Books, Uncategorized

Happy Women’s Day, People

Oh, Happy Women’s Day. But, sorry. It is not true that women are more oppressed in any society—or that they were, at any point in time. It is just that women’s suffering is taken more seriously. These two books are good places to begin:

“I think one unfortunate legacy of feminism has been the idea that men and women are basically enemies. I shall suggest, instead, that most often men and women have been partners, supporting each other rather than exploiting or manipulating each other. Nor is this about trying to argue that men should be regarded as victims. I detest the whole idea of competing to be victims. And I’m certainly not denying that culture has exploited women. But rather than seeing culture as patriarchy, which is to say a conspiracy by men to exploit women, I think it’s more accurate to understand culture (e.g., a country, a religion) as an abstract system that competes against rival systems — and that uses both men and women, often in different ways, to advance its cause.”

Roy F Baumeister, Is There Anything Good About Men?

“Sexism negatively affects not only women and girls, but also men and boys. While the former manifestation of sexism is widely acknowledged, few people recognize or take seriously the fact that males are the primary victims of many and quite serious forms of sex discrimination. Male disadvantages include the absence of immunity, typically enjoyed by females, from conscription into military service. Men, unlike women, are not only conscripted but also sent into combat, where they risk injury, both physical and psychological, and death. Men are also disproportionately the victims of violence in most (but not all) non-combat contexts. For example, most victims of violent crime are male, and men are often (but again not always) specially targeted for mass killing. Males are more likely than females to be subject to corporal punishment. Indeed, sometimes such punishment of females is prohibited, while it is permitted, if not encouraged, for males. Although males are less often victims of sexual assault than are females, the sexual assault of males is typically taken less? ?seriously and is thus even more? ?significantly under-reported. Fathers are less likely than mothers to win custody of their children in the event of divorce.?”?

David Benatar, The Second Sexism

 

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