The Second Sexism: Discrimination Against Men and Boys
May 2012, Wiley-Blackwell
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Does Male Discrimination Exist?
Ask most people in what ways they think males are discriminated against and they may be hard pushed to think of anything. Ask them the same question about females and it’s likely that they will have a number of examples, from salary discrepancies to sexual harassment. But is it actually the case that women bear the brunt of discrimination in today’s society and men get away scot-free? In his stimulating new book, Professor David Benatar draws attention to this most contentious of subjects and argues that, while few people take the idea seriously (and many may find the mere mention of it laughable), males are also the victim of many and quite serious forms of sexual discrimination and until this is both acknowledged and addressed, gender equality cannot be achieved.
Making careful use of empirical data, drawing on recent research into what constitutes sexism, and backing up his arguments with a range of thought-provoking examples – including the fact that men are more likely to be pressured into joining the military and to fight in war, they are much more likely to be the victims of violence and, in a divorce, are much less likely to gain custody of their children - Benatar guides the reader comprehensively through what constitutes male sexism and shows us where it exists, how it works and what it looks like. Along the way he responds to those who would deny it exists and suggests some radical ideas for change.
So, just how do you alter attitudes and find a solution to a problem that is not understood and barely recognised by the bulk of society? While Benatar acknowledges that the answers are unlikely to be found, or even addressed, anytime soon, his clearly-written, deftly-argued book must certainly be a step in the right direction…
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