My exploration of the fallout from the report suggests that most of its 150 pages of original, detailed, and remarkably prescient observations, especially regarding the real agenda of hard-core masculinists and their dupes, have had little impact on the debate over legitimate questions about the complex dynamics of gender and education.
When those who should know better use ill-informed, illogical, and unchallenged "masculinist" perspectives to shape the discourse of boys-are-failing- at-school-and-it's-getting-worse, girls and women are put at risk.
A controversial report from Status of Women, Canada, called School Success by Gender: A Catalyst for the Masculinist Discourse, examines 612 newspaper and magazine articles on gender and achievement published between 1990 and 2000.2 Authors Pierette Bouchard, Isabelle Boily, and Marie-Claude Proulx contend that not only is the link between gender and achievement routinely distorted and exaggerated in these articles, it is used to justify backlash against schools, feminism, and women themselves.
But while mainstream society has come to take these achievements for granted, the extremes of masculinist backlash openly denounce them as ill-gotten gains extorted by "the feminists" -- aided by the governments who fund them, the intellectuals who are duped by them, the media who coddle them, and the sissified men who enable them.
The masculinist version of gender essentialism applied to education is that "boys will be boys," and you damn well better not fool with that.
What really incensed critics of the report was the claim that there could be more than conceptual links between some of the boys-as-victims folks and organized misogyny, and that certain Internet sites were being used as vehicles of masculinist vitriol.
Called Sans titre (Arthur), |Untitled (Arthur), 1992~, the work resembles a kilt but one that has been rendered unwearable, ironically pointing out the new masculinists
' anguished search to distance themselves from the "feminine." Its title also reminds one that the new-found relevance of heroic tales such as King Arthur and his coterie of knights, is balm to the contemporary male's damaged ego.