Motion: Modern feminism in western countries is not about equality

Group 4 – 1IBM4

Chairperson: Oliver Schmelt

Team FOR: David Haken, Ivan Tsjarachtsants and Nick Spanjer

Team AGAINST: Finn Widmann and Joey Agterberg





Olivier Schmeltz

In this blog the following motion, ‘Modern feminism, in western countries,  is not about equality’, is being discussed.
According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary feminism is defined as:
  1. the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes
  2. organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests
Feminism has its roots in ancient Greece, but most people recognize the three waves of feminism when relating to the movement feminism. The third wave being the one in which we live at the moment.

The first wave is dated from the 1830s to the early 19th century in which women were fighting for equal contract and property rights. Most specifically they were fighting for the right to vote and therefore influence political decisions. The political agenda at the time concerned sexual, reproductive and economic issues. These were the first advances within the community, whilst planting the seed that women have the potential to contribute as much if not more to community. The first wave ended with the women gaining the right to vote in the USA in 1920.

The second wave has its roots in the second world war, in which women started to work in factories. When the war was over women were expected to go back to the domestic lifestyle, which many college educated women were extremely satisfied with the limited career options they were now facing. Therefore the second wave mainly concentrated on creating political, educational and economic opportunities. During the second period  it was perceived that women had met their equality goals with the exception of the failure of the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment.

The third wave starts in the 1990s and continues to go on to the present. Third-wave feminism distinguished itself from the second wave around issues of sexuality, challenging female heterosexuality and celebrating sexuality as a means of female empowerment. The word feminist is being reviewed less critically by the female population due to varying feminist movement groups, unlike in former waves. Today feminism can be linked to various groups fighting for different rights or goals. The main issues in the present continue to be the pay gap between male and female and also reproductive rights.
Modern feminism by some is seen as a fight, fought by women, to gain equal, and some people might agree, more rights in some areas than men. Others clearly take the other position in this motion and state that modern feminism is about equality and not about taking over the world from men. Emma Watson, one of the generations newest faces of feminism captured everyone’s attention with her speech in front of the UN whilst launching a new campaign for gender equality in which she reminded that feminism is not just a fight for women. It is for men to join as well.

Below, parties from both sides of the motion will share a brief statement on the topic and explain briefly why they support the certain side of the motion:


Modern feminism, in western countries, is not about equality.

T. (n.d.). 10 TED Talks on feminism. Retrieved May 16, 2017, from


Alibhai-Brown, Y. (2016, October 13). Feminism: A Work in Progress. Retrieved May 16, 2017, from



Dorey-Stein, C., & About Caroline Dorey-Stein. (2015, September 24). A Brief History: The Three Waves of Feminism. Retrieved May 16, 2017, from


Sherine, A. (2017, January 19). Dawn Foster Interview: Equality, Misogyny and Leaning Out. Retrieved May 16, 2017, from


Two feminists criticize modern feminism. (2017, May 09). Retrieved May 16, 2017, from


FOR the motion:


Ivan Tsjarachtsants

Are Men’s privileges actual privileges?

Men have according to feminist much more privileges only because of their gender (not because of the actual work they do).

However when you look at the numbers of deaths serving the nation 98% as stated in the American War and Military Operations Casualties report by the CRS (DeBruyne, 2017)

Are male and workplace fatalities 80% are also male according to the American Bureau of Labor (BLS, 2015) statistics these numbers show that males are more represented in the hard and dangerous jobs (at least in the USA)

While this may show that the males may have privileges over women in doing the physically intensive jobs, but is this a privilege though?

If you look at numbers in families/household cases they all suggest that females have priority over their male counterparts; women are more likely to file for divorce with a mind boggling 80% of the divorces being initiated by women shown by an NHCS study (Uplifting love, 2013), not only this but according to a report by the US Census Bureau women also win 80% of the times the custody over the children. (Grall, 2013)

But what about work, males have privilege over girls in that sense right? Well, figures compiled by the press association show that females earn 1.111 pounds more per year than their male counterparts between the ages of 22-29, only afterwards the gap in earnings are reversed. (Press Association, 2015) ← the reason for this could be children around the age of 30 most women get their first kids and will have less time to work (if they choose to put their children first)

This shows that privileges do not really exist, males are physically stronger than females and therefore capable to do harder work. Women are free to choose their own path, some will rather be with their kids than work full time and this could impact their income.


BLS. (2015, 4). Revisions to the 2013 census of fatal occupational injuries counts. Retrieved 5 13, 2017, from BLS:

DeBruyne, N. F. (2017, 4 26). American War and Military Operations Casualties: lists and Statistics. Retrieved 5 13, 2017, from CRS:

Grall, T. (2013, 10). Custodial Mothers and Fathers and Their Child Support: 2011. Retrieved 5 13, 2017, from census:

Press Association. (2015, 8 29). Women in their 20s earn more than men of same age, study finds. Retrieved 58 13, 2017, from theguardian:

Uplifting love. (2013, 8 16). 80 percent of divorces are filed by women. Retrieved 5 13, 2017, from Uplifting love:


David Haken

Why should I deny this motion? Because modern feminism is a war against young boys. Feminist are fighting against the privileges and benefits of boys in school.  “Schools shortchange girls,” declares the American Association of University Women. Girls are “undergoing a kind of psychological foot-binding,” two prominent educational psychologists say.

Is that fair? Facts show that boys are on the weak side of the education gender gap. Girls are more successful in schools. They have better notes, they have a better motivation and they follow more rigorous programs.




Nick Spanjer

Modern feminists are still ranting about women getting paid a lower percentage of wage compared to males.

The gender wage gap is calculated by comparing the average incomes of all males to the incomes of all females. This method of calculating the differences show that women earn 79% of what men earn. This however leaves out the factors of Education, hours worked per week, position etc. If you include the fact that women often choose careers that pay much less per hour than what males choose, this number shrinks massively to roughly 5%. The U.S department of labor concluded in 2009 that the wage gap is almost entirely the result of individual career choices. But also, women are more inclined to work part-time. They leave the labor forces for child birth, child care and elder care. choices Lastly, they also tend to pick family friendly workplace policies. All of these facts named above are personal choices by women. The Georgetown university in America found out that 4 out of the 5 most paid college majors are dominated by males. The top 5 least paid college majors are dominated by females. With dominated I mean percentages of higher than 70%.

If you want women to earn more, you will have to force them to choose other career paths.


(sd). An Analysis of Reasons for the Disparity. Department of Labor. CONSAD Research Corp. Retrieved on 5 16, 2017, from

Reports & media. (n.d.). Retrieved May 16, 2017, from

PolitiFact Sheet: The Gender Pay Gap. (n.d.). Retrieved May 16, 2017, from

Horwitz, S. (2017, March 30). Truth and Myth on the Gender Pay Gap | Steven Horwitz. Retrieved May 16, 2017, from





AGAINST the motion:

Finn Widmann

I am for the motion that modern feminism is still about equality.
Feminism is such a controversial topic in the modern-day era. Why is that? Well, because there are still so many misconceptions about what feminism really is. You hear the other side arguing, “Feminists hate men!”, “Feminists want to become superior to men!”. This is not true at all. Feminists did not, nor do they want to become superior to men. All they want is equality. Feminists have fathers, brothers, or sons. Why would they hate on their own family? The feministic viewpoint is: “Don’t hate the players, hate the game.” What feminists want, is to educate people and try to call them out on their sexist viewpoints. This would be unachievable, with a man hating standpoint. Because we must work together and not against each other. Are people, who are against racism, against white people? Of course not. So, why should feminists, who are for equal rights be against men?

When we look at the pay gap, we can all see there is injustice going on. In Germany, the difference between what a man and a woman earns for the exact same job is at 21 %. In the Netherlands, it is at 23,6 %. And in the United States women employed full-time, lose a combined total of $840 billion a year, due to this pay gap. This gap exists regardless of the occupation, educational level, and industry. Those numbers and figures can be derived from the Federal Statistical Office of Germany, the European Institute for gender Equality and the organization of national partnership for women and families.
Until this day, there is still a serious justification of that missing, without mentioning maternity leave, lower intelligence, or being weaker than men.

This is exactly what modern feminists are still fighting. They still fight for the same reasons as Susan B. Anthony, Coretta Scott King or Gloria Steinem. Just because women are now allowed to vote, they should be satisfied with it?
No, there is still too much to fight for.


Alksnis, C., Desmarais, S., & Curtis, J. (2008). Workforce segregation and the gender wage gap: Is “women’s” work valued as highly as “men’s”? Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 38, 1416–1441.


Joey Agterberg

There are multiple facts that show the struggle of women in the current day society which therefore forces current day feminists to react so radically (Gadiesh & Coffman, 2010). In a highly developed society such as the UK you would not expect that 40 per cent of all UK women have experienced   physical or sexual violence since they were 15-years-old (FRA, 2014). Even worse, statistic of the  European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights show that 62 million women in Europe have been subject to violence in Europe (FRA, 2014).

These numbers show that awareness does have to be raised in order to show the severity of the situation. Research done in Britain by yougov shows that 53% of the population in Britain still think there is a need for feminism (Dahlgreen, 2015). Regarding these figures It is only natural to try to change an undesirable situation even though sometimes the movement could be radical this could also be a way to draw more attention to the subject.


Dahlgreen, W. (2015, November 9). We still need feminism, just don’t call us feminists.

FRA. (2014). Violence against women: an EU-wide survey. Luxembourg.

Gadiesh, O., & Coffman, J. (2010, Febuary 5). Why Workplace Equality Initiatives Aren’t Helping Women.