The Instigator
Pro (for)
The Contender
Con (against)

Women Should have rights.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/8/2016 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 595 times Debate No: 97783
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You may have the first argument.


I'm glad you challenged me to this debate. I will try to be as respectful as possible when making my position clear.

"Just as support for women"s suffrage was on the rise by the 1910s, there were equally as vehement opponents to those expanded rights. The anti-suffragist movement based its objections on several points that adhered strongly to the stability of civilization and the traditional roles of women.

On March 22, 1914, the anti-suffragist Grace Duffield Goodwin laid out several commandments for rejecting the right to vote in a column in the New York Tribune " and in listicle form, no less. These points are derived from a 141-page treatise she penned entitled Anti-Suffrage: Ten Good Reasons which you can read at the Internet Archives. (One example from the book " Chapter One: The Ballot Is Not A Right)"

1) "Because the basis of government is force " its stability rests upon its physical power to enforce its laws; therefore it is inexpedient to give the vote to woman. Immunity from service in executing the law would make most women irresponsible voters."

Women were not allowed to serve in juries or in the Armed Forces in 1914, and very few sought out roles in traditional law enforcement. Goodwin"s thinking is that if women can"t actually enforce the laws, they should not be able to determine the laws.

2) "Because the suffrage is not a question of right or of justice, but of policy and expediency; and if there is no question of right or of justice, there is no case of woman suffrage."

Goodwin echoes the feelings of many Americans back then that the right to vote and to elect leaders was not a fundamental right of Americans. Keep in mind that just 125 years before her, many believed that only land-holding white educated men should have the right to vote.

3) "Because it is the demand of a minority of women, and the majority of women protest against it."

And really, Goodwin argues, women don"t really want the vote anyway. Goodwin thankfully avoids mentioning many of the offensive characteristics suffragists supposedly possessed.

4) "Because it means simply doubling the vote, and especially the undesirable and corrupt vote, of our large cities."

Voting procedures in America were already so distorted by corrupt political machines, adding voices to this mix would only make it worse. Keep in mind that political machines were still greatly in control in most places in the United States, locally and nationally. Swelling the numbers of voters would only give machines like Tammany Hall further opportunities to corrode the process. (As for the "undesirable" vote, I believe Mrs. Goodwin"s classism is shining through here.)

These are just some of his arguments-- and I'm sure you can agree, they seem fairly sound. However, one must consider that there's a biological part to all of this. Women are naturally going to vote for what they subconciously believe to be the 'stronger', more 'dominant' party.

This is why shotgun-styled advertisements (like what we saw this year in the elections-- with Hillary constantly buying out advertisement lots for her own agenda) work particularly well on this group. Minority women, especially, seem to be prone to the ill effects of targeted advertisements, and is the main consumer of these 'brands'.

It's the same throughout history, and it has always been that way-- not because of some evil patriarchal society that seemingly wants to keep women down, no, it's simple biology and nature at that. Women have their place and so do men.


5) "Because the great advance of women in the last century " moral, intellectual and economic " has been made without the vote; which goes to prove that is it not needed for their further advancement along the same lines."

Women can simply piggyback upon the decisions made by men on their ascent through professional circles. Many are already benefiting greatly from this adjacency. So why change anything?

6) "Because women now stand outside politics, and therefore are free to appeal to any party in matters of education, charity and reform."

Mrs. Goodwin dances around a salient point here " the idea that being outside of politics allows somebody to get things done that would be impossible within the constraints of government. Of course, this isn"t a justification for simply women; today many choose the sidelines as a place to affect change.

7) "Because the ballot has not proved a cure-all for existing evils with men, and we find no reason to assume that it would be more effectual with women."

She"s being accidentally radical here with the notion that because it"s so broken, why even bother participating in it? We all think a version of this every year we go to the polls. It"s the universal notion of my vote doesn"t matter. Mrs Goodwin uses it here as a justification of avoiding the process entirely.


The ballot, as has been said, is not a right. It is an honor to be given the right to vote, and should any party not have the guts or the brains to live up to such a task, that honor should be relinquished.
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