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

Western feminism has failed

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/23/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,270 times Debate No: 72180
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (7)
Votes (2)




Modern-day first-world feminism is no longer about gender equality. Many don't care about actual cases of misogyny in places such as Saudi Arabia. They are instead interested in convincing others of a "patriarchy" and a "rape culture" in countries such as the United States. Some have resorted to attacking gamers (GamerGate) and a scientist who wore a shirt they didn't like (ShirtStorm). Feminists seem to have become disliked, and why would feminism be disliked if it truly was a momevent for equality?


To be fair to my opponent I shall just post my opening arguments and no rebuttals for this round.

Western feminism is the cornerstone for equality amongst women that we see today especially in places that my opponent speaks of such as the US.

In 1960, the world of American women was limited in almost every respect, from family life to the workplace. A woman was expected to follow one path: to marry in her early 20s, start a family quickly, and devote her life to homemaking. As one woman at the time put it, "The female doesn't really expect a lot from life. She's here as someone's keeper " her husband's or her children's."[1] As such, wives bore the full load of housekeeping and child care, spending an average of 55 hours a week on domestic chores.[2] They were legally subject to their husbands via "head and master laws," and they had no legal right to any of their husbands' earnings or property, aside from a limited right to "proper support"; husbands, however, would control their wives' property and earnings.[3] If the marriage deteriorated, divorce was difficult to obtain, as "no-fault" divorce was not an option, forcing women to prove wrongdoing on the part of their husbands in order to get divorced.[4]

The 38 percent of American women who worked in 1960 were largely limited to jobs as teacher, nurse, or secretary.[5] Women were generally unwelcome in professional programs; as one medical school dean declared, "Hell yes, we have a quota...We do keep women out, when we can. We don't want them here " and they don't want them elsewhere, either, whether or not they'll admit it."[6] As a result, in 1960, women accounted for six percent of American doctors, three percent of lawyers, and less than one percent of engineers.[7] Working women were routinely paid lower salaries than men and denied opportunities to advance, as employers assumed they would soon become pregnant and quit their jobs, and that, unlike men, they did not have families to support.

The feminist movement of the 1960s and '70s originally focused on dismantling workplace inequality, such as denial of access to better jobs and salary inequity, via anti-discrimination laws. However, it quickly became clear that the newly established Equal Employment Opportunity Commission would not enforce the law's protection of women workers, and so a group of feminists including decided to found an organization that would fight gender discrimination through the courts and legislatures. In the summer of 1966, they launched the National Organization for Women (NOW), which went on to lobby Congress for pro-equality laws and assist women seeking legal aid as they battled workplace discrimination in the courts.[8] This was seen as the first big step in the way of equality in the workforce for women.

As it should be obvious by now without western feminism and the movements that stemmed from it, equality for women especially in the workforce could very well being non existent. It certainly has not 'failed'.

The definition of feminism is: "the advocacy of women's rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes"[9], thus if you support equality for women you are by definition a feminist even if you don't recognise yourself as one.

These are my opening arguments thank you

[1] Coontz, Stephanie. A Strange Stirring: The Feminine Mystique and American Women at the Dawn of the 1960s. New York: Basic Books, 2011. 42.
[2] Coontz, Stephanie. "When We Hated Mom." New York Times. 7 May. 2011.
[3] A Strange Stirring 46.
[4] Collins, Gail. When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present. New York: Little, Brown & Company, 2009. 43.
[5] "100 Years of Consumer Spending: 1960-61." Bureau of Labor Statistics. 2006. PDF.
[6] Ibid.
[7] Ibid.
[8] Rosen, Ruth. The World Split Open: How the Modern Women's Movement Changed America. New York: Viking Penguin, 2000. 196.
Debate Round No. 1


When I am talking about how western feminism "has failed", I am talking about modern-day feminism. I was not arguing that it has failed in the sense of its original goal. Women now have equal rights, but feminism is still here. It seems to have been repurposed, and that is what has failed about it.


Well the debate is Western feminism has failed not modern feminism has failed.

My opponent claims "Women now have equal rights, but feminism is still here. It seems to have been repurposed, and that is what has failed about it" this is not the case there is still huge amounts of discrimination directed towards women, and even today in western culture women are not treated as equal for example women currently only hold 5.2 percent of Fortune 500 CEO roles (1), new figures released 2 days ago by the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that, on average, full-time working women"s earnings are 17.1% less per week than full-time working men"s earnings (a difference that equates to $262.50 per week) (2), In Australia, 13 Australian women have reportedly been killed as a result of domestic violence in the first seven weeks of 2015, that"s almost two women per week, as opposed to 0 men (3). As it is obvious there is still a huge need for feminism as already stated feminism is the advocacy of equal rights between the sexes and as we may not be there yet feminism has certainly got society on track to getting equality for all and again has certainly not failed but there is indeed still more work ahead.

Debate Round No. 2


Although there are problems with gender equality with women, the same thing happens with men. For example, men will get longer prison sentences than women for the same crime. [1] Men are also more likely to commit suicide than women. [2] Feminism is not for men. It is purely for women. As Google defines, feminism is "the advocacy of women's rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men."

One point my opponent makes is the so-called "wage gap." However, that is a myth. The thing that people who make those statistics fail to take into account is how much time each gender normally works, which gender generally puts more time into their career which gender is more likely to put their children over their job, and other things as well. If we include all of these factors, the wage gap disappears. [3]

The "first seven weeks" statistic my oponent claims is true cannot be valid because it only makes an estimate based on only the first seven weeks of an entire year. It also only considers what has been reported. Men could have also been killed due to domestic violence, but it hasn't been reported. One should not judge society based on the actions of 13 men.



My opponent claims men also suffer discrimination I fail to see how this is relevant as we are talking about feminism not masculism they are two separate issues. Feminism is about equality for women to their counterpart sex; lowering one group does not raise another.

It Is obvious as we can see with my arguments that Western feminism has certainly not failed in any sense but rather to a large extent succeeded in creating equality for women. If It wasn't for feminism and the waves of feminism throughout history who knows where women would be at today.
Debate Round No. 3
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by cha-the-politician 2 years ago
This is sad, because I support Pro, but Hect's arguments are so much better that its sad.
Posted by tcutshaw2 2 years ago
Thanks for the pointers, Faustian.
Posted by FaustianJustice 2 years ago
I would say western feminism has run its course, and is now trying as hard to stay relevant in all the worst possible ways.
Posted by Stefy 2 years ago
I am a femenist but i dont like a lot of modern day western femenists. However the bad ones are the vical minority. They should care more about other countries but the issues they talk about in regard to the west are also real issues (with the exception of shirtstorm that was stupid). There is a rape culture and a problem with objectification and violence against women in popular media that contributes to that. However unlike them im not calling for censorship. Just raising awarness, tryign to change the culture around, ending victim blaming and increasing the intensity of rape investigations, which often go ignored for decades or result in the rapist having visitation rights over a child birn feom the incident. While i agree a vocal minority of western fememists are off their rockers i think overall it is a good movement. Its even achieved some things like imcreasing womens involvment in the sciences and the military. But again they need to move more international as well and most of them do.
The only reason im not accepting is because i do not have the time at the moment i have an exchange student visiting.
Posted by tcutshaw2 2 years ago
At least western feminism.
Posted by usernamesareannoying 2 years ago
I agree with you.
Posted by Lee001 2 years ago
I don't understand.
Are you insinuating that only western Feminism has failed? Or Feminism all together?
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by TBR 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro seems to only have an argument for "men have issues too". Pro wanted to redefine the debate, but still made few points.
Vote Placed by FaustianJustice 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: S and G/conduct is pretty equal so nothing there, and I really have no definitive opinion on the matter either way, however it seems that Pro didn't decide to assert and demonstrate the resolution until the later rounds. By then, Con had established a solid frame work of history, how the benefit had been enacted, and stole the "spirit" of the scope of the resolution because Pro didn't nail it down in the first round. Normally, to me, that is a "conduct" thing, but Pro didn't really try to support the resolution as intended when given the chance in round 2. I would like to have seen Pro's third round efforts spread across the whole.