There was a time when equal meant equal and unequal meant just that: unequal. Things are different now in a society that has once again effectively altered the meaning of a word to advance its agenda in trying to make men and women equal. While it has been determined that men and women are not equal (see the Are Masculinity and Femininity the Same/Equal? post) we have been taught to believe that being unequal has cruel undertones. An easy test to see if that is true is to monitor your own feelings when you say, “You and I are not equal.” It might take a few moments before the anxiety starts to settle in, yet it will come. Why would men and women not being equal cause any anxiety? The answer to that question gives us the reason why our society today tries so hard to make them equal. So, what could push the whole of society into trying to make men and women equal? It is the new meaning of the word inequality.
In our society today, we have been conditioned to believe that there can be only one possible meaning to the statement that men and women are not equal. It can mean only one thing and nothing else. There is no other possible meaning than the one I’m about to give you. None. The statement that men and women are not equal can only mean that men are vastly superior to women and that women are rubbish; men are the pinnacle of society and women are door mats; men are the only desirable element of society and women are a burden; men are the very best and women are the utmost worst. I could keep going on and on like this, but I won’t. Do you get the picture? Has your level of anxiety risen to an appropriate level? This is it. This is the answer our society has given us to the meaning of the statement that men and women are not equal. It is this meaning, and only this meaning. There is nothing else. Now wait just one minute! What the heck!? I didn’t sign up for that meaning, and I’m guessing you didn’t either. Is any part of that meaning true? Men and women are different, but there is more than one conclusion to what that means. Society’s meaning might have an undertone that seems, and maybe feels true. But take heart, none of it is true.
Society’s meaning for inequality centers around worth which can directly impact a person’s self-worth. Now, it doesn’t have to impact self-worth, nor should it. When using inequality to differentiate between two or more things, we can use it as a comparison, or as a contrast. When used as a comparison, it becomes easy to reach the conclusion, or meaning, that one is better than another. In the case of men and women: it is true that men are better suited for certain jobs and women are better suited for other jobs. Does this automatically mean that one is vastly superior to the other? No. Herein lies the partial truth that makes it easy to believe in society’s meaning of inequality through the fear that it could be true since men are better than women at some things. However, this should never equate to the diminishing of one’s self-worth, or self-esteem for these are not based upon what a person can do (see Masculinity, Femininity, and the Ability to Take Action). When used to show a contrast, inequality properly concludes that men and women are so vastly different from one another that no effective comparison can be made between them (see Can Men and Women Be Adequately Compared?). Therefore, they are not equal to one another. Neither comparing, nor contrasting men and women through the use of the word “unequal” result in either one being superior over the other. It is high time for us to throw off the harmful meaning of inequality between men and women that society has provided, and to hold fast to the truth of the differences between men and women and the inherent self-worth of each.