We’ve had it wrong all this time – it’s not women who are kept down and held back and put in their place, it’s men. And it’s not just anonymous ranters on Reddit who say so, either.
In The Second Sexism, shortly to be published in the UK, David Benatar, head of the philosophy department at Cape Town University, argues that “more boys drop out of school, fewer men earn degrees, more men die younger, more are incarcerated” and that the issue is so under-researched it has become the prejudice that dare not speak its name.
“It’s a neglected form of sexism,” Benatar says in a telephone interview. “It’s true that in the developed world the majority of economic and political roles are occupied by males. But if you look at the bottom – for example, the prison population, the homeless population, or the number of people dropping out of school – that is overwhelmingly male. You tend to find more men at the very top but also at the very bottom.”
I suspect that’s his own particular definition of “the bottom.” I suspect there are a lot of women on the bottom too – for example, the wives and daughters of male prisoners and the homeless population and the droppers out of school. But in any case that casual admission plus brisk dismissal of the fact that most economic and political roles are occupied by males is pretty absurd.
Men are also increasingly the butt of jokes.
Riiight – that’s why Tom Harris says a protester who throws an egg and runs away is “like a girl.”
Give me a break.