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  • Writer Login


    Some More Than Others

    We Are All Equal, Are We Not?

    by | 2 | Jul 26, 2012

    A comment on my article in Like the Dew, “Here’s What I Wish I’d Said“, read: ‘We are all equal, are we not?’ When it comes to equality between the sexes and between rich and poor, here’s how I see it.

    As a backlash to the aspiration of equality, some see an opportunity to express their chagrin by lack of courtesy. Opening a door or giving up a seat on public transport is not a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of consideration for our fellow human beings. A man seeing it as an opportunity to put down a “Women’s Libber” says more about him than it does about the woman.

    We are equalEqual pay: The gap in pay between men and women doing the same full time job in America is still 19%. That’s on Wikipedia today: “The unexplained part is typically attributed to discrimination.” It used to be justified that men were breadwinners, supporting families. But single men were paid the same as married. Today there are millions of single mothers who are sole breadwinners, still not paid equally to men. It is unthinkable that men would accept being paid 19% less than women for equal work.

    Part time workers of both sexes are often underpaid, exploited as single parents who must oversee their children.

    Single parents and many married mothers work longer hours, responsible for housework, cooking and childcare on top of their time at work. Many would like to share those activities more fairly, especially married women.

    Fathers sometimes get a raw deal when it comes to divorce and custody. A vindictive wife can contrive to keep the children away from him. Let’s hear more support for loving Fathers who want to see their children.

    Should crimes committed by white collar workers like fraud be subject to lighter sanctions than blue collar theft? Can a banker stealing millions get away with a fine, or lighter sentence than a thief?

    Should a black man be more easily judged guilty, than a white man? No, but it is statistically the case.

    Should a politician with his hand out escape sanction because it’s called lobbying, whereas a businessman might be accused of taking a bribe?

    Should an election be winnable by the party with more disposable funds? Why allow political advertising in the first place? That is not part of the Founding Fathers’ legacy. It has become less a contribution to political debate than an opportunity for one party to insult the other.

    The better off in our society are often reluctant to fund relief schemes through their taxes. By relief I speak of payments to the unemployed, the poor, the sick. Resistance to paying fair taxes reflects lack of concern for the hardest pressed, especially when one’s income is large enough to afford second homes, a yacht and several cars. Yet those fighting to preserve their advantages are often the same people professing their religious virtue. In America land of the Free, it’s considered laudable to be religious, unless of course that religion is Muslim, which may be considered suspect.

    Although practically everybody in America is descended from immigrants, today it’s sometimes used as a term of abuse. The same class who complain about undocumented aliens may employ immigrants to work at unpopular jobs for less money. Exploitation is one thing; giving them permission to be here is another.

    In time of war the Armed Forces welcome immigrants.

    Some complain that immigrants send home their pay to countries in South America. They do so not because they are affluent but because their loved ones at home are hungrier than they are. The people sending home their pay take the bus and live on beans. Don’t assume they left their families and their culture behind because they preferred our lifestyle, food and music. It’s often because there was no work at home and their children’s bellies were empty. Consider the sacrifice, not to see your children for a decade, burdening your aged parents, because you are supporting them all the only way you know how. Are they to be denigrated? Wouldn’t we do the same in their situation?

    A hungry man is not a free man. – Adlai Stevenson, statesman (1900-1965) 

    Americans working abroad send money home by electronic transfer, not spending more in those countries than necessary. Americans abroad seldom try to learn the language, yet criticize Hispanics who do not learn English.

    Those who receive health insurance benefits through their jobs or who have money to spare sometimes worry little about people with diabetes without insulin, their outlook if untreated being loss of limb, blindness or premature death. Imagine suffering toothache for weeks on end while waiting for a cancellation at a Free Clinic to pull it out.

    Appendicitis is more than a health crisis for a person without health insurance. For those for whom insurance is unaffordable an accident, cancer or heart attack can wipe out their savings in weeks.

    Should people who love others of their own sex not be allowed to marry like the rest of us?

    Shouldn’t victims of rape and incest have the right to abort in every state?

    Should the terminally ill in this country have less access to euthanasia than Canadians?

    There will never be universal equality in the world, while some Africans live on a dollar a day and others die for lack of water.

    We are not all equal now. We can only aspire to equality, and preserve what kindness we can towards our fellow man.


    ###
    Anoni Muss

    Anoni Muss

    Anoni Muss is a wild woman who used to be tame. She has a head full of stories and a lively pen. Stretched for years to the limit of her physical and emotional endurance by work, a large family and many challenges, she now relaxes in a tranquil leafy setting and the only buzz is in her head. She lives in Virginia with Gusto. Note: Anoni’s justification for the anonymity was acceptable to LikeTheDew and consistent with our policy.

     

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    • hannah

      Well, the Constitution is addressed to our agents of government and outlines what they should be doing--i.e. their obligation to deliver equal treatment to all persons. The question, “we are all equal, are we not?” refers to a state of being — the ostensible rationale for the obligation, putting the onus on the recipients of the actions. It’s a variant of the mental habit of looking for the cause of an action in the effect. The dog deserves to be kicked and women, children and immigrants exist to be exploited and abused, to maintain the proper hierarchy.
      Why do some people need this constant reinforcement of their superiority? I suspect it’s to counter their sense of inferiority, incompetence and insecurity. A generous, self-directed, competent person does not need to dump on someone else.

    • dockeroo

      The justice system particularly in my home state (Georgia) is a reliable indicator of how equality plays out. Georgia has 159 counties and about three times that many court systems. I’m not a lawyer, but I do keep up with what’s happening in the arena where wrongs are redressed. I’m willing to bet the ranch that the variance and disparity of criminal convictions and the severity of sentences from urban to suburban to rural courts would shock the conscious of detached, objective observers. This broken system would be directly tied to race, gender, level of education and economic status. Go observe a traffic or recorders court to see equality in action at the lowest level of the justice system. Perhaps the branches of government are actually broken; that is a valid subject for debate. But something is terribly wrong when one branch, the judicial, serves as a reliable supplier of freshly culled inmates to keep jails and prisons full, thus creating more supervisory and administrative jobs and helping the economies of counties and cities in a way that opening a new factory used to accomplish..

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