Comedy special: This House believes women are superior to men

Monday May 24 2010
MOTION PASSED by 67% to 33%

Transcript

Order of speeches

Comedy special: This House believes women are superior to men

 

Introduction

TIM SEBASTIAN
Ladies and gentlemen a very good evening to you and welcome to the last in our current series of Doha Debates coming to you from the Gulf State of Qatar and sponsored by the Qatar Foundation. Let's face it, we haven't given you a lot to smile about in recent debates. The Middle East tends to serve up a regular diet of death and destruction mixed in with plenty of lies and broken promises. Come to think of it, maybe not so different from tonight's theme after all. That age old battle for supremacy between men and women, and the question of who's really boss. Our motion tonight, as delicate as any we've chosen before: 'This House believes that women are superior to men'. Well, four comedians have agreed to wade into these dangerous waters. Speaking for the motion Azhar Usman, a stand up comedian from the US, co-founder of the Allah Made me Funny official Muslim comedy tour. In the United States he's used to getting dirty looks as a Muslim, now that he's in the Arab world he's looking forward to being hated just for being American. And with him, Maysoon Zayid, a stand up comedienne well known in the Middle East, she's co-star of the Arab's Gone Wild comedy tour and admits to having made both friends and enemies. When a woman came to clean her hotel room today she was convinced she was about to be assassinated, so please nobody make any sudden movements tonight. Against the motion, Carrie Quinlan, British actress, writer and comedienne and a regular at the Edinburgh Festival in the UK. She says she's so British she once apologised to a man who was trying to steal her handbag. And with her, Robin Ince, a well known comic performer and writer in Britain. He's recently completed a work featuring some of his favourite bad books, including one entitled, Did Spacemen Colonise the Earth? He says the answer is: 'No', but when you look around at the panel how can you be sure. Ladies and gentlemen this is our panel. So now let me first call on Azhar Usman to speak for the motion.

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Azhar Usman

Speaking for the motion
Azhar Usman

AZHAR USMAN
Well, ladies and gentlemen, notice that I said ladies and gentlemen, women obviously are superior to men, the fact that the only reason we have to have this debate is because men refuse to accept it. I will prove to you that women are indeed superior to men by making a series of logical arguments, which will be impossible to rebut, especially when you look at these people. There are many ways in which women are superior to men, I could stand here and lecture you all day, but instead I only have a few minutes, so I'll focus on three very important ways. When you want to choose somebody to be your partner, you generally want to choose somebody who's smart, somebody who's kind and somebody who's attractive. As it turns out women are smarter than men, kinder and gentler and nicer than men and certainly far more attractive. First of all, it's a proven fact, women have a higher IQ than men, across the world that's a fact. They also have higher emotional intelligence, think about it, have you ever been in a debate with a woman and actually won? That holds true whether you're a man or a woman; when a woman debates a woman it's always a tie, always. Don't forget that. Woman are kinder and gentler and nicer than men, think about it, if you have to be in a car accident would you rather the person in the other car be a man or a woman? And if you're in a car accident chances are the driver's probably a woman, let's be honest. Let me just, as an aside, I'm just putting it out there. And people say in the Middle East: 'Woman are not superior to men, they can't even drive'. Women are the ones who made that rule because they want to have drivers take them everywhere, generally those drivers are men. So women are smarter, women are kinder, gentler, nicer, but most importantly, I would say, 'cause this is absolutely irrefutable, women are more attractive. Women are beautiful, men are disgusting. You have no idea how much work went into me looking this presentable, and I still look scary. I have little kids, my kids' friends think I'm a monster; 'Where the Wild Things Are' - standing right here. So, the fact of the matter is women are indeed superior to men in all of the key ways; now there is one way in which men are indeed superior to women, they're physically stronger. That's true, men are stronger than women, but let's think about something. What have men used all that strength to do? Spread evil in the world, that's all they do. Everything evil happening in the world is caused by men. War? Men. Crime? Men. Economic financial meltdown in the whole world? Men. Abuse of natural resources, destruction of the earth? Men. High heels? Men. Thong underwear? Men. Let's be honest here, everything evil happening in the world ladies and gentlemen is caused by men. There's a lot of stereotypes about men and women, okay. Hollywood tends to perpetuate these stereotypes more than anyone else. Since I'm here in the Arab world amongst a group of predominantly Muslim people, I'm going to share something from the heart. Can I do that? Can I do that? If you think about, what are the two biggest stereotypes about Muslim men and Muslim women? Muslim men are terrorists, Muslim women are oppressed. Have these people been inside of a Muslim household? Because if you bother to investigate you quickly figure you have it exactly opposite. That's right, Muslim women are terrorists, Muslim men are oppressed. They talk a big game: 'Yeah, that's what I said. Isn't that right honey?' unless they're rich Arabs in the Gulf then they go: 'Isn't that right honey, honey, honey?' I always love the fact that half the audience doesn't get that joke, why's she running around the house so much? So many mirrors. I do watch a show in America that I enjoy tremendously, I'm sure you guys get it here on satellite television, it's called The Bachelor. You guys watch this show? Every time I watch that I have to admit I always imagine what it would be like if they made that show in the Middle East. That would be entertainment. There's a little guy, he'd get down to the last four girls and be like: 'I cannot make up my mind. All four of you come with me'. And finally, since I am in the Arab world I'd like to say something about Arab men. Can I do that? Can I do that? I grew up with Arabs, I'm from Chicago, Illinois, the hometown of President Barack Obama, and I grew up with a lot of Arab people. I love Arabs  (Speaks in Arabic: He who is speaking Arabic is Arabic). But I want to say something about Arabs, Arab men have some hot blood, that's right, I said it. I think Arab men have the same gene as Latino women. Because no matter what they're talking about somehow the temperature starts to rise. This is a one hundred percent true story, I'm from Chicago, there was an Egyptian brother, really nice guy. Every time he gives a talk, every time he gives a speech, no matter what he's talking about the temperature starts to rise. This is a true story, this is what he said one time, he goes: 'We have to love each other, we have to love each other', I was like: 'Dude, I'm not feeling the love right now. A little less love, man; too much love'. But here's a little trick ladies and gentlemen, I'll leave you with this, if you ever find yourself in a situation with the Arab dude and the temperature's starting to rise too high, you can always calm him down. It's a little magic trick, are you ready? You just go like this (makes hand gesture)... I don't know what this is, it's like a little upside down pinch of salt: 'Brother, brother, have some humus'. Thank you very much. Peace.
TIM SEBASTIAN
Azhar Usman, thank you very much indeed. So you've accepted your second class status in the world?
AZHAR USMAN
Indeed I have, I have. I've been married for twelve years and the lady I've been...
TIM SEBASTIAN
And every day brings it home to you?
AZHAR USMAN
Indeed. In fact I'm happy to be at second, you know, the slot is falling lower and lower, which is inevitable when you've been married as long as I have.
TIM SEBASTIAN
And all your disgust and loathing is directed at yourself?
AZHAR USMAN
Yes, it's a sad, it's a sad state of affairs. But the truth is, when I look in the mirror it's hard to do so because, you know, I see myself.
TIM SEBASTIAN
Do you buy this Robin Ince?
ROBIN INCE
Well actually I do buy it. And I'm sorry for wasting everyone's time, and thank you very much for coming and I agree with the motion.
TIM SEBASTIAN
Wait a minute, you don't get off that easily.
ROBIN INCE
I will ... my question is, now we hear smarter. Who is America's leading female politician? Sarah Palin.
AZHAR USMAN
Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton.
ROBIN INCE
How many calendars are there of Hillary Clinton available in Times Square? None. Sarah Palin...
MAYSOON ZAYID
More than people will ever want to see.
ROBIN INCE
No, I say, and Hillary Clinton, I'm still in a little bit of a debate about the woman thing. But, kinder, gentler? Ann Coulter from Fox News? No, I don't buy this.
TIM SEBASTIAN
Maysoon, help him with his feelings of loathing and disgust of himself. Can you?
MAYSOON ZAYID
I can help him, the good news is, your mother loves you. So at least women are superior, but they know how to make you feel less inferior, so feel that. And as for Ann Coulter, there is no proof she is a woman.
AZHAR USMAN
I'd just like to add, by the way, I mean you made a counter-argument to smarter and kinder but you didn't really touch on more attractive and coming from a country that had Margaret Thatcher, I'm just surprised.
CARRIE QUINLAN
We like to forget about that, it's like aversion therapy, we try...
TIM SEBASTIAN
All right, Azhar Usman, thank you very much indeed. Let me now ask Carrie Quinlan please to speak against the motion.

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Carrie Quinlan

Speaking against the motion
Carrie Quinlan

CARRIE QUINLAN
Thank you very much. Hello, it's a great honour to be here speaking at The Doha Debates, and particularly at such an important crucial one as who's best, that's terribly exciting. And I've watched a lot of Doha Debates and I don't think any of the debates you've had have been as important or had as much gravity as this one. That may be because I misunderstood the brief, because I'm a woman. Now, but it is an important question, and I think when you look at questions like these it's important to take an example, or several examples. Some of you may have noticed, or may know, that one example of a woman is me. (Laughter) Thank you. Some of you may be looking at me and thinking: 'That's not a woman, that's just a rubbish man'. Well let me ask you this. What is a woman, if not a rubbish man? Now, in preparation for the debate I took a long hard look at myself and I have to tell you, I'm incredibly disappointed, turns out I'm an idiot, I'm forgetful, I'm clumsy, I'm forgetful, I lose thing all the time, I'm messy, I've got no sense of direction, I'm forgetful, and I can't grow a beard. That's a tragedy from my point of view because growing a beard, it's the easiest thing to grow in the world, all you have to do is nothing. That's easy, I can't even get that right; women generally, I say generally, can't even get that right. Beards are important, all the greatest people the world has ever known, not only men, but men with beards. It's crucial: Plato - beard, he's the greatest philosopher, one of the finest philosophers the world's ever seen came up with the beautiful idea that the world is just shadows on a cave wall, that's magnificent. He'd never have come up with that if he'd been a woman, he wouldn't have come up with that if he'd been a man without a beard, the beard allows time to think, you see. You can ponder stuff and really, 'ooh, shadows on a cave wall', like that, see. A woman couldn't have come up with that, she'd have gone: 'Shadows', there's no purchase on the chin in order to work these things out: 'Shadows. Oh, I'm just going to go shopping'. That's what a woman would have done. There's also a tremendous danger in doing that that you break a nail, so thinking, very bad for ladies, let's not do that. Da Vinci, a man with a beard, painted the Mona Lisa, renowned the world over as the greatest portrait ever painted, Da Vinci was a man with a beard and that's important, a woman couldn't have painted that, because a woman wouldn't have a beard in which to accidentally catch bits of food that would have elicited from La Gioconda that enigmatic smile. It's not a great argument, but I'm a lady. Now, Shakespeare, the greatest playwright the world's ever known, a man not even with a full beard but with a very particular goatee beard: 'To be or not to be', this is a man who understood choices. 'To be or not to be', that, that is the question, not: 'Do I look fat in this?' or: 'Can I have some equal rights please?', no, I'm glad you enjoyed that, a man helped me write that joke. Socrates - Beard. Darwin - Beard. Me? No beard, and have you ever heard of me? No, no one has. You haven't heard of me have you? (points to audience member) No, you've got a lovely face though. Women are easily distracted, that's what happens, it's already been noted, we can agree, both sides can agree that men are superior to women in terms of physical strength. Women can't move pianos, men have to move pianos, which is sad and ironic for men because women are the only people who want to play pianos. And why? Because they're a sit down instrument and women are lazy, that's why. But no, they have to get some poor, superior, big strong man to move the piano: 'Oh, I want to play the piano, please move the piano', 'cause that's how women speak. So basically with this debate the crucial thing you have to decide, the crucial point is, if you decide to go with the motion that women are superior to men, what you're saying is that I am superior to half the people in this room, and I think all of us, if we look into our hearts, will know that that's wrong. So I don't know if I've said enough, I don't know if I've reached the amount of time that I'm supposed to be speaking for, but thankfully there's a man there telling me to get off. So I will, thank you.
TIM SEBASTIAN
Carrie Quinlan, thank you very much indeed.
CARRIE QUINLAN
You're very welcome Tim Sebastian.
TIM SEBASTIAN
We had a downtrodden American man, we've now got a downtrodden American woman. Where's your fight?
CARRIE QUINLAN
Well I'm British for a start.
TIM SEBASTIAN
Why didn't you fight on behalf of the sisterhood out there?
CARRIE QUINLAN
Well, I'm lazy, as I say, as all women are, and I couldn't be bothered. There was a spa at the hotel so I just sat around in that.
TIM SEBASTIAN
Maysoon, you buy that?
MAYSOON ZAYID
Your argument that beards make men more intelligent is ridiculous because men haven't cornered the market on beards, I have a beard, I waxed it, women can grow beards, moot point. And the older we get then the longer it grows.
CARRIE QUINLAN
See, I find that saddening that you would remove your very intelligence, almost Samson-like in its beauty.
MAYSOON ZAYID
It's close to as sad as I am to hear most of what you've had to say. I just have one last question before I pass it to Azhar. Has it occurred to you that possibly you are more inferior and not women?
CARRIE QUINLAN
That's possible, absolutely that's possible, but as a woman, I didn't bother looking at anyone else.
AZHAR USMAN
I must say I'm glad you brought up the topic of beards; I'm somewhat of an expert. And I just want to point out that you should trust that I'm right in telling you that women are indeed superior, because, number one, I am a man, and number two, I have a beard.
CARRIE QUINLAN
Absolutely.
AZHAR USMAN
And number three, both you and I mentioned that men are actually physically stronger, that's true. Women have babies. And I find that absolutely remarkable, because all those great men that you mentioned, Socrates, Plato, Shakespeare, they came out of women.
CARRIE QUINLAN
Yes.
AZHAR USMAN
And if you really think it through, to make a baby a woman puts in nine months. A man puts in about nine seconds.
TIM SEBASTIAN
You may get a little disagreement from that, but Carrie Quinlan, thank you very much indeed. I'm now going to ask Maysoon Zayid to speak for the motion.

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Maysoon Zayid

Speaking for the motion
Maysoon Zayid

MAYSOON ZAYID
Thank you. Hello. Okay, so I'm just going to begin, really quickly, by telling you all this. I am not drunk, but the doctor who delivered me was. And he, notice the word 'he', is responsible. So basically what happened was this: my mother, a woman, gave me life, and a man instantly tried to take it away. As a result, I shake all the time, all of the time. Now, if I was a man, this would be a very bad thing, because I'm Palestinian, and the only person I would resemble, shaking all the time, is Yasser Arafat. (laughter) But as a woman I am far more Shakira Shakira. Let's talk about birth. By round of applause, how many men in this room have given birth? Women? So let's just point out a tiny, simple fact that may have evaded men because they're so inferior. You wouldn't be here if it wasn't for us! We bring you into this world and we can easily kill you. Do you know how? Women are much, much better at killing someone. Why? First and foremost, we can nag anyone to death. We don't need food, we don't need sleep, we just need you to do it. And it's not because we can't do things, this whole idea, 'oh women can't drive, oh women can't carry stuff, oh women can't work'. Wrong. We just tricked you guys into thinking we were weak so you would do everything for us. And as for men being stronger, this whole concept of men being stronger, 'ooh, yah you, you're so strong, you can pick things up': question: then why don't you pick up after yourselves? Which brings me back to strength. What does 'strength' mean? 'Strength' means having a high pain threshold. Have you ever seen a man with a toothache? Pathetic. Have you ever seen a woman give birth? Mashallah. Men are so inferior, and so weak, that they can't even go into the birthing room with their wife and see their child be born. They can't take the blood, they can't take the gore, they pass out cold. And speaking of blood, I would love to see a man stabbed and bleeding for five days survive; women: no sweat. Oh, but there's more, there's more. If I'm in a fight, who do I want defending me? A man? No way, nuh uh. I don't want a man, I want a woman. Why? Because women are fully armed at all times. We're fully armed at all times. Men say there's a big altercation, we need to wait for him to draw a gun and shoot. Women will whip off their slipper before he even has a chance. And let me tell you, a woman can get her slipper to turn a corner and go down a flight of stairs and nail you in the head. Which brings us to high heeled shoes. I am disabled, I have cerebral palsy, and I can walk in high heels. Can you? (points to a man in the audience) Let's talk about marriage, folks, let's talk about marriage. Men in the West have to actually beg women to marry them. When they propose they drop to the ground and beg! And in the East, men have to pay women to marry them, because no-one would do that voluntarily. Women, if they have a child, and, God forbid it's a time of war, a time of stress, a time when there's no money, a woman can feed her baby for three whole years and sustain it. A man can't even feed himself. I made the grand mistake, last year, last year I turned 33, and I was convinced if I didn't get married I would die alone and be eaten by my cat. So I went to the best place in the world to catch a husband, I went to Gaza. Some place they have no place to run. Yes, I will confess, I did put my American passport in a gold frame, and walked through the camp saying, 'Do you want a visa, baby?' And I found someone who did! And I brought him home to America, and guess what? He couldn't do anything. He couldn't even feed himself. I had to leave him to come to do a comedy gig. I came back, I found him in squalor, barefoot and eating my cat. Finally, and this is very, very, very important, okay. It is not just that women are smarter. It is not just that women are possibly more attractive. We age so much better than any man does. Women age better than men. For example, look at my long brown hair and now look at Tim. We are practically the same age. And as I wrap up my talking points here I just have one thing to say...
TIM SEBASTIAN
I think you're finished already actually.
MAYSOON ZAYID
Man, quiet! I just have one last thing for my women in the audience, and this goes specifically for my Arab women, I'm the only Arab here, so vote for me. And my final, final three words to prove my point that women are superior to men, three words: Fayrouz, Dalida and Om Kalthoum.
TIM SEBASTIAN
Maysoon Zayid, I should even be talking to you after that, but never mind. Superior, a woman superior in the Middle East you got to be kidding haven't you?
MAYSOON ZAYID
Really? I'm assuming that you have never met an Arab mother in law, there is no stronger, scarier, more powerful thing in the world than an Arab mother in law. She can create you, she can destroy you, she can cook better than you, she can run faster than you, and in the end if she wants she can kill you and they will say it's okay.
TIM SEBASTIAN
Carrie Quinlan?
CARRIE QUINLAN
You talked about child birth and about wearing high heels, two things that are incredibly painful and men don't have to do.
MAYSOON ZAYID
Yes, this is true but the thing is, we try to keep anything challenging away from them because they're so simple.
CARRIE QUINLAN
I'm very happy for men to have babies so I don't have to, it looks like it hurts.
MAYSOON ZAYID
And one of the things we've done, which is great, we don't even need them to have babies anymore, US$10,000 and you've got one.
ROBIN INCE
My question is, if women are so good why did you have to go somewhere where men couldn't run away, then hook them in with a visa and even then find a man who wasn't even able to make an omelette?
MAYSOON ZAYID
The reason that I did this is very simple, I needed a slave, it's illegal.
ROBIN INCE
You got a slave who couldn't cook?
MAYSOON ZAYID
In a way I'm doing him a favour.
ROBIN INCE
He sounds like a rubbish slave, a slave that sat in the corner going: 'I'm eating your cat', not a quality slave.
MAYSOON ZAYID
That was a delicious fluffy cat.
TIM SEBASTIAN
Azhar you were nodding your head in agreement.
AZHAR USMAN
Yes, absolutely, everything she said was pretty much on point and when she came back I thought you were going to turn to her and say: 'Touché' but I was afraid I might have heard: 'Toupee', that's what I was expecting to happen.
TIM SEBASTIAN
Your time will come.
CARRIE QUINLAN
I do think that was incredibly mean of you to mention Tim's hair, or lack of. Women are mean, that's all your proof with that: women are mean. Tim didn't say nothing about your hair.
MAYSOON ZAYID
He told me it was lovely.
CARRIE QUINLAN
Well there, men lovely, women mean.
MAYSOON ZAYID
Let's just point out I never said Tim was unattractive. There's nothing wrong with not having hair, it's you who's implying it and you're wrong.
CARRIE QUINLAN
You were implying that he looked very old.
TIM SEBASTIAN
I think we'll move the discussion on.
ROBIN INCE
Come here (to Azhar), let's try something out, just come here, and let's, honestly, here we go, just try this, come round here and if you can just bend down, you've got a good ponytail, let's just see what we end up with ... (laughter)
TIM SEBASTIAN
Robin Ince go and get them.

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Robin Ince

Speaking against the motion
Robin Ince

ROBIN INCE
Ladies and gentlemen, it is Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve, and that has nothing to do with the debate, in fact that does indeed make absolutely no sense, because it's not Adam and Eve or Adam and Steve it is, of course, a series of replication, mutation and natural selection, not Adam and Steve. So, we start off with an interesting point, can I just say, by the way, don't the ladies look lovely this evening, don't they look absolutely lovely? But why do they look lovely? Because they're daubed in makeup, Maysoon dared to come up here and declare that she is better and yet is ashamed of her own face, yeah, smearing it. Why does she wear high heels? Because women are embarrassingly short, ladies and gentlemen, that is why. I'm not here to attack women, but actually I am, I'm being paid to do so. But, never the less, it is of course one of the great philosophical questions, it is a question that has bothered philosophers since the beginning of time: 'Are women better than men?' And by the beginning of time I mean from kind of the late sixties and by bothered I mean, it doesn't really matter. And also we should really rely on philosophers, wasn't it, after all, Descartes who once said: 'I think therefore I am'. Forgetting that a lot of people don't think, but still are. I'll return to you again Maysoon in a moment. Now, there are many, many tricky questions, now, first of all, what is the problem with men and women? It's not actually the women's fault, it's not the man's fault, I blame nature. One, life on earth was happy, asexual reproduction was going fine, have you ever seen how happy a sea sponge is? Well I have ladies and gentlemen, they're darned jolly, and the komodo dragon. Have you seen how angry a goat is? Or a man in the North of England on a Friday night? Then you see the tragedy of humanity. Now, there are many issues to deal with, first of all there is the XX chromosome versus the XY chromosome. Now, some of you may say: 'Oh interesting Robin, two Xs is worth more in Scrabble than an X and a Y'. But what can you spell with two Xs? Exactly my point whereas with a Y, xylophone. But this is really skirting around the edge: we've heard about how men commit terrible, terrible acts. But why do they commit terrible acts? For women, that is why. If you look at nature itself, look at the poor male duck. The female duck is a brown duck generally that blends in with its environment. The male duck is not allowed to be like that, the female goes: 'I don't want to mate with you, why don't you have blue feathers and some green one and great big crown. And when I get killed during hunting season, how much do you love me. Evil ducks! Let's not even touch on the peacock there. That wasn't Freudian. So most of the worst acts committed by man have been committed for woman. Let us think, for instance, of the Trojan War, a war fought for a lady because she was a bit pretty, and how stupid did men become? This is not about who is better, men or women, it is about who is less worse? Now, the Trojan horse, there you go, men so confused by women that when, during a siege, someone turned up and went: 'Hello, I've got a big hollow present here about the size of loads of soldiers. Do you want to take delivery of it?', 'Yeah, we'll take that.' The war lost due to love of a woman. What about the Black Death, ladies and gentlemen? How could that be woman's fault, the death of 35 million people in the Middle Ages? Very, very simple, I'll tell you how. Do you think men wanted to go travelling across the oceans to find spices? Of course not, no, a moany woman went: 'We haven't got enough smells, I want some more smells'. They brought back rats and therefore those women killed 35 million people. Abraham Lincoln could have been one of the greatest presidents of the United States of America, but he was assassinated. Where? At the theatre. Would he have wanted to go to the theatre? He's a man: 'Oh Abraham, can we go and see Guys and Dolls?', 'I don't really want to', 'Oh go on'. Bang. John F. Kennedy could have been another of the greatest United States of America presidents. What happened? 'I want to put the roof down, I've got a new hat'. So interesting to see how far you can see, isn't it camera 4? Now, so that's just a few of the tragedies, I could list others, I've actually made a list here, one, two, The Great Fire of London, World War One, World War Two, appalling pop songs that go: 'Oh baby I love you' - women's fault. Heart disease, milkshakes, ice cream, cheese, what's it made from? Milk. Do men make milk? No. The global obesity problem is the fault of women and female cows. And what about women's right to vote, women want the right to vote, merely to prove that they are as stupid as men when it comes to choices during an election. Now, I would be very interested to see the statistics for quality of world leaders after women got the vote, but I didn't really have the time to do that. But let us remember that women now have the vote in Britain, and we have a hung parliament. Some of you may say: 'What about the other 92 years Robin?' and I say to you: 'Blah, blah'. What about when women were given power in the 1990's, Girl Power, where the Spice Girls gave them power with a cry of 'ziga ziga ah'. Did women use it to build orphanages? To cure disease? No, they used it to get drunk, shout in the street and wear unseemly undergarments, ladies and gentlemen. Thank heavens that hadn't happened in the turn of the 20th Century otherwise Marie Curie wouldn't have discovered radium, she'd be too busy dancing on a table top singing something awful. You could vote for the motion ladies and gentlemen, please do vote for the motion if you believe in disease, death and climate change.
TIM SEBASTIAN
Robin Ince, thank you very much indeed. Are you married?
ROBIN INCE
Yes, my wife told me to say all those things. No, she's very, very careful she said: 'Make sure you're as unattractive as possible to everyone' and I think I did pretty well. Except for that fella. (points to audience member)
TIM SEBASTIAN
Maysoon, hit back.
MAYSOON ZAYID
My poor silly, silly man. I will repeat the answer because you asked again. Why do women have to wear high heels? We wear them because they're a weapon, get it. And secondly you're like: 'Oh women are short', it's ok to be a short woman, short women are pretty, they're petite. Short men are just short. You must wait a second, I must address your dog face comment, okay, your implication that I look like a dog without makeup?
ROBIN INCE
No implication, no, I'll take that back, I said you didn't have confidence in your own face. I believe underneath that huge mask you're wearing, like the Phantom of the Opera, is something beautiful. You fear your own beauty.
MAYSOON ZAYID
I fear that I'm so beautiful I must mask it at times. But really I just want to point out, yet again, where women are superior to men in that, if there is an ugly woman, she can wear makeup. What will you do? 
TIM SEBASTIAN
Touché.
ROBIN INCE
I'm just going to challenge you on the weapon. Let's take that mugging situation: 'Fortunately I'm armed, watch out for this, hang on a minute there's just a strap to deal with. Get off me, I'm just getting my weapon'.
MAYSOON ZAYID
There's no strap here and I can get this off in half a second.
ROBIN INCE
Come on then, let's have a shoe fight. This is what Doha's been waiting for.
MAYSOON ZAYID
Believe me, it turns corners.
CARRIE QUINLAN
Those don't look very weaponised shoes.
MAYSOON ZAYID
That's because you don't know they're full of lead, one hit to the head you're gone.
CARRIE QUINLAN
No wonder you've got such butch thighs.
AZHAR USMAN
Careful, she's Palestinian.
TIM SEBASTIAN
All right, okay. Carrie come back please. We're going to throw it open to the audience now. Can we have your questions please. Yes, you sir.

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Audience questions

AUDIENCE (M)
Thank you very much. My question is for the proposition, Mr. Azhar, I would like to ask you, if women are superior to men then why is it that behind every successful man there is a completely surprised and dumbfounded woman?
AZHAR USMAN
Well, spoken as a true ignorant man, you refuse to acknowledge that behind every man is actually a great woman, not only the one supporting you, but again to remind you, the one he came out of. Secondly I also wanted to point out, in general, I'm happy to see that the opposing view point was actually saved from dying by a man. Because before we heard from our good esteemed colleague here, I think it was very clear that she really couldn't do this.
ROBIN INCE
I told you about men with beards, you said men with beards are brainy, I said look at that arse (points to Azhar).
CARRIE QUINLAN
Yeah, but you've just proved our point, that I, a mere woman, couldn't make a decent argument, thank goodness there was a boy here to actually save the whole thing.
AZHAR USMAN
On the contrary, my point is that in spite of him carrying your entire side, he was still wrong on so many of the things he said. The fact of the matter is that Lincoln and JFK are two of the greatest American presidents and I've got one word for you buddy, Xerox.
CARRIE QUINLAN
That's quite a random word.
AZHAR USMAN
Scrabble, I play a lot of Scrabble.
CARRIE QUINLAN
Ah, there you go.
ROBIN INCE
You Scrabble idiots, stop the applause, Xerox is a company name, there's no way, by English rules, that would be acceptable.
AZHAR USMAN
It's in the dictionary, it's on dictionary.com, Google it right now.
ROBIN INCE
You're using the internet, in England we still use books sir, we still use books.
AZHAR USMAN
And that's why America's kicking ass.
TIM SEBASTIAN
Gentleman up there with a question. Yes you sir.
AUDIENCE (M)
Hi, my name's Abdullah, I'm from Dubai. My question is, what does it say about superiority when the doctor's waiting room is full of women and the morgue is full of men?
MAYSOON ZAYID
That what's full of men?
TIM SEBASTIAN
The morgue, the morgue is full of men.
MAYSOON ZAYID
That we're superior and we know how to stay alive as well as give birth, yet again.
CARRIE QUINLAN
Or it says that men don't waste precious resources by being all sickly, they just get on with it and die.
TIM SEBASTIAN
Robin Ince?
AZHAR USMAN
We'll give you that, me are good at dying.
MAYSOON ZAYID
They are, they're great at dying.
ROBIN INCE
I agree, 'cause as you said Carrie, they don't drag it out.
TIM SEBASTIAN
All right, we're going to take a question from the gentleman in the second row.
AUDIENCE (M)
My name is Palau and I think women are superior to men, because I'm married.
TIM SEBASTIAN
You gave in that easily?
AUDIENCE (M)
She was just too beautiful.
TIM SEBASTIAN
That's it, that was your point?
CARRIE QUINLAN
She's sitting a long way away from you.
AUDIENCE (M)
No, she's not here. I think men or women, the one who has the most threshold for pain is more superior and nobody mentioned waxing.
AZHAR USMAN
Actually she did. (points to Maysoon)
MAYSOON ZAYID
I know, men are inferior, yeah waxing, childbirth, men, dealing with men, we have higher threshold.  
CARRIE QUINLAN
You may wax your chin, which is terribly impressive, but Robin, you should have seen his back a few months ago. So, actually, the greater threshold for pain in terms of just square footage, Robin's winning.
ROBIN INCE
Also, women aren't quiet during childbirth, they make a lot of hoopla don't they? There's a lot of: 'Ow, ooh, this head's, ow, ow'. And it goes on for hours. When my wife was giving birth in the library because I had to return some books it was very embarrassing.
MAYSOON ZAYID
They may make a lot of noise when they're giving birth, but men make a lot of noise all the time. If they can't find their keys they're making noise, if they're hungry they're making noise, and if they're bored they start wars and make a lot of noise.
CARRIE QUINLAN
You're quite right, whereas of course women are always quiet and you can shut them up so easily.
TIM SEBASTIAN
Any more? Lady in the front row.
AUDIENCE (F)
I'm from Jordan and my question is directed at Maysoon and Azhar. If you believe that women are superior to men, how come mothers are unable to break the upbringing patterns of their kids and continue to enhance male supremacy?
MAYSOON ZAYID
It's, it's a very, very deep issue, and I'll be serious for a second, because, as I mentioned, mother in laws, I will agree, are evil. And it's very simple: mothers have to do this because the oppressed has to become the oppressor. So they need to make sure that the next generation of women suffer as much, but I'm confident, I'm confident, that we can break this cycle, and stop spoiling our male children. Beat them.
TIM SEBASTIAN
Let me go back to the questioner. Where do you stand on the argument?
AUDIENCE (F)
I'm totally on their side. (points to Maysoon and Azhar)
TIM SEBASTIAN
On their side? Why, why? What gave you your feeling of innate superiority?
AUDIENCE (F)
It's not innate, it's the truth.
MAYSOON ZAYID
The truth does hurt.
TIM SEBASTIAN
Carrie, help her
CARRIE QUINLAN
Well, if I could understand what you were saying in your awful high-pitched woman voice, I'd probable argue against it. But I think the reason, to be serious for a moment, I think the reason that women continue to perpetuate this is because they know, they know it's the right thing to do. Just to be serious for a moment.
ROBIN INCE
There's something there, where you were talking about women perpetuating this. I mean, isn't that one of the problems, that there is a problem with men, and women, and there's also a problem with women and women, because you'll see women, even on some kind of march, and they're marching about solidarity with women, but right at the back one of them's going, 'Look at her fat arse'.
MAYSOON ZAYID
I can quite easily dismiss that. Carrie, who is a woman, sharing the stage with me, was utterly disappointing. But compared to you, she's a goddess.
AZHAR USMAN
By the way, back to your hypothetical. Even if that is true, that the women are marching, and there are ones in the back pointing, the only reason they have to march is because men are keeping them down to begin with, so actually it comes back to men.
ROBIN INCE
It's quite interesting this, isn't it, 'cause we're almost seeing, between Maysoon and me, the English-American divide, which is the English ones kind of go, 'No, actually it's all very good, I'll just make something up', and then go, 'Good Lord, the Americans are really rather going for it, aren't they?' We were just going to stay back in the camp, and go, 'Jolly well done, yes keep going. Good Lord, they do seem to keep firing, don't they? Now I remember why we gave them up 200 years ago. Oh have your freedom'.
MAYSOON ZAYID
He's so confused! This is not an American-British issue. You can't define me, I'm American, but I'm Palestinian. Again, male-female issue. My thoughts: well thought-out, executed. Yours: all over the place and no fruition.
ROBIN INCE
Oh, do you know what? I would never have guessed you come from New York.
MAYSOON ZAYID
I'm from New Jersey, darling.
TIM SEBASTIAN
Okay, gentleman in the fourth row, there, if we can get a microphone...please stand up.
AUDIENCE (M)
My name is Ali, I'm Iranian-Canadian, from Vancouver. This is more like a more serious comment, the thing is, I mean, to really look at the superiority, you have to look at the performance, and the performance of these two different groups is, the performance is actually, you look at the results, the results of the performances, and...
TIM SEBASTIAN
You're not doing much for the male sex there, can you come to a question?
AUDIENCE (M)
What I want to say is men and women, they have not had a fair start. You know, with the whole witch hunts, and after that, giving women late voting and you know, women always begin their careers later because they are involved with the children.
TIM SEBASTIAN
And your point is?
AUDIENCE (M)
And my point is, we can't really say. If there is a fair start, then you can really see the results and say if they are superior or not.
TIM SEBASTIAN
So you're saying we shouldn't even be debating the issue. I'll give the microphone to somebody else, thank you very much.
ROBIN INCE
Can I just say something here Tim? I don't really, now this is a bit of a secret, but some of the arguments I used about women causing the Black Death and global obesity due to producing milk, I don't really believe! I just thought I would reveal that.
TIM SEBASTIAN
Okay, Lady in the front row.
AUDIENCE (F)
Hi, I'm from Qatar, my question is, if men are more superior to women why is it that women look good in men's clothes, women wearing suits, but men look ridiculous in women's clothes? (applause)
MAYSOON ZAYID
Well said.
ROBIN INCE
The truth is women look ridiculous in women's clothes, it's just we're too polite to tell you: 'No darling, you look absolutely marvellous. This dress thing? Why isn't she wearing trousers and a normal jacket? Ridiculous'.
CARRIE QUINLAN
I have to say, coming from Britain where there is a fine tradition of men dressing up in women's clothing, I have to disagree.
MAYSOON ZAYID
Just to piggyback on her point about clothing, at least women know how to pick out their clothing instead of having their wives and mums doing it for them.
TIM SEBASTIAN
Okay gentleman right at the back.
AUDIENCE (M)
I'm from Jordan, my question is, if you say that women are superior to men this means that we can live without men and all the governments and all the leaders would be women, if women can't read maps, they can't drive and they can't park, who's going to run the countries?
TIM SEBASTIAN
Azhar.
AZHAR USMAN
Well it was your claim that you said if I believe women are superior to men then women can exist without men, which nobody ever said, so typical man creating your own Straw Man argument. Nobody said that, nobody believes that except a dumb man like you.
TIM SEBASTIAN (to questioner)
Are you going to fight back?
MAYSOON ZAYID
No he's a man.
TIM SEBASTIAN
Are you just going to sit, are you going to take that lying down?
AZHAR USMAN
Thank you, I rest my case. I also want to add, by the way, if all we had to prove our point is just show the guy in the turquoise shirt asking his question, then that's the whole debate right there. You want to prove that women are superior to men, show that guy for about two minutes, case closed. If you really want to make the point, play that guy too and then show the intelligent question on the front, finished, done game over.
TIM SEBASTIAN
Gentleman over there, yes.
AUDIENCE (M)
Hi, my name is Muhammad I'm from Bosnia, I'd like to get married so I'll watch what I say. My question's actually for Mr. Ince, I might be wrong but from sitting right here and observing what's happening, but Mr. Usman here is going to probably leave the stage quite unharmed but I think you Mr. Ince, you're probably going to have to face, not only the women, but all the men of those women. So I was wondering how you were going to handle that?
ROBIN INCE
I suppose the difference is I went with the courage of my convictions whereas he was beaten down early on and forced to go: 'Whatever the women say I've got to debate I'm going to do that'. So yeah, I may well become a martyr, there is that possibility. All I can tell you is that if you do need a business class flight tomorrow my seat is probably available unless they've got leg room for some kind of plaster cast.
CARRIE QUINLAN
I think the point really is more that you're quite a big bloke and you're quite spindly and easily pummelled.
MAYSOON ZAYID
Well Robin, don't worry, the women will protect you.

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Vote result

TIM SEBASTIAN
You told me you were going to make a run for the airport anyway. Okay, ladies and gentlemen we've reached the point in the proceedings, we're going to vote on the motion: 'This House believes that women are superior to men'. Please take your voting machines, let me just explain how they work, if you want to vote for the motion that's the side represented by those on my right, you press button 1 the 'Yes' button. If you want to vote against the motion, the side represented by those on my left, it's button 2, the 'No' button. Whichever one you want to press would you please press it now, you only have to press it once, we should have the results for you in about 15 seconds. Just a reminder that this debate is going to be shown on BBC World News, and five other broadcasters. We're not seen in Pakistan and in the United States on particular broadcasters there. Right, there is the vote, 67 percent for the motion, 33 percent against. The motion has been resoundingly carried. All I have to do is to thank our distinguished guests for coming, you've come a long way thank you very much, you've come an exceedingly long way, thank you very much indeed. And to our audience as well, thank you very much for your questions. The Doha Debates will be back again in the Autumn, like everybody in this region we're taking the summer off, we hope to see you again. Thank very much for being here tonight. Good night. Good night.

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