A feminist's guide to raising boys

This study guide will help you analyze Bibi van der Zee’s article, “A feminist’s guide to raising boys”, which was used for a written exam in English A on STX from the 9th of December 2022. In addition to help for your analysis, you can find a summary of the text and ideas for discussing it.

If you need help with Assignments 1-3 from the STX A exam on the 9th of December 2022, you can check out our guide here.

Presentation of the text

Title: “A feminist’s guide to raising boys” (2019) 

Sender: Bibi van der Zee 

Genre: Article

Bibi van der Zee (b. 1970s) is a British political activist and journalist. She writes articles on various environmental and social issues for The Guardian and New Statesman. Her article “A feminist’s guide to raising boys” was published in The Guardian in 2019. 


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Humor and irony

Van der Zee uses humor throughout her article. She draws attention to a serious topic through the use of amusing anecdotes and presents many of her points in a light, humorous tone. This keeps the audience engaged and willing to read more.

For example, she writes the headline: “Misogyny is a thing you can catch off the internet (and other weird things about being a 21st century boy)”. Here van der Zee uses playful and informal language to introduce the serious topic of misinformation and learning inappropriate behavior from the internet.

Another use of humor is through pop-cultural references. For example, she says that when her boys were young it was “like living with the Bash Street Kids” (l. 60), or that she sometimes felt like she was “in a 70’s sitcom” (l. 76). These references are meant to present an amusing image of van der Zee’s life with her sons.

Van der Zee also uses irony in her article, and especially self-irony. She is ready to admit her previous errors and make fun of them. For example, she admits that she had an unrealistic image of what it would be like to be a mother: “Feel free to snigger – I deserve it.” (l. 28). She is also ready to admit that she was guilty of gender bias despite being a convinced feminist: “I’d betrayed the bloody sisterhood – and I hadn’t even noticed.” (ll. 69-70). Van der Zee’s willingness to be ironic about her past self and admit and make fun of her mistakes makes her relatable to the reader.

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A feminist's guide to raising boys

  • 11-12-2023
    Givet af 3.g'er på STX
  • 31-08-2023
    Givet af 2.g'er på STX