The Instigator
OpinionatedChap
Con (against)
Losing
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The Contender
V5RED
Pro (for)
Winning
2 Points

Was feminism ever anything more than gynocentric nepotism?

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Post Voting Period
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after 2 votes the winner is...
V5RED
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/29/2016 Category: Politics
Updated: 11 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 705 times Debate No: 87384
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (4)
Votes (2)

 

OpinionatedChap

Con

Many anti-feminists (and feminists, but to a lesser degree) refer to the second and first wave of feminism as feminism's "good years", where the fight for equal rights and women's liberation was true and there were actual hurdles to overcome, but I disagree with that.

Male and female people were equal in value a few hundred years or so ago, but had different roles. Men worked and indeed were payed more than women were, because when women worked, they usually used that as pocket money to indulge themselves. Men were expected to pay the bills and for the food, etc. History is not "who can oppress women more", history is more or less about people living in shitty situations and trying to make the best of a bad situation, so if anyone who responds is going to make an argument like "women further down in history were oppressed", I would say that men were too. For example the right to vote was not exclusive to men before feminism, it was exclusive to rich people. Poor men and women could not vote, but no matter what your sex was, you could vote if you had enough money and influence. For every example people give me, I can show it isn't just bad men oppressing women. These are just a few I picked as an example.

Bottom line is that feminism's patriarchy theory and intersectionality are wrong, as men were treated different to women, but not necessarily better. That is not a bad thing and does not count as oppression.
V5RED

Pro

I accept, and I expect you to give sources for these claims you are making. To claim that women were equal to men prior to the early feminist movements is a absurd claim, and it appears that your claims about only rich men being able to vote are false.

"The campaign for women"s suffrage began in earnest in the decades before the Civil War. During the 1820s and 30s, most states had extended the franchise to all white men, regardless of how much money or property they had."
http://www.history.com...

In other words, by 1830, most states allowed ALL white men to vote.

"During the 1850s, the women"s rights movement gathered steam, but lost momentum when the Civil War began. Almost immediately after the war ended, the 14th and 15th Amendments to the Constitution raised familiar questions of suffrage and citizenship. (The 14th Amendment, ratified in 1868, extends the Constitution"s protection to all citizens"and defines "citizens" as "male"; the 15th, ratified in 1870, guarantees black men the right to vote.)"
http://www.history.com...

In other words, by 1870, ALL MEN were legally allowed to vote in ALL STATES.

"Hoping the U.S. Supreme Court would rule that women had a constitutional right to vote, suffragists made several attempts to vote in the early 1870s and then filed lawsuits when they were turned away. Anthony actually succeeded in voting in 1872 but was arrested for that act and found guilty in a widely publicized trial"
https://en.wikipedia.org...

In other words, 2 years after ALL MEN were recognized as being allowed to vote, women were still being arrested for trying to vote.

It was not until 1920, when the 19th amendment was ratified, that women were legally allowed to vote under federal law.
https://en.wikipedia.org...

That is just on the right to vote. What about other rights like the right to own land?

"Under the common law legal doctrine known as coverture, a married woman in Great Britain's North American colonies and later in the United States had hardly any legal existence apart from her husband. Her rights and obligations were subsumed under his. She could not own property, enter into contracts, or earn a salary."
https://en.wikipedia.org...

In other words, a married woman was basically her husband's slave. That sounds very equal.

I have now given a couple of instances that absolutely demonstrate men being treated as superior to women. Men were given their own agency and women were treated as chattel slaves. Now it is your turn to try to explain why not having the right to vote, work, own land, or basically be considered a person is not oppression and why the fact that such rights were not gained until AFTER the women's rights movement began doesn't basically dismantle your entire argument.

I have not yet gotten into 3rd world countries where there isn't a women's rights movement and women suffer horrible abuses, so let me give you one more example of what happens when there is not a women's rights movement.

"Members of Iran's feared Basij militia forcibly marry female virgin prisoners the night before scheduled executions, raping their new "wives" and making it religiously acceptable to execute them, a self-professed member of the paramilitary group said."
http://www.foxnews.com...

In other words, since it is illegal to execute virgins, Iranians rape them after the trial so that they can then execute the women who were basically not allowed to defend themselves against allegations made against them since women have basically no rights in Iran. This is what a lack of feminism and a women's rights movement gets you.
Debate Round No. 1
OpinionatedChap

Con

Thank you for accepting this debate. Naturally I will give sources for women and men both being able to vote before feminism [1] and men and women being equal in societal value, but different in purpose [2]. What I find puzzling is that you use the site that you use as your source, when the site itself offers little to no sources on certain paragraphs (for example the one you just quoted). I am willing to suspend my disbelief of the source material, but I want you to know that you are the one who set the standard to this level.

Next points I want to bring up: I said women were allowed to vote and this debate is not only about the USA. There are many places (like Finland) that had women voting before feminism so that should not be falsely attributed to the movement. Many other states already had females voting [1] by the time the rest of the states were considering it, so it may be possible that feminists had little to no impact on the matter. This is just a hypothetical, but it is good to keep in mind.

Men and women were equal in the past (before agriculture, at least) [2]. I have an interesting thing to point out about the article, though: they keep talking about gender equality, but never quite define it. I will do the legwork for you with quotes. There are just three important quotes in the article for my purposes:
1. "Mark Dyble, an anthropologist who led the study at University College London, said: 'There is still this wider perception that hunter-gatherers are more macho or male-dominated. We"d argue it was only with the emergence of agriculture, when people could start to accumulate resources, that inequality emerged.'"
2. "The study suggests that it was only with the dawn of agriculture, when people were able to accumulate resources for the first time, that an imbalance emerged. 'Men can start to have several wives and they can have more children than women," said Dyble. 'It pays more for men to start accumulating resources and becomes favourable to form alliances with male kin.'"
3. "The findings appear to be supported by qualitative observations of the hunter-gatherer groups in the study. In the Philippines population, women are involved in hunting and honey collecting and while there is still a division of labour, overall men and women contribute a similar number of calories to the camp. In both groups, monogamy is the norm and men are active in childcare."
From these three quotes we can see that men and women were equal before agriculture, which shows us that people are innately egalitarian creatures. From there we can see that the "inequality" being highlighted here is the simple division of labour where men and women do different things. This is not a problem in my opinion, it is just pragmatic that people do what they are expedient at. The third and final point is that this doesn't count as oppression and is not unjust, therefor feminism wasn't needed. You can point at any point in history, and I will show you how men and women were equally disadvantaged or how women were actually treated well. People don't just senselessly oppress their own tribe members. I invite you to find a time period for me to examine.

"In other words, 2 years after ALL MEN were recognized as being allowed to vote, women were still being arrested for trying to vote."
Not in all states as I have previously stated and that my evidence supports.

"'Under the common law legal doctrine known as coverture, a married woman in Great Britain's North American colonies and later in the United States had hardly any legal existence apart from her husband. Her rights and obligations were subsumed under his. She could not own property, enter into contracts, or earn a salary.'"

Just before I show you an explanation for this, I would like to remind you about the title of this debate. This is not about whether or not men and women were equal (although that has a lot to do with it), but rather it's about showing that women were oppressed and feminists solved the oppression of women. You have not shown this. You have given examples of alleged oppression and failed to provide how they fit in with the topic of this debate. Even if I granted you this point (which I am not), you would still have to make an argument for how feminism solved this. Just because things were solved after feminism doesn't mean feminism had any part in the thing and that is called the "post hoc ergo propter hoc" -fallacy.

Now let's tackle this argument: On a technical level what you said is true. If people wanted, this discrepancy could be abused to make women suffer. It is funny how women are seen at the same time as belonging at home and spending more money than men do. That is why in marketing things are tailored towards women: because while the institutional laws may dictate that women can not own property, the husbands and fathers of these women provided for them. They were socially obligated to do so. Here's a two paragraph long quote:

"Coverture was based on the assumption that a family functioned best if the male head of a household controlled all of its assets. As a result, a married woman could not own property independently of her husband unless they had signed a special contract called a marriage settlement. Such contracts were rare and even illegal in some parts of the country. In the absence of a separate estate, all personalty a woman brought to her marriage or earned during marriage, including wages, became her husband"s. He could manage it or give it away, as he chose, without consulting her.

This sounds bad, and it was. But one rule worked to mitigate some of the worst effects of coverture. A married woman had the right to be maintained in a manner commensurate with her husband"s social status. If he refused to provide for her appropriately, she could sue and win support from the courts. While waiting for the court"s judgment, she was permitted to run up charges at local stores and taverns"and her husband had to pay for them. Judges consistently applied this rule, called the doctrine of necessities, in order to prevent men from neglecting their wives." [3]
People were being idiots, but not because of misogyny, but rather because that was the best system they had. Women were not forced to work (which is seen as a desirable thing for example in World War one, when they had a reduced military troop size, because they let men work the factories and fight, so that the women didn't have to) and were provided for by their husband or father who did go to work. This would be the ideal division of labour. Of course ideal situations are rare so this system was easy to abuse and now we have moved to a safer system they didn't have back then.

"I have not yet gotten into 3rd world countries where there isn't a women's rights movement and women suffer horrible abuses, so let me give you one more example of what happens when there is not a women's rights movement."
Feminism is not the women's rights movement, they are called different things because they are different. Feminism was supposed to be about equality according to your side, or am I mistaken?

The thing you linked and quoted for me is not what happens without women's rights as much as it is what happens when religion controls the so-called "justice" system. Also since when has it ever been acceptable to use Fox News as your source? Ignoring that let's look at what feminism is doing at this, as it is the focal point of this debate: there is the rape gang cover-up in major cities by the media. Some immigrants influenced by their culture and religion raped and groped women all around Europe, I am sure you have heard about this. Feminist standpoint theory and intersectionality are directly against prosecuting these people so nothing is happening. Anyone who does so is labeled a racist or an islamophobe.

I am not arguing against a women's rights movement, since I am a women's rights advocate, I am arguing against feminism. They are not synonyms. Let's go over men being in some bad situations next, to see that it's not just oppression, it's people doing badly. Iran was a warzone not too far back in history, so I think people there would have a lot bigger things to worry about. No, only the men, actually. As Iran is an Islamic theocracy, men fought in the war and died by the thousands. You are focusing on the "real" tragedy that is a few women getting raped and then killed? I agree, it's horrible, but you have to have perspective.

If you like talking about equality, why is it so that men have to be ready to fight in a war and women are not in order to vote? Why are men responsible for a baby that was conceived from stolen sperm or from a rape when women are not? Why is it that the only slavery in modern western countries affects only men (as with the case above)?
Maybe feminism is really the women's rights movement. It seemingly never wanted equality in the first place if we go by these examples. There are many more like positive discrimination and unjust courts that feminists do not care about since they are disadvantaging men and not women. Gynocentric nepotism, as I have been saying.

[1] a) http://knowledgenuts.com...
b) http://www.bbc.co.uk...
[2] https://www.theguardian.com...
[3] https://www.gilderlehrman.org...
V5RED

Pro

"I said women were allowed to vote and this debate is not only about the USA."
You are free to bring up other nations, but if I can demonstrate that the feminism movement was EVER more than "gynecentric nepotism" ANYWHERE, I win. You never made any attempt to clarify the debate topic in your opening beyond that. It is not my fault that you worded the debate such that your burden is to prove that feminism has NEVER been anything but "gynecentric nepotism", a term that you should probably define at some point in this debate.

"Many other states already had females voting [1] by the time the rest of the states were considering it, so it may be possible that feminists had little to no impact on the matter."
The women"s rights movement began in 1840 [1]. The first state granting women the right to vote was Wyoming, in 1889.[2] While it is true that Wyoming"s motives for passing women"s suffrage were not purely benevolent, it is false to try to imply that there was a push for equality before the women"s rights movement began. Also, I am not arguing that feminism was the SOLE cause of the gains made for women.

"Men and women were equal in the past (before agriculture, at least)"
That is not relevant to the debate.

"The third and final point is that this doesn't count as oppression and is not unjust"
In what way was just for married women to have no property rights? In what way was it just for women to lack the right to vote? They are literally being treated like property with no agency of their own. If you want to use a very strange definition of justice and oppression where having severely restricted rights is not sufficient to make a group oppressed and call a situation unjust, you might have a point.

""In other words, 2 years after ALL MEN were recognized as being allowed to vote, women were still being arrested for trying to vote."
Not in all states as I have previously stated and that my evidence supports."
So what? The point was that there was inequality specific to women, it doesn"t matter if that inequality was not nationwide.

"I would like to remind you about the title of this debate. This is not about whether or not men and women were equal (although that has a lot to do with it), but rather it's about showing that women were oppressed and feminists solved the oppression of women."
Actually, the title of the debate is worded such that you have a burden of proof of showing that feminism was NEVER anything but "gynecentric nepotism", a phrase you never bothered to define.

"You have given examples of alleged oppression and failed to provide how they fit in with the topic of this debate."
The examples show the injustice prior to the movement. The movement then worked to fight the injustice. The injustices were ended partly due to that work. This demonstrates the utility of feminism.

"Just because things were solved after feminism doesn't mean feminism had any part in the thing and that is called the "post hoc ergo propter hoc" -fallacy."
The fallacy applies when there is not a clear or demonstrated causal link. You might as well call it a fallacy to give any credit to teachers who gave lectures when their students learn things. If you are asking if I can go back in time and read the minds of the politicians who caved to the movement, no I can"t do that. I can, however, show that the women"s rights movement had support in congress among those who passed equal voting laws.[5]

"If people wanted, this discrepancy could be abused to make women suffer."
Sort of like how if someone has a gun to your head, he can choose to shoot you. He might not though, so it isn"t necessarily a bad thing right?

"In the absence of a separate estate, all personalty a woman brought to her marriage or earned during marriage, including wages, became her husband"s. He could manage it or give it away, as he chose, without consulting her."
I will await you trying to rationalize this as not being oppressive.

"But one rule worked to mitigate some of the worst effects of coverture. A married woman had the right to be maintained in a manner commensurate with her husband"s social status. If he refused to provide for her appropriately, she could sue and win support from the courts."
You are missing the point. The point is that the women"s agency had been removed.

"People were being idiots, but not because of misogyny, but rather because that was the best system they had."
I don"t need to prove that misogyny was the cause of the inequality, just that there was inequality, the women"s rights movement arrived and worked on the problem, and that the problem was solved.

"Of course ideal situations are rare so this system was easy to abuse"
This rationalization reminds me of the justifications people use for slavery in the Bible where they say that slavery is fine and it was just a system that was abused.

"Feminism is not the women's rights movement, they are called different things because they are different. Feminism was supposed to be about equality according to your side, or am I mistaken?"
The women"s rights movement is that which results from the ideology of feminism. If you think you will be able to argue that my evidence of the effects of the women"s rights movement can"t be used to justify feminism, you are mistaken.

"Feminist standpoint theory and intersectionality are directly against prosecuting these people so nothing is happening"
Irrelevant. I never argued in favor of 3rd wave feminism.

"I am not arguing against a women's rights movement, since I am a women's rights advocate, I am arguing against feminism. They are not synonyms."
You cannot argue that feminism has never been beneficial by prohibiting me from citing examples of the good it has done. Feminism is the ideology that led to the women"s rights movement. If you wanted to argue against straw-feminsim you should have defined feminism as such in your opening.

"men fought in the war and died by the thousands. You are focusing on the "real" tragedy that is a few women getting raped and then killed? I agree, it's horrible, but you have to have perspective."
Rhetoric. That would be like saying that one woman isn"t a real rape victim because she was only raped by one guy whereas this other woman was gang raped.

"why is it so that men have to be ready to fight in a war and women are not in order to vote?"
I am a man who has never fought in a war and am too old to be drafted, but I am allowed to vote.

"Why are men responsible for a baby that was conceived from stolen sperm or from a rape when women are not?"
That is not about the rights of the women or the men, but the right of the child to be taken care of.

"Why is it that the only slavery in modern western countries affects only men (as with the case above)?"
Women and girls are frequently kidnapped and sold as sex slaves. This is currently a $32 billion industry[3]

"Maybe feminism is really the women's rights movement."
No, it is the ideology that led to the women"s rights movement.

"It seemingly never wanted equality in the first place if we go by these examples."
Wrong. Citing examples (that I refuted) where equality has yet to be achieved does not undermine an initial goal of equality. That would be like saying that a company that puts out terrible movies clearly never wanted to put out good movies in the first place.

"There are many more like positive discrimination and unjust courts that feminists do not care about since they are disadvantaging men and not women. Gynocentric nepotism, as I have been saying."
You set yourself up to where you need to prove that feminism was NEVER more than "gynecentric nepotism"(you still need to define this), not show that feminism hasn"t fixed all problems or show that feminism hasn"t been purely egalitarian.
Here are a few of the grievances published in 1848 by the women starting the women"s rights movement[4]. Feel free to try to rationalize this as non-oppression and claim that feminism had nothing to do with these issues being solved:

"He has made her morally, an irresponsible being, as she can commit many crimes with impunity, provided they be done in the presence of her husband. In the covenant of marriage, she is compelled to promise obedience to her husband, he becoming, to all intents and purposes, her master"the law giving him power to deprive her of her liberty, and to administer chastisement"
This one is particularly relevant to your arguments because it addresses the idea that part of the movement"s motivation was the disgust at the idea that a woman not be held accountable for her own actions.

"He has so framed the laws of divorce, as to what shall be the proper causes of divorce, in case of separation, to whom the guardianship of the children shall be given; as to be wholly regardless of the happiness of the women"the law, in all cases, going upon a false supposition of the supremacy of a man, and giving all power into his hands."

"After depriving her of all rights as a married woman, if single and the owner of property, he has taxed her to support a government which recognizes her only when her property can be made profitable to it."

"He has monopolized nearly all the profitable employments, and from those she is permitted to follow, she receives but a scanty remuneration."

"He closes against her all the avenues to wealth and distinction, which he considers most honorable to himself. As a teacher of theology, medicine, or law, she is not known."

"He has denied her the facilities for obtaining a thorough education"all colleges being closed against her."

[1] https://www.nwhm.org...
[2] http://www.history.com...
[3] http://www.soroptimist.org...
[4] https://en.wikipedia.org...
[5] https://www.nwhm.org...
Debate Round No. 2
OpinionatedChap

Con

OpinionatedChap forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
OpinionatedChap

Con

OpinionatedChap forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
OpinionatedChap

Con

OpinionatedChap forfeited this round.
V5RED

Pro

Having taken down all the points Con raised in the rounds they actually participated in, I think the winner is clear here. I demonstrated a clear need for feminism in early America and the almost certain causal connection between feminism's practical implementation, the women's rights movement, and the gains made for equality between men and women.

Con had ample opportunity to refute me, but declined to continue once I had made it clear that feminism was beneficial, at least in the past. Con had the burden of showing that feminism had NEVER been more than "gynecentric nepotism", which I assume is some kind of slander implying it had no ethical utility. I had the burden of sowing it to have ethical utility at some point somewhere and I did that in spades with American history.

Vote Pro! :)
Debate Round No. 5
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by V5RED 11 months ago
V5RED
Con, are you planning to offer a rebuttal? You have about a day left before you forfeit what is essentially the last rebuttal round unless you plan to use the closing round for rebuttals. Technically you never specified a structure, so that would not be a violation, but it would make for a very strange debate.

If you are forfeiting, please let me know. I know you have been online pretty much every day since your last post in the debate and this is your only active debate,, so the lack of responses is puzzling.
Posted by OpinionatedChap 11 months ago
OpinionatedChap
As an answer to Sciguy:

I am not a troll or a Poe or whatever the word is that you want to use for a person who does this for cheap laughs. I am debating this here on the internet, because this is the only place where those histrionic feminists can not cause any repercussions for me in real life. Please feel free to add me, we seem quite like-minded.

Although if anyone from my ideological opposition sees this, feel free to add me as a friend or contact me on Twitter, etc. I like spending time with people who disagree with me so I won't get trapped in an echo chamber. I am actually in contact with a radical, patriarchy theory supporting, lesbian feminist on Skype. We watch anime and tell bad jokes, it's all good fun.
Posted by Sciguy 11 months ago
Sciguy
I hope your not a troll, you're so right!
Posted by crepuscularkid 11 months ago
crepuscularkid
lol
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by fire_wings 11 months ago
fire_wings
OpinionatedChapV5REDTied
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Reasons for voting decision: ff
Vote Placed by U.n 11 months ago
U.n
OpinionatedChapV5REDTied
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Reasons for voting decision: forfeiture