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Male expendability or male disposability is the idea that society can better cope with the loss of a typical man than with the loss of a typical woman.
Øystein Gullvåg Holter argues that the male-led Russian government's belief in male expendability contributed to their delay in seeking international help during the Kursk submarine disaster, in which an all-male crew was lost. He notes, "If 118 women had been killed, alarm bells regarding discrimination against women would probably have gone off around the world." He notes that able-bodied males were viewed as a more legitimate target during wars in Bosnia, Kosovo, Timor, Rwanda, and Chechnya.
Ivana Milojević notes that while patriarchy assigns the role of sex object to women, it assigns to men the role of violence-object, with male expendability being corollary to the sexual objectification of girls. Films such as They Were Expendable or The Expendables often are about all-male combat teams. Michael D. Clark notes that Adolf Hitler considered gay men expendable by means of Nazi concentration camps and Nazi medical experiments. Manosphere critics of feminism have argued that poor and working-class men "are cannon fodder abroad and expendable labor at home, trapped beneath a glass floor in jobs nobody really wants—farm workers, roofers, garbage men—and injured at far higher rates than women". Walter Block argues in The Case for Discrimination that male expendability is the result of women's being the bottleneck of reproductive capacity in a population. This theme was echoed in Warren Farrell's The Myth of Male Power.
- Holter, Øystein Gullvåg (March 2002). "A theory of gendercide". Journal of Genocide Research. 4 (1): 11–38.
- Ivana Milojević (June 2012). "Why the Creation of a Better World is Premised on Achieving Gender Equity and on Celebrating Multiple Gender Diversities". Journal of Futures Studies. 16 (4): 51–66.
- Clark, J. Michael (May 1993). "From Gay Men's Lives: Toward a More Inclusive, Ecological Vision". The Journal of Men's Studies. 1 (4): 347–358.
- Jeff Sharlet (February 3, 2014). "What Kind of Man Joins the Men's Rights Movement?". GQ. Retrieved 2017-08-03.
- Warren Farrell (1993). The Myth of Male Power: Why Men Are the Disposable Sex. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-0671793494.
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