The trials of modern men.
As these children grow older, boys will often go to punishing lengths to prove their masculinity to each other, whereas girls enjoy a much wider gamut of acceptable behaviour. “If we’re keeping score about who has it worse, girls actually have it much better when it comes to the definition of femininity,” says Lisa Damour, a psychologist who works closely with adolescents. “You can be a tomboy and that’s cool. You can be into make-up and that’s cool. But boys operate in an exceedingly narrow margin for what’s considered masculine.” When boys stray from this script, they typically get bullied or abused. Their status as men is at once so valuable and so precarious that it must be won over and over again.