Milo Yiannopoulos v Rebecca Reid: What happened in last week’s debate

‘Straight white women are the most privileged class in the history of our species’

Last Friday the Bristol University Journalism Society hosted a debate between Milo Yiannopoulos, a journalist publicly against the ideas of a “rape culture” and the gender-based pay gap; and Rebecca Reid, a freelance journalist and regular columnist for the Telegraph’s Wonder Woman.

The event had caused a lot of drama beforehand. Some students felt that inviting speakers with such controversial views as Milo would be a “violation of the university’s safe space policy”.

The question being debated, “Have We Reached an Age of Gender Equality?” is one both participants have dramatically contrasting views on. Here are some of both participants’ key points in the debate, or you can watch the entire debate courtesy of UBTV.

Rebecca Reid

rebec 1

Rebecca opened the debate by outlining she very much believes we’ve not reached an age of gender equality, nor are we close to achieving gender equality in society. Rebecca emphasised that not only does gender inequality in society affect women, but it also greatly affects men who suffer from unfair custody rights, issues surrounding the demonisation of men and expectations of men as breadwinners.

Quotes:

“I hope my focus on the way gender inequality affects men hasn’t given the impression that I’m disinterested in the way it affects women…I believe in closing the pay gap, eradicating rape culture and encouraging women to STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects among other issues, but I believe people don’t only have to believe in those, and I believe these issues exist in a vacuum.”

“I do think it’s fair to say women (girls) are less encouraged into [STEM] subjects from an early age. Whether there’s also a predisposition towards it or not I don’t know…but what I do know is that I went to an all-girls school where sciences were this bizarre thing men did and me and my contemporaries weren’t ever pushed towards STEM subjects.”

“A woman will generally only apply for a job if she is 100 per cent qualified while a man does it when he is 60 per cent qualified. That is on women and that is our fault.”

Milo Yiannopoulos

Milo opened his argument by saying the issues surrounding the wage gap and rape culture attempt to wrong-foot speakers such as himself who argue men are the real victims of modern feminism which attempts to demonise and blame the entire male population. Milo did not agree with a modern model of gender studies that emphasises gender as a “performance”, and stressed the biological nature of gender as overarching and an immediately distinguishing between men and woman.

Quotes:

“Straight white women in the west are the mot privileged class in the history of our species.”

“We have gone past the age of gender equality, in fact the pendulum has swung the other way. Men are now routinely ridiculed, diminished, demeaned and criticised in the public square for being men, and I don’t mean for their performance of being men, I mean for the biological and actual nature that they have as men.”

“The distribution of IQ (between men and women) is different, and the specific kind of intelligence that is valued and that is useful for maths, for physics, for astrophysics, for philosophy is the kind of intelligence that men have.”

“Women who are single and in their 30s don’t deal very well with it.”

Ben Smith, a first year classics student was part of the audience. He told the Tab: “I’m a feminist, but Milo still seemed to win the debate although I don’t agree with everything he had to say. Rebecca did well to discuss male issues from a feminist perspective.”

Conrad Young, a second year Ancient History student was also part of the audience. He told us: “This intellectual duel really was a sight to see. It had everything: humor, shock and awe. I’m just happy the event was allowed to happen in the first place.”

 

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