The Problem with the Modern Equality Movement
It had to have been about a year and a half or so ago that I got into one of those stupid Facebook fights with some crazy social justice type. I take full accountability, I should have known better than to even get into it. I know I’m smarter than that, I have better judgment but what can I say? Stuff happens. It was also my bad for assuming that all other adults are sane and rational; again, I know better. This online scuffle has remained as a standout memory in my mind because it serves as a stark reminder that there are really those out there that are so incapable of seeing subtlety and nuance in the complex labyrinth of human behavior and social systems.
“This is crazy,” I remember thinking, “She can’t possibly believe that people like me are denying that there has ever been a history or a pattern of abuse, racism and oppression in western civilization?” But, as I feel like I am constantly arguing, it’s not black and white. The issue is not all or none. There are so many gray areas and nuances that failure to recognize them becomes so highly problematic that those who perceive themselves as victims can easily turn into the abusers because the bottom line is this: it’s the abuse that matters, not the reasons. There are certain behaviors that are just not okay, no matter who is inflicting them but you can’t tell that to someone that believes that certain groups of people, including and especially males, are deserving of mistreatment.
But this type of thinking is the anatomy of clinical, malignant narcissism. Watch out for those who sing the ballad of “When you do it you’re a monster, when I do it, I’m a hero.” *cough* Narcissist *cough cough*
Equal versus Unique
My issue with the pursuit of equality is that the so-called crusaders of so-called equality make no distinction between uniqueness and unequal. We hear all the time that someone’s basic human rights are being violated in every instance that something appears to be unequal and yet laws and policies are written explicitly to ensure the preservation of individual rights and yet we’re still supposed to believe that when two groups are different, there is one and only one conclusion: the violation of rights and human oppression. The crusaders for equality, as far as I have been able to tell, never make distinctions between unequal and unique and it’s when they start labelling uniqueness as unequal that we really start running into problems.
My chosen career, the therapy and social services industry, is one in which it is vastly over-represented by women. As a male therapist, I have often gone to work meetings, conferences and other such places to find myself surrounded by women. Not always a bad thing, I know, but do more women go into social work and therapy because men are being oppressed or because their rights are being taken away? Or is it because women have a tendency to be more interested in people than men are? Is it because women are different and unique from men or is it because of nefarious and evil people persecuting others for, you know, reasons?
Uniqueness is a value and a virtue and one that must be embraced, nurtured, cultivated and respected and I find the equality movement to be a movement that constantly tramples on it. There are a lot of dirty words and ideas attached when things appear unequal. For example, “deficient.” Yes, I will say that men and women are unequal but that does not mean that either group are deficient or lesser than. It simply means that they are both strong and weak in their own unique ways. I have often found that with individuals, their greatest strength is also their greatest weakness and I think that the same can be said for groups like male and female. Their greatest strengths are also often their greatest weaknesses but that’s what makes them unique.
Uniqueness must be able to be preserved and I will resist individuals and groups that talk as though they are the champions of equality when they make no considerations for uniqueness. Furthermore, the equality movement makes zero distinction between equality of rights, equality of opportunity and equality of outcomes. In the western world, rights and opportunity are equal because the law has explicitly been written that way but because there are discrepancies in outcomes, they automatically assume it’s due to some kind of nefarious and deliberate oppression. I contend that when there is an equality of both rights and opportunity, the discrepancies, at least most of them, are far more likely to be chalked up to the fact that people are unique because they are born that way. We can’t stop that from being true and nor should we because doing so would be truly monstrous.
The so-called equality movements are so dedicated to their pursuit of equality and they have so effectively discouraged uniqueness that the movement is more so becoming a movement about conformity. Conformity is a problem because it takes away an individuals identity. Identity is extremely important, for so many reasons. Individualism is the quiet hero against groupthink, echo chambers and mob rule. When strict conformity is expected, people lose touch with their personal identity and that can be particularly problematic and even dangerous because people don’t connect with their own actions and decisions when they have lost their sense of identity. They don’t see their actions as something that they did, they don’t connect with the person that did those things because their individualism was lost.
Take the KKK, for example. When this insidious and ugly group held strong influences in their local areas, they were known for their white hoods and robes. You can’t distinguish one person from the next. There’s no individualism and there is no identity and that is the threshold to hell, my friends. They did horrible things to countless people, even the indoctrination of their own children and it’s pretty easy to do when there is no identity or accountability to that identity. No, there is no sanctimonious group that is the exception to this rule. It’s never okay to strip away a person’s identity and demand strict conformity. Even in the name of equality.
Going to Far
Anything and everything under the sun can be taken to far. Anything and everything can be taken to the extreme and in my humble opinion, this is the great folly of humanity. The inability to understand that it’s all about balance and moderation but this is also an indication that people are unable to see the subtle and nuanced traits in their day to day experience. And frankly, that is my definition of dumb and we shouldn’t be listening to people that are dumb, even if, as it seems to be, so many of us yield to angry tantrums. Just because someone is angry doesn’t mean they are right and it doesn’t mean that they own the moral high ground.
Where is the line? How do you know that you have taken something to an unhealthy level? Most people that I encounter are able to engage in that level of introspection while the equality movement seems to have deteriorated to a level of insane fanaticism. How do you know when you’ve gone too far? That’s a question that I would encourage everyone to ask themselves about everything in life. How do you know when something has gone too far? How do you know when you can’t regain the ground you have lost and it’s time to cut your losses and move on?
I’m asking you, the reader, to join me in fight for equality after an appeal to uniqueness and individuality have failed. I’m leery of those who are unable to ask themselves, honestly, is there another possible explanation here and immediately go on attack mode.
I’m also trying to be sensitive here to the fact that sometimes going against the crowd and going against the grain is terrifying and can be extremely painful but I always maintain that in the long run, being true to yourself and practicing personal integrity is always the greater virtue.
Ultimately, one of my biggest issues with the equality movement is that because it makes no distinction between unequal and unique, or in other words they don’t identify or respect when people are just different is that people start to develop the fear of standing out and that’s a problem. You only get one life and it’s a sad thing and a special kind of hell if we allow someone to rob us of our one shot of living the way that we want. An equality movement is an ugly thing indeed when it requires us to live in a state in which we are in violation of ourselves.
In the end, the people that live true to themselves are the ones that die with far less regret and sadness. Being true to ourselves can be a painful journey, to be sure but it has far greater rewards but in my view, this is also a great opportunity to emphasize the importance of community, support and brotherhood. Associate with those that support you being you, whatever that may be because those that are supporting you are walking their own path and living the best that they know how and desire the same from others.