Rosalind Wiseman, author of Queen Bees and Wannabes — which inspired Tina Fey to write Mean Girls — is back with a new book, this one about the social hierarchies of teenage boys. It is called Masterminds and Wingmen and includes interviews with some 200 guys. According to a Q&A with The Atlantic, Wiseman believes teenage boys have “rich emotional lives” that teachers and parents dismiss, “reinforcing the stereotype of being a sexist, not-caring, emotionally disengaged, superficial guy.” Other stereotypes are just totally unfounded — like the one that football players get the most girls.
Wiseman: We have stereotypes that the highest social status boys are having the most sex. And that they’re having a particular kind of hookup–that they don’t have heartbreak and only have random hookups, that they use girls. And that’s not the case. Nor is it the case that lower social-status boys are sitting there hoping a girl hooks up with them. Adults make assumptions that, for example, the theater people are geeky, and they’re not getting it on. In my experience, that’s 100 percent not the case. Those people are very active, shall we say.”
The Atlantic: I brought this up with a male friend in his 30s, who completely disagreed. He still says the popular guys got all the girls.
Wiseman: No, they don’t. Ask him if the guy in high school who played his acoustic guitar got any hookups. Really, the theater and band people are spending all their time together. It’s a tight-knit group. Some of them will be good friends and some of them will hook up. The athletes, on the other hand, are spending much less time together. When the football team goes to an away game four hours away on the bus, that’s a single-sex activity. When the band goes, it’s co-ed.
If Masterminds and Wingmen is anywhere near as good as Queen Bees and Wannabes, we can expect another fictionalized movie adaptation to follow. Shall we do a lightning round of casting for, say, James Ponsoldt’s Emotional Boys? Taylor Lautner as the undersexed football captain? Angus T. Jones as the acoustic-guitar-playing player? Ezra Miller and Selena Gomez as the volatile drama-club couple?