[eDebate] ???Overturning Roe v Wade????

Sue Peterson bk2nocal
Mon Apr 10 15:41:45 CDT 2006

I was there - I felt included.  I also attended the meeting at Wake two years ago and felt very included.  I wrote a paper that got sidelined the past couple of years (last year because it was legal, this year because its on immigration and a little unpredictable in ground due to the current debates in the house).  I think that the topic committee members, both past and present, are more than willing to help people out.  Mancuso was very supportive and helpful in the paper writing process and I have been encouraged by members to attend the meetings, voice my opinions, etc.  I think that the topic committee being all men can be changed - but I think women need to get involved and educated on the process, write papers, write wording papers, send emails prior to meetings if you can not attend...or coordinate with others in your district/region who do go to Wake, etc.  Personally, it seems to me that the topic committee is BEGGING for participation constantly...but it isn't easy to write
 a paper - it is research intensive, time-consuming and falls right in the middle of when you're trying to get ready for districts, nationals, etc.  
  I will probably revise my paper for submission again next year.  But, this year, I plan to get involved in the process and get educated.  Much like in debate, it is easy to define harms in the topic process, but more difficult to find concrete solutions.  I really feel like it is unfair to characterize the fact that the community voted for who they did for the topic committee as sexist - and I hope we don't have to start publicizing our votes to demonstrate our dedication to "feminism" or female representation - anymore than I would appreciate be called out publicly for being sexist if I don't vote for a debate team of women in a round.  Hopefully, we can examine the underlying reasons for these votes and figure out how to better "adapt" (admittedly, a lost art in debate) to our audience.  What are people looking for in a representative on the topic committee?  Do they want people who have written papers?  Been to the meetings in the past?  Been CEDA Reps?  These are the questions
 to start asking...then we, as women and debate coaches, can start doing the things to make sure we get voted on the committee in the future.  I don't think people looked at the CEDA ballot and consciously (or even subconsciously) said "I'm voting for the men."  
  I am committed to debate being the best I can make it - and I have an idea of what that is.  It is admittedly different than some people's conception of debate.  The topic is very important to my "framework".  I want my teams to defend the topic when they go aff - and that means I want a defendable topic.  I also want my students to be able to win on the neg though - which means I want a fair division of ground.  This isn't easy.  I realize that after writing a paper....and many years of debating.  I hope that others would step back long enough to realize that they may have been less involved than they could have been in the process - and change that in the future.  That has been my realization, and is my plan.
  --Sue Peterson
  Pepperdine University

Mikedavis13 at aol.com wrote:
  I cannot speak for all (nor would I presume to) women who have attended these meetings, but Kathryn expressed that she felt included at the CEDA Nats meeting. Other women spoke as well, but I do not feel comfortable "making an argument" about how others at the meeting felt. 
  The only thing I can suggest is showing up at a meeting and letting me know since I have not heard anyone who attended the meetings as an observer say that they did not feel as if their voice was included.
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Sue Peterson
Director of Forensics
Pepperdine University

"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." 
--John F. Kennedy

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