Equality vs. equivalence
Published: Thursday, October 11, 2012
Updated: Thursday, October 11, 2012 15:10
Men and women are not equal, they never were and never will be, and there is nothing wrong with that.
Now, before you start taking up arms to burn the bigot, let me point out an important distinction: “equal” and “equivalent” do not mean the same thing.
To be “equal” is to be the same in summation of parts, i.e. 1+2=3, or fingers + palm = hand, while “equivalent” is to be equal in magnitude, not necessarily form, i.e. a square and a circle can have the same area, but their shapes are different.
To say two things are equal is to say that those two things take exactly the same form — or their parts assembled would — and thusly can perform exactly the same function(s) – not mostly the same, or practically the same, but exactly the same. Equivalency requires the same overall magnitude – or, in humans one could say “ability” – but its expression may be rearranged and redistributed to produce a different function or effect. This may seem a fine point, but it is an important one.
In this sense, a man and a woman can never be equal, just as a cat and a dog can never be equal, just as an apple and an orange can never be equal, and just as me and any other human will never be equal, because to be equal is to be in summation the same thing, and unless one wants to argue that men and women are in fact the same thing and perform exactly the same functions — a demonstrably false claim, as dudes got dicks and bitches got tits — the argument for equality among the sexes will never be valid.
Now, that has nothing to say for equivalency among the sexes. It may very well be true that men and women are equivalent — a point rather difficult to make considering the vast number of variables which would have to be taken into account for an accurate study — but for the sake of this argument, let’s say they are: men and women are perfectly equal in overall ability.
This, however, does not mean that men and women should both be equally represented in all aspects of life, and this is my main point of contention with modern “feminism” — I use quotes here acknowledging “feminism” is a broad term and thus has multiple denotations and definitions.
Modern feminism seems to think that equal rights and opportunities should necessitate perfect parity among the sexes in everything, which just isn’t how reality works. Men and women have fundamental differences, not just physiological, which in the modern world is mostly irrelevant but, more importantly neurological, which lend themselves better to different paths in life.
This is why veterinary medicine is dominated by women and most construction workers are men, not because socially constructed societal norms pushed them into these fields, but because each sex has specific differences which are better suited for their respective fields — women tend to be more caring and acute to others’ pain, including animals, and men tend to be more tactile workers.
When you start to pull strings around and re-rig the entire system in order get the “right” outcome, as feminism has done in so many aspects of life, instead of looking for the best candidate for the job, you lower the average quality of the candidates you receive, and ironically while trying for equality introduce a prejudicial system.
And here ’s where feminism really seems to fall down: Feminism advocates for equal rights of all human beings, yet it focuses on a false male-female dichotomy in doing so.
The world is not made up of just women and men, but of individuals, all of whom differ from one another, and all of whom don’t fit into an ideal “male” or “female” mold.
There are female CEOs just as there are homeless men, bodybuilding women just as there are emaciated males, and rock star chicks just as there are stay-at-home dads. Seeing the world as just disadvantaged women and advantaged men, or vice versa, is a gross oversimplification of reality.
This world is made up of individuals, and each individual should have equal rights and opportunity, and their merits will decide where they end-up in life.
I don’t care if you’re a man or a woman; all I care about is how good you are at what you do, and if more women tend to gather in one field, and more men in another because of their individual abilities, some of which may be sex-linked, and are best suited there, so be it; we’ll have a better world for it.
It’s not discrimination just because there’s not a 50/50 split of male/female, because, as stated previously, men and women are not equal.
Class of 2015