PJ Media

Boys are Smelly!

While looking for some interesting reading material, I came across this book, a href=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/158685819X?ie=UTF8tag=wwwviolentkicomlinkCode=as2camp=1789creative=9325creativeASIN=158685819X”emThe Big Book of Girl Stuff,/em/aimg src=”http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=wwwviolentkicoml=as2o=1a=158685819X” width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”” style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” / a kind of corollary to the a href=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1586853333?ie=UTF8tag=wwwviolentkicomlinkCode=as2camp=1789creative=9325creativeASIN=1586853333″ emThe Big Book of Boy Stuff/em/aimg src=”http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=wwwviolentkicoml=as2o=1a=1586853333″ width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”” style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” / by the same author. Looking over the review from the Library Journal and the subsequent comments about the girl book, I couldn’t help but note the upbeat and insouciant tone to this book versus the snippy and accusatory tone of the reviews and comments for the boy book. br /br /For example, for the girl book, a href=”http://www.amazon.com/Big-Book-Girl-Stuff/dp/158685819X/ref=pd_bxgy_b_text_b/102-8084700-9641738″School Library Journal cheerfully states:/a “This funny follow-up to The Big Book of Boy Stuff (Gibbs Smith, 2004) is chock-full of hints and guidance. From the silly (“Why boys smell so bad”) to the slightly serious (“Lies, Mean Girls, and Jerks”), it will have readers thumbing through the volume again and again….The volume has amusing illustrations and a reversible cover for sneaky in-school reading. While the information presented can be found in other books, the author’s sense of humor and lighthearted approach make this one accessible to a wide range of readers.” br /br /Snappy captions and condecending comments (even from the men!) are found in the comments to the girl’s book such as “No Boys Allowed!” or … “the true literary measure of a fully realized man/child is this; can he write about, for, and with girls.” Really? The only way for a man to prove his worth as a writer is to write for and about girls? Huh? What kind of a real man says stuff like this? br /br /Compare this with the reluctant and downright annoyed reviews and comments to the boy books: one commenter states, “I flipped through it and figured out pretty quick it was sexist…” and a href=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1586853333/ref=pd_cp_b_2/102-8084700-9641738?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DERpf_rd_s=center-41pf_rd_r=0405FJ2HAKMZMA9VW4DVpf_rd_t=201pf_rd_p=252362401pf_rd_i=158685819X”from the School Library Journal /aon emThe Big Book of Boy Stuff:/em br /br /blockquoteThis is a very uneven book, with some sections highly creative, informative, and fun and others almost insulting to youngsters (in one paragraph on how to make noises the author states, “being able to make a farting or bombing sound is very important to your career as a boy”). King begins by chastising those readers who might be looking for political correctness and warns that this title will be gross at times but suggests that he is offering what boys really want. The author points out that boys should really know how to use the kitchen and provides first-date advice. Unfortunately, his tone is so casual that the good suggestions he presents are likely to be lost in the silliness and the “boys will be boys” approach. The long list of reading recommendations gives no indication of age appropriateness./blockquote br /br /So the “good advice” for boys has mainly to do with how to handle girls on dates and how to use a kitchen. Apparently, this reviewer’s view of good advice for boys is how to turn them into girls! br /br /a href=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0061243582?ie=UTF8tag=wwwviolentkicomlinkCode=as2camp=1789creative=9325creativeASIN=0061243582″emThe Dangerous Book for Boys/em/aimg src=”http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=wwwviolentkicoml=as2o=1a=0061243582″ width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”” style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” / a href=”http://www.amazon.com/feminists-need-bash-this-book/forum/Fx3W0FFJ3GQSCJP/Tx1QBUU3OG7094Z/1/ref=cm_cd_dp_tft_tp/102-8084700-9641738?%5Fencoding=UTF8cdAnchor=0061243582asin=0061243582store=books”even has a whole forum /adedicated to why feminists need to bash the book just because it is written for boys. So as long as a book is for girls only that is fine but a book for boys is somehow sexist. br /br /When women and girls (and “feminist” men) say “no boys allowed” and laugh that boys are smelly, it’s all just a joke, but when the tables are turned, suddenly it’s sexism. But maybe turnabout is the next best thing to fair play. I thought feminism was about fairness, but maybe turnabout’s the best we can do.br /br /Update: a href=”http://www.blog.speculist.com/archives/001329.html”Stephen Gordon at the Speculist /ahas more on emThe Dangerous Book for Boys./em