The Second Sexism 
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
Publication Date: 2012



Book abstract:

While the manifestation of sexism against women is widely acknowledged, few people take seriously the idea that males are also the victims of many and quite serious forms of sex discrimination.

So unrecognized is this form of sexism that the mere mention of it will be laughable to some. Yet women are typically exempt from military conscription even where men are forced into battle and risk injury, emotional repercussions, and death. Males are more often victims of violent crime, as well as of legalized violence such as corporal punishment. Sexual assault of males is often taken less seriously. Fathers are less likely to win custody of their children following divorce.

This book provides details of these and other examples of what the author calls the “second sexism.” He discusses what sexism is, responds to the objections of those who would deny that there is a second sexism, and shows how ignorance of or flippancy about discrimination against males undermines the fight against sex discrimination more generally.


Czech translation: Druhotný sexismus : O genderovém teroru proti mužům. Translated by Josef Hausmann. Praha-Podlesí : Dauphin, 2016.

Reviews and Responses:

David Benatar's response. (Originally posted here in December 2013, but subsequently published with an update in New Male Studies, Vol. 4, Issue 1, 2015, pp. 29-37.)

Lindsay Kelland's apology.

Media coverage:

Much of the media coverage inaccurately characterizes the arguments in The Second Sexism, but here’s a list of some of the main coverage, for what it’s worth.

David Benatar’s response: “Men and Sexism”, The Guardian, 19 May 2012.

David Benatar’s response: “The Second Sexism and (the ethics of) the Fourth Estate”.