With humor, insight, and honesty, Ruth uses her experience as a mom and a journalist to explore strategies that support boys’ mental health and help them construct a healthy relationship with masculinity.
Reimagining Boyhood in the Age of Impossible Masculinity
by Ruth Whippman
Harmony, June 2024
Ruth Whippman, a lifelong feminist, was thrilled by the emergence of the #Metoo movement. But as a mother of three boys, she found herself frightened, conflicted, and surprisingly defensive. The sheer volume of evidence of terrible male behavior was impossible to deny, but she looked at her sons and found it hard to believe they could ever cause harm. These complex emotions, shared by so many mothers of boys, led Whippman to ask herself the question: How do we raise boys to be compassionate, responsible men in a world where toxic masculinity is still the norm?
Combining elements of memoir, the latest scientific research, popular culture, and reporting from the frontlines of contemporary American boyhood, BOYMOM is Ruth’s deep-dive answer to that question. It turns out that boys need more parenting than girls, not less. She unpacks surprising and controversial truths about boys’ socialization and the “undercare” of boys that can lead to a lack of relational skills and empathy. She uncovers how even the most well-meaning moms can inadvertently perpetuate damaging stereotypes and provides tools to foster emotional literacy in boys.
Ruth Whippman is a British author, journalist and documentary film maker, who spent ten years in London working at the BBC as a Director and Senior Producer. Her essays, cultural criticism and journalism have appeared in the New York Times, Time magazine, New York Magazine, The Guardian, HuffPost and elsewhere. Fortune described her as one of the « 25 sharpest minds » of the decade. She is a regular speaker at venues including TEDx, Google, The Moth and Somerset House in London. She lives in California with her family.