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The Contender
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4 Points

Combine 'womens' and 'mens' departments from clothing stores - they're sexist and discriminatory

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/4/2015 Category: Fashion
Updated: 10 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 577 times Debate No: 83445
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (1)




It seems that Men's fashion choice are being more and more limited and restricted as time goes on. Any man seen wearing anything remotely attached to the female spectrum is typically considered 'gay' or 'weird' yet women can, and have, adopted wearing most of the male wardrobe (trousers, suits and shoes - e.g. brogues and loafers) each time feminizing some of the items and 'moving' them from the Men's department to the Women's department! A man wanting to wear, for example, skinny jeans and knee high boots, even if he looks fantastic, would probably not do so because of the fear of being ridiculed on the street and almost certainly be accused of being gay or, far worse, weird or perverted. I know this from experience.

Cross-dressing is a term that only seems to apply to men wearing 'female' clothes but in fact, women cross dress all the time without any reprisals at all.

Whilst there are some outreaching open-minded designers out there putting men in skirts, leggings, tights, knee or thigh high boots and even dresses on the catwalk, typical social opinion of this in the UK leaves me to think we're a very long way off seeing it on the street let alone in the mainstream shops unless changes are made.

It is fair to say that some unisex items are becoming more acceptable. Certainly, men in skinny jeans is now quite common place but with knee high boots?? NO! But why not? Leggings (or Meggings as men's leggings are now dubbed) are only acceptable on the sports field in running or cycling. Some schools have had to vary their uniform policy to avoid being sexist - they now allow boys to wear skirts but, not surprisingly, no (or very few) pupils take up this option except perhaps in Scotland where a kilt is considered more unisex.

Are you one of the people who might stare and possibly make fun at a man wearing a skirt or Ugg boots or leggings or knee high boots ? If so, why is it that you snigger and what makes it unacceptable for a man to wear whatever he wants to wear ? Opinion on this seems very different between men and women. I think more women than men are prepared to accept it - this ironically means that it is actually the men who are limiting the content of their wardrobe whilst most women aren't necessarily worried either way. This is evidenced in forums and blogs all over the internet.

However, some women out there say 'I like my man to be a man' but what is it about a man wearing a skirt that makes him any less of a man than if he wore trousers? Others say 'a man looks ridiculous in a skirt or leggings so it's a no no'. Well, we all have different body shapes and it's fair to say that some women look just as ridiculous in their 'correctly' gender associated clothing too !

It's time to break down the barriers and get rid of the stigmas. There are many men out there who are 100% straight and would look great in clothes from the female department. Equally, I accept that not every guy would look great in a mini dress and a pair of heels (or want to) but then there's a lot of women out there who don't either !

This debate isn't about what specific clothes men should wear, it's about whether they should have the free choice to wear what they want without fear of reprisal or ridicule. I am voting for men to be able to walk into a store and try on a dress without being laughed at by the assistant. I am voting for men to be able to openly wear tights with shorts or a skirt (off the sports field!) without being worried that he is going to be accused of being gay, weird or perverted. I am voting for men to be able to wear knee high boots without being accused of being 'kinky' or dubbed as a cross dresser.

I let my partner wear whatever he wants - he wears skinny jeans and ugg boots, he wears tights under his trousers in the winter, he looks fabulous in some low heel, over knee boots I bought him last year but he won't wear them outside the house!

Its time to open our eyes and change social opinions on male fashion. Men - you need to wake up and smell the roses before you're only left with baggy jeans, trainers and a plain tee shirt !!

In modern society, where so many barriers, opinions and discrimination is actively being removed or rendered illegal, why is it still acceptable to restrict a man to shop in a different section of a shop to women? There is a simple fix to this covert gender discrimination.

This debate is about creating a free fashion environment for men and to uphold their entitlement and right to wear what they want. Let's make all clothing and the stores selling clothing unisex - Remove all the social, sexist and discriminatory barriers. The signs 'Womens' and 'Mens' in clothing stores should be removed - they are sexist and, in today's world, absolutely no different to the old apartheid signs. They create discrimination and are no less offensive than the old 'Blacks' and 'Whites' signs that we saw in the past and fought hard to remove. If we remove discrimination on the high street, opinions will rapidly change and Men will be able to freely express themselves irrespective of their sexuality / orientation.

Live and let live. In 2015, it is hard to believe that having fought so hard for gay rights, multi-racial acceptance, disabled access and rights, removal of religious barriers and acceptance of all people - yet we are still faced with the most basic and fundamental discrimination of them all - Sexism !


My argument is short, simple and to the point. First, I will be dismissing the opponent's rhetoric. While I understand the point, my argument will cut through that. I'll begin.

Argument 1: Separation for easy shopping.

This first point leads to my next two points. Basically, it is necessary for a store to make the shopping experience of its customers as easy and quick as possible. Regardless of whether it is or is not morally/ethically/etc. right or wrong for men/women to wear clothes of the opposite sex, it cannot be denied that men typically wear clothes from the "men's section" and that women often wear clothes from the "ladies section".

As such, it is beneficial for the business to separate the two. See my next points for clarification.

Argument 2: Men and women do not have commonly known universal sizes.

While there no doubt exist clothes size schemas that are gender neutral, the majority of schemas to not take gender neutrality into consideration. As such, a woman's medium is a very different size and cut than a man's medium. Understanding this, it is clear why a store would separate men's and women's clothing.

It is not an act of sexism, rather is a an act that realizes that men's sizes and women's sizes are fundementally different and that there is no way to combine the two without adding a new, complex system of sizes that would turn the customers off.

Argument 3: A business should behave how it needs to to gain the most profit, legally.

The entire point of a business it to generate revenue. Providing the public with a service or good is a side effect of this desire to generate revenue. As such, a store should act in such a way that it maximizes income, without comitting illegal acts.

Because of the size differences in clothes, the different cuts of clothes, the different styles of clothes, and the different gender interpretation of clothes, it would not be beneficial for a company t combine the men's and women's sections. This would cause confusion, it would cause the store to either lose customers or have customers that spend too much time shopping. Both things negatively impact business.

As such, it is necessary and economically beneficial to separate the men's and women's sections. It is not a company's job to be overly hospitable to a minority, but rather it is their job to be as hospitable to the majority as possible, so as to maximize profits.


I look forward to the opponent's response.
Debate Round No. 1


I thank the Contender for making his opening statement but he seems to have missed the point rather:

1) Separation for ease shopping.

I accept that stores have to make the shopping experience easy and quick however Supermarkets combining thousands of different products in many different categories seem to do well in this without too much trouble. In fact, some (TK Maxx for example) seem to go out of their way to maximise turnover by forcing customers to trawl through hundreds of different items hoping that if they don't find what they want, they will actually find something else that they WILL buy.

You state that "it cannot be denied that men typically wear clothes from the 'mens department' and ladies wear clothes from the 'ladies section' - why is that do you think? Is it exactly because of the gender categorisation of the various garments and the fact that we are all so used to this as 'the norm' that we don't need to think outside the box? This was exactly the point of my argument!! Men and women have been compartmentized into one set of clothes each and we accept that out of habit - because it's what we're used to; the habit is what we need to change.

I also fail to agree that it is beneficial for the business to separate the two. In fact, I believe the opposite is true as both Men and Women will have more choice (double in fact) to choose what they want to buy without any social or habitual prejudice forcing them to only buy half of what is available. It's like separating a food shop into two ridiculous halves where only some people would be able to shop for milk while others would be forced to have the soya alternative... It's all about consumer choice and I regret that your argument in this is fatally flawed.

2) Men and Women do not have commonly known universal sizes.

I accept that a woman's 'medium' is different to a men's 'medium' but you must be aware that many clothes now have international labels showing multiple sizes because, for example, a size 12 in the UK is different to a size 12 in the US. Some labels have as many as six / seven different sizes on them. Using this as a reason to separate men's and women's departments is no argument at all - in fact, it's quite ridiculous.

Similarly, a size 12 in H&M is often different to a size 12 in Primark. The sizes are simply a guide anyway and most people are aware that in certain shops they have to buy a larger size wheras in others the reverse is true.

Having bought clothes for my partner, I know the ladies' equivalent size of his male sizes. It's not rocket science but a new and complex system of sizing is NOT actually required - An added line on the label of the garment helping to make clear the equivalent size of the opposite sex is a simple answer. This already happens in some unisex shoes that show both male and female size information.

Argument 3 - A businessshould behave in such a manner to gain the most profit, legally

I fully agree but how is this a counter-argument? Are you suggesting that to combine mens and womens departments would be illegal ? If so, I don't get it. It's more likely in fact that they are (or soon will be given the continual and increasing awareness in discrimination laws) perceived to be operating illegally if they continue to discriminate between mens and womens departments

I have already countered your argument on size differences above so won't reiterate that but you also state that with different cuts, styles and 'gender interpretation' of clothes it would not be beneficial for a company to combine the mens and womens sections. What a load of phooey! This whole debate is about 'gender interpretation' of clothes and trying to eradicate it so it seems quite bizarre that you use that phrase as a counter argument.

You seem to be implying that all men and women have similar shape because of their natural shapes - the fact of the matter is that both sexes come in all shapes and sizes. Large or tall men and women shop for clothes that THEY KNOW are suitable for them. The same is true if they are petite. People know what they look good in and what they don't. There is no confusion in this and I fail to understand how offering a greater choice would cause people to shop for longer or how that could be considered 'negative' to business.

This debate has nothing to do with requiring stores to be 'overly hospitable to a minority'. It's about giving EVERYONE a fair choice and at the same time removing the prejudice and habitual compartmentization that forces men into one section and deters women from shopping outside of their 'own' department. I say 'deters' because many women are already comfortable shopping for themselves in the men's department, me included! It's the men who are getting a raw deal.

Finally, there are far more men out there than you consider credible that would actually buy items of typically female clothing for themselves if there were less barriers to it. This isn't about catering for a minority as you suggest. Most men who want to do this have to buy under the cover of 'buying for my girlfriend'. You only have to ask an Assistant in one of these shops to validate that as a fact!

Your aguements really don't hold up but I look forward to your comments.


I'm going to start with a brief overview of the opponent main thesis so as to dispell the notion that the department stores are neither 'sexist' or 'prejudiced' by splitting their store into men's and women's section. Following that, I will defend my arguments.

Thesis Overview

The opponent's entire argument rests on the idea that when a department store splits it's sections into men's and women's (to be denoted as "section splitting" in the future) it is engaging in a sexist and prejudicial activity.

Prejudice is defined as "a preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience". Sexism is a prejudice that relates specifically to sex. In order for "section splitting" to be prejudicial and, thus, sexist -- one would have to effectively argue that sections are split without reason. This is clearly not the case, for the reasons I have already provided. (Different sizes, different cuts, common dressing conventions, and economically beneficial.)

The opponent is attempting to argue that all of these reasons are fundementally flawed, simply because they do not reflect a reality the opponent would prefer. Personally, I fully support the movement largely led by the LGBT supporting community to increase awareness of gender issues, but that movement is outside the scope of this debate. We are not arguing over whether "society should recognize that classifying products/services/etc. by sex is wrong", but rather whether "department stores engaging in section splitting is prejudicial." What we are concerned with in this debate is whether a department store ought to be obligated to split its sections.

I will, again, rehash my arguments so that it is abundantly clear that department stores have good reasons for section splitting, which in turn proves that their behavior is not prejudicial or sexist. In doing so, I will have effectively denied the resolution.

1. Separation for ease of shopping.

Here the opponent agrees that ease of shopping is important, but then breaks off into a tangent claiming that it is wrong that we see compartmentization of clothing as the norm. Again, the opponent is arguing outside the scope of the resolution. Whether or not it is "wrong" that a particular gender prefers clothes made for that gender doesn't matter. Rather, it is an easily confirmable fact that men do prefer to wear men's clothing and women to prefer to wear women's clothing. (Take a walk around any mall and look around. Most men will be wearing clothes marketed toward men and most women will be wearing clothes marketed toward women. And by 'most' I mean "virtually all".)

Because stores recognize that genders generally prefer to wear clothes marketed toward their specific gender, stores split sections so as the make the shopping experience easier. It would be a foolish business practice to combine the two, as it would create a more frustrating experience. The opponent argues that clothing stores should look more like supermarkets, but fails to realize that a supermarket also separates its products by type. The meat is in one section, veggies in another, cheese in another, etc. If Walmart were to suddenly shift to simply intermixing all their items into one large section, it would be very difficult to find what you need. The same applies to clothing stores, though to a lesser extend.

In summary, because genders prefer clothing of their own gender (whether right or wrong), it is a good business practice to separate the two into sections.

2. Men and women do not have commonly known universal sizes.

Here the opponent does not actually refute my point, but instead tries to downplay the consequences of it, claiming that it is not "rocket science".

It is, however, a nuisance. Labels do include different sizes by country because this is profitable. Rather than print 17 different tags dependent upon which country will be receiving the item, they include all the countries on one tag. Then a customer simply finds their country on the tag (it's generally in the same place every time) and they know their size.

While I can admit that a Hollister medium fits differently than a Chaps medium, they are generally similar. A women's medium, however, is very different from a men's medium. What's more important than size, however, is cut (as I mentioned). Women's shirts typically have extra room in the front to support breasts, just as women's jeans often lack the extra room in front needed by men.

This goes to show that there is a very practical reason, one based upon experience, for splitting sections. If you were to combine sections, you would not only need to add to the label a size, but also whether the garment has "room for breasts" or "room for male genitals". This just confuses the situation and makes life more difficult for the customer. In the case of a split section, a man can look through jeans without having to look at the tag of every pair just to make sure the jeans won't crush his valuables. With a combined section, this would be an issue.

In summary, because of the fundemental size differences and cut differences in men's and women's clothing, it is easier for the customer to have split sections.

3. A business should behave in such a manner to gain the most profit, legally.

I don't think the opponent understood this argument completely. I'm not implying that it would be illegal to combine sections, but rather that a business should implement whichever selling strategy is most profitable to the business, provided that this practice is legal. Because I have demonstrated that it is beneficial to clothing stores to split section, it is the practice the business should engage in.

The opponent then invalidates his/her position by admitting to arguing outside the scope. They claim, "this whole debate is about 'gender interpretation' of clothes...". This simply isn't true, as a cursory glance at the resolution would suggest. In fact, we are arguing whether it is prejudicial and sexist for clothing stores to split clothing sections. I am not arguing that 'gender interpretation' should or should not be eliminated because that is not the main issue of the debate. Rather, I'm arguing the actual resolution. If the opponent wanted a different debate, they should have picked a different resolution.

Additionally, the opponent implies that mixing sections gives customers a "greater choice." While this is marginally true, this is not a choice most customers want. Most men do not want to have to wade through women's clothing and read every tag to make sure it will support their genitals. Most men are not interested in wearing panties, blouses, dresses or bras.

However, for those men who do want to wear those types of clothes, they still have the choice. They simply have to walk a hundred feet or so to the other side of the store and look through those sections. The effort needed is absolutely minimal, a fact with department stores understand. So long as we continue to live in a society where genders prefer to wear clothing typically marketed toward their gender, it is in the best interest of stores to split sections. For those who wish to wear clothing stereotypical of the opposite gender, they need only walk to the other section.

Closing Remarks

I have demonstrated that department stores have valid reasons for splitting sections. As such, their actions cannot be considered prejudicial and, by extension, are not sexist. I have effectively denied the resolution.

The opponent is sidetracked on a narrative supporting a different resolution. We are not concerned with a hypothetical world where gender interpretations don't exist, but instead the real world where they do.
Debate Round No. 2


I thank my opponent for his lengthy argument in Round 2 but he still seems to have lost his way a little in the argument by claiming that I have detracted from the main argument and resolution. The fact remains that most of my points are indeed relative to the resolution.

Section splitting in clothes shops is widely the norm at present because, and I have to agree with my opponent here, men do generally wear clothes associated with men and vice versa. I however maintain that a lot of women are comfortable shopping for themselves in the men's department and that this is not reciprocated by men. However, the fact that this occurs now because "that's how it is" is not a reasonable argument to carry on doing it! This debate is about effecting change and changing perceived social opinions and clearly my opponent is one of those who considers that any change in behaviour has to be a bad thing regardless of the reasoning or rationale behind it.

In fact this debate has nothing to do with anything related to the LGBT community and I am not surprised that my opponent has assumed this to be fundamental to the resolution. By his own reasoning 'prejudice is a preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience'. Since my opponent has quoted this, I find it bizarre that he seemingly has a preconceived opinion that this is a debate from someone related to the LGBT community - that in itself is prejudiced as I had provided no reason for his assumption and, I dare say, it was not based on his actual experience either !

At this point - it should be cased closed as my opponent has made the point quite clear by demostration of his thinking that for a man to wear women's clothes, he MUST be part of the LGBT community. Fortunately this is utter hogwash but I thank him for making the point so succinctly and for seemingly scoring a rather large own goal by demonstrating exactly the point that proves the whole issue of section splitting IS both prejudicial and sexist.

Whilst stores may recognise that genders seem to prefer wearing clothes designed for their specific gender, stores are aware that fashion is converging. Men now wear skinny jeans. Some coats are now marketed as 'unisex' as the style, cut and colour are suitable for both genders. Women have had 'boyfriend cut' clothes (shirts, jackets and jeans) for several years. Should the convergence continue (and I suspect that it will), would my opponent still consider it 'foolish' business practice to combine the two departments? Selfridges in London last year marketed a range of men's tights. They had no problem with stocking them (no pun intended) in both mens and womens departments as they didn't know where customers might look. I guess in that case, the resolution had already been passed by this World renowned store.

So, as time goes on and fashions converge for men and women, my opponent still believes that combining the two departments would prove to be either a foolish business practice OR a much more frustrating experience ? The sizing, cuts and physical differences in clothes are wholly irrelevant - a low cut slim fitting dress wouldn't suit all women let alone most men! It doesn't stop the manufacturers from making the dress though does it ? Let's also remember that many designers ARE already catwalking men in dresses, skirts, tights and heels. It might not have hit the high street just yet but it almost certainly will and passing the resolution will simply
catalyse the general acceptance of these converging styles reshaping fashion as we know it overnight.

Supermarkets do indeed categorise their stores by product type but perhaps a better analogy would be the hardware store: If that were split into 'Mens' and 'Womens', the mens section might contain power tools, nails, screws, electrical and plumbing. The female section might contain gardening, lighting, decor and paint. It is equally true that a man could wander into the women's section to buy paint but the sheer fact that each gender is sectionalised in this way can only be considered as sexist and this is absolutely no different to the clothes shop model. The Equal Rights Act would jump on this like a ton of bricks but not so in a clothes store ?

Similarly, my opponent states that removing the gender split in clothes shops would create a more frustrating experience. Has he never been frustrated in a supermarket or hardware store? The resolution however was not about how frustrating combining mens and womens departments might or might not make the shopping experience - it is about the sexist and prejudicial restriction that effectively prevents men, in particular, from feeling they cannot freely browse, try or buy clothes from the women's section for themselves without somebody, my opponent included, assuming that they must be from the LGBT community or just 'a bit weird'.

Should the resolution be passed, there is nothing to prevent the stores from logically locating similar items together - trousers, suits, dresses, underwear, nightwear. I fail to understand how this is in anyway more frustrating than it would be now when the only additional factor is whether or not it would 'fit' the male or female better. This is a subjective choice made by the consumer on what they want and whether THEY consider that it is suitable to them. If it happens to be a man who thinks he looks good in a skirt, so be it or, to keep it fair, a woman who thinks she looks good in an oversize jacket, great. It’s all about equality and removing the social and prejudicial barriers that my opponent so unintentionally confirmed do exist in the third paragraph of his 'Thesis overview'.

I would like my opponent to fairly consider his comment about wandering into the other section to simply help himself to an item from the section designed for the opposite sex. Whether this is something he may or may not choose to do for himself is almost immaterial because the feeling he would have choosing and buying a skirt for himself would be no different from the feeling that someone who DID want to buy a skirt for themselves would have: Intimidated, feeling foolish, embarrassed, etc. So the question is why would he feel like that? Simply because he would be aware of everything he's put in his arguments trying to dismiss the motion PROVING, beyond all reasonable doubt, that prejudice does exist and the general pattern of thought is that if you are a man buying clothes in the womens department, you must be either gay or weird.

I remain unhinged that my opponent denies the resolution. His arguments have undoubtedly proved the sexist and prejudicial thinking associated with clothes shopping. It is time to change this social stigma. If you can't put 'Blacks', 'Whites', 'Gay', 'Lesbian'. 'Able-bodied' or 'Disabled' on sections in shops, it is equally unacceptable to put 'male' or 'female' for the same ethical and quite obvious reasons.

Clothes are simply garments that should allow anyone and everyone to express a sense of their own style - the clothes do not and should not be allowed to determine your gender, sexual orientation or any other prejudicial factor. The separation of clothes department by gender actively promotes gender separation, increasing prejudice and reducing choice for both genders regardless of sexual orientation. It is simply archaic and old-fashioned to consider this as acceptable in the modern, tolerant and normally accepting society.

My opponent has failed to provide any valid or real argument for not combining the departments in clothes shops and, in recognition of his comments about the 'real world', he needs to recognise that fashions are coverging and his views are stuck in the dark ages when apartheid existed, being gay was taboo and disabled people were treated as second class citizens. Fortunately all that has gone but genderism (perhaps better than 'sexism') and prejudice in fashion is still very real !!!


For clarity in this final round, I will be addressing my opponent's most recent argument "line-by-line", which essentially means I will sum up the essence of a paragraph or two, in order, then rebut it/them. I believe this will make it easier for the reader to follow -- though please understand that my original arguments are indeed still intact and addressed thoroughly within my response.

This debate is about affecting change and changing perceived social opinions.

This is may or may not have been the opponent's original intention, but that is entirely irrelevant. The resolution clearly states that we should "combine womens and mens departments [in] clothing stores [because] they're sexist and discriminatory". In accepting this debate, it became my obligation to deny this resolution and it became my opponent's obligation to affirm this resolution. So long as I demonstrate that split sections are not sexist or discriminatory (prejudicial), I have won the debate.

The opponent should consider wording the resolution to say what they mean next time. It is not my job to "read between the lines" of a resolution. I don't believe I'm arguing a semantics game here -- the resolution is clear.

This debate has nothing to do with anything related to the LGBT community.

It would be an injustice to say that "gender issues" have nothing to do with the LGBT community and its supporters (LGBT supporters was the terminology I used in my argument.) I myself am a member of this community and I can say from first hand experience that LGBT supporters push this issue while other groups do not.

I was not claiming or implying that men who wish to wear women's clothes were gay and what I said does not even read like that. I simply made the assumption that this was an issue the LGBT community and its supporters were involved with -- something that is not prejudicial, as I have made the assumption on the basis of both reason and actual experience.

Lastly, even if I was being prejudicial -- I am not a department store and I have different motivations than a department store, so the comparison isn't adequate in the first place.

Fashion trends are converging.

This may be true. In fact, it probably is true that many fashions once considered 'taboo' for men or women are becoming socially acceptable. However, this doesn't change the fact that in the status quo most of these "convergent trends" are not socially acceptable. As such, it is in a department store's best interest to satisfy customers living in the now rather than appealing to a possible, but not yet substantial customer base that prefers unisex clothing.

In 20 years if unisex clothing is considered popular, then I would not be arguing what I am now; my argument would make no sense. But it isn't 2035, it's 2015 and we have to debate this issue in the context of 2015. One "world renowned store" introducing a unisex item does not demonstrate that social trends have changed to a degree that department stores should combine sections.

(Private businesses often act in their own self-interest, which is almost always profit. If it were currently profitable to combine sections, it would already be happening.)

Sizing, cuts and physical cut is entirely irrelevant.

I have already addressed this, but I suppose I need to be more thorough. It is true that many women cannot fit into a "slim fitting" dress. However, there is another convenient split within womens and mens sections that solve this problem: size categories. Combining sections, however, would still require different "sub-sections" that appeal to the biological differences in men and women. There are two possibilities: a) there would be no separation by biology, leading to a difficult shopping experience or b) there would be a separate racks for "biologically men" clothes and "biologically women" clothes. (Perhaps 'physically' is the better term.) In the first scenario, the problem is obvious -- it is an inconvenience to the shoppers. In the second scenario, you end up were you originally were before, split sections based upon gender. There just isn't a reasonable solution to this problem.

One might compare my opponent's premise to the idea of combining sizes. One could argue that sections of different sizes are discriminatory toward differently sized people, so we should combine all sizes. It's easy to see how this would unnecessarily complicate the issue, just as it's easy to see how combining gender sections would complicate the issue.

What if a hardware store were split into 'mens' and 'womens' sections?

This is not a good analogy. Splitting a hardware store in such a way makes unfounded assumption based upon stereotypes of men and women. There is no natural reason to assume that a woman wouldn't enjoying a buzzsaw or that a man wouldn't enjoy pottery.

This contrasts greatly with clothing, where it is natural to assume that men need extra space in the front of their jeans and that women need extra space in the front of their shirts. It is additionally natural to assume that women have a different 'shape' than men, tending toward more curves and a different distribution of fatty tissue than have men. These assumptions are natural and reasonably because they're based upon human biology -- an easily seen and empirically true fact about the human race.

It is wrong to assume that most all women enjoy gardening. It is not wrong to assume that most all women have breasts.

Split sections are embarrasing to people who wander to the "wrong section".

The opponent states that [a man] who wandered into the women's section to buy a skirt would feel "intimidated, foolish and embarrassed" and that this proves there exists prejudice.

I cannot say and have not said that there aren't people who are prejudiced toward the idea of dressing outside of socially accepted gender norms. Those people certainly do exist. However, we are not discussing people in the store. We are discussing the store itself, which works in a self-interest to appeal to customers so as to gain profit.

Many stores that fully express support of recognizing the complexities of gender issues, such as J.C. Penny, Kenneth Cole, etc. all still separate their clothing by gender. Clearly they are not doing this out of some prejudice against men or women, but instead (and again) because it is convenient to the shopper.

I have plenty of gay friends that wear women's clothing. None of them feel ashamed or embarrassed in buying this clothing, likely because they wouldn't be willing to wear the clothes if they weren't willing to buy them. So the argument that the opponent is trying to construct, that the guilt felt when crossing lines to the other section is a result of existing prejudice may have merit when it comes to the opinions of people, but holds no water when it comes to the business goals of department stores.


Closing Remarks

The opponent fails to argue the resolution at hand, instead arguing some higher, philosophical ideal that was not stated in the resolution. I have demonstrated that clothing stores have valid reason to split sections, in that it is based upon actual experience and hold valid logical reasoning. This, in turn, shows that the actions of the clothing stores in doing this is not prejudicial and, as an extension, not sexist. I have upheld my burden of denying the resolution.

As for the more philosophical side of things, I am a huge supporter of equal rights. But what the opponent is proposing isn't ultimately about equal rights. He/she wants to remove categories that make our lives easier simply because of this new, radical idea that prejudice is inherent in category. There cannot be peace if you're always finding reasons not to be peaceful.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Jonbonbon 10 months ago
Lol no the clothing for men has expanded a lot. Wearing feminine clothing is a current fad among skinny men who can pull it off. However men's shirts fit differently than women's shirts. Women have boobs, so shirts of one size are a little longer than they would be for men. Men's pants fit differently than women's pants. Men have penises and testicles. Plus men are statistically taller and huskier than women, meaning that the clothes fit different in that way as well. So for clothing to be comfortable to each gender, they need to be separated. It has nothing to do with sexism. It's not discriminatory. Case closed.
Posted by Wackerman352 10 months ago
This is a very interesting Argument i look forward to the debate
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
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Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct goes to Con as more than once Pro took snippets from Cons argument and straw-maned Con with them. Con seemed to graciously correct Pro before moving on with their points. Argument goes to Con as well, as Pro spent most of their time arguing outside of the debate topic. Pro's argument felt more like a rally meeting with little to no substance and all appeals to trending social politics. Con managed to stay on topic despite Pro's attempts to shift the debate (Props to Con). I was debating (no pun intended) if Con should take this category as well. Neither sited any sources, however, Con drew from (What I consider to be) common knowledge and did not make as many outlandish assumptions that held no proof and did not appeal to conventional wisdom. This Debate would have done better in the Forums, but both sides spoke well. Thanks to both of you for the interesting read