologetic study of toxic masculinity that relentlessly excavates how complicit we all are in the creation, reinforcement, and perpetuation of a “boys will be boys” mind-set. As the author explains, this ideology may sound humorous but is, in fact, detrimental to society as a whole. This latest work begins with an analysis of Ford’s experiences with her own son and ends with a catalog of men who have been accused of—and forgiven for—acts of sexual violence in a way that is simultaneously intimate and systemic. This will change the way readers think about seemingly innocuous habits that enable toxic masculinity. Although some readers may resist Ford’s bold, brash tone, she writes with clarity about how “manhood is never seen as an identity marker, particularly when it comes to leadership,” and with love for her son in a powerful epilog that few will be able not to feel her anger and wish to enact some kind of change.
VERDICT A necessary read that compliments Ford’s first book, but ultimately stands on its own.

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