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  • Let's Talk Critically About Sexism

    @agsr @WhyTrump THANK YOU for bringing this debate to my attention and @Vaulk you made an INCREDIBLE argument!

    So here's where I stand - there is sexism on either side, towards both women and men, in many different areas of society. However, the degree of sexism towards either sex is such that neither is to be considered exclusively oppressed or at a disadvantage in our society. Let's go through all of your points.

    1. Legal - yes, it's true that men tend to have a disadvantage in the legal system. However:
    A) In terms of criminal courts and men receiving longer sentences, one could easily argue that crimes against women by men do not receive enough attention or serious treatment. A good example of this is the famous Brock Turner case, when a mal
    B) Can't argue with that...male rape is not taken seriously and I have always been upset by that. I don't really believe there is a rape culture against women either.
    C) Judicial system - same with above, very good point.
    D) Registration for the selective service was enacted with the notion of biological differences in mind. Given that men are on average stronger than women physically, they are more likely to perform well in combat, so it is crucial for our strongest to be out fighting. However, there has been a lot of talk in Congress about whether or not women should be required to register for the draft; the bill was put in action, then pulled, and is currently being reviewed. See the note at the beginning of this article:

    2. Education
    A) Being more likely to drop out is no evidence for implicit sexism against men in administrations - often that is the result of a personal choice or outside factors, but it doesn't automatically mean sexism. When you say the "male instinct" I assume you are talking about the male nature to be more aggressive in /certain/ situations due to testosterone. I do not think this is quite a viable argument because men should be held accountable for their actions just as much as females, disregarding inherent nature. An example of how the nature of females is not tolerated would be strict dress codes.
    B) Males are indeed less likely to go to college, in SOME areas of the country, which is a very recent development, I won't deny that. But as for men being behind in education, that is a mass generalization. For example there are still more men in math, science, and technology courses than women, and as a result men tend to dominate scientific fields in the real world.
    C) I did not know that about scholarships, excellent point. One could also argue however that many sports scholarships offer full rides, but only for male sports, not females; there is certainly a disparity there.
    D) Again, is there evidence that such statistical disparities are the result of sexism against men? I would like to hear why you think so.

    3. Economy
    A & B are great points!! I do have a problem with C though. If it's true that men are pressured into being the money-earners, then it must be true that women are pressured to stay at home, foster the cult of domesticity, be mothers, and not be the breadwinners. Is that a bias against men, or women? It's simply an echo of those once-enforced gender roles that no longer strictly exist, but a woman can succeed and a man can stay at home if they really wish it. Both might receive some social backlash, but that shouldn't stop either of them.

    4. Social
    Sexism includes stereotyping, and men and women are both victims of this on a widespread scale in our nation. If you say that men are often called one insult over the other, you could argue the same for women. Have you ever heard a man referred to as slut? Or b*tch? There are a lot more examples. Ultimately those little societal nuances resulting from traditional gender roles manifest in small, nearly inconsequential ways, but it just goes the same way for both sexes.

    But you have truly convinced me about a lot of things. There is sexism on both sides, sometimes inconsequential, sometimes significant. It seems that men have a severe disadvantage legally and in a few other areas too. Congrats on earning my first "persuaded"
  • Let's Talk Critically About Sexism

    Headlining our debate on Sexism in the United States is the Oxford Dictionary's definition of what "Sexism" means and this will set the tone for the debate to follow:

    Sexism: Prejudice, stereotyping, or discrimination, typically against women, on the basis of sex.

    Followed by Merriam Webster:

    Sexism: prejudice or discrimination based on sex; especially :  discrimination against women

    In my honest opinion I think the meaning of the word is an indication of where this is going.  While I admit openly that there have been and currently are disparities in equality between Men and Women in the United States...I don't think the inequalities are biased heavily or more heavily against Women.  There's a quiet, hushed side of this equation that has remained unnoticed and shunned for the majority of the History of the U.S.

    My point is this:
    1. Men have historically been held accountable, responsible, liable and reprehensible more heavily than Women.
    2. Men are on the receiving side of more discrimination, prejudicial treatment, stereotyping and bias than Women are.
    3. The benefits of being a Man are far outweighed by the benefits of being a Woman in our Country.

    My supporting evidence is as follows:

    1. The Legal System:
        a. Being a Woman in the U.S. means that you are in a supremely better situation when it comes to criminal defense.  Studies confirm that Women are treated absurdly better than Men in Criminal Court with Men receiving 63% longer sentences on average than Women for the exact same crimes.  Women are also twice as likely to avoid incarceration if convicted than Men.  The Gender gap is SIX TIMES larger than the racial disparity in Criminal Court.  Not to mention that domestic violence by Women against Men is virtually an invisible crime.
        b. From 1927 to 2012 it was not legally possible to be raped as a Man. Reporting non-consensual intercourse with a Woman as a Man to Legal Authorities was met with threats of punishment for false reporting.  Men in the U.S. are historically required to pay child support EVEN WHEN THEY ARE THE VICTIM OF A JUDICIALLY RULED STATUTORY RAPE.
        c. Gender Disparity is undeniable in the Judicial System with Family Courts being the poster child for Bias against Fathers.  With such a high rate of divorce in the U.S. it's no wonder that the Family Court System is overflowing with custody proceedings and although studies show that only 4% of all custody matters in Family Court are contested by the Father, of those 4% (Roughly 96,400 Fathers/yr) a vast majority of the time the Courts award custody to the Mother.
        d. In the U.S. it is a legal requirement that ALL Males at the age of 18 register for selective service.  Failure to do so is a Felony, is actively punishable under law, will prevent you from voting, owning property or getting a job in the U.S.  There is no such requirement for Women nor has there ever been.

    2. The Education System:
        a. Being a Male in school means that you are more likely to drop out.  The Education System does not tolerate the predisposition of the Male instinct, boys are judged with undue harshness and with prejudice. 
        b. In the view that has prevailed in American education over the past decade, boys are resented, both as the unfairly privileged sex and as obstacles on the path to gender justice for girls.  However, a review of the facts shows boys, not girls, on the weak side of an education gender gap. The typical boy is a year and a half behind the typical girl in reading and writing; he is less committed to school and less likely to go to college.
        c. There are four times the amount of Scholarships specifically designed for Women only as opposed to Scholarships designed only for Men.
        d. In the U.S., 60 Women will attend college for every 40 Men.

    3. The Economy:
        a. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the unemployment rate for Women is 20% lower than for Men.  Instead of addressing the issue, the government actually gives businesses owned by Women special preferences in obtaining Government contracts and offers tax-payer backed small business loans for Women only.
        b. In the workplace, you will find mentor programs, specialized training and fast-track options that are exclusively for Women while no such programs exist for Men.  This is mainly due to the presumption that Men have an upper hand in the economy while none of the evidence supports it.
        c. Men are pressured into studying "high paying/high return" majors such as engineering, finance, CS etc. because they are expected to support a family and earn enough to do so.
    4. The Social World:
    Lastly, the word "Coward".  This is a prime example of Sexism in the United States.  Have you ever heard a Woman referred to as a "Coward"?  You most likely never will.  The term is exclusively used to describe a Man who lacks the courage to do something he should do. 

    Picture this:

    A Mother is driving her Mini-van down the highway with her child inside when she loses control after one of her tires runs flat.  The Mini-van flips over uncontrollably and comes to a stop upside-down.  The vehicle catches fire and the Mother, fearing for her life, crawls out and cannot get near the vehicle without setting herself aflame.  After several attempts she backs away from the vehicle due the the sheer heat and her child dies in the fire.  Is she a "Coward"?  Of course not.  But if it were the Child's Father...well that's a different story.  Say the Father tried but after realizing he would be fatally burned decided to run away from the vehicle, leaving his child inside....yep...he's a Coward.  This is Sexist Culture.  "Women and Children first".

  • Who is the biggest terrorist?

    @Logic Of course Noam Chomsky wrote books describing his mistaken belief that the US is the biggest terrorist threat, that's what (real) terrorist sympathizers do.  He was a significant influence on bin Laden, in fact bin Laden was reading one of Chomsky's books shortly before he was killed.  Chomsky lamented the killing of bin Laden.  Chomsky and bin Laden were ideological twins, there is no way to support one and disavow yourself from the other. 
  • Who is the biggest terrorist?

    @Logic I'm hardly the stereotypical patriotic American but there are so many flaws in your comparison of America vs ISIS.

    ISIS was established with the PURPOSE of committing genocide. But not just of one or a few groups of people, of ALL groups who conflict with their radical values, including moderate Muslims and other branches of Islam, Jews, Christians, and Western/modern nations. Saying America was built on genocide is also a blatant factual fallacy - I won't deny that the killing of Native Americans certainly should be considered genocide, but most of that occurred well before America was an established nation. The conflicts and relocations etc that occurred afterwards were similarly horrible, but not the basis for any cultural, political, or general identity that has ever/will ever define America.

    Second fallacy: the comparison of something as superficial as a NUMBER of wars/battles in order to explain differences in terrorism. The number of wars and battles has nothing to do with terrorism! Terrorism is about the motivation, goals, and actions, not the statistic. There were so many beneficial wars that America fought in order to defend democracy and prevent the fall of perfectly fine nations. ISIS, on the other hand, has the GOAL of destroying even innocent nations (I won't call the US innocent) with brutal psychological terrorism. That is what they intend. They want to rape, kill, drown, torture, use intimidation tactics, commit genocide, and bring about the apocalypse...while America's actions have influenced this, that in NO WAY justifies the argument that America directly caused this and is therefore a larger terrorist than an organization that has clearly outlined genocidal and terrorist intent, and is currently carrying out those intentions.

    Third fallacy: ISIS is indeed stealing oil. It took me two seconds to look it up and find thousands of articles about their oil smuggling schemes. Take a look:

    Again, I don't whole heartedly defend America, especially since Trump came into power. They have taken oil from Iraq. But the present political imbalance in the Middle East leaves very limited options for economic power and would you rather that oil be in the hands of the United States, or in the hands of ISIS?

    For the record...I can respect Noam Chomsky as an individual but I disagree with almost all of his ideas. The phrase "war on terrorism," for example, is not hypocritical because war and terrorism are different things. War can include acts of terrorism, but they are not synonymous in the slightest.
  • Should the voting age be lowered to 16?

    I agree with @ale5
  • Should the voting age be lowered to 16?

    I support lowering the voting age.  If you can get a driver's learning permit then you are mature enough to vote.  What's the difference between 16 and 18? There is such a wide spectrum of maturity between kids anyway. Let them vote.  By letting them vote, it will teach them about responsibility.
  • Are GMOs really all that harmful?

    Activists often cite the alleged potential health risks of genetically modified foods. One recent example of this—"10 Scientific Studies Proving GMOs Can Be Harmful To Human Health", posted on—outlines many familiar concerns and points in each case to “credible scientific studies that clearly demonstrate why GMOs should not be consumed”.

    Are these concerns credible? What do the studies cited actually claim?

    1) Multiple Toxins From GMOs Detected In Maternal and Fetal Blood.

    The blog post sites a 2010 study that alleges to show this danger. The authors identified the Bt protein Cry1Ab in maternal and fetal blood, a protein found in some GMOs, but also commonly used as a pesticide in organic farming. The paper is flawed. The researchers' measurements were based on an experiment/assay designed to detect Bt’s Cry1Ab in plants, not in humans. As this post in explains, the pregnant women in the study would have had to eat several kilos of corn in order to get the Bt measurements that were detected in their blood.

    Additionally, there’s the "so what" factor. Humans lack the receptors for the protein, so it has no impact on us. Did you know that chocolate is toxic to dogs? Are you concerned that it might be toxic to you? Probably not (if you are concerned, then you've missed out on the greatest source of joy known to human taste buds...). Some chemical compounds behave differently among species, and both Bt's Cry1Ab and chocolate are examples of this.

    2) DNA From Genetically Modified Crops Can Be Transferred Into Humans Who Eat Them

    That's not what the cited 2013 studyconcluded. The authors found that whole genes from our food can be detected in our plasma. That does not mean that they’ve integrated into our DNA; it means that they’ve been found floating in the space between cells. And that's any food, not just GMOs. DNA from GMOs behave no differently than DNA from organic or conventional foods

    If you aren't concerned about the DNA from blueberries "transferring" into you, then you should not be concerned about DNA from GMOs either. The paper’s deepest flaw is that a negative control was not included in the sequencing experiments. Several recent papers (see here and here) have outlined the importance of including a negative control in experiments where there is very little DNA to account for possible contaminants from the environment and reagents. (For a lay introduction to the concept of contaminants in sequencing, see here).


  • If I support Trump, am I a closet Racist?

    @kakakksa_1911 , So let's start here:
    Trump supporters want to ban muslims and Mexicans due to stereotypes. That's racist.
    Alright, let's break it down.

    1.  Muslim is not a race. 
    Muslim has never been a race, most likely never will be a race. To say that a stereotype of a "Religion" can be "Racist" is to suggest that all people of a particular religion are of one Race.  So, you've suggested that it's possible to be Racist against Muslims so I counter with "What Race are Muslims"?

    2.  Mexican is not a race.
    Mexican is a term that defines human beings who currently hold citizenship in Mexico.  To say that a stereotype of a "Citizenship" can be "Racist" is to suggest that all people of a particular Nationality are of one Race.  You've suggested that it's possible to be racist against Mexicans, so I counter with "What Race are Mexicans"?

    I look forward to your response.

    @ale5 ,

    ale5 said:
    All of you Trump supporters who say that You are not racists: lets be honest, it is clearly targeting muslims. Maybe it makes you feel better about yourselves that you are not racists, but if you turn off the lights and no one is watching, you can admit it to yourself. I believe bulk of Trump supporters are in fact racists whether they admit it or not publically to themselves. Just being honest...
    I respect your opinion on this matter however, I can't get behind your logic.  What does Religion have to do with Race?  I'm no scholar here but I can logically deduce the following:

    1.  A racist is: A person who shows or feels discrimination or prejudice against people of other races, or who believes that a particular race is superior to another.

    2.  Since a Muslims is a person who practices Islam in some way, shape or form...then in order to be considered a Racist for targeting Muslims then all Muslims must be one Race.

    See the issue here?  Calling something "Racist" when it's not even possible that it could be slightly Racist is the problem.  The mainstream media has been feeding this stuff to people for so long that a good portion of our American Citizens have started buying into it.  Calling people Nazis for disliking something that's cultural, calling people Racist for not being accepting of a person's religion or ideas...these are becoming normal things in our society.

    ~~~~This is not Racism~~~~ and any attempt to shrug it off like it's no big deal to improperly label something one of the worst terms in history is how most people respond:

    "Oh well so it's not "Technically" racist but it's definitely not nice". ~ This is how people defend themselves for improperly calling someone a "Racist".  Would you use the word "Genocide" to describe a single murder?  Would you use the word "Furious" to describe someone who was "Annoyed" with something you said?  Of course not...but for some reason it's perfectly acceptable and defensible to call someone a "Racist" when their attitude is bias at best and has nothing to do with Race.

  • Is US spending too much money on the military?

    Yes. I think that the US is spending too much money on the military because we are about 20 trillion dollars in debt and a lot of those funds are from the cause of paying for aircraft, and weapon supplies. Also, there are way too much technical costs. Almost every single one of the branches of the military has stuff that all of the other ones have. For example, they all of the technology, they all of the aircrafts, they all have guns and weapons and they all have way too many vehicles.
  • Is it actually possible for a country to support both freedom and equality?

    @melanielust Yeah, so far I've been having a lot of fun.
    Let me try to address your first comment.

    If we assume that equality of opportunity is, in fact the purest form of equality (some worldviews would disagree with this such as collectivism), Then yes, in the eyes of the STATE ITSELF the society is viewed truly equal.But the SOCIAL inequality is not eliminated from the system. If one of the wealthy people publishes a book on how to become successful in the system created by the state, but only gives it out to wealthy children (he has the freedom to do so, after all) then there is no longer equal opportunity because those born into a higher social standing are given an advantage in the system and have access to opportunities unavailable to the poor.

    Additionally, if the state treats EVERY individual equally poor or rich, this can become detrimental in certain situations. For example the state, since It sees all individuals as equal, places a 20% income tax across all households regardless of wealth. Now wealthy families will be paying more money than the poor, but because they still have significantly more funds, their quality of life remains relatively unaffected. 20% of $100000 still leaves them with $80000. But poor families, on the other hand, are significantly more impacted by this. 20% of $1000 is only $800. If it costs $1000 to pay rent and food for each household, the rent is easily paid by the wealthy, while the poor cannot. Without housing and food, the poor family will inevitably die off, including their children who had not yet been able to be given the opportunity for wealth (assuming that the opportunity for wealth is something like how well you do in schooling where you don't finish until you're 18).

    *edit: Sorry if my response time becomes delayed, I'm involved with 3 different discussions now so things are getting hectic.

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