Abruptly, he becomes more serious during the last third of the book, which is about paedophilia. (Paedophilia is distinguished in science, as it rarely is in the media, from a primary sexual attraction to pubescents, which is called hebephilia, and from attraction to older adolescents: ephebophilia.) Remember what he said about combating moral disapproval of “all” sexual orientations? He meant it. The most demonised members of modern society, Bering says, did not choose their orientation either. “Telling a paedophile that he needs to be attracted to grown-ups, not kids, is like telling a lesbian that she just hasn’t found the right guy.” Bering displays an impressive sympathy for the cultural devil, imagining the sheer fear in which paedophiles must live. “These people aren’t living their lives in the closet; they’re eternally hunkered down in a panic room.”
What some will find most controversial is Bering’s argument about images involving children. The available research suggests, he writes, that possession of such material is not a predictor of future child abuse, but actually helps forestall it by providing a fantasy outlet. So if governments are really interested in preventing harm to children, he argues, they should provide existing material to paedophiles. Much better, of course, would be synthetic or digitally simulated imagery, the making of which involves no children at all, but Bering points out that this is already illegal almost everywhere – an example of the quixotic official attempt to regulate desire as thought crime.
Despite this site being up for over 5 years now, and despite now recieving over 1,000 visitors a day regularly, there are still remarkably few men’s rights sites that link here. In fact, I can count them on one hand.
Even the great Angry Harry, who has honoured my site by linking to it from almost the very beginning, is missing from my statcounter these days.
I’m grateful to DelusionDamage for carrying my posts in their feed, and I’m reliant upon them for the bulk of my referring traffic.
If you run a men’s rights blog, then I’d be happy to put you on my blogroll if you agree to do the same, and if your site is of decent quality and reasonable viewpoint.
In fact, this blog discusses other themes in parallel to men’s rights issues, including male sexuality in general, PUA, and Transhumansim. Any site related to these themes is welcome to exchange links.
Link exchanges not only trade traffic and readers but, more importantly, improve both site’s search enging rankings.
If you want to link and have a link back from me, just drop a comment below with your URL.
I am only likely to refuse links if :
1/ your site is pro-feminist.
2/ your site is pro abuse industry.
3/ your site is completely unrelated to mine and of no interest to my readers.
4/ your site is crap.
A reminder to readers to please link to this site, and relevant articles within it, in the comments sections of other men’s rights/manosopher sites and forums, and elsewhere (for example 4chan). And I’m extremely grateful to those who already do so.
**Note to loyal and esteemed readers – I will be away travelling again shortly, for a couple of weeks.
I’ve finished reading David Benatar’s ‘The Second Sexism‘. This is a book by a respected philosophy professor at the University of Cape Town, and applies the tools of analytical philosophy to the question of whether males are facing unfair discrimination in society – a second sexism, one that is not taken seriously or even ignored (the title is an adaptation of Simone de Beauvoir’s iconic ‘The Second Sex’).
My overall verdict of the book is that it is an excellent and essential read. In fact, not only an essential read for all men’s rights supporters, but one that should be re-read and studied. The detached and logical manner in which the thesis is laid out, defended, and the feminist objections systematically refuted, should serve as a model, as well as unambiguously laying to rest the claim that only hot heads and bitter psychotics (yours truly) believe that men are being disadvantaged against.
It should be noted, and this is something that will understandably rile many, that David Benatar seems to not only be at pains to distance himself from the online men’s rights movement, but also to question both its existence and even need.
However, leaving that aside, and the possible reasons for that stance on the part of the author, this is still a must read work that states the case for men’s rights in a manner that has never been done before, and which ought to be celebrated by every supporter of men’s rights.
A brief description of the format and content of the book. As I noted above, this is an academic work of philosophy (it’s an extension of a paper that the author had given previously), yet for the most part it is highly readable. Those not familiar with analytic philosophy may find the first chapter a little hard to digest – an exhaustive analysis of the meaning of ‘sexism’ is conducted. But most of the book is a pleasure to read (if that’s the right word), especially the second chapter in which Benatar outlines various ways in which men have been disadvantaged as a result of unfair discrimination made by society against them (I quoted a piece of this in my article on the First World War White Feather campaign).
The main areas in which men are discriminated against and which the author discusses are Conscription and Combat, Violence, Corporal Punishment, Sexual Assault, Circumcision, Education, Family and Other Relationships, Bodily Privacy, Life Expectancy, Imprisonment and Capital Punishment.
After devoting a chapter discussing each in turn, Benatar examines the underlying beliefs about males in society that lead to an acceptance (or even ignorance) of such obvious discrimination (chapter 3), then demonstrates for each example of discrimination that such attitudes do not supply any justification (chapter 4), followed by a rigorous and brilliant debunking of feminist objections (chapter 5). In chapter 6 of the book, the author analyses the concept of affirmative action (Benatar is something of an academic specialist on that topic) and whether it has a role to play in either justifying the discrimination against men, or in rectifying that discrimination. In the final chapter, the author draws his conclusions and suggests some ways in which the second sexism can be brought to attention and reduced, if not ever entirely ended.
The reason for the lengthy discussion as to the precise definition of ‘sexism’ in the first chapter becomes clear as the book progresses – the only remotely credible argument that feminists have against taking discrimination against men seriously depends on a particular and implausible account of sexism (‘structural’ or ‘systematic’ sexism) which makes unfair discrimination against men by definition impossible (and Benatar debunks this entirely, using in part his earlier analysis).
The author is aware of and points out the distinction between subtle and explicit sexism. For example (my example), statutory rape laws can be explicitly discriminatory against males in that female offenders are punished less harshly , or they can be examples(as well) of subtle discrimination – the laws themselves target males and male sexuality rather than females and female sexuality (r/mensrights take note).
The book is a magnificent read and should be considered an important and possibly breakthrough contribution to the debate. I don’t want to dwell on the distance that Benatar seems intent on creating between himself and the men’s rights movement, but it’s hard to see any one approach being sufficient in itself to bring the problem of sexism against men into the spotlight. The author actually states in his conclusion that he sees a need for ‘men’s groups’ in only a very limited fashion (he says the same thing about the need for women’s groups), and claims that such groups inevitably lead to hyperbole and extremism. I suspect that this might be something of a tactical move on his part.
The issue of men’s rights needs the academic detachment and rigour of the ‘The Second Sexism’, but it also needs the hot heads, little hot heads like the author of this blog, and the far more important hot heads such as Angry Harry and Paul Elam. To realise this one only needs witness the absurdly lazy and even mocking way in which feminists are already dismissing the arguments presented in the book.
For example :
Benatar also seeks to use the discrepancy between the treatment of gay men and lesbians as evidence for discrimination against men. He says there are many jurisdictions in the world that criminalise male sexual acts but not lesbian sexual acts. He also contends that there are more acts of “gay-bashing” perpetrated against gay males than lesbians. While this latter statistic may hold, in both cases the reason for the alleged preferential treatment meted out to lesbians is surely also because they are simply less visible, not necessarily more accepted.
The Torah, for instance, prohibits man-on-man sexual relations without a comparable proscription against lesbian sex – not because women were allowed to have sex with women, but probably because it takes for granted that men are the principle actors during sex.
Benatar’s argument also seems frustratingly divorced from economic and political realities in some ways. In an interview with the Observer, he said: “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.”
For a start, that very fact surely suggests a social and economic mobility unavailable to women in the same way. Secondly, if Benatar is saying that the fact that some men are better off than some women is not enough evidence to prove that women have it worse, then the opposite has to hold too – the fact that some men have it really, really bad, by that logic, doesn’t prove a wider disadvantage either.
The Second Sexism has also been featured in the British (left-wing) press :
Steve Moxon reveals on his blog that he is to give a talk on Political Correctness in a Sheffield pub next January (so long as the anonymous attempts to stop him aren’t successful). A handy summary of his forthcoming talk is listed in his blog post, which I thought I would re-publish here (to read a full exposition of his ideas, please purchase his essential ‘The Woman Racket’ from Amazon).
‘Political correctness’ – PC – can accurately be considered the new fascism (as will be fully explained).Contrary to its tenets, it’s the ordinary person, the Average Joe, we are prejudiced towards, and who indeed is disadvantaged and ‘oppressed’; not women, ethnic minorities and gays.
* Women have always been actually privileged, and if in some way some women lost out as social conditions changed, then this was amended with a speed hampered only by inertia itself caused by the very strength of the arrangements already in place to provide female advantage but now anachronistic.
* Many ethnic-minority groups fare better in education and in work than the average citizen, often in the context of the sort of community cohesion now lost to the host culture.
* ‘Gays’ likewise benefit from community cohesion, are notably over-represented in nice-jobs-if-you-can-get-them, and don’t have the costs of compromising with the opposite sex.
The hard-done-by group in any and every society is the mass of (necessarily) lower-status males.The deepest of reasons account for this: the root function of the male across biology (as will be explained). But synergistically with this, in our own culture there has been a pathological all-pervasive political development.
There is a powerful reason why we never hear talk about ‘the workers’ any more: it’s that they never ‘rose up’ as Marxist theory prescribed and predicted; leaving egg on the faces of those with a political-left mindset. Reducing this ‘cognitive-dissonance’ could be achieved in the classic way of not blaming either one’s own gullibility or the belief itself, and instead to blame others.Given that the typical worker was male and white, so it became imperative to erase this sub-group from consideration as being in need of ‘liberation’, and to substitute sub-groups that are non-male and non-white. Hence women, ethnic minorities and gays were latched on to as the superficially plausible new ‘oppressed’; not merely displacing ‘the workers’ but inverting their role in ideology to be the new ‘oppressor’ class, whilst transforming the state in political imagination from the tool of the ‘boss’ class to the supposed agent of social change. On the standard principle that a turncoat is reviled even more than an enemy, enmity transferred from the ‘boss’ class to the mass of ordinary people (less the abstracted aforesaid sub-groups).The process began long ago, in the late 1920s, when it was first realised that the Soviet experiment was failing economically, and that therefore a cultural rather than an economic theory of Marxism was required. Academics in central Europe (who took themselves and their ideas to the USA and its Ivy League universities) rationalised the failure of theory regarding the ‘proletariat’ by utilising then current (but now entirely discredited) pseudo-scientific ideas of Freud concerning repression and the family. ‘Capitalism’ was deemed to ‘repress’ the ‘worker’ through the agency of the family, which itself was falsely regarded as a ‘capitalist’ creation.These idiotic notions filtered down through the vastly expanding university systems across the West in the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s, through highly influential writers such as Herbert Marcuse, ready to fully ‘hit the pavement’ at the time that the political-Left collapsed first as an electoral force (circa 1980 with the end of the post-war settlement and the rise of Thatcher and Reagan), and then as a forcible imposition (in 1989 with the spectacular implosion of the Soviet empire). In the 1990s, if not before, PC became the new religion of the government-media-education elite, and then, as ever, the rest of the establishment – not least the police and the judiciary – fell into line behind the new order.It was never a question of ‘political correctness gone mad’: PC never made (any rational) sense in the first place. In pretending to be about being nice to people but actually despising us, it’s the deepest and widest, most serious political fraud in history; that may be – is clearly meant to be — the death of our culture. PC is the quintessential example of expressing pique in the time-honoured manner of ‘throwing the toys out of the pram’.
I’m sitting on the beach in San Sebastian, Spain. In this part of the country, the Summer weather alternates between baking hot sunshine, and the Atlantic trying furiously to empty its entire contents above your head….often several times in the same hour. But today it’s sunny and hot, and looks set fair, so I’m lying on the beautiful sands of ‘La Concha’, together with it seems the entire population of the Basque country, reading contentedly as the sun’s rays wreak havoc upon the DNA inside the cells of my Celtic skin.
As I look up from my Kindle, I see a completely naked sun bronzed man, around 50, walking towards a group of young Basque girls, maybe 13 or 14, one of whom is topless. He sits down directly in front of them, a grin fixed to his face. The girls immediately start giggling and teasing each other. The topless girl pulls down the bikini top, and then the bottom, of her cute friend, who has a pigtail on either side of her hair. The pretty pig-tailed girl, who looks like a character straight out of a Japanese anime comic book, barely resists, and is even giggling uncontrollably whilst this happens, as are her friends. The man, meanwhile, just sits there grinning fixedly.
I begin to think about the flashbacks that the girls will suffer from in adult life. The trauma, and the inability to form relationships, when they come to realise that they were abused, objectified, and sexualised by the naked man’s presence that day on La Concha beach. One day, I think to myself, that man will be unlucky enough to sit next to the teen-aged children of British ex-pats, who no doubt will get their boyfriends to carve the sick paedo up in an instant. I turn my head away in disgust, and resume my Kindle reading.
One of the arguments I’ve often repeated on this site is that adolesence has been conflated by feminists with childhood, largely because it is in their sexual interests to conflate paedophilia (the sexual attraction to pre-pubescents) with normal male sexuality (which clearly finds teenage girls attractive, probably even the most attractive). I’ve stated many times that this artificial conflation, which results in the sexual, moral, and intellectual infantalisation of teenagers, will likely have serious consequences for young people in their ability to become adults, and for the retardation of society as a whole. In ‘The Case Against Adolescence’ Robert Epstein goes further than this, and claims that there is no such thing as adolescence at all – teenagers ARE adults, full stop.
According to Epstein, adolescence is a relatively recent social construction that American culture has imposed upon the youth of the world, fuelled by numerous self-interested groups, including Hollywood and the multi-billion dollar toys and games industry. Although adolescence is artificial, unnatural, and unnecessary, it is very real in its devastating effects upon young people. Kurzban makes a convincing and exhaustively argued case that all of the problems we associate with the teenage years, and see as an inevitable process of ‘growing up’, such as mood swings, aggression, reckless behaviour, are in fact caused by the lack of responsibility we give young people, and the way in which we isolate them from adults to the extent of trapping them inside an artificial bubble of ‘youth culture’, with young people mixing with and learning almost exclusively from their equally infantalized peers.
The book details numerous studies which find that intelligence and reasoning skills all peak in the early to mid teens. It also makes practical suggestions as to how we can give back responsibility to teens, central to which is the replacement of arbitary age defined laws, such as the voting age, or the age of consent, with a universal test of relevant ‘competancies’.
I will write a longer review of the book for InMalaFide, but two brief points regarding it might be of interest to readers of this blog. Firstly, a disappointing, but hardly surprising aspect is the book’s complete lack of recognition for the part played by the sexual trade union in extending the definition of childhood. This is a little curious, given that Kurzban very convincingly posits that the child-labor laws of the 19th century were the biggest single cause of the extension of childhood, and that the chief motivating factor behind these laws was the desire of labor unions to keep younger and cheaper competition out of the job market (under the pretence of ‘protecting children’). Given that Epstein, I’m sure, would have read greatly on the efforts of the Social Purity Movement in the same period, it is difficult to see how he could not extend the same argument and motivations to the early feminists and their decisive campaigns to raise the age of consent. I did e-mail Robert Epstein recently to ask why he had omitted this element from the book. He replied back promptly (and politely) that although he thought these things were all ‘intertwined’, other factors were more prominent.
On the other side of the coin, as mentioned above, the book is clear and brave in calling for a reform in the age of consent laws, as well all the other arbitrary laws based upon the infantilization of young adults.
On the whole, a superb and important book that I recommend to everybody.