Men are Discriminated Against in the United States
The first round will be for introductions only, the second round will be only for opening arguments (no rebuttals), and the third and fourth rounds will be a rebuttals and closings, respectively. No new argument may be posted in the third round unless it is to rebut a prior argument, and no new argument may be placed in the fourth round.
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First off, I would like to thank my opponent on creating such an interesting debate.
As for myself, I will be arguing against my opponents statement that men face greater discrimination than women do in the United States.
Men Face Discrimination in the following ways:
The "Real Men" Principal
Female gender roles have largely been removed from our society. Women are encouraged to become educated and work in various fields, rather than staying at home. However, male gender roles are still very much prevalent. This can be illustrated through the "real men principal", as shown below.
Real men don't cry,
Real men are strong,
Real men aren't nurses,
Real men aren't obese,
Real men don't talk about their problems,
Real men don't have "feminine" hobbies (such as knitting)
This list goes on and on, but I only have so many characters.
Misandry in our society
Misandry quite literally means "the hatred of men". No, there is not some global conspiracy to negatively portray men. However, the media, and some more extreme feminists, paint men in a harmful light.
One of the greatest scapegoats of our society is the supposed "patriarchy". Supposably, an informal coalition of men known as the patriarchy seeks to control women through abuse and sexual assault, a goal which they accomplish through "rape culture".
Though such a patriarchy used to exist, it no longer does. At best, the patriarchy is a conspiracy theory; at worst, it is an excuse for misandry. For instance, the "don't be that guy" campaign seeks to stop sexual assault . The problem with campaigns such as this is that they create the stereotype of the evil male rapist, which has become widespread in our society.
In Criminal Courts
In the criminal justice system, men are perceived as being more dangerous than women. According to the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency, 93.2% of prisoners were men, who are imprisoned at 14 times the rate women are . Men are considered by our culture to be more dangerous than women, and are thus more likely to be imprisoned rather than fined or put on probation.
In Divorce Courts
Though there are many discriminatory systems, divorce courts take the cake. Their decisions are consistently and blatantly lopsided against men. Only 3% of alimony receivants in the United States are men , and only 17.8% of fathers received custody of their children .
This is largely due to the "real men" principal. After all, "real men" don't need the support of their ex-wives after a divorce - or so the courts seem to believe. It is also largely because of the negative portrayal of men that custody is so unevenly divided.
Though women no longer are confined by traditional gender roles, men still are. The media portrays men as drunkards and oppressors, reinforcing these roles. These roles prevent them from being treated equally to a woman in a court of law.
Examples of Discrimination:
Throughout the history of human history females have been regarded as inferior to men in the regard that they were emotionally and physically too weak to be a leader in society. While many would argue that this societal separation between men and women is a thing of the past, I would like to argue for the contrary.
Example #1: Salaries
While it is true that the gender role of the stay at home mom has began to fade away, women are still treated as if they are not as capable as men are in certain jobs. This discrimination can be clearly seen in the difference of salaries between men and women. In 2010 the average annual salary of men was $42,800 while the average annual salary for women was only $34,700 (in other words, women are making 77 cents for every dollar that a man earns) . This means that men are making on average 19% more money than women are. Graph A shows the dramatic disparity of salaries between men and women, and how it has evolved over the years.
Also, keep note that the higher up the occupation the greater the salary disparity. For example, women truck drivers earn about 80 cents for every man's dollar while women surgeons/physicians earn only 69 cents for every man's dollar. This shows that despite the fact that women are displaying that they have received the education and have the experience to be successful in certain jobs, they are still discriminated against .
Example #2: Lack of Leadership Roles
While their is a very small disparity between men and women workers within corporations (women make up 46.4% of employees) their is a very noticeable disparity within the leadership positions. For example, within Fortune 500 companies (the most profitable companies in the US0 women only make up 15.7% of the board seats, 14.4% are executive officers (7.7 are top earning executive officers), and only 2.4% are CEO's . This is a massive gap between men and women that can only be explained with the argument that women are more greatly discriminated against than men are.
Example #3: Society Forcing Eating Disorders:
A major problem within the younger community is the pressure put on themselves by peers and the media to appear "sexy". This desire to appear good in public does occurs in males also, however over 80% of eating disorders are found in females . The reason for this is because society often forces the idea that women must appear skinny, while it is perfectly fine for men to be "out of shape". One poll discovered that 69% of girls between the 5th and 12th grade said that magazines influenced their idea of the ideal body while 47% wanted to lose weight based on magazines.
While society believes that gender discrimination is a relic of the past, piles of statistics support the claim that women are discriminated and separated from men on multiple regards.
Round 3: Rebuttals
My opponent is correct; women have faced discrimination throughout history. Emphasis must be placed on the word history however, because discrimination against women is a thing of the past. Each point following this paragraph will be a rebuttal of my opponent's corresponding example.
The claim that women earn 77 cents on the dollar compared to men with comparable jobs is false. This statistic, first used by President Obama, is the median male wage compared to the median female wage. This number, contrary to my opponent's claim, has nothing to do with profession.
The median, or middle, wage gap is far higher than the mean wage gap, though a small gap (around 12 cents) still exists for two reasons:
1. On average, men work longer hours than women. As the 77 cents statistic deals with total yearly earnings and not hourly pay, the supposed wage gap is stretched.
2. Women are more likely to sacrifice wages for greater benefits (such as longer maternity leaves) .
Though men earn more money than women, women are more likely to be employed, with an unemployment rate of 6.5% (compared to 7.5% for men) . Furthermore, women are less likely to lose there jobs then men, who are 2.6 times more likely to be let go .
As I have demonstrated, pay is not the only indication of equality in the workplace. Though women paid slightly less than men, they also receive greater benefits, and are far less likely to be fired.
My opponent's research is correct in regards to the number of women in senior positions within companies. He explains this gap by vaguely stating that "women are more greatly discriminated against than men are". However, there is a reason for this.
Women have only very recently matched male attendance in college, and these graduates have only recently entered the workforce, whereas men used to dominate the workplace. It takes years to climb the corporate ladder, whether you are a man or a woman. The only person discriminating against these graduates is father time.
Women, as my opponent suggests, are held to unrealistic standards, but so are men. The difference, however, is that emphasis is placed on muscle rather than weight. Thus, rather than starving themselves, boys excersize for unhealthy periods of time and participate in dangerous sports, such as football and boxing.
Most students cannot live up to these standards. Because of the constant pressure of athleticism and the crushing standards men and boys are held to, the ratio of male to female suicides is four to one .
The wage and leadership gap is not a result of discrimination, but of fudged figures and erroneous assumptions. As my arguments have shown, male discrimination is real and prevalent, while reports of misogyny in business and society are exaggerated.
The "Real Men" Principal
The argument that women gender roles have been removed from society is an ignorant remark. Gender roles have always, and will always exist in any culture. Let me give a few examples of female gender roles.
Women must be skinny
Women cannot swear/must be polite
Women are secretaries
Women cannot give orders to men
The "Real Men" Principal is true, however arguing that that there are no longer female gender roles is false.
Misandry in our society
The argument that the media paint men in a harmful light is true to a certain degree, however this is not the case 100% of the time. In some cases (especially Hollywood) men are projected as the heroes and saviors of helpless women.
For the patriarchy argument, the definition of the patriarchy is not a "...coalition of men who seek to control women through abuse a sexual assault". The proper definition is "...a social system in which males are the primary authority figures central to social organization, occupy roles of political leadership, moral authority and control of property, and where fathers hold authority over women and children" . If this is the definition of the patriarchy then isn't it true that the US currently has this form of politics to a certain degree? Some examples are the facts that there has never been a female president or that only 19% of congress in female .
As for the "don't be that guy" campaign, do they not have the right to villainize men when 99% of convicted rapists are male ?
Legal Discrimination: In Criminal Courts
I agree with my opponent that there are a higher percentage of men imprisoned than women are. However, due to the fact that America has the highest imprisonment rates in the world, this means that over 420,000 women are imprisoned each year, the highest amount in the world.
Rebuttal and Closing
The "real men" principal
I never stated that gender roles had disappeared from society; I stated that female gender roles had been largely removed, but male gender roles have not. I will address my opponent's examples of female gender roles point by point.
1. As I previously stated, men are held to a similar standard (men must be muscular).
2. I'm not sure if you're from America, but women here cuss just as often as men, and are often just as rude. This is not an issue of gender.
3. No one forces women to be secretaries, they choose to be because it's easy to get a job as one. After all, many men would rather have female secretaries; if anything, this is discriminatory against men.
4. Again, I'm not sure where you live, but women in the United States often give orders to men in the workplace.
Misandry in our society
I'd like to thank my opponent for clarifying the proper definition of the word patriarchy. I was not referencing the dictionary definition, but rather what many radical feminists portray the patriarchy as. However, I stand by the belief that there is no longer such a thing as a patriarchy.
Men aren't refusing women access to congress. 50.8% of the US population is female , and females have the right to vote. If having an even number of men and women in congress is really so important to women, why don't they just vote for female candidates?
The study my opponent cites for his statistic on rape is incorrect. The study he used classified rape as "forced penetration". Under this definition, it is virtually impossible for a women to rape a man .
However, a less skewed study by the CDC found that 1.4% of men reported being raped and 4.8% of men reported being forced to penetrate someone else, for a combined total of 6.2% . Legally, rape is defined as forced penetration, which discriminates against male rape victims. Many men don't report rape (as "real men" aren't raped), and women who rape men often escape punishment.
So no, they don't have the right to villainize men, no more than men have the right to villainize women.
Legal Discrimination: In Divorce Courts.
My opponent's rebuttal here only serves to strengthen my initial argument. I fully agree that in 66% of cases, women are the ones who file for divorce . It is exactly because they are leaving their family that men deserve joint custody. If a wife divorces her husband, she shouldn't be able to deny the husband the right to see his child; after all, he didn't file the divorce.
How is this possibly justice? Just because a women divorces a man doesn't mean he abused or mistreated her; maybe a wife and her husband just didn't really like each other.
And therein lies a prime example of how men are discriminated against. My opponent views statistics showing that women file for divorce more often, and simply assumes that these husbands are somehow abusive. These stereotypes are widespread in our society, as men are clearly discriminated against in the US.
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