Boys Will Be Boys (Clementine Ford, A&U)
In Boys Will Be Boys, a follow-up to her bestselling debut Fight Like a Girl, Clementine Ford takes a new angle on gender relations. Inspired by the birth of her son, Ford unpacks the gendered expectations society places on both boys and girls, and how they are ultimately damaging to everyone. The book consists of a series of essays linked by the central theme of gender roles. Topics covered include gender-reveal parties, men’s rights activists, gender representation in film, rape culture, the family courts, internet culture, the ‘it’s just a joke’ defence and gender issues in politics, both in Australia and abroad. Ford’s tone is conversational, including frequent profanities and internet-speak, but her arguments are well thought through, and backed by solid and wide-ranging research. She draws examples from academia and both the local and international news media to good effect. Throughout the book, she builds a case that the phrase ‘boys will be boys’, with all that it implies, is deeply damaging to boys, girls and wider society. It is highly recommended to anyone interested in gender issues.
Heath Graham is a teacher and former bookseller