New book ‘Boymom’ reimagines boyhood in an age of ‘impossible masculinity’

Article here. Excerpt:

'Rapist, school-shooter, incel, man-child, interrupter, mansplainer, boob-starer, birthday forgetter, frat boy, dude-bro, homophobe, self-important stoner, emotional-labor abstainer, non-wiper of kitchen counters.”

These were some of the thoughts that kept Ruth Whippman up at night when she was pregnant with her third son and imagined his future. The year was 2017, when the Me Too movement was in full swing and a year into what she described as the “Pussy Grabber” administration of Donald J. Trump — “a time when the news was a rolling horrorshow of male bad behavior.”

Even in the “liberal urban bubble” of Berkeley, it became “increasingly clear that girls were now considered the prize. Boys, while cute and puppy-like, were generally viewed on some level as trouble — feral, hard to control, animalistic,” Whippman writes in her new book, Boymom: Reimagining Boyhood in the Age of Impossible Masculinity.

The cultural shift that was taking place was captured in New York Times pieces with titles like, “Wanting Daughters, Getting Sons” and “It’s a Boy, and It’s Okay to be Disappointed.” On a personal level, when she told friends she was pregnant with another son, she received sympathy rather than a congratulation on her pregnancy. Even Whippman’s letter carrier weighed in.

“I hope for your sake this one is a girl,” the carrier told her, as Whippman sat on the front steps of her home, her energetic boys whizzing around her.

“Trying to raise good sons suddenly felt like a hopeless task,” Whippman writes.'

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