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Is Feminism still needed in The United States of America today?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/5/2016 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 1,092 times Debate No: 95214
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (20)
Votes (0)




Round 1: Acceptance
2: Opening statement
3: Rebuttals
4: Response to rebuttals
5: Closing statements

We're here to debate if feminism is still needed in America today. I'll be on the side of anti-feminism. Your job is to argue against me. Good luck.


I accept, good luck to you.
Debate Round No. 1


Hello Overhead. I apologize for this being a bit late. School has kept me quite busy recently. Anyway, as you already know I don't believe feminism is still needed in the United States. In fact, I believe that feminism isn't really needed in western civilization today at all (keyword: TODAY as in modern times as in the 21st century as in 2016 CE). Now I'm not saying that feminism wasn't needed back in the 20th century. It definitely was. Back then, women couldn't vote, they didn't get equal pay, they couldn't own land, they couldn't serve in the armed forces, some couldn't even go to school or get jobs. Women were treated with complete and utter disrespect. Like black people and other minorities, women were treated like second-class citizens. Almost like they were less than human. However, that was back then. Today (in western nations that is), women are without a doubt equal to men. They have all the same rights and opportunities as men. And since they have all the same rights and opportunities, why are feminists still out on the streets protesting and waving their banners? What are they fighting for? If you're up for the challenge, name one right that men have that women don't.


Thank you for creating the debate, it's no problem about the timing of it.


Feminism is "The advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes."

I will show that women are not treated equally in the USA and therefore feminism is still required.

To me it seems self-evident that women are not treated equally. I've heard the abuse and the biased ways of treating women in every day life. If I walk into a hospital or a care home in the USA, do I expect men or women to predominantly be the nurses and carers?

If you said women, you'd be right. Currently there are about 10 female nurses for every 1 male nurse.[1]

It seems very odd that if women and men are equal we'd see this massively disproportionate figure of women in this paticular line of work. But the issue is it's seen as women's work. Employers tend to want to hire women for these roles more and when they're growing up women are steered towards certain professions that are seen as "womens work". A boy that grew up wanting to be a nurse and played dress-up as a nurse rather than say the more respected and better paid doctor would be stigmatised and thought of as strange.

This is hardly the worst of the discrimination women face and perhaps everyone hasn't noticed these kind of things in their personal experiences.

That is why I will back up my claims with evidence.


The most dramatic and emotive example is the violence and abuse directed towards women. For instance in the Full Report of the Prevalence, Incidence, and Consequences of Violence Against Women [2] it finds (p.26) that men are far more likely to rape, assault and stalk their partners then women are to do the same to men. For instance rape is over 20 times higher.

Men are obviously far more likely to disrespect the rights of and then brutally harm women then women are to do likewise. Therefore action needs to be taken to reassert the rights of women to protection from domestic violence and rape. Feminism is needed.


A less immediatly horrible but more prevalent and systematic issue is the gendder pay gap, where women are systematically paid less for doing the same work as men.

For instance "in 2014, women working full time in the United States typically were paid just 79 percent of what men were paid, a gap of 21 percent? The gap has narrowed since the 1970s (Figure 1), due largely to women’s progress in education and workforce participation and to men’s wages rising at a slower rate. But progress has stalled in recent years, and the pay gap does not appear likely to go away on its own."

Once again women lose out due to discrimination so Feminism is needed.


Indeed there are many far more subtle ways in which females lose out. For instance there are a multitude of studies that show that teachers are primed to give males in the classroom more attention than females as well as other forms of classroom bias [1][2][3]. The first paper cited above explains for instance,

"For some girls, the lack of attention may be unnoticed, or even desired (Feldhusen & Willard-Hoyt, 1993), but the impact can be costly. Increased teacher attention contributes to enhanced student performance. Girls lose out in this equation. African-American girls, for example, enter school assertive and outgoing, yet grow more passive and quiet through the school years (AAUW, 1998, p. 49). The power of the teacher’s time and attention means that boys reap the benefits of a more intense educational climate."

Feminism, as always, is needed.

But it's illegal to discriminate!

Lastly, DeAndre leaves as a parting shot a question of what rights do women have that men don't.

Although rebuttals are meant to be R3, as he directly asked me a question I feel he therefore wants me to respond. I will answer this question with some questions of my own.

Are you naive enough to think that because murder is illegal, there will be no murderers?

Are you naive enough to think that because stealing is illegal, there will be no theft?

Are you naive enough to think that because all kinds of corporate malfeasence is illegal, there will be no corporate corruption?

Would you suggest that because all the things we don't like are illegal, there is no need to worry about them and we can do away with the police force and all attempts to stop them because obviously people won't do things that they aren't allowed to do?

I assume that obviously you would not hold to any of these positions because they are all absurd.

Why then would you be naive enough to think that because some forms of gender discrimination are illegal, there will be no gender discrimination and we don't need to worry about it?

Notice I also only say that some forms of inequality are illegal. It is perfectly legal, for instance, to push your young daughter towards certain (usually low paid, low respect) careers like a hair dresser or care worker or buy her toys which promote stereotypical gender values or roles. How you're raised has a massive effect on you as you grow up and girls being raised with limited horizons from such upbringings will be far less likely to have the opportunities males have.

Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 5
20 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by BackCommander 2 years ago
I'm an anonymous and voiceless bunch of words coming from a random username with a preset picture. This is hardly engaging.
Posted by BackCommander 2 years ago
I only read the first point of your first comment, seriously, just give it up. You're continually failing to comprehend what I'm saying and it's doing nothing but filling me with a mix and anger and pity.

Once again, rape would be much more rampant without laws against it, if you disagree you're a moron. I had used the F word more than a few times by this point but apparently those are a no-no. Laws aren't going to fix feminism, but neither is trying to force men to think a different way. Laws will at least reduce the frequency of these negative situations feminism is against. Unless you put a collar on every man and women in this country that delivers a strong electrical shock every time one of them gives into a stereotype or acts in a sexist way you aren't going to accomplish anything without seeking to push laws. Pointing out that laws don't stop rape is an ignorant and illogical excuse for not seeking pro-women laws.

You standing on a corner yelling "YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO A WOMAN'S BODY" will only result in you being physically assaulted and me having to go to court to be punished for assaulting you. No one will take you more seriously. No one will go home and think, "You know she sure was right."

Seriously though, I'm deleting every notification about this debate and am going to ignore it for good this time. I only came back assuming maybe you had found some civility but to my surprise you had only found more pointless words that I don't care enough to read. I do hope you come to the realization that your movement needs focus. Hopefully before you're sixty years old explaining to your grandchildren that you were about as useful as the hippie movements of the sixties and seventies.
Posted by Overhead 2 years ago
Lastly, engaging and interacting with culture is something everyone does. You don't think you're doing it right now? Offering your opinion and using your right to free speech to make your opinion known and have your voice heard is what we are talking about and it is a fundamental right in free nations and is not "Attempting society-wide brainwashing and imploring bullying tactics".

If it wasn't for the fact that all your opinions are full of holes and obviously haven't been thought about for more than a moment, I'd think that statement was based on hatred of women rather than incompetence.

Either women have a right to free speech and can speak out when they feel they are suffering from discrimination or they don't any they live in a society where they have to shut up and do as they're told, as per fundamentalist Muslim countries. Trying to hector women into silence is itself a sign of discrimination. Men can have their voices heard about what is right, women can't.
Posted by Overhead 2 years ago
Ah, thank you for clarifying the exact way in which your argument is laughable and ridiculous..

Seeing as pretty much everything you say has no connection to reality and instead seems to be part of an internal fantasy world, I'm having to do some interpretation of exactly what point you are trying to make.

So when you made your vague and ill defined point about how only laws matter, it wasn't laughable because you think laws are super good, it was laughable because you think humans are beep boop robots who are unaffected by the society you live in.

It is ridiculous to try and claim that morality doesn't matter. In the Nature vs Nurture debate the position of "It is 100% nature" is completely untenable. We know that people are effected by the place they grow up in. A person growing up in a Muslim country is more likely to become Muslim even if they know of other religions. A person growing up in a country which values guns is more likely to have a favourable view of guns. And shock and horror, someone growing up in a society which treats women as equals - real equals - is likely to have a better and more respectful view of women!

I mean do you really think that the UK, Saudi Arabia and Papua New Guinea will all have the same prevalence of rape just because it's illegal in all three places? That the culture and society you grow up in don't influence how you and your children and their children will think> And that by working with others to change what is culturally acceptable you can ensure a better future for your children and grandchildren.

Also lol at your claim that laws aren't connected with morality. I'm sure it's just coincidence that people disprove of theft, rape, murder, abuse, etc and they have been criminalised. Nope, no link at all.
Posted by BackCommander 2 years ago
The biggest irony of all is that I'm not in any way against women's rights or equality, only feminism. Doesn't the fact that there are entire movements opposing you, while still seeking the same societal changes, make you rethink your belief that you're on the right team?

Regardless. I'm almost certain that I won't be returning here to reply again. I grow tired of repeating an unopposed point day after day. So I'm out of here.

Seriously though, I didn't initially come here to offend you, and though my comments had gotten quote rude at certain points I do honestly apologize for my overall tone during this back and forth.
Posted by BackCommander 2 years ago
You sure are good at incorrectly responding to my arguments. Fighting for a moral right, with no relation to laws whatsoever, is ignorant and serves to pad your ego more than it could possibly help anyone.

The irony here, which will be obvious to anyone reading these comments, is that you yourself have just fallen victim to the strawman fallacy. You adequately argued against the fact that approving a law doesn't absolutely stop the action that it outlaws, though I in no way argued that passing laws on equality would make this a perfect society, nor did I even imply that laws are always upheld. That, in case you're wondering, is what a strawman is.

I'd like to go ahead and point out to you that if you're idiotic enough to think that the amount of rape or murder pre-law outlawing those actions is the same as the amount post-law. Are you actually that stupid or did you simply think rehashing a tired and untrue argument that doesn't relate to the matter at hand was enough to trick people into thinking you were right?

"Why would a law be made if people didn't think it would be moral? " Because people have almost no say in what laws get passed and which ones don't. Do you seriously not know that? If lobbyists pay enough money laws tend to get passed that favor them and their interests, rather than the interests of society as a whole.

My initial comment was simply to point out that an argument for legal rights is a logical one, and one of moral rights is closer to an appeal to emotion. All people like you succeed in doing is proving that feminism is more akin to a cult than a legitimate movement.

Attempting society-wide brainwashing and imploring bullying tactics to force their opinions on others isn't something a person with strong morals would back.
Posted by Overhead 2 years ago
A moral OR legal right.

Your argument relied on legal intervention being the only assumed course of action.

This is idea is not contained in any part of my argument and based on the definition of the word it cannot be assumed because moral rights is also a possibility as per the definition. Your argument is therefore totally and utterly irrelevant.A straw man based on false assumptions.

Now that you do introduce an argument against moral rights, it doesn't hold up to even a momentary inspection. Feminism isn't based on legal rights. It involves both. Is the patriarchy a law or a set of social Norma about what is right? The latter. Feminism has a massive and obvious involvement with moral rights so your arguing against this shows your ignorance.

I mean hell, do you think rape is currently legal? No, it's already illegal! The issue there is about changing how women are perceived so less people commit this already illegal act? Please inform yourself about a subject before trying to correct others.

Even if that absurd claim was true your argument is nonsense. Why would a law be made if people didn't think it would be moral? Do you think laws are eternal and making a law now is guaranteed to keep your children safe? Do you think people never break laws? Do you think social Norma magically and automatically change each generation?
Posted by BackCommander 2 years ago
Right- "a moral or LEGAL entitlement to have or obtain something or to act in a certain way."

No, it'd be a strawman if that were the point I was making, and if you hadn't mentioned legal rights at all. Your ending argument of the second round was specifically about legal rights.

Your argument was closer to an appeal to emotion than to logic. It could easily be boiled down to "Women aren't treated the same as men in everyday life and that isn't fair" which is easily dismissed as feminism hinges on LEGAL rights for women, not moral ones.

If you're truly fighting for moral rights and not legal rights that makes you a moron who seeks to make life better for yourself and not the generations who will come after you. Now if you'd like to go ahead and admit that you just look for the quickest, not the most effective, way to dismiss my words because that's what you've become accustomed to doing to with people who appose feminism I'll go ahead and accept that pointing out that you there were holes in your debate wasn't appreciated and be on my merry way.
Posted by TheDeAndreOglesby 2 years ago
Good idea. I would love to continue this discussion. I've debated this topic many times before whether it be on Tumblr, Reddit, YouTube comment sections, or in debate club (they have a debate club where I go to school). This is honestly one of my favorite topics to debate.
Posted by Overhead 2 years ago
I'm not giving out my email, but if you want when you have more time you can restart this as a new 3 round debate, mention in the first post that voters should refer to here for the first two rounds and take them into account for voting and then we can pick up where we left off.
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