The British National Debate Team at SMC

The British National Debate Team at SMC


– Hello everybody. – [Voiceover] Hello. – [Voiceover] Hello. – Thank you, I’m inspired to
do the thing that everybody always does when they’re on
stage, I couldn’t hear that, hello everybody! – [Crowd] Hello! – I always feel so stupid
doing it from the audience but up here I felt compelled to. So thank you very much
for coming, this is a good size audience, I appreciate
that, some other people might be coming in. My name is Professor
Nate Brown, I’m one of the co-coaches of the Santa Monica College Speech and Debate Team
and this is the debate between our two team
captains on the Debate Team and our friends
from the British National Debate Team, so I’ll get
to those introductions. (audience applauding) Let me start by giving
one of my favorite quotes Jesse Jacskon once said,
“Deliberation and debate “is the way that you stir
the soul of our democracy.” And I just love that
quotation so much because what we do on the Debate Team is
really very inspiring always as an audience member when
I’m working with the team I feel like I’m more a part of
the community, like I’m more a part of the current events
and the government and the politics and the decisions
that I make, or that don’t make sometimes, and so I think
that what happens in debate, especially in competitive
debate is really very valuable for stirring the soul of
our community and our lives. So this event was
generously sponsored by the Santa Monica College
Associated Students so thank you very much, are any of
our Board Members here? A.S. President Jessie Randall
is here, thank you very much. (audience applauding) We’re using recyclable, or
rather reusable bottles which is part of the Associated
Students Fiscal Policy to try to minimize waste, which I think
is a very positive way in which they use some of
their money and we are also funded by the SMC Associates. Thank you very much Kiersten Elliot. Our guests, starting from
our friends in Britain here, Chessy Whalen on the right
side, graduated from Oxford with a B.A. in History and
was a quarter-finalist in the European Debate Championship 2015. (audience applauding) Matthew Willmore, just graduated from the University of Edinburgh in Human Rights, Human Rights Law? Human Rights Law, okay, and was the 2014 the 2014 European Debate Champion. (audience applauding) They’re on a U.S. tour
of, I don’t know, a dozen or so colleges and
universities here over the next two months and they’re
gonna be blogging the entire time and so if you’re interested
in following their journey and their thoughts about the
process than you can find their blog, it is called
From the Land of the Tea to the Home of the Brave. (audience laughing) – [Voiceover] Clever. – [Brown] Which is clever. From SMC we have on my
left, Stephen Sands, who is one of our team captains,
he’s a second year student here at Santa Monica College
and was first place in Parliamentary Debate at
James Monroe High School. (audience applauding) And on my far left, Filipp
Krasovsky, is a second year economics and/or math major,
and really those sound like the same thing to me. – It’s a little bit of both. – And he’s intending or hoping
to transfer to UC Berkley and we’ve sent quite a few of best
debaters to UC Berkley and he is the California State
Champion in Congressional Debate. (audience applauding) Last night the British
debated with some of the best students at Irvine Valley
College, they debated that Donald Trump does more
harm than good to the Republican Party and our
friends on the British Team had to argue that
that is not true, that Donald Trump does more good than harm. Today we’re debating
gender equity and tomorrow night they’ll be debating
at Mount San Antonio College on the topic of banning
handguns, and I imagine they’re gonna give you the don’t ban
handguns side, because that seems like it’s harder to make, perhaps. Today’s format, Parliamentary
Debate, each speaker will go in order from the
affirmative to the opposition, affirmative to the opposition
and then two speeches at the end which are kind
of like summary arguments, also during a speaker’s seven
or eight minute presentation members from the other team
can interject by raising their hand, getting the
speakers attention and ask a a question or make an
argument and so it makes it a little more spontaneous,
rather than just a series of debates, and finally, I
know some of you are here for extra credit, my students
and Professor Andade’s students were told you can
get extra credit for being here but you’ve got to do a
couple of things, you’ve gotta take notes, you’ve gotta
show us your notes and you’ve gotta take a selfie of
yourself showing the stage in the background so let’s all
get that out of the way right now if you’re getting extra
credit, look up that way, point the camera and I will
be in the picture, you all should smile, you’re in the picture. I’m gonna suck in my gut, make
it look like I’m in shape. Flex. Also, um, ladies and
gentlemen, if anybody wants to take a selfie with me
particularly I also have no objections to that, I
just want to let you know ahead of time. – After the debate, Filipp
with be available for one on one selfies. Professor Andade? After the debate we will
also being doing an audience poll, you’ll be able to use
your electronic devices to indicate who you think
should be the winner of the debate, so please stick around,
we’ll do that immediately after and the instructions
will be put up on the board so please stand by for that. I said after. (audience laughing) This is coming out of your time. Last thing I want to say
is I’m gonna be timing the debate, the first minute
of each speaker’s time is protected, which means
they can’t be interrupted but from the audience, I might
be over there on the side, when you hear a loud clap,
that means that it’s no longer protected time and you can
be interrupted and then the last minute also is protected
time so that’s how I’m gonna indicate that to the speakers. Having said all of that,
good luck everybody. Who is our first speaker
from the affirmative team? Stephen, come on up. (audience applauding) – Good morning, everyone, or
good afternoon, it’s a pleasure to be here, it’s been kind of
a long road to get here but it’s, assuming it’s been a
longer road for you guys. So I suppose we should just
get into it, so the motion today really stands, is gender
equity possible so before we kind of move into this
debate let’s be pretty clear about some things, humanity
really hasn’t done one thing in our entire history
that even begins to approach perfection because really at
a deep and fundamental level we’re imperfect creatures
on an imperfect planet, we haven’t managed to really
tackle any problem with universal or complete success
and that’s kind of integral to the core of this discussion,
in simple terms we’re a giant baby kind of just
bumbling its way across the Earth and the best thing
we can do is safety-proof this house, however, in
regards to gender equity we can break through the
barriers that prevent us from living in a reasonably equitable
society even if with slight imperfection, aside from the
fact that progress has already been made towards equity, the
question of possibility hinges on whether or not we can
achieve this, and we can through firm, simple and straightforward methods. So, in essence, what we’re
trying to say here is that perfect gender equity is
something that’s never going to be completely achieved,
but we can get as close as we can, as close as we
can, as close as humanly possible to achieving that,
and that’s really what we’re looking for today. So first of all, what
exactly is gender equity? The United Nations describes
this as fairness in recourse to principles of justice, to
correct or supplement the law, specific measures must be
designed to eliminate inequities, discrimination and to ensure
equal opportunities, so that’s a very complicated way to say
that gender equity is about equal treatment, opportunity
and rights in all fields of society, both domestically
and internationally. Now today we’re here to
argue that through structural changes, through legislation
and by changing the law we can affect an attitudinal
change in our society and significantly curb gender
inequity, so let’s move into some examples of
domestic gender equity, ways in which laws that
have been passed in the United States and legislation has been changed, that’s helped
change the status of women and other genders in our country. So let’s start with the 19th Amendment. The 19th Amendment, of
course, gave women the right to vote, now up until this
point the idea of female political participation
was considered outrageous, prior to this women were
viewed as being less capable of making decisions as men. Now the ability to vote and
this Amendment, was originally controversial but now,
because of time and because of this law being enacted, this
really got the ball woman rolling for women to be viewed
as capable decision makers. Yes? – Were women able to use
that vote and engage in politcs as meaningfully
as the men who had had it for hundreds of years before? – Originally, no, and that’s
kind of one of the core arguments here in this
debate, it’s not end all, fix all that works instantly,
rather it’s something that happens over time, it’s a slow
process and it’s incremental so originally, no, this wasn’t,
women didn’t really have the same level of political
participation but over time the political participation
became more and more substantial and then eventually
we will achieve equity in that term. So let’s move on to a second
point, that of a 1963 Equal Pay Act, so this made it
illegal to discriminate on the basis of sex regarding
equal payment for equal work. So up until this point, men
were considered to be the main breadwinners in society,
“bringing home the bacon” and women were really just seen
as using work for supplemental income, but as a result of this
law, as a result of stating that men and women should
be paid equally for equal work, we really changed
the political and economic potential for women to succeed
here in the United States and we also helped cement– – Sir? – the idea of women as not
just housewives and child bearers but as workers
and productive members of society, yes? – Then why is it that women
still only earn 80 cents to every man’s dollar, why
is it that women of color in particular only earn 70
cents to every man’s dollar? – This is a harm that does
exist in society and we’re not trying to deny that that
does exist, however, at other points throughout history,
that disparity was even further so instead of earning say 80
cents on every dollar, maybe it was 50 or even less so the
idea is, again, gradual change towards equity, it’s not
perfect, and equal pay does not really fully exist here in
the United States today but we’re taking the steps
towards ensuring that. So let’s talk about
something even more recent, 1973, so this is when we
changed the law to allow high tier managers really
just giving them the respect that the law refused to
afford them earlier helping showcase a woman’s talents
and abilities in a way that put them on equal
footing with the rest of the business world, so when
we talk about the impact of this here, what we’re
looking at is a small change, a change that says, “Okay,
men and women are allowed “to apply for the same
positions,” but the wide-reaching attitudinal effects as a
result of this were much, much more felt because it doesn’t
just say that men and women are being paid for equal
work, it’s saying that men and women are capable of equal
work and that’s the important distinction that the law is
making here and that’s the attitudinal change that
it did, in fact, effect. Now let’s talk about the
modern day, Executive Order 13762, which passed in
2014, prohibiting anti-LGBTQ discrimination by Federal
contractors, so basically if you work for a company that
contracts with the federal government, you are protected,
so what this really typifies is that gender isn’t just men
and women, so this combined with the recent Supreme Court
decision on gay marriage, helps promote the idea that
not only are men and women equal, and worthy of rights,
but everyone is equal and worthy of rights and that’s
something that’s very important and has been effected
through legislative change. So although these laws
may not have fully gotten rid of inequity, it’s really
clear that they’ve helped bridge the social, economic
and political gaps between genders, it’s important to
realize that change is always possible and always real and
with continued legislation we can move towards gender equity. So let’s talk about this not
only on the domestic front but on the international front
as well, Nordic countries have taken large steps in
recent times towards gender equity, so let’s move out of
the U.S. and show that this isn’t really a localized
phenomenon, rather this is an effective method that we
can implement throughout the world. So let’s take the Prime
Minister of Iceland, the Prime Minister is committed to
eliminating the gender pay gap by 2022, now currently
in Iceland, women are paid six to 18 percent less
than men, which is a smaller disparity than in the United
States, so by conducting major audits of all companies
in Iceland to ensure that women are being paid
fairly, this gender wage gap is going to shrink even
further to the point where eventually it’s going to
be reduced to nothing and that’s the whole goal. The administrations also
gonna sponsor major reports on the status of women in
media in Iceland in order to achieve parody by 2020. So this is a step further
than the U.S. Government has currently gone and an idea
for policy that we can also enact in the future,
people that are surrounded by people that are being
paid equitably is going to lead to a shift in social
understanding due to exposure, eventually people are going
to accept the idea that genders are equally capable
of doing equal work, in fact, on that point,
in Denmark, quotas were established for female
participation in government and in business in order to
ensure equal representation, the policy has been so
effective that the quotas have now been removed because
they’ve become redundant. The representation is already
equal with or without the law so, again, another example
of how this structural change has led to the attitudinal change. So basically these are all
examples that show how gender equity is possible, it’s
important to note that none of these individual polices
are going to create gender equity, it’s through
combinations and variations of these policies, as well as
more, that is going to lead to gender equity. They’re not going to suffice
as proof that gender equity has been achieved but they’re
enough to suffice proof that gender equity is defintely possible through legislation. You know, there’s an old saying that says, “How do you eat an elephant?” And of course, unless you’re
a vegetarian, the answer is one bite at a time. Sexism in ingrained and a very
large problem in our society, it’s existed for thousands
of years and now we’ve begun to take steps to eradicate it. Each piece of legislation
is another bite out of the elephant, and with enough
legislation and enough time the elephant will
be gone and, therefore, we are proud to affirm. Thank you. (audience applauding) – [Voiceover] And now we
will now hear from the leader of the opposition. I’ll be sitting over here
which might turn up the time signals a little bit more,
but they were a bit low. – First of all I’d like to
offer our warmest thanks from both Matt and myself for
the incredible welcome that we’ve had here it’s been
from Nate, from Stephen, from Filipp and from everybody
else that we’ve spoken to who’ve welcomed us so warmly
to your wonderful campus, we are so happy to be here,
so happy to be sharing with you guys in debate and,
hopefully, you will enjoy this. Onwards. So Beyoncé may be pretty
near perfect, but I reckon she’s wrong about at least
one thing, the answer to “Who Run the World?” is not,
and is not even approaching the possibility of being girls. Gender inequity effects
aboslutely everyone in this room, in this city, around the world. In particular women, but women and men and other genders, right? From every moment, from
the moment they are born, children are
conditioned by advertising, by their education, by the
media to believe that men are or should be strong,
powerful, intelligent world leaders and that women are
or should be beautiful, kind, mothers, wives,
who sit in their place. We think, no thanks, that
legislative change, that the kinds of policies that
these guys talk to you about are stalling the progress
of gender equity because they prevent rather than
creating attitudinal change and they mean that we
don’t solve the much bigger problems than stuff like
women not having access to the vote, the much
bigger and more deep-rooted problems that we have
in our society today and that’s what I’m going to
look at in this speech, I’m gonna look at why
societal changes in the way that we think about gender,
the way we think about gender roles are absolutely
necessary to even approaching gender inequity and why the
policies that these guys want to talk to about, why legislative
change prevents those and is mutually exclusive with those things. So on this first thing and
why incredibly big problems need a far bigger solution
than we think we’ve got, because the impacts of gender
inequity are not always things that you can legislate
for, they’re not always as obvious as somebody
not being allowed to go to a polling booth on an election
day, they’re things like sexual and domestic violence
that impact that millions of women every year and
whom never speak out about them, it’s about women
being the assumed caregivers as soon as they decide that
they want to have a child in their family, it’s about
advertising extorting money out of me every month when I
go and buy a new mascara because somebody, somewhere,
has been telling me since I was tiny, that my eyelashes
should be unnaturally long, right, they don’t tell Matt that. He’s got very pretty
eyelashes, actually, but that’s irrelevant, right? It shouldn’t matter, I
shouldn’t have to be spending that money, it’s about schools
telling girls that actually engineering probably
isn’t for them, right? Or, oh, math is thing that
girls find hard so you might need to work harder on
that, that is just factually untrue, but it is told to
millions of girls around the country, those things
are incredibly difficult to make changes for on
a wide-scale legislative thing because they are
just pervasive, they sit in our society, they are
ideas and not things that are obvious barriers that
you can take down with a law. Even when we do use laws
though, often the most vulnerable women are not protected. Matt says as a point of
information that the Equal Pay Act might have been
enacted but, you know, decades later we are still
so far away from that, women in the U.K. are
paid 73 pence for every pound a man does for the same job, right? The 19th Amendment it is
true that women now have the vote, but like a hundred
years later there is one woman running to be the
Republican Candidate in the Presidential Election,
there has never been a woman President of the United
States, we’ve managed one Prime Minister and, to be
honest, I wasn’t a fan. (audience laughing) Women don’t have a voice
at the major tables, they might have a voice
in their local elections but so often that is a
meaningless one when that power is so concentrated in
Congress, so concentrated in Washington, that is
where women need a voice, they don’t have one there,
the 19th Amendment didn’t give them that political voice. Roe vs. Wade, right? It’s been around for 40
years, but there are still loopholes, there are
still women who never have safe access to abortion
because there are protests outside those abortion
clinics, because their families have told them that is
not an option for them and that they have no other
way of funding that. Legislation doesn’t protect
the really vulnerable and it is failing to reach
the wider problems in our society, those sort of
attitudinal ideas that come through your education
system telling you that girls aren’t engineers,
that come through adverts telling me that my skin
should be less blemished than it is, whatever
even that means, right? Those are the things that
we need to change and now what I’m gonna do is
tell you why legislative change, like these guys talk
to you about, is actually stopping a wider attitudinal
change happening, which means we’re not going
to get to gender equity. They’re mutually exclusive
because there is a massive weight of narratives that
say that the gender roles that we have currently
are good, the gender roles that we have currently are
the right ones that we have. See websites offend rights
activists that put my friend online declaring her to be
a femi-nazi bitch, sorry for the language, because she
spoke in a debate against a man and suggested that
women might be inequal. See Donald Trump’s
comments on the appearance of that only woman in the
Republican sort of primaries as opposed to talking about her policies. See the fact that women
are consistently shamed for where they were, how much
they drunk or what they were wearing when they do, when
they are brave enough to stand up and that they were
victims of sexual assault. These ideas don’t just come
from just fringe groups, right? These are incredibly mainstream
thoughts from mainstream politicians, from the justice
service, from magazines and things like that. The people who aren’t as
enlightened and feminist as I hope we all are in this
room, right, are aggravated by what they see as like unfair
affirmative action policies. Unfair protection of women
that isn’t being extended to men, you see these in
narratives about affirmative action for African American
students as well, right? They are incredibly easy to
access for a group that is worried about their
power slipping from their grasp, they incredibly
quickly pick up traction on the internet, on Facebook
pages and they mean that the political capital, the
political will and the support for women who need not
just legislative change but attitudinal change gets
totally lost and totally smothered by those things. The impact of this is that
we lose incredibly valuable allies, because there’s a
whole group of people in the middle who have probably
never really thought about the things that are affecting
women’s day to day lives, never really thought about
the pervasive gender inequity that exists in our society,
but when they hear that women are consistently getting a leg
up and they’re consistently being talked about in legislation
and they’re consistenly being helped out by the
government in any way that men aren’t, are they more likely
to turn off from feminist arguments that say, “No,
women need this help, and “not just this help, we need
so much more,” and are they more likely to turn on to
arguments that say, “Women “should be trying harder, they’ve
had the vote for a hundred “years, we’ve kind of solved
this problem for them.” That’s the impact that these
kinds of legislative changes have on that whole group
of people in the middle who we don’t think are bad
people, we don’t think they don’t ultimately care about
women if you ask them to and ask them to think about
it but the narrative that happens is they think that
his problem is already sorted, that they think
legislation has sold for this, we lose those valuable allies,
we lose political energy for pushing for much deeper
social change that needs to come from the way that
we talk about women and men, when we talk about
girls and boys in schools before they even realize the
difference between them, right? It means that we lose an
opportunity to tackle the very roots of this problem, so
the kinds of solutions the government do suggest have
some benefits, have this hidden harm, right? This hidden harm of losing
us a massive opportunity and losing us the ultimate
root to gender equity. Proud to oppose. (audience applauding) – [Voiceover] Could
everybody hear the bell? – [Voiceover] I heard it. – [Voiceover] Before you start,
everybody that’s standing if you would like to find a seat now is a really good time. – I keep having very, very
constant suspicions that the A.S. did not put water
in here, but thank you in that sense, before I do begin, oh, okay, I do want to thank our
friends from across the pond for coming out here and
listening to the interolerable sound of my voice and I
want to thank all of you individually for putting up
with my insufferibility and for that I truly cherish this
bond that we’re gonna have for the next 35 minutes, I mean
hopefully longer than that. But that being said, I think
it stands to reason that we get right into the discussion. Look, we are fallible, we,
I personally, am pathetic because I move from my
bed to my sofa and that’s the brunt of my daily
routine, we cannot give you the Rolls Royce of gender equity. We can give you a Honda Civic, okay? That’s the best that anybody
will ever do for you, and my problem particularly
is that our friends are painting it as a Chevy
Nova, all right, it’s a bad car, but we did is a
Honda Civic and the main point I want to make here
is that go back around 90 years ago and you will
find that this debate wouldn’t have even taken place,
this would be banned. And I want to make a
point of that on a variety of things they’ve said,
yes, women are conditioned to buy a bunch of things
that tell them that they’re ugly, or that they need to
be less ugly, that is true but it gets better, and
the great example of that is Ronda Rousey and I’m going
to try not to say anything bad about her because if I
do I worry she might actually kill me, but that being said,
people like Ronda Rousey wouldn’t have existed 90
years ago, it’s gotten better, yes, children are conditioned
but it has gotten better and we can, we can change
the attitudes of the people by changing the laws that
uphold our society, yes. Chessy is right, there’s sexual
and domestic violence but 90 years ago, the law didn’t even care. It wasn’t just legal, it
wasn’t even paid attention to. In 2015, in the United
States and a bunch of other countries across the
world, we have resources, we have resources, we have
support centers, we have policeman that are, oh, I don’t
know, willing to prosecute the case, things have changed
and like I said, it’s not the Rolls Royce that they
would like it to be, but it’s a pretty darn good Honda Civic
compared to the Chevy Nova that it was 90 years ago. And once again, yes, schools
tend to tell girls that stem jobs aren’t for them,
that we should keep it limited to men, but I can
guarantee you of one-hundred percent confidence that
there are now more women in engineering, and computer
science and mathematics than there were 90 years
ago, it gets better. We sold the Chevy Nova
nine decades ago and we’re doing better. We’re not promising you
overnight change, we are showing that the law has fixed these
things, yes, we have not countered the deep social
stigma that still resides somewhere, in some small
section of the United States but by God we’ve made it better. Here’s the other point,
about Donald Trump, ’cause I knew he was inevitably
going to weasel his way into this conversation with his wig
that’s like slowly lopsided and falling off a little
bit, but I would like to, ironically, fire him from
the discussion because here’s the thing, 90 years ago if
everybody went to a Donald Trump convention or I don’t know
what you’d call them, it’s like an AA Meeting or something,
the point being is that everybody in the crowd would
be like, “Yeah, of course!” But people are upset today,
they’re upset, all right? You’e upset that Donald Trump
and his stupid wig, I don’t know it’s probably ascencionce,
I don’t know, the fact that you’re upset over that shows
that we’ve even countered that social stigma against
women, that people are willing to look at someone like
Donald Trump and say that’s outrageous, and the other
point I want to make is that California is a really unique place. Not because of the fact
that people wear socks with sandals here and
not because Venice Beach is a really weird place, man, but because we have so many female
legislators it’s ridiculous. We’ve had Barbara Boxer
and Diane Feinstein for so long that when you
say California senator, I don’t even think of that
as a position, i just think of those two. We have, who else do we
have, we have Wendy Davis, we’ve got Hillary Clinton,
we’ve got Sarah Palin and I can guarantee you that
those folks wouldn’t have been running 90 years ago. Yes, America is a very slow
moving creature when it comes to social change but it does happen. But you disagree. – Yeah, so things might
have got slightly better but legislature has brought
easy wins and it means that people are giving up on
the idea of gender equity altogether. – Okay, hold on, no,no, no,
it wasn’t a slight change, all right, this is monumental
giving women the right to vote is not a slight
change, criminalizing domestic abuse and rape and sexual
assault is not a slight change, paying attention to
the issues in the household through the law is not a slight change. We can’t paint this with
such a small brush that it becomes reduced to
irrelevancy and me and my partner refuse to do that today. Yes, America moves very
slowly, we’re a bad Honda Civic, all right? Maybe we’re an ’85 Honda
Civic, I don’t know if that exists, somebody’s
gonna check me on that but that being said, we
are moving, and we would not have done that had
it not been the law. Let me put it to you this
way, in the late 1800s the United States made slavery illegal. When that law was made
you still had some folks, all right, folks, not people,
but folks, you had folks somewhere in Texas or Arkansas
saying, “Okay, you know “what, I don’t think
that was a good idea.” Some people were against
that law, really, they were, but go to California right
now or go to even Texas right now in 2015 and see
how many people still agree that slavery was a good thing. You see, the law has been
so ingrained into our minds that at some point I
guarantee you, you will get a generation that treats
the law as a norm. That slavery is illegal and
no other kind of philosophy could be seen as valid
otherwise, the law is a long term investment. Now of the United States, that
investment is particularly longer, and that’s fine, you
know, we’re the kid, on the international stage, we’re the
B plus student who’s really bad at math but eventually
we pick it up and I believe the laws we’ve mentioned can
eventually help us get there. Thank you. We are the Honda Civic. (audience applauding) – [Voiceover] Oh, I’m
sorry, and if you want it, it’s-it’s not water. (laughing) – That’s just a terrifying prospect. (laughing) – [Voiceover] It’s quite nice actually. (laughing) – Look, it’s just quite clear
that I’m not going to stand here and tell you that
things haven’t got better, that we haven’t made progress,
what I’m going to stand here and tell you today is
that there’s a limit on that progress, and that through
legislation there is only so much we can ever do. That through legislation,
we can sometimes pre-empt or even be mutually exclusive
with better policies which would have been a better fit. What I’m going to show you
is I’m going to continue what Chessy told you and
tell you this is a social phenomenon which needs a
groundswell of activism, which needs a demand from
power, not a plead to power. That is what I’m going to
show you in this speech, because it doesn’t matter
whether you are in Saudi Arabia, Sweden or Scotland, in Uganda,
Uruguay or the United States, because legislative changes
just don’t work in the way that they are supposed to. Yes, we have the right to
vote for women but they still don’t have equal access. Yes, we have the Equal Pay
Act but we’re still not there. The equality is slowing
from that big, quick jump we are now decelerating, it is
slowing down to the point whereby gender equity is
not going to get any better, unless we do something
more than legislation, unless we do something
more, more radical than what we are doing at
the moment because there is just no way that the
legislation we have at the moment is going to challenge
those inequities in the way that these guys think it does, because these are issues
are more complicated and are more ingrained than
legislation can ever tackle. This is what Chessy told you, right? Because the law can never solve this. It’s not just about pay for the same job, it’s a question is which
jobs are you doing. Why is it that men are the CEOs of banks and women are nurses? Why is it that see men
are professors and women teach primary school or
elementary school pupils? Those are the questions
that we need to ask and those are the questions
that we cannot solve with legislation, those are
the questions that cannot be solved with these simple
dichotomies because it’s not just the right to vote
but it’s the right to run for President and not to
have your gender brought up as a weakness, as
something that you have to get over and something
that you have to justify, that is the change that
we need now, that is the radical change that we need
and none of the policies that they have suggested
on this side of the house have even come close to that. Under their side of the
house they have reached the Honda Civic but
they’re never gonna upgrade any further, we want to
show you a way to move up a class, to move into the new realm. Okay, so let’s look then,
why is this appeasement and not progress. I want to look at two things,
I’m gonna first of all look at stereotypes and
second of all I’m going to look at how this
precludes more impressive or more important policies. Okay, so why is it this
is not real change? Firstly, because things
like quotas, things like legislative handouts
diminish the achievements of women. In 1997, we had an all female
short list for a number of constituencies which
were being targeted by the Labor Party, the women that
were selected for those constituencies were immediately
called “Blair’s Babes” and just decredited
immediately, because they had benefitted from this
perceived hand-out they were no longer worthy of the
positions in which they stood. We see this with Rwanda when
they started giving more and more positions to women
within that government but over and over again it
was for children, it was for care, it was for things of
like “women’s issues” they were not worthy of the power of
the president, they were not worthy of the power of the
Chancellor Vick’s checker, they were worthy to do the women’s things. It was a small hand-out,
a small token to stop them rebelling. It was a small token, it
was a small hand-out to stop them asking for more and
that is what is so dangerous, so why is it so dangerous? First of all, reinforcing a
stereotype because it creates a division between what
is women’s power and what is men’s power. Women’s power is caring, is
looking after people, it’s being the mother of the household. Men’s power is authority,
is decisive, is leadership. Women’s power is given and
men’s power is deserved. That is the dichotomy
we create when we focus solely upon these legislative
handouts and never focus of true like ire upon the actual people who hold that power. Who we just ask them like,
“Oh, please, sir, can I have “some more?” Rather than actually demanding
and saying, “You shouldn’t “be there in the first place,
you are here for the wrong “reasons, you are only
here because you are a man, “you are not here because
you are of high quality.” Yep, go ahead. – Yes, so in the U.K. hold on
a moment, yeah, in the U.K. they’ve implemented maternal
and paternal leave, doesn’t that actually work toward
shifting the societal values away from traditional gender
roles by stating that men and women can both play equal
parts in child care? – Oh, yeah, it does something,
but at the point at which a man’s wage is still worth
so much more than a woman’s wage, he still has the incentive
to get back to work quicker than she does, it only ever goes so far. It is never true equity,
so this just continues our expectations of what women do,
it continues that tyranny of expectation that lack of
aspiration that Chessy was talking about, it lets the
stereotypes fester because we never challenge the underlying
norms which constrict our societies and hurt our men and our women, all genders within society, no thank you. We never really challenge
that power, we just let people assume that they deserve to
be there in the first place. Before I continue though, go on. – Oh, thank you, so, oh God,
so when you talk about Africa though, is it not true that
at the very least the role of women has moved to
homemaker to legislature. – Yeah but legislator only
for certain issues, this is the point, right? You give them small
amounts of power but there is no way to upgrade that
small amount of power to real, true emancipation
without a radical change which moves way beyond the
legislative moves that you’re talking about, secondly then,
why do we then provide real change with our side of the
house and why does this preclude real change when we take your approach? Because Chessy points out, right? That political capital, that
ability to affect political change is in some way
finite, you can’t really quantify it, you can’t put a number on it, but it does run out, right? You can see this, for
example, with Native American people or for First Nations,
when people talk about affirmative action programs,
they go, “Oh, well, but “they already get tax breaks,
they already get land, “they already get welfare,
why do we have to give them “this other thing?” People get bored of trying to
keep giving things to people when they’re just constantly
asked for another piece of legislation to help someone
out, after a while they just get fatigued, after a while
people like me, white men, start to say, “You’ve had
enough,” start to say that we’ve got tired of giving you
more, this is what happened in Rwanda when we had
women’s quotas in government, they just stopped giving
them the real jobs. It means we have to be really
careful about the policies that we do choose, because
if we hit that point of fatigue, if we slow down
the rate of progress, we are precluding the rights of women
from our political discourse, we are harming the ability
of women to really move on. Why is this true? Because real power still sits
with people who look like me. Look, I am not as clever as
Chessy, but I am more likely to get hired in a job, I am much
more likely to get promoted, and I’m a damn sightly more
likely to get elected to public office just because of my
gender, that is ridiculous. Why is this so important? Because people start to look
for people who look like them, over and over and over again,
white men will just choose other white men to
surround themselves with. This means that there is never
real power given to women, they are hived off and
put in another department. All you’re doing when you’re
asking for that legislative change is not challenging
those underlying stereotypes, is not challenging those
underlying prejudices but just asking the master to give up their power. It is asking the rich
to give up their money. Asking men to enact
weak policies for women. That is no form of justice,
ladies and gentlemen, that is just charity, that
is maintaining the systems of power which we still have,
that is maintaining those inequalities and saying that
they are in some way justified but isn’t nice when men
to do something for women? That is not the narrative
that we should have. This should not be questions
of handouts but questions of overall rebellion, a
question of overall, groundswell which says men don’t deserve
to be in those places in the first place and that
we need a radical change. Legislative change preclude
us from doing that, they stop us from doing that,
and they harm the political discourse, for all these
reasons, I’m so incredibly proud to oppose. (audience applauding) – [Voiceover] That brings
us to the closing arguments portion of our debate, we’ll
hear first from the opposition. And did we talk about whether
or not points of information are allowed in the
closing arguments, Luis? No points of information,
so it is all protected time. Chessy you have a four minutes. – Four. – Chessy has it. – It is true that is has got
better over the last 90 years for women, we have been
granted some wins, but let’s look at what the rest of
humanity, or the men, got to do in those last 90 years. You guys literally put a man
on the moon, they didn’t go from a bad car that’s name
I can’t remember, to a Honda Civic, they went from a bad
car whose name I can’t remember to an actual rocket ship, right? You guys did that. You guys took the title of
world superpower off the Brits, who had not been doing
a very good job of it. And also, you invented the iPhone, right? These are all like monumental
societal changes and we’re supposed to be feeling like
legislation has won by creating a few changes when we still
can’t get protection for one in seven women will be sexually
assaulted in their time on college campuses, we still
can’t get a woman in the Oval Office and we still can’t
close the kinds of employment gaps that Matt spoke to you
about, that mean that regardless of which one of us is more
qualified, he’s more likely to end up being my boss than I am his. That change is happening
and it is getting better but the case that we’ve brought
to you from our side is that particularly from the current
position that we are in now, where we achieved some of
the easy wins that these guys talked to you about, the ones
that are palatable and easy enough to sell, the kinds
of legis- those kinds of legislative change are
stopping the actual work that we need to be doing in order
to achieve gender equity, they are meaning that we hit
a limit, it means that we are not getting the enormous
radical change that we need across all of our society
and the reasons that we’ve presented to you for
why this happens, right? The first one is the stuff
that I looked at on resistance and backlash, and the idea
that there are whole groups in society who don’t quite
get why we might need more when we’ve already been
given something and also the kinds of people who will talk about women being given the vote. Nobody gave white men the vote. They just deserved it, they
just had it, but women were given the vote, and African
Americans were given the vote, right? That’s the narrative that we
use to talk to it about and the kinds of people who are going
to backlash against more legislative change, who are
gonna say, “You’ve already had “these things, we’ve already
granted you these things, “why are you asking for more?” When there is this enormous
other world of problems that they are not even considering. Also the kinds of legislative
change we get are incredibly tokenistic, they often reinforce
gender roles, like, yes, we do have paternity leave
in the U.K., but it’s shorter than you can get paid maternity leave for. There is no good reason for
that if you’re saying that you want a policy that means
that both men and women should engage in parenting
because it is not a woman’s role, that it should
be equal but it’s not. Nobody reported on that, nobody
talked about that because they felt like they’d won
at least something in this discussion, that legislative
change meant that the issue fatigue that Matt talked to
you about, that kicked in, it’s genuine evidence that
once some legislative change is granted, we stop noticing
that even the stuff that we got wasn’t equal and there
is so much more that is left to do, why is that? It’s because, as Matt points
out, he as sort of a white man, he probably just doesn’t know
and is less likely to care through that lack of knowledge
about the kinds of things that I spoke to you about in
my speech, is the fact that sort of my male colleagues
in university are genuinely shocked when they sort of
realize the amount of pressure that there is upon women to
dress a certain way, to look a certain way, to behave a
certain way in all situations. It’s a thing that the people
in the corridors of power don’t notice and don’t know about. It is clamored for and a
little legislative change might happen, but it’s not the right
legislative change and it’s not ultimately a change that
is going to give us a radical overhaul of the way we think
about gender, the way we talk about gender, and
importantly, the way we talk to each other about gender, which
is the only way that we’re going to escape from those
roles that mean we are just don’t have gender equity in
this country or in our country or in anywhere else across the world. (audience applauding) – [Filipp] Before Stephen goes
up I’d just like to ask one question to the A.S. Board,
to those folks in the front, am I allowed to keep this? – [‘Voicoever] Yes. – Thank you. – [Voiceover] Please, do so. – It’s not water. – [Voiceover] We now move
onto the last speech of our debate, the leader
of the proposition or the government leader, you
have up to five minutes. – So I think that there’s
kind of been a fundamental misunderstanding here today
that the legislative change or that there’s been some
sort of straw man here that the legislative change that’s
occurred so far is the only legislative change that’s going to happen. Now, side opp over here has
given all of these examples of inequity in today’s
society, we never claimed that there isn’t inequity, we’ve
claimed that there was more, it is solved and through even
more legislation, even more progress will be made, we
started with the Nova, we have the Civic and we’ll move to
the Rolls Royce and that’s the whole idea behind this. Now, side opp has again
brought up that this that legislation removes the
ability to talk about these types of issues, I believe
that legislation is the way we talk about these issues,
this is the government taking a firm stance and
saying not that we are giving the women the right
to vote, the law doesn’t say what you are given, it
says what you deserve. Everyone deserves equal
protection under the law, the 19th Amendment states
not that women were given the vote but rather, that
women deserve the vote, it’s a change in societal
understanding and the way that we express this change is through the law. Society says that murder is
wrong, laws against murder are an expression of societal
views and they can change societal views and that’s
the entire idea behind the proposition’s case. First of all, in some of the
examples that have been made by the proposition, now
they’ve stated some facts about the moon landing while
women were still were making progress in certain other fields,
they, of course, neglected to mention that the chief
software engineer that made the entire moon landing
possible was female. They also have stated that
we still can’t fix many of these issues, we can’t fix the
issue of the way that women are presented in gender roles
in society, we can’t fix this issue, we can’t fix that issue,
but the whole overarching principle is that it’s not
that we can’t fix the issue, it’s that the issue exists
and we haven’t fixed it yet. There is more that needs
to be done and that’s done through legislation, we can
fix these issues, we can fix that unequal
representation, we can encourage through legislation women
to get into stem fields and participate equally,
these are all things that are encouraged through
legislation and these are all things that are shown in our
society through legislation. If this is what society
believes, or this is what society should believe, then that is
dictated through legislation. Legislation shows this change. Now moving on to the third
point, that that legislation is a form of hand-out. Legislation isn’t a form of
hand-out, legislation especially legislation that corrects
something that is wrong in the past says, “Oh, boy, we really
messed up, maybe we should “change our views on something.” These aren’t hand-outs and
these aren’t rights being given away, these are things
that should be different and then they’re being
changed to be the way that they should be. It’s not a matter of handing
something to someone, it’s a matter of saying
this is what you deserved, we’re sorry for not giving
this to you earlier. Now on the original point
of limits on legislative progress, the limits that
have been presented by the opposition here are
pretty much limits that only currently exist, in fact,
they’ve brought up many points such as disparity in Rwanda,
disparity in all these other countries, however, in these
countries, progress is still being made, in fact, in
Rwanda, currently, under the He for She Act of the U.N.,
Rwanda is currently making progress towards more equitable
representation, towards better legislative representation
and removing the gap that was originally described. Do these gaps exist? Yes. Does sexism still exist in society? Yes, absolutely, but the thing
is that there is progress that is capable of being made. We’ve demonstrated that
through historical examples by showing how position
has improved so far. We’ve demonstrated that by
showing current examples by showing how these current
examples are going to lead to even further
improvement and eventually even more further legislation
is going to lead to that Rolls Royce. The whole idea behind this
that it’s not, there’s never going to be this radical
change, the radical change that side opp has brought up,
isn’t really going to happen, it hasn’t happened so far
and it’s probably not going to happen in the future,
these types of radical change have almost never happened
at all throughout history, the only way we can do this
and the most effective way we can do this is not by
shooting the elephant and trying to eat it all in one bite,
it’s going to lead to backlash and it’s not the most
guaranteed effective solution to the problem, the best way
to eat the elephant is one bite at a time, and one
bite at a time does mean legislation, if we enact
this legislation we move from step, to step, to step and
eventually there’s going to be no need for this legislation
because of attitudinal shifts that result from this,
basically the law speaks to what societies values are, and
when societies values reflect the law, then the law
become no longer necessary. The whole idea of this is
that someday these laws are going to become redundant
and the only way we can do that is by enacting these
strong types of legislation. Thank you. (audience applauding) – [Voiceover] All right, get
out your devices and whoever can connect to the internet
we’d like to do an audience poll right now. – [Voiceover] So in a second
the directions are gonna come up there, I think they’re pulling them up. Okay, as we’re pulling up,
so hang on, don’t vote yet. My name is Luis Andrade
I am co-director along with Nate Brown of the
Debate Team here so this is, you know, what we work
with, these incredible minds. Before you vote, a couple
of things that I would like to share is and this is something
that I share with judges whenever we have
tournaments, whenever you are making a decision, try to
put your personal beliefs aside, right, if you were very
neutral critics at a court room, if you were a jury,
right, and evaluating not only the delivery but a lot of the
content that was presented for you, who do you think
made the best debating? Or engaged in the best debating? So the directions are up
there, if you text the numbers, actually, if you text those
numbers to 22333, one person just voted, so… (audience laughing) – so this is– – So that’s the end of the poll, right? – all going to be real
time, it’s gonna tell us who is voting so if you can
text the number, now don’t be biased, just because
we’re in Santa Monica. – [Voiceover] Which one is SMC? – So, so, I think it’s
covered right now but… – [Voiceover] We can’t
see the numbers anymore. – Up in the back? Can you pull up the numbers again? – [Voiceover] All right. – It’s still, so you can
see Santa Monica’s numbers. (audience laughing) – You should put in that number. – [Filipp] Wait, Luis,
can we vote for ourselves? – [Voiceover] Yes. – [Andrade] You can
vote for yourself, yeah. – [Voiceover] I don’t
know what my number is? – [Filipp] I mean, comparatively… – Can you scroll towards the left? – …we got an F ’cause
that’s 39% and they got like a D+ so I think. – Okay, for those of you
that voted for the British you should have like a little text. One of you? Oh, there’s the number, yeah. – Can we just taper that
down, I really like where it is right now. – It’s a tie, it’s 50-50. – [Voiceover] The British Team is 283560. – 28? – [Voiceover] 3560 – 3580 – [Voiceover] No, 60. – 60 Oh, it’s no longer accepting,
I don’t know why it did that, it technically should be. – People in the just got that text. – Yeah. – [Voiceover] Matthew,
how many times you votin’ over there? – [Andrade] Well, it just
so happens that everyone voted and it’s 50/50 so,
no, I think, I don’t know, the software might have
not allowed more than… – [Voiceover] We’ll have
to settle the tie-breaker by height, line up please. – Okay, that’s not fair, no
that’s not, no, fine, fine. – [Voiceover] All right, that’s it? That’s it? – [Andrade] Well the goal was
to really to show a winner, but it’s okay, it
shouldn’t have been a tie. – [Voiceover] You want
votes from the audience? – [Andrade] That’s okay. – [Voiceover] Yes, let’s
go ahead and take questions from the audience about
the debate, about debate in general, from either
team, anything you’d like. Luis, would you take care of this please? – [Andrade] I’ll run around. Exercise. – [Voiceover] Thank you,
first I really want to thank you all very much, this
is a very important issue, especially the girl over
there, so much passion, I really love it, thank you. But, but, it really, I’m
considering here, well, here’s my question, is this
really done for the class? Is this really done as an
assignment or are we trying to make the change here? And, you don’t have to
answer, something I want you to think about when you
go home because we have come to the point where we
need to make that change and it has, it’s really
more than just an argument. Now the system, it seems like,
is getting us to think and we’ve been thinking for so
long, for so long, what we need is to tap into emotions
and feelings and that’s what women have, we, as
men, have been ignoring that for so long, killing
women and not seeing the value they offer on the table. Now my friend here, on
this side, spoke about the government and the law,
um, as a system you know, a future investment and if
the values appear then the system will not be any longer necessary. That’s pretty contradictory,
if the law is here to stay then it’s here to stay and
it’s not taking women’s, what they can really offer
on the table, there is a big change to make and I hope
we can make it through a different system than just
this, which, this is, this is, important, this brings out
a lot of issues on the table so I learned so much, but
there has got to be a different way to tapping into what women can offer. Thank you very much. (audience applauding) – Yes, can I respond to that? – [Voiceover] Yes, please. – Yeah, I’d like to respond. – Yeah, so you guys can
probably tell this is like something that is
incredibly important to me, anybody who felt moved by
any of the stuff that any of us guys said, do think
about what you can do in your life and whether that
is noticing that particularly if you’re a guy and you’re
like mentoring people academically or professionally,
make sure that 50% of those are women, are more
than 50% of those are women. If you’re a woman in a position
of responsibility, realize that young women are looking
to you and they want you to be encouraging and they
want you to give them support and advice that you needed
when you were in that position. If you can volunteer at women’s
crisis centers or like any of these things, there are a
million things, the internet is full of suggestions, not all
of them pleasant, but most of them are, so, yeah, that’s
kind of my response to that, don’t just have enjoyed this
and do nothing about your life. Find a change to make. (audience applauding) – [Voiceover] I have one
more question and this is regarding the same subject
so, Chessy, seeing that 25% of the debate right
now is composed of one woman, and the majority
of it is 75% men, do you see sexism in the debate
community and, if so, how can we change it? And men how can you help
change the demographics in debate ’cause I’ve been
in debate and usually you see more men than women,
and you see more men winning debate rounds
in competitive debate so what do you think, men
and women can do to change the demographics of the activity? – I’ll do women and then
let one of these guys talk about what men can do in
debating to help women, so firstly obviously, small
sample size so perhaps totally not representative,
the thing that we sort of focus on a lot in the U.K.
circuit is we’ve started to have women’s tournaments
and they’re for women only judges and women
only speakers, and we tend to use them particularly
as a development tournament because occasionally and
increasingly rarely there is sexism at debating tournaments
and that can really put off younger women who
are coming to their first tournament and if you get a
piece of feedback that tells you that you are “a bit
shrill” or something like that it just can be really, really
off-putting for women to sort of have those very gendered
comments, so one thing I’ve been involved in massively in
the U.K. circuit is getting involved in women’s only
tournaments but also asking women that I see in my own
society or in other debating societies, if they want to
go to a tournament with me because I’ve been doing this
like three and a half years now and if somebody gives
me a sexist comment in feedback I’m gonna do
something reasonable and proportional in response. (laughing) And I can fight that fight
and sort of be there because I’ve got confidence in my own
speaking ability so I think the big thing for women in
debating is to like look out for other women in debating,
call out sexism when you see it and you feel comfortable
and make sure that it’s as inviting a place as possible. I don’t know if you guys
have got stuff to add. Yeah. – So I did a lot of coaching
and training when I was in obviously still here, but
also in the U.K. as well, I coached a school’s team
but also was the training officer at my university,
and while I was coaching that school’s team, you know,
making sure that I had high number of young women
in that school’s team, like going through the
trials process and then also making sure that you like
make sure every single time anyone of any of the
guys in the class made any comment that could be off
putting, like making sure you just jump on that. Similarly, with training at
university I organized all women’s training session,
obviously, not one that I ran, ’cause that would
then completely defeat the purpose, but getting in a
female debater that I knew from the University of
Cambridge, who’s absolutely fantastic to run that session,
was something that was really good. I think also, in a social
sphere, if we recognize that the way that men oppress women
is often through like these micro-aggressions through
off-hand comments, just to like look at people, the
way they interact with them, it’s then your job as a feminist
man at socials, not just at the tournament itself, to
just call those out, to always be making sure that if you
see someone doing that you go up to them and be like,
“Look, that’s just not okay, “you can’t do that in this
community, I’m not happy with “the way you’re treating my
friend, I’m not happy with the “way you’re treating my
colleague here,” and I think just being aware about this
micro-aggression and being willing to just stand up and
be like, “No, no, I’m not going “to have that here,” it’s
something that we need to be aware of. (audience applauding) – I was not ready for this. – [Voiceover] This question’s
to the opposition, do you guys really think that
legislation isn’t helpful in terms of trying to get gender equity? – Definitely, no legislation
is obviously incredibly helpful in terms of getting gender equity, the– (audience laughing and applauding) – I think so debating, those
who were in the class earlier have all remembered me saying,
“It’s all about trying to “find a part of one side of
the debate that you can agree “with,” because whilst obviously
these guys are absolutely correct that legislation has
been incredibly important and will continue to be
incredibly important. Something I genuinely believe
is that legislation can never be part of the story,
or, rather, the whole part of the story, that there
must be other bits and that also that legislation
very often does look in the way that we described it, right? It does look like white men
handing out consolation prizes to people, and that we
need to sometimes have had some more radical discussion
about this, more radical discussion will make a lot
of people upset but it’s one that we need to have if
we’re going to have proper gender equity, so of course
legislation is important but I think I am relatively
consistent with my side in saying that I don’t think
it’s the whole story. (audience applauding) – [Voiceover] This question
is for the British Team or anyone actually, do you
think that equality will get to a point where it’ll
be inequality for men or do you think that’ll just
stop and it’ll be 50-50? – Do you guys want to answer? – Well, I mean, we’re not
really British so that kind of disqualifies us from the
first part of that question I think I’ll let Chessy have
a go, just, well, I mean I’m Russian to be perfectly honest with you. I’m gonna give this back. – No, I think that in general kind of the stuff that we talked about,
about the people in power being quite good at
holding on to power means that it’s going to take us
a really long time to get to 50-50 but also I think that
in general, communities who remember that they have been
oppressed purely on the basis of their gender might do a
decent job, or a lot better job than somebody who’s never
been oppressed on the basis of their gender at
remembering what that is like, I can never envision a world
in which we have trapped men in the home and stopped
giving them an education and not allowed them
to drive cars or vote, just not gonna happen. (audience applauding) – [Voiceover] Just one quick
question as Chessy said about the gender equality
stuff, as you just said you know, you’re you know, experienced the female only, like the debate
tournament I just have a feeling like how everybody,
you know, here like if a debate tournament was
for male only how people would think about that
situation, so I think you just for me, it’s like oops,
males only is kind of sexist, you know, for me, that’s how
I feel about it as you bring out a point I just have to
question how is just femalism really changed our perspective
of seeing like this, you know, gender stuff, you know. – So this was when about
five years ago, Oxford set up the first women’s only debating
competition in the U.K. was a criticism that was
sort of lobbied at us was the idea that you know, you’re
saying that women need their own competition, you’re
excluding men, sort of these kinds of arguments, I think,
it’s firstly very different the idea of a male only
debating competition because places in which men’s voices
are privileged over women’s exist in literally the rest
of society, so it’s probably okay, and we’re probably not
even getting close to doing 50% of the talking in sort
of academic and public spaces even if we have 10 female
only competitions every year. But on the stuff about making
women feel separate and I think that’s the much more
valid criticism, I think for me as long as the tournament
itself is carefully considering why it exists, and making sure
that it is following through on the promises that it
makes to people so we hold a discussion at Oxford Women’s
every year where we talk about what we think are
the barriers to women in debating, do we think those
barriers exist once they’re in debating, do those
barriers exist because they’ve never come to a debate
meeting and never get involved our debating societies and
as long as each competition is working out, why it’s
there and what problem it’s trying to solve, I think it’s
then very clear that it’s not just, “Oh, women need
some help,” but it is rather women face this specific
issue and we are tackling it in this specific way at this
specific tournament so that’s kind of I think my response to those sorts of valid criticisms. (audience applauding) – [Voiceover] First of all I’d
like to say that the points both made are incredible
and I think a lot of us are gonna take with us in our daily lives but what I would like to ask
was would you agree that I didn’t feel like you guys
were really were on opposite sides sometimes, I feel like
legislature is the first step and you’re absolutely
correct, it doesn’t fix everything, the bigger
question is social change, however, I would like to
ask you how would you, how would you suggest that
we go on and, you know, supplement legislation with,
you know, what you believe to be the more important
issue of social change, from a, you know, micro-social
level because obviously it takes a village but I think
the social change is only gonna happen, you know, in
a very gradual, you know, way which is what they were
saying, but I guess more importantly is like do you
feel like it’s not possible to have equity of gender
through legislature only or do you think it’s gonna
be a mixture of both? – Cool, so, debating by it’s
very nature is kind of about trying to carve dichotomies
out of areas of policy which are never dichotomies in
and of themselves so we just kind of create this fake like
to and fro between legislation on one side and broader
social movements on the other, obviously any successful
policy is going to have both. The question I guess perhaps
can be which one comes first, which one sort of
suscitates or creates that change, is it legislation which
creates social change or is it social change that then
creates legislation? I think that was kind of the
way we were trying to get the debate to go but
unfortunately like topics as broad as gender equity are
very, very difficult to solve easily, when it comes to like
micro-society things that I think we should do, I mean,
obviously, like I talked about debating competitions you
know, it’s just calling it out when it happens, for me
personally like, debating has been a very useful experience,
it isn’t just talking about things like, you know, wholly
philosophical or theoretical level, but things I had
internalized from my own life, the way that I talk to my
sister has changed because of the debates I have on feminism. The way that I talk to her
about her aspirations has changed because of the way,
of the things I’ve talked about here, the way I talk
to my mom, the way I view my mother’s achievements
has changed because of feminism, I think it’s those
like micro-changes that we can make that are really,
really important, it’s one of those big feminist phrases, right? That the private is political
and you’re absolutely right that we all need to be
changing every single thing we do in our lives and be
always aware that the world that women live in is so
incredibly different from the world that men live in, the fact that
when I walk down the street late at night, and there’s a
woman in front of me, sometimes she will cross the road, right? That feels really strange for
me because I don’t see myself as like a violent or a nasty
person but that happened to me when I was first year at
university and I thought, “Okay, “right if I’m now walking on
a dark street, a woman looks “back to see me, I’m now
gonna cross the road for her “because rather than making
her cross the road, I’ll just “do it, that just seems
like an easier thing to do.” And that’s just being aware
or trying to put yourself in their headspace, trying
to understand what it might be like, you can never fully
imagine it, but just try it and then changing your
attitude and behavior because of it I think is a good first step. Is that, if that’s an answer. – [Voiceover] Thanks a lot. (audience applauding) – [Voiceover] Thank you, I think
everyone will agree with me that the four of you have given
us a terrific morning today, it was wonderfully stimulating,
so thanks to all four of you, we teachers do
somethings occasionally right. I have two questions really,
one is how do you define equity, is it synonymous
with equality or is there a distinction? And the second is, is
gender a biological fact or a social and cultural construct? Thank you. – Yeah, but you guys answer. – There you go. – Yeah, yeah, I’ll do it. – Okay, yeah. – So there is a bit of a
distinction between equality and equity, equity refers to fair
treatment, equality refers to perfectly even treatment
and I think it’s a very important distinction in
word choice in this debate so equality really can’t be
achieved just due to biological differences between men and
women, but fair treatment based on the criteria that we
gave, I believe we boiled it down to equal treatment,
opportunity, and rights so it’s fair treatment under the law
as opposed to saying everything should be split down the middle 50-50. So it’s more of adapting to the
differences between genders, and then using that to a create
fair and equitable treatment in terms of opportunity,
rights and, you know, yeah, so, basically it’s those three
things but it’s equitable treatment in that it’s fair
and not that it has to be necessarily even or equal. – And I guess, Chancellor,
your second question where’d you go? Oh, hi, hi, all right, so in
regards to that second one, just based on the historical
origins of the word you’re asking about, yes, the two
tend to be confused and it often is assumed to be
biological but based on the sociological definition, it
isn’t necessarily biological and in many cases, it isn’t. Most teachers here have made
that distinction that the biological sense of the
word is called sex and then what you’re referring to is
the other word, it’s gender, so there is a distinction
between the two and some people don’t think there is a distinction,
some people think there is one, it’s contested in
some areas, probably not at Santa Monica College, and
probably not in California, but there is some dispute,
that being said, sorry that took way too many, too
much time out of your life but there you go. – [Voiceover] Okay, thank
you very much everybody. (audience applauding) All right, let me conclude by
saying this was really very good, I liked this a lot, a
lot of people in this room helped make it happen. Some people traveled very
far to help make this happen. I want to say that the Santa
Monica College Speech and Debate Team needs a few things,
we need highly motivated and skilled students who want
to join and compete in debates just like this, we need faculty
members who might want to help assist coach, even if it’s
just for one day and we need those of you who have a lot
of money to give it to us. (laughing) Because we have big plans
that far exceed our budget and so don’t be afraid to do
any one of those three things, money can be first. Thank you very much everybody! Have a nice day! (audience applauding) Awesome.

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