Androclast and I challenged each other to write a piece on Equality and then compare the two. We set no word limits or theme outside of the one word. Below are the resulting articles.
Am I Every Woman?
As a precocious youth, I was proud to declare that I was a feminist. I relished in the idea of empowered women stomping over men to eventually rule the World. Granted, I may have had a slightly warped view of what feminism meant but the roots were there.
More recently, I have begun the question feminism. I no longer feel the urge to spit on the downtrodden men as we women sail past in our chariots of success and retribution. What has triggered this sudden change? I still want equality for women – the SAME rights as men. I don’t however, wish to punish today’s men for the subjugation of the past. A feminist should seek to overcome the barriers that stop her from the same rights as everyone else and not to become the oppressor of the opposite sex in return.
In the study of history, feminist historians seem to be particularly aggrieved about their fore-mothers. Since the 1960s, there has been a plethora of publications about women’s history. Books about women in history, TV shows about mothers and sisters and servants. Why are we so interested in the ordinary woman and now, no longer, the ordinary man? Would a TV series on John Bull be as interesting to an audience as Lucy Worsley and Harlots?
I enjoy androgyny and dislike makeup. This does not make me less of a woman or believer in a fair society. I also don’t care if men want to dress and women and vice versa – this is one’s own choice. What I object to is the misappropriation of the word feminism. Women can be chauvinist too.
I live in hope that one day these terms won’t even have a purpose. The same rights will be applied to traditional concepts of men, women and everything else therein. I also hope that the penchant for feminists to forget about the value of men is short-lived. The point of equality lies in the definition.
All The Stuff’s The Same
Philosophy is the treatment of the bewitchment of intelligence by language, said a sage man. Said sagacity may have been enhanced if it had been understood that human intelligence, at least the part we tend to experience so proximally, in conscious awareness, is almost entirely linguistic in nature.
Linguistic intelligence bewitches itself. It is the cornerstone, the keystone even, of the majority of disputes, even between those ostensibly using the same language. None of which is particularly important for the following, except to highlight the poor use of a word and its underlying concept. I might have also referenced the human tendency to jettison reason when dealing with a potentially emotive issue.
The issue in question is ‘equality’. A laudable concept, one of which its forward-thinking nature is evinced in the brutal and oafish application across the board without pause to consider what the word means.
Equality. Equivalence. One thing being the same as, worth as much, as effective as, as deserving as, another. Seemingly a very strong relation between any two things, and yet one which is so entrenched in vast areas of thought it is almost taboo to query.
Equality is vanishingly rare, and should be fairly confusing wherever it rears its heads. Genders are not equal. People are not equal. Individual people are not equal to themselves on a daily basis, let alone anyone else. The concept has, via its own very laudability, led to an utter undermining of its very point.
Political and social equality are desirable and truly enlightened because equality in the sense people seem to wish it existed does not. For objective genetic reasons men tend to be physically stronger than women (this is not refuted by a woman being stronger than a man, or even the strongest person alive being a woman for a thousand years [although that would be a legitimate research area if it arose now]); for tawdry sociological reasons the wealthy tend to have disproportionate control over… well, whatever they wish: conditions such as these can (because they have and do) lead to a recognition of inequality which many (mostly those losing out) find distasteful. It boots nothing for us to dissolve that sense of dissatisfaction by denying these inequalities obtain. The sensible position is, upon espying areas where inequalities do not benefit us in general, to make sure certain societal equalities are imposed.
I mentioned emotive issues above. This is one for some reason. The selfsame people who would not hesitate to allow a trained helicopter pilot to convey them in said vehicle, rather than demand they be granted recognition of identical rights and abilities, would question various faculties and abilities simply because another was of another gender, or nationality, or intellectual tradition.
How human. We know we are unequal, and yet we focus on partisan fripperies, rather than employing it and intervening where inequality genuinely encroaches on fairness.