Rachel Giese award-winning journalist and the editorial director of Xtra, Canada’s largest LGBTQ2 media organizations. In 2018, her book Boys: What it Means to Become a Man was one of The Globe and Mail’s 100 best books of year and one of The Walrus’s favourite reads.
Giese is a sought-after expert and speaker in the fields of gender, masculinity, sex and sexuality, LGBTQ2 rights, education, parenting and feminism. For four years, she wrote a weekly column on politics, pop culture and feminism for Chatelaine. She is regular guest host and commentator on CBC Radio shows, including Day 6, The Current, Metro Morning and The Sunday Edition. Her award-winning feature and opinion pieces have appeared in The Globe and Mail, The Walrus, Toronto Life and NewYorker.com. She is frequent speaker, moderator and host for organizations such as the Toronto Public Library, the Institute for Canadian Citizenship, Shelter Movers and the Movember Foundation.
Her critically-acclaimed Boys: What It Means to Become a Man is a vital and sweeping examination of today’s “boy crisis,” demonstrating the ways in which we raise boys into a culture of toxic masculinity and offering solutions that can liberate us all. Whether they’re being urged to “man up” or warned that “boys don’t cry,” young men are subjected to damaging messages about manliness: they must muzzle their emotions and never show weakness, dominate girls and compete with one another. But Giese provides ample evidence for a powerful counter-narrative: given space to explore their identities and a social structure that makes it safe to do, boys are happy to escape the “man box” of traditionally defined masculinity.
Giese can speak on a wide range of subjects related to gender, masculinity, feminism, sex and sexuality, including:
• How to help boys and young men break free from the “man box”
• Gender and the nature-vs-nurture debate
• Understanding and dismantling the roots of toxic masculinity
• The myths and realities of the boy crisis in education
• Beyond the birds and bees for better and more comprehensive sex education
Praise for Boys:
“An educated and empathetic non-fiction book that grapples with the damaging lessons that boys are taught about how to be ‘a man.’ It’s written with incisive reporting and personal experience that looks at every facet of how boys are taught to be in the world and how we can start to dismantle those expectations for everyone’s betterment. Plus, a book about gender norms that also looks at sexual orientation and race? Imagine!”
—Scaachi Koul, author of One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter
“Boys gives us hope that busting apart ‘The Man Box’ will ultimately lead to fuller, more rewarding lives not just for boys, but for all of us.” —Toronto Star
“A broad, readable take on the limits of modern-day masculinity, and how to push its boundaries to better serve our children and ourselves. It’s full of love but unsentimental, with new tidbits for scholars of gender, race and identify, and valuable insight for parents of little boys, like me.” —Denise Balkissoon, The Globe and Mail columnist
“Boys is a multifaceted exploration of masculinity by one of Canada’s most talented journalists. Rachel Giese’s vision of boyhood — and therefore manhood —is an enlarging, humane one. This is a beautifully reasoned work that should be required reading for anyone interested in detoxifying masculinity.”
—Michael Redhill, author of the Giller-winning novel Bellevue Square
“Giese looks at the challenges she, her wife, and their son face, exploring (most satisfyingly) big questions like what it means to be a man and how we raise boys to conform or reject these ideals… She looks at masculinity with a surprisingly heartfelt curiosity.” —Literary Review of Canada
“Deeply researched, but also deeply considered, Boys is something quite rare in the pages of non-fiction, a page-turner. This is a must read for everyone who loves boys.”
—Tabatha Southey, author and Maclean’s columnist
“These are not good times to be or raise a boy. The toxic expectations of traditional masculinity block and distort healthy, humane development and communications, while many social institutions seem to go out of their way to help girls get ahead, not boys. But in this compassionately written, carefully researched book, Rachel Giese presents a critical but ultimately encouraging view of the possibilities for affirming change. It’s both hopeful and helpful.”
—Bruce Kidd, Professor of Kinesiology and Physical Education, University of Toronto