The Danger of “Equal”

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September 28, 2010 by Darlene McC

A few weeks ago I was at a party with the type of people who know how smart they are, so they make assertions just to have something to argue about… like fighting about whether we actually have textbook definition of a two party system (for serious, who cares!? It’s a party!) .

On my way to grab water (party tip #1: know how to rock the one-to-one) a friend grabs me and tells me I need to arm-wrestle some guy.

“Sure, but why?”, (obviously I’m going to… I’m just curious).

“He’s saying no woman can beat him.”

Naturally, this salts my snales and I offer my arm; the woman he’s attempting to badger into wrast-lin is a little smaller than average and would be no match.  Well, after some banter this chucklehead ultimately refuses to hand lock with me; but still I must know:  WHY say something so dumb?

Well, he didn’t. He merely said that men and women are different.   Genetically, psychologically, and biologically different.  And the (admittedly intelligent) woman he was speaking to went berserk.

She insisted, unquestioningly, that men and women are equal (DAMN IT)

and because its the PC thing to do the men around her had jumped on board (even grabbing me because they know I like a cause). But when I learned what was actually going on I disagreed with her.

Why?  I’ll tell you:

Our generation grew up with the idea that we are all as equal as we want to be and Barbie can be anything (hookers, doctors, models, morons…) but that’s given us a false sense of security while simultaneously allowing us a new level of achievement . It’s like somewhere between their required lib arts feminism class and their gay male best friend being a bridesmaid, the women in our generation think there’s nothing left to fight for; yet in reality the last 15% of fighting for anything is going to be the hardest to get to.

This idea doesn’t just hurt the women yielding it, but undermines the movement that helped get her the opportunity she’s already enjoying… and articles like The Hill’s blogger Diana Furchtgott-Roth don’t exactly help.  In her piece, “Gender pay gap is a myth” she discusses Congressional actions to help shore up the $.77 to $1 Female/Male problem (what she calls a myth).

A woman who chooses a part-time job, or one with a flexible schedule, in order to have both family and career time might think of herself as successful. But to feminists, she is a societal problem in need of a solution because she is on a lower earnings path than a man.

I’m sorry, what!?  When’s the last time you heard a feminist refer to another woman as “a societal problem”?  Her argument is that these part-time women skew the data; but the comparisons are to men and women doing the same jobs. (for the record: she says the data is wrong and makes assertions about adjusting for things like working mothers, but there’s no references or facts, just crap… and don’t say that’s what I just did, because that link above goes to the AFLCIO who DO cite sources)  But I digress…

The point is: there is no “good enough” in equality – there’s just equal, and not.  The lady I was chatting with (and many I have chatted with at such parties) was raised with the idea that we’re equal (DAMN IT!) so she’s not fighting for understanding or actual equality; she’s accepting the blind faith that we’re already there.

I ask you this now: is it possible that we can be both different and equal?  It’s a biological fact that our brain chemistries work differently; and 7th grade health class should tell you our bodies are different.  Does that auto-fail on equal value?  I think not; but what the hell do I know?

So I voice this concept, the arm wrestlers agree, and start to digest it. Thinking they’ve made a new friend they ask about my background… and upon discovering I didn’t go to an Ivy League school all excuse themselves.

Score.

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