Non Fiction Books

Boys Will Be Boys by Clementine Ford – ARC Review

Thank you to One World Publications for sending me ARC in exchange for an honest review.

I absolutely loved Fight Like a Girl so when One World Publications surprised me with by sending me an ARC of Boys Will Be Boys I was so excited to read it! And it did not disappoint!

You can read my review of Fight Like a Girl here

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Rating: 4.5/5

What the book is about:

Fearless feminist Clementine Ford’s incendiary first book, Fight Like A Girl, is taking the world by storm, galvanizing women to demand and fight for real equality and not merely the illusion of it.
Now Boys Will Be Boys examines what needs to change for that equality to become a reality. It answers the question most asked of Clementine: “How do I raise my son to respect women and give them equal space in the world? How do I make sure he’s a supporter and not a perpetrator?”
Ford demolishes the age-old assumption that superiority and aggression are natural realms for boys, and demonstrates how toxic masculinity creates a disturbingly limited and potentially dangerous idea of what it is to be a man. Crucially, Boys Will Be Boys reveals how the patriarchy we live in is as harmful to boys and men as it is to women and girls, and asks what we have to do to reverse that damage. The world needs to — this book shows the way.

This book made me laugh and cry and rage and everything in between. It’s a book that explains the injustices and the toxic structural issues in society that prevent most people from truly gaining equality and justice. It’s a book that took me a long time to get through and not because I didn’t like it but because it is an incredibly difficult read because of how personal it felt to me.

I have grown up in a society that told me because I am a woman I am less and that added to the obstacles put in place because I am brown and Muslim and wear a hijab, made me rage and cry for all the things that I could barely put into words myself. Clementine wrote all the things I felt and gave voice to those feelings. The second half of the book took me months to read because I had to keep putting it down after every few pages.

However it’s a book that I think everyone NEEDS to read. From discussing rape culture to how boys are taught from a young age that, ‘that’s just boys being boys’ and how the victim is blamed and men are protected from being held to account, to how toxic masculinity not only is an issue for women but for men too.

One of things I really loved reading about was how toxic masculinity can have such a negative effect on so many boys as well as girls. There is a very rigid view of what makes a man, ‘a man’ and that means that any boy that does not fit that description is shamed for it.

I know this from experience of having to constantly stand up for my young cousin (he’s 11) because he expresses his emotions, he likes reading and art instead of sports and is a total nerd (very proud of this fact lol) but is constantly told by those who should be his role models that he needs to ‘be a real man’ and that ‘boys don’t cry’ and it makes me so mad because of how much it affects him. So reading about how it affects men was really great because it helped me to explain better just how it affects him to his parents and explain to him that there is nothing wrong with him.

This book has helped with my confidence in standing up with these issues that I am so passionate about and that to bring about real change in society we all need to learn about what obstacles have been put in place to allow only a small minority to hold all the power and then we can really make structural changes.