[eDebate] Roe v. Wade - program issues
Mon Apr 10 22:58:30 CDT 2006
I agree wholeheartedly with Kathryn on this one (as well as her
The argument that a debate topic has to be politically neutral in
order to appeal to campus administrators is non-unique and yet
another line in a series of excuses used to justify exclusion of
women/minorities/etc in the debate community.
Here we stand on the precipice of history...or rather...debate
history- that is, we are near broaching a topic that has thus been
deemed unspeakable in the community: a topic that ACTUALLY makes us
confront our social positions in light of current events that affect
us here at home! This topic scares us because it turns us into the
Army debaters who have to confront militarism arguments, the black
students who have to deal with race issues in the activity, and gays
who had to debate DADT a few years back.
China could have been treated as a human rights topic or a foreign
policy topic, Native Americans could be couched as a historical topic
or a topic designed to give voice to a people systematically erased
from the legal history of America, Title 7 could be legal or "womens
rights"...it is all about presentation to your administration.
If anything, I think a topic like Roe would attract more students and
more administrators. From my most recent experience, law students
are most willingly participate in debates about Roe or sexuality or
intimate rights. They don't like fighting amongst each other about
water rights nearly as much. Even as a debater- the Europe topic
attracted half the interest that the China topic seemed to- because
China is "hot" and Europe is not.
Students want to debate what they know- and with student support
comes administrative support. If anything- this sort of topic is very
public forum-esque- and comm depts and social science depts worldwide
are probably more attuned to the relevance of something like ROE to
debate than they are of some random, obscure fo po topic that they
know nothing about and can't relate to.
Whether red state or blue- why not endorse a Roe topic? It sure gets
everyone fired up enough.
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