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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars About Time
Many of the objections to this book written here make her point for her. People object that she should focus on poor or black people etc. The fact is in every demographic group the boys are doing worse in school. A position is not refuted by saying another issue is more important. I am a male teacher and for years I have heard how girls need to be "empowered"...
Published on Oct. 17 2005

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars This book was too thin!
While I do not exactly have any vested interest in either the promotion or dismissal of this book, I agree in most places with the author while I also think she could have added more insight and less ideology.
For example, she glides by the concept of "kindergarten" by ignoring what I see as the obvious: a garden is only as useful as it is cultivated. Ask...
Published on Aug. 14 2001 by kulturvultur


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars About Time, Oct. 17 2005
By A Customer
Many of the objections to this book written here make her point for her. People object that she should focus on poor or black people etc. The fact is in every demographic group the boys are doing worse in school. A position is not refuted by saying another issue is more important. I am a male teacher and for years I have heard how girls need to be "empowered" and boys need to be changed. Well the numbers show girls have the power and all the teacher attention in schools and boys can only change so much.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still a telling work, June 4 2003
By 
Charles J. Marr (Cambridge Springs, Pa USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The War Against Boys: How Misguided Feminism Is Harming Our Young Men (Hardcover)
I am happy to see that people are still commenting on this book after a number of years. I have shared it with a number of friends of various persuasions and get any number of thoughtful comments. If nothing else, Sommers, suggests that we can all make mistakes, even when we have the best intentions, and perhaps even more so when we espouse a political cause. Social scientists need to be held to account for their data, and she asks questions about much of its validity. She asks how can we better educate boys. Perhaps the greatest unanswered question to which this book led me was a policy question on how much of the traditional gender roles must we preserve and what should we attempt to modify. Putting it another way , "What's wrong with boys being boys?" And I mean that seriously as in: "What's wrong with girls being girls is that they passively set their sights too low." And we are led to agree with a final implication is that all children, boys and girls, deserve our best efforts.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent Women Are Catching On, March 28 2003
By 
Christopher Schmitz (Rocky River, Ohio United States) - See all my reviews
At long last, 40 years into second wave feminism, intelligent women are catching on to the fact that the male of the species is in a confused freefall. Sixty percent of North American college students are female. Projections surmise that women will be 2/3 of students on American college campuses by 2010.
Sommers points out that a pair of psychotic boys made headlines for the Columbine massacre at about the same time the U.S. girls soccer team did so for becoming international champs. Is this a coincidence, she wonders, or emblematic of how it's going for the two sexes?
The dropping percentage of males on college campuses, a plummet if one considers the last 50 years, only parallels men's growing lack of interest in churchgoing and parenting. It's about time somebody blew the whistle on this and suggested that something is wrong!
We live in a world geared to women: Schools and churches that ask us to sit still and listen rather than explore, compete, or seek adventure; a service sector economy that calls for deference and cooperation rather than energy or rivalry. Many men don't want to be Mr. Mom, our wife's junior partner in child rearing. Many men have a jazz 'em up and let em' run approach to child-rearing, which might be too hands-off for a baby, toddler, or 10-year-old but is well-suited to prurient, rambunctious, and liberty-starved adolescents. How many fathers are divorced and tangential to families by this point in their childrens' lives?
The Tyler Durden character of the 1999 movie "Fight Club" represents what is missing in the domesticated modern man: risk-taking moxie, masculine swagger. These are not trivialities. They make men vital and useful, not to mention...sexy to women. The rugged independence of the male mind has benefitted everyone. Or don't you value the airplane, the light bulb, the television, the cure for polio, and the very computer you're reading this on? Nowadays, though, Sommers claims, the very concept of masculinity is politically incorrect!
Daring to be politically incorrect herself, Sommers suggests the Brits may have it right with their partial return to single sex education. Boys can jockey for status and compete on teams which she claims (and I agree) they love. Boys can read war stories (but also anti-war poems) and tales of adventure and discovery with male protagonists.
I don't see what's wrong with gender segregation during the tumult of adolescence; in fact it's merely a counterbalance. Most boys already spend most of their lives deeply involved with women: their mothers, girlfriends, wives, and teachers. Sommers bemoans the liberal dispensation of Ritalin to male students as an attack on their fidgety but glorious energy. Girls enjoy recess, she claims, but boys need it.
Well, something's got to give. We're raising a generation of bullies and eunuchs rather than those in the manly but mannered middle ground. No one has established that male-only schools foster misogyny. There are even those like Richard Hawley, headmaster of a boys school in the Cleveland area, who thinks just the opposite: Misogyny comes from a lack of manhood training a single sex environment can best provide. I bet Sommers would agree.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tell Me Something I Don't Know Already, July 14 2003
By 
Bryce A. Walat (Johnstown, PA USA) - See all my reviews
The problems detailed in The War Against Boys are no secret.
Boys will be boys and girls will be girls. Every society must perform the task of making boys and girls become ladies and gentlemen. That's why you have education: to make sure that boys will be gentlemen and gorls will be ladies.
Our society, particularly our educational system, is helping NO ONE and even doing harm in meeting the critical job requirement of society to socialize youth. Why?
1. The propagation of "fad education" like whole language, non-competitive instruction (no grades), child-centered classrooms and self-esteem education. Why was it that back in the day, teachers produced smart and obedient ladies and gentlemen who were better educated by 8th grade than many high school graduates with resources and pedagogy considered troglodytic today?
2. The failure of schools and society to teach what John Rosemond calls the three Rs of character development: Respect, Responsibility and Resourcefulness. While it is doubtful that morality classes can stop school violence, an atmosphere of moral rectitude makes such incidents less likely.
3. The spread of "therapism." Not only do we have too many lawyers, we also have too many psychotherapists and we encourage people, especially educators, to practice psychotherapy without a license and practice it outside of the confidentially of the therapist's office.
4. The idea that "letting it all hang out" emotionally is a good thing. Time was, reticence and reserve was considered mature and grown-up. Maybe guys know that
5. The promotion of the idea that worse is better because it is somehow more appealing to the masses.
What is basically going on here is that we have vast forces at work trying to keep kids from growing up and put everyone in a state of arrested adolescence - or even infancy. We have also lost the backbone to say "NO" to all of this.
I'm no conspiracy theory freak, but I would not be surprised at all if indeed the powers that be encourage or simply permit the above to make it easier to herd us into divided camps and manipulate us for their own ends at our expense.
In closing, our boys are the canaries in the mineshaft of society. We have ignored their silence at our own peril.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars compelling,disturbing and frightening, May 20 2004
By A Customer
Its sad how boys and young men have been shortchanged because of feminist hate.These misandrists have continued to perpetuate the misconception that boys have been favored over girls in the educational system,when in fact its the reverse.Boys are also frequently labeled "disturbed" or "unteachable" and they are often removed from class or segregated and given a modified curriculum befitting their "inferior" learning capability.I didnt want to believe this was happening,but I`ve witnessed it first hand.My colleague and I installed hidden video cameras in several local and private schools and later reviewed them.We were dismayed to say the least.It is appalling that in this day and age we cant achieve equity for all instead of "punishing" the entire male gender.This "war" against boys is not only immoral and unethical,it is in many cases illegal and its also just downright stupid.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truer words were never spoken, May 16 2003
By A Customer
Every mother of boys in America should buy this book NOW and read it from cover to cover, twice! Christina Hoff Sommers backs up with solid scholarship what I've known since my oldest son started kindergarten: Boys are a discriminated-against minority in our schools and society. From boring, sit-down-and-do-worksheet teaching methods, to ADHD and ODD "diagnoses" that assign a pathology to normal boys, to the continual shrinking of school recess time when boys can blow off steam, it's no wonder the nation's young men are in trouble. To top it off, boys are continually being told, in everything from TV shows to movies to books, how stupid and brutish they are and how they need girls to teach them how to be human and sensitive. Furthermore, a hypocritical society keeps reminding boys that gender equality is a one-way street. In my little town, for example, it's OK to have a "girls-only" soccer league, but boys' teams are not allowed to exclude girls. My 10-year-old son put it quite succinctly when he asked: "Why is it OK for girls to wear shirts that say 'Girl Power,' but there's no shirts that say 'Boy Power'? " THANK YOU CHRISTINA HOFF SOMMERS FOR SHOUTING "BOY POWER" FOR THEM! I only hope that teachers and administrators will start to follow your lead!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Informative, Jan. 22 2004
After just graduating with a degree in elementary education, I was surprised how much of how I was told to teach is actually the result of this "misguided feminism." (To be honest, the book made me feel a little validated--I thought the teaching techniques all sounded a bit hokey!) Sommers makes legitimate points with good supports. I found it well paced and very involving. The only thing I wish she would have done differently is to give us perhaps an ending chapter with specific things that we can do to actively make things more equal for boys. Books like these certainly encourage me to be more aware of the spin the media and special interest groups put on the truth.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-read, Oct. 16 2003
By 
NC (Kansas City, MO USA) - See all my reviews
This book is a solid work, very well written and relevant. It reads almost like a thriller. A must-read for parents (of boys or girls) who care about their children's academic and moral development at school, who don't wish them to be subjected to gender engineering experiments in the hands of activist-educators, or for anyone who is interested in a fresh look at what might be causing such societal ills as the Columbine tragedy. It shows quite effectively how unfounded the pedagogical theories and practices of the last three decades are, and how damaging they have been. It is an eye-opener to the male-underachievement problem and its social and economic implications.
One reader commented that Sommers didn't offer much in the way of possible solutions. On the contrary, a good part of the second half of the book is on that. Simply put, she suggests a back-to-basics approach involving teacher-centered classroom and strong guidence, and possibly one-sex classes, and doing away with some progressive inventions. Her argument is indeed very compelling, and it is not just a philosophical one: she backs it up with quite a few success stories, most notably from Britain, where they saw male underachievement as a threat to the nation's future and were able to demonstrate significant improvements through back-to-basics programs. She also points to several similar but isolated attempts made in the United States which have been successful.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Must-read material for parents of young boys, May 7 2003
"The War Against Boys" continues Ms. Sommers' laser-accurate attacks against our country's current government-funded gender inequity crisis. While critics have claimed that some of her (plentiful) statistics are incorrect, I've yet to come across a documented discrepancy. According to the book, our sons are currently paying dearly for the sins of their ancestors, and Ms. Sommers again presents her case clearly, concisely and convincingly. But the real reason I'm recommending this book is because of my five-year-old son. Having watched several commercials for various games, he asked me "If a boy and a girl are playing a game, does the girl always win?" The issue at hand is no longer avoidable, and anyone who either has a son or knows someone who does ought to read this compelling book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Junk Theories That Did Great Harm, April 14 2003
By 
Redmund K. Sum (Los Altos, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Like her earlier book, Christina Hoff Sommers exposes the intellectual fraud of certain feminist extremists who proposed radical theories about childhood development, dishing up data utterly fabricated and studies that had no scientific merit (studies that have not been peer-reviewed, and could not be validated), which the cooperative media and education establishment accepted as gospel simply because they were politically correct. As a result, schools were inundated with advocates, programs and teaching material that treated little boys as suspect criminals, doing grave harm to their development.
The "gender feminists" are not swayed by the facts presented by Christina Hoff Sommers in "The War Against Boys", and earlier in "Who Stole Feminism?" They did not debate what she wrote; they attack her instead. Centuries ago, Bishop Bellamine refused to look through Galileo's telescope; he prosecuted him instead. Such are those who play the game of faith.
This book puts a magnifying glass on one facet of the harms done by the radical left: how the gender feminists used frivolous theories to support programs and practices that demise the development of boys, and their dishonesty in this pursuit. It is well researched and well written. Sommers treats you to some fantasy theories, to cite just one:
New born babies do not know anything about gender, and gender identities are therefore not innate but taught. Sommers: babies don't know anything about blood types either, but they still have one.
It never ceases to amaze me how these advocacy or junk "scientists", many of whom have lofty credentials - PhD, directors, and what not - are engaged in literal intellectual fraud rather than honest scientific inquiry. In a few cases, Sommers takes the readers through their research data (where they made it available) and their interpretation, one sees that such research is virtually worthless, because it doesn't meet even the minimal standards of statistical inference and causation analysis.
We need more people like Christine Hoff Sommers, who use a cool-headed approach to expose the intellectual dishonesty that is so pervasive in the social scene.
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The War Against Boys: How Misguided Feminism Is Harming Our Young Men
The War Against Boys: How Misguided Feminism Is Harming Our Young Men by Christina Hoff Sommers (Hardcover - June 15 2000)
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