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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Answering Amanda Marcotte's Feminism Debate Challenge

Below is my response to Amanda Marcotte's open challenge:


Ms. Marcotte

I recently learned of your open challenge to debate the claims of feminism with secular non-feminists.

I accept the challenge. Here are some feminist claims I think are provably wrong:

1) the belief that women are equal to men in all ways except anatomy 

There is a plenty of evidence that men differ substantially from women in intelligence and personality. The bell curve for IQ is flatter for men. Women have higher average IQ, but men have a larger share of the most intelligent and the least intelligent. Men make up the vast majority of both Nobel Laureates and Darwin Award winners. 

Men are much more aggressive and competitive and take more risks on average than women. This is why around the world, the vast majority of people in prison for violent crime have been men. It is also the reason why men die younger and are more likely to die from violence and accidents.

2) the belief that women have been oppressed like slaves

While women have been denied political power for most of history, it's a hard case to say they were on the same level as slaves. Every society in history has prioritized the safety and well-being of women and children over the safety and well-being of men (eg, "women and children first"). Women had little power, but they also faced less danger and had fewer responsibilities. 

The second thing to remember is that throughout history, the vast majority of men have been just as powerless as the vast majority of women. When the suffragettes were marching for the right to vote, disenfranchised American boys were getting blasted to bloody shreds and choking on poison gas on the battlefields of WWI. Women got the vote before military-age men did. What does that tell you about who has more pull? 


3)  the belief that women are just as capable at men in traditional male jobs like soldier, police officer, etc.

I invite you to look up the minimum standards for physical fitness for men and women in the Army. You will see that a passing score for a woman is equal to a failing score for a man. The average man has twice as much upper body strength as the average woman and a much higher ratio of muscle to fat. These physical differences are the reason why sports are segregated by gender. Except for maybe gymnastics, the best female athletes in the world would never come close to outperforming the best male athletes in the world. Men don't compete with women in sports for the same reason lightweights don't compete with heavyweights in boxing- it's just not a fair contest. 

4) that women are paid less than men for the same work

The oft-quoted statistic that women as a whole make much less than men as a whole is misleading because men and women are not evenly represented in all jobs. Men work most of the high-paying and dangerous jobs. But even when men and women work the same job, men often work more hours. This is because women prefer to work part-time when they have young children. Women also tend to leave the workforce for years at a time which lowers their lifetime earnings. Finally, there's the logic of it- if women were really willing to do the same work as men for less money, why don't businesses just hire all women and cut their labor costs? It's not an accident that there are very few women on oil rigs and fishing boats. 

I am perfectly fine with female pilots, soldiers, surgeons, police, and so on as long as they met the same standard as the men. The only way people can be equal in a meaningful way is if they are held to the same standard.  

Lastly, I encourage you to watch this video from non-feminist Karen Straughan:



Regards,

Thomas Harty 

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