#295 David Benatar: The Second Sexism; Discrimination Against Men And Boys

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Dr. David Benatar is professor of philosophy at the University of Cape Town in Cape Town, South Africa. He is best known for his advocacy of anti-natalism in his book Better Never to Have Been: The Harm of Coming into Existence, in which he argues that coming into existence is a serious harm, regardless of the feelings of the existing being once brought into existence, and that, as a consequence, it is always morally wrong to create more sentient beings. He’s also the author of books like The Second Sexism: Discrimination Against Men and Boys (2012), and The Human Predicament: A Candid Guide to Life's Biggest Questions (2017).

In this episode, we focus on The Second Sexism. We first go through some concepts, definition and clarifications. Dr. Benatar distinguishes between the first and the second sexism, and also between disadvantages and wrongful discrimination. We then address several domains where there is wrongful discrimination against men, like violence and sexual assault, family laws, education, military service, imprisonment and crime sentences, and circumcision. We also discuss social stereotypes about men and women, and where behavioral differences come from, and if they are ethically relevant. We also talk about how misleading the term “gender violence” is, and in any ways some arguments put forth by feminists against the second sexism are wrong. We specifically address the arguments Dr. Benatar names as the inversion argument, the costs-of-dominance argument, and the distraction argument. Finally, we ask if feminism can discriminate against men, or at least exacerbate some of the already existent discrimination, and also what we could do to tackle the second sexism, at a political, social, and cultural level.

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349 episodes