Anyone who has stuck around long enough to take in the general theme of my posts will know that my ethical beliefs smack into the bullseye of the humanist sphere. However, one thing that I think does need addressing in this system of ethics is the idea that we are all born equal. We are not. Indeed, we exist in a society where who we are born as inherently affects our entire lives. This has always been the case, no matter your country or creed humans have instinctively created a system by which no man is created equal, whether you be a Brahmin or a woman or even our own white middle class male, years of history have enforced the social construct which means that we are all born on a compendium of opportunity and likelihood of success, you may not be born my equal, I may not be born yours.
This does not mean to say that we aren’t all meant to be equal, apart from people who like coffee cake, you’re the ruin of good bakery everywhere, I believe the thing that sets us apart is our ability to pursue an ideal (cue epic hollywood theme music). However, the phrase ‘we are all born equal’ needs to be discussed before we can truly become so because hundreds upon hundreds of years reinforced belief system has taught each and every one of us the belief that we are not. We may try to block this out, it may be only that tiny voice inside our heads that we hear when a woman cuts us up in traffic, but it is there, somewhere, and that is still not okay.
The problem is that until we address this, the fact that we are not born equal, we have no chance of becoming equal. While women struggle under the weight of both bread-winner and primary caregiver, desperately trying to have it all because we are at long last being allowed the opportunity, we are still missing out on the fact that men are not expected to do so much in oder to be branded a success. For example a woman may feel she has to be a mother, have a successful career, manage a set of fulfilling hobbies and also, all the while, maintain a physical standard (visa vie: a hot bod) which meets modern beauty requirements, while her husband only has to do half of this to meet the demands of a society which proclaims that men and women are now equal. PAH! I say now, we will be equal the day my girlfriends can go out and get with ten boys in a club and be branded a ‘player’ rather than a ‘slut’, we will be equal the day I come out in a push-up bra and see my boyfriend wriggling into a pair of spanxs, WE WILL BE EQUAL THE DAY MEN WORRY ABOUT THEIR ‘BIKINI BODY’ AND WHEN IT IS AND ISNT THE BEST TIME TO GET A WAX! (FYI your best bet is a Wednesday).
The point is until we see that women are still not treated as born equal to men and now in fact are being forced to live to double standards rather than be given equal treatment, then we will not truly be equal. Until we see that homosexuals have to do more to be accepted into society than heterosexuals and until we admit that black is not at the same advantage as white we are no closer to achieving equality for everyone. Those who deny this need the scales removed from their eyes, because so long as one person is at a disadvantage, so long as discrimination is still allowed to fester in the depths of our communities structure, then we all lose out. Because if it’s ok for a woman to be abused because she is a woman then it is okay for a man to be abused because he is black, because so long as we keep telling people how we live in a world where we are all equal we are reinforcing laws that were written before we knew enough to know better. Because nothing can change until we see that we are still not all born equal.