So what do you think of David Benatar's new book The Second Sexism? A philosophy professor from South Africa, he argues that because more boys drop out of school, fewer men earn degrees, more men die younger and more are incarcerated, that’s proof that men are routinely discriminated against in ways that women are not. In an article in The Guardian he says, ‘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.’
It’s not a new argument at all, and it’s one that can occupy many an argumentative evening down the pub. The short answer is that yes, some men are oppressed, just as some women are oppressed. But I think it misses the point.
The journey towards equality is not a competition where those who can prove the most injustice will win a moral victory even if little changes. The point is that patriarchy is bad for everyone, both men and women. God created us to work in partnership as equals, together reflecting the image of God. We’re far from that in our broken world, but none of us are free until all are free; the liberation of women from stereotypes, oppression and discrimination is bound up in the liberation of men from the same. Let’s learn to listen to each other’s experiences without getting competitive or defensive and then work together to demonstrate the liberating partnership that God intended for us.