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Is Equality Between Women and Men a Fair Concept?

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  • #16
    Hi,

    some late night ramblings ...

    Originally posted by Equity View Post
    This is interesting. You maybe right. Equality may not be flawed in certain applications. It is however flawed when it is applied to two things that are not the same. This is what I am asking in this thread. Is equality between the two genders fair? Should we have equality between women and men?
    Yes and no. I mean, as long as terms are as loosely defined as here, a definite answer is difficult.

    But let's start at the top, with fairness as a guideline to sort all other values.
    I'll list a few of the terms.

    Starting with the most inclusive: Identity (aka sameness)
    Here we are talking about fundamentals like life, liberty and the pursit of happiness.
    More specifically e.g. constitutional rights, like the right to vote, legal rights like the right to own property and run a business, and the opportunity to enroll in institutions of higher learning.
    "First wave" territory.

    All of the above have been, at least at times, contentious. Are they still, today?

    Equity (equivalence, equitability?)
    The right to be treated as having the same rights ... a "separate, but equal", apartheid arrangement, where men and women are seen as different, and do different things, but where each sex and what they do have the same 'dignity' or are regarded as equally valuable or whatever is the right term.

    Equality
    a) The absence of any policies on the grounds of gender differences (...?)
    b) Men and women do not occupy different spheres, but are integrated and equal (...?)

    Parity
    Equal number of men and women in all arenas: politicians, officials, CEOs, managers, artists, athletes .... very identical-outcome-oriented.


    Claims and counter-claims are being made on all of these levels, with some men questioning the wisdom of the female vote

    I think parity is the easy one. This is feminist territory, the end point of identity politics: any person type A or B can only be "represented" by a politician or manager type A or B.
    The opposing view, I guess, would be that they who can lift the crates should also decide how and when lifting is to be done.

    For the rest, they all apply "on some level", and the trick is to find that level. When should we be 'equivalent but different', and when should we be 'equal'?
    Everyone agrees that these levels are real, even the feminists; they use it to argue for their very selective desires not to take on any equality that adds a burden to women, like conscription.
    Plain gynocentrism claims women are 'equivalent but different' when it comes to heavy lifting, but 'equal' wrt. the paycheck that follows from it.

    I would say that this also highlights different uses of "fairness" - for some, it just means "same rules for everyone", for others it means "help the disadvantaged".
    In the first case, everyone lines up at start, and end up ranked as they reach the finish line.
    The second case is like handicapping horses, if their jockey is too light, or something (unsure of the details, but you get the picture, I hope).

    This is exactly what proponents of equality are arguing for. They argue that everyone should have equality and that equality is having the SAME/IDENTICAL rights. Many of them are also successfully arguing not only for equality in rights but equality in outcomes as well. They argue that men and women should have identical outcomes in life. Equality today is lead by feminism and feminism preaches that gender is a social construct and that men and women are IDENTICAL. Therefore, they argue, women and men should be treated identically. Equality today has become treating people identically as per the definition given to it by feminism.
    So the counter-position would be to argue differences.
    One would have to list them all, and also describe which differences impact e.g. constitutional rights.

    Exactly why is equality of outcome an unacceptable end state, btw?

    Numerical parity is by deifntion equality. Equality is sameness.
    IMO parity is the worst offender against fairness. Men who are politicians and managers have worked their way up; females just want it handed to them.
    And they're very picky aboutwhich areas get quotas, and which not, as you will know.

    Recognising that people are different, that they have different strengths, limitations and needs and treating them in accordance with these three things.
    Why not try to overcome the differences?
    (If that is what we decide we want, of course. Like e.g. building wheel chair ramps for equal access to public buildings and transport.)

    Treating people that are different identically is not treating them fairly.
    Oh, Idk ... on some levels I disagree. It depends on what differences you recognize, and the price of inequality, I'd say.
    I think females have a right to life and liberty, for instance.
    The downside of different treatment can also be disproportional. The "different" status can be so "bad" that the "wrong equality" comes at an acceptable price.
    This is the case against slavery. Imagine if science found conclusive proof that African-Americans really did have a 5 point lower IQ average.
    Would that justify treating them the way they were treated prior to 1864? I think not.

    but Manalysis you said that treating things that are different equally is not right.
    Yet equality of opportunity does just this. It gives the SAME opportunities to different people. Is this fair?
    Well, if people _are_ different, the differences will be apparent in the outcomes, won't they?
    You'd have to find differences that are demonstrably _causal_ ... hm ...
    OK, doctors. Female doctors on average practice fewer years etc. etc., making a female doctors on average more expensive to society.
    Should we bar females from studying medicine? Should we maintain a 60/40 m/f ratio?

    How can a concept that is based on treating everyone the same rectify disparity?
    Technically, it can when any discriminatory practice is recognized as the cause of said disparity.
    Eliminate discrimination, and hey presto, disparity disappears.
    It won't work if there are other causes, obviously.

    The only way it can do this is by discriminating between groups of people, giving one favourable treatment over others, thus contradicting itself!
    No, not if measures consist in eliminating unnecessary and unfair hindrances for one group.
    I think a lot of Man Problems are of this nature. Men don't want favourable treatment, but would be happy to be treated the same as women in e.g. family court, etc.

    Equality is a discriminatory, contradictory concept.
    That injustice can arise from trying to achieve justice is nothing new in human history ...

    It is a broad concept that encourages society to take everything into account when deciding what action to take. So yes, it is a super value.
    Example: reproductive rights; and fairness as opposed to freedom. The roles of men and females are so different that we approach a true zero sum game.
    Giving men full reproductive freedom, whatever that may loook like, must necessarily reduce women's freedom, just as the opposite situation limits men's freedom now.
    How does the value fairness relate to the value of freedom here?

    [QUOTE] Is it fair to give women the same opportunity as men in areas in life where thanks to the differences between the two genders men become exposed to greater risks and responsibilities?
    This is the pro-female argument wrt. births, isn't it?

    Is it fair to pay them the same salary despite their differences? I mean their differences do not stop at the doors of the opportunity... Lets assume that a woman and man both pass a test to become "Firemen"..(lol..i refuse to call it anything else). The man thanks to his biology will become exposed to greater risks than the woman in this job. He will be more effective than her at it. Equality of opportunity will wind up giving them both the same salary despite their differences. it is a deficient concept that is lacking...it stops at the opportunity and life is a lot more than just opportunities. Equality of opportunity is just as flawed a concept as equality of outcome.
    OK ... say that no women could ever become firemen.
    But among firemen, some men, thanks to their biology, will become exposed to greater risks than other men in this job. They will be more effective than them at it. Equality of opportunity will wind up giving them both the same salary despite their differences. Is that unfair?

    I know I would be uncomfortable knowing that things were stacked against me because of some inborn traits, like being male and white and cis-het and somewhat able bodied. So it's easy to sympathize with other people who do not like things being stacked against them for their inborn traits. The ideal outcome is to find rules that are fair enough for everyone to say "ok, I can live with that, let's play". Giving everyone their due, so to speak. A system that rewards only ability, achievement, results, regardless of point of origin.

    Isn't it?


    M

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