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Published on February 24, 2016 By Frogboy In Everything Else

imageLast night my wife and I attended a debate organized by the Michigan Review at the University of Michigan.

On one side was Breitbart editor, Milo Yiannopoulos and on the other was journalist and noted feminist, Julie Bindel.

The debate revolved around Feminism’s effect on modern society. 

 

The Venue

The room was filled to capacity.  The handful of protesters were escorted out promptly the moment they began to try to disrupt the venue.   Meanwhile, U of M’s Spectrum Center set up a “Safe Space” for those who needed comfort in the face of a world accepts other points of view.

I had the pleasure to hang out with Milo and Julie and the moderator for a couple hours before the event in the green room.

The moderator, a professor of political science, showed class and dignity throughout.  She and I had a brief conversation on how modern culture has come to believe there are only a couple of different ways a society might organize itself when, in fact, even as late as the early 20th century there were still many different (And to us today, alien) philosophies on the way human civilization should function.

In case there was any doubt, both Milo and Julie are passionate believes in their particular world views. These events aren’t some sort of shtick they turn on for the audience. The intellectual debate on nature vs. nurture in determining sexual dimorphism, the growing intolerance towards wrong-think and even discussions on what the underlying motivations of the so-called social justice warriors were discussed in the green room.

image

Every seat filled (other than mine, as I took this pic)

Cookies

On a side note: Thank you to whomever made the delicious cookies.  Milo and Julie had to abstain for their own dietary reasons but I, heroically, consumed them. All of them.

One other note: Below are not quotes. They are my own representations of the debate to the best of my ability.

 

Debate Topic #1: The Wage Gap

 

Moderator: Statistics regarding the wage cap indicate that women make 79 cents for every dollar men make. However, this gap only really starts to become prevalent at people enter their 30s. What say you?

 

Julie:  Contrary to what the MRA people will tell you, the pay gap is real and even when job types and age are accounted for, there is still a significant gap.  A recent study of legal firms showed that lawyers with similar experience showed dramatic differences in pay based on gender.

 

Milo: The fact is, women make different choices.  A fact many people are unwilling to acknowledge is that men work harder than women on average. Women take longer vacations. Women take more sick days and women just don’t put in the hours and yes, some women make different life choices such as having a family. As for the law firm example, women are often not willing to do the 80 hour workweeks it takes to become say a partner at a law firm.

 

Debate Topic #2: Affirmative action

Julie: Most feminists hate affirmative action. I hate affirmative action. But what choice do we have to get men to hire people who don’t look like them?  How else can we get men to hire a qualified female candidate instead of their friends?  Even today, women are routinely passed up for promotions and other opportunities simply because of their sex.

 

Milo: What objective data measurement would be good enough to satisfy feminists that affirmative action is no longer needed? Women now make up the majority of college graduates.  They make up the majority of college students. What is the measurement they’re looking for to know when they no longer need special treatment?

And if we’re talking about quotas for jobs, why don’t feminists ever worry about getting those road construction jobs? Or the coal mining jobs? 97% of job related deaths are men.

 

Debate Topic #3: Rape Culture

Julie:  I have been to trials where the prosecutor has fallen asleep during a rape case. I’ve seen judges make inappropriate jokes regarding the clothing of the victim.  MRAs routinely peddle statistics that men, not women are the victims of domestic abuse. How many men die each year to domestic abuse? 2 women die a week in the UK from domestic abuse.  The UK only recently passed laws making marital rape illegal.    Our society is still based on the premise that women are sex objects for men and everything flows from there.

 

Milo:  There is no rape culture in the West. The closest thing we have to that is the rape culture that politicians, the feminists voted in, are importing from the Middle East.  Feminists have to re-define rape to be a spectrum in order to hide the fact that actual rape has been on the decline for decades. Now, an unwanted kiss or a touch on the elbow is counted as “sexual assault”.  This sort of thinking does a disservice to actual victims because these hysterical feminists are calling everything “sexual assault” resulting in skepticism when someone who experiences actual sexual assault tries to come forward.

 

 

Debate Topic #4: Does Feminism have a free speech problem?

Julie: Real feminists support free speech. We want an open exchange of ideas. Feminism means something specific which is the dismantling of the patriarchy, a system put in place by men to keep women oppressed.  Feminism isn’t about individual choices. One does not condone the patriarchy in certain places simply because that’s their culture. Feminism is a liberation movement.  These social justice warrior types who claim to be feminists are simply pampered, middle class white women who simply want to justify their own poor individual choices. They’re not feminists. Feminists welcome open debate.

 

Milo: Julie’s brand of feminism is out of date.  When people talk about feminism they aren’t talking about the feminism of the 70s. They are talking about the feminism that uses terminologies like “micro aggressions” and promotes “Safe spaces”.  Feminists exist in a state of quantum uncertainty – both aggressor and victim simultaneously. They engage in deplorable hateful behavior and cry victim the moment even a faction of that hate rebounds on them.  Feminists are working to stifle speech on universities, the media and on the Internet.  

Thankfully, people are catching on to these feminists and finally saying no. 

 

Closing Remarks

Both Milo and Julie had passionate and well thought out closing remarks that contained a lot of humor mixed with keen intellect.  Even if I disagreed with most of what Julie had to say, I found her arguments impressive and well grounded.  Sometimes, as they say in debates,  there are disagreements at the axiom level. 

Hopefully I have done an adequate job of representing the words and positions of each of the debaters in this article. Feel free to correct me in the comments.


Comments
on Feb 24, 2016

No Virginia, there is no intentional discrimination against you...

"It is this pursuit, of what Claudia Goldin calls “temporal flexibility,” that Goldin sees as perhaps the most powerful explanation for the gender pay gap. As she told us, it doesn’t seem as though outright discrimination or differences in competitive drive or bargaining ability can account for much of the difference. But that need, or desire, for flexibility in the workplace leads to a split that’s very clear in the data — a split that has to do with job selection."

http://freakonomics.com/podcast/the-true-story-of-the-gender-pay-gap-a-new-freakonomics-radio-podcast/

 

on Feb 24, 2016

Re Topic 4

A ‘Safe space’, is a term used to indicate that an institution or body suppresses and does not tolerate free speech that may be perceived to be negative against certain groups, such as LGBT and Feminists. The key word here is ‘perceived’, this allows any individual to be offended by basically anything that they disagree with, and ultimately will outlaw freedom of speech, thought, viewpoint or opinion. True debate is being stifled by bigotry and intolerance. Most modern day feminists ascribe to this viewpoint, which has led to speakers being harassed, shouted down and even banned through protest by daring to have a different viewpoint. At a recent Trinity College, Cambridge debate, leaflets were being handed out declaring ‘Debate is a conversation of power, where the objective is to win: to overpower the other side. This is violence. It is not discussion.”

Most of this is coming from the ‘feminist Groups’, I applaud the University of Michigan for holding this debate, but sadly in many British and Canadian universities this would not now be allowed, because someone might be offended.