How many times have you heard this dumb question: “Do you believe in equality?” or, put in another, more threatening way, “Do you not believe in equality?” as if the person asking it is ready to follow up with a vicious “how dare you” should the answer be anything other than “yes comrade, I believe in equality”.
However, there is only one correct answer to this silly question – and it is not “yes” or “no”. The right answer is: “This is a stupid question, comrade”. Here is why.
Equality in what sense is almost never defined. Equality before the law? Equality before God? Equality in cognitive ability? Equality in physical ability? Equality in height? Equality in the amount of money one makes? Equality in the amount of money one can make? Equality of opportunity? Equality of outcome? What kind of equality?
The only equality everyone should believe in is of three types: equality before God (all men and women are creatures of the Devine), equality before the law (all men and women should be treated the same way by the rules of society) and equality of opportunity (all men and women should be able to try and become self-reliant, to pursue their interests peacefully and to express themselves truthfully but not intrusively onto others).
All other types of equality are to be condemned as aberrations that attempt to destroy the nature of human beings by boxing them into political labels or abstract philosophical constructions used for power plays.
Men are not equal among men in terms of cognitive ability, physical qualities, artistic inclination, kindness, intelligence, memory capacity, outlook in life, ability to be responsible, courage, age and so on. The same thing applies to women.
Men and women are not equal in terms of physical capabilities (there are a few exception to this rule of women who are stronger than many men, but even the strongest woman will not be able to compare with the strongest man – biology), emotional makeup, role in society (this is why you have certain jobs that are preferred by men while other occupations that appeal to women) and so on.
These “not equal” instances are essentially differences which, under no circumstance mean that the humanity of a man or of a woman is diminished by these differences. In fact, I would argue that it is precisely these differences that makes a man or a woman unique, interesting and worthy of respect, empathy, love, criticism and understanding. Those who believe in the kind of equality that erases these differences essentially commit themselves to destroy the complexity of the individual.
So, do you believe in equality?