The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
3 Points

A ban on the veil at work is not appropriate.

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/27/2013 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,052 times Debate No: 34233
Debate Rounds (2)
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Votes (1)




Imagine this: You're a girl and you're a dead ugly cow and you want people to stop pointing at you and laughing. How do you stop this? The answer is simple: the veil. Wear that thing and you're an insult-proof machine, and to make people think that you're sexy as, all you have to say is that you're wearing it for religious reasons.

So that's why I think banning the veil is really unfair. It makes poor old ugly cows have to put up with chavvy skin-exposing tan-obsessing sexy women hurling insults at them.

I hope for a good debate. No referring to the veil as a 'bin bag' or 'duvet' and no referring to ugly people as 'Mirror-dodging cows' or 'Uggle buggle'. I hope for a good debate.

I thank you.


Hi, KingDebator. I look forward to having a fun and friendly debate with you. You chose an interesting topic, and I thank you for that. Though we only have two rounds, I hope we can make the most of debate. I'm going to clarify the topic, present my own argument, and then turn my attention to yours.

The topic

We need to limit this debate to workplaces in the U.K. (or the U.S., where I live, but the laws are similar) because a world-wide or even country-wide ban would be unenforceable, and I would lose by default. Banning the veil at workplaces in the U.K. is not appropriate. To win, I have to demonstrate that it is acceptable to ban people from wearing veils in some--even one--instance. (Just like saying, "abortion is not appropriate" would point to all cases of abortion, be it rape or incest. If you say, "It's okay in some cases," you are pro-choice, like it or not.)

My argument

Point 1: Freedom

Some organizations ban people from wearing jeans, and others ban veils. This is for many reasons, whether it be company morale, efficiency, (e.g. wearing a veil makes people not see as well and therefore work less efficiently), just for fun. Companies have a right to do whatever they please with the dress code, just as they’re free to hire anyone they choose.

Point 2: Necessity

Suppose a model insists on wearing a veil for a fashion show because she "feels ugly" that day. Can the employer reasonably ask her to remove the veil so as to not ruin the show? Of course! They hired her to display their clothing how they want, and if that means banning veils, so be it. They can ban any item of clothing including veils, and the model should have known this when she signed a contract with them.

Can a movie actress change her character's wardrobe and wear a veil if she wants? Nope! The director can ban veils on the set (i.e. in the workplace) for the movie, and the actress can do nothing about it. Or is there? This brings us to Point 3.

Point 3: Employees can change workplaces

The ability to ban veils does not make employers all-powerful: employees can work wherever they choose. If the option to wear a veil at work is a requirement, a woman can negotiate during the hiring process or find a company that allows veils. Most companies will probably not ban veils, but if they choose to ban them, it’s their loss, as they won’t hire women who are talented workers but wish to wear a veil at work. If the woman in question doesn't want to work without a veil, she can apply to another company and/or switch careers. Some lines of work do not allow employees to wear what they want, and that’s that.


Your basic argument boils down to this: someone is ugly, people make fun of her, and the veil is a great solution. Therefore, it cannot be banned. There are some flaws to this argument.

Part 1: Veils are not the only solution.

Sure, veils might be a great way for a plain woman to hide her mug, but they're not the only option. If veils are banned, she could try any of the following:

-Apply her makeup differently (which can make a huge difference; ask any girl)

-Resolve the problem by asking the people to stop making fun of her

-Take the problem to HR

-Work out to lose weight

-Get plastic surgery (a big step, but if it's such a huge problem for her, this may be a reasonable solution)

-Find a new workplace where people won't laugh at her (See Part 3 above)

Part 2: Other items of clothing are banned from the workplace.

This point is basically Point 1 from above. Many desk jobs will not allow employees to work in a T-shirt or a bikini. These items are banned sometimes because they are distracting or because they lower productivity. Whatever the reason may be, a company should not be denied the right to set its own dress code. If we forced companies to allow veils in all cases, we would be making our way down a slippery slope: companies would no longer be allowed to run themselves as they please.

Again, I thank you for opening this debate, and I look forward to your response.

Debate Round No. 1


First, and rather rudely may I add, Con tries to change the debate. It's my debate, and I do not accept it. Perhaps Con should've tried to make the change in the comments section. This means that (in his words) he 'loses by default'. As he has said 'A universal or country-wide ban would be unenforceable'. Sorry, but you're the one that accepted the debate.

Con then lists some 'examples' of where a ban on the veil at work is not appropriate. However, this is wrong. Everyone knows that religious rights overcome all of those other things.

Con then lists some examples of methods that an ugly-arse cow could use instead of wearing the veil, but the veil has some advantages to it.

-It's cheap-as.
-Everyone will think 'Hey, that's just a normal Muslim'
-Nobody will suspect your ugliness.
-You can wear a baggy one and your weight will remain a mystery.
-You don't have to lose all your spondoulix to buying make-up and hair dye.
-If you get a red one, it doubles as a post box costume.
-The bullies will just be too afraid to make fun of you, as you get sued if you make fun of the religious.
-You get to keep your job, as your employer will be too afraid to sack you as he's afraid of getting sued.

I thank you.



Thank you for your rebuttal. In the spirit of a fair and fun debate, my clarification was an attempt to clarify exactly what you intended by your debate topic. It is reasonable to assume that the opening to a debate won’t be a truistic one, and will at least afford the opposing side a fair chance. I did not “change the debate”; I only wrote out how anyone with common sense would have understood the topic.I did not specify one specific organization that would easily grant me the victory, nor did I provide the clarification in a way that assumes anything unreasonable and allows me to win by default. I even agreed to apply the debate to the U.K. where Pro lives (but I do not). By Pro's rules, he is allowed to go back and change any part of a debate topic he doesn’t specify.

Pro had all the time in the world to form his opening statement to his liking, and yet he still failed to do that. Had Pro actually put what he meant, there would not have been any confusion—or even a debate, apparently. This is what Pro is trying to teach us: if someone fails to define something clearly, it’s everyone else's responsibility to help him fix it.

However, even with that in mind, Pro then blatantly contradicts himself. If he has won the debate already, why continue any further? Simple: Pro actually had my clarifications in mind as the topic when he started the debate, but he took advantage of my explanation and is using it as a safety net in case his other rebuttals fail (and boy, do they fail). In other words, he is trying to have his cake and eat it too. I will now demonstrate not only why his rebuttals fail, but also that he actually agrees with my clarification and had it in mind all along, and is now trying to change the debate to his liking.

“Con then lists some 'examples’... However, this is wrong. Everyone knows that religious rights overcome all of those other things.”

France has banned veils in many contexts despite having “religious freedom” [1]. In countries that practice Islam, women are required to wear a veil. There are many countries in which religious rights do not overcome “all of those other things” at all. Is Pro talking about the whole world? If he is, as he pointed out, he is completely wrong. Religious rights don’t overcome “all of those other things” unless you are living in a country that allows freedom of religion, such as the U.K. Clearly, Pro is trying to play both sides.

Even if we are, in fact, talking exclusively about the U.K. as I had intended (and I strongly believe Pro secretly intended as well), companies can ban veils in certain cases, such as for models and actresses, as I pointed out earlier. Employers are by no means required to hire people who want to wear whatever they want in every case. If a veil is in the way of work, they do not have to cave in to the employee and allow her to ruin whatever project they are working on.

Then, Pro lists some advantages the veil has. This in no way refutes my argument that there are other ways of coping (see Rebuttal Part 1). The advantages of the veil have no bearing on my argument.

In conclusion:

-Pro has not refuted any of my points. The one rebuttal he attempted was incomplete at best.

-Pro has not even addressed all of my points. What about models and actresses? What about bans on other forms of clothing? What about banning veils for reasons other than religion, such as morale and efficiency?

-Pro does not have a clear idea of what he is arguing in the first place: if he is arguing for religious tolerance, he should have brought that up in his first argument. If he is arguing about a worldwide ban, he somehow incorrectly assumed that religion is a freedom everywhere and people make fun of each other for their looks everywhere. The blatant hypocrisy and attempt to change the topic at the very end is astounding.

I thank Pro for the fun and fair debate.



Debate Round No. 2
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1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by larztheloser 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro had several things going for him. He used narratives. He only had one argument to meet his BOP, but it was clear and the structure was decent. There were two immediate problems. The first was a lack of analysis - why it's important for people to look good etc. The second was that it limited the debate to a very specific circumstance, rather than arguing the broader principle that the motion called for of a right to wear a veil at work. Con did restrict the debate, which pro was right to claim is usually their job, but I didn't feel con's restrictions were necessary or unreasonable. Con did have analysis on his arguments to a much greater extent (though it would be good to hear, for example, WHY companies often have to enforce dress codes etc), which was what edged them over pro. Con, however, also seemed to try to avoid arguing for the broader principle at stake here. In the future, this should be avoided by both sides. Entertaining debate, 3:1 neg.