December 11, 2017, Prescott-
I just made my final statement, in an ongoing discussion with a “traditionalist”. He says that true equality between men and women can never happen, because “we are each what the other isn’t.”
This take on things uses truisms, to construct a false dichotomy. He states that no two people have the same skills, or even interests. I concur. We can all agree that no two people even have the same fingerprints, or identical DNA.
This, however, is where the notion that equal means identical must be met, and discarded. I regard equality as a match in opportunity, status and reward, for the same abilities and efforts. There should be no “glass ceiling”.
Opportunity is the big one. A woman who has the ability to run a multinational corporation, rebuild an automotive engine, pilot a rocket ship or stare down a tyrant, should be given full rein. The compensation should be the same as for a man.
Goodness knows, I was given this lecture, in 1970, by a hardknocks Army sergeant, who I would have thought would be the last person to challenge anyone’s lingering sexist bias. It changed my own 20-year old’s view of how women should be treated in the workplace, and for all eternity. I wasn’t a pig, mind you, but there was an attitude that a man should be in charge of a work station. I am glad to have been rid of that, these past 47 years.
My late wife was my full partner, and yes, was everything I was not- and vice versa. That’s what makes a full partnership work. My women friends enrich my life in ways that “the guys” can’t, and vice versa. This is what makes for a salubrious social network.
So, yes, we will never be identical. All the same, I never want to go back to a world where we men must make all the decisions, garner all the honours and rewards and never have to rein in our egos. That, to me, would be a vast, screaming desert.