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Round 1. Pisky v.s. dbates: Women's Rights

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posted on Jan, 21 2005 @ 05:15 PM
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The topic for this debate is "Women's Rights is an important issue in society today."

Pisky will be arguing for this proposition and will open the debate.
dbates will argue against this proposition.

Each debater will have one opening statement each. This will be followed by 3 alternating replies each. There will then be one closing statement each and no rebuttal.

No post will be longer than 800 words and in the case of the closing statement no longer than 500 words. In the event of a debater posting more than the stated word limit then the excess words will be deleted by me from the bottom. Credits or references at the bottom do not count towards the word total.

Editing is Strictly forbidden. This means any editing, for any reason. Any edited posts will be completely deleted.

Excluding both the opening and closing statements only one image may be included in each post. No more than 5 references can be included at the bottom of each post. Opening and closing statements must not contain any images, and must have no more than 3 references.

Responses should be made within 24 hours, if people are late with their replies, they run the risk of forfeiting their reply and possibly the debate.

Judging will be done by an anonymous panel of 11 judges. After each debate is completed it will be locked and the judges will begin making their decision. Results will be posted by me as soon as a majority (6) is reached.

This debate is now open, good luck to both of you.




posted on Jan, 22 2005 @ 03:13 PM
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I would like to thank MacKiller and dbates for the opportunity to discuss what I consider an important subject and one which has its beginnings over a century ago.


A convention to discuss the social, civil, and religious condition and rights of woman.

Seventy years after the American Revolution, a New York housewife and her friends were discussing the situation of women in the new democracy. During the revolution itself women had taken many risks in the fight for freedom, but on the day of their meeting, July 13 1848, they were still denied basic rights. The five friends were not the first to complain about the unjust treatment women received, but they were the first to do something about it.

Within days, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and her friends had arranged for a meeting to take place in the Wesleyan Chapel in Seneca Falls and placed an announcement in the Seneca County Courier advertising what they called "A convention to discuss the social, civil, and religious condition and rights of woman."


The Declaration of Sentiments

As the event was set into motion, Elizabeth Cady Stanton began working on what she called a "Declaration of Sentiments." This document, using the Declaration of Independence as a framework, listed areas of life where women were treated unjustly.

Married women were legally dead in the eyes of the law.
Women were not allowed to vote.
Women had to submit to laws when they had no voice in their formation.
Married women had no property rights.
Husbands had legal power over and responsibility for their wives to the extent that they could imprison or beat them with impunity.
Divorce and child custody laws favored men, giving no rights to women.
Women had to pay property taxes although they had no representation in the levying of these taxes.
Most occupations were closed to women and when women did work they were paid only a fraction of what men earned.
Women were not allowed to enter professions such as medicine or law.
Women had no means to gain an education since no college or university would accept women students.
With only a few exceptions, women were not allowed to participate in the affairs of the church.
Women were robbed of their self-confidence and self-respect, and were made totally dependent on men.

It is difficult to imagine the kind of life women had in those times over a hundred and fifty years ago. And if it hadn't been for people like Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the noted black abolitionist Frederick Douglass, women today could well be suffering under such unjust laws. In certain areas even today women are still treated unjustly, and it is my intention, within this debate, to take up the cause of Women's Rights and hopefully explain why such a movement still has a place in the twenty-first century.



posted on Jan, 22 2005 @ 04:45 PM
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First of all let me thank MacKiller for this opportunity, and Pisky for choosing to participate. I am looking forward to discussing this delicate issue.

Women's rights but not at the expense of women's needs

An argument against women's rights can more aptly be called an argument supporting women's needs. Women are very different from men, and many of the differences are what men find that they enjoy the most. Men enjoy that women are generally more caring, compassionate, and loving than men. These traits need to be protected in order for them to grow to their full potential. A woman who steps into the part of life that men are meant to deal with cannot help but loose some of these fine attributes.

Women are different physically

Women are weaker than men. Of course there are exceptions to this statement, but generally women lack the physical strength that men have. When our society pushes women into the roles of men, women often find themselves in situations that they lack the strength to deal with. Keeping women out of the workplace is nurturing and caring. Some women may feel confined, but think of it as the railing on a balcony. Sure the restriction hinders the view, and limits where you may go. Still the railing is necessary to ensure that the balcony can be enjoyed safely.

Women are designed for nurturing children. As much as some would like to ignore this fact, women are designed with the intention of raising children. After conception, the male's role in child raising is on hold for almost 2 years. It is instead the man's role to ensure his wife is taken care of so she can care for the children. We would not require a pregnant mule to plow a field. How much more should we care for our dear women. Keeping women at home and providing for them is best way to care for them.

Social implications of mixing women and men

Mixing women in a man's workplace also creates sexual tension. Men are naturally drawn to women, and putting the two together in close quarters often leads to trouble. Women and men have affairs, their spouses find out and divorce the guilty party, leaving the children in single family homes. Now the burden is placed on society to ensure that these children are properly raised. If the woman had been at home caring for the family instead of at work with a man from a different family, this situation would not have occurred.

This brings us to the topic of marriage. Should women be allowed to pick their husbands based on a feeling. No, these feelings are temporary and do not produce good matches. Marriage should be arranged by the brides family with the woman's best interest in mind. Trusting the parents who often have 20 or more years of experience of living in a family, gives the new bride the best option to safely raise a family. An arranged marriage puts more pressure on the husband as well, since the whole family's reputation is on the line. He is more likely to treat his new bride with the care that she deserves.

Women are a treasure to be cherished by men. Who would throw their treasure out in the street for others to trample? While others may see restrictions as taking away women's rights, it is honestly an attempt to allow women to reach their full potential. It is natural for men to want to protect and care for their wife just as women nurture and care for their children. It should be acknowledged that children don't have the responsibilities of adults, just as women should not have the rights or responsibilities of men. We say we limit the children we love so they can have a happy, carefree childhood. We do the same for women since we do not love them any less.



posted on Jan, 23 2005 @ 10:43 PM
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Who is to say what women's needs are if not the women themselves ?

I support the Women's Rights Movement because I believe in equality. True equality for all irrespective of gender. I believe that every human being, male or female, should have the same opportunities to further their own goals. That said, Affirmative Action has no place in a world of true equality since it merely swings the balance in the other direction and results in animosity.

Not every woman wants to bring children into the world, not every woman wants to be a 'little homemaker'. If they so desire then there should be no barrier to it, alternatively if they wish to make a world outside of the home and have a career then neither should there be an impediment to that either.

Women are indeed physically different to men, but to say that they are not as capable of performing certain jobs is illogical. Women have proved themselves in the fields of medicine, computers, farming - you name it, they have done it. Admittedly there are certain physical jobs that are more suitable to men, but the fact that there are women who are capable of performing those tasks yet are denied the right by reason of gender is one of the reasons that the Women's Rights movement still exists.

To deny all women the right to work in whatever employment they choose is unacceptable. If a woman is capable of doing the job, then why should she be denied the opportunity purely because some men believe that women should stick to being the 'little housemaker'. Equally not every man is capable of doing manual labour. It is my opinion that employment should be dependant on the ability of the prospective employee rather than on gender. The denial of rights in the workplace, including the fact that women in general are paid less than a man in the same circumstances, is just one reason that the Women's Rights Movement still exists.

We no longer live in the Middle Ages when marriages were made to further Royal dynasties. In those times alliances were often made by the heads of the respective households who gave their offspring in marriage to like-minded people of the same social class. The mediaeval monarchs of Europe, for example, would marry their children off like commodities in order to consolidate power. Needless to say, often these marriages failed due to lack of love and respect between the parties. Husband and wife would stay married in name only, taking lovers in order to obtain some modicum of tenderness.
To suggest that women return to the times when they were merely chattels to be disposed of by their fathers is not acceptable, in fact it borders on the barbaric. Certain cultures, even now, believe in Arrange Marriages, but it is my contention that they rarely result in love matches and that many women of such joinings stay married purely due to fear. For them to refuse their father's wishes can even result in their deaths. So called 'Honour Killings' are invariably due to women attempting to avoid the archaic custom of Arranged Marriages.

Yes, women should be cherished by their families, but that love should be unconditional. Women deserve the same opportunities as their male counterparts. They deserve to be treated with the same respect as men. They should never fear for their lives due to some antiquated laws and beliefs.

That is what the Women's Rights Movement is all about. The rights of woman to be her own person.

BBC UK - Women still paid less than men
Honour Killings



posted on Jan, 25 2005 @ 01:03 PM
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Equality for women, but what is equality?

Sure everyone wants equality, but what exactly do we mean when we speak of equality. Equality does not necessarily mean that everyone gets treated exactly the same. Equality can also mean that we treat different sets of people differently to get the same result.

Restrictions on some benefit the whole

You mentioned Affirmative action. This is a excellent way to make my case. Due to circumstances such as racism, and restricted access to learning, certain ethnic groups are given a preference in job placement, or education funding. You might see this as a restriction of the rights of non-minorities, but it is simply a method used to level the playing field. Laws are in place to restrict some, for the good of all. The result is a better society, and citizens who are happier with their way of life. In this case a restriction of rights on one group, benefits the whole.

Society has shaped the current placement of men and women's rights and tends to flow toward the greatest benefit for the whole. Men are just better gatherers and hunters than women are. It was more beneficial for society as a whole that the women stayed home and worked on raising the children, and preparing food. If women had been better hunters and gatherers than men then the result would have been that men stayed home. What we see in laws is simply an reflection of what exist in nature. To try and change these rules is to go against nature itself and doesn't benefit everyone.

Women naturally want to stay at home. Why pressure them to work?

A recent survey by the Census Bureau show a drop in employment by women who have infant children, and another shows that up to 1/3 of women without children contemplate leaving their jobs to stay at home. Enacting more laws to further women's rights is only putting pressure on women to behave in a manner that they don't want to. Sure some women prefer to work, but using this as a measuring stick is like comparing the average woman to a super-model. Do some women want to achieve this image? Sure they do. Is this the normal way of life? Of course not. Given the opportunity, women would almost always rather stay at home and care for their family than pretend that they want to be just like men in the workplace.



Survey shows first drop in labor force participation by women with infants - Census Bureau
Women with no children at home regularly consider leaving their jobs



posted on Jan, 27 2005 @ 06:52 PM
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Affirmative Action is a blight on the landscape
It is true that in an attempt to combat racism and restricted access to learning, the concept of Affirmative Action was born, however this has had a negative result whereupon the non-minority group feels badly treated. The very means used to 'equalise' people has resulted in an even larger problem than originally existed. Now, instead of a few racists we have majority groups blaming the ethnic minorities for something that is not their fault. Affirmative Action is a failure since it does not make people equal, it does not level the playing field. It merely shifts the emphasis from one group to another. This is not equality.

True equality is having the same opportunities
Equality is the giving of the same opportunities to everyone, irrespective of race or sex. Whether a woman wants to stay at home or work as an accountant, police officer or builder, she at least should have the choice. If she does not have the aptutude for the job she wishes to do, and is denied it due to lack of skills then at least she had the opportunity.
Everyone has different abilities. If a man and woman go up for the same job, I would expect it to go to the person with the better skills, man or woman. Unfortunately many times success is dependant on old sterotypes rather than the abilities of the applicants. Everyone should have the opportunity to work in the field of their choice provided that they can do the job. Gender should not come into it. It is this lack of equality that has resulted in continued existance of the Womens Rights Movement.

Technology levels the playing field
With todays technological advances it is not true to say that women are truly the weaker sex. Work that once was limited to man purely because of physical strength can now be done by woman due to machines designed to aid the worker. In the eighteen hundreds whole gangs of men were employed to dig foundations for buildings. Now the same job is done by machine, and strength is no longer a factor. A woman can use a digger just as well as a man.

Opportunities irrespective of gender
If a woman choses to have children and wishes to stay at home to nurture them, then that is her choice. If she prefers to work, then that should be her choice too. Why should old stereotypes deny a woman the opportunity to do what she wants to do ?
If she takes a job and later chooses to leave to have a baby, why is that a problem ? What I am saying is that women should have the choice and opportunities to do what they wish to do.
The choice in the end should be made by the woman, not forced upon her by old stereotypes and an antiquated male-dominated system.



posted on Jan, 30 2005 @ 10:36 AM
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dbates has forfeited his turn, Pisky, please continue.



posted on Jan, 30 2005 @ 04:31 PM
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It is not only in the workplace that women are treated with less regard, for anachronastic criminal laws are also responsible for many problems experienced by women today.

Until the Violence Against Women Act became part of US law, family violence was allowed and based on the "rule of thumb". This common law rule stated that a husband was allowed to 'chastise' his wife, providing that he did not use a 'stick thicker than a man's thumb'. You may think that this archaic and barbarous practice was put to rest many years ago, but you would be mistaken. This 'rule of thumb' was only done away with when the Violence Against Women Act became law - in 1994.

Women experience violence on a daily basis. How many times have we heard of women being raped and beaten and yet do not report the crime because they believe that the law is on the side of the criminal rather than the victim. How many times have we read of rapists being released early from prison on 'good behaviour' only to commit the very same crime once free. And how many times have we heard of a rape victim told by the court that she should have expected the attack because of the way she was dressed ?

Women should have the right to walk the streets safely, to dress as they wish to without fear of some drunken pervert crawling through the night. They should have the right to live their lives free of sexual harassment, violence and rape. It is true that the law has changed over the years in an attempt to stamp out violence and abuse, but when the judges themselves refuse to use the full weight of that law and instead give derisory sentences to rapists, they are guilty of giving a wrong message to society. Rather than helping victims, the criminal justice systems place hurdle after hurdle before those wishing only for justice. It is no wonder that many victims stay silent about their attackers since so many have been treated so shabbily by the law.

It is not only in America and Britain that this happens. Last year an Australian judge gave a rapist a suspended sentence because, in the words of Judge Duckett, the rapist is "a hard-working and responsible person". So what does that say to people ? Thats if you're hard working and responsible its ok to rape a woman ???

No wonder the Women's Rights Movement is still needed, when we have lawmakers and judges with that kind of attitude.

Violence Against Women Act of 1994
Crimes against women often treated differently
Young rape victim angry at sentence



posted on Jan, 31 2005 @ 03:28 PM
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Do we need more laws to enforce current laws?

Currently there are laws that protect individuals from assault and theft. Why would we need to enact more laws just for a specific group of society, when general laws already cover these issues. Once we start enacting laws to protect or shield specific groups, then every other group will want special treatment. The problem does not lie in lack of legislation. The problem is lack of enforcement of current legislation.

Your concerns for women's safety does enforce the point that women have different needs than men. Needs that need to be addressed outside of legislation. Men naturally are attracted to women, and even if you enacted more laws in an attempt to protect them, you will not change who men are. Once again we find ourselves in the place of protecting our women. We should take a proactive stance against violence against women, by shielding them from the world that men live in.



posted on Feb, 3 2005 @ 01:55 PM
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The primary reason for the continuing existance of the Women's Rights Movement is equality. Women are still considered second class citizens in many areas and there are no logical reasons for that to be so.

A hundred years ago it may have been true that many women could not perform certain manual tasks but now, with the advent of new technology, this is no longer true. Women have always been as able as men to work in the office, the hospital, anything that required mental agility, yet they are still paid less than men for doing the same work. And as far as computers are concerned, it was a woman - Ada Byron Lovelace, daughter of Lord Byron - who was the very first 'Computer Operator'.

Out-of-date laws must be replaced with ones written with equality in mind. If a person, man or woman is able to perform a particular function then they should be given the opportunity to do so, irrespective of gender. Judges who, due to gender bias, tip the balance of the law in favour of the accused, should be removed. Justice should be blind and available for all.

Equality, opportunity and choice. That is what the Women's Rights Movement is fighting for.
Why is it so difficult to accept the fact that women deserve these rights just as men do ?

Equality, opportunity and choice should be available for all, irrespective of gender.



posted on Feb, 12 2005 @ 11:44 PM
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Sorry dbates took too long to respond. Pisky goes through to the next round.



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