I’ve noticed lately that there are a lot of people who have the wrong idea of what equality really means.
Some weeks ago I recall seeing an article inn the news that said:
Personally, I don’t think equality should be superficial. Equality doesn’t mean that the cabinet should have 15 men and 15 women. Equality doesn’t mean 50/50, equality means an equal chance for everyone. A government that has a cabinet with 15 men and 15 women doesn’t mean it’s an egalitarian government. It could be a 30 woman cabinet or a 30 man cabinet and still be more egalitarian than a 15/15 cabinet.
This article is not about Canada’s first cabinet though. To explain my point of view, I’ll use an example that will illustrate it clearly.
Since I’m a graphic designer, I’ll use this as an example. Let’s imagine I start a graphic design company and i want to create a team of four people, four graphic designers, and i ask people to send me their portfolios.
Imagine I receive two thousand portfolios and I pick four that stand out, that I consider the best based on the work shown in the portfolios.
If by chance they all happen to be men, or if they all happen to be women, this would’ve been a more egalitarian choice than if I had chosen 2 that, by chance, happened to be men. To show that I’m all in for equality, I would’ve chosen two women for the fact that they are women, which in my opinion would’ve been gender discrimination.
Same with the Canadian example above. My question is, did they chose who they chose because of their aptitudes for the job, or was it a publicitary move? Is there a chance that maybe 20 women and 10 men would’ve been a better choice for the job? Or vice versa?
Like I said, equality shouldn’t be superficial. Equality doesn’t mean that a movie has to have the same amount of black actors as it does white actors, or the same amount of men and women, it means that the criteria to choose the actors shouldn’t be discriminatory.
In my opinion, complaining is worthless. It’s not enough pointing out the problem, you need to get to the core of it.
Spike Lee recently complained about the fact that in two years there haven’t been any black actors nominated to the main categories of the Academy Awards. I agree with him that this is very suspicious, but you can’t just say that and decide to boycott the ceremony for that reason.
It’s really not a problem that there aren’t black actors or actresses nominated for the Oscars, because he is not complaining about the lack of Asian, Latino, Indian (etc) actors nominated for Oscars. The real problem, the core, is the criteria. Who chooses the nominations and why?
Like i said before, it’d be less egalitarian to include a black actor in the nominations for the sole purpose of his or her skin color. If the truth is that there are racial discriminations (which, in my opinion, is likely the problem — because I find it dumb that Matt Damon is there for The Martian but Abraham Attah isn’t there for Beasts of No Nation — again, just my opinion, nothing against Matt Damon either) then, you need to complain about it. You need to point out that there is a discrimination in the criteria of the picking of the nominees, but not about the lack of black people in the nominations, which are two completely different things.
It’d be like complaining about the fact that in the last 30 years, only two of the NBA’s MVPs were white. Would that be considered racism? If the majority of players are black, I find it completely normal that there are more MVPs that are black than there are white. I could only call this racism if I had a proof that there was, indeed, discrimination against whites in the criteria of choosing an MVP.
It’s not sexism if I insult a woman, but it is sexism if I insult a woman due to the fact that she is a woman. It’s not racism if I insult a black person, but it is racism if I insult a black person for being black. (By the way, I don’t go around insulting people, this was just an example.)
Equality should be in the criteria. Equal chances for everyone no matter their gender, sexuality, color and such. Equality doesn’t mean that a man and a woman should get paid the same. It means that a man and a woman should get paid the same for doing the same job. It means that the aptitudes of a person for the job should be the credentials in their resume, not their color, gender, or sexuality. It means that we, as human beings, should be equal in front of the law without barriers of discrimination.