The Society convened on February 9 for the fifth debate of the semester to examine the question Resolved: Women, not men, fare worse in modern romantic culture.
Ms. Mariele Marki and Mr. Michael Dittmer, making his induction, spoke on the affirmation. Mr. Constantine Petallides and Ms. Mary Beth Brosnihan, making her induction, spoke on the negation.
Mr. Dittmer began by establishing that “modern romantic culture” refers to anything relating to love and sexuality from the 1980s to the present and that to negate means to say that men fare worse, whereas those who think neither has it worse should abstain. He argued that women have it worse because they are categorized in a slut/virgin dichotomy, they suffer the majority of abuse in relationships, and they live in a world that sexualizes and objectifies women. After mentioning that the hookup culture is only a small part of modern romantic culture, Ms. Brosnihan declared that women hold all the cards including their ability to subconsciously recognize men’s facial features which indicate the likelihood of commitment, their newfound economic advantages, and their bodies’ production of oxytocin. Ms. Marki then used the evolution (or devolution) of dancing styles to show the declining respect for women. She brought in examples of the unhealthy lessons women are taught about relationships and themselves through Disney movies, the Twilight series, and Barbie dolls. She concluded that eventually, women often have to make a choice: career or family. Finally, Mr. Petallides spoke of the romantic life of the modern man. Using scientific studies, he showed that men actually fall harder and faster for women and depend more on their partners. In addition, he spoke of the forlorn end of unrealized romantic hopes, the land of “I love you…like a brother!” – the Friend Zone. Finally he ended by speaking about the not-so-romantic side of marriage that is divorce, alimony, and financial contests.
True to expectations, the floor speeches were entertaining, full of tales of romantic failures and stories about “friends” and “someone at this very university.” Ms. Castellanos began the night by arguing that if men are pigs, women are snakes because they are so highly critical of each other. On the negation, Mr. Manchester speculated, “Maybe everyone thinks I’m incapable of love,” before pledging his devotion to Ms. Green, getting himself fined $5 in the process. Julia Hubble (COL ’15) brought up the lesbian community on the affirmation, pointing out that very few lesbians are shown in a legitimate sense on television. Vice President Prindiville added that women are held to higher social stereotype, which forces them to do things like go out dressed in next-to-nothing in blizzards. Mr. Dulik then argued on the negation, “Chivalry comes with a price,” a price Mr. Donovan argued on the negation was seen as worth it in a Cost Benefit Analysis. Chancellor Iacono added that women have taken their newfound sexual autonomy and have decided to equalize with the worst of men, sending all the “good guys” to the Friend Zone. Mr. Henderson concluded the floor speeches on the affirmation by arguing that women are trying to hold families together alone because the men they reach out to do not see the satisfaction that comes from fulfilling responsibilities, which has created a dangerous sociological problem and has left women trapped with no one to help them.
Mr. Petallides summarized that over the course of the debate, it has become clear that women are better than men, who are “motivated by their baser instincts” and are just “puppets subject to the whims of women.” He argued that the bad guys many referenced during the debate were made this way by the pain and distrust of being manipulated by women. Ms. Marki summarized this as a “vicious cycle” and asked the Society to look at all the political scandals, the majority of which are cheating men. Then Ms. Brosnihan argued that the idea of a “working mom” has actually helped women be viewed more equally and that women have independence and are wearing the pants now. Finally Mr. Dittmer argued that men dominate discourse while women are left with the burden of supporting families. In addition, contraception and Wally the Wallet both pressure women to have sex. Finally, women are always on the losing end of abuse.
The Society voted 24-19-25 to negate the resolution.
The following outstanding speakers were awarded Merrick points:
- Mr. Henderson – 5
- Ms. Green – 4
- Mr. Petallides – 3
- Chancellor Iacono – 2
- Mr. Manchester – 2
- Mr. Medina – 1
This brings the Merrick totals to:
- Mr. Henderson – 13
- Ms. Green – 11
- Chancellor Iacono – 9
- Mr. Dulik – 5
- Mr. Medina – 4
- Mr. Manchester – 3
- Mr. Petallides – 3
- Mr. Taft – 1
Emily R. Coccia