Letter: Boys who can only laugh at clever girls

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The Independent Online
Sir: I am writing in response to Judith Judd's article 'The trouble with boys' (18 October). I am 18 years old and in my second year of A-levels. I have often found myself stunned by the arrogance of boys.

It has become clear to me, through being in male-dominated classes for four years, that laughing at girls takes away the severity of what the boys feel is a threat to their own intelligence. If girls have become less confident, it is for one of three reasons: if a girl gets a question correct, she is laughed at; if she gets it wrong, she is laughed at; and if she doesn't answer at all, she gets laughed at. How can we get it right?

Why are boys excused the subjects they are not good at, due to lack of interest, when it appears that the only blame is their laziness? It seems, from a female student's point of view, that the basic problem (of boys falling behind girls at school) will not be solved by revising the 'equal opportunities strategy', but by the realisation that it has already been reached.

Yours sincerely, TAFFA NICE Canterbury 19 October