Boys have feelings?

Boys have feelings too
Growing up Male for Boys

Is it just me or are there a LOT more of these welcome to puberty books for girls rather than boys?  We have featured a  few here on ALB that are worth another look.  (Click here or here for some past posts.)  This one isn’t too bad, but I can’t see anyone, male or female, finding anything helpful.  Very little on sexual health and more on “how to be a man” with some “it is okay to cry” kind of chapters.  Sorry fellas, it needs to go.  Go ahead and have a good cry, you’ll feel better.


Boys Have Feelings Too contents

  1. You can weed this right over to my house – my 30 year-old fiance could use a big dose of this book right about now. Or maybe he should go kiss a horse, while he is being a man at work not making money.

  2. Yes, there are many more examples of this genre for girls. Maybe there’s no analogous moment to that first period, or something, so people don’t know just when they need to steel little Robert against adulthood. It steals up on Robert, instead.

    The examples I’ve seen have been much more practical than this one. “How to shave” is a more accessible topic, and lends itself to illustrations, next to alternatives like “What the Media Have Done to Men, or Would You Rather Kiss a Horse, a Football, Your Girl, or Your Boss.”

    Honestly I sort of like the cut of this one’s jib. The subtitle’s “for boys” addendum strikes me as bizarre, but it’s obviously got a sense of humor.

  3. “Growing up male for boys”? As opposed to what? Growing up male for girls???

  4. The concept of the book is a good one: gender roles have changed drastically since the 70s, and while feminism has done a good job in presenting many different postive ways one can “be a woman”, there’s been no real equivalent for men: at most, we’ve been given a list of things *not* to do or be (chauvinists, brutes, etc). I’m a feminist myself, but I’m disturbed by the fact that while college campuses regularly host Women’s Pride celebrations, it seemingly isn’t acceptable to be proud to be a man. So what’s a boy to do? I haven’t figured out the answer yet, and maybe this book hasn’t either, but it seems to be raising the question, anyway.

      1. I think you have a very disorted view of feminism. Feminism isn’t about being better than men, it’s about equality.

      2. Excuse me, but you seem to have bought into an unfortunate stereotype about feminists. Feminists do NOT hate men. Feminists simply want equality and fairness for everyone.

      3. Feminism seems to mean different things to different people. I think everyone here is defining it differently.

      4. I would not go so far as to call it hypocrisy (which is more negative than I’d liked), but I do think feminism (being a diverse movement) does contain contradictions which can make things difficult for a feminist male like myself. On the one hand, feminists are rightfully sensitive to any implication that men are inherently superior, or that men can do things that women cannot, and so any attempt at celebrating positive aspects of masculinity is likely to be met with protest. On the other hand, feminism seeks to celebrate femaleness, holding Women’s Pride celebrations and so forth, suggesting that there are things that women do better than men. Some of this is remedial, an attempt to fix a male bias that still exists in our culture. But for a teenaged boy who has no responsibility for creating the “patriarchy” (hate that word), it seems unfair and probably causes some resentment.

        That said, I don’t think this is up to feminism to fix. Feminism, by its very name, is about women, and they have done a largely good job at redefining social roles for women. It’s up to men (including myself) to pick up the ball and find positive expressions of masculinity that don’t violate the notion of fairness and equality mentioned by DearPrudence. I have thought a lot about this but haven’t come up with any good ideas, except maybe the idea that “Women’s Pride” is equivalent to one’s ethnic heritage. One can be proud to be Italian or Greek or American without seriously believing that people of other nationalities are inferior; similarly, men and women have their own separate cultures, and one can be proud of one’s own gender culture without denigrating the other, or feeling like one is keeping score.

        That’s my say. 🙂

      5. It may be that the confusion comes from distinguishing between academic feminists and the garden-next-door-neighbor variety. The Academy can grow some might strange daisies in its rarefied consequence-free environs. No for me the feminist label won’t work because of the way feminists treat *women*. This last election cycle proved that if a strong women strays from the reservation, she’ll be hit with every disgusting sexist attack in the book. Feh.

        That said, there are several newer books on manhood and growing up Guy for parents and teens. Letters to a Young Brother, A Boy Should Know How to Tie a Tie, and The Guide For Guys just to name a few.

  5. Despite what the 1970s tried to tell us, the gender roles are still firmly in place.

    Who gets more girlfriends? The sensative guy, or the guy with the motorcycle?

    These should be pulled, burned, and the ashes buried.

    1. I dunno. I know an AWFUL lot of “nice” guys who are happily married. Perhaps the girl who would go for the guy with the motorcycle just isn’t the right fit, you know?

      Nice guys rock.

    2. You complain about gender roles, and then immediately imply that a man’s worth is measured by the number of girlfriends he “gets”? Huh.

  6. I agree with Lihtox. Though it is much less publicised, men also suffer from gender stereotyping. The prevailing model mostly favours various manifestations of aggression and a stoical “immunity” to all emotions that are not linked with some sort of aggressive behaviour (men are allowed to cheer for the victory of their sports team/business/military).

    Gender roles HAVE changed since the 70s but many, many people have yet to catch up on that, and certainly media and advertising representations of men are still sadly antiquated.

    A boy growing up with the public, mediatic expectations of “maleness” can face as serious an identity crisis as a girl facing the equaivalent pressures related to “being a woman”.

    I am male, and I am a feminist: you DON’T need to be a woman to believe in gender equality. But that also means I believe the gender “model” of maleness needs to be revisited. I agree that this book might need some serious reworking to be more relevant, but this is a serious discussion that does need to be addressed, and teenage boys should definitely have access to this type of discussion.

  7. The cover boy’s resemblance to Michael Cera makes this book remarkably contemporary.

  8. p.s. Joe– If my husband is any indication, the sensitive guy gets the truly superior woman. And the adorable perfect child too. Not to mention the great kitties.

  9. Being who seems to be the only ‘throwback’ here, ::::ducking::::. I’d actually have to see what is in the book. I don’t begrudge anyone their opinions so please don’t hate me when I tell you mine: that I disagree totally with the whole feminist thing. As I said, I’m a throwback (and you probably want to throw me back lol) when I say that I believe a mom belongs at home raising her children, I believe that women don’t belong in men’s jobs and everytime I hear or read that a woman is the CEO of a company I cringe. I admit, I belong in the 50s when life was simple and gender roles were pretty well established. That’s just me though. I do have a daughter who after serving for 14 yrs. is now a civilian Contractor for the Navy who has 3 children, and I have sons who are in “todays” world though they are “mom’s boys” and fiercely protective of me and spoil me rotten. 🙂 I raised 6 children, still raising my last 2 and a 2 yr old grandson and they’re all well adjusted. I also think that a strong male role model will help to get a boy to manhood by example a lot easier than a book though in these times as far as how to treat women. I also think that we do need a good grade of books for teenage boys that are interesting enough to make them want to read them. All but one of teen boys who are friends of my 17 yr. old daughter have no interest in even reading at all, and on the other hand, my 12 yr. old son is an avid reader so a good calliber book on this subject would be great for him.

  10. As a boy growing up in the eighties, I would have read this book ONLY if it promised some information about sex. Maybe that’s just me, but growing up male, that’s what I really wanted to know. I wanted to know what all this sexual slang meant that I heard other boys using; these were important things because if I didn’t know what the other boys were talking about, I felt like an outsider. I don’t know anything about the content of this book, but depictions of men in media was probably the last thing on my mind as a teenager. Even with a father in the home, I was looking to other boys for information about what it meant to be male; only a book that spoke to me in that context would have been useful. A book that said “Here’s what those boys mean when they use this term for the sex act, and here’s why they are lying about it. Now don’t worry so much.” That would have been a useful book.

  11. “Have a good cry”. Hilarious!

    Although I must say, I would be interested in reading “What the media have done to Men…..”

  12. The way today’s media draws gender roles in the sand, and emasculates men simply for women’s entertainment saddens me. I applaud this book for (supposedly) adressing the “emotional trauma” aspect of growing up male; Lord knows there were times in my life when I was ashamed at being a boy.