Gender in the 21st Century

Be it resolved, men are obsolete…

November 15, 2013

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Since the beginning of human civilization, men have been the dominant sex. But now, for the first time, a host of indicators suggest that women are not only achieving equality with men but are fast emerging as the more successful sex of the species. Whether in education, employment, personal health or child rearing, statistics point to a rise in the status and power of women at home, in the workplace, and in traditional male bastions such as politics. But are men, and the age-old power structures associated with “maleness,” permanently in decline? Or do men still retain significant control over the workplace, the family and society at large, including women? In sum, where are the sexes headed in the 21st century?

To find out, the Munk Debates will move the motion: be it resolved men are obsolete...

The Results

Pre-Debate

16%

Pro

84%

Con

Post-Debate

44%

Pro

56%

Con

PRO gains 28%. PRO wins

The Debaters

Hanna Rosin

Hanna Rosin

Pro

"Women are not just catching up anymore; they are becoming the standard by which success is measured."

Hanna Rosin

Hanna Rosin

Pro

"Women are not just catching up anymore; they are becoming the standard by which success is measured."

Hanna Rosin is the founder of Double X, a women’s website connected to the online magazine Slate, and is the author of The End of Men, which presents a new world order of female dominance. Rosin gave a TED talk on the subject in 2010. 

She is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where she writes broadly about American culture, is a writer and editor for Slate, and has written regularly for GQ and New Yorker magazines. Hanna Rosin covered religion for the Washington Post and has appeared on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The Colbert Report, and The Today Show. A National Magazine Award 2009 nominee, and 2010 winner, her stories have also been included in anthologies of Best American Magazine Writing 2009and Best American Crime Reporting 2009.

Hanna Rosin was born in Israel and moved to Queens, New York, when she was five. She comes from a long line of matriarchs, women who either ruled over their husbands or ran away from them. She attended Stanford University, and lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband and their three children.

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Maureen Dowd

Maureen Dowd

Pro

"So now that women don’t need men to reproduce and refinance, the question is, will we keep you around? And the answer is, ‘You know we need you in the way we need ice cream — you’ll be more ornamental.’ "

Maureen Dowd

Maureen Dowd

Pro

So now that women don’t need men to reproduce and refinance, the question is, will we keep you around? And the answer is, ‘You know we need you in the way we need ice cream — you’ll be more ornamental.’

Maureen Dowd is the winner of the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for distinguished commentary and the author of Are Men Necessary? She has been a New York Times op-ed columnist since 1995, after serving as a correspondent in the paper's Washington bureau since 1986. She has covered four presidential campaigns and served as White House correspondent. Dowd also wrote a column, "On Washington," for the New York Times Magazine

Maureen Dowd joined the New York Times as a metropolitan reporter in 1983. She began her career in 1974 as an editorial assistant for the Washington Star, where she later became a sports columnist, metropolitan reporter and feature writer. When the Star closed in 1981, she went to TIME magazine.

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Caitlin Moran

Caitlin Moran

Con

"One of the first rules of any useful kind of feminism is to politely but firmly say "Not today, dear," to any woman quacking on about how men are the enemy."

Caitlin Moran

Caitlin Moran

Con

One of the first rules of any useful kind of feminism is to politely but firmly say "Not today, dear," to any woman quacking on about how men are the enemy.

Caitlin Moran is a British broadcaster and TV critic who has been writing for The Times since she was eighteen. Moran was named Columnist of the Year in 2010 by the British Press Awards and won the BPA's Critic of the Year and Interviewer of the Year awards in 2011. Her book How to Be a Woman won the Galaxy British Book Awards Book of the Year award in 2011 and was a Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller. Called by the New York Times a “glorious, timely stand against sexism so ingrained we barely even notice it ... a book that needed to be written,” it has been published in twenty-three languages. Moranthology, a collection of Moran's award-winning columns, followed in 2012. Caitlin Moran lives on Twitter with her husband and two children.

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Camille Paglia

Camille Paglia

Con

"Feminism was always wrong to pretend that women could ‘have it all.’ It is not male society but mother nature who lays the heaviest burden on woman."

Camille Paglia

Camille Paglia

Con

Feminism was always wrong to pretend that women could ‘have it all.’ It is not male society but mother nature who lays the heaviest burden on woman.

Camille Paglia is University Professor of Humanities and Media Studies at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, where she has taught since 1984. She received her B.A. from the State University of New York at Binghamton in 1968, and her M.Phil. and Ph.D. degrees from Yale University in 1971 and 1974 respectively.

Her six books are: Sexual Personae: Art and Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson (Yale University Press, 1990); Sex, Art, and American Culture (Vintage, 1992); Vamps & Tramps: New Essays (Vintage, 1994); The Birds, a study of Alfred Hitchcock published in 1998 by the British Film Institute in its Film Classics Series; Break, Blow, BurnCamille Paglia Reads Forty-Three of the World's Best Poems (Vintage, 2005), and Glittering Images: A Journey Through Art from Egypt to Star Wars(Pantheon, 2012). Her third essay collection is under contract to Pantheon.

Professor Paglia was a co-founding contributor and columnist for Salon.com, beginning with its debut issue in 1995. She has written numerous articles on art, literature, popular culture, feminism, politics, and religion for publications around the world. Her essay “Theater of Gender: David Bowie at the Climax of the Sexual Revolution” was commissioned by the Victoria and Albert Museum for the catalogue of its exhibit of Bowie costumes, which opened in London in March 2013 and will be on view in Toronto at the Art Gallery of Ontario from September to November 2013.

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