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

Do we need feminism?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/24/2016 Category: Society
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,350 times Debate No: 96366
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (74)
Votes (2)




A few rules to start with

Pro= we do need feminists
Con= we don't need feminists

I will be debating from the viewpoint of Con. This debate is to be professional. No personal attacks. Also, don't join unless you're willing to play our the four rounds. Each round (except this one) will be a different common feminist issue. This round is just for accepting and stating whether you agree or disagree with these issues I'm going to bring up. If you like, you can suggest different issues if you 1. agree with me that some or all of these issues are nonexistent or 2. if there are any issues you would specifically like to debate. If you don't suggest new topics, we'll be debating my original topics.

Round 1: Introduction
Round 2: Wage Gap
Round 3: Western Rape Culture
Round 4: Number of Genders

I shall state my opinion on each of these briefly.

I do not believe the wage gap is real. It is a broad brush statistic that no serious economist believes is true.

We do not have a rape culture in the west. People accused of rape, whether they did it or not, have completely ruined lives after the allegation(s). They are shunned with or without a conviction and put in prison for decades with a conviction.

There are two genders. I do believe that transgender exists. This is because transgender people have the brain of the gender they identify with. It is caused by a different development timeline in the womb. I will go more in depth on that in round 4.

Thanks to whoever accepts and good luck!


I accept your challenge, and will be debating from the viewpoint of Pro. I am willing to post an opinion to each of the 4 rounds.

I will also state my opinions on each topic:

1) I believe the wage gap is real. However, I suggest we discuss sexist business practices as a whole, rather than just the wage gap (hiring discrimination etc).

2) We do have a rape culture in the West. Many rapists are never convicted due to the victim's fear and a biased judicial system. Those few who are convicted face skimpy sentences that do not justly punish for their crime.

3) I believe there are multiple genders outside of the binary system. However, I would question whether this subpoint fits into the broader topic of feminism?

Good luck to you! :)
Debate Round No. 1


First off, I included the argument about the number of genders because it is a common feminist issue and it is also something that I find all feminists agree on. Point me to a feminist who believes in the gender binary and then we"ll talk.

So first, the wage gap. I accept your challenge to also talk about sexist business practices, or lack thereof. I would first like to say, what hiring discrimination? Where? I would assume you mean in male-dominated professions, so let"s start with STEM professions. Women are actually hired more often for STEM jobs than men. This is because of the unnecessary push to have women be more prevalent in engineering. If I were an employer, I wouldn"t care about the gender of the person I"m hiring, I just want someone who can do the job. According to a Washington Post article run by The Cornell Institute for Women in Science, women are favored approximately 2-to-1 when hiring for all STEM fields other than economics. Both of the fake resumes sent were exactly the same on a basis of experience, education, and qualifications. The only difference? One was male, and one was female. So again I ask, what hiring discrimination? Do you mean the discrimination against men? Men are now discriminated against when hiring for jobs that aren"t female dominated. I will concede that, in female dominated professions, men will be hired over women sometimes. However, there is a good reason for this. My mother is a teacher and she said, "Men bring different things to the table. It can be very helpful for the students to be exposed to both male and female teaching styles." My grandmother, who used to be a registered nurse at a hospital, says that "[male nurses] can be a very valuable addition to the workplace. We found them very useful for the more labor-intensive tasks, but they also added a different type of thinking to the work environment." So many women are in engineering, medicine, and other STEM careers because of the discrimination against men in the hiring process.

Now, I would like to talk about the general wage gap myth. The wage gap is a broad brush statement. It can only be derived if you take all positions in all jobs and then you average them. Women tend to take more time off and work in generally lower paying jobs. Females are more likely to spend time with family than work overtime to finish a project. You can't be expected to be payed the same when you aren't doing the same amount of work. Also, if the gender pay gap was real, why wouldn't companies hire all women? Wouldn't that save them 33% on salaries? It wouldn't, because the gender pay gap is a myth. Hanna Roisin wrote "The End of Men" about how feminism is completely taking down men. She states, "The official Bureau of Labor Department statistics show that the median earnings of full-time female workers is 77 percent of the median earnings of full-time male workers." This means that a broad brush average of all jobs in all professions will give you the wage gap. Women tend to take more time off, take less dangerous jobs, and tend to take more caregiver positions in careers.

People get paid based on how much money they make for the company. When you work in engineering, if people like and buy your product, then you are making profit for the company. In contrast, when you work in teaching, you are not bringing in a profit. No one is buying anything from you. Private school teachers actually tend to make less than teachers paid by the state because the tuition doesn't put enough money into the system to produce a larger salary.

Another problem posed by the theory of the gender pay gap is the presence of the Equal Pay Act of 1963. If you feel that you are being paid less than your male coworkers, bring that up to your boss. You can even sue them for it. If your boss is actually doing this then you can press charges instead of making generalizations based on manipulated statistics. Feminists won this right for you in 1963, so use it if you think you need to.

I look forward to your rebuttal. I will be completely moving on from the wage gap in Round 3.


When I talk about hiring discrimination and general discrimination of women within companies, I mean in both male and female-dominated fields. However, I am glad you used STEM professions as an example, so we can compare and contrast there. Women may be hired more frequently at the lowest levels of some tech/engineering companies nowadays, but this is compensation for the utter lack of women in these fields prior. You said that if you were an employer, you would hire whoever is best for your company. Well, like your mother said, "It can be very helpful for the students to be exposed to both male and female teaching styles." Therefore, according to your own argument it is beneficial to ensure a gender balance in companies. Before the past few years, STEM was a completely male field, so now we must favor women 2-1 when hiring to make up for this extreme imbalance. Now, if we were to ignore the need for a more gender balanced corporate America, and just look blatantly at the facts, we would still find an extremely biased hiring system. In Sheryl Sandberg's book "Lean In", she discusses a blind study on gender in the workplace. In this study, business-school students were split into two groups. Both groups were told the story of a successful businessperson who had made it to the top of his field in real estate by networking their way to a successful entrepreneurship. However, one group was told the story with the name Howard, and one the name Heidi. After listening to the story of Howard"s career, the students described him as a "more appealing colleague" while Heidi was described as "selfish and dishonest" for using connections and networking earlier in her career. This shows the unconscious bias that resides in our society, even in the younger college students (Feloni).

Now, I'll address your arguments about the wage gap. Yes, the popular wage gap statistic is derived from averaging all positions in all jobs. And yes, women tend to take more time off and work in lower-paying "caretaker" positions. Men get to stay late and work at their jobs while women give birth, take maternity leave, and go home early to care for infant children. Women are not simply lazier, taking more time off and thus getting paid less. Since America has not yet made satisfactory laws concerning maternity leave payment, women must choose between being paid less or being a bad mother, which accounts for part of the very real wage gap. There is also a plethora of valid reasons why women have been confined to "less dangerous, caregiver positions". First, the double-standard for women in the workplace makes it impossible for them to rise to the top of the corporate ladder and reach the higher-paying positions. There is no "right toughness" for a working woman. As Trish Mueller, executive vice president of Home Depot, says, "when a woman is strong in a leadership position, she is perceived as, you know, a "b-word"... men would be regarded as "tough"" (Mueller). A study by Business Insider got the response, "In order to get the same recognition and rewards, I need to do twice as much, never make a mistake, and constantly demonstrate my competence" (Sherwin). There is also an "Old Boy's club" mentality in STEM-filled places like Silicon Valley, where the majority of boards are made almost entirely of white men. Since the boards of companies influence hiring and promotion, there is a system of the "old boys" supporting one another by simply hiring more white men.

Thus, women are not necessarily choosing lower-paying positions of their own accord. They are victims of a corporate America in which it is nearly impossible for them to rise to the top. In fact, only 4.6% of CEO's are female, even after all of the "discrimination against men".
You did not connect your point about engineering vs teaching to the topic of feminism.

In response to your point about the Equal Pay Act, I am glad you concede that a law made in the name of feminism has created a good safety net for working women. However, this law alone is not enough. For example, a woman named Ellen Pao recently made headline news for her lawsuit against former employer Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers for $16 million (Neate). She claims she felt extreme discrimination based on her gender while she worked at the company and was even denied a promotion because she was a woman. She claimed sexual abuse by her boss and that the only reason she and other women were excluded from these events was because "the male partners preferred to meet without women in part so they could discuss their favourite porn stars" (Pao, The Guardian). This behavior is not professional or an adequate reason to bar women from attending important company events. Perhaps the most worrying part of all of this was that even considering the obvious biases and discrimination at play, the jurors voted in favor of Kleiner Perkins. She lost the case and $1 million. Obviously, the ability to sue means nothing if it results in one woman facing a huge corporation against a biased jury.

I look forward to the next round.
Debate Round No. 2


The second topic is rape culture.

We do not have a rape culture in the west. A rape culture is a culture which glorifies rape and doesn"t punish rapists. It is a culture where there are no laws against rape and when they are it is to punish the woman for extramarital sex or adultery. This type of culture can be found in the Middle East with Sharia Law or West African countries. We can"t do much as a society about the victim"s fear. I have not been raped, but from my experience with abuse usually the fear is related to threats made by the abuser. Not many people find rape victims to be at fault, and those who do are a minority. You also talk about a biased judicial system. The judicial system isn"t biased. They need proof that the crime actually occurred. If that makes them biased, then they"re biased in all crimes. Proof is required to give a fair and justified conviction. We cannot immediately believe all victims, especially with the increase in false rape victims. I don"t know what your idea of a skimpy sentence is, but the average is 10 years according to the United States Judicial System website. The average sentence for manslaughter is 25 years. The proportion of 2:5 seems appropriate for the severity of the crimes committed. Lastly, rapists are shunned. Falsely accused rapists are shunned. Men who make rape jokes at work are fired from their jobs. Does that sound like a rape culture? Just because rape happens doesn"t make the West a rape culture. This argument is completely invalid seeing as the "rape culture" you claim is in the West is mostly backed up by women getting offended by being catcalled. I"m so sorry you got complimented. That"s the biggest thing people attribute to rape culture. There"s not much else to say as there"s nothing to bring up. There"s no argument for rape culture other than lies that were true ten years ago but aren"t true now.


Rape culture in the West is evident, and anyone who argues otherwise is empowering sexual predators and undermining their victims.

I uphold your definition of rape culture as "a culture which glorifies rape and doesn"t adequately punish rapists"; however, I think it is naive to say rape culture can only exist in countries where there are "NO laws against rape and when they are it is to punish the woman for extramarital sex". Rape culture can exist where there are laws against rape. It is a cultural phenomenon that glorifies sexual assault.

Thus, I would argue that places like the Middle East and West African countries where things like FGM and murder of adulteresses are practiced are not included in rape culture. Those are barbaric laws, but do not relate in any way to the lionization of men preying on drunk/passed out/generally non-consenting women.

You say that "not many people find rape victims to be at fault" for rape culture but then later say that "the 'rape culture' you claim is in the West is mostly backed up by women getting offended by being catcalled". There seems to be a disconnect in your argument there.

You claim that women should stand idly and take these "compliments" that random men throw at them. Surprisingly, many young girls find middle-aged men commenting on their bodies uncomfortable, rather than a compliment. Catcalling makes women feel unsafe walking to and from work/home in many places and is perpetuated by our rape culture, telling men it is okay to yell at girls.

Furthermore, if "not many people find rape victims to be at fault", why are women still being blamed for their own rape? A study done recently in 2016 (you claim rape culture was only present "ten years ago") using the platform of Amazon's Mechanical Turk marketplace read male and female subjects the stories of several sexual assaults. The results showed that the males were much more likely to blame the crimes on the victims, often saying that the woman dressed too scantily and should have expected to be assaulted. If this is not evidence of a rape culture, I don't know what is.

However, if you still need convincing, take a look at the way our judiciary system handles rape cases.

You claim that the average jail time for a rapist is 10 years. This statistic is old, and has since been debunked down to 5.4 years. However, many rapists do not serve nearly that. An example would be rape on college campuses; rape is prevalent on college campuses and often goes unpunished by the court. This past year, a college swimmer named Brock Turner raped an unconscious girl behind a dumpster, and on April 12, a college athlete named David Becker assaulted two unconscious girls at a party. Brock Turner was awarded a scanty sentence of 3 months, while Becker escaped with NO jail time at all.

Becker's attorney released a statement: "Putting this kid in jail for two years would have destroyed this kid"s life", apparently forgetting that his client destroyed the lives of his two victims without any punishment at all.

You assert that "rapists are shunned... men who make rape jokes are fired from their jobs", but women who are victims of rape face much worse consequences than dirty looks and losing their jobs. Joyful Heart Medical Foundation reports that sexual assault can lead to debilitating mental conditions such as PTSD and depression long term.

In conclusion, rape culture is perpetuated in the West by victim blaming, catcalling, a biased judicial system, and men facing little to no consequences for actions that cause immeasurable harm.
Debate Round No. 3


The multiple genders argument is one that I expect to be met with a plethora of feeling based arguments. I ask that my opponent would find research and facts instead of using the famous argument, "Well that"s how they feel."
I would like to make one thing clear, I believe in the existence and validity of transgender identities. I don"t mean trans*, I mean from one binary gender to the other. Being transgender comes from having the brain structure of one gender, and the chromosomes of the other. For example, a male-to-female transgender person was born with XY chromosomes, but the brain structure and, specifically, the brain"s chemical lining is that of a woman. This causes the mind to be that of a female, even though external biology would dictate otherwise. Biology does support transgender identities. One thing that biology does not support, however, is non-binary gender identities. You cannot be between the genders or not be any gender at all. Your brain has a specific shape, structure, and chemical makeup that corresponds with a specific gender. There is no "gender neutral" brain structure. I get that people feel like they don"t fit into a gender, but in my mom"s day, that was called an identity crisis. The majority of non-gender conforming people are teenagers, which means they are trying to find themselves. They are trying to figure out who they are, and sometimes that comes out in radical ways, such as this. People go through hobbies, friend groups, some even have phases where they do drugs or drink underage. Apparently now people go through genders. It is not biologically or logically possible for someone to identify between the genders.
In the words of Ben Shaprio, "Facts don"t care about your feelings, and neither do I." So I would like to ask that the rebuttal contains facts. Give me science, biology, something, although I"m pretty sure it will be hard to find facts that back this up. I personally, as the creator of the debate, would like to prohibit a feeling-based argument for this round, as this issue is not one of feelings, but of science. I apologize for the frankness of that comment, but I want it to be very clear, especially with this topic.


I know that Con would like a fact-based response to your argument, so I would like to be very clear that I have used sources, statistics, examples and quotes from experts to back up each and every one of my arguments, unlike Con.

I would like to point out that 0 sources were used in Con's latest argument.

I would also like to point out that, in my mind, this topic is completely unrelated to the feminist movement as women exist within the gender binary. However, I am willing to debate it.

When Con refers to "being between the genders or not be any gender at all", the "identity crisis" I assume she is referring to is termed gender fluidity. The existence of non-binary genders is biologically proven by the existence of people born with both female and male anatomy. These people are anatomically both male and female. Their brains can be assigned to either gender, both, or none (CNN).

If the biological proof of gender fluidity is not enough, the right of free expression should add to the proof. Your gender is an expression of yourself portrayed to the world. GenderSpectrum, a site dedicated to the research of gender-related issues in society, says "gender expression refers to the ways in which people externally communicate their gender identity to others through behavior, clothing, haircut, voice, and other forms of presentation." If you are arguing that people shouldn't be able to express a gender besides the binary, you are thus arguing against freedom of expression.
Debate Round No. 4
74 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by whiteflame 2 years ago
>Reported vote: sillydebater// Mod action: Removed<

3 points to Pro (Conduct, Sources). Reasons for voting decision: Both Pro and Con made reasonable arguments in the debate and cited soruces. Due to the format of the debate, there was little room for any kind of rebuttal, so the rebuttal ended up happening in the comments section instead. In the comments arguments, Pro had the better decorum, and also provided reliable sources, which Con eschewed. I highly recommend not setting up debates with this format in the future, as it is set up just for people to state their opinions, but not have a real discussion on the topic, forcing the discussion into the unstructured comments section.

[*Reason for removal*] (1) The voter must focus on the arguments given within the debate and not make decisions on the basis of points made in the comments. The voter explains neither conduct nor sources based on the debate. (2) Conduct isn't explained even from the comments. Merely restating the decision doesn't explain it. (3) Sources aren't sufficiently explained even from the comments. The voter is required to do more than just compare their quantity, and must assess their relevance to the debate.
Posted by firefury14620 2 years ago
I agree with sillydebater on the format of the debate. I did not intend to have an argument in the comments section, and I did not participate in said argument. I expected an exchange of ideas.
Posted by firefury14620 2 years ago
I would be happy to debate with you on the gender issue. I would just like to point out that I'm arguing if it exists. You can identify as something without it existing. You can say that you are gender neutral or agender or genderfluid or whatever you want to come up with, but, biologically, it doesn't exist. Also, please don't bring up the "some people have both sets of genitals" argument. Only 1.7% of human births are intersex, and the genitals that don't correspond with the baby's chromosomes usually either aren't functional or didn't fully develop and have to be removed (Intersex Society of North America). I'm not going to argue about 0.1% or less of the population that is physically bigender. That's like saying that, since some humans are born with extra toes, that I can have extra toes if I want to say that I do. Also, on a neurological level, humans have a different brain structure based on their gender (Psychology Today). Transgender people get a brain structure that conflicts with their chromosomes, which is how they end up identifying with the opposite gender. There is no "gender neutral" brain structure. There's no "spectrum" for gender, only different behaviors. I am VERY tomboyish. I mostly hang out with guys, I'm very restless, I'm very aggressive, very sexual, all these things are usually associated with being male traits. I do, however, identify as female. Even though I probably fall further onto the boys' side than the girls' side on your so-called "gender spectrum," I am not male. You just have girly males and manly females. Don't try to fit your behavior to a gender, because no one gets anywhere trying to do that. Just go with your gender and express your behavior separately.
Posted by Heirio 2 years ago
If you disagree I think it'd be a bit complicated if I had a back and forth with both you and Pro btw, so we should probably discuss it somewhere else if so.
Posted by Heirio 2 years ago
I'm doing the vote now, though while your arguments are generally stronger than Pro's, she does throw a few good ones.

I've finished compiling yours, now doing Pro's.

I disagree with you that rape culture cannot exist where there are laws against it, though it is less likely in such an area.
I also disagree that one cannot feel gender neutral (which is how I interpreted your answer). You said that there was a gender binary. My view drift from that. I believe there is a gender spectrum between male and female. So you can't have trigender or animalkin whatevs.
Basically, I think that it's a line and if you're more on the male side, you're male and how far down you are on it shows how strongly you identify. The same is true with female. I also think that if you're on the middle of the line, you're agender or gender neutral, you're sorta half and half and have bits from each one and due to this don't belong to one specifically. I don't think agender or gender neutral is a gender (since agender literally means lack of gender) but I believe someone can feel agender; it's a gender identity.
Posted by firefury14620 2 years ago
By the way, I am a girl. So I am arguing this from the position of a woman in engineering. I have personal experience with the LACK of sexism in the profession. Also, I'm loving the comments, Heirio is doing a great job. Please vote on the debate. I put a reasonable amount of time and effort into this and I don't want to see a 0-0 tie.
Posted by Heirio 2 years ago
"I might add that you have refused to respond to the fact that my opponent has used barely any evidence, despite accusing me of the same."

You have also ignored my comment on that matter, which doesn't surprise me.

His arguments being bad have jack sh*t to do with your argument's quality. I am judging your arguments. Not his. You are the one pushing for racism, sexism, and fairy tales here.

Just because theirs may be bad, it doesn't mean that yours are good.

"These are my beliefs. I have argued them fairly and respectfully."

Albeit not very well.
You have openly admitted to judging the majority by the minority and to wanting discrimination to be more widespread.
Your arguments have been argued very poorly and are riddled with logical fallacies.

"I respect your opinion, so please respect mine and stop using personal insults as if they were intellectual arguments."

The fact that you think I only use insults instead of intellectual arguments shows how intellectually dishonest you actually are.

It shows that you have ignored my actual arguments and have focused only on the parts where I insult you.

If you actually took some time to read the arguments of your opponent, you'd see that there's more than just insults.

You should be reading the arguments of your opponent.
Posted by Heirio 2 years ago
Ah, so you believe in affirmative action. How ironic.

I will start with how affirmative action is actually insulting to those you are supposedly benefiting.

Because you are pushing for the minorities and women to be employed BASED ON THEIR SKIN COLOUR AND/OR THE FACT THEY HAVE A VAGINA, you are basically ignoring their actual aptitude for the job. What you are doing is taking things they cannot control and thinking they make them suitable for a job.

You are also assuming that they cannot get the job by aptitude alone. Which, let's be honest, is pretty damn insulting, and I know that you of all people don't like insults.

Moreover, you are supposedly for equality, but for affirmative action?
Affirmative action is active discrimination based on whether someone has a vagina or not and/or whether they are white or not.

It is racism and/or sexism and therefore cannot go together with equality.

So by pushing affirmative action, you are suggesting that we be racist, you are suggesting that we be sexist.

Martin Luther King Jr said "I have a dream that my four children one day will live in a nation where they are not judged by their skin but the content of their character."

A famous line about combating racism.

Whereas you are suggesting we judge job aptitude by skin colour. You are pushing for racism and sexism.
I shouldn't have to make this more clear to you, but I fear that I will sooner or later.
Posted by Heirio 2 years ago
The fact that you think I have posted no "intellectual arguments" just shows how dishonest and lazy you are.
Posted by caroline262000 2 years ago
I believe in affirmative action, mainly in terms of race, but also in terms of gender.

If done correctly, I believe affirmative action for women will create equal environments in the end. Minorities that have been discriminated against in the past and still face discrimination now need some sort of action to push equality. For example, without affirmative action in hiring, women would not be fairly and *equally represented in STEM companies.

I might add that you have refused to respond to the fact that my opponent has used barely any evidence, despite accusing me of the same.

These are my beliefs. I have argued them fairly and respectfully. I respect your opinion, so please respect mine and stop using personal insults as if they were intellectual arguments.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by sillydebater 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: If the ancillary debate in the comments section is not allowed to be considered, then I must vote simply on what was said in the debate. Both were civil and conducted themselves well in the debate. Both had equally good spelling and grammar. Both had equally convincing arguments. And while Pro offered many references, they were not linked, whereas Con offered very few, but at least one was linked. In the end, this was a very balanced debate. I will reiterate my recommendation not to set up debates with this format in the future. By changing topics each round, the debate is set up for people to only state their opinions, but not have a real discussion on the topic. In this case, it resulted in the real discussion spilling into the unstructured comments section. Each one of these topics has enough substance to be its own debate, and each deserves that consideration, in my opinion.
Vote Placed by Heirio 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Con was the only one who actively cited a source (via a link), whereas Pro only gave a non-specific gesture towards where she had found her information. Points to Con for sources. Con argued most of their points very well, with minor exceptions. However, Pro didn't manage too well in comparison. While some of their arguments were strong, the quality was - overall - lesser to Con. Con uses talks about a lot of studies and statistics (though doesn't source them properly) and while Pro does this too (albeit to a lesser extent), some of their arguments were coming from mere quotes by other people, not studies or statistics. I do not count the comments in this, only the formal debate. Both Pro and Con were with good conduct and their spelling and grammar was good.