The first of the author’s 10 rules for boys is to “Lose the Swagger, Kid.” Apparently, boys are prone to bad messages that tell them to be “hyper-macho” and the author seems to think that gentle, compassionate reading boys are the answer. I understand that the “thug culture” that tells boys to act like gangsters is not a good message. However, I wonder if she gets that boys are not girls and that male traits are often positive and natural. And as far as telling boys not to swagger, I wonder if in her last book on girls, she told girls to “Lose the sense of entitlement, kid.” I doubt it.
She says that boys need to “learn humility” and has a chapter on teaching boys to respect women and girls. Why not suggest that girls need some humility and to learn how to treat men and boys? Most of what she is calling “swagger” is a way for boys to differentiate themselves from women and girls because the culture no longer allows boys to be boys. Frankly, I don’t see many guys swaggering these days; they often look dejected and withdrawn from the culture because it does not value who they are. If swaggering is a sign of rebellion, I say, “bring it on.” Not in a way that is thuglike, but in a way that says, “I will not apologize for who I am.”
Without addressing the societal and cultural sterotypes and issues that boys truly face today by the PC culture, nothing for boys will get resolved.
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