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Boys Will Be Boys: Power, Patriarchy and the Toxic Bonds of Mateship

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  2,090 ratings  ·  262 reviews
‘Everyone’s afraid that their daughters might be hurt. No one seems to be scared that their sons might be the ones to do it … This book … is the culmination of many years of writing about power, abuse, privilege, male entitlement and rape culture. After all that, here’s what I’ve learned: we should be f*cking terrified.’ Clementine Ford, from the introduction

Fearless femin
Kindle Edition, 384 pages
Published September 26th 2018 by Allen & Unwin
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Average rating 4.20  · 
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 ·  2,090 ratings  ·  262 reviews

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Oct 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I finished this last night and resisted a deep urge to put it down and scream.

This morning I turned on the tv and Trump was gloating about how flawless Brett Kavanaugh is and how all the allegations against him are fabrications.

Last week, in Australia, six women were murdered in five days.

Two days ago Alan Jones threatened to get Louise Herron fired because she wouldn't do what he wanted. Which was to project a light show of a horse race on the Sydney Opera House. (He screams at her during the o
Jessica G
Aug 24, 2018 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I'm so excited to read this...which is strange because I will be furious
Sep 28, 2018 rated it did not like it
This work is basically an extended opinion piece focusing on contemporary media stories of rape and #metoo, punctuated with feminist theories on rape culture and toxic masculinity; which Ford perceives she's explaining in a feminist context, yet is actually reinforcing the heteropatriachial concepts of what it means to be a good moral man. There's nothing in this work which legitimately deconstructs hegemonic masculinity or heteronormativity. If there was, Ford would be strongly critiquing how h ...more
Aug 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Boys Will Be Boys is an exploration of the rise of toxic masculinity and Ford's infuriation at the fact that it is not being addressed as an issue in modern society. Her words are literally FIRE and you can see how passionate she feels about this topic. It's incredibly thorough and well researched but can be a little dry in places, so if you don't have a deep interest in the subject it may not be for you. That said, I was engrossed throughout and thought the discussion and points made were solid ...more
Amal Bedhyefi
Jun 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have been raving about Fight Like a Girl ever since i have read it . If anyone asks for a feminist recommendation , i would undoubtedly suggest that one for it offers a great introduction to feminism.
This time , however , I will be adding Boys Will Be Boys to my list of recommendations . Have you finished reading Fight Like A girl ? Great. Now pick Boys Will Be Boys .

We (feminists) have always been vocal about the various instruments of patriarchy and how they adversely impact , shape , mark
Oct 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, feminism
I will support feminist literature past my dying breath, which is why I was so conflicted about rating this three stars.
Feminist authors deserve more. They always will.
It's always an uphill battle and a ceaseless, near-impossible task. Every woman, POC, or LGBTQIA+ friend will know this struggle. Some of us are all three. Every time another person contributes - and in such a meaningful way - to this discussion, we get better. And for that, we can only praise them. My concerns are only in terms
Rebecca Bowyer
Clementine Ford’s first book, Fight Like a Girl was her bestselling memoir on growing up in a man’s world and how it shaped her writings on feminism.

Boys Will Be Boys is her follow up book on power, patriarchy and the toxic bonds of mateship. It’s written in the same easy-to-read style. Fewer personal anecdotes but plenty of real-world examples you’ll recognise from recent years and a whole bunch of (very alarming) data you may not.

If Fight Like a Girl was about the fight for women to shrug off
Oct 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Everyone needs to read this book. Everyone.
Apr 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook, feminist
Great read and one I am thrilled I listened to as an audiobook. Clementine Ford narrates her own work and is perfectly sarcastic and serious at alternating times. She hammers her points home with poignant examples and anecdotes. There are some powerful passages where she discusses a world without toxic masculinity, the kind of world she would like for her son.
Very glad I read this, it'll be a good one to go back to at another time. Highly recommend!
Anna Johnson
If you are new to feminism, I think this book would be an explosive and galvanising read. But if you have read and thought and talked a lot about gender issues already, I don’t think you will get a lot out of this book. I was hoping for something a little more new and original.
Disclaimer: I won an ARC via a giveaway on Librarything.

There are thousands of reasons why you should read this book. I would like to start with just one.

The sentence about Oscar Isaacs’s equipment. It is around page 185.

And if that doesn’t do it for you, the line about porn making men’s equipment not work is good too. That’s around 134.

But seriously, Ford’s excellent use of humor aside, you should read this book.

Ford’s book about culture and how it not only harms women but also men. In par
Feb 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Not the for faint of heart, she launches at you with strong opinion from the first sentence. It is sweary well thought out and properly angry. Crikey I freakin loved it but she is writing about such distasteful stuff, the horrific behaviour of men in so many instances towards women, that it made me seethe with rage at times. It is a no holds barred commentary on what men do to women as a matter of course, but which is behaviour which puts women down, keeps them in their places and makes jokes of ...more
Jennifer (JC-S)
‘Everyone’s afraid that their daughters might be hurt. No one seems to be scared that their sons might be the ones to do it.’

No, I haven’t (yet) read ‘Girls will be Girls’. I picked up ‘Boys will be Boys’ because a number of people whose opinion I value kept telling me it was an important book. Like Clementine Ford, I am the mother of a son. And, in 1981 when both my son and Ms Ford were born, equality (of both opportunity and responsibility) was elusive.

Ms Ford challenges assumptions about sup
Oct 17, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: australian

I dunno.

I expected... more? from this book. I expected somehow for it to have more content about combatting the toxic masculinity that our society is currently driven by, but instead I was just reading about the utterly heartbreaking situations existing in the world. The ones I already know about. I’m not the target market for this book, but the target market aren’t likely to pick this book up.
Dear Clementine,

First, I'd like to apologise to you. One time a year or two back I was asked what I thought of you. Of course I don't KNOW you but I know the person meant what do I think of what you say, write, do. At that time I said something along the idea of 'well feminism is a broad church'.

I have identified as a feminist since a little girl and now Chair a national organisation to promote the interests of women. And yet I didn't give an effusive YAY when your name was mentioned. At that p
Brad Coles
Apr 29, 2019 rated it did not like it
This book was a huge, huge disappointment. As has already been said in other reviews, this is simply a long form opinion piece. It’s full of lazy anecdotes (often using online forums, Youtube comments and the like as sources), hypotheticals and arguments against a misogynistic MRA caricatures.

Most, if not all, people that pick up this book don’t need three chapters explaining why Milo Yiannopoulos, Donald Trump, Tony Abbott, Barnaby Joyce, etc. etc. are terrible people. We also neither need nor
Aug 17, 2019 rated it liked it
This is my first foray into Clementine Ford’s work. I enjoyed the book generally but honestly was expecting a lot more. The book is pegged as being all about how to raise a son to be an advocate of gender equity, and not a victim of toxic masculinity.

I felt only the first 1-2 chapters dealt with this - and did so extremely well. Once I got past the first chapters, the book was simply delving into and explaining all the aspects of toxic masculinity and rape culture that pervade our world. Which t
Dec 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
I found Boys Will Be Boys engaging yet horrifying. It’s not new content for me, as someone working on prevention of violence against women, but it reinforced and provided both examples and evidence of what I have been learning through the course of my work.

I have a fear that this book speaks to the converted (and anyone with more knowledge on masculinity than me could potentially find nothing new or enlightening in this) and not beyond.

I was also a bit disappointed when the book took quite a l
Ruby Bisson
Jan 16, 2019 rated it it was ok
Another Facebook rant, but certainly more meaty than Fight Like a Girl. A lot of the substance was lost in aggressive, sarcastic language. This is more of a "rally the troops" kind of book, rather than an informative "here's how we can help educate and dismantle the system which negatively impacts both women and men".
Clem's an excellent essayist, but I felt like it was often difficult to find a thread to follow in this book.
Sep 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As for Fight like a girl, the audiobook is narrated by Clementine Ford herself and it's fantastic. It's not an easy read, it's enraging but the sarcasm helps :)
Oct 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As Karen Kilgariff once said, Toxic masculinity ruins the party again.

I expected this to be mostly about boys and how we're doing them wrong, but it's more about the socialization of boys and men as seen through a feminist lens. It's about how patriarchy ruins everyone's lives—chiefly women and the gender diverse—but men, too, because patriarchy tells us there's only one way to be a man (or a woman (your only other option according to patriarchy)), and if you travel outside of those lines, the p
Oct 30, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: library-apps
it was okay.... i feel like i read twelve tumblr-esque blog posts about how awful men as a class are. and i don't disagree with a lot of this book, but i guess i was expecting more? there were a lot of funny quips and jokey-jokes peppered throughout the book, which i found annoying 90% of the time (some quotes were funny though, and i think i would be a more receptive to her humour had i read this book in the form of a short blog post and not a published 400-page book). there were moments clemen ...more
Carmen B
Sep 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: feminism
A combination of passionate rant and astute analysis about contemporary life, Ford unashamedly includes her own voice and opinions as she writes about the ways that toxic masculinity and patriarchy damage both women and men.
Men are socialised into believing that their needs and wants are of more importance than those of women. In addition to this, men are expected to go along with blokey culture that treats women’s bodies as theirs for the taking. Women are disbelieved and seen as not credible w
Apr 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is probably the most confronting book I’ve read. It was hard to read it not because of its writing style but because it made me realised how much I’ve failed as man to women in general and particularly to the women in my life.
‘Boys will be boys’ should be read by all women, so they have tools to protect themselves against toxic masculinity. But most importantly, this book needs to be a compulsory reading to all men not only so we stop perpetuating our toxic gender-related behaviours but so
Mar 27, 2019 rated it did not like it
Clementine Ford is really irritating. I didn't connect with it but also couldn't put it down because it was compellingly irritating. Strongly disagree with her attitudes but its good to be provoked into fleshing out my own position and ideas on gender equality etc.
Bonnie McDaniel
The purpose of this book is made clear in the introduction.

Boys Will Be Boys takes aim at toxic male spaces and behaviors that are used to codify male power and dominance, but that also secure protection from the consequences of them. I've looked at how gender inequality is first learned in the home and then filtered down through pop culture, and how this provides the perfect launching pad into even more damaging practices later on--the embrace of online abuse, rape culture, men's rights balone
Jan 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
HELL. YEAH. Reading this creates a whirlwind of emotions. Relief. Realisation. Anger. Frustration. Despair. Determination. There are so many truths here, about the impact of gender inequality in the home (and on womens' superannuation), the dark insidiousness of back-slapping "masculinity" and the brutal reality of rape culture. The implied societal expectation for a women to "get married and have kids" doesn't just devalue our worth, it codifies it.

"First comes love, then comes marriage, then c
Jacki (Julia Flyte)
Jan 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Prompted by the birth of her much loved son, Clementine Ford has written this exploration of how society has different expectations and standards for men and for women. And she's angry.

I read this over a couple of weeks with breaks to read other things. It’s not hard to read at all, it’s just that she gets angry about SO MANY THINGS and then you in turn feel angry and depressed and disillusioned.

Some of the things she's angry about seem kind of trivial but then you start thinking about them mor
Kate Arrowsmith
Aug 11, 2019 rated it liked it
I get the anger she feels, don’t get me wrong. But so much of this made me feel depressed and despondent about the terrible state of things, and like it’s not getting any better. I would have loved stories of success - women (and men) changing things for the better, and how they did it. Maybe that’s just not this book, which is fine; but I guess I’m just too sensitive to read quote after quote from internet trolls completely ignoring someone’s humanity.
Nov 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. Sometimes explaining misogyny to a white man, including the ones I love, can be like trying to explain water to a fish. Clem takes it apart piece by piece and makes it easier to 'see'. She explains what can sometimes be frustratingly difficult to articulate to someone who doesn't get it, because it SO obvious.
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Clementine Ford is a freelance writer, broadcaster and public speaker based in Melbourne. She writes on feminism, pop culture and social issues.

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