The Concise Case Against Feminism

[Introductory Note: My intention in this post is to produce a succinct critique of feminism to which I (and, if they wish, others) can refer feminists and supporters of feminism and which, given its brevity, the latter may actually be expected to read. This is in contrast to my more in-depth treatment of the same topic in Why I am Not a Feminist.]

Feminists claim to champion ‘gender equality’. In reality, however, their advocacy for this cause has been, at best, highly selective.

Thus, men are discriminated against on account of their sex in countless spheres, including conscription,[1] car insurance,[2] child custody contests,[3] sentencing in the criminal courts,[4] civilian targeting during warfare and genocide,[5] pension rights,[6] reproductive rights,[7] and rescue and relief operations from the Titanic[8] to the Balkans.[9]

Yet feminists, despite their ostensible commitment to ‘gender equality’, have remained silent on these issues, and, when pressed, typically dismissed their importance.

Indeed, the one-sided commitment of feminists to eliminating gender inequalities only where such inequalities apparently disadvantage women is reflected even in the etymology of the name they use to refer to themselves.

The central tenet of feminism, then, is not the feminists’ ostensible (and loudly trumpeted) commitment to the notion of gender equality, since they have evidenced no consistent or even-handed commitment to this ideal.

Instead, the defining tenet of feminism is, not so much their belief in sexual equality, as their belief in sexual inequality – in other words their belief that women are oppressed and disadvantaged as compared to men.

The reality, however, is that, as in the examples of gender discrimination cited above, nothing could be further from the truth.

It is, in reality, men, not women, who are vastly overrepresented among the homeless,[10] the victims of violent crime,[11] the casualties in warfare,[12] the prison population,[13] suicides,[14] drug addicts[15] – in short, all the most disadvantaged groups within society and across the world.

As George Orwell wrote almost a century ago, one can almost say that below a certain level society is entirely male.[16]

__________

Meanwhile, men are also by far the primary victims of sexual discrimination.

I have already listed just a few of the many forms of discrimination to which men are subject above.

However, rather than attempting to compile a comprehensive list of all the various spheres in which males discriminated against on account of their gender, then comparing this list against all those spheres in which women claim to be the victims of gender discrimination (an obviously daunting, if not impossible, task), let’s restrict ourselves solely to the most extreme and severe forms of sexual discrimination.

The most extreme forms of sex discrimination are, we can all surely agree, those where life itself is at stake – in other words, those forms of discrimination which condemn the person who is discriminated against to certain or probable death on account of the discrimination.

Here, in respect of what we might call ‘life or death discrimination’, it is almost always males who are the victims.[17]

Thus, on board the Titanic and other vessels, it was women and children who were allowed on board the lifeboats first while men were left to perish.

As a result, around 80% of the men on board the Titanic perished that night, compared to only 26% of the women.[18]

Despite the ostensible death of chivalry, similar practices continue to be employed to this day, even in the feminist-invested, equality-obsessed contemporary West and even under ostensibly ‘patriarchal’ Middle-Eastern regimes.[19]

Likewise, it is not only male soldiers, but also male civilians (especially, but not exclusively, so-called ‘battle-aged males’) who are deliberately targeted for killing on the grounds of their sex in warfare and genocides across the world[20] and throughout history.[21]

Yet, despite this, it was women who were given preference during humanitarian evacuations from the Balkans during the civil wars there during the nineties, despite the fact that it was, once again, men who were overwhelmingly overrepresented among the casualties.[22]

Likewise, to take another form of ‘life-or-death discrimination’, it is male offenders  who are more often sentenced to death by the US courts, and more often actually executed, even as compared to female offenders the severity of whose offences is, by any measure, as culpable as that of the executed males.[23]

Indeed, in other parts of the world, discrimination against males in the application of the death penalty is explicit. Thus, the leading researcher in this area, Victor Streib of Ohio Northern University, reports that:

The Indian death penalty statute expressly lists the offender’s sex as an extenuating circumstance, and the former Soviet and current Russian capital punishment statutes expressly prohibit the death penalty for female offenders[24]

Compulsory enlistment for military service during wartime provides a final example of ‘life-or-death discrimination’ favouring females.

Although conscription has been practised by civilizations and nation-states for thousands of years,[25] and continues to be practised by a minimum of over eighty regimes around the world as of 2012,[26] it has almost always applied solely and exclusively to males, and never to men and women on anything like equal terms.[27]

This has, of course, entailed a massively elevated risk of death, as well as of permanent maiming and injury and, together with the deliberate selective targeting of male civilians, it responsible for the fact that males have represented the vast majority of casualties in warfare in every conflict for which reliable data exists.[28] Given that it involves forced labour, conscription is also arguably a form of slavery.[29]

____________

Against this overwhelming body of evidence that males are both worse-off than females in terms of outcomes, and discriminated against in favour of females in many spheres, including those where life itself is at stake, what evidence can the feminists marshal to buttress their claims that it is in fact women, not men, who are disadvantaged and ‘oppressed’?

In my experience debating with feminists, it seems to me that the latter most often cite two types of evidence:

  • The ‘gender pay gap’; and
  • The overrepresentation of males in many high-visibility and high-status occupations (e.g. in government and business).

Let’s look at these two disparities in greater detail.

________________

It is true that, on average, men earn higher salaries than do women. However, there are two reasons this cannot be viewed as evidence of male privilege.

First, although men do indeed earn higher salaries than women, this reflects, not discrimination, but rather the greater sacrifices that men are willing to endure in return for higher pay. For example, men work, on average, longer hours than women,[30] in more dangerous and unpleasant working conditions,[31] and for a greater proportion of their adult lives,[32] in addition to many other compensating differentials.[33]

For example, men are overrepresented in all of the most dangerous occupations (e.g. coal mining, soldiering construction, firefighting), such that, in any given year, males represent over ninety percent of workplace fatalities.[34]

Secondly, although men thereby earn more money, on average, than women, these additional earnings are then largely redistributed to women, via such mechanisms as maintenance, alimony, divorce, marriage, courtship and dating.

Thus, if men earn more money, much of these additional earnings are spent on or by their wives, ex-wives and girlfriends (not to mention daughters).

Indeed, as I have written previously:

The entire process of conventional courtship is predicated on the redistribution of wealth from men to women, from the social expectation that the man pay for dinner on the first date to the legal obligation that he continue to support his ex-wife, through alimony and maintenance, for anything up to several decades after he has belatedly rid himself of her [or she of him].”

Thus, as researchers in the marketing industry have long been aware, women are thought to control the vast majority of consumer spending, some estimates putting this at around 80% of consumer spending.

In short, men may earn more money (and earn it they do, in every sense of this word), but women both have more money and spend more money – which is, of course, precisely the reason that they have the luxury of being able to choose not to work in the sort of atrocious working conditions to which men often have no choice but to subject themselves.

___________

What then of the overrepresentation of males in high-profile and high visibility positions of power and influence, such as in government and big business?

Certainly, it is true that men are overrepresented in positions of apparent power, such as prime ministers, presidents and corporate CEOs of major multinational companies.

However, such men represent only a small minority of men and it must also be remembered that, as we have seen, men are also overrepresented among the most disadvantaged groups, such as the homeless, the casualties in warfare, the victims of genocides, the prison population and the victims of violent crime.

Moreover, the small minority of males who do occupy positions of visible authority, power, wealth and privilege in government and business etc. are themselves typically married to women. The latter (i.e. their wives) therefore have access to the same wealth and privilege as their husbands, albeit typically without any of the hard work that it took to achieve this wealth and privilege.

As Bertrand Russell writes:

The world is full of idle people, mostly women, who have little education, much money, and consequentially great self-confidence. Owing to their wealth they are able to cause much labour to be devoted to their comfort… Especially in America, where the men who make money are mostly too busy to spend it themselves, culture is largely dominated by women whose sole claim to respect is that their husbands possess the art of growing rich.[35]

As Aristotle observed of the Spartans, so we must ask of our own societies – What difference does it make whether women rule, or the rulers are ruled by women?.[36]

____________

Finally, while a small minority of men, namely those in positions of eminence and power in government and business, may indeed exercise hugely disproportionate influence and power, there is no reason to believe that they exercise this power to benefit men in general.

On the contrary, all the evidence suggests that men are naturally protective of women and far from discriminating against women or otherwise ‘oppressing’ them, are far more apt to discriminate in women’s favour.

For example, most judges are male. However, there is overwhelming evidence that judges in the criminal courts sentence female offenders more leniently than they do male offenders guilty of equivalent transgressions,[37] and also that they sentence violent offenders who target women more severely than they do those who target men.[38]

There is also evidence of discrimination at other stages of the criminal justice process, such as during the decision whether to arrest a suspect.[39] Yet, once again, most individuals charged with making these decisions (e.g. police officers) are male.

Similarly, although, as the feminists never tire of reminding us, men occupy most of the leading positions in government, and in legislatures, this has not prevented such bodies from enacting laws that systematically and overtly discriminate against men.

Indeed, in the nineteenth and early twentieth century, when women in the UK had yet to be enfranchised, it was a government, and a Parliament, both composed of, and elected by, exclusively males that nevertheless enacted various forms of legislation that systematically and overtly discriminated against, yes, men – for example, the Abolition of the Whipping of Female Offenders Act 1820,[40] the Mines and Collieries Act 1842[41] and the Military Service Act (or ‘Bachelor’s Bill’) of 1916.[42]

On reflection, however, this is surely little surprise. After all, men are, as I have said, naturally protective of, and chivalrous towards, women – especially those to whom they are sexually attracted.

Thus, studies find that men are more likely to stop and help women than they are to stop and help men;[43] are less likely to act violently towards women than towards men;[44] and judge acts of violence committed against females as more culpable than similar acts committed against males.[45]

In short, far from oppressing women or discriminating against women, men in positions of power, much like other men, are far more prone to discriminate in their favour.

______________________

Endnotes

[1] Conscription refers to compulsory military service. This has been practised in countless societies throughout history, and, according to the Encyclopædia Britannica, has been practised at least since 27 BCE, if not earlier. By the time of the First World War, it was all but universal (for males) throughout Europe, and employed by all major combatant nations. Conscription continues to be practised by around eighty regimes around the world, as of 2012 (The Second Sexism: p27). However, it almost always applies exclusively to males, and even those societies which have, in recent years, made a perfunctory pretence of applying conscription to women as well (e.g. Israel), has never been applied on anything like the same terms to women.

[2] Discrimination against men in the provision of insurance policies remains legal in most jurisdictions (e.g. the USA). However, sex discrimination in the provision of insurance policies was belatedly outlawed throughout the European Union at the end of 2012, due to a ruling of the European Court of Justice. This was many years after other forms of sex discrimination had been outlawed in most member-states. For example, in the UK, most other forms of gender discrimination were outlawed almost forty years previously under the 1975 Sex Discrimination Act. However, section 45 of this Act explicitly exempted insurance companies from liability for sex discrimination if they could show that the discriminatory practice they employed was based on actuarial data and was “reasonable”. Yet actuarial data could also be employed to justify other forms of discrimination, such as employers deciding not to employ women of childbearing age. However, this remained unlawful. This exemption was preserved by Section 22 of Part 5 of Schedule 3 of the new Equality Act 2010. As a result, as recently as 2010 insurance providers routinely charged young male drivers double the premiums demanded of young female drivers. Yet, curiously, the only circumstances in which insurance policy providers were barred from discriminating on the grounds of sex was where the differences result from the costs associated with pregnancy or to a woman’s having given birth under section 22(3)(d) of Schedule 3 – in other words, the only readily apparent circumstance where insurance providers might be expected to discriminate against women rather than men. Interestingly, even after the ECJ ruling, there is evidence that indirect discrimination against males continues, simply by using occupation as a marker for gender.

[3] For example, according to data cited by David Benatar, “in the United States, fathers gain sole custody of children in about 10% of cases and women in nearly three-quarters” and “in cases of conflicting requests for physical custody, mothers requests for custody were granted twice as often as fathers”, while “in 90% of cases where there was an uncontested request for maternal physical custody of the children the mother was awarded this custody”, whereas this was granted “in only 75% of cases in which there was an uncontested request for paternal physical custody” (The Second Sexism: p50).

[4] Hedderman & Hough (1994) Does the Criminal Justice System Treat Men and Women Differently Home Office, UK; Daly K, Bordt, RL (1995) Sex effects and sentencing: An analysis of the statistical literature Justice Quarterly 12(1); ; Shapiro, A (2000) Unequal Before the Law: Men, Women and the Death PenaltyAmerican University Journal of Gender, Social Policy & the Law 8(2): 427-470; Spohn, C  and Beichner, D (2000) Is Preferential Treatment of Female Offenders a Thing of the Past? A Multisite Study of Gender, Race, and ImprisonmentCriminal Justice Policy Review, 11(2): 149-184; Mustard DB (2001) Racial, Ethnic and Gender Disparities in Sentencing: Evidence from the US Federal CourtsSocial Science Research Network XLIV: 285-314; Streib VL (2001) Sentencing Women to Death Criminal Justice Magazine 16(1); Streib V (2002) Gendering the Death Penalty: Countering Sex Bias in a Masculine Sanctuary, 63 Ohio State Law Journal 433; Jeffries, S, Fletcher, GJO & Newbol, G (2003) Pathways to Sex-Based Differentiation in Criminal Court Sentencing Criminology 41(2): 329–354; Curry, TR, Lee G and Rodriguez, SF (2004) Does Victim Gender Increase Sentence Severity? Further Explorations of Gender Dynamics and Sentencing OutcomesCrime & Delinquency 50(3): 319-343; Rodriguez, SF, Curry, TR, & Lee G (2006) Gender Differences in Criminal Sentencing: Do Effects Vary Across Violent, Property, and Drug Offenses? Social Science Quarterly 87(2): 318; Streib V (2006) Rare and Inconsistent: The Death Penalty for Women, 33 Fordham Urban Law Journal 609; Blackwell BS, Holleran D & Finn MA (2008) The Impact of the Pennsylvania Sentencing Guidelines on Sex Differences in Sentencing Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice 24(4): 399-418; Embry R & Lyons P (2012) Sex-Based Sentencing: Sentencing Discrepancies Between Male and Female Sex OffendersFeminist Criminology 7(2):146–162; Starr, SB, Estimating Gender Disparities in Federal Criminal CasesUniversity of Michigan Law and Economics Research Paper, No. 12-018 (August 29, 2012).

[5] Jones A (2000) Gendercide and Genocide Journal of Genocide Research, 2(2): 185-211.

[6] In the UK, women have long been eligible for state pensions several years before men, despite the fact that men on average work for a greater number of years and contribute more yet die earlier. Traditionally, women were eligible at age sixty, but men not until they were sixty-five. In response to an ECJ ruling, this is now scheduled to equalized, after more than seventy years of discrimination, in 2020, by which time neither men nor women will be eligible for a state pension until they are seventy.

[7] It is, after all, as we are incessantly reminded by the feminists, a woman’s right to choose whether to have an abortion or carry an infant to term. However, while denied any say in this decision, men are nevertheless legally obliged to pay maintenance in order to provide for the resulting offspring, despite being denied custody of, and sometimes even visitation rights over, the offspring for whom they are obliged to provide [see Dubay v. Wells (2004); Danforth v Planned Parenthood 428 U.S. 52 (1976); Planned Parenthood v Casey 505 U.S. 833 (1992) Paton v. Trustees of British Pregnancy Advisory Service Trustees (1978) QB 276; C v S (1988) QB 135].

[8] On board the Titanic, 80% of men were killed as compared to only 26% of women. Indeed, contrary to popular opinion, even women travelling in the cheapest class of accommodation had a 41% better chance of survival than men travelling first-class.

[9] Carpenter RC (2003) Women and Children First’: Gender, Norms, and Humanitarian Evacuation in the Balkans 1991-95International Organization 57(4): 661-694.

[10] The homeless are, by their nature, a difficult group to survey. However, estimates of the gender disparity among the homeless concur in suggesting that males are vastly overrepresented. George Orwell, in his classic study of the poverty and homeless of Paris and London, estimated, on the basis of both official statistics and his own personal experience, that the overrepresentation of men among the destitute occurred at a ratio of roughly ten to one. More recent estimates suggest a similar disparity today, a disparity accentuated among the ‘street homeless’ (see The Myth of Male Power: p209).

[11] In their comprehensive global survey of the correlates of crime, criminologists Anthony Walsh and Lee Ellis report that “except for rape, where essentially all victims are female, males have substantially higher victimization rates than do females” and “even with rapes included in calculating an overall victimization rate, males run a considerably greater risk of being victimized by violent crime than do females” (Criminology: A Global Perspective: p128). Walsh and Ellis are right with respect to violent crime generally. However, they underestimate the prevalence of male rape. Indeed, due to the epidemic levels of rape in the US’s overwhelmingly male prison population, recent government data suggests that in the USA, men may even be overrepresented among rape victims (see my post, Real Rape Culture – The American Prison System). However, violent crime often goes unreported. Meanwhile, rape in particular is probably over-reported, due to exceptionally high rates of false reports. Therefore, the most reliable data is that for homicide, which, as the most extreme form of violent crime, is also the form of violent crime least likely to go either undetected or falsely reported. In the UK in 2010-11, over two thirds (68%) of homicide victims were male, according to government statistics (Osborne, S. (2012) ‘Homicide’ in K. Smith et al (eds), Homicides, Firearm Offences and Intimate Violence 2008/09: supplementary volume 2 to Crime in England and Wales 2010/11 Home Office Statistical Bulletin 01/10: at p19). ). Similarly, in the USA, between 1980 and 2008, men were three times as likely to be the victim of homicide as were women (Cooper A & Smith EL (2011) Homicide Trends in the United States, 1980-2008 U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, November 2011, NCJ 236018: at p3).  Internationally, according to a comprehensive worldwide epidemiological survey in the mid-1990s, men represented 78% of violent deaths, excluding those resulting from war (see Murray, C.J.L. and Lopez, A.D. 1996. The global burden of disease: A comprehensive assessment of mortality and disability from diseases, injuries and risk factors in 1990 and projected to 2020. Cambridge, Harvard University Press; Murray, C.J.L. and Lopez, A.D. 1996. Global health statistics: a compendium of incidence, prevalence and mortality estimates for over 200 conditions. Cambridge: Harvard University Press: as cited by Joshua Goldstein in War and Gender: How Gender Shapes the War System and Vice Versa: p400).

[12] According to data cited by Joshua Goldstein, adult men represent 58% of fatalities from war across the world – despite the fact that, once children are factored in, men represent a small minority of the population as a whole (War and Gender: How Gender Shapes the War System and Vice Versa: p400; Goldstein bases this on data taken from the two most comprehensive worldwide epidemiological surveys of the causes of death, namely, Murray, C.J.L. and Lopez, A.D. 1996. The global burden of disease: A comprehensive assessment of mortality and disability from diseases, injuries and risk factors in 1990 and projected to 2020. Cambridge, Harvard University Press; and Murray, C.J.L. and Lopez, A.D. 1996. Global health statistics: a compendium of incidence, prevalence and mortality estimates for over 200 conditions. Cambridge: Harvard University Press).

[13] According to the latest estimates, the US prison population is over 93% male. Of course, this largely reflects the fact that men commit more crimes than women. However, it also reflects the fact that males are sentenced more harshly than females, even after controlling for such factors as prior criminal history and the severity of their offence (see endnote 4 above for the many studies replicating this consistent finding). In addition, it reflects bias in the very definition of what constitutes a ‘crime’. Thus, if a man steals another man’s hard earned money or other property, or that of a woman, this is termed ‘theft’. However, if a woman steals a man’s money, this is, as often as not called, not ‘theft’, but rather a ‘divorce settlement’ or a ‘maintenance payment’ – and, far from the courts punishing the wrongdoer, the family courts are actually aiders and abettors in respect of the misappropriation.

[14] For example, the most recent data from the USA suggests that males are about three and a half times as likely to commit suicide as are females and this pattern has remained stable for over half a century. Patterns are similar in other Western economies, and indeed across the world. However, women are relatively more likely to attempt suicide. This likely reflects the fact that attempted suicides are often not genuine attempts to kill oneself, but rather represent a mere cry for help  – and girls learn at an early age that they have only to burst into tears and misguided male morons will be only too ready to ride eagerly to their rescue like latter-day  knights in shining armour, presumably in eager but forlorn expectation of a blowjob in return for their noble heroism. In contrast, boys learn from an early age that if they burst into tears or otherwise cry for help they will typically receive only ridicule for their perceived weakness and femininity.

[15] Precise figures on the prevalence of drug addiction are difficult to come by, not least because of the difficulty of drawing the line as to when an recreational drug use crosses the line into addiction. Nevertheless, there appears to be agreement that men outnumber women among both substance-abusers and addicts, especially the latter. For example, as part of their encyclopaedic survey of the correlates of criminal behaviour, sociologists Lee Ellis and Anthony Walsh report “a safe conclusion seems to be that, throughout the world, males are more likely to use illegal drugs than are females, unless one includes prescription drugs and/or brief experimentation with ‘light’ experimental drugs such as marijuana” (Criminology: A Global Perspective: p104). Moreover, they report that, “if attention is given to sustained use, especially in adulthood, male use of illegal drugs has always been found to be stronger than female use”, such that in “a US study of deaths due to drug overdosing… three-fourths of victims were male” (Criminology: A Global Perspective: p105).

[16] This quotation is taken from Orwell’s celebrated semi-autobiographical ‘participant observatory’ study of homelessness, Down and Out in Paris and London.

[17] The sole exception I can think of is the sex selective infanticide widely practised in places such as China. Here, it is female babies who are the victims. Notably, since this is the only form of ‘life-or-death discrimination’ of which women are the victims, this is also the sole form of ‘life or death discrimination’ on which feminists have focussed any attention whatsoever. However, given that most feminists are dogmatically ‘pro-choice’ on the abortion issue, they might be wise not to make too much out of the sex-selective infanticide practised in places like China, since killing a new-born baby is presumably not all that different from killing an ‘unborn child’. Thus, if women have complete freedom to abort their offspring, why should they not also have complete freedom to practise infanticide. Indeed, there is already evidence that, even in the West, surprisingly large numbers of mothers are responsible for killing their own infant offspring, far more than the numbers of men guilty of the same offence, yet the former are treated far more leniently by the courts (see Wilczynski & Morris (1993) ‘Parents Who Kill Their Children’ Criminal Law Review 793: 31-36). Indeed, in the UK, this discrimination has even been made overt, through the Infanticide Acts of 1922 and 1938.

[18] This is based on data taken from the British Wreck Commissioner’s inquiry into the sinking of the RMS Titanic headed by Lord Mersey (see here for detailed breakdown of survival rates by sex and class of accomodation). Similar figures are reported by the rival US Senate enquiry. Interestingly, contrary to popular opinion, the gender disparity in survival rates is such that even men travelling in first class accommodation had a lesser chance of survival than did women travelling in steerage (the cheapest class), despite the latter’s quarters being buried deep in the ship’s hull and far from the lifeboats.

[19] For example, even as recently as the 2009 New York plane crash, women and children were rescued first (Quinn and Whitworth ‘New York plane crash: Pilot told passengers to brace for heavy landing’ Daily Telegraph, 25 January 2009). Similarly, even the Saddam Hussein, leader of a purportedly patriarchal Middle Eastern regime, allowed women and children who were foreign nationals to evacuate the country prior to the Gulf War in 1990 (Fineman, ‘Foreign Women and Children Can Leave Iraq, Hussein Says’ Los Angeles Times, 29 August 1990).

[20] Jones, A (2000) Gendercide and Genocide Journal of Genocide Research, 2(2):185-211.

[21] For example, Thucydides in the Melian Dialogue reports that, on conquering Melos, the Athenians put to death all the grown men whom they took, and sold the women and children for slaves. Similarly, in his recent comparative biography of Alexander the Great and his father, Philip II of Macedon, author Ian Worthington reports that on capturing “Sestus, an important grain city on the trade route from the Black Sea to Athens… he killed all of its male citizens and sold all of its women and children as slaves – one of the more gruesome punishments that civilians suffered in warfare” (By the Spear: p57). Similarly, the bible recounts various gender-cides where males exclusively were massacred (Genesis 34: 25-9Exodus 1:22; Matthew 2:16). Indeed, in the Old Testament, not only are gender-cides apparently approvingly recounted (Genesis 34: 25-9), but God even expressly commands such gender-cides (e.g. Deuteronomy 20: 10-15; Numbers 31: 17-8), where the Israelites are commanded to kill every male among the little ones and, upon conquering a city put to the sword all the men in it, but to take the women and children as slaves. The Bible is a notoriously historically unreliable source. However, such male-specific massacres are not mere mythology. Their legacy is found even in our DAN. Thus, Nobel prize winning geneticist James Watson reports, whereas 94% of the Y-chromosomes of contemporary Colombians are European, mitrochondrial DNA shows a “range of Amerindian MtDNA types”, concluding “the virtual absence of Amerindian Y chromosome types, reveals the tragic story of colonial genocide: indigenous men were eliminated while local women were sexually ‘assimilated’ by the conquistadors” (DNA: The Secret of Life: p257).

[22] Carpenter RC (2003) Women and Children First’: Gender, Norms, and Humanitarian Evacuation in the Balkans 1991-95 International Organization 57(4): 661-694.

[23] Streib, V (1997) America’s aversion to executing women, Ohio Northern University Women’s Law Journal, 1:1-8; Streib, V (2001) Sentencing Women to Death’ Criminal Justice Magazine 16(1); Streib, V (2002) Gendering the Death Penalty: Countering Sex Bias in a Masculine Sanctuary, Ohio State Law Journal 63: 433; Streib, V (2006) Rare and Inconsistent: The Death Penalty for Women, Fordham Urban Law Journal 33:609; Shapiro, A (2000) Unequal Before the Law: Men, Women and the Death Penalty, American University Journal of Gender, Social Policy & the Law 8(2): 427-470

[24] This quotation is taken from: Streib, V (2002) Gendering the Death Penalty: Countering Sex Bias in a Masculine Sanctuary, Ohio State Law Journal 63: 433.

[25] According to the Encyclopædia Britannica entry on the topic, conscription “has existed at least from the time of the Egyptian Old Kingdom (27th century BCE)”. It manifested itself in a particularly extreme form among the ancient Spartans, and became universal (for males) throughout most of Europe in the years leading up the the First and Second World Wars, in which all combatant nations employed conscription to all young men in order to recruit service personnel.

[26] This figure is taken from David Benatar’s The Second Sexism (p27). However, it is very difficult to obtain accurate information on the prevalence of conscription around the world. This is despite the fact that conscription constitutes a form of forced labour and hence arguably of slavery, as well as often involving a high probability of death or serious injury, and thus undoubtedly one of the most extreme forms of human rights abuse. However, human rights groups do not seemingly monitor the practice. As Benatar observes, “it is very difficult to get reliable, comprehensive, up-to-date information on which countries still conscript” (The Second Sexism: p62, note 2). The only previous figure of which I am aware was that given by Bernard T. Rostker, the then Director of the US Selective Service System, in congressional hearings held in 1980, where he reported that that, at that time, 72 countries employed conscription, but only ten registered, let alone conscripted, women (quoted in: Hollander RD (2013) The Draft: Men Only? New Male Studies 2:3 32-41: at p34).

[27] In this age of feminism, a few nations do now make a nominal pretence of applying conscription to women as well as men. To my knowledge, however, none apply the policy to men and women on equal terms. The most famous and widely cited example of the conscription of women occurs in the Israeli armed services. However, as Martin Van Creveld, Israel’s preeminent military historian, reports, whereas male Israelis are now obliged to serve three years, women serve only two or, in practice, “about twenty-two months” (Men, Women and War: p186). Moreover, women “were not expected to take part in combat or even… combat support”, and, partly as a result, “very few women Israeli soldiers have ever been killed in action” (Men, Women and War: p188). In addition, “married women and pregnant women (including such as got pregnant while on active service) were exempt”, as are “women who declared themselves to be religiously observant” (Men, Women and War: p186). By 1999, those claiming exemption on this ground alone  had reached “over 26%” (Men, Women and War: p208).

[28] Admittedly, this is, of course, an argument from silence and, as a famous aphorism has it, ‘absence of evidence is not evidence of absence’. Nevertheless, the amount of data that is available is considerable, and the pattern is consistently the same, namely, males being vastly overrepresented among the dead. For example, much is made of civilian casualties during WW2, where widespread bombing of civilian targets occurred. However, according to the entry on ‘Women at War’ by Janet Howarth in The Oxford Companion to World War II, “only countries under German occupation had suffered more civilian than military losses” and “these victims were predominantly men” (The Oxford Companion to World War II: p998).

[29] This is one of the emotive metaphors employed by Warren Farrell in his seminal The Myth of Male Power (reviewed here), where he writes of how “during the [American] Civil War, the government passed a Conscription Act, allowing… for an all-male slave trade”, such that, “in essence, white male slaves fought to free black slaves”. Strictly speaking, most economic definitions of slavery entail two criteria, namely, that the work be both involuntary and unpaid. While conscription, by definition, involves involuntary labour, whether compulsory military service is recompensed, and whether the recompense offered is purely nominal or not, has varied over time and place. Nevertheless, the analogy is sufficiently powerful that the 1930 Forced Labour Convention, prohibiting slavery, explicitly excluded conscription from its prohibition (Article 2 paragraph 2a).

[30] The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that, in 2014,  on the days they worked, employed men worked 52 minutes more than employed women and that “[although] this difference partly reflects women’s greater likelihood of working part time… even among full-time workers (those usually working 35 hours or more per week), men worked longer than women—8.4 hours compared with 7.8 hours. Indeed, it is also clear from their data that, not only did male full-time workers work, on average, longer hours than female full-time workers, but also that male part-time workers worked longer hours than female part-time workers. Male employees also worked more hours during weekends and on holidays. (See Time spent working by full- and part-time status, gender, and location in 2014).

[Feminists might object that this fails to take into account women’s so-called unpaid labour in the home. However, quite apart from the fact that this is irrelevant to explaining the pay-pay which, of course, reflects only paid work, I refer readers to my earlier post, Unpaid Labour or Overpaid Laziness: Why Housework in Your Own House Isn’t Really Work, where I explain that housework in your own house and childcare in respect of your own children, not only is already financially remunerated, but isn’t really deserving of financial remuneration in the first place, any more than one is deserving of a salary in return for washing behind your own ears in the shower, because each is work that one does for oneself and of which one is oneself the direct beneficiary.]

[31] For example, men’s work is more likely to require them to work outdoors in all weather conditions (Mind the Gap: p47; Why Men Earn More: p44-6). More significantly perhaps, men are overrepresented in all of the most physically dangerous occupations, including coal mining, construction work, firefighting and serving in the armed forces, especially in a combat capacity. Indeed, many of these occupations could be said to be almost entirely male.

[32] For example, many more women than men withdraw from the labour force in order to raise children, often for periods as long as a decade or more. Moreover, even couples without children, women are much more likely to withdraw from the labour force and become so-called ‘homemakers’ or ‘housewives’. Thus, in the UK in the twenty-first century, Rod Liddle, citing data released by the Equal Opportunities Commission, reported that, at any given time, only 57 per cent of women work full-time and, as compared to the 94 per cent of married men work[ing] full-time”, “fewer than half of married women work, including only 58 per cent of married women with no children (Liddle, R, Women Who Won’t Spectator, 2003, 29 November). The result is that many women are constantly flittering in and out of the workforce and, over the course of their lifetimes, clock of many fewer years in which to earn promotions and advance their careers than do men. Professor of Law Kingsley Browne reports that one analysis found that “absences from the labor market may explain as much as 93 percent of the gender gap” (Biology at Work: p86).

[33] For example, men are also commute further and are more willing to relocate for work purposes. In addition to, as we have seen, working longer hours, they are also more willing to work unsociable hours (Mind the Gap: p47). Men also, on average, commute further (Why Men Earn More: p90-91); and are more willing to relocate, especially to undesirable locations (Why Men Earn More: p93-6). Moreover, contrary to the misandrist stereotype of man flu, men even have fewer illness-related absences from work. For a comprehensive but accessible discussion of the many ‘compensating differentials’ that together account for the gender pay-gap, see Warren Farrell’s Why Men Earn More by Warren Farrell (which I have reviewed here). For a more scholarly take on the same issues, see Kingsley Browne’s Biology at Work: Rethinking Gender Equality (which I have reviewed here).

[34] In the UK, the Health and Safety Executive, the governmental body responsible for regulating workplace safety, reports In 2016/17, 133 (97%) of all worker fatalities were to male workers, a similar proportion to earlier years (Fatal injuries arising from accidents at work in Great Britain 2017: Headline results (HSE, 2017): p7). Similarly, in the USA, men represented 93% of workplace fatalities in 2015 a document produced by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (p8).

[35] Russell B The Case for Socialism in In Praise of Idleness and Other Essays (1935).

[36] This Quotation is taken from Book 2 of Aristotle’s Politics, thought to have been published around 350, where he discusses the merits and demerits of the Lacedaemonian Constitution of ancient Sparta.

[37] Hedderman & Hough (1994) Does the Criminal Justice System Treat Men and Women Differently Home Office, UK; Daly K, Bordt, RL (1995) Sex effects and sentencing: An analysis of the statistical literature Justice Quarterly 12(1); ; Shapiro, A (2000) Unequal Before the Law: Men, Women and the Death PenaltyAmerican University Journal of Gender, Social Policy & the Law 8(2): 427-470; Spohn, C  and Beichner, D (2000) Is Preferential Treatment of Female Offenders a Thing of the Past? A Multisite Study of Gender, Race, and ImprisonmentCriminal Justice Policy Review, 11(2): 149-184; Mustard DB (2001) Racial, Ethnic and Gender Disparities in Sentencing: Evidence from the US Federal CourtsSocial Science Research Network XLIV: 285-314; Streib VL (2001) Sentencing Women to Death Criminal Justice Magazine 16(1); Streib V (2002) Gendering the Death Penalty: Countering Sex Bias in a Masculine Sanctuary, 63 Ohio State Law Journal 433; Jeffries, S, Fletcher, GJO & Newbol, G (2003) Pathways to Sex-Based Differentiation in Criminal Court Sentencing Criminology 41(2): 329–354; Curry, TR, Lee G and Rodriguez, SF (2004) Does Victim Gender Increase Sentence Severity? Further Explorations of Gender Dynamics and Sentencing OutcomesCrime & Delinquency 50(3): 319-343; Rodriguez, SF, Curry, TR, & Lee G (2006) Gender Differences in Criminal Sentencing: Do Effects Vary Across Violent, Property, and Drug Offenses? Social Science Quarterly 87(2): 318; Streib V (2006) Rare and Inconsistent: The Death Penalty for Women, 33 Fordham Urban Law Journal 609; Blackwell BS, Holleran D & Finn MA (2008) The Impact of the Pennsylvania Sentencing Guidelines on Sex Differences in Sentencing Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice 24(4): 399-418; Embry R & Lyons P (2012) Sex-Based Sentencing: Sentencing Discrepancies Between Male and Female Sex OffendersFeminist Criminology 7(2):146–162; Starr, SB, Estimating Gender Disparities in Federal Criminal CasesUniversity of Michigan Law and Economics Research Paper, No. 12-018 (August 29, 2012).

[38] Beaulieu & Messner (1999) Race, Gender, and Outcomes in First Degree Murder Cases 3(1): 47-68; Curry, Lee & Rodriguez (2004) Does Victim Gender Increase Sentence Severity? Further Explorations of Gender Dynamics and Sentencing OutcomesCrime & Delinquency 50(3):319-343; Williams & Holcomb (2004) The Interactive Effects of Victim Race and Gender on Death Sentence Disparity Findings Homicide Studies 8(4):350-376; Curry (2010) The conditional effects of victim and offender ethnicity and victim gender onsentences for non-capital cases  Punishment & Society 12(4):438-462.

[39]See Demuth & Steffensmeier (2004) Impact of Gender and Race-Ethnicity in the Pretrial Release Process Social Problems 51(2):222-242; Stolzenberg and Dalessio (2004) Sex differences in the likelihood of arrest Journal of Criminal Justice 32(5): 443-454; Rowe, (2008). Gender Bias in the Enforcement of Traffic Laws: Evidence based on a new empirical test American Law & Economics Association Annual Meeting, Paper 3; Freiburger & Hilinski (2010) The Impact of Race, Gender, and Age on the Pretrial DecisionCriminal justice Review 35(3):318-334.

[40] The Abolition of the Whipping of Female Offenders Act  of 1820, as the name implies, abolished the whipping of female offenders, in any circumstances, as early as 1820 in the UK. However, the the whipping of male offenders was not finally abolished until some almost a century and a half later in 1962 and the last prison flogging is said to have occurred that very year. Indeed, as recently as 1911, while the flogging of women had long previously been abolished, the whipping of boys as young as seven for offences as minor as larceny and property damage was specifically authorised by law (see the entry on Corporal Punishment in the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica).

[41] While sometimes described as legislation intended to prevent the exploitation of child labour, the Mines and Collieries Act 1842 actually sanctioned the employment of boys as young as ten underground in mines, while prohibiting the employment of women of any age in the same capacity.

[42] The Military Service Act of 1916 of 1916 sanctioned the compulsory enlistment  (i.e. conscription) of men from the ages of eighteen to forty-one years old to serve in the armed forces during World War One. It applied, of course, only to men. Interestingly, however, married men were initially exempt (hence it was nicknamed the ‘the Bachelor’s Bill’. Clearly depriving men of their liberty and very probably their lives was perfectly acceptable to the male Parliament and its male electorate. However, depriving women of their husbands and hence their meal-tickets was another thing altogether.

[43] See Eagly, AH. & Crowley, M (1986) Gender and Helping Behavior. A Meta-Analytic Review of the Social Psychological LiteraturePsychological Bulletin 100(3):283-308.

[44] See Felson, RB 2000 The Normative Protection of Women from Violence Sociological Forum 15(1): 91-116.

[45] Arias, I., & Johnson, P. (1989). Evaluations of Physical Aggression Among Intimate DyadsJournal of Interpersonal Violence, 4, 298−307; Harris, M.B. (1991) Effects of Sex of Aggressor, Sex of Target, and Relationship on Evaluations of Physical Aggression Journal of Interpersonal Violence 6(2)174186; Greenblat, C. S. (1983). ‘A hit is a hit is a hit. Or is it? Approval and tolerance of the use of physical force by spouses’. In D. Finkelhor, R. J. Gelles, G. T. Hotaling, & M. A. Straus (Eds.), The dark side of families (pp. 235-260). Beverly Hills, CA: Sage; Feather NT (1996) Domestic Violence, Gender and Perceptions of Justice Sex Roles 35(7): 507-519; Felson RB (2009) When a man hits a woman: Moral evaluations and reporting violence to police Aggressive Behavior 35(6): 477-488.

 

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