No men allowed: UVM hosts women-only debate championship

Article here. Excerpt:

'The first rule of a North American debate tournament to be held in Vermont this weekend: No men allowed.

Some 150 debaters from 18 schools across the U.S. and Canada will compete in the special tournament, which is designed to be a safe space for women who complain of bias when they debate against men.

Although some men will be allowed to serve as judges, organizers say the tournament at the University of Vermont offers women a chance to hone their speaking and arguing skills and gain confidence and friends without being subject to sexism.

"There is also a lot of sexual predation that happens in the debate community," said UVM debate director Helen Morgan-Parmett. "The tournament, I think, provides a safe space where people feel they are debating other women, and their bodies aren't necessarily on display."

College debating is one of the few intercollegiate competitive activities in which women and men compete directly against one another. While some women do win, the debaters say they have to be that much better than men to overcome bias on the part of many judges. And they point to statistics that show they are less likely to reach the top echelons of the activity.'

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... a women's basketball game, Hell, they should have no trouble filling the seats.


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Then there needs to be a Men-Only debate. I would be happy if for every women/girls-only event/club/etc. there was a corresponding men/boys-only event/club. Without apology.

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... a men-only "sport". Debating clubs didn't admit women. Now that wasn't right. But denying men the opportunity is likewise wrong.

The article says debating circles are sexually predatory, so women are thus not safe to be in them. Huh? I never was part of a debating club. But I met some guys in clubs. Hard to typify them as the sexually predatory type. Just sayin'.

To this day in meetings even when the M:F ratio is skewed heavily female, they still tend to be a lot less talkative than the men, even when called upon. Even ranking women in the room seem to talk a lot less.

I've been part of geographically distributed meetings wherein services like Skype and Zoom were used. Each participant is viewable via webcam to everyone else. Alternatively, the attendee can set a replacement image such as a graphic or a blank screen with their name. On more than one occasion as many as half the female attendees had their screens blanked out in some way. None of the men has ever blanked out their screens.

You'd think we were having a meeting with women in Saudi Arabia or some other country where images of women are all but forbidden.

In all these cases, admittedly anecdotal, no one told these women to "talk less" or hide their faces. No one's trying to oppress them or harass them. Yet they seem to be... reticent... even at times just to be visible.

No patriarchy is doing anything to them. Social position doesn't seem to be a factor.

Is it possible, simply, that SOME percentage of women, probably in double-digits, is simply SHY in the presence of men for the same reason a lot of men, esp. younger men, get a bit tongue-tied in the presence of women? Another possibility... and I have thought this for some time... is it possible a lot of women APPEAR to become reticent in the presence of men not because they lack confidence or are being OPPRESSED, but for a similar reason that many police interrogators remain quiet in the face of a suspect. Basically, to gauge what KIND of man a guy is, a lot of women may instinctively remain kind of quiet to allow him to reveal his thoughts. To do this she must give him the chance to yammer.

I don't suggest however that this is a conscious intent on the part of such women. But it may be an instinctive behavior that evolved for particular reasons. In a state of nature, women are heavily dependent on men for protection and food, especially meat. What kind of men they hang out with and fuck is a critical matter for women's survival. The men they stick with must have characteristics that show them that they are safe to be around and are also a good source of safety and food. What men say offer critical clues to their character. It stands to reason that women would evolve to hang back to allow men to do most of the yammering esp. in situations that are important in some way -- like work.

Dunno, just one of my SWAG theories for the 2 cents it's worth. Well, whatever.

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