Friday, February 21, 2014

Men also suffer from Sexism

Atlantic    Can men be victims of sexism? 

An NPR Morning Edition report this week suggests strongly that the answer is "yes." As Jennifer Ludden reports, after divorce men can face burdensome alimony payments even in situations where their ex-wives are capable of working and earning a substantial income. Even in cases where temporary alimony makes sense—as when a spouse has quit a job to raise the children—it's hard to understand the need for lifetime alimony payments, given women's current levels of workforce participation. As one alimony-paying ex-husband says, "The theory behind this was fine back in the '50s, when everybody was a housewife and stayed home." But today, it looks like an antiquated perpetuation of retrograde gender roles—a perpetuation which, disproportionately, harms men.

This isn't the only case in which men can suffer from gender discrimination. David Benatar, in his 2012 monograph The Second Sexism discusses a whole range of other ways in which men as men are disadvantaged. Men, for example, receive custody of children in only about 10 percent of divorce cases in the United States. Men also, as Benatar writes, are subject to "a long history of social and legal fight in war" —pressures which women do not generally experience in the same way. Along the same lines, physical violence against men is often minimized or seen as normal. Benatar refers to the history of corporal punishment, which has much more often been inflicted on boys than girls. Society's scandalous tolerance of rape in prison seems like it is also related to a general indifference to, or even amusement at, sexual violence committed against men. [...]

1 comment :

  1. why don't all these men make marriage contracts? why do all these men readily agree that their wives quit working to look after children? Why do so many readily marry a woman that they are glad to take care off, but resent they still have to do it after divorce?

    The solution to all those problems already exists, the problem is that no-one wants to use them.

    When I read commentators here who on the one hand cry out against feminism (equal pay for women, equal burden in child-rearing for men), and on the other hand are so furious that men have to pay child-support and/or alimony after divorce, I just can't understand them: they should marry a feminist who insists on working during marriage and on alotting them an equal share in child-raising, then all those problems won't come up. It's as easy as that.


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