Opinion: Debates that pit the sexes against each other have no place in 2019

A recent Philosophers' Jam that asked if men or women had it harder asked the wrong question, says Missy Johnson

Male students attend a gender debate on campus. Photo by: Jennifer Blake
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By Missy Johnson

Trying to determine whether or not men or women have it worse is fairly regressive when instead we should be looking for actual solutions to these obstacles.

Langara’s philosophy department hosted a debate for their Philosophers’ Jam last Thursday asking whether men or women found it more difficult trying to pursue happiness in our society. The purpose of the debate is meant to teach students to look at other perspectives, but really it just reinforces the ancient men versus women contest.

Men can experience male toxicity, this damaging need to abide by stereotypical gender roles that tend to inhibit showing certain kinds of emotions.

This is a regrettable side effect of our culture, but women still face more challenges when it comes to finding happiness and fulfillment.

Women still have it worse, duh

Women still experience pay inequity, and even more horrifying, violence.

Violence against women is traumatic and sometimes fatal. The Canadian Femicide Observatory for Justice and Accountability released an annual report last week stating a woman is killed in Canada every 2 1/2 days.

But instead of asking who has it worse, it’s better to ask how can we make society better for women, men and the genderqueer community. To ask these questions we must look at and understand the adversities we all face. It’s important to acknowledge that education is needed.

Gender studies should be taught in high school or it should make up a part of the required curriculum when attending college or university.

Individuals have had a hard time show up to have these conversations when they don’t realize these conversations need to be had. Which is why so few people usually show up to these discussions. I know this because before I understood what gender based oppression looked like, I wouldn’t have showed up either.

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