The "war on boys" escalates

Newsweek's cover catapults the issue to the middle of the American consciousness.

Published January 23, 2006 8:38PM (EST)

You didn't really think we'd ignore the cover of Newsweek, which hit stands this morning with the headline "The Boy Crisis: At Every Level of Education, They're Falling Behind. What to Do?"

There's so much to say about it that at this very moment, Sarah Karnasiewicz is working on a feature for later in the week. In the meantime, here are links to the Newsweek story, to Shakespeare's Sister's extremely smart and eloquent response from today and to last week's Broadsheet post on Katha Pollitt's take on the issue, which inspired some fierce debate in the letters section.

I also just can't help myself: I find it fascinating that Newsweek chose to use a cover photo of four white boys from Boulder, Colo., to represent the way our education system is failing boys. The national statistics on which stories like this rely actually tell us that gender disparities faced in schools are much more acute in poor minority communities. I wonder why the magazine didn't put a photo of black and Latino boys on its cover.

By Rebecca Traister

Rebecca Traister writes for Salon. She is the author of "Big Girls Don't Cry: The Election that Changed Everything for American Women" (Free Press). Follow @rtraister on Twitter.

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