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Does Feminism Discriminate Against Men?: A Debate Paperback – Sep 19 2007
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"Lucid in argument and presentation, beautifully organized, highly readable, very engaging, and well-documented. Both contributions to the volume are rich with examples, which are bound to speak to a very large spectrum of readers. The two pieces balance each other beautifully. I cannot think of anyone better qualified than these two writers to take on the tasks of presenting and examining critically these arguments. This is a book that I would seriously consider using in a course on contemporary moral issues."--Claudia Card, University of Wisconsin-Madison
"The relationship between men and feminism has never been addressed in such an exciting and accessible way, or with such extensive and engaging evidence and anecdotes."--Tom Digby, Springfield College
"Farrell contributes countless concrete examples, so that it is easy for the reader to understand his points. Sterba contributes a model of philosophical argumentation in action in the real world."--Alison Jaggar, University of Colorado at Boulder
About the Author
James P. Sterba is a Professor of Philosophy, University of Notre Dame
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
In a world where debate is often a nice word for one side trashing the oppposition, you'll find Warren Farrell and James P. Sterba engaging in an unusual dialogue. They offer opposing ideas and they offer them with a great deal of respect for each other as well as the men and women on whose behalf they speak.
Truly the world needs more people who can discuss male/female differences with passion, spirit, integrity, and respect. Farrell and Sterba do a magnificent job. Farrell, in particular offers his ideas in such a unique and persuasive manner that even die-hard femininists can't help but expand their understanding of why men are the way they are.
The title is somewhat misleading and book cover didn't draw me in. There's a lot more to this book than a simple debate about feminism and men. This book is fun to read and offers more surprises per page than most million-seller mysteries.
Jed Diamond, author, Male Menopause & The Irritable Male Syndrome.
Although styled 'a debate' in the book's subtitle, the format of this 'debate' is so imbalanced as scarcely to warrant the description. Each author is nominally allotted a roughly equal number of pages to make his case. However, whereas Sterba's portion was written after having read Farrell's contribution in advance, Farrell is denied any opportunity to respond to Sterba.
A rejoinder to Sterba's portion of the book is sorely required. I will attempt to provide this in what remains of this review.
Perceptions of Power
Sterba begins his discussion by pointing out, "exemplars of religious power, physical power, economic power and political power are all normally men" and both sexes view men as more powerful (p135).
However, Farrell never denied the existence of a perception that men are more powerful. What he questions is the accuracy of the perception.
Accordingly, he quotes the aphorism, "women's strength is their façade of weakness and men's weakness is their façade of strength" (p4) and even titled his most famous work 'The Myth of Male Power'. Sterba's misreading of his opponent's thesis thus begins with the title of the latter's best-known work.
Sterba claims that male-only conscription (compulsory enlistment for military service) actually benefits men. He bases this on two arguments:
1) The prestige accruing to those who have completed military service outweighs the hardship endured;
2) It is primarily men who oppose the conscription of women and therefore it must be men who benefit from it.
I will consider each of these contentions in turn.
1) Sex-Specific Stigma and the Career-Impact of Consciption
Sterba claims, in Israel, "men's willingness to sacrifice their lives for their country confirms their status as good citizens" and "having served in combat is an important part of one's resume when applying for almost any job" (p139).
Certainly, men who evade military service are stigmatised, frequently denied employment and face penalties ranging from imprisonment and withdrawal of the franchise to summary execution. However, women face none of these penalties and are regarded as 'good citizens' even without undertaking military service. The stigma attached to 'draft-dodgers', 'conchies' and 'shirkers' is specific to men (i.e. a 'double-standard').
Far from enjoying improved career prospects, ex-servicemen have difficulty adjusting to civilian life, may be permanently injured or affected by conditions such as PTSD and are over-represented among the homeless (USA Today 2007). They return to find jobs taken by women who, instead of fighting, spent their time gaining qualifications and job-experience.
Therefore, any prestige accruing to ex-serviceman is insufficient to offset the hardship endured and risk of being permanently maimed or killed. If it were, there would be no need to resort to conscription in the first place!
ii) Who opposes Drafting Women and What Does this Mean?
Sterba argues that, because the primary supporters of male-only conscription are male, this proves it is men who benefit from the policy. Citing the opposition of the male military leadership to the integration of women, Sterba claims "it cannot be that the members of the military elite are engaging in discrimination against themselves by supporting the male-only draft" (p141).
But they are not discriminating against themselves - because they are already in the military and therefore could hardly be drafted! Rather they are discriminating against other men beside themselves.
The support of the military-elite for excluding women does not prove this policy benefits men. At most, it suggests only that it benefits a tiny subset of men - namely the military-elite themselves.
Moreover, it is doubtful whether the primary opponents of drafting women are male. A 1980 Newsweek poll found "fewer than two out of every five women (as against more than three out of five men) thought that conscription should be applied to them" (Van Creveld Men, Women & War: p210). Moreover, Farrell reports, "57 percent of draft-age women... would be unwilling to serve if drafted, versus only 24% of draft-age men" and "only 12 percent of men and 9 percent of women are in favour" of "requiring combat roles for women" (Myth of Male Power: p143).
Indeed, it was women's fear of being conscripted alongside men that led to the defeat of the Equal Rights Amendment (Van Creveld: p210-1). In contrast, the military elite's influence is negligible (e.g. they also unsuccessfully opposed the enlistment of homosexuals).
Therefore, for all the rhetoric about 'fighting for sexual equality', it appears women do not want REAL sexual equality if it means they REALLY have to fight.
Sterba also conflates the issue of conscription with that of the exclusion of women from combat-roles. On this point, Benatar (2003: p199) acknowledges, "excluding women from combat does indeed disadvantage some women", namely the "minority of women who seek combat opportunities". However, "to present the exclusion of exclusively in terms of the negative effects it has on women is to ignore the much greater disadvantage suffered by vast numbers of men who are forced into combat against their wills".
Whereas only a small minority of female military recruits report that they would volunteer for combat (Van Creveld: p212), huge numbers of men throughout history and across the world have been conscripted against their will. The former lose a career-choice - the latter often their lives!
Of Laboratory Mice and Men
Sterba devotes several pages documenting how drug trials typically use only men as test subjects in clinical trials (p144-146) - yet never addresses Farrell's argument that this is evidence, not of privilege, but male disposability.
New drugs are first tested on the least valuable members of society given the risks. No one would suggest that inmates of concentration camps were privileged to be the subjects of Mengel's experiments!
According to Farrell, "we used men for experimental research for the same reason we used rats" (p28).
Prostrate Cancer vs. Breast Cancer
Sterba claims that that the reason more money is spent on breast cancer research than on prostrate cancer research is that, although similar numbers of people die from the two conditions, women who die from breast cancer die at an earlier average age (p146).
However, if one acknowledges that the younger age at which women die from breast cancer is a legitimate reason to spend more on this condition, it follows that the fact that men in general die on average at a younger age than women is a legitimate reason to spend more money on men's health overall. In employing this argument, Sterba therefore inadvertently undercuts the entire basis for sex equality in healthcare provision.
Sterba reiterates the familiar feminist 'her-story' of how wife-beating was until recently widely approved (p148-9). Actually, "in America there have been laws against wife beating since before the revolution" (Who Stole Feminism? by Hoff-Sommers: p204) and "vigilante parties sometimes abducted wife-beaters and whipped them" (Ibid: p205).
Wife-beating has been punished in Britain since the Anglo-Saxon age (George 2007) and the issue rediscovered in various moral panics resulting in the Prevention and Punishment of Aggravated Assaults on Women Act of 1853 and the Wife Beaters Act of 1882 - contradicting Sterba's absurd claim (p149) that Scotland only "made wife-beating illegal" in the "early 1970s"!
Only where men were victims of spousal assault did it go unpunished - or rather the victims themselves were punished (George 2007).
As for violence today, Fiebert (2011) records 282 studies finding that women are at least as likely to perpetrate violence against male partners as the converse. Against this body of data, Sterba protests (p151), "how jarring is the idea that women batter... as much and... as severely as men is" - a version of the 'argument from common sense' or 'argumentum ad populum' fallacy.
He also reports higher rates of female victimization found by a crime survey (p152). However, given that twenty-three percent of women do not regard slapping men as wrong (When She Was Bad: p130), let alone criminal, it is doubtful that they would report it in a 'crime' survey.
Crime surveys find lower levels of reported abuse for both sexes. Yet, "battered women's advocacy groups nimbly switch back and forth between different sets of data: one to show that abuse is epidemic, another to show that nearly all the victims are women" (Ceasefire!: Why Women and Men Must Join Forces to Achieve True Equality by Young: p93). Thus, "the same study that is cited by women's advocates... for the statistic 'a woman is battered every 15 seconds', also shows that a man is battered every 14 seconds"! (Domestic Violence: The 12 Things You Aren't Supposed to Know by James: p27).
Conversely, the failure of a men's shelter (p157) and the downplaying of violence by victims (p155) may reflect the stigma that attaches to men perceived as unable to defend themselves.
Sterba claims women are "more likely to use violence in self-defence" (p154), yet concedes, "these figures are based on 'provovation' as recognised by the courts'" (Ibid.). They thus reflect only the biases of the legal system.
Actually, as Sterba concedes (p155), women report themselves more likely to initiate violence than men (James 2003: p37-42). Where women plead do self-defence, independent witnesses usually contradict them (Sarantakos 2004).
Sterba claims "the physical consequences of domestic violence are generally far greater for men than for women, given that men are on average forty-five pounds heavier and four to five inches taller than women" (p155). However, as feminists emphasise in other contexts (e.g. women's ostensible 'right' to work in physically-demanding occupations), there is overlap in male and female size and strength. Are husbands allowed to beat their wives if the latter are larger than them?
Moreover, men's inability to defend themselves without being labelled the 'abuser' renders men's strength illusionary - as does women's greater proclivity to hit with objects and weapons (McLeod 1984; Moffitt 1997) or attack partners when they are asleep or otherwise incapacitated (almost a third of women imprisoned for murdering their husbands attacked him in such circumstances: Farrell 1993: p265).
Male-on-Male Violence and Rape
In focussing on domestic abuse, Sterba neglects to discuss the prevalence of male and female victimization in violence outside the home. Whereas the evidence of 'symmetry' in domestic assault remains contentious, it is indisputably overwhelmingly men who are the victims of violent crime in general.
To take the form of violent crime least likely to go undetected, men in the US are about three times as likely to be murdered as women (James 2003: p10). Men are also over-represented among casualties in warfare (Goldstein 2001: p400) and among the victims of genocides (Jones 2000).
Similarly, in his discussion of the prevalence of rape (see next section), Sterba omits the prevalence of male victimization. However, due to the epidemic level of rape in the US's overwhelmingly male prison-population, Justice Department data suggest the US is "the first country in the history of the world to count more rapes for men than for women" (Glazek 2012).
[Similarly, in his discussion of sexual harassment, Sterba neglects to discuss the prevalence of hazing and bullying of male employees. However, Thomas (1993: p72) cites a study showing that men are more likely to report having been bullied at work.]
Farrell is himself culpable here. Whereas he discussed these issues in depth in 'the Myth of Male Power', in the current work he alludes only in passing to prison rape, and, impressed by the body of data on gender symmetry in domestic assault in the intervening years, omits discussion of violence outside the home.
It may be objected that men are the perpetrators as well as the victims in most of these cases. However, "the victim is a victim no matter who the perpetrator was" and similarly dismissing 'black-on-black' crime is widely perceived as racist (Myth of Male Power: p193). Moreover, "both sexes kill men more than they kill women" (Ibid. p253).
Sterba next discusses one subtype of violent crime - rape. He defends the feminist practice of inflating levels of rape by extending the concept beyond its usual meaning (what Jack Kammer terms 'data rape'), focussing on the research of Mary Koss, who admits that only 27% of the women she labelled as rape victims viewed themselves as such (Hoff-Sommers: p211). Yet he omits to mention that, in the US, there are probably more rapes of men than of women due to levels of male-male prison rape (see above).
Sterba defends the inclusion of intoxicated women as 'rape victims', by asking "if a man signed away his car or house while he was dead drunk, would we think he had appropriately consented?" (p160). Yet sex is scarcely comparable in value to a house/car (if Sterba thinks otherwise, he must be frequenting the wrong brothels!).
Moreover, if women are not held responsible for their actions because they have voluntarily intoxicated themselves, why should men be responsible for their actions (e.g. rape) under the same conditions? After all, many of the men who had sex with women who unilaterally changed their minds the next morning were presumably themselves as drunk as their ostensible 'victims'.
While exaggerating levels of rape, Sterba plays down the prevalence of false allegations. He purports to debunk a study cited by Farrell which is not in the public domain. However, both authors neglect to mention Eugene Kanin's (1994) study, which discovered 41% of women themselves ultimately admit their allegations were false!
Instead, Sterba cites an FBI claim that 8% of rape allegations are false. This is higher than "2%" figure usually cited by feminists (traced by Stewart Schultz to the extra-judicial speculation of one judge: Big Sister: How Extreme Feminism Betrayed the Fight for Equality by Boyd: p95) - and higher than rates of false reporting for other crimes.
However, given that sex usually occurs in private (no third-party witnesses) and forensic evidence only establishes the occurrence of intercourse not of consent, even FBI figures represent mere estimates. Moreover, in the 60s, the FBI gave an estimate of 20% (Boyd: p94).
Sterba contends, "many of the rape allegations that are deemed by the police to be unfounded are not false allegations at all" (p163). However, Cathy Young reports "generally a complaint is unfounded only when the alleged victim recants or when her story is not just unsupported but contradicted by evidence" ('Ceasefire': p60). Sterba emphasizes "unfounded does not mean false" (p162), but neglects to concede the corollary that 'founded' does not mean 'genuine'.
Rape Shield Laws
Sterba defends laws which prohibit defendants from raising evidence regarding the previous sexual history of the accuser. However, given the stability of personality traits (including sociosexuality), a person who consented to a sexual activity in the past is statistically more likely to have done so again.
Moreover, such laws have been used to bar the admission of evidence that an accuser had previously enjoyed sadomasochistic role-play - which put the evidence of the use of force in the current allegation in a very different light (Young: p155-6; Boyd: p90). Even previous false allegations of rape made by the accuser have been deemed part of her sexual history and hence inadmissible (Young p155-6; Boyd: p90; p181)
Sterba protests that, allowing such evidence "unfairly restricts the sexual freedom of women" (p161). He seems unconcerned that barring the admission of evidence relevant to his defence may deprive the defendant of his freedom in a more fundamental way - namely imprisonment (including the possibility of prison rape).
Whereas Farrell's discussion of discrimination in the criminal justice system relies on government data, Sterba's is heavily anecdotal. For example, whereas Sterba quotes the subjective opinion of a 19th century prisoner and prison chaplain on prison conditions for men and women (p167), Farrell cites data showing, today, "any given man in prison is... 1000% as likely as any given woman to die via suicide, homicide or execution" (p50).
When he does cite statistics, Sterba is unreliable. He claims "the average prison term for wives who kill their husbands is twice as long as it is for husbands who kill their wives" (p168). Yet the US Justice Department report, 'Spouse Murder Defendants in Large Urban Counties' (Langan & Dawson 1995: available online), reports that "the average prison sentence for killing a spouse was 6 years for wives but 16.5 years for husbands" (piii).
While Farrell shows men are sentenced more severely than women for similar offences, Sterba protests this "fails to take into account whether there are other relevant facts about these men and women that explain the differences in sentences" (p168). Yet many studies demonstrate women are sentenced more leniently, even after controlling for factors such as previous convictions (e.g. Jeffries et al 2003; Curry et al 2004).
It is regrettable that, apart from government statistics, Farrell cites only two studies on gender disparities in sentencing (Zingraff and Thomson 1984; Streib 1997). Several more recent studies on sex effects on sentencing all show men are sentenced more severely (Daly & Bordt 1995;
Spohn and Beichner 2000; Mustard 2001; Jeffries et al 2003; Rodriguez et al 2006; Curry et al 2004; Blackwell et al 2008) and Streib (2001; 2002; 2006) has thrice updated his data on discrimination and the death penalty.
Sentences are also more severe where victims are female (Williams & Holcomb 2004; Curry 2010; Curry et al 2004) and evidence exists of discrimination at other stages of the criminal justice process (Demuth & Steffensmeier 2004; Stolzenberg & D'Alessio 2004; Rowe 2008; Freiburger & Hilinski 2010).
Farrell claims men's higher earnings would disappear if compensating differentials were controlled for (p56-60). Sterba retorts "Farrell's hypothetical claim... remains untested and may even be untestable" (p174).
But untestable does not mean untrue. Moreover, although such an analysis is methodologically daunting (precisely because of the myriad of sacrifices men endure in return for higher pay!), it is not impossible - especially if research funding currently squandered on feminist advocacy-research were re-directed.
Controlling for just a few of the factors identified by Farrell reduces the wage gap to a fraction (e.g. differences in subject-studied, number of jobs held since graduation and work-life attitudes together explain 84% of the pay gap among UK graduates: Shackleton 2008: p62-4).
Sterba complains that Farrell's suggestions of how to earn more are of no use to "single mothers" or "the mother... re-entering the job market after... she chose to raise her children" (p175). Yet she decided to have children voluntarily - a choice denied to men (see below).
Finally, Sterba fails to address Farrell's observation that, although men earn more money than women, a large portion of these earnings are spent by or on their wives, girlfriends and, though alimony, ex-wives, not to mention daughters. Therefore women dominate consumer-spending.
As Farrell argues in the 'Myth of Male Power', "the key to wealth is not in what someone earns; it is in what is spent on ourselves, at our discretion - or in what is spent on us, at our hint" (p23).
Housework: Unpaid Labour or Overpaid Laziness?
Farrell documents forms of work around the house for which men are responsible not usually recorded by researchers (p65-8). Sterba protests they are "not 'housework' as we usually understand it" (p185).
This is a purely semantic argument. Irrespective of whether they satisfy an arbitrary definition of "housework", they are physically-demanding work done for the joint benefit of the couple. Thus, Farrell contends that the word 'housework' is itself sexist (Women Can't Hear What Men Don't Say: p112).
Sterba concludes, "instead of trying to determine how many hours each parent is working... we should be asking how we can best realise the feminist ideal of equality" (p186). This ignores that it was feminists who first raised the issue of hours worked and seems to be an implicit concession that men do indeed work longer hours.
Both authors seem unaware that housework is incomparable to paid work because (unless you are a housekeeper cleaning someone else's home) it is something done for your own benefit (i.e. to live in a more cleanly environment). Similarly, nobody includes washing behind your ears in the shower as time spent working!
Sterba claims it is "unfair" (p185) that wives do more housework than husbands. But single men also do less housework than single women and married men do almost as much housework as single men (Biology at Work: p169). This suggests women simply value housework more - and do it for themselves not their husbands.
Similarly, women choose to have children - a choice denied to men (see next section) - presumably because they perceive time spent with their children as intrinsically rewarding and part of the 'joys of parenting'.
[Edit: I elaborate on this issue in my blog post, "Unpaid Labour or Overpaid Laziness: Why Housework in Your Own House Isn't Really Work", available at "Men's Rights Review".]
Farrell (p76-80) protests that men are obliged to pay maintenance towards raising children, but denied both custody rights and any say over whether the child is carried to term, aborted or put up for adoption.
Sterba retorts: if "the situation were reversed and the man... not the woman wanted to raise the child born of their casual relationship... wouldn't she also be unconditionally legally required to contribute to the support of the child for eighteen to twenty-one years?" (p194).
No, she wouldn't. She could abort or give the child up for adoption without ever even informing the father of its conception!
Sterba claims requiring the mother to notify the father of the conception would impose a "significant burden" (p193) and "undue pressure" (p194) on her. He seems unconcerned that the financially providing for a child for eighteen years is a 'significant burden' on men or that 'undue pressure' (including the threat of imprisonment) is imposed on men to provide this.
Whereas Farrell cites evidence misandry in the mainstream media and popular culture (p80-94), Sterba discusses, not mainstream popular culture, but pornography (p195-8).
Far from representing popular culture, pornography has only recently been legalized in most jurisdictions and remains heavily regulated (e.g. age-restricted) in all. The extreme forms of 'male domination' described by Sterba (p196) are atypical even of 'hardcore' pornography, most of which simply involves images of mutually-consensual sex. (A market for 'female domination' also exists.)
If pornography "permeates popular culture" (p195) as Sterba contents, it is tamer varieties found in advertisements and magazine covers, involving, at most, degrees of nudity. Sterba fails to address Farrell's view that this imagery actually "reinforces men's addiction to female beauty" ('the Myth of Male Power') and hence women's power over men.
Jack Kammer (2002) argues that pornography represents a fantasy of sexual equality i.e. a world where women "participate enthusiastically in sex, who love male sexuality, and who don't hold out for money, dinner or furs", thus losing their power over men. On this view, "pornography does not glorify our sexual domination of women" but rather "expresses our fantasies of overcoming women's sexual domination of us".
In agreeing to the book's format, I suspect Farrell's rationale was that this would be the only opportunity available to writer as heretical as himself to access the market provided by a prestigious publisher. His first sentence suggests that he entertains the hope that some college courses in Women's Studies may assign the book to students.
For as controversial a writer as Farrell, not only publishing for a prestigious press, but also getting Sterba to respond to him is itself a coup. Feminists generally ignore the work of Farrell and, when they do cite him, misrepresent his views.
Given that Farrell's position is set out in the pages that precede his own response, 'attacking a straw man' is not a rhetorical method available to Sterba. However, by denying Farrell a chance to respond, he does get away with the next best thing - namely ignoring Farrell's arguments where they undercut his own claims.
Thus, in discussing the use of men as test-subjects, he ignores Farrell's argument that this is evidence of male disposability; in discussing the relative prevalence of male and female victimization in domestic abuse, he ignores men's overwhelmingly disproportionate victimization in violence outside the home; in discussing the prevalence of rape, he ignores the greater prevalence in America of male-male prison rape; and, in discussing the gender pay-gap, he ignores that much of a man's wage is spent on and by his wife, ex-wife, girlfriend and daughters.
Given the word-limit imposed by Amazon, I have not been able to address all the issues raised by Sterba. However, given Sterba's tendency to ignore inconvenient arguments raised by Farrell, it behoves to conclude by addressing some further issues raised by Farrell that Sterba neglects to address.
Farrell shows that men are vastly over-represented among groups such as the homeless and those employed in the lowest status and most physically dangerous occupations. Sterba avoids these issues altogether.
The closest he comes to addressing them is, not in the main body of his text, but rather in an endnote, where he gripes that Farrell "spends a lot of time talking about what is primarily the class-based oppression of refuse collectors" (p212).
However, Sterba omits to explain why the oppression of refuse-collectors is necessarily "primarily class-based". True, all refuse collectors are, by definition, working-class. Since social class is defined by occupational status, this is self-evident.
However, they are also, like the homeless, almost exclusively male. These facts and their implications demand an explanation.
Benatar (2003) "The second sexism, a second time," Social Theory And Practice, 29(2):177-210.
Blackwell, Holleran & Finn (2008) The Impact of the Pennsylvania Sentencing Guidelines on Sex Differences in Sentencing. Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice 24(4):399-418
Boyd (2004) 'Big Sister' (product-linked above)
Brown (2006) Biology at Work: Rethinking Sexual Equality (product-linked above)
Curry 2010 The conditional effects of victim and offender ethnicity and victim gender on sentences for non-capital cases. Punishment & Society 12(4):438-462
Curry, Lee & Rodriguez (2004) 'Does Victim Gender Increase Sentence Severity? Further Explorations of Gender Dynamics and Sentencing Outcomes', Crime & Delinquency, 50(3):319-343.
Daly & Bordt (1995) 'Sex effects and sentencing: An analysis of the statistical literatures Justice Quarterly 12(1)
Demuth & Steffensmeier (2004) `Impact of Gender and Race-Ethnicity in the Pretrial Release Process' Social Problems 51(2):222-242
Elizabeth (1979) 'Wife Beating in Nineteenth-Century America' Victimology 4(1)
Embry & Lyons (2012) 'Sex-Based Sentencing: Sentencing Discrepancies Between Male and Female Sex Offenders'. Feminist Criminology 7(2):146-162
Farrell 1993 The Myth of Male Power (product-linked above)
Freiburger & Hilinski (2010) `The Impact of Race, Gender, and Age on the Pretrial Decision' Criminal justice review 35(3):318-334
Fiebert (2011) References Examining Assaults By Women On Their Spouses Or Male Partners: An Annotated Bibliography (available online; an earlier version published in Sexuality and Culture (2010) 14 (1), 49-91
George (2007) 'Skimmington Revisited' Journal of Men's Studies 10(2):111-127
Glazek 'Raise the crime rate' N+1 Magazine (issue 13)
Goldstein (2001) War and Gender: How gender shapes the war system and vice versa. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
Hoff-Sommers (1995) 'Who Stole Feminism' (Product-linked above)
James (2003) 'Domestic Violence: the 12 things you aren't supposed to know' (product-linked above)
Jeffries et al (2003) Pathways to Sex-Based Differentiation in Criminal Court Sentencing Criminology 41(2):329-354
Jones (2000) 'Gendercide and Genocide' Journal of Genocide Research, 2:2:185-211.
Kammer (2002) If Men Have All the Power How Come Women Make the Rules
Kanin (1994) "False Rape Allegations" Archives of Sexual Behavior, 23(1) 1994, p. 81.
Langan & Dawson (1995) 'Spouse Murder Defendants in Large Urban Counties' (U.S. Department of Justice: Bureau of Justice Statistics)
McLeod (1984). Women against men: An examination of domestic violence based on an analysis of official data and national victimization data. Justice Quarterly 1:171-193
Moffitt, (1997) Partner Violence Among Young Adults, National Institute of Justice, NCJ 154277.
Mustard (2001) 'Racial, Ethnic and Gender Disparities in Sentencing: Evidence from the US Federal Courts Social Science Research Network' XLIV:285-314.
Pearson (1999) When She was Bad (product-linked above)
Rodriguez, Curry and Lee (2006) 'Gender Differences in Criminal Sentencing: Do Effects Vary Across Violent, Property, and Drug Offenses?' Social Science Quarterly 87(2):318
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
Sarantakos (2004) Deconstructing self-defense in wife-to-husband violence. The Journal of Men's Studies, 12(3):277-296.
Shackleton (2008) Should We Mind the Gap?: Gender Pay Differentials and Public Policy
Spohn & Beichner (2000) 'Is Preferential Treatment of Female Offenders a Thing of the Past? A Multisite Study of Gender, Race, and Imprisonment', Criminal Justice Policy Review, Vol. 11, No. 2, 149-184
Stolzenberg and Dalessio 2004 Sex differences in the likelihood of arrest Journal of Criminal Justice 32(5):443-454
Streib (1997) 'America's aversion to executing women', Ohio Northern University Women's Law Journal, 1:1-8
Streib (2001) 'Sentencing Women to Death' Criminal Justice Magazine 16(1)
Streib (2002) Gendering the Death Penalty: Countering Sex Bias in a Masculine Sanctuary, Ohio State Law Journal 63:433
Streib (2006) Rare and Inconsistent: The Death Penalty for Women, Fordham Urban Law Journal 33:609.
Thomas (1993) Not guilty: the Case in Defense of Modern Man
USA Today (2007) 'Veterans make up 1 in 4 homeless' 11 July
Van Creveld (2001) 'Men Women and War' (Product-linked above).
Williams & Holcomb (2004) The Interactive Effects of Victim Race and Gender on Death Sentence Disparity Findings Homicide Studies, 8(4):350-376
Young `Ceasefire!' (product-linked above)
Zingraff & Thomson (1984) 'Differential Sentencing of Women and Men in the USA' International Journal of Sociology of Law 12(4):401-413
In this book, one of the foremost liberal thinkers in the men's movement for equality - Warren Farrell - pits his arguments against staunch defenders of feminism. Counter arguments are presented by James Sterba, with input from over a dozen established feminist academics.
The organisation of the book is excellent: both Farrell and Sterba use the same chapter titles to construct their arguments on key topics. This is a useful approach that enables both lecturer and student to study arguments and counter-arguments on a series of contentious issues. The writing style is accessible, and also supported with appropriate academic references.
The value of this book is that for three decades, a men's movement for sexual equality has been gathering and organising arguments for progressive change. In many cases, their arguments are an evolution of, rather than a challenge to, feminist ideas on equality that developed in the 1960s. Despite this, a power shift in the late 1960s radicalised the women's movement and debate shifted (unconsciously?) away from advancing "equal rights" to advancing "women's rights". Those who radicalised the feminist movement have blocked the dissemination of Farrell's work in the mass media (although he has been able to publish six books and develop a strong following for his work).
When I started presenting academic papers using Farrell's perspectives at conferences, it quickly beecame apparent that antipathy to Farrell's work was mostly based on prejudice and not careful reading of his work. This book is, therefore, ground-breaking as it marks a point where the men's movement equality arguments are considered serious enough to warrant serious discussion amongst contemporary feminists.
For those with an interest in philosophy, this book represents a stage in a Kuhnian paradigm shift (a stage where new theoretical arguments are becoming so influential that they can no longer be ignored or disparaged). For this reason, I encourage all lecturers with an interest in gender relations / social science to examine this book and consider its value as a core text to reinvigorate the teaching of gender relations.
Dr Rory Ridley-Duff
Sheffield Hallam University
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