Have you heard about the big debate in Vancouver? In the wake of the recent hubbub over Men’s Rights posters in that fair city, one woman thought it might be a good idea for there to be a public debate over some of the issues raised by the posters.
I’ll let A Voice for Men’s JohnTheOther explain it, in his adorably poncy way:
Has feminism gone too far? …
That is the question asked in September of 2012, by a woman of integrity and courage. She posited this question as the premise of a public debate. It was to be discussed by three individuals from the contention that yes, feminism has gone too far, and three individuals arguing that no, feminism has not gone too far.
But, alas, this debate was not to be.
Unfortunately, following the announcement of this scheduled debate on the social networking site Facebook, that woman was rewarded for her attempt at public discussion by a torrent of abuse and threats. Some individuals apparently did not want a debate. Not only did they not want to participate, they wanted nobody else to either. Under the weight of abuse and threats, that woman whose integrity and courage moved her to propose a public discussion – cancelled the event.
What JohnTheOther doesn’t mention is that the “torrent of abuse and threats” apparently came not from feminists, as one might assume from the way he’s phrased it, but from Men’s Rightsers, who were evidently so excited by the prospect of having a debate with actual feminists that, in their enthusiasm, they couldn’t help but harass the organizer once it became clear the event wasn’t going to be organized in the same exact way that they might have organized it, if as MRAs they ever organized anything.
As the original organizer of the cancelled event explained to Jezebel:
I took the event down because of threats I had received from MRA members when I told them I was thinking of cancelling the event/changing the question. Having my Facebook account linked to here has reduced my safety from these men, who didn’t have my personal information as I was speaking with them over email. I have now had to cancel my FB profile which impacts my job seriously. Luckily I am in England right now so am safe.
Later, someone claiming to be her posted a comment on A Voice for Men saying the threats had come from “people claiming both sides of the debate.” The AVFMers downvoted her.
But fear not, debate fans! The debate is ON again! With the help of A Voice for Men, the blog A Father’s Story, and the East Vancouver Debating Society, a heretofore unknown organization which apparently has been conjured up just for this occasion, a “Has Feminism Gone Too Far” debate will take place later this month. At a car dealership, for some reason.
The debate format has apparently been designed to be as confusing as possible:
The debate format will be three speakers presenting arguments affirming the debate proposition and three speakers presenting arguments against the proposition. Each speaker will have 5 minutes to present an opening argument, alternating between for- and against postions. Following opening arguments, each speaker will have 5 minutes to address presented arguments. A third round of discussion will allow 3 minutes to address counter arguments, and final statements will be formatted within 3 minutes per speaker, for a total of four rounds of discussion for all speakers.
Following the scheduled debate, speakers will address questions and commentary from audience and observers for 55 minutes.
After which there will be an additional 15 minutes of calisthenics.
And then everyone will buy a car.
So far they don’t seem to have found any feminist debaters eager and willing to spend a nice Sunday afternoon in a car dealership getting yelled at by angry dudes.
Instead, they have devoted their energy to defining what exactly feminism means, because how can you have a debate about feminism if Men’s Rightsers don’t define the term first?
Someone called Sasha offered this definition:
If “the National Organization For Women, the largest American self-identified “feminist” organization, defines feminism as “The radical notion that women are human beings,” then I’d say MRAs have the radical notion that women are grown-ups.
I believe that feminism is simply a selfish, solipsistic creed, which exploits a natural tendency in some men and women towards narcissism.
The result has been a massive epidemic of narcissism across society, across the world (1) particularly amongst college students (2) and researchers agree this will have profound consequences for society.
One study showed that use of the phrase ‘I deserve’ in publications had increased 2000% between 1975 and 2005.
The reason that feminism doesn’t deliver happiness (3) to women is because happiness is dependent on ‘doing for others’.
The reason it doesn’t deliver it to men is because, being a selfish creed, it doesn’t recognise the sacrifices men make (from time with their families all the way to their lives) to support their families, communities and even countries, and in fact punishes and disincentivises such sacrifice.
All of this has gotten us at Man Boobz so excited that we – in conjunction with the Chicago Debatalogical Cooperative – have decided to have a debate of our own. And it’s happening right this very minute. Right here on your computer! The format is a couple of YouTube videos I found.
Here a representative of the Men’s Rights movement will argue the pro position: “Feminism has gone too far.”
And here is the rebuttal from the feminist side.
Who’s the winner? We all are!