Which side makes a better case?
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  • a year ago

    Hi, Josh and Josh. I’m Arielle, a resident judge here on Qallout. I apologize for the late review- I haven’t been able to provide a video on account of technical errors. So, I hope you will well receive my response through comment. I will begin by relaying my understanding of your arguments, then stating my perceived victor within this debate, and further offer some feedback about what I would have liked to see- contemporary political examples that could have easily bolstered either of your arguments.

    On the PRO side, Josh described being particularly against beauty pageants as they relate to children’s consumption and assessment of norms of attraction. He put forth that there are no objective set of criteria with which to judge the beauty of a young woman, and hence all prizes must be merited by subjective judgements. This, he argues, creates self-esteem issues when girls aspire to mimic unattainable appearances. Some of the contestants, he states, resort to bodily contortions through spray tanning or acquiring hair extensions. Josh cites a Martha Cartwright article in which psychologists found 60% of participants to be unhappy during competitions.

    The CON side promoted a viewpoint that humans in western society are subject to a hierarchy of attraction in their everyday lives- feelings of inferiority aren’t to be avoided through reduced beauty pageant viewings. Josh puts forth 3 points: 1) that pageants do not exacerbate systematic harm; 2) that the competitions are voluntary- those who oppose them can opt never to involve themselves; and 3) that in America citizens have an inherent right to free association. As a panacea to the PRO side’s stated concern for children’s viewing, the CON side suggests that perhaps we can further regulate children’s consumption of pageantry culture. The CON side rebuts that women can improve their performance in such arenas through coaching, workouts, and fashion sense.

    I found myself more convinced by the PRO side, who argued that beauty pageants should be banned, than with the CON side, who argued for the case of parental freedoms to register their children in such an activity without federal oversight or restriction on such liberties. The case debate was decided for me when the PRO side effectively disproved two out of three of the CON side’s beginning statements. The PRO side cited studies confirming that pageants do, in fact, create systematic harm. Secondly, he proved that for minors, competition is not voluntary- it’s more often forced by avid parents. The CON side’s most durable argument, for me, was invoking the right to free association. While it seems that the CON side’s argument would win in court due to legal precedent, the PRO banning side’s defense made a better case in this instance.

    I was excited to judge this debate as women’s rights have been a frequently mentioned topic in the news lately, especially throughout the 2016 presidential campaign in light of Trump’s often demeaning remarks on women when he owned the Miss Universe Competition. Clinton mentioned Alicia Machado, a previous Miss Universe winner, during her debates to discuss how Trump’s bullying of Miss Machado caused her to develop an eating disorder. For years she spoke with a psychologist to reduce memories of trauma she endured throughout his beauty pageant. Another example of a prominent victim was US United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, who was told she couldn’t participate in pageants as a child- due to the color of her skin. I would have liked to see the PRO side utilize any of these ubiquitous examples of pageantry’s harm from contemporary political news, and to more aggressively mention how pageants are steeped in sexist and racist history.

    A few points the CON side could have used to enhance his argument are: 1) aside from psychical features, winning criteria also involve the demonstration of a skill (ex. baton twirling, piano playing), and an answer session involving ethical and international security related questions. 2) There are in fact many scholarship incentives to participants. 3) Skills gained through pageantry may be transferrable in that winners get to travel across the country, sit for interviews, and interact with people they usually wouldn’t have the chance to. Pageantry is often seen as a springboard to beginning a career in politics. A famous pageant alum, for example, is Sarah Palin. Watching a televised episode of a beauty pageant in advance could have aided many of our points.

    To the CON side- I hope you will continue debating on Qallout! Do not be discouraged. The way you structured your argument by outlining three main points in your beginning statements was well organized, and is proof of your potential to succeed in the near future. Next time, you could try incorporating specific real life examples of stories you’ve read in articles- it will go a long way. Best of luck to both of you!

    • a year ago

      Congrats @jb043 advancing to the next round! Hard luck @joshcarlson35, hope to see you at the next tournament starting soon!

      • a year ago

        My prediction? Josh will win this debate.

      • a year ago

        @joshcarlson35 is it just me or is the tech from one of our ends being a bit shit

        • a year ago

          Hey Josh Brandon STAY ON. The other josh is fixing his internet.

          • a year ago

            @joshcarlson35 I actually enjoyed this debate (despite some tech issues) but yolo and gl

            • a year ago

              @qallout what’s the next step from here? After the community voting period has ended

              • a year ago

                @jb043 one RJ will also submit their judgement... if it's a draw with community votes, we bring in a second RJ to make break the tie. However, if this RJ chooses the same winner the community chose, then that's it.. the winner advances through directly, no 2nd RJ