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Feminism

A Feminism K attempts to focus on the patriarchy. The patriarchy is “a present day unjust social system that subordinates, discriminates, or is oppressive
to women.” 4
 Over time, this definition has expanded from being a system that only oppresses women to a system that prioritizes masculinity to the detriment of everyone else. This affects women, it affects men who do not meet expectations of what it means to be a ‘man,’ and it also affects people who do not ascribe to either being a man or a woman. As a result, this K criticizes this institution and argues that we must do everything in our power to resist it. This K can be used to shed light on a variety of issues. Sometimes, it might seem simple when it, for example, focuses on issues like wage gaps and lack of opportunities in fields of work. However, it can also be very nuanced and analytical. For example, it might argue that foreign policy decisions that obsess over war are masculine responses to problems. Instead, we should move toward a more caring approach to international issues. Regardless of its form, the thesis remains largely the same: the patriarchy prioritizes a harmful version of masculinity and it needs to be rejected.

Here’s an example of what the focal points of a debate involving the Afropess K on the negative could look like:

(Reminder: Link, impact, and alternative will be labeled in the examples with the following colors: link, impact, alternative.)

    1. Resolved: A just government ought to recognize an unconditional right of workers to strike.
    2. K’s Main Argument: The right to strike has been a crucial part of women’s ability to fight for better rights and compensation. Women work in fields where the right to strike is often under threat. Without the right to strike, women’s oppression increases through lesser pay and unfair working conditions. These women deserve to have their voices heard, and doing so allows for us to effectively challenge the patriarchy.
    3. Potential Negative Response: The right to strike puts the onus on the oppressed to advocate for change. The affirmative is forcing these women to risk their jobs and livelihood for respect. Governments should focus on mandating basic decency from employers instead of pushing the responsibility on workers. This blames women for not fighting hard enough if they fail and erasing the patriarchal role the government plays in their oppression.

4 Facio, Alda, and Michael Solis. “What Is Patriarchy.” Woman’s Human Rights Institute, 2013, www.learnwhr.org/wp-content/uploads/D-Facio-What-is-Patriarchy.pdf.