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Munk Debates Pull Practical Joke With Debate: Are Men Obsolete?

Sometimes you can`t make this shit up….but this week over 3,000 people will gather in downtown Toronto to listen to a very earnest argument about whether men are obsolete. It has to be a joke but to get the punch line you need a little context.

munkbillA couple times a year a bunch of people who can afford on average 50 bucks a pop gather at Roy Thompson Hall to listen as ‘world class’ thinkers debate an issue of pressing public concern. As the debate website explains: “The Munk Debates is an initiative of the Aurea Foundation, a charitable organization founded by Peter and Melanie Munk to support Canadian institutions involved in the study and development of public policy.” Peter Munk? Retiring right now as president of the notorious mining company Barrick Gold (largest one in the world!). When some of the company’s workers gang-raped local protestors in South America trying to hang on to their land and villages, Munk declared: “gang rape is a cultural habit” and disowned responsibility for the actions of its employees.

Papua New Guinea:
Barrick Gold Pays Rape Victims Not to Sue the Company
Centre for Research on Globalization

Anyway, this rich couple, who earned their money in mining, get a tax break so relatively well-off people can go and listen to relatively mainstream opinions about issues that are pretty narrowly defined.

Now, one of the knocks on the Munk Debates is how few women have ever taken part in the debates…and the record is pretty abysmal and there are all kinds of explanations offered. Explanations like…we are seeking out the smartest and brightest and the leading experts and we can`t help if they are male…we have all heard it before…so the solution…why not bring 4 women, all American, to Toronto and debate whether men are obsolete…really??

On Barrick Corp, the board of directors has 13 directors, one of whom is a woman. Are men obsolete at the Barrick Board?

The Munk Debates are organized by two men and has an eight member advisory board of which three members are women? Are men obsolete at the Munk debates?

“Nearly three-quarters of the corporations on the S&P/TSX Composite Index either do not have a single woman on their board or just one female member.” (Toronto Dominion Bank Study) Are men obsolete in Corporate Canada?

If this is what counts as serious debate and deserving of your tax dollars…then we need to rethink what the words serious and debate really mean…this has got to be a practical joke???!!!!

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