Debating as a woman in a room full of men
Kylie Richardson | February 21st, 2023
Kylie Richardson | February 21st, 2023
Women live in a world dominated by men. In other words, patriarchy is defined as “a system of society or government in which men hold the power and women are largely excluded from it.” Regardless of the period of time, the globe has seen polarization between groups of men and women, especially in the realm of politics. The goal of Women in Politics is to close that gap to strengthen the voices of women around the world and to emphasize the importance of female involvement in society including education, sports, politics, and more. It all starts with one’s voice. Our voices are the stimuli leading to action and change. They create a sense of empathy and empowerment and boost the meaning behind goals. Thus, being a strong speaker in a debate is a gateway to earning respect, standing your ground, and establishing yourself. It’s especially difficult as a woman as you may be constantly surrounded by misogyny and prejudice on the basis of simply being a woman. Many men in politics display a feeling of superiority and dominance against women in the workplace because of century-long standards of such. Women in Politics wants to present to the young girls and women in the world to stand against misogyny and use their voices for good when achieving what they want.
A strong debate gives girls and women the confidence to succeed in anything they choose to do. According to the Forage, “Hard skills are objective, quantifiable skills gained through training, school, or work experiences. Hard skills are often usually something that can be taught or learned. For that reason, hard skills can typically be easily proven…” One hard skill includes presentation skills. Before you step into a debate, you want to take into account your abilities as a presenter. Additionally, you should take into account your soft skills which are personal characteristics that aren’t taught which allow people to effectively interact with others. Though the presented steps to a strong debate are useful for any person in debate, as a woman, it is especially important to be exceedingly prepared to establish your credibility.
Steps to Strong Debate
An aspect of strong debate includes the ability to construct a coherent argument. A coherent argument is one of the most important parts of a consistent and logical debate. Without this, there is no way you can support or oppose an argument.
In order to have a strong debate, you must understand exactly what you are arguing. Before you enter a debate room, it is essential to jot down your brainstormed notes, ideas, and any additional pieces of information to begin your process of argument development. Any excellent debate starts from its blueprints so that you can have the best possible information and you can learn even more during the process.
To get the most out of your debate, you must understand exactly what you are trying to argue, and what point you want to reach in the end. This paves the way to developing a successful claim. This can be done in multiple ways. An effective tactic many debaters use is initially asking themselves questions to write down. Understand the context of the situation. What are you trying to convince your audience of? Identify your conclusion. What is your opponent’s view on this argument? Evaluate your reasoning. Why should someone believe you, or why should you believe them? These questions can help guide you to truly understand what you are aiming to prove.
A productive debate cannot be achieved without credible evidence. When debating men, or anyone for that matter, a common question one may ask is “Where are you getting this information from?” or “Do you have any proof?”. This is something that trips people up quite frequently, especially when arguing based on your own knowledge. Do not let someone undermine your intelligence, so be prepared with information to back up your statements with scientific research, studies, and credible sources such as government-released websites, newspapers, or statements. Any form of information that you discover or anything that can contribute to proving your claim should be supported by evidence to use in your statements and to refute opposing claims. The more information you have, the better.
When debating against strong-willed speakers, they tend to enjoy bringing up any counter arguments to debunk the facts you bring up or lessen the credibility of your statements. Therefore, it is incredibly useful to mention counter arguments before your opposition has the ability to. This proves that you’ve not only done your research, but you are an open-minded debater who takes both perspectives into consideration. If you address your defense’s counter arguments before your opponent, it lessens the amount of information that they have against you, putting you at an advantage. If you think of anything that your opponent may bring up, or if you’ve recognized the cons of your claim, research just as you would research the pros of your argument. Understand it just like your supporting information to broaden your understanding of the argument as a whole. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or identify flaws in counterargument statements to prove how though the counter argument may be true, your supporting information is stronger than the counterargument.
A conclusion is as simple as it sounds. It must conclude all of the information you’ve stated briefly to finalize your thoughts. Prove how the evidence you’ve provided in your debate supports your main argument. Attempt to explain how each of your points corroborates each other to finalize your argument as a whole.
Take advantage of your strong argument by channeling your inner confidence. Debating, especially against men, can be intimidating to anyone. Luckily for you, you know how to take that intimidation and your nerves and turn into motivation and empowerment. Take deep breaths, meditate, read, and drink water. Remember your purpose and how much courage it takes to step into a world dominated by men. Don’t let anyone stomp on your confidence because it’s completely in your control. Speak loudly and assertively, demand respect, mentally accustom yourself to criticism, and develop that thick skull. Resilience is key. It’s important to recognize where you are, and that not everyone will treat you with the same respect they may show others. Regardless, the only validation you need is from yourself, and that is enough to motivate you to debate what is important to you. Participating in debate and public speaking allows women to develop strong critical thinking and research skills allowing us to be successful.
Never let anyone convince you that you’re any less than them. You are a strong, powerful, and prepared speaker. Follow these steps to help develop the best possible argument. In this world, women are failing to achieve leadership positions. Be the change you wish to see in the world. It starts today, and it starts with you. Speak truthfully, speak with confidence, and use your voice to advocate for what you believe in. In a room full of men, show them what women can really do.
Girardin, McKayla, et al. “What Are Hard Skills? Definition and Examples.” Forage, 25 Jan. 2023, https://www.theforage.com/blog/basics/hard-skills#:~:text=Hard%20skills%20are%20objective%2C%20quantifiable,%2C%20or%20you%20don’t.
Goodman, Camille. “How Debating Gives Girls the Skills, Knowledge, and Confidence to Succeed.” Minds Underground, Minds Underground, 1 Feb. 2021, https://www.mindsunderground.com/female-writers-thinkers/power-of-debate.
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