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Feminism, The Wage Gap, and Rape Culture. Are They Legitimate?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/27/2017 Category: Society
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 679 times Debate No: 99394
Debate Rounds (4)
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I challenge REAL feminists to a debate on the above topics. I contend that modern, western feminism is illegitimate and based on biased thinking. Contenders will argue that western feminism has validity and is still about equality.
R1- Acceptance Only
R2- Openings
R3- Rebuttals
R4- Closings

I look forward to the challenge!
Debate Round No. 1


Thanks to my opponent for agreeing to this debate. May the odds be ever in his/her favor.

To start this debate, let me add a quick caveat. I live in the United States, so any references I make to laws or social standards will be from the perspective of an American citizen. If my opponent is from a nation where women are being legitimately oppressed by law (ie Islamic countries), then this debate is meaningless, as I would fully support that form of feminism. I assume the vast majority of DDO is from either the US or Canada, but I thought I should include this piece of information to be safe.

With that in mind, realize that there are only two ways a group can be oppressed: legally and socially. I'd like you to consider the fact that there are currently no American laws that unfairly benefit men over women. While there are several legal benefits women have over men in today's society, I contend that any debate about western feminism will have to look at the supposed societal 'oppression' of women; meaning that my opponent will either have to argue that women face blatant social oppression, and that any disadvantages men have are illusory or not important, OR she will have to refer to a law that I am currently unaware of that unfairly benefits men over women.

The problems with modern feminism are twofold:
-Feminists routinely ignore the plights of men in today's society and unfairly label them as being privileged.
-Feminists often repeat bogus myths that have no basis in reality to support their claims.
Indeed, a recent Huffington Post poll found that while four out of five women believe in equality of the sexes, fewer than one in five identify as 'feminist'. Why is this? Why are women abandoning the movement that claims to represent them? Maybe it's because they recognize that feminism is no longer about equality, and is now solely concerned with man-hating and lies.

One such lie is the so-called gender pay-gap, which asserts that women are payed seventy cents for every dollar a man earns, for the same exact work. Let's bust this myth right away: the claim comes from a simple calculation from the Bureau of Labor Statistics that takes the average earnings of men and women working full time and averages them among both sexes in the workforce. The resulting number does indeed have a thirty cent gap in men's favor, but this is not the same as saying women receive less than men for the same work - let me use an analogy to explain how. I grew up on the Mexican border, so my high school had lots of hispanic kids and very few asian kids. If we were to add up the salaries of every working hispanic and asian student in that school, and average each sum based on the number of students in the workforce, hispanic kids would be left with a far greater average sum than asian kids. This does not mean each individual asian student was paid less for the same work. This is exactly the situation behind the 'gender pay gap'. There are more men working full time, who happen to have higher paying jobs. In fact, a direct quote from the BLS itself says it's analysis of wages by gender does "Not control for many factors that can be significant in explaining earnings differences". On top of that, the Equal Pay Act of 1963 has made it illegal to discriminate with wages for more than 50 years! Myth busted.

You may be thinking: "isn't the fact that men have more high paying jobs a sign of oppression?" The simple answer is no. Yes, the US has more men in positions of political, scientific, and business power, but this fact alone does not equal sexism. Male politicians are the ones who gave women the right to vote, hold a job, attend college, receive equal pay, and have an abortion. This is a symbol of sexism just because they were male? American society is more sexist today than a bunch of old rich guys in the 1920s? Business executives employ millions of women every year (many times, simply for being a woman). Scientific discoveries benefit men and women equally. Unless my opponent can offer concrete evidence of sexism occurring in these fields, the existence of more men within the fields is no more a sign of sexism than the fact that the vast majority of American prisoners are male.

As a college student, the myth of American 'rape-culture' surrounds me on a daily basis. The phony statistic used most often is that one in five women will be raped in her lifetime. Why anyone would believe that American women are being assaulted at rates comparable to the Congo, I have no idea, but people really do believe it. This 'statistic' comes from the "Campus Sexual Assault Study", a flawed survey commissioned by the NIJ. The troubles with this study are threefold: it focused on two (that's right, only two) four year universities; it had an extraordinarily low turnout rate (about 42%); and its definition of sexual assault was overly broad (including things like unwanted kissing on a first date). Unwanted kissing from 42% of two universities do not a rape culture make.

At the end of the day, we need to recognize the society in which we live. A society that tells little boys "ladies first" isn't a patriarchy. A society where a woman wins the custody of her children in 84% of divorce cases can't be rigged against women, nor can a society where women can vote without entering the draft. In this country, women are far more likely to avoid incarceration than men, and even then, they usually get lower sentences. Men greatly outnumber women in combat and workplace deaths, mental illness per capita, murders, and suicides. Is this a part of the "male privilege" I keep hearing about? How about the fact that domestic violence victims are nearly 40% male, and yet they are denied service at most taxpayer funded shelters? Women are being tortured, raped, and murdered in a Muslim theocracy, and western feminists have the arrogance to protest bras and catcalling? Seriously?

My sources will be listed in the final round.
Thank you.


Food, clothing, these are basic needs for everyone, so of course it would make sense not to tax these items. Rogaine, viagra, after shave, are not a nessecity for men, but who am I to say the government should impose a tax on them, and they don't. Tampons, panty liners (pads), feminine hygene products, ARE a necessity for woman, so obviously there shouldn't be a tax on them, but there IS. It's as if woman are being punished for their basic needs, as if they're being punished for being women. If a woman stands at a podium, to point out how unfair the tax on feminine products are, she's a feminist?!? She must have hairy legs and pits, I'll bet she's a man hating lesbian. These are some of the stereotypes that she would be subject to, yet all she's doing is standing up for what she believes in.

Modern feminism, or third wave feminism, embraces woman of different cultures, races, and social status, unlike feminists of the past who were mainly white middle class women. With its embrace of different women comes the recognition of different view points that are not always in line with everybody else's in the movement (some feminists are not opposed to pornography, because they feel it's a way for women to "own thier sex", and own thier body image, while others take the classic view that it objectifies women). Third wave feminism focuses on the " individual woman", as opposed to the unifying political movement (minus the wage gap issue) it was in the past. Third wave feminism focuses on many social issues in a far more abstract manner than in the past, even focusing on issues that effect men ( gender roles, gay rights). Third wave is a social statement about modern issues that the previous movements didn't address. Gay rights, child abuse, racism, gender roles and gender stereotypes are among the many issues modern feminism tries to shed light on, not just the wage gap, and rape culture.

How many rapes are OK? What number of woman, children, or men being sexually assaulted is a "tolarable" number? If your answer to those questions is not ZERO, then you are the reason for a continued feminist movement. Some automatically think of colleges, some think of poorly lit parks at night, these are places women should be "on guard". Some colleges advise female students not to engage in heavy drinking, and if they do drink, try not to let their drink out of sight (at the risk of it being drugged). But, isn't that just a case of treating the symtom, and ignoring the root issue? The issue of woman having to be "on guard" in a country where we're supposed to have a right to our privacy. Unfortunately it's not just at colleges or in dark alleys, it's embedded in pop culture, it's institutionalized in society. If you don't believe that women, children, and men are objectified in this country, then you are what makes modern feminism legitimate. Until we as Americans no longer have to be "on guard" from being objectified, or assaulted, or raped, then the feminists will be here, serving ALL Americans. Ooh, rah!!!

Debate Round No. 2


Ladies and gentlemen who will be voting on this debate, I ask you to consider the opening arguments offered by myself and my opponent. I started with appeals to statistics and studies that show the claims of third wave feminism are either fallacious or totally false. My opponent, on the other hand, offered no statistics to support the usual battery of feminist talking points. Maybe he/she thought the opening round was supposed to be an 'introduction' to feminism? I'm anxious to hear her refute my contentions and contradict my sources in the next round. Let's examine what exactly she said:

"Rogaine, viagra, after shave, are not a necessity for men, but who am I to say the government should impose a tax on them, and they don't."
To clarify, what you're referring to is simply the sales tax associated with each product, not a tax imposed on the product specifically. Viagra is a medication for erectile dysfunction. Medication that applies to exclusively women, say birth control pills, would be equally sales tax free. Rogaine is a treatment for hair loss that, according to PolitiFact, has sales tax in 42 states, so this claim is simply false. I have no idea about after shave, so you got me there. You've uncovered the secret patriarchal plot to save pennies on the dollar when men buy after shave. Good job.

"Tampons, panty liners (pads), feminine hygiene products, ARE a necessity for woman, so obviously there shouldn't be a tax on them, but there IS. It's as if woman are being punished for their basic needs, as if they're being punished for being women."
.... And there it is, the most recent incarnation of feminist absurdity: the so-called 'tampon tax'. As I said above, tampons are not being taxed specifically- this is just the sales tax associated with tampons. There is no more a 'tampon tax' than there is a 'soap tax' or a 'toilet paper tax'. Many necessities have sales tax (I'm pretty sure men's razors have sales tax), some luxuries don't; you know why? Because tax codes are some of the most complex things ever devised by man. In a recent Telegraph article, columnist Julia Hartley-Brewer (a female) commented on how ridiculous this whole topic is. It's a humorous article, and I encourage everyone to go read it, but of special importance is her mocking analysis of the practical application of the tax:
"The average woman menstruates for four days a month and uses 20 tampons for each period. That is 240 tampons a year... That means her annual (tax) bill for sanitary products would be a whopping " wait for it ... 75 whole pennies a year (in excess sales tax) just for being a woman. Man (or woman) the barricades, folks, it"s time for a revolution, because this outrageous tax is clearly a major attack on women."
I love how this debate is on the specific topics of feminism, the wage gap, and rape culture, and upon hearing that none of these things carry any legitimacy, my opponent reaches for the nearest patriarchal-sounding thing they can find. The average man consumes way more calories than the average woman, should we distribute free weekly rations to men? The average man has a far greater risk of death in his workplace, should he get more days off? The average prisoner is a male, should he get less jail time than a female? Perhaps a better question is: why are we talking about this as if it has any validity?

"If a woman stands at a podium, to point out how unfair the tax on feminine products are, she's a feminist?!? She must have hairy legs and pits, I'll bet she's a man hating lesbian. These are some of the stereotypes that she would be subject to, yet all she's doing is standing up for what she believes in. "
A stereotype of man hating surrounds feminism because many feminists practice misandry. What's so hard to believe about that? Maybe a stereotype of absurdity surrounds modern feminism because it's claims are absurd? Maybe? Show me some evidence that all women receive less pay for equal work, or that college women are being raped at rates comparable to the Congo, or that men have some legal benefit women don't, and I'll believe you. But when feminists blow things out of proportion or outright lie for political brownie points, it's kind of hard for reputable people to take them seriously.

"Gay rights, child abuse, racism, gender roles and gender stereotypes are among the many issues modern feminism tries to shed light on, not just the wage gap, and rape culture....If you don't believe that women, children, and men are objectified in this country, then you are what makes modern feminism legitimate."
Well isn't that a cop-out? To say "feminism is about men's rights, and gay rights, and minority rights etc." is changing the definition of feminism. What you're talking about is called egalitarianism, which is the belief that everyone has rights. I'm talking about the 'women's rights' movement. This is intellectually dishonest, and yes, all people are objectified in our society, which is exactly why the feminist claim to female oppression is so bogus.

"The issue of woman having to be "on guard" in a country where we're supposed to have a right to our privacy."
So women are the only ones who have to worry about their privacy? What about the fact I offered about men being the vast majority of murders? Are you going to address anything I said?

"Until we as Americans no longer have to be "on guard" from being objectified, or assaulted, or raped, then the feminists will be here, serving ALL Americans. Ooh, rah!!!"
Are you spoofing me? Or do you seriously believe this stuff?Rape is a crime. Ergo rape is condemned by society. If my opponent is debating as a devil's advocate, I'd like to know.

Really anxious to hear you comment on why women no longer identify with the feminist movement, or the societal advantages woman have over men. If you're going to continue to equate feminism with the rights of all people and ignore the title of this debate, please at least address my contentions.

Thank you.


I like my opponents fallacious breakdown on the tampon tax, it was very entertaining. Kinda like Mariah Carey on new year's. Lets truly breakdown the tampons tax. First off, I must point out that most states DO NOT have a sales tax on items that are considered a nessecity, like soap, or toilet paper. There are 12 states in the US that have no sales tax on feminine products. Since this article was posted, two more states have dropped the tampon tax. The average cost of a box of tampons are 7$ and 6$ for a box of pads. I will attempt to traverse "one of the most complex" calculations ever devised by man. Lets put the average sales tax at 6%. 7×6% equals 42 cents.(wow, that was complex). The average box of tampons holds 18 tampons, so if the average woman needs 20 per cycle, she will need 2 boxes for the first month, and one more box for every other month. That's 13 boxes a year. 13×.42 =$5.46 per year. I'm not exactly sure where my opponents source for tax info went to school, but they should have a stern discussion with their math teacher! The whole point of excluding necessities from being taxed is obvious, from a moral standpoint, our state should not tax any items that are a nessecity for anyone (I would argue that taxes are basically legalized extortion, so any sales tax is excessive, but that's a different debate for a different time).

I would like to draw attention to my opponents quote, "I live in the United States, so any reference I make to laws or social standards will be from the perspective of an American citizen". However, my opponent makes references to the Congo on more than one occasion. Yes, there are less reported rapes per capita in the US, as apposed to the Congo, but the US still has the third highest reported rape cases in the industrialized world. Even Mexico, and Russia have less, and that's just sick. Check out the color chart of the globe. I think my opponent is trying to argue that since the US has less rapes per capita then the Congo, then rape culture is a non issue in America, so we don't need the feminists to bring it up. I hope I'm wrong about my assessment of my opponents argument because that sounds more like the incoherent banter of a crazed rube with "mommy issues". Appendix E of this report from the bureau of justice interviewed 8000 undergraduate women at several different campuses, and it shows that 34% of woman will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime. That means 1in3 woman. That's unacceptable and the feminists will continue to bring this up!

My opponent claims that my argument of a broad range of feminist issues is actually egalitarianism. I do not dispute that claim. Modern feminism focuses on the rights of all peoples who may fall victim to sexual abuse, oppression in the workplace, and enforced gender roles. No one in the feminist movement is trying to argue against anyone's rights, their trying to bring up the rights of many who were ignored in the past. I think my opponent is trying to argue that the feminists or women in general are the reason more men are in prison, or their is somehow a womens privilege thing going on because more men are in jail!?! There have always been more men in prison then women, even before women had any rights at all, there were more men in prison. If my opponent cannot prove a correlation between the number of men in prison and "women's privilege", then I would have to argue that any potential judge of this debate should not consider anything pertaining to that incomplete argument. Same goes for the "men being the vast majority of murder" victims. Unless my opponent can't prove that the vast majority of men are murdered by women (which he can't) then that argument has no meaning in this debate. Lets try and stay focused from now on.

I take a libertarian view on the wage gap issue. I feel that forced wage policies do not legitimize womens role in the workforce, women will have to simply take that right for themselves and the feminist movement is an inspiration for entrepreneurial women in America today. Whether or not I'm totally in line with every other feminists views is neither here nor there, it has nothing to do with the legitimacy of modern feminism. My personal view on the wage gap and the "glass ceiling" issues doesn't prove that a wage gap doesn't exist. My opponent argues that there are less women in the workforce, that is what causes the illusion of a wage gap. That argument seems to be problematic. I would like to see where he got that "information". My opponent fails to prove that women do not make less money for the same work.

To answer my opponents question. YES, I AM SPOOFING YOU!!!

My opponent has yet to prove that rape culture is not an issue in America, and how the feminist movement at large is obsolete.

Debate Round No. 3


Much thanks to my opponent for their wit and candor. If I used the word 'she' to refer to my opponent, it was because I just now realized that his/her profile picture is of Ayn Rand. My apologies.

Friends, comrades, brothers and sisters; my opponent provided a link which she said showed that 34% of women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime. I followed the link and looked up the original study the link was based on. I found the following statement within the original study:

"Sexual battery was defined as any unwanted and nonconsensual sexual contact that involved
forced touching of a sexual nature, not involving penetration. This could include forced kissing, touching,
grabbing, or fondling of sexual body parts."

What did I say in the first round about bogus claims? There is a world of difference between forced kissing or some guy touching your shoulder and sexual assault. Come on. I'd like to suggest that the rape chart provided by my opponent takes these fallacious studies into consideration when comparing the US to the rest of the world. As for my Congo statement, maybe I wasn't being clear enough. The rape rate among women in the war-torn developing African nation of the Congo, where rape is applauded as a legitimate tool of war, is about 30%. My point was that it is ridiculous and contrary to reality to suggest that the US, where rape is condemned and men routinely go to prison simply for being accused of rape, has a comparable rape statistic to the Congo.

Indeed, a study performed by the US Air Force found that close to 60% of the rape cases it investigated were false accusations. To quote it directly: "The McDowell recruited independent reviewers who were given 25 criteria derived from the profiles of the women who openly admitted making a false allegation. If all three reviewers agreed that the rape allegation was false, it was then listed by that description. The result: 60% of the accusations were identified as false. McDowell also took his study outside the military by examining police files from a major Midwestern and a southwestern city. He found that the finding of 60% held".

As for the tax point, I said that tax codes were complicated, not the sales tax calculation itself. The complex series of tables and figures that dictate what sales tax is necessary to maintain the budget of a state is indeed very complex. There's a specific kind of lawyer that specializes only in tax law. My point was that you can't just petition a state to cut sales tax from one product. As for the Telegraph article's calculation, I have no idea where the author lives. My opponent seems to live in a state/country with 6% sales tax, so maybe the author's analysis wasn't very apt. And yes, soap and TP do have sales tax.
That point was actually taken from Nicole Kaeding of the Tax Foundation, who has said: "There is no more a tampon tax than there is a soap tax, shampoo tax, or toilet paper tax,".

To conclude, I have shown that the myth of 'rape culture' is not supported by any unbiased statistics, that the 'wage gap' is a myth (a point which my opponent concedes), and that modern feminism is basically rehashed egalitarianism (another point my opponent concedes). If the claims of feminists are false and better effects can be produced through egalitarianism, modern feminism can then be said to have no legitimacy. The resolution is therefore affirmed.

Thank you. - pg 16


An itemized list of my opponents arguments. Forgive me if I miss any, he's kinda all over the place.
* Womans wage gap is a myth
* Rape culture is greatly over exaggerated
* 4 out of 5 women do not identify themselves as feminists.
* Womens privilege is run amuck in society today.

Let's start at the top. My opponent claims that the women's wage gap is an illusion based on a data mistranslation from a report by the bureau of jobs. He posted no link to back up his claim that the reason for the illusion is because less women are in the workforce. I'm gonna go ahead and post that link for you. The only statement that would lead me to believe my opponent got the idea of a wage gap illusion, is a data variable when comparing wages state by state. Wage earners may make less in one state then they would for the same job in another state. So comparing a woman construction workers wages in California, compared to a male construction workers wages in Georgia, will probably not be an accurate comparison. What my opponent failed to recognize is the national average wage rate for women is lower then it is for men. My opponent failed to prove the wage gap is a myth.

My opponent claims that rape culture is over exaggerated, his argument is based on the amount of reported rapes per capita in the US compared to the amount of rapes per capita in the Congo. Why? I don't know. My opponent claims that "men routinely go to prison simply for being accused of rape",. Out of every 1000 rape claims, only six end in conviction. My opponent cannot argue that a court does not take into consideration the fact that any rape claim could potentially be a false claim. In fact, one could argue that the court system leans too heavily on the potential false claim theory and sides with the accused more often than not. My opponent failed to prove that most rape cases are false, and that rape culture is exaggerated. Furthermore, my opponent seems curiously lasaiz faire about his definition of sexual assault. Sorry, I thought forced kissing was still a crime in this country. Oh wait, IT IS!!!!!!

4 out of 5 women believe in equality of the sexes, yet only 1 in 5 women identify as feminists, was what a huffington post poll said. Perhaps women don't want to be "labeled", simply for what they believe in, and what they believe in IS equality. The huffington post went on to show that most women do believe in the ideals of the feminist movement.

My opponent claims that since most casualties in war are men, that is proof of women privilege!?! Most participants in battle ARE men, so it would only make sense that they would be the majority of casualties. My opponent says that more men in positions of power IS NOT sexism, but he puts the same standard toward the "casualty of war stat, and the "majority of prisoners" stat, and the "majority of murder victims" stat, but claims it IS women's privilege. That ladies and gentlemen, is a blatant double standard. My opponent was unable to prove that women are privileged in America today.

In my opinion, my opponent didn't link the proper cited sources with his arguments, and did not follow up on some arguments. His entire argument seems to be based on an extreme bias, as apposed to logic. His argument was like a raging ocean of stormy rhetoric, whereas my argument was like a lighthouse of reason, perched atop a rock of reality. (I know that last sentence was swimming in rhetoric and propaganda, so don't bother pointing it out.). All joking aside, I feel that I tried to post proper links and follow through the best I can on all points. (Clitche coming) I think women have come a long way since the inception of modern democracy, but there is still more to go. Feminism is not overbearing and obsolete. Thank You to my opponent for the topic and allowing me to make my case. Thank You for taking interest in our debate, and if You have voting priveleges, please take some time to vote on this one. PEACE!!!
Debate Round No. 4
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by Smooosh 1 year ago
Thanx for the insite Proletariat. The feminist movement is concerned about ALL the potential victims of rape, and does not focus solely on rape of woman. The feminists movement is not a man vs women movement. Feminists bring up the fact that rape is such a taboo subject in society and many victims never come forward because of shame or fear, and they point out that shame or fear might weigh heavier on a man whose been victimized. Feminists encourage people not to continue to be victimized and to bring the issue out in the open. It is not disingenuous to say that all rape or murder is in tolarable. The opposite would be to claim that we are tolerant of some rape, or some murder because we can't stop all of it, which no criminoligist would agree with. Perhaps it's a passionate, militant standpoint, but not disingenuous. The statement was not referring to the policing of society, but our attitudes as a society.
Posted by Proletariat 1 year ago
You know, it's very disingenuous when you say,

"How many rapes are OK? What number of woman, children, or men being sexually assaulted is a "tolarable" number? If your answer to those questions is not ZERO, then you are the reason for a continued feminist movement."

Not only is it impossible to police an entire nation to the point where crime is nonexistent, people that recognize that fact and attempt to minimize it being the reason for a feminist movement is a non-sequitur.

Unless you believe that these people think the rate of acceptable murder in a nation is zero, but think the acceptable rate of rape is higher than zero, of which no criminologist does, then you have to recognize how empty that statement is.

Not to mention you added men and children into the mix, so why is rape in all forms something that necessitates a "feminine" movement? That doesn't follow as well.
Posted by Amarandum 1 year ago
Sounds good to me.
Posted by Smooosh 1 year ago
OK. Sorry for my cockiness. It was a good debate. It just annoys me when no one votes on the debates. Maybe we'll have another debate in the future, and maybe someone will vote.
Posted by Amarandum 1 year ago
@Smooosh, let's agree to disagree on that one. Good debate.
Posted by Smooosh 1 year ago
The only reason I didn't win this one, is because nobody voted on it!
Posted by Amarandum 1 year ago
Couldn't get all my sources down in time. Sorry.
Posted by BobTheRocket2 1 year ago
Try challenging PeterSmith. She's a feminist.
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