Books or other media about feminism specifically for boys
February 20, 2015 9:19 PM   Subscribe

My 15-year-old nephew has become interested in social movements, and as teenagers do, he's positioned himself against a few. I want him to have some facts that he can understand. Is there a book about feminism written specifically for boys? One that includes history plus arguments, both pro and con?
posted by goofyfoot to Education (18 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
 
[One comment deleted; OP is looking for book/media recommendations. Thanks.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 9:48 PM on February 20, 2015 [2 favorites]


I mistitled the post, sorry. My nephew can't easily access media privately, so blogs and websites are out unless I can print them out and mail them to him.
posted by goofyfoot at 10:03 PM on February 20, 2015


I wonder if novels might actually be more persuasive? Is he someone who definitely reads non-fiction? There are several lists and articles about feminist young adult fiction. I think teens often respond better to stories than to histories, but certainly let us know if that's not the case for your nephew.
posted by jaguar at 10:16 PM on February 20, 2015


I remember the Opposing Viewpoints book series was helpful when I was in high school. It looks like they have a volume on Feminism and another on Gender Roles (which used to be titled Male/Female Roles, if you end up looking for it used). I wouldn't say that the series is written specifically for boys, though, more for high-school-age youth in general.
posted by Woodroar at 10:21 PM on February 20, 2015


We Should All Be Feminists and Men Explain Things To Me. Not written for teenage boys per se, but they are not tomes, are witty, and current.
posted by Kerasia at 10:33 PM on February 20, 2015


A great coming of age gender novel is Egalia's Daughters. It's basically life as we know it but in a fictional land with complete gender role reversal, from the public sphere to the private, superficial norms, and even the sometimes blurred lines of sexual assualt (not graphic at all).

It was required reading in an intro to gender studies class I had years ago. I think it'd be perfect for a 15 yr old.
posted by meeeese at 2:37 AM on February 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


I agree that novels might be a good way to introduce this sentiment if he's a fiction reader already. The Handmaid's Tale might be a good pick, especially if he's already read dystopian fiction before (as seemingly all teens have nowadays).
posted by telegraph at 4:32 AM on February 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


I was about to say Handmaid's Tale, which I read as a 15-year-old boy and which blew my little mind. I liked it so much I read a bunch more Margaret Atwood novels, none of which I grasped at all...
posted by escabeche at 6:02 AM on February 21, 2015


I just went to a zine festival, and saw a ton of content along these lines. Try that outlet if you know of some radical shops in your area
posted by oceanjesse at 7:55 AM on February 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


If he enjoyed The Hunger Games series, start with the Handmaid's Tale & follow with Oryx and Crake. Octavia Butler is very accessible, and she has short stories that include one with a male birth element.
posted by childofTethys at 9:19 AM on February 21, 2015


Introducing Feminism, if only because it's in the graphic novel style and he'll be less inclined, as a 15 year old boy, to let it collect dust on a shelf.

That aside: it's incredibly readable, and makes sense of feminism as a historical movement from the beginning of civilization to present. It explores different approaches to feminism and promotes critical thought about the subject, so it should come across to him as more of a "survey of intellectual traditions" rather than "preachy dogma". It does show the pro and con arguments, and builds on them as it goes along. At the same time, the accessible graphic novel style will make it easier for him to get into it and, with luck, think about feminism and gender issues in a new light.
posted by nightrecordings at 9:36 AM on February 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


I recommend all of bell hook's work. The Will to Change was written with a focus on men although it may not be the best book for a younger guy. I love bell hook's communion for its positivity and would really start with that if you think it could be up his alley.

An excellent, all-around resource could be S.E.X. The Scarleteen Book by Heather Corinna. It talks about relationship dynamics, gender identity, and more so it could be appealing.

I want to second oceanjesse's suggestion of the zine festival: generally it's a friendly, geeky bunch with a progressive mindset. If you were to share his or your general location, I can look up some close to you; it could be a fun event to attend together.

How awesome for him and how awesome for you, too!
posted by smorgasbord at 9:49 AM on February 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


One more bell hook's suggestion: my absolute favorite book of hers is belonging: a culture of place for its discussion of geography, race, class, environmentalism, and more. There's less on feminism than usual in her work but lots of other awesome intersectionality.
posted by smorgasbord at 9:51 AM on February 21, 2015


When I was 16, I read Betty Friedan's "The Feminine Mystique". It totally CHANGED the way I saw women within the context of modern American society.
posted by hal_c_on at 10:47 AM on February 21, 2015


I haven't read this one, but I know it is sometimes used as a women's studies textbook in my university: Guy's Guide to Feminism
posted by katieanne at 10:59 AM on February 21, 2015


I'd second the recommendation for zines. If there's a local infoshop, that'd be great. If not, Quimby's in Chicago does mail order and has a really good selection. I'd particularly recommend Cindy Crabb's Doris and Neely Bat Chestnut's Mend My Dress.

If he's interested in comics, consider Phoebe Gloeckner, Roberta Gregory, Lynda Barry, the first Twisted Sisters anthology, Love and Rockets, and possibly Sandman. For superhero stuff, Strong Female Protagonist and Cleopatra In Space are good, as is the new Ms. Marvel with Kamala Khan.

For nonfiction, in addition to the amazing bell hooks I'd recommend Julia Serano's Whipping Girl.
posted by bile and syntax at 1:33 PM on February 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


Thank you all very much. Am familiar with some of these - which I'll look at, as much as possible, from a fifteen-year-old's point of view, before I send anything to him - and not with others, which I'll check out. My nephew likes facts - though he doesn't yet understand empirical knowledge, or statistics, yet - and your sugestions might help him to understand what he's questioning.
posted by goofyfoot at 11:46 PM on February 26, 2015


Oy vey - the amazon page for "Guy's guide to feminism" quotes Jian Ghomeshi as an editorial reviewer.
posted by goofyfoot at 4:01 AM on March 8, 2015


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