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The Contender
Con (against)
6 Points

Feminism is no longer about gender equality

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/20/2011 Category: Society
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 9,364 times Debate No: 18405
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (3)
Votes (2)




Feminism is the belief in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes. Unlike Women's Rights which is focused exclusively on the rights and freedoms of women, Feminism is about gender equality, the civil rights of women and men.

...Or at least that's what its suppose to be.

The egalitarian First-wave of feminism was killed by the radical Second-wave feminists of the 60's and 70's. Unlike the First-wave feminists who were concerned with equal legal rights and opportunities for women, Second-wave feminists instead launched a gender culture war.

The feminist movement became dominated by angry women who questioned whether a man could be a feminist, and began limiting male participation in the movement because of their "patriarchal tendencies". Men could only be "pro-feminists" at best, but not a "real" feminist. This shift led to feminism becoming gynocentric, misandric, and dogmatic.

Ever since Feminism has had a complete disregard for equality, and is only concerned about status and well-being of women and girls.

For Example:
Girls are outperforming boys in school and are enrolling in college and university at significantly higher rates than males (among Americans ages 25 to 34, 34% of women now have a bachelor's degree but just 27% of men).
[Kay S. Hymowitz: Where have all the good men gone?]

"In the United States, a proposal to do something special for boys usually gets plowed under before it has a chance to take root. In 1996, New York City public schools established the Young Women's Leadership School, an all-girls public school in East Harlem. The school is a great success and many, including The New York Times, urged then Schools Chancellor Rudy Crew to establish a "similar island of excellence for boys." Crew rejected the idea of a comparable all-boys school. He regarded the girls' school as reparatory for past educational practices that neglected girls."

"[In] Prince George's County, Maryland, just outside Washington, D.C., to help boys, the county organized a "Black Male Achievement Initiative." Beginning in the early nineties, approximately forty young men met two weekends a month with a group of professional men for tutoring and mentoring. The program was popular and effective. But in 1996, it was radically restructured by order of the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights, which found that it discriminated against girls."

...So the boys continue to struggle, while the girls get more support than they actually need. The Feminists lobbied for the success of girls in school, but they could not care less about the boys struggling and the academic gender gap.
[Christina Hoff Sommers: The War Against Boys and]

Whatever the goal of Feminism is, it's no longer equality of the sexes.


I would like to thank Pro for instigating this debate, which I believe is a healthy and interesting one.

The assumption made by Pro is that some negative discrimination against men is made by people who term themselves 'feminist', therefore all feminism is now about gender inequality and a female dominance in society. I challenge this on several levels.

First of all, even in Western countries where discrimination against women appears on the surface to be vastly minimal, it is present. Women are underrepresented in government ( to the extent that a black man was made president before a woman was. Consider the proportions there. There are massive gaps in pay in the workplace and in vocations sought by women that cannot solely be explained by the 'women have babies and so don't concentrate on their careers' argument. Further to that, many subjects and/or vocations remain predominantly masculine-orientated (

Further to this, I would contend that there is a deeper psychosexual discrimination at work ( A man is valued in society primarily based on academic and career achievements, or perhaps social achievements. A woman is valued based on her attractiveness as well, and often more so than against her intellect.

Let us not forget the religious hang-over in Western society, which was until very recently predominantly Christian and unfortunately influenced by the misogynist St. Paul ( As an anecdote, I remember a highly intelligent friend of mine reminding me that 'woman should be subject to man' ( I have also been told before that a decent woman should not seek knowledge, because it was Eve's curiousity that condemned humanity; all this in the last decade. The resultant psychological oppression remains relevant in the modern era.

I will not go into the horrendous discrimination against women outside of Western society except through a single anecdote. Travelling in Egypt, I stayed with a Nubian family and was shown the community centre. The boys were playing on a playstation. "Where are the women?" I asked. "In the home, which is their place," I was told. (

To conclude; whilst sadly it is true that discrimination against men happens, it is by no means true that feminism is about superiority rather than aiming to reach equality. Misandry cannot be equated to feminism.

Debate Round No. 1


I would like to thank the Con for challenging me with that well-written response, this debate should be a good one.

I also applaud my opponent for recognizing the fact that discrimination against men and boys does exist and that there are feminists who could be described accurately as misandrists. This is progress of a kind, because when I type the word misandry the spell-check reminds me that many people don't believe hatred or discrimination against men exists.

The problem is that these radical feminists and there ideas are not on the fringe but are actually the feminist orthodoxy. Its clear that feminist organizations are inherently gynocentric, that the men in these organizations are a small minority and the male point of view completely non-existent.

Warren Farrell (, the only man to be elected three times to the board of NOW (National Organization for Women) in New York, found himself quickly falling out of the favour of feminists as soon he began sharing the the male perspective and raising issues concerning men. "Farrell was leading anti-sexism workshops on college campuses across the country [...] [He] made men participate in "beauty pageants" to make them see what it was like for women to be judged on their looks alone. The feminists were good with that; they loved him; they sponsored him; they took him out to dinner and told him how wonderful he was.

But Farrell also wanted the women to see what it was like to be a man. Men, according to Farrell, "take 152 risks of rejection from first eye contact with a woman until intercourse." He decided that women should have to participate in a role-reversal exercise in which they were forced to ask a man out. The feminists did not like that. According to Farrell, most of them, after watching the men go through the beauty contest, walked out when it came time to participate in the role-reversal "date." But Farrell's biggest argument with feminists came in the mid- to late '70s, when, one by one, NOW chapters across the country came out in support of giving mothers primary custody of children in cases of divorce." (Save the males:

None of this made Warren any less of a an advocate for women's rights and freedoms, yet there was something unacceptable about this to feminists. Farrell eventually found himself excommunicated from the feminist community and blacklisted from media appearances. All because he tried to be fair and give men equal representation within the feminist movement. It is indisputable that feminism has a strong female bias and membership, and as a consequence, is incapable of being equal.

Now with the other issues you raised, albeit off topic, its really a difference between equality of opportunity or equality of outcome. What's important is that women have equal rights, freedoms, and opportunities, but the outcomes don't have to be equal in every way and shouldn't be imposed.


I would like to thank Pro for their well-written and well-argued response. Discrimination and indeed violence against men certainly does happen, but I repeat my contention that such shameful misandry does not constitute feminism. Pro refers to the other issues I raised as off topic. Since I did not elaborate on the reasons for bringing them up, I shall do so now.

Pro does not dispute that massive discrimination against women happens, which was the purpose of raising the aforementioned issues. If there is discrimination, then there is also a need for action to counter that discrimination. Feminism, by definition, is that action. Misandry, by contrast, is discrimination against men.

Pro contests that feminists have crossed the line between positive discrimination in favour of women to achieve equal rights and negative discrimination against men intended to punish men or surpass equal rights. I disagree for several reasons. First, the unfortunate societal discrimination that Pro describes is a uniquely Western problem. The vast majority of nations worldwide not only do not suffer this problem, they actively hold a status wherein it is women, not men, that are inferior. Let us consider that it was only in the last fifty years that women got sufferage in several countries ( It was only a dozen years ago that Egypt cancelled a law in which a rapist could walk free if he married his victim ( Statistically, girls are less likely to be allowed an education, permitted to own property, survive childhood... ( short, as this source shows (, the vast majority of feminists are seeking to aim for equal rights, not surpass them. It is my contention that Pro has not observed the state of feminism outside Western nations, and so speaks of a situation with regards to Western nations which is inapplicable to the vast majority of feminists outside them.

Now to Western nations themselves. I cannot comment on the actions of NOW, since I don't know why they behaved like that. (I would imagine that they felt it was an invitation to be degraded when they were already as a gender experiencing more degradation than men.) I can however state with reference to the sources in the previous round that discrimination against women still exists in the Western world, so that positive action must be taken to counter it. Therefore, feminism exists. Of course there are women who hate, and blame. I contend that the silent majority of Western women support feminism but do not support misandry; and I reiterate my explanation that many women who blame men feel in turn blamed for their gender via religious instruction as well as the worldwide and/or former state of female oppression. This does not justify the behaviour; it does, however, tender an explanation.

Debate Round No. 2


The injustices that the women of the Middle East and parts of Africa currently suffer are not that different from that which women historically endured in the west. These feminist movements outside the West are just beginning and are merely in their First-wave Feminism phase, thus they are pure in their egalitarian pursuits. My augment however is that Western Feminism has evolved far beyond these budding movements from the goal of gender equality to exclusively female advocacy. Hence the motion: "Feminism in NO LONGER about gender equality".

Western Feminism not only fails to be equal to men, but it also fails its sisters suffering outside of the West. "Feminists are tied up in knots by multiculturalism and find it very hard to pass judgment on non-Western cultures. They are far more comfortable finding fault with American society for minor inequities (the exclusion of women from the Augusta National Golf Club, the "underrepresentation" of women on faculties of engineering) than criticizing heinous practices beyond our shores. The occasional feminist scholar who takes the women's movement to task for neglecting the plight of foreigners is ignored or ruled out of order.

Take psychology professor Phyllis Chesler. She has been a tireless and eloquent champion of the rights of women for more than four decades. Unlike her tongue-tied colleagues in the academy, she does not hesitate to speak out against Muslim mistreatment of women. In a recent book, The Death of Feminism, she attributes the feminist establishment's unwillingness to take on Islamic sexism to its support of "an isolationist and America-blaming position." [...] The sisterhood has rewarded her with excommunication. A 2006 profile in the Village Voice reports that, among academic feminists, "Chesler arouses the vitriol reserved for traitors."

"The Feminist Majority Foundation (FMF) has been intelligently fighting the mistreatment of women in the Muslim world for several years. In 1997, in a heroic effort to expose the crimes of the Taliban, [...] created a vital national campaign complete with rallies, petitions, and fundraisers. The FMF, working with human rights groups, helped to persuade the United States and the United Nations to deny formal recognition to the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. It helped convince the oil company UNOCAL not to build a pipeline across Afghanistan, and it brought the oppression of women living under radical Islamic law into clear relief for all the world to see."

"It was a good example of what can be achieved when a women's group seriously seeks to address the mistreatment of women outside the United States." However, this was criticized by the other feminists as "imperial feminism." (Christina Hoff Sommers - The Subjection of Islamic Women:

Western Feminism has proven itself useless and counter-productive in many respects, but most of all a failure to be equal.


Now that Pro has redefined the sphere of debate to feminism in the West, which I am happy to accept, I feel that I must shall begin by reiterating the difference between feminism and misandry. Feminism is the belief that women are not inferior; misandry is the belief that men are inferior, and conversely that women are superior.

A misandrist often suffers failure of logic through generalisation. For example,

Some men are rapists.
Therefore, all men are rapists.
Therefore, all rapists are men.

Pro is unfortunately falling into the same pattern:

Some feminists are misandrists.
Therefore, all feminists are misandrists.
Therefore, all misandrists are feminists.

Statistically, many women dislike the term 'feminist' because of it's association with misandry. Only 27% of women would term themselves feminists in the U.S. ( and yet 65% would describe themselves as feminists when the term was specifically defined as 'interested in equality between the sexes' ( Let's assume, for the sake of argument, that every woman who openly terms themselves a 'feminist' in this particular set of polls is a misandrist. (Not true, but simply for the sake of a rough figure here). Let us also assume that every woman who defines themself as a feminist when the non-misandrist definition is offered them, but would not like to be termed a feminist due to the association of the term with misandry, is not a misandrist (Again not necessarily true, but more likely to be so since they are specifically disassociating with the term through it's hostility). That makes it 27% of females who are misandrists; and 38% who are not but who would call themselves feminist. I feel this displays clearly my own contention; the majority of feminists, women interested in equality between the genders, are not misandrists. This of itself is a skewed proportion, since I sincerely doubt that all women who would term themselves feminists are misandrists.

As an anecdotal piece of evidence towards that; I woke up this morning and turned the laptop on to check updates, emails etc (something I often do to wake myself up). On considering this debate I turned to my partner and asked, "Love, am I a misandrist?" He laughed, and answered, "Of course not." Yet I have considered myself a feminist all of my life.

Further to that, the feminist movement is questioning the misandrists in it's ranks ( and arguing against misandry (; as I do myself. However, as long as some Western men consider women inferior, there will be a need for Western feminists to make the case that women are not inferior, separate to and apart from misandrists.
Debate Round No. 3


I would like to thank my opponent again for the quality of this debate. I quite enjoyed it.

Though there are several variants of feminism, the Feminist establishment, that is the majority of feminist organizations, academic feminists, and feminist media, is well organized and quite monolithic in their views and objectives. As my previous arguments have illustrated, the feminist establishment is not very found of dissent, and that rogue feminists find themselves ostracised from the community and marginalized in the public forum. The independent feminists that do exist are a small disassociated minority and are no where near enough to influence the general public perception of feminism.

Of course feminists don't self-identify as misandrists, their ideas are laced with often subtle, and perhaps unintentional, misandry or female chauvinism:

They imply that in all areas where women dominate it is due to merit while all the areas that men dominate is due to a legacy of patriarchy and discrimination. If women are better at some things than men and men are better at nothing, are women not superior to men?

They might not say that all men are rapists, but many do believe that male sexuality is inherently exploitive; objectification of women (because men are visually simulated) or physical aggression and domination of women (because of a man's sexual role as penetrator, and social role as the initiator of sex). Effectively attacking men for their heterosexuality.

How can it be possible that an overwhelmingly female organization can equally represent men. How can it be possible that such an organization can give equal consideration to men's issues. How can it be possible that such an organization can not have a strong female bias. Is it possible?

Do you honestly believe that contemporary feminism is as concerned with men as it is with women? Or is that not necessary for an organization to be for equality of the sexes?

As Warren Farrell puts it: "There should never have been a women's movement that blamed men for the ills of society. There should not be a men's movement blaming women. There should only be a gender transitional movement that encompasses both genders. Sadly, he says, 30 years of feminism have made the men's movement necessary. "But as soon as things get anywhere near balanced -- if I live that long -- when men start blaming women, I will be on their backs just as hard and as strong as I am now that it's the other way around." (

Feminism is no longer about gender equality because it couldn't be, it's only about women.


Likewise I would also like to thank Pro for the quality of this debate. Although we are at odds over the nature of feminism, we both agree that an ultimate goal of equality between the sexes is paramount and deplore the rise of misandry amongst so-called feminists. To conclude, then.

Feminism is indeed about women. It is about the affirmation that women are not inferior to men; that women should be equal to men. My opponent has narrowed his definition of feminists from the sum total of feminists to Western feminists; and then from Western feminists to 'the majority of feminist organizations, academic feminists, and feminist media'. It is unsurprising that examination of this subset of feminists reveals misandry; few would undertake a dedicated career in feminism without passion, and thus a tendency to radicalism or even extremism; this is hardly an unbiased strata. This, however, does not apply to all feminists; as my previous statistics revealed, the majority of women who consider themselves feminist support their own gender in claiming equality as opposed to inferiority. They do not support misandry.

An overwhelmingly female society of course cannot support or equally represent men. This is because it is not intended to. Feminism counteracts misogyny; Masculism counteracts misandry. Feminism is as much about gender equality as Masculism, and vice versa; both are movements intended to counterbalance inequality based on gender. Anyone can be both Masculist and Feminist. The reason that single-gender organisations can be genuinely essential, however, are twofold.

First, emotional support. No matter how sympathetic the parties involved are, there are some experiences that simply do not cross genders well. Especially with sexual issues, there is real discomfort involved. This is why it is possible to request a male or female doctor; or a male or female counsellor. Then as well, few women understand on an instinctive level the stigmas, demands and assumptions the male psyche labours under; the reverse is also true.

Second, self-representation. To combat inequality, to organise a response representative of those suffering that inequality affirms the purpose of those doing so; in effect, to say, 'We are doing this ourselves because we are capable of doing so.' Failure to do this has undermined many causes. The empowerment of a gender involves demonstrating that it's members do not require the other gender to oversee their political movements.

Closing remarks, then. Feminism counters female oppression; Masculism counters male oppression. A society can suffer from both; indeed, both are present in varying doses in Western society. This does not make the individual gender movements any less valid. Feminism is and remains a movement intended to restore balance where inequality for women exists; the presence of misandry and inequality for men does not violate it's validity or necessity.
Debate Round No. 4
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by l0mars01 4 years ago
I don't feel Con did a good job.
1. Clear subject
The initiating premises, historical references (where did 2nd wave feminism movement take place in the 60s and 70s?), and locale references (all examples set in the United States), clearly set the debate's scope to that feminist movement in its current incarnation. In other words, Pro's conclusion is 'the feminist movement no longer sincerely advocates equality' here and now.
Contrary to Con's claims, Pro never changed the subject. Discussing influential, powerful organizations popularly supported inside the movement to make points about the movement doesn't change the subject, either.

Logically, Con arguing the negation of Pro's conclusion, 'the feminist movement still sincerely advocates equality', is Con's task. What does Con do?
2. Strawman fallacy
Con simplifies Pro's conclusion to 'ALL feminists discriminate against men'.
3. Digression fallacy
Con argues other points entirely: discrimination against women, religious contributions thereof, discrimination in other cultures via anecdotes. Con doesn't refute Pro's argument or argue the contrary, but merely asserts 'feminism aims for equality' without argument.

In the next 2 rounds, Con even accepts Pro's point and explains it ('uniquely Western').
5. Division fallacy
Con's (unargued) claim about a 'silent majority' of individuals fails to address the subject: the collective movement.
6. Suppressed evidence
Examples Con cites of 'feminists questioning misandrists' ignores the context. They arose in a debate about the feminist movement condoning misandry and well-endorsed feminist misandrists.
7. More digression
Con argues the need for feminism, calls the failure of 'passionate' feminists to sincerely advocate equality―the claimed point of feminism―'unsurprising', and defends feminism's exclusivity to women.

That anyone else readily accepts this and calls Con victor is disgraceful.
Posted by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 5 years ago
I would advice Pro to not change the resolution mid-debate and focus on his initial idea. Surprisingly, Con accepted the changes so no loss of conduct though in usual circumstances, it could have been a loss of conduct.
Posted by lovepeacesoftball 5 years ago
Hello ;)

Please do my debate <3

LOVE Ella <3 {|) *
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro's contention was that feminism while previously was for gender equality (the first wave) is now moving towards misandry. However, he concludes that the very definition of feminism means that it supports women, not men, so Pro was unable to prove that feminism was NO LONGER about gender equality. Con refuted whatever Pro presented as well as gave a good argument about feminism, but it was Pro's conclusion that gives this debate to Con.
Vote Placed by randolph7 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Good debate. I wasn't swayed either way until the end. Dapple's closing clinched it - feminism is what it always is even if feminist organizations (NOW) have lost sight of its roots.