(From 10 countries)
USA: Rick | Iran: Noorola, Elham, Behnam, Zivar, Amir, Sarah | Argentina: Johny | India: Azamu, Haary | Azerbaijan: Guneyli | Algeria: Soso | Nepal: Grace | Vietnam: Amina | Poland: Mario | Switzerland: George
Panel PRO (Team A): Noorola, George, Amir
Panel CON (Team B): Zivar, Behnam
Audience (Team C): Amina, Elham, Azamu, Mario, Grace
Just listening: Soso
Late: Haary, Sarah, Guneyli
Team A summary
Noorla: Throughout history, men and women have had different roles. However, people often adapt to their times, and these roles are affected by those changes. Feminism is a relatively new movement and some people still don’t get used to it. But the world is changing and moving ahead, now women work shoulder by shoulder with men. Women nowadays can do almost everything any man can do, so there is no need to take this movement further.
George: Women have earned their rights. When you eat more than what you need, to get overweighed. When you exceed in something, it becomes negative. Women think they don’t need men for anything. When they find something where women are not included, they fight for equality and they get it, but at the same time, they themselves set up organizations just for women. They want to be included in what men do but they don’t want to include men in what women do. And when men ask them to be fair women say “no, we are women, we are special.” Not only do they want to exercise their rights for equality, but they go beyond that and set special rights for themselves. To the point that it may seem that they are a different species.
Amir: All “isms” have failed. They don’t pay attention to other people’s rights. When people are given too many rights, they become selfish. Some men cannot get married due to the rights women have gotten. We all should keep equality of rights but let’s not give more rights to some and not to the other. Women not only want what men have, they want more. So let’s keep it even.
Team B summary
Zivar: According to some definitions, there is no discrimination against men in feminism. It’s about having equal rights. It’s not about getting revenge against men. It’s about giving women the same rights men have.
Behnam: Rights go hand and hand with responsibilities. Feminism means having the same rights, and thus having the same responsibility. When we ask them to do the same thing men do, it seems we are treating them unfairly. There are things that men tolerate doing that women shouldn’t be doing. Men and women are different but that doesn’t mean one is better than the other; it just means we have different “tools”, nature, talents and responsibilities. Rights and responsibilities should be justified. If one can do more, then they should be given more rights. Whether men or women.
There is no doubt that women were discriminated in the past, but nowadays feminism is going beyond fighting for equality, now it begins to discriminate women as well. It became a political movement that is no longer aimed to set equality of rights.
Team C summary
Amina: Women were treated unfairly in the past, we only want equality, to work in offices and in the military like men does. We do not discriminate men. With science and technology women have more freedom now and they can participate in the work force, jobs have become less physical and more intellectual. In many situations women were paid less and abused at home and there needs to be more equality and this movement brought more visibility to the situation. Men should learn about this because we need to share responsibilities. If a woman is a career woman she has much rights as a man does and that both the man and the woman should responsibilities at home. In most cases a woman can do what a man does and that the phase “behind every successful man there is a woman” is not true. Besides every successful man there is a woman, with equal rights and equal responsibilities. Equality means “besides”, not “behind”.
Elham: Feminism makes women deceive themselves. Men are behind feminism, using it for their own benefit. But it’s against both, men and women.
· Amina: Team B.
· Elham: Team B.
Team B won this debate.
Rick’s take away: Equal opportunity is based upon equal capability, equal qualifications; in other words, you don’t pick someone just because they are men or women, black, white, Asian, or whatever. In an economic environment, in a work environment, you pick somebody because they are capable of doing the job not because is a “he” or “she”. On a social level, everyone has the same social rights. Politically speaking, again, it comes down to capability and qualifications. It depends on whether the person is qualified to do the job. There are limitations though that we all know about, there are some physical demands where in certain jobs one gender is more suitable perhaps, we all recognize that. However, if there are women who have as much strength as a man does or the same capability, then there is no reason to deny that job. The word “feminism” can be used to divide people. It’s true that historically there have been discrimination in the past, not only against women, but also against immigrants and color people. But the question is: how far back shall we look into the past to learn and move forward? How many times shall we say “I am sorry”? If we keep looking into the past, we will never stop saying “sorry”. We should stop saying “I’m sorry” and begin moving forward. Am I going to apologize for what my ancestor did 200 years ago or am I look into the future and make sure I’m begin person in the future? We need to be careful about these things.
Thanks everyone for participating. Below are the links to listen to this discussion.