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Hi Amy,

I am a college student from Denmark and consider myself a feminist. The other day, a friend of mine, a man, started a debate with me about feminist ideals, and looking back, I am disappointed that I didn't have a more articulate argument.

What we talked about was the working condition of women. I study computer science and in the class there is only 3 girls, while the rest are all men. What we talk about was that when a woman and a man have the same qualities and the same education and they both attend the same job interview, the company will probably pick the man.

According to my friend, and he is right, the companies only think about money so when you have a man and a woman with the same qualities they will surely choose a man because he will not have to, in future, take some time off in order to be pregnant like some women probably will need to.

His argument was that the companies only think about money so they will of course choose the man. And I am afraid that I was not able to give a good arguments against this...the only thing I was able to say is that it is unfair that we women in a way are "punished" for giving birth to the world, because face it; if it wasn't for us, the world would be doomed. And that it was unfair for us to be punished in that way! What would you say to a statement like this?

Also he mentioned about how we, the women, want equality but when it comes to things like the army, which all men in Denmark have to do when they turn 18, we do not want equality there! I said to him that if the paradise came and both women and men have the SAME equality then the women would not be against this, but he said I was wrong, and since I am very bad at debating I just did not know what to say , so I just said YOU ARE WRONG.

Hope you can help me.




Good to hear from you and it is very hard to debate -- it's a fine line between listening and having strong opinions.

If your opinions are too strong than you loose the ability to have a conversation with those who disagree. When it comes to the workplace, there are several companies who actually want to invest in their workers and they see that women are often more loyal employees. A way to circumvent the fear of women leaving would be to ensure that more men took paternity leave.

There are some companies out there -- Hewlett Packard is perhaps the most famous, who pride themselves on having a good percentage of female workers and being an equally competitive/successful company. Also, your friend seems to be assuming that you can't make a profit if women are employed, that's just not true and some companies are willing to sacrifice a few million in earnings for a quality of their workplace.

In terms of the army, women are actually the ones fighting to get into the military and it's men who are keeping them out. So the situation comes back to men having to make more changes in order for society to change.

I hope that helps,

- Amy

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