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The Contender
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On balance, Western Society is not patriarchal

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Voting Style: Open Point System: Select Winner
Started: 2/19/2015 Category: Society
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 497 times Debate No: 70338
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (5)
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Seeing a lot of discussion regarding a 'patriarchy' on DDO, I figured it would be interesting to actually debate it.

I will be arguing that, on balance, western society is not patriarchal. Con will be arguing that western society is patriarchal.

BoP is on Con.


For the purposes of the debate, I will consider 'western society' to be the societies within Canada, Western Europe and the USA.

Patriarchal: 'relating to or denoting a system of society or government controlled by men.' (1)


- Con must start in round 1, since he has the BoP.
- Con must make no arguments or rebuttals in round 4
- No excessive reliance on semantics

(1) Google: 'Define patriarchal'


In Western society, the patriarchy is now becoming recognized and therefore minimized. I am not arguing that every person in the society sticks to the patriarchy nor am I suggesting that it is as severe as the Middle East.

1) Inequality of income. Men, on average, are paid more than women for the same jobs. For every dollar a man makes, a woman makes 77 cents of that. This fact was stated by Barack Obama who has no bias in this inequality. It should be made clear that women are making less money than men in the SAME jobs.

2) Barbara Corcoran. She is a savvy business woman who often speaks about the difficulties she faced when growing her business. She states that she was used to men speaking to her "like [she] was a little girl." She would dress in the sexiest outfits possible to increase her odds of making deals. This is not the case with men mostly because the business world is dominated by men.

3) In fields such as engineering, business, and software development, women are ostracized from the community. Women have to work twice as hard to prove themselves in these industries to be successful.

4) Women received the right to vote in 1919. This is AFTER minority races gained this right. Today, we still have racism even though the issue "dissipated" long ago. Children learn about Martin Luther King in elementary school but have to take APUSH to learn about the suffragettes. The ignorance of men to realize that women are the same is not educated in schools as much as race equality yet racism still exists. To get rid of stereotypes, you must educate the masses. The public is not educated.

5) In several movies and television series, women are portrayed as dainty and fragile while men are big and strong. Because these stereotypes are still in mainstream entertainment, people still believe women are less than men.

6) Only 18.3% of governmental positions are held by women. Of those women, only 13 of them hold a leadership position. Out of all the Supreme Court Justices, only 4.6% have been women. 4.2% of women are CEOs even though 44% are in union leadership.

7) In moral authority, 75% of those who work with charities are women, yet women hold only 21% of leadership positions in them. 10% of women are leaders in the Christian religion (comprising Cathollics and Protestants).

Debate Round No. 1


Thanks Con!

Just to clarify, all I need to do in this debate is to refute Con's arguments. This is because Con has the BoP.

Inequality of income

Whilst it is true that, on average, men earn more than women, but there is no evidence whatsoever to suggest that this is because of inherent social sexism (patriarchy). A 2009 CONSAD report on the disparity of wages between men and women found that the reasons for the pay gap are:

- 'A greater percentage of women than men tend to work part-time'

- 'A greater percentage of women than men tend to leave the labor force for child birth, child
care and elder care.'

- 'Women, especially working mothers, tend to value "family friendly" workplace policies
more than men'


The report concluded:

'As a result, it is not possible now, and doubtless will never be possible, to determine reliably whether
any portion of the observed gender wage gap is not attributable to factors that compensate women and
men differently on socially acceptable bases, and hence can confidently be attributed to overt
discrimination against women.' (2)

Therefore, a pay gap is no evidence whatsoever of a patriarchal aspect of society.

Furthermore, in the UK the Equality Act (2010) expressly outlaws paying women less for doing the same work as men. (3) The same applies in the USA, with the Equal Pay Act (1963) (4).

Barbara Corcoran

This argument commits the anecdotal fallacy (5). Just because a single business woman has had experiences of sexism, it does not follow that society at large is sexist or patriarchal.

Engineering, business and software development

Con states that:

'women are ostracized from the community. Women have to work twice as hard to prove themselves in these industries to be successful.'

But he gives no evidence of this. This argument is therefore invalid up until the point that he cites a valid source for his claim. For all I know, he could have made this statement up out of thin air.


Con states that women only received the vote in 1919. Yet this does not pertain to the resolution because we are debating the current state of western society, not the state of western society in the early 20th century.

I would also argue that racism awareness is taught more in schools than sexism awareness because the former was a much larger problem, especially in the USA. The Suffragists only had to deal with the vote; whereas racism campaigners had to deal with the KKK, segregation and far more other issues. The fact remains that women can enjoy just the same amount of welfare that a man can in our modern society.

Furthermore, Con seems to believe that sexism is innately held by men; and that only education can remove it. Yet this is absurd, as it suggests that all men who have not been educated in sexism-awareness are sexist. Moreover, educated people do not seem any more or less sexist than uneducated people, which would suggest that discrimination cannot be removed by throwing facts at people.

Media portrayal

It is true that women are often portrayed as dainty and fragile compared to big, strong men. But this is not patriarchal, it is simply stating a simple physiological fact about men and women. It is undisputed that, in general, men are larger and stronger than women.

Yet having said this, the media and film industries do not stick to these stereotypes. There are loads of strong and intimidating women such as the Black Widow (Marvel), Danaerys Targaryen (Game of Thrones) and many more.

To summarise, the portrayal of women in movies and television is not patriarchal at all, at the very least there is no evidence that such portrayal is based on patriarchal ideals.

Leadership Positions

There is no proof that this disparity of leadership positions is down to a patriarchal society. I would hazard that actually the reasons that there are less women in power is for the following reasons:

1. Women are more likely than men to opt out of careers in order to care for children.
2. In non-emotive situations, men are generally more assertive than women (6), assertiveness is crucial in achieving positions of leadership

To prove that the lack of female leadership is proof of a patriarchal society, my opponent must first prove that the above two reasons cannot explain it.

Moral Authority

I extend my aformentioned arguments that the lack of female leadership is no proof of patriarchy.


To conclude, I have shown all of Con's arguments to be either fallacious, misinformed or invalid. Thus I defend the resolution.

Your turn Con! :)


(2) Ibid.


beforeifall forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


Extend all arguments.


beforeifall forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


beforeifall forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by Philocat 1 year ago
Normally that is the case, but if we are debating over the existence of something, then the advocate of that thing's existence has the BoP. As you cannot prove a negative, the denier of the thing's existence cannot have the BoP.
Posted by UtherPenguin 1 year ago
Shouldn't Pro technically take the BoP since he is instigating the debate? Or am I getting something wrong?
Posted by TBR 1 year ago
If no one picks this up soon, I will.
Posted by Philocat 1 year ago
Ah yes, thanks TBR I forgot to add in the rules/structure of the debate. I've added them now.
Posted by TBR 1 year ago
Since Con is taking BoP, want con to start the debate in round 1?
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