The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
5 Points

The wage gap doesn't exist.

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/29/2016 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 691 times Debate No: 88927
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (1)




The wage gap does not exist and has been debunked multiple times. Even though there's solid proof that the wage gap is solely a myth, third-wave feminists still continue to spread lies about this matter. In the case that the wage gap was truly real, wouldn't women have a higher chance than men of being employed since the employers would have to pay them less?

1) Post sources to backup your statements.
2) No insults, as they're pretty pointless and demonstrate that you're running out of arguments, not to mention they're a form of logical fallacy. (Ad hominem)
3) Overall, try to enjoy this debate and try to accept my perspective about this, just like I'll accept yours.

Thank you.


Introductory Note

Thanks to the Instigator for this debate.

As an introductory note, I would like to start with an analysis of the resolution--'the wage gap doesn't exist'. The Instigator--henceforth referred to as the Aff--is obviously talking about the 'gender pay gap'. According to Wikipedia 1:

"Gender pay gap." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Last edited 26 March, 2016. Web. (
  • "The European Commission defines the gender pay gap as the average difference between men’s and women’s aggregate hourly earnings."

The Aff has the onus in this debate--it is the Aff's job to prove the resolution true. Neg's position--i.e., my position--is self justifying. My job is to 'negate' the resolution. To 'negate' is merely to 'deny the truth of something'. Insofar as I negate, the Aff's job is to demonstrate the resolution to be true.

Also note that the resolution merely specifies that this gender pay gap exists. It does not talk about the the prospective causes of said gap. As such, the Aff's burden is not to show that the gap is caused by choices made by a certain gender--rather, it is to show that the gap doesn't exist at all.


The Aff presents a single source to justify their claim. I turn the Aff's source against them. Schow:

Schow, Ashe. "Harvard prof. takes down gender wage gap myth." Washington Examiner. 13 January, 2016. Web. (
  • "[T]he gap is due mostly to choices women make and not discrimination. ... Claudia Goldin, an economics professor at the Harvard University ... spoke to Stephen Dubner. ... As one can imagine, Goldin comes to the same conclusion that I and many others have: That the gap is due mostly to choices men and women make in their careers and not discrimination."
The source says that the gap is due to choices, but concedes implicitly that it exists. To find a reason for the gap is to concede it exists. As such, the Affirmative's own source goes against them.


The majority of economists and researchers agree that the gender pay gap exists. Blau and Kahn:

Francine D. Blau and Lawrence M. Kahn. "The Gender Pay Gap – Have Women Gone as Far as They Can?". Academy of Management Perspectives (Stanford University) 21 (1): 7–23.
  • "[T]here is still a gender pay gap. Women continue to earn considerably less than men on average, and the convergence that began in the late 1970s slowed noticeably in the 1990s. ... With the evidence suggesting that convergence has slowed in recent years, the possibility arises that the narrowing of the gender pay gap will not continue into the future. Moreover, there is evidence that although discrimination against women in the labor market has declined, some discrimination does still continue to exist."
The scientific consensus agrees with them. According to Wikipedia 2:

"Gender pay gap." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Last edited 26 March, 2016. Web. (
  • "In the United States, the average female's unadjusted annual salary has been cited as 78% of that of the average male. ... Australia has a persistent gender pay gap. Between 1990 and 2009, the gender pay gap remained within a narrow range of between 15 and 17%. ... A study of wages among Canadian supply chain managers found that men make an average of $14,296 a year more than women."
The same has been reported in the majority of countries in the world.


You can vote negative off a few reasons:

a) The affirmative's case is self-contradictory, and is internal link turned by the Schow card. Vote off Schow, since the affirmative concedes the accuracy of the source, and the source proves a gender pay gap.

b) I have given sufficient data to prove that a gender pay gap does exist regardless of the causes. Vote off Wikipedia 2, and Blau and Kahn, both of which have strong and reliable evidence to suggest the existence of a gender pay gap.

c) Finally, the affirmative fails to fulfill their onus, so vote them down for that.

I strongly urge a ballot in favor of Neg.
Debate Round No. 1


Women aren't earning less for equal work nor for the same careers. Your source also states that:
"...the wage gap is due to a variety of causes, such as differences in education choices, differences in preferred job and industry, differences in the types of positions held by men and women, differences in the type of jobs men typically go into as opposed to women (especially highly paid high risk jobs), differences in amount of work experience, difference in length of the work week, and breaks in employment."

The general debate about the wage gap isn't whether or not it exists amongst the sexes for different professional pursuits etc. but it states that women are paid .77c to the dollar, which is NOT true.

Your quote about the Australian gender pay gap and the Canadian women earning less statement fails to really backup the fact that women tend to pursue diverse career choices than men.

More proof to backup my argument:

As you can see, in these specific careers, women also tend to have equal salaries to men or they even might outearn them:

Website with a bunch of sources opposing the wage gap:

Feminist Christina Hoff Sommers goes on to explain this:

"There is clearly a wage gap, but differences in the life choices of men and women " such as women tending to leave the workforce when they have children " make it difficult to make simple comparisons.

Obama is using a figure (annual wages, from the Census Bureau) that makes the disparity appear the greatest. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, for instance, shows that the gap is 19 cents when looking at weekly wages. The gap is even smaller when you look at hourly wages " it is 14 cents " but then not every wage earner is paid on an hourly basis, so that statistic excludes salaried workers.

In other words, since women in general work fewer hours than men in a year, the statistics used by the White House may be less reliable for examining the key focus of legislation pending in Congress " wage discrimination. The weekly wage is more of an apples-to-apples comparison, but it does not include as many income categories.

Economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis surveyed economic literature and concluded that "research suggests that the actual gender wage gap (when female workers are compared with male workers who have similar characteristics) is much lower than the raw wage gap." They cited one survey, prepared for the Labor Department, which concluded that when such differences are accounted for, much of the hourly wage gap dwindled, to about 5 cents on the dollar."


a) Interpretation

The affirmative drops interpretation; extend that the resolution requires the affirmative not to prove that discrimination isn’t the cause of the pay gap. Rather, per framing of the resolution, affirmative has to prove that the gender pay gap doesn’t exist at all. Extend the link, since the affirmative framed the resolution as “the gender pay gap doesn’t exist.” The affirmative has to affirm the resolution, not warp the resolution as they please.

But the affirmative’s interpretation is essentially conveying a different meaning altogether. The affirmative’s whole rebuttal of my case is based on the premise that the pay gap isn’t caused by discrimination. But I never claimed the pay gap was caused by discrimination: this is a straw man. The affirmative is changing the debate by their will, which is grossly unfair.

Debate theory: The debaters must maintain a consistent advocacy. It’s unfair to let the affirmative change the position because then the sides are allowed to simply change their case in accordance to whatever rebuttal the opponent gives, making debate pointless. Multiple positions are a “character skew” (i.e. time skew in standard debate theory) – I spent the whole last round assuming the normal interpretation of the resolution, but since the affirmative has arbitrarily changed their position, it would invalidate my arguments if accepted.

Reject their rebuttal because 1) they are making an unfair character skew arbitrarily and changing their case, and 2) there is no non-arbitrary reason to support their reason; my interpretation has been warranted, and dropped. Extend interpretation and vote Aff down.

b) Rebuttal

Cross-apply my interpretation to their case.

First, the affirmative’s whole rebuttal to my case hinges on the premise of women pursuing diverse career choices, et cetera – essentially the same position as the affirmative’s first source. But this is to be rejected as per the interpretation argument, which is extended.

Second, the affirmative’s own case – which is required for them to fulfill the onus that rests upon them – concedes the existence of a pay gap. The Sommers card that Aff uses to justify their case itself says: “There is clearly a wage gap.” I agree that the wage gap is NOT caused by discrimination, but there’s no link between the affirmative’s position and the resolution. My interpretation negates pre-fiat because of the affirmative’s concession.

Voter Issues:

Vote Neg off of a few reasons and reject the Aff’s position:

1) The interpretation is dropped and extended. It is important since it is cross-applied to my case and the Aff’s, and the interpretation by which judges should cast their ballot is whether the affirmative fulfils the onus that the pay gap doesn’t exist. This isn’t fulfilled.

2) Cross-apply the interpretation to the AC – the AC is directly lost because of the concession that the pay gap does exist, only talking about the causes without establishing a clear link. The NC and the AC turn allow for my position to be upheld.

I urge a Neg ballot.

Debate Round No. 2


In the first round, in one of the sentences, I wrote "[...]being employed since the employers would have to pay them less?"; that should have been an indicator of what the argument would've been about. I do not understand how you interpreted it any other way. The wage gap myth is quite frequently talked about, especially by feminists as well, so I do not see how you have understood it wrongly. I have not changed my argument at all, if you did not understand what I was talking about, perhaps you should have asked me prior to the commencement of this debate. The link in the first round, should have also been a clear indicator about the topic of the debate.
You cannot make the voters reject my argument solely because you interpreted the title wrongly. I have not changed my case at all.
A quick search on google of the "wage gap" could have explained that.


The resolution says "the wage gap doesn't exist." That's *all* the resolution says. Any reasonable interpretation of the resolution would be that the wage gap doesn't exist. If the resolution said "the wage gap doesn't exist," one ought to interpret it as that and nothing else. The affirmative changed the debate midway to "the wage gap is not caused by discrimination," which is *not* what the resolution said. I understood the resolution clearly, and I really did understand it like that. I wasn't looking to deliberately misinterpret the resolution. Clarification in the comments wasn't required because there arepeople who believe the wage gap doesn't exist. Punish the affirmative for this poor resolution drafting: it's entirely their fault I interpreted it like that.

The affirmative says: "In the first round, in one of the sentences, I wrote "[...]being employed since the employers would have to pay them less?"; that should have been an indicator of what the argument would've been about. I do not understand how you interpreted it any other way. The wage gap myth is quite frequently talked about, especially by feminists as well, so I do not see how you have understood it wrongly."

1. The quote is irrelevant, because it talks about employment, i.e. the wage gap being a benefit to women - which is irrelevant to even the position the affirmative has held through this debate. It is certainly irrelevant to interpreting the resolution.

2. Yes, the wage gap is talked about - and people actually dothink it doesn't exist. I'm not misinterpreting the resolution: if the resolution says "the wage gap doesn't exist," that is what I am going to interpret it as. There was no clarification otherwise in R1. So I took the interpretation that people actually often believe in and argued based on that. Then the affirmative just changed the resolution midway to something else, which is absolutely unjust. Opponents of feminism say the wage gap doesn't exist. So I assumed the affirmative was such a person because of the way the resolution was structured.

The affirmative is simply being abusive. Vote negative in this debate. Thank you.
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by Rami 7 months ago
Get ready to be trolled. DDO members love semantics.
Posted by foxxhajti 7 months ago
Yes Seagull, that's what I'm trying to argue, excuse me if I didn't explain myself well enough. I'm talking about the idea of gender wage gap created by third-wave feminists claiming that it is the result of sexism. Thanks for inquiring about this matter.
Posted by Seagull 7 months ago
The wage gap does exist. Women do make less than men across the board. I think what you may be trying to argue is that the gap is not the result of sexism? Is that correct?
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Overhead 6 months ago
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Sources: Con used an academic study and wikipedia and explained them, Pro used press releases and opinion and just dumped them. Also PRO's link explicitly assumes that the wage gap DOES exist. Poor use of sources from PRO. Convincing: Come's down to what the debate is about, whether wage gap exists or whether it exists at a certain level purely due to gender discrimination. CON's point that the central issue should be whether the wage gap exists in a debate entitled "The wage gap doesn't exist" and where the first sentence starts "The wage gap does not exist" is valid. PRO never offers a solid rationale for why CON's reasoning is false. Makes claims like "that should have been an indicator of what the argument would've been about" but doesn't explain why it should have been a solid indicator or why, if it is an indicator, it is better than CON's indicator of it being literally spelt out several times.