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Germaine Greer's sexy boys

By Sebastian Smee   November 2003

Might men be incomplete versions of boys? That is the quietly insulting suggestion buried just beneath the surface of Germaine Greer’s new book, The Boy. Greer trawls through art history, classical mythology and some social history looking for evidence to back her thesis, which is that over the past two or three centuries, our culture “has become blind to boyhood as a contrast to manhood.” Greer’s focus is on representations of the male figure at an age when “he is old enough to be capable of sexual response but not yet old enough to shave.” Boys are beautiful, she declares,…

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