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Is 3rd Wave Feminism needed?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/25/2016 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 weeks ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 320 times Debate No: 95632
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (24)
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Full resolution: In America, is modern feminism needed?

The debate is self explanatory. You provide examples of why feminism is needed, and I disbute them, as well as point out some things too. The voters will decide if the issues you brought up that are legitimate will outweigh the counter-points I bring up.

1) Do not forfeit. If you must skip a round, post something so the debate does glitch
2) Cite your sources
3) No trolling, semantics, etc
4) I may bring up actions of feminists in other 1st world nations as evidence against feminism. However, please only use issues facing the US in your argument. I can explain why if needed.
5) Follow the structure

Round 1: Con posts rules, Pro posts arguments
Rounds 2: Con posts rebuttals and arguments, Pro posts rebuttals
Rounds 3-4: Rebuttals
Round 5: Final rebuttals, and conclusions.

Good luck!


So, my first debate. Here goes nothing. I am a Marxist-feminist myself, but to sharpen my debate skills I will throw myself in at the deep-end

Third-wave feminism is the feminist movement that emerged in the early 2000s, though it has been criticised by many feminists as it did not have a defined motive and was a very divisionist movement, putting many into groups (intersectional feminism, black feminism etc). But I will be arguing for the third-wave of feminism made up by a Post-Germaine Greer understanding, and the intersectional feminist viewpoint (the third-wave that focuses on race and gender issues). Is this acceptable? Hope so

My first point is basically the whole debate, that feminism didn't succeed. This is the point made in the Female Eunuch, a very good book I highly recommend reading it, that the original goal of feminism was to give women a higher representation in academic and political fields. Women are, still, less than 20% of elected officials in the US and in some STEM fields make up less than 10% of employees despite being a majority in the academic world, most people who go to university being women.

The original goal of feminism was to eliminate a lot of the societal pressures against women, along with give them the vote and more property rights and representation in government. It hasn't achieved these things, and so a continued movement is still needed, evidently, in western society.

Why is this? Well, it's because society has a natural bias that pressures women to take less jobs in the upper echelons of society and into motherhood. This is elaborated on in Psychology Today: Here's another from a Harvard Business Journal on women in STEM jobs:

Feminism hasn't succeeded because there is still, overall, a social bias and pressure against women into more traditional gender roles. To clarify, I am not saying it doesn't also effect men, it does

My second point is what feminism is. Feminism, by definition, was a theory of social analytics based on Marxism as a way of looking at gender's relation to society.

Even in a gender equal society analytics of gender only serve to further consolidate ideas of equality of opportunity (although as before we've seen that equality of opportunity is purely legal and, in fact, social pressures often pressure a majority of women to pursue different careers).

Though third-wave feminism deviates from this original path it still follows a lot of the analysis that originally was applied during the Suffragette and Women's Liberation movements respectively Here's a quick summary of what the far-left third wave stands for, as that is the third-wave I am discussing

My third point, and probably the final one for this round is something called the gender pay gap, which I will address as part of workplace sexism (something more concerning the far-left of the third-wave), which, despite many attempts to rebuke it, does exist across multiple different professions on the same hourly rate and working time.

Workplace sexism can be anything, from male dominance in much of the upper echelons of the corporate world (due to social pressures previously discussed) and the insidious male bias in much of the workplace, all the way to blatant sexism manifested in harassment and payment discrimination Here's an article from The American Prospect about workplace sexism in the modern world.
And here's an article about workplace sexism as an issue:

Though often feminism does argue about non-issues, the most hilarious of which involve fart-rape and A/C-sexism, there are some real issues.

Women are unionised at a lower-rate than men, despite increasing prevalence in the workplace meaning not even the unions, often times, can represent them and fight for their issues despite being institutions of protection for the workers:

Less CEOs are women, and even the CEOs who are women earn less, the top 10 women CEOs alone earn less than the highest earning male CEO in history. Ten women earning less than one man (note: I am against CEOs in general, as a Marxist, irrelevant but something worth noting probably)
Which is not to say the problem doesn't also effect men. It does. On average men in bartending and serving jobs do earn less than women, but in other professions women earn less:

Women are not encouraged into higher positions because of the previously addressed social pressures and structures

My case for feminism stands on three points. Feminism has not succeeded in launching women into the representation they need and has not succeeded with breaking down kyriarchal social pressures as it originally intended. Two, feminism is a method of social analytics based on gender and it's still applicable, surely, in an egalitarian society, to analyse gender and social structure. And third, and final, sexism in the workplace, including underepresentation in unions, the gender pay gap and harassment and general maltreatment.

I also mention social pressures on women which feminism aims to eliminate, these social pressures manifest in hetero-normative social structures such as the nuclear family and kyriarchy in the workplace.

Once again I would like to say that the third-wave was a very sparse and chaotic era in feminism and is very hard to define, often different groups give different definitions, as Con hasn't defined what the third-wave is, I have provided the definition I would go by when discussing it, and would also like to say that issues like A/C, manspreading, and 'patriarchy' are widely refuted by many modern feminists certainly, and often terms like patriarchy are replaced instead with kyriarchy which, I believe, applies more realistically to the social dynamic in the modern, Western world

Thank you again for the interesting debate topic. Those are my first three arguments for third-wave feminism
Debate Round No. 1


Thank you for accepting!

Rebuttals first.

Yeah, I should of posted a definition. What I mean is just modern feminism in general

"Women are, still, less than 20% of elected officials..."
- Citation needed. But let's assume this is true. The problem is that they are elected, or that the people choose. I don't know any other fair way to choose someone. And you know what is interesting about this stat? Only 25 % of people who run for office are women [1], and more women vote then men [2]. So if more women aren't elected, that isn't sexism.

"STEM fields make up less than 10% of employees"
- This is despite their being a 2-1 hiring preference for women [3]. Women don't want these jobs.

"My third point, and probably the final one for this round is something called the gender pay gap, which I will address as part of workplace sexism (something more concerning the far-left of the third-wave), which, despite many attempts to rebuke it, does exist across multiple different professions on the same hourly rate and working time."
- No, it doesn't. You provided no source to prove this, so this is a bare assertion.

"Workplace sexism can be anything, from male dominance in much of the upper echelons of the corporate world (due to social pressures previously discussed) and the insidious male bias in much of the workplace, all the way to blatant sexism manifested in harassment and payment discrimination"
- Women choose to decline promotions and don't want top jobs [4].

Now onto the problems with feminism.

Feminists don't care about men.

1) Men make up around 45% of domestic violence victims but have next to no shelters for them. [5]

2) Men get sentenced to longer sentences and are more likely to be sent to jail for the same crime as a woman. [6]

3) Prostate cancer is all but ignored while breast cancer gets tons of attention despite both claiming similar numbers of victims [7].

4) We never hear any feminists talking about male deaths in the workplace, how men are more likely to commit suicide, and how men are more likely to get injured at work. [8]

If feminism is about being equal, then do men not count as people?

Sorry for the short argument; school is crazy right now.

I know this is in England, but the story is the same here


Don't complain about Wikipedia. I will defend my use of it.


In one of my sources (an article in a respected magazine, Psychology Today) there is discussion of why women are less represented in STEM and government etc. The symptom of the issue was underrepresentation, but early feminism didn't identify the main problem as societal bias. Instead they tackled the issues of suffrage. The problem is, our society for centuries has told women politics isn't for them and the numbers are going up so maybe the women's 'emancipation' movement was successful in empowering women but the general populace is just slow on the uptake

The gender pay gap (Source: It's a very real issue. In multiple professions, the average hourly rate for women is lower than men and it isn't simply an issue of earning, nor is it an issue of career choice. Of course, 77 out of 100 is a clumsy number, and one that is wrongly used. That's an average. In some professions it is probably above 90 out of 100 and in some it is probably lower, and the average is taken very generally and should (really) be questioned, and a lot of third-wave feminists do question it as less of a hard figure, empirical, but as an average across all bases, even the ones where men earn less

The reason they don't want to jobs is because of the aforementioned social pressure and general bias that is still in the process of dying and will probably be around for a while longer.

"Feminists don't care about men."

There are multiple feminists who talk about male issues. I trust you've been to feminist meetings and interacted with the feminists that make up the majority? They're all reasonable people who discuss male victim centres. There is a rising number in male victim centres in the UK, now there are 50 or more, whereas there used to be close to none, due to feminist groups campaigning for them
( NCDV is a known gender politics/feminist group for instance)

The thing about breast cancer and prostate cancer is a different issue. The NHS have launched single issue initiatives in prostate cancer across Britain, and the reason breast cancer is given a lot more attention is probably simply because it is advertised a lot more and a lot of research goes into it (my own Aunt in fact, works for the NHS researching it). Breast cancer seems to be the current thing the medical world is researching.

The reason most people who die the workplace are men is because there are less women in the workplace, obviously men are going to die more. It's the same for injuries. That doesn't mean feminists don't discuss this, but it isn't really an issue of feminist groups. Workplace death and injury, regardless of gender, is an issue of the unions

Citation needed for feminists not caring about men, because a lot of gender politics/feminist groups do discuss men's issues in my experience, though that is, actually, a more modern trend, to be talking about men's issues
Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 5
24 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by NestorTheZizek 2 weeks ago
Is this still on? I haven't done a debate on this site before, so I don't really get how forfeiting works
Posted by TheBenC 2 weeks ago
Anyone know when testicular cancer month is? I can't seem to find it...
Posted by BackCommander 2 weeks ago
"Have you ever been to a feminist meeting?" Ah yes, meetings, the place where true change happens, right? It doesn't matter if feminists speak of men's rights in meetings, it matters that I've seen countless feminists argue on countless different internet videos, news networks, and television shows, and it is almost always about an issue women face, that they claim men are responsible for. That's what matters, that the most vocal and influential people in your movement are the ones who see men as oppressors, not as the oppressed. Feminism only claims to be about men's rights because it saves face. It'd be pretty hypocritical to speak of sexism and then actively degrade an entire sex, also pretty hard to recruit men when all your signs and shirts say they're rapists. As a result, the lower tier of the movement started claiming themselves "true feminists" and dropping the "all men suck" attitude in order to get men to side with them. MRAs are often ridiculed and hardly ever taken seriously by the feminist community. I find that strange, seeing as they are an exact copy of your movement, with a focus on men instead of women. Strange that your kind would have so much propaganda against those who, by your own argument, share at least half of the same ideals feminists do. Feminists are for women's rights, Egalitarians are for equality. If that weren't the case, Egalitarian would be a nonsensical word with no meaning, instead of having the definition that feminism claims to have.
Posted by TheBenC 3 weeks ago
I just don't buy this social pressure stuff. There was a study done (I cannot seem to find it right now) where they tested 1 day old babies. On their first day of living there was a difference between boys and girls. Boys would make eye contact with a mechanical item longer than girls would and girls would keep longer eye contact with a non-mechanical item.

There is another study that found 9 month old kids prefer gender specific toys. Here is a quote from it. "Boys have a particular aptitude for spatial processing and mental rotation, for example, whereas girls are more interested in looking at faces, fine motor skills and manipulating objects".

Most of the choices we make are based on biological concerns, not social. Society plays a role but it is totally overvalued by studies that try to prove it.
Posted by NestorTheZizek 3 weeks ago
I'm a feminist and I'm talking about men's issues. Have you ever been to a feminist meeting? What evidence are you basing this off? Third-wave leftist feminists advocate for women's unionism as well as solving men's issues. Feminists do bring up men's issues but the false narrative of MRAs is that men are oppressed and so they never promote the feminists who talk about their issues. The media is massively bias to conservatives
Posted by NestorTheZizek 3 weeks ago
You know that there are prostate cancer charities and that breast cancer is, in fact, one of the most prominent cancers in both genders combined. How is it women run breast cancer charities and men run prostate cancer charities?

Obviously, you have a very limited understand of how charity works. Prostate cancer isn't as prominent an issue as breast cancer makes itself. Prostate cancer charities have equal opportunity to promote their charities as breast cancer charities do. And honestly breast and lung cancer are the two biggest cancer charities both of which effect women and men, so it strikes me as very anti-egalitarian to say men don't get the same treatment when obviously they do

I'm not going to dignify any of your other points as you obviously haven't read any of the points I made in my debate response
Posted by TheBenC 3 weeks ago
If the majority of feminists care about men's issues...why are men's issues never brought up by feminists? They always say feminism is needed because of some invisible wage gap, not because men are dying on the job or because men are homeless or because men lose custody.
Posted by TheBenC 3 weeks ago
I forgot to add that men are 97% of combat fatalities, pay 97% of all alimony. lose custody in 84% of divorces, have a conviction rate 165% higher than women and get 63% longer prison sentences for identical crimes. Women's cancer gets 15 times the money that men's cancer gets. At least 10% of fathers are victims of paternity fraud.

So come on women, make yourselves equal in all areas including these. Give half of that breast cancer money over to prostate cancer.
Posted by NestorTheZizek 3 weeks ago
I presume you read the parts about workplace sexism and the lack of women in industrial jobs being because of social pressures. And they do actually, the majority of feminists care about men's issues as well as women
Posted by TheBenC 3 weeks ago
If feminism is for equality then why does it not strive to help men too and why do feminists only want the good part of equality? Men make up 80% of suicides, 93# of workplace fatalities, 76% of homicides and 61% of homeless people. If you want equality you have to take all of it. Keep fighting until you women are 50% of those statistics too.
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