The Great Debate

on Wednesday, 20 January 2010
If you're not familiar with The Economist, here's a short review of it's content:

1) It's a magazine that focuses a lot on worldly issues that span from business, economics, social issues, and other important faculties like language, technology and sometimes popular culture.

2) The discussions in The Economist involve serious discussions which involves statistics, opinions, and factual reports about a certain discussion. i.e. The Nuclear Programme of Iran (which so happened was the debate before this current one)

Having said that, the current debate that is going on now is:

This house believes that women in the developed world have never had it so good.

First of all, it is important to inform you a little bit about the layout of this debate. They have tried to moderate this debate by having a moderator and electing 1 proposer for each side (defending and against). The live debate is extremely interesting with polls and posting opinions that are for or against the aforementioned people and their arguments towards the motion. Sometimes, the opinions are perpetually biased to one side to make the debate more engaging, whereas some of the opinions are just making general statements and feelings (the moderator mentioned about allowing people to express their emotions) when they read about this debate.

Personally, I'm particularly interested in talking about the phrase women in the developed world. That to me is already a subject of debate itself. Terry O' Neil as the leader of the opposition has made it clear of her interest in that clause as well. She mentioned that the women in developing countries are probably in dire situations and The Economist is in no way implying that they are only interested in women in the developed nations.

Really? Sure about it? I think there are 2 prongs to look at in this clause. Firstly, lets talk about what O' Neil mentioned in her short statement. Are people interested? Are people concerned? Are they going to debate about it? To me, there is very little known statistics of such undeveloped places. It is not really the matter of concern, it is the matter of procurement. Really, would a country who has problems with famine, corruption, or even civil war will have time and the energy to decide on gender issues? We are appalled by the situations that they are in while we're sitting at the comforts of our ventilated rooms with a desk and a laptop. We are disgusted by the fact that while we so ravenously despise and detest our education, our systems, while in some places, the only system is corruption, the only education is counting change. How do these people in such situations bother about gender issues? I find it impossible to debate about people from such places as though we understand them, and even have the faintest idea about them unless you're in that situation or have been in that situation long enough to say that you understand.
Secondly, the fact that they mention women in developed countries as though they can all be stratified into one category. Women in developed countries mean? They're all rich? They ALL have opportunities? They ALL are receiving or experiencing the same amount of economic problems? This is completely impossible to generalise if there is to be a proper debate. You could say that developed countries are more capable of taking care of their own people. I say, BAH! Developed countries like the U.S. are in debt. Even if they were not, the division of class is extremely dire due to the concept of it's economy. Let me make this clear by stating the opposite. What does it mean then by women of third world countries? They are suffering? Poor? Uneducated? Exploited? Really? Living in a third world country, I can almost guarantee you that in my country, women are not only climbing ladders, they are building whole new ones and scrambling up these women only ladders. It is impossible to then generalise women of the third world.

It is insulting to say that women of the third world are such and such. I know of a few women right here right now, sitting near me in my staffroom that if I even hint of such terms to them, they'll cut me open, and slice me into bite size chunks for their latest broth. We have come too far to talk about this. We have already advanced too much in literature and technology that we shouldn't be overgeneralising things like how we would have done it 30 years ago. If we really want to talk about women in such debates...

... you have to give them more credit.


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