Equality Doesn’t Mean 50/50

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: 

Trudeau gives Canada first cabinet with equal number of men and women

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. 


About Joel Amat Güell

Joel is an illustrator, graphic designer and writer from Catalunya. He has designed for bands and clothing brands you probably have never heard of and for some that you probably have. He has designed and illustrated other stuff for other people too.

10 Responses

  1. a woman

    hilarious article. you couldn’t be more wrong. keep your opinion to yourself next time. pretty sure it’s making the rest of us dumber.

    1. Also a woman, but why does it matter?

      Maybe you want to say why he’s wrong? or ya know, people have the right to assume that you have no legit reason to say he’s wrong.

  2. sad girl

    Here’s where you’re wrong: There have been real studies that show that people discriminate based on gender using a similar scenario that you use in your hypothetical study of job portfolios. Look it up.
    Hollywood should represent more than just white and male because the whole entire world is more than just white and male. Look it up.

    Also, thank you for letting me know what women feel like when you said this:

    “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.)”

    lol okay

    1. Sorry if i didn’t explain myself clearly in the article, but i think you misunderstood some points. Let me expand on that:

      – I agree with you on the first part and that’s what this is about. i’m complaining about gender discrimination and i’m saying that in order to choose someone for the job, we should make our choices looking only at the work that person can do and their abilities.

      – second thing, regarding the hollywood comment, i agree with that too and all i’m saying is that you can’t complain about the lack of black actors and not complain about the lack of gingers, people with down syndrome, disabled people, etc. nobody complains about the lack of white actors or black actors in asian films right? so, basically, what i’m saying is the same you said above, only that i used it to show an example to show the difference between the superficial part of a problem and the core of the problem.

      – you probably did not understand the example of insulting a woman. first, i don’t understand the “thank you for letting me know what women feel” thing. you completely made that up. I’m not talking about how a person should feel. obviously you have the right to feel offended when someone insults you wether it was sexist or not, i’m just trying to show the difference. here’s a better example:

      i play football (soccer), so imagine someone tackles me violently, the kind of tackle that you can see was with bad intentions. So, if the man that tackles me happens to be black and i get up and call him an assholes, it doesn’t become a racist comment just because i’m white and he’s black because the insult would probably be the same if the man doing the tackle had been white. Or calling b.o.b dumb for saying stuff like the earth is flat, it’s not racism just because i’m white, because the fact that i call him dumb, is not because he’s black but because he said something “dumb”. another example would be if i say that, for example, (which is not my opinion on the subject) but if i said that Hillary Clinton is an incompetent and i don’t think she should run for president, it doesn’t make the “insult” sexists if i say it based on the things she says or the policy regarding certain subjects, but if i said that she is incompetent and shouldn’t run for president because she is a woman, then that would be a sexist comment. That’s what the example is trying to explain.

      also, and this is just a personal opinion, i think i kept a calm and respectful tone during the whole article, so you should refrain from telling people to keep their opinions to themselves or be rude the next time. i respect your opinion as long as you explain your point of view, that’s what a debate is. You never see a presidential debate and have a person explaining something for 2 minutes and then have another canditate say, “you’re wrong” and not explain why. it’s just useless to comment on an article by saying “you make the rest us dumber” and not explaining your point of view.

      1. sad girl

        You realize that those comments came from two different people, right? Might want to take note of that.

        And unless you’re a woman, or a black person, you don’t have room to comment on their experiences. Stay in your lane. Talk about your experiences, only. That is why I said “thank you for letting me know how I feel” because you do not have the room to say anything about what is and is not sexist. I do think you have a good grasp on the differences between an insult and sexism though, so thats great. Next step, you need to understand the differences between oppression and hurt feelings. For example, you cannot be “sexist” towards men. Ever. Its not possible. There are plenty of sources out there to help you to learn these things, I suggest you read them before you write an article like this ever again.

    2. sad boy

      What do you know about the feelings of a boy. You said: “you cannot be “sexist” towards men. Ever. Its not possible.”
      Actually saying the above is aperfect example of being sexist. Making a comment about every human with male sex.
      You don’t know about the experiences of a boy unless you are one.

      1. sad girl

        That makes sense on paper, sure but its not fact. I know that because I understand what sexism is and in our society you cannot be sexist toward the dominant culture. Sure, I can hurt the feelings of men, but that is not the same thing as sexism. Look it up, Sad Boy, you can figure out these things too. There are tons of scholarly articles written on the subject.

        And Joel, since you’re understanding on the subject of sexism is little to nothing I’d advise you to not write anymore articles on the matter. Especially when you have never experienced things like racism or sexism, you are not allowed to write on the subject matter. Its not in your lane. If by chance you have experienced racism, maybe you’re not white, I don’t know, feel free to write about your experiences. Your opinion doesn’t matter unless its your own experience, if you think it does, you need to know that you’re drowning out the voices that do matter and thats not okay.

  3. Ricarda

    I agree with the statement, that 50/50 doesn’t mean equality and that people should be chosen for a job based on their qualities and experiences. A lot of things you mentioned make good sense. In my opinion the problem of realising real equality in our society is that we had hundreds of years of oppression of women/black people/different religions/different races etc etc. and we can’t just undo that and demand equality and think that’s all it takes. People need to unlearn the “given structures” and I think your thoughts on the topic of equality are a step in the right direction. I think you idea is going in the right direction but I think it’s not the way to get what we really need. It’s a bit like saying “we need to stop wars and the way of doing that is to stop fighting” – I’m pretty sure that no sane human being wants to kill others or fight wars, but still they are happening for different reasons. It’s the same with gender equality, we know that it is needed, but for a ton of reasons it takes way too long to realise this.

    Just on the side – don’t be dicouraged to write more just because people do or do not agree with you – that shouldn’t be your criterion for publishing something. We all strive to improve ourselves and gain more knowledge and it shouldn’t be forbidden to share your thoughts just because someone else thinks you’re “wrong”.

    I wanted to comment on this since it has been published and I’m quite sad that some people can’t comment without hatred towards the author.

    1. thanks! i’m really not discouraged. i still feel there was a bit misunderstanding with that person (could be because i couldn’t put my thoughts into words in the way i wanted) but i’m not discouraged at all. i’m just happy that i created a bit of a debate in here.

  4. Notarealname Notarealname

    Alright so I do agree with you on 50/50, but for something like a government, I feel 100/0 is unfair
    So long as there’s atleast a bit of female or male representation I feel that its fine

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