Alright, before I start writing on my book for the day and lose my ability to care about the real world, lemme respond to this here prompt.
Write a post about what inequality means to you. Have you ever encountered it in your daily life?
First of all let me make it clear that what I’m talking about is how people treat one another on a daily basis, yes? I’m not talking about economic or political issues.
I hear and read a lot of people advocating Equality. I’m saddened to see that the world’s idea of social equality involves ignoring a person’s differences in order to force acceptance. If you mention a person’s race or sexual orientation, or religion, you are automatically excluding them no matter the context. Likewise, you have to abstain from expressing any aspect of yourself that might, through no fault of your own, be offensive to a random stranger. If you had to ask a perfect stranger if he’s seen a friend of yours and that friend happened to be black, would you be afraid to describe them? If you are, then congratulations: that’s society’s notion of equality.
I remember a long time ago a friend read over my shoulder while I was writing for my RP and he read me write a character referring to the Black Knights of Newhaven as “the Blacks” and he pointed at the screen and said “dude that sounds really wrong out of context.” and that was the last time I wrote it. It had nothing to do with anything, but because he pointed that out to me now I can’t use that term, because it makes me cringe as if I’m doing something wrong. Even if I know I’m not. Months later I found myself making that same comment to my co-GM when he had his character refer to the White Shadows as ‘the Whites’. Why? It has nothing to do with race, it’s the faction’s name. It’s a notion that has been drilled into our subconscious though; that we need to mind our words not to be offensive.
My nephew’s school was, just last year, considering the idea of eliminating fathers’ and mothers’ day celebrations in favor of children who had lost either parent. I lost my dad when I was five and I participated in every Fathers’ Day celebration in every school I attended. I’d take one of my brothers or my mom to parties, should there be one, and I’d send any cards I’d make to my grandpa; it never traumatized me. If you lost a parent, you’re never going to forget that, it’s not the fact that someone asked you to draw a lame card in art class that’s going to remind you.
Inequality is everywhere and inequality is a necessity the way I see it. Have I been treated unfairly in my daily life? Yes, I have. Would I call it inequality? No. On the contrary; I was treated the exact same way as everyone else my whole life.
When I wanted to be excused from math class in high school I was denied, like everyone else. Everyone else was not having an allergy fit. I passed out in the bathroom less than 10 min later because I couldn’t breathe.
I was treated exactly the same way as everyone else in arts class and graded accordingly. Everyone else was not color blind and I was the only student in the school who failed arts that year and had to take extra classes when everyone else was heading to the beach for the summer.
I was called a liar when I broke my left hand and told one of my teacher’s I couldn’t take notes. I had to call my mom and have her confirm that I was in fact left handed.
These are just examples from my first year of high school, and they’re not the most serious ones. These are my differences though, they seem mild compared to having a missing limb or being fully blind, or even being singled out on race or sexual orientation, but they have caused me issues. I won’t even touch the matter of my social anxiety, or the years I struggled with depression, but I will say that until this day there are people out there saying that if a person is depressed it’s their fault for not doing something about their lives, not understanding that depression sometimes is something you feel without an actual cause. It wasn’t my case, I had a cause, but for people who are clinically depressed, many times it isn’t so.
Equality is stemmed from the principle that we are all the same and therefore must be treated equally for the world to be a better place, but giving everyone the exact same thing, often isn’t the same as giving everyone what they need.
We are not equals and every attempt to bring fairness or acceptance to the world involves saying that we are and pretending that we are until we all buy that notion. Men and Women are not equals. Every race has its different traits, cultural and religious beliefs, language, are we to pretend otherwise? Yes, we are all human beings, but we are not equals.
I strongly believe that in order to make this world a better place it’s important to replace Equality with Acceptance. To not ignore the differences, but to acknowledge and embrace them. If people are afraid to see you for who you really are and need to mind their words so they won’t offend you, then they don’t truly accept you. It’s an illusion, it’s a lie, and we’ve already convinced ourselves a long time ago that this is the best we can really do for each other: take it or leave it.