Canada Dry, by Adam Highway
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”
Even the framers of that oft-quoted document didn’t really believe what they had written, or at least, not in the way that we today would. So what DOES equality actually mean? Is it a fluid, evolving, abstract thing, whose nature changes over time? Or is it an absolute, an ideal towards which we grope, blindly and optimistically? Are we destined always to live in some Orwellian dystopia, in which all are equal, but some are more equal than others?
Probably not, but it’s a thought!
Do we even want equality? After all, to be equal to is to be the same as something; perhaps we ought to strive rather for parity, or even more prosaically, fairness? Equity rather than equality? Or do we instead accept that equality has come to mean something other than its etymology would suggest, and that this is a commonly agreed and understood meaning? Probably the latter – after all, equality is also the goal between the sexes, though nobody is likely to consider men and women to be the same. (Unless very drunk!)
For my part, I know what I mean by equality. It means a world in which there is no country where it is illegal for my partner and me to share a bed. It means a world in which religious tolerance no longer means sexual intolerance. It means a world in which no person ever has to stop to think whether it is safe, before holding the hand of, or kissing, the person they love. It means a world in which, when Stephen Gately died, Jan Moir’s article, if even written, would have been regarded as, at best, the peddling of prurient and salacious gossip, and at worst as unacceptably insensitive, rude, inappropriate and utterly beyond the pale.
It means, I suppose, a world in which such well-intentioned documents as the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the United States’ Bill of Rights, the United Kingdom’s Equality Act and the European Convention on Human Rights are considered outdated.
Equality will finally come when we no longer need anti-discrimination legislation, because the attitudes which they exist to combat have become archaic, and utterly unimaginable.
Equality isn’t being told that you can’t think, say or do something “wrong”. Equality is when nobody would even want to think, say or do that something in the first place.
From http://www.gscene.com/ – March 2010