The Second SexismDiscrimination Against Men and Boys

Author(s): David Benatar


Does sexism against men exist? What it looks like and why we need to take it seriously

This book draws attention to the "second sexism," where it exists, how it works and what it looks like, and responds to those who would deny that it exists. Challenging conventional ways of thinking, it examines controversial issues such as sex-based affirmative action, gender roles, and charges of anti-feminism. The book offers an academically rigorous argument in an accessible style, including the careful use of empirical data, and includes examples and engages in a discussion of how sex discrimination against men and boys also undermines the cause for female equality.

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I recommend The Second Sexism to scholars whoinvestigate gender relations, and I urge academic feminists to takeBenatar s thesis seriously and to respond to it with respectrather than with disbelief or derision. (AmericanPhilosophical Association's Newsletter on Feminism andPhilosophy, 1 May 2013) This book simply must be read ... Highly, highlyrecommended. (Mens News Daily, 4 January2013) The Second Sexismis well researched, with voluminousreferences. As such, it serves the useful function of raisingconsciousness about an important social issue. Benatar sresearch makes a strong case for an in-depth examination of theinjustices and discriminations that men suffer in this and othersocieties in the 21st century. (PsycINFO/PsycCRITIQUES, 21 November 2012) The Second Sexism is a strong and early step on the way tothe awareness, amelioration, and treatment of a widespread andunaddressed problem that affects a not insignificant portion of thehuman population. ( New Male Studies Review 3, Jonathan Badiali's, 26 September 2012) Benatar s analysis brings much needed clarity tocontemporary debates in gender studies, whose discourse runs therisk of becoming stagnant and dogmatic against a constantlychanging social backdrop. Benatar does well to remind us that it isnot only females who are constrained and disadvantaged by the rolesthat they have been socially encouraged to take up. (New Male Studies Review 2, J.P. Messina's, 26September 2012) And now, thanks to Professor Benatar, we have anincisive, comprehensive discussion of the phenomenon that feminismhas unwittingly brought to the forefront ... The writing isjargon-free. As a philosopher, Professor Benatar is attentive toconceptual nuance and clear, precise usage. (NewMale Studies Review 1, Miles Groth's, 26 September2012) This is a very well-argued book that presents anunorthodox thesis and defends it ably. It would be a usefultext in both undergraduate and graduate courses in philosophy andgender studies, where it is certain to arouse a lot of discussion,much of it excited. Since it is very clearly written, andwould be interesting and accessible also to the educatedlayperson. Most importantly, however, it is likely to changeour understanding of gender relations. (Metapsychology, 21 August 2012)

David Benatar is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Cape Town. He is the author of Better Never to Have Been: The Harm of Coming into Existence (2006).

Preface x
1 Introduction 1
What Is the Second Sexism? 1
Disadvantage 2
Discrimination 3
Wrongful discrimination 3
Sexism 5
The First Sexism 12
Two Kinds of Denialist 13
Forestalling Some Fallacies 16
Structure and Method of the Book 18
2 Male Disadvantage 25
Conscription and Combat 26
Violence 30
Corporal Punishment 33
Sexual Assault 36
Circumcision 41
Education 46
Family and Other Relationships 50
Custody 50
Paternity 51
Paternity leave 53
Homosexuals 54
Bodily Privacy 54
Life Expectancy 57
Imprisonment and Capital Punishment 59
Conclusion 61
3 Explaining Male Disadvantage and Thinking about Sex Differences 77
Beliefs about Males 77
Questions about the Beliefs 84
To what extent, if at all, are the beliefs true? 85
What makes the beliefs true? 89
What, if any, implications are there? 93
Conclusion 96
4 From Disadvantage to Wrongful Discrimination 101
Conscription and Combat 102
Kingsley Browne s basic argument 103
Slippage 104
Military effectiveness 106
Dangers of conservatism 109
Statistical differences 113
Final thoughts on combat and conscription 121
Violence 122
The perpetrators are men 123
Men are better able to defend themselves 124
Men pose a greater threat 125
Two kinds of discrimination 127
Corporal Punishment 128
Males are more badly behaved 128
Corporal punishment is not as damaging to males 129
Sexual Assault 132
Circumcision 134
Education 135
Family and Other Relationships 137
Bodily Privacy 142
Women have a greater interest in bodily privacy than do men 143
The conditions are different 145
Equal employment opportunity 148
Life Expectancy 152
Imprisonment and Capital Punishment 155
Conclusion 163
5 Responding to Objections 173
The Inversion Argument 174
Conscription and combat 175
Violence 179
Circumcision 182
Education 183
Sexual assault 185
Bodily privacy 186
Custody 188
Life expectancy 189
Imprisonment 193
The Costs-of-Dominance Argument 194
The Distraction Argument 199
Defining Discrimination 202
6 Affirmative Action 212
Rectifying Injustice 215
The past discrimination argument 216
The present discrimination argument 218
Lessons from Summers School 225
Consequentialist Arguments 228
The viewpoint diversity argument 228
The role-model argument 229
The legitimate-sex-preference argument 231
The ideal argument 232
Conclusion 233
7 Conclusion 239
Does Feminism Discriminate against Men? 239
Are Men Worse off than Women? 246
Taking the Second Sexism Seriously 254
Conclusion 259
Bibliography 266
Index 285

General Fields

  • : 9780470674512
  • : John Wiley and Sons Ltd
  • : John Wiley & Sons Ltd
  • : May 2012
  • : 24.00 cmmm X 15.20 cmmm X 1.40 cmmm
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : David Benatar
  • : Paperback
  • : en
  • : 304