Gender Equality Debate on Campus

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Last Wednesday, the 25th October, the Gender Equality/Feminism Society (GEF) collaborated with the Politics and Debating Society (PADs) to debate issues connected with gender equality in the Moot Court in ABS.

The first ‘motion’ to be discussed was whether gender equality differs from feminism.  The first speaker from the proposition took the stand to deliver the beginning statement.  

The speaker said that their ‘house’ believed that gender equality and feminism are two separate things because GEF originally was meant to be called the ‘feminist’ society until the university stepped in saying it was too exclusive.  The speaker also said that they believed feminists are not gender equalists and it can lead to ‘manimists’ because men feel threatened by the feminist term.

The first speaker from the opposition argued that gender equality and feminism are the same because the English Oxford Dictionary defines feminism as “the advocacy of female rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes”.  The opposition described how historically women were oppressed and they wanted equal pay, the right to vote and to be able to live a life equal to men.  

They argued that feminism is intended to ‘empower women and not oppress men’.  Then the speaker ended their 4 minutes by stating that women in Africa are still fighting for equality.

The second speaker for the proposition began their argument by saying that feminism has now reached its goal and it has the possibility to become as bad as the misogyny it tried to stop.  The proposition also mentioned that feminists claim to be victims and still have causes to fight, especially in third world countries.

Finally, the second speaker for the opposition closed the debate by saying that misandrists do not represent the values that traditional feminists stood for.  The opposition then mentioned that 3% of CEOs are female and that the majority of single parents are women.  They ended the debate by saying that in Saudi Arabia women are now allowed to drive, but they still have a long way to go before they are treated as equals to men.

After a short break for coffee and cake the second motion was started.  This debate was whether men should not have a say in reproductive rights.  For this motion there were only two speakers who wanted to discuss the issue.

The proposition began their argument by saying that men should not have the right and that there should be freedom for women to have a safe and legal abortion.  The speaker put it simply: “no uterus no opinion,” and went on to say, “women are not an object in court to be controlled.”

The speaker also mentioned the Conservative/DUP coalition in the general election and that in Northern Ireland abortion is the same as murder which is because the country is entrenched in religion.

The opposition argued that there is a degree of misinterpretation and the motion reinforces this.  They argued that fathers, boyfriends and husbands would not be allowed any say in the reproductive rights.

The speaker also said that this adds to the idea of misandry and that it is not good for the feminist movement.  The debate was ended by the speaker concluding that men should be allowed to voice their opinions when it concerns their child.

Both motions sparked a great deal of discussion and there was a good turn out for the debate. GEF and PADs hosted a good discussion and hope to arrange another collaboration in the future, debating more issues surrounding gender equality and feminism.

What do you think about the motions discussed? Radar would love to hear your opinions.

If you are interested in either of the societies check them out:

Gender Equality/Feminsim Societywww.facebook.com/RGUGenderEqualityandFeminism
Politics and Debating Society
www.facebook.com/RGUPADS

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