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November 27, 2019


#AUSReadingMonth 2019 Clementine Ford

by NancyElin



  1. I read Sue’s excellent post @ Whispering Gums
  2. about a disussion that took place during the
  3. Sydney Writers Festival 2019.
  4. Boys to Men: The masculinity crisis
  5. Panel: Clementine Ford, Adam Liaw, Janice Petersen (Convenor).
  6. I knew I had to read Ford’s book.
  7. Please take the time  to read Sue’s summation of the
  8. panel will enrich your reading of
  9. Boys Will Be Boys as only the author herself can do!


 Ms Ford highlights what is meant as…..

  1. Fog of  toxic masculinity
  2. ….no inside voice,
  3. preferring to roar wherever they go
  4. boisterous, barrelling through the world
  5. …with an admiral lack of restraint.
  6. They (men)  have each other’s back
  7. close ranks against anyone else who threatens them.
  8. Boys are currently conditioned to be
  9. entitled, domineering, sexist, privileged.



  1. Boys Will Be Boys
  2. Ms Ford uses this common sentiment that is bandied about
  3. without thought and expose just how damaging it is for everyone
  4. ….including boys.



  1. Gender INEQUALITY  is first learned at home
  2. Filtered down through pop culture
  3. A launching pad into even more damaging practices later.


Ch 1 – It’s a Boy –> gender stereotyping

  1. People frequently assign  sex based on
  2. arbitrary indicators (color of clothes (pink/blue),
  3. messages on t-shirts (“brave & strong” –“happy & peace”),
  4. toys (dolls vs active toys, trucks, cars etc).


Ch 2 – A Woman’s Place –> domestic dynamics

  1. Ponder this:
  2. “…women who choose to live romantically with men are acting against
  3. their own economic interest.”


  1. Ch 3 – Girls on Film –> female roles in films 
  2. Ch 4 – Not All Men –>   “..stop making me (men) feel bad.”
  3. Ch 5 – We Know What Boys Are Like –> teach men healthy intimacy
  4. Ch 6 – Mass Debate –>  Alt-right phenomenon Milos  Yiannopoulos
  5. Ch 7 – The Manosphere –> most bone-chilling chapter
  6. Ch 8 – Your Honor, I Object –> the heart of the MRA agenda (Men’s Rights Activists)
  7. Ch 9 – The King of the Hill –> power and privileged white men
  8. Ch 10 – It’s Just a Joke –> Why do comics make rape a side-splitting topic?
  9. Ch 11 – Asking For It –> Jane Doe vs players Ulster rugby team… but she consented!
  10. Ch 12 – Witch Hunt –>  #MeToo…list of shame!
  11. Epilogue –  ….a letter to her toddler son….it is a thing of beauty and love to read!



  1. This book  may seem like small comfort
  2. finally confronting the  problem of toxic masculinity
  3. that we see playing out in the
  4. workplace, home, schools, governments.
  5. But in a time like this, when it’s hard to understand how
  6. our culture became so “toxic”  with
  7. male dominance, power, privilege, misogyny
  8. reading is probably the best possible option to try to
  9. think about how society has gotten where we are now
  10. …and how we can and should change it.
  11. #EyeOpener
  12. #MustRead
  13. The book left me drained
  14. ….so much to process.


Last Thoughts:

  1. I’ve tried to read more poetry this year
  2. …and once in a  while a ‘flash’ of recognition
  3. goes off in my mind.
  4. NSW Literary Award 2019 for poetry was won by
  5. Kate Lilley, daughter of the famous poet, feminist Dorothy Hewett.
  6. Her book of poems TILT  (autobiographical and
  7. some confessional poems) will touch your heart.
  8. Unknown to me was Kate Lilley’s back round and her immersion
  9. in the Bohemian life of her parents in 1970s.
  10. She was abused by friends of parents
  11. ….male entitled predators.
  12. Lilley has suffered for years trying to put her life together
  13. after living with a mother whose motto was:
  14.  …guess what?
  15. Boys Will Be Boys”.
6 Comments Post a comment
  1. Nov 28 2019

    Well done Nancy – loved your link to Kate Lilley and her mother Dorothy Hewett.

    Thanks for the lovely link too!

    • Nov 28 2019

      Thank you so much Sue, for inspiring met to read Clementine’s book! Your blogpost was wonderful.

      • Nov 28 2019

        I’m really glad N@ncy.

      • Nov 28 2019

        I asked Brona’s Books to create a blog post with her Australian TBR for 2020….perhaps you might share some of your ‘to-read’ books 2020. It would be a great reference post for my Aussie reading!

      • Nov 28 2019

        Haha N@ncy, I don’t really plan my reading like that, the way some people do – but over the next couple of months, some of my Monday Musings are likely to contain some ideas I think.

      • Nov 28 2019

        Yes, that is true…your highlights place authors or concepts (deafness) in the spotlight. I’ll be watching for Monday Musings!

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