The Second Sexism

Discrimination Against Men and Boys
ISBN: 978-0-470-67451-2
Paperback
304 pages
May 2012, Wiley-Blackwell
US $29.95
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.
With clarity and cogency, The Second Sexism presents the first sustained philosophical examination of systematic discrimination against men.  This is not part of a backlash against feminism; it is part of the next crucial step toward the construction of social arrangements that are fairer, more humane, and less restrictive of individual freedom.
-Don Hubin, Ohio State UniversityThis book is as courageous as it is brilliant and as honest as it is thought provoking.  The issue is not whether women have been wronged, but whether the responses to the wrongs against women have often resulted in there being wrongs against men.  In quite surprising ways, David Benatar’s book is a wonderful reminder of the tremendous importance of John Stuart Mill’s distinction between “living truth” and “dead dogma”; for it is not at all a conceptual truth that the dogma of sexual inequality has been replaced by and only by living truth with respect to equality for all.  Benatar is absolutely masterful—nay, majestic—in illustrating that reality.
– Laurence Thomas, Syracuse University

David Benatar once again enters the ethico-political debates of our time with his controversial argument about the neglected side of sexism—wrongful discrimination against men. Justice is never a zero-sum game to Benatar, and his well argued and thoughtful book makes a compelling case for taking seriously men’s hidden injuries if we are to genuinely build a better world.
-Daphne Patai, University of Massachusetts

While the manifestation of sexism against women is widely acknowledged, few people take seriously the idea that males are also the victims of many and quite serious forms of sex discrimination.So unrecognized is this form of sexism that the mere mention of it will be laughable to some. Yet women are typically exempt from military conscription even where men are forced into battle and risk injury, emotional repercussions, and death. Males are more often victims of violent crime, as well as of legalized violence such as corporal punishment. Sexual assault of males is often taken less seriously. Fathers are less likely to win custody of their children following divorce.

In this book, philosophy professor David Benatar provides details of these and other examples of what he calls the “second sexism.” He discusses what sexism is, responds to the objections of those who would deny that there is a second sexism, and shows how ignorance of or flippancy about discrimination against males undermines the fight against sex discrimination more generally.

 

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