Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Equality Is Misunderstood.

The word, 'equality', like its parallel phrase, 'Human Rights', is mostly misunderstood by many. And the constant and almost baseless and hollow use the word has rendered it absolutely meaningless. Yet you cannot completely blame the misunderstanding on recipients-turned-users, but on the contexts in which 'equality' is used.

'Equality', at least in the context we try to use it, is totally lost to the intended outcome. In the context of diversity, of which we mostly apply the word, 'equality', the meaning is metaphorical rather than absolute and literal. So in simple terms, equality for diversity does not mean all differences melting away.

In trying to explain, acknowledge and respect our differences, the word equality is employed. In practice, 'equality' pushes for the above characteristic approaches in treating and handling the diversity of human being. It thus mean that what 'Equality' in the context we presently use it means is; acknowledging how different human beings are but at the same time, respecting that difference and therefore taking them into consideration when dealing with any particular individual or group of...

For example, if you were preparing food for a group of different individuals that you [do not] know, 'Equality' for them would not be to ensure that each has the same food to eat, but that each has the food suitable for them. That would range from making sure that all possible options are available; i.e. vegetarian/veggie options to alcohol or non. That way, you have acknowledged each persons difference and also respected that difference at the same time.

Where this context is lost, the actual word may be contorted into different meanings, even into a fabled theory of a political gospel. It is this particular reason that gives rise to statements like, "gender issues are not Human Rights"; "the majority does not want gay people, so minority have no place among us", etc. These are dangerous fall-outs of a misplaced and misunderstood technicality of a word lost in contextual transmission. Language, culture, socialization and historical contextualization of a society are factors that can impede the full understanding of this word.

To achieve the above, data collection may be necessary to ascertain that you do not waste food by making too much meat than the number of people who would eat it require, etc.

In the African (or black community) context, 'Equality' loses its meaning due to the long tradition of placing emphasis on community instead of acknowledgement of The Person' . In those context, a young person is expected to marry the person approved by the family instead of a person the young person actually falls in love with; vice versa. Systems such as these ignores the young person's love, emotion and desire. 'Equality' therefore have no happened because the members of that society would see the marrying person as stubborn and deviating for doing otherwise. This above could be so because the potential partner is of different colour, faith, belief, race, tribe, etc.

The above is the reason 'Equality', Human Rights, and all other civil liberty issues in their league are mostly ignored and argued against in the global South.

Equality therefore is not treating everyone as the same(i.e. making every man marry the woman  society wishes for them), but acknowledging and respecting each person for who they are without prejudice, patronizing or sentiments (allowing them to marry who they fall in love with). Respect, dignity and responsibility should be at the core of transmitting this notion. But also, the attitude of one size fits all, which the Human Rights religion is propagating is a tough pill to swallow and thus cannot work in certain realms no matter what. Devolving the term 'Equality' may be the catalyst to achieving it rather than imposing it causing it to become myopic.

Until most of us humans understand this [Equality] in this way, discrimination and phobia would continue to rise amongst us. It is time we start to teach this 'Equality' as it is initially intended.

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