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Sunday, November 11th, 2012, 1:21 am

Equal Versus Identical

Being on par without necessarily being the same

It recently occurred to me that I never wrote about feminism in 8 years of this blog running and almost 10 years of this Web site existing (I actually wrote the first page over 10 years ago, but it resided in a different domain). I thought I would address this subject, laying out my thoughts and perhaps compare them to my opinion a few decades later.

When I was young I was pretty disconnected from the debate about feminism, as I was merely a teenager. While I was respectful to women, I was not so tolerant of gay people (it was more fashionable to alienate them at the time), not that I said anything offensive to them though. When I got older and entered academia I identified myself as somewhat of a liberal, so I was naturally strong on the equality side; therefore I became very much in favour of women’s rights and gay rights. I saw them as somewhat parallel to my fight for software freedom and fair competition in IT. Slavery is another, but let’s leave that aside for now. It’s very different except for the reparation argument. Also, gender and sexual orientation are quite different from race, although all of them are not a person’s own choice, unlike religion for example.

Something happened as I grew older and saw how feminism is being used by the ultra-feminists, primarily in the situation where one wants special treatment, bashes men, portrays them as stupid on TV while at the same time resorting to antiquated women’s privileges like alimony when it suits a goal of convenience. I am still all in favour of equality, but where it becomes a two-dimensional strategy where ‘victimhood’ is used as well as claims of privilege, then it is becoming problematic for men.

But here is where my main dilemma now lies. Gender roles are being blurred out and claims of discrimination often lead to a state where guys are expected to act feminine (ultra-proud gay people play a role in this) and women become more masculine, which, in my humble opinion, also makes them less attractive and less likely to manage to sustain a marriage. It is that which I call the confusion between equality and identity, or the fight for equality resulting in the pretense that men are equal to women in every way, even strength, leading to a mismatch between activities and actual innate skills. For instance, a man is still better off doing physical chores because men are, in general or on average, stronger. They are not as well endowed as women in many other ways, including the ability to conceive and give labour. There is nothing derogatory in the latter role; in fact, in many ways it is more important because all men and women are raised through this process.

But anyway, just to quickly conclude, to take claims for equality too far can often do more damage than good. To make men act in a way their DNA is not programmed for is a bad idea and for women to get more aggressive is also a bad idea; it weakens the family unit, which in turn challenges the upbringing of future generations (discipline, example from parents, etc.). Single-parent families are fine, so that’s not the point.

Let’s keep the debate over equality civil and not try to impose our views on others. Let’s not let zeal exploit the existing movements and give them a bad name, either. All genders, races, etc. deserve equal rights, but let’s not pretend they are all identical in nature. People are attracted to opposites, not copies of themselves (which usually just lead to competition, not harmony and complementation).

IF you find this post offensive, please explain why. It’s not intended to offend anyone.

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