[eDebate] ???Overturn Roe v. Wade???

Jennifer Schramm jen.schramm
Mon Apr 10 14:48:03 CDT 2006

I sent this out but forgot a subject, so here goes again...

I don?t participate much in this listserve, and as a 1L, I don?t have  
much time to read the details of all the emails that have been placed  
I have distilled the main points of the emails as:
1. debate is a forum designed to increase participation of minority  
2. minority groups should/should not have to debate the topics that  
are sensitive to them
3. sensitive topics do not increase participation in debate
4. the topic committee, like the Supreme Court, is composed almost  
entirely of white males who do not represent the female interest

Pro-Roe topic
this is a current event
women are historically overlooked in the debate community and should  
be the central focus of the topic.

I think that all of these arguments are wrong.
Debate is not an activity that centers itself around increasing  
minority participation.  It is a forum for interplay of intellectual  
ideas, many of which are germane to controversial topics such as  
abortion, womens? rights, gay rights, race, etc.   Therefore, the  
Roe= offensive= no argument is terminally non-unique.
As a female debater I can say that there are many  more things that  
would offend me than having to listen to why I shouldn?t have  
autonomy over my body (I hear this whenever I turn on Fox News, which  
I rarely do- anti-abortion arguments really don?t personally offend  
me anymore?they provide me with an opportunity to educate).  So onto  
that list of offensive things.
Having a large portion of the debate community believe that you are  
the 1N when in fact you have been the 2N for the entirety of your  
competitive career.
Having judges give decisions speaking entirely to your (male) partner  
while you have just given the 2nc.
Being referred to as ?patently offensive? for reciprocating male  
aggression during CX.
Being considered a ?bitch? for being a strong presence within a round  
otherwise including only men.
All of these things are far more offensive than a topic that gives me  
the opportunity as a pro-choice female, to have my reasons heard as  
to why I believe that I should have autonomy over my own body.  In  
fact, I find that a Roe topic might be an opportunity for female  
empowerment?on both sides of the issue.  As a New Yorker, I would  
like to know what the opinion of a religious female with pro-life  
views were with regards to the Roe decision- perhaps there are  
arguments out there that I don?t know about- that would allow me to  
increase my education.

Why women?  I find it offensive to assume that women can?t ?handle?  
personal issues like abortion and gender discrimination debates.  We  
face this stuff every single day and this argument is demeaning- as  
though we are too emotional and sensitive to FIGHT!
Additionally- here are some examples as to why this argument is  
terminally non-unique in a debate context ?
The United States Military Academy had to debate against ME when I  
was a competitor.  They are forced to hear how they are personally  
responsible for DADT and the death of innocent civilians on a daily  
Liberty University had to hear why religion was the source of wars  
all over the world- I?m sure- on many different occasions.
We?ve all been yelled at by Louisville at one time or another for  
being racist- and being forced to confront our own privilege.
Homosexuals were forced to debate the 2000-2001 high school privacy  
topic, where half the cases were either DADT or Bowers v. Hardwick-  
someone needs to explain to me how the Lawrence debate would really  
push us over the precipice of ?an affront to dignity.?
Race- always a debate, always a hot topic.

As a woman in debate, I debated for the love of debate- for the  
thrill of it, the fun of it, and in the words of my old teammate,  
Ricky Garner ?DEBATE IS SWEET.?

That said, I also learned a heck of a lot about race, gender,  
sexuality, feminism, and the position of women in this activity by  
participating in it, by TALKING about it.

I think a Roe topic is germane and is also a great educational  
opportunity- this is what is confronting us today!  We need to learn  
how to argue our positions from an informed perspective- without this  
ability, we will lose the fight for autonomy.

My only objection to a Roe topic would be T-related. That?s another  
story for another day- someone word a resolution correctly and maybe  
we could fix that problem down the road.

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