Official March Beginner's Tournament 2016 Round 2: Feminism is Beneficial to the Modern World.
Full Resolution: On balance, Feminism is Beneficial to the Modern World.
Characteristics of modern (post second World War) societies that have capitalistic economies and democratic political structures, and are highly industrialized and divided into social classes based on economic status. These characteristics include regular pattern of everyday life, urbanization, influx of women at all levels of employment and business, secular outlook, sexual freedom, sharp reduction in birth rate and death rate, centralized bureaucratic government, standardized education system, and pervasive use of technology specially in communications.
Organized self-identified/self-proclaimed feminist activity in support of women's rights and interests.
Round 1: Acceptance ONLY
Round 2: Arguments
Round 3: Arguments and Rebuttals
Round 4: Rebuttals and Conclusion
There shall be no semantics in this debate. Both sides are prohibited from debating and overhauling definitions. if you have any concern regarding the definitions, raise them now before the debate commences. Pro is prohibited from using lawyering methods of scapegoating, such as shifting between different feminist stances. If Pro violates this rule and refutes Con by using such infraction, Pro will forfeit the entire debate. Both sides are not allowed to raise new arguments in the last round.
This debate is issued as part of the Beginner's Tournament (http://www.debate.org...). Only someloser(http://www.debate.org...) can accept this debate. If someone other than him manages to accept this challenge, that person will forfeit the entire debate. Once the challenge is issued, the contender may accept whenever he is ready.
Both of us are fellow proteges of the ancient Cody_Franklin who as we believe right now is currently lurking for a revival. It was prophesied that only one of us may remain as his protege. I intend to make that title mine. Time for you to lose, someloser. Kissing his feet should be my prize, not yours.
That said, RAWR!!!
I accept, and look forward to the debate!
Thanks for having me. I am currently overloaded with finals so I'll have to do a very quick round(in under 2 hours). However, this is no such excuse so I ask all voters to evaluate my case based on merit alone. Discredit the emphatic lens please. I will do my best to provide an insightful and entertaining case instead of just completing it for the sake of praising the RNGesus of Finals. That said, Let's begin.
Indicators of societal progression can be seen through changes within the social norms of a given culture. Changes are usually made and directed by social groups and these groups usually hail from a large array of resources. One of those resources happens to be feminism and I will argue that despite the immeasurable amount of social variables to weigh on, feminism is still a positive force.
Challenging pre-existing norms is a valid cause
Hitchens regarded women as the "gentler sex" (https://www.youtube.com...) and that there is always a reason why they were regarded as so. He also testified how incredibly difficult it is for a male to take the role of a nurturer and that each male should continue to be the breadwinner. In addition, Bill Maher also did a stand-up comedy mocking feminine values as well as calling submissive men as cowards unworthy of life's succulent adventures(https://www.youtube.com...). He argued that men should return as former "mustang" adventurers prioritizing fun over "safety".
The amount of male bashing they did are all part of a belief that holds women as the inferior type. Women are often regarded as the inferior sex because they are usually less "adventurous" than men and that they are much more comfortable soaking up emotions from the leading breadwinner. They are socialized to accept that one gender has an assigned social construct, in such that cooking is an exclusive feminine activity restricted to only women and that leading financial gains is often only restricted to only men. From this point of reference, they like to form further soft comparisons of how each gender should be geared towards.
Domestic Issue Awareness
The problem with social values is that not all values are transmitted throughout society. The prevalence of sub-culture itself promote isolation and isolation prevents proper integration. Nuclear forms of marriages often receives the brunt of this weight. If a couple decides to work together, lots of "back-door problems" may start to arise, where intentions fail to translate into actions.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics show that women's domestic workload is twice to that of their male counterpart, despite both being full-time workers (http://www.bls.gov...). Moreover, women are seen as the primary child-rearing parent and they are seen to have twice the amount of nurturing time(http://www.bls.gov...). It is an acceptable premise to argue that in domestic chores and child rearing, women are seen as the leading caretaker. Whether that translates to inequality the same way Bill Maher regards Men as mustangs is debatable but I'd like to argue that most women do experience a sense of inequality given how both genders are now full time workers.
That said, It's important to distinguish the line which different feminists advocate. The rather common versions of feminist critique regarding this issue is often so that men do not hold similar concerns and that they're often selfish due to the existing norms that shape them. While this may be true for unique cases especially the narcissist likes of Hitchens and Bill Maher, whose ideas are often misogynistic in nature, it is however untrue for the majority of men.
Recent studies made by Gerson shows that Men do care and that their feelings are often known to their spouses that they wish for an egalitarian relationship (https://workfamily.sas.upenn.edu...). Men do aspire to be nurturers and valiant cooks, in such that they wanted to equalize the amount of workload between both genders. They are aware that there is a pattern of inequality and they wish to work against such pattern. Gerson specified that in an era of industrialized society, people often have flexibility in their workload, and this allows them to distribute different ranges of domestic work despite being full-time workers.
This model is the ideal form for most family structures. There is no "mustangs" in the family and there is no "gentler sex" when it comes to the breadwinner. There is only an advocate towards equality and the only way to do this is to have men being consciously aware of the position that they're in and that they should cater equally in terms of household work.
This is the best that I can do. I leave the floor to Con for his case.
A 2013 HuffingtonPost poll found that while most people agree that men and women should be social, political, and economic equals, only under a quarter actively identify as feminists . Seems a bit contradictory, doesn't it?
While this does show for a fact that feminism is not necessary to prevent us from descending into androsupremacism (not that it rescued us from such a prospect in the first place - the expendable male trope did not spring forth ex nihilo), it does raise the question of why so many actively reject the label. And, statistically, women don't seem to be facing any pressing concerns.
Aside from the fact that women now routinely ouperform men in school, they seem to be legally privileged as well. For kust one example, in the case of the US, only men have to sign up for the Selective Service - which includes the draft - in order to vote. Additionally, family courts appear to be routinely biased in the favor of women. Feminist groups such as N.O.W. have fought against attempts to remedy the prospect 
It certainly doesn't seem as if though feminism is beneficial. Let alone necessary. A single father struggling to barely get by would be inclined to disagree.
Regardless, this leads us to ask:
What has feminism done?
To kick off a very brief recap of feminism's track record, it's reasonable to start with women gaining the right to vote. It is virtually indisputable that this was specifically and necessarily a feminist act. Certainly, it is not difficult to justify in the abstract. Women are human beings (who are neither children nor foreign nations), and it is in their interests to obtain democratic representation. However, he rise of women's suffrage does not seem to have brought forth any radical improvement towards our political system. In fact, trust in government has been declining since the middle of the 20th century . So while gaining the right to vote seems like a good idea in the abstract, it's might to be more of a token gesture than anything. Is there any empirical evidence to suggest humanity has objectively benefited as a result of women's suffrage?
This question becomes particularly important as the consequences of other feminist "accomplishments" begin to manifest.
As political commentator Vox Day wrote in a column  critical of first-wave feminism:
"Consider the two great laments of the modern American woman. For the unmarried woman, it is the reality that she must marry later in life than ever before, if she is able to marry at all. For the married woman, it is that unlike generations of women before her, she cannot afford to stay home with her children unless she is fortunate enough to have married to a man of the financial elite.
Both of these developments can be traced directly to women’s rights. Men’s increasing unwillingness to marry stems primarily from two causes — the feminized family court system that transformed marriage from a mutually beneficial contract into a financial and emotional liability, and the removal of paternal responsibility for the sexual behavior of young women. Ergo, the need for marriage has been eliminated while its liabilities have increased. As Blue America and de-Christianizing Europe increasingly show, in the absence of religion there is now very little impetus for marriage.
Feminism can only be said to be "beneficial" to the modern world, if one considers throwing marriage, the family unit, the wages of millions, rights of men, and continued existence of modern, civilized society under the bus in order to maybe remedy some societal disparities.
I thank Con for his response.
The History Of Feminism
When Con argued that feminism is not necessary to liberate those under oppression, it brings forth an interesting insight. I remembered a while back that there was tweet by Richard Dawkins regarding ancient philosophers. He delivered one of the most asinine form of cynicism to Plato (43 x 20 x 30 inches). As usual, he escaped the backlash of twitter commentators by mentioning "I was genuinely ignorant".
The history surrounding patriarchy was a necessary cause for the rise of feminism. If we were to start with ancient Greece, Plato and Aristotle held views that women were generally inferior (1.http://www.classicsnetwork.com...). They were regarded as the weaker sex and that each society should accept the universal rule being that women should be "domesticated" at all cost. The Philosophy of Aristotle dominated most of the middle ages extending even to the classical renaissance, be it in Baghdad or in Milan. There were opposition to such order and that includes the brawl between the Dominican Order and Franciscan Platonist(2.http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org...). Dominican Order held strong peripatetic views and with it the order manage to mentor one of the most revered intellectuals of the time, most notable Saint Thomas Aquinas. The brawl between both would mean that both Plato and Aristotle would form the reference of thought and each reference would involve a commentary of either of the major philosophers' work.
The excessive admiration of Ancient Greece throughout Medieval Europe effectively normalized the "Weaker Sex" Ideology. Women are seen as inferior and thus such an idea would then be regarded as a Truism. It was not until the development of First Wave Feminism will we actually see the advocacy of equity in terms of gender. Con disagreed with it's resulting benefits. While the benefit is questionable, the harm caused by Patriarchy should be enough to justify most feminist movements. It is unacceptable that men hold discriminatory views of how women are intrinsically weaker and it is unacceptable that they should be regarded as the weaker sex based on their biological predisposition.
The Benefits of Feminism
Con questioned the idea whether Feminism brings forth any benefit and argued that the results of feminism caused greater harm to society. Of this, Con mentions the decline of marriage, the disparity of legal court system and the misrepresentation of the wage gap. I disagree, the existence of marriage assumes that marriage confers a positive effect, when in essence it only relies on the co-existence capabilities of both spouses and whether both spouses agree to compromise on certain things that concerns their life.
Marriage bonds often hides under the thin veil of societal stigma and they often rely on whether it is socially acceptable to issue a divorce. A study by Rebecca Silberbogen reports that only 10% of dysfunctional marriages went to trial (3.http://scholarship.law.wm.edu...). The study also found that some couples decided to institute an informal separation, where each of them lives in a separate household. They are still legally bonded as partners, but it's just that they refuse to live together due to uncompromising differences.
These sort of cases effectively rules out the idea that marriage represents happiness. What represents happiness is entirely circumstantial and it should not rest on a legal bond that seems to only capture the acquisition of social status. Marriage does the couple with a sense of privileged social status which is often associated with long-term loyalty, solidarity and happiness. An example can be seen from a conservative commentator by the name of Steven Crowder who once bashed self-reliant single moms for failing to acknowledge the existence of a "male partner"(4.https://www.youtube.com...). It is socially acceptable to be in the majority but never is it socially acceptable to be in the minority.
Marriage as with all forms of cohabitation are hiding behind the thin veil of societal stigma. Con's case along with Vox Day is negated. Feminism is a required force to overturn those in the majority.
Pardon the extremely brief round, last-minute scheduling conflicts only left me with minimal time to finish. As with Pro prior, this should be of no relevance to voters, only an explanation
Pro argues that current prevailing sexual norms and gender roles place women at a disadvantage, and that these gender roles are not only harmful to the, but to men as well. Pro cites the example of Hitchen and Maher's "male bashing", which fixates on attacking men due to behaving in a feminine matter. This ties into the subsequent, implicit argument that the fight against gender roles, largely spearheaded by feminism, is in the best interests of men (the other half of society) as well.
Whether this is actually beneficial can be answered through a series of seemingly arbitrary rhetorical questions:
Is feminism advocating for equality? Maybe in some cases - as I argued in my opening round, this is neither desirable nor likely achievable. The fact remains that modern, developed society is based in the fundamental inequality of humanity as a sexually dimorphic species.
Is feminism advocating for women's interests, in particular? Given its historical trends, nature, and modern behavior, probably we can know this is true in some sense. At the very least, feminism acts in the best immediate interests of women.
Is feminism doing any good that is not outweighed by its short-term or long-term problesm? No! Not only does it ruthlessly strive in favor of advancing women's interests (often to the detriment of men's, for example ), but the very advancement thereof poses an fundamental problem for society, as it is based on certain inequalities (which will, in some cases, NOT be to the immediate interests of women) common to the human condition. There is no evidence that an alternative or inverted arrangement (the forme of which appears to be the minimum of feminism's demands) is compatible with modern, civilized society.
Concession. No conclusion needed.
I thank Con for the debate.
|Who won the debate:||-|