Buckle up! Here’s Uncle Grumpy – on equality.
“In order to be truly fair, ‘equal’ needs to always mean ‘the same.’”
There are times when “equal” shouldn’t mean “the same.” I’ll get to those in a minute. First, I need to show you that I’m not crazy. I realize there are crazy people out there who say “equal” shouldn’t mean “the same.” I’m not one of them.
I understand that, in this country’s history, “equal” not meanin’ “the same” has gotten us into a peck of trouble. Take the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. The Thirteenth Amendment was the one that freed the slaves. Man, were those slaves happy.
“We’re through with slavery!”
“We’re free and we’re equal.”
“Just a second, here. We are free.”
“But we’re not equal.”
“Dang! Tell me something. What would it take to make us free and equal?”
The Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.
They pass the Fourteenth Amendment. Man, were those freed slaves happy.
“We’re free and we’re equal!”
“Equal to anyone!”
Yes, you are.
“We can vote!”
No, you can’t.
“We can’t vote?”
“Lemme see, here. We’re equal.”
Before the law.
“But we can’t vote.”
“Dang again! Tell me something. What would it take to make us free and equal and be able to vote?”
The Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.
You see that? Three amendments for a job that should have taken one. Why did that happen? Because one group was draggin’ its feet over makin’ another group the same. (It also drove up the lawyers’ fees; three bills for three amendments instead of one bill for one. I’ll get to lawyers another time.)
After seein’ the resistance to makin’ “equal” mean “the same”, the people in this country got seriously vigilant. Whenever they saw a situation where “equal” didn’t mean “the same”, they’d make a powerful fuss till “equal” became “the same.” That was the goal, the thing they kept shootin’ for: “Equal” means “the same.”
The question is: Should “equal” always mean “the same”?
Before you knee-jerkedly respond “Yes!”, consider, if you will, this example:
Theaters. The kind where they put on plays. It’s Intermission. Time to tinkle. The Men go to the Men’s Room, do their business, hopefully wash their hands, and they’re out. Women? The women get in line. A scarily long line. And they wait.
Before the “Ding! Ding! Ding!” announcin’ that Intermission is over, some of the women have gotten into the Ladies Room and done their business. But a lot of them haven’t.
They’ve still got to “go.”
At this point, the women still in line have two choices. They can remain in line till their turn comes, or they can abandon the line and return to their seats. The “staying in line” decision results in them missin’ a portion of the performance. The “leaving” decision results in them catchin’ the performance, but they’re in no way enjoyin’ it, ‘cause they didn’t get to “go”!
Conformin’ with reality, it makes natural sense for theater owners to provide theatergoers with, not the same number, but with more Ladies’ Rooms than Men’s Rooms. In theaters, restaurants, ballparks. Sweet Petunias! In ballparks, the Men’s Rooms have troughs. Not that I’m proposin’ troughs for the Ladies’ Rooms – what would they do with them, their laundry? – what I’m sayin’ is: Forget about ‘equal’ meanin’ ‘the same’, give the ladies what they need!
It’s the purists, always gummin’ up the works. “Absolutism!” “No exceptions!” Those twerpdoodes drive me up the wall!
Here’s another one:
Everybody gets a check. Do rich people need Social Security? Yeah, like I need more hair sprountin’ outta my ears! Jumpin’ Jimminy! Don’t give the rich people a Social Security check!
“We have to.”
“Because ‘equality’ requires that everyone be treated the same.”
But it doesn’t make sense! If my house is on fire, do they pour water on everybody’s house? No! They pour water on the house that needs it!
Imagine the Fire Department sayin’, “If we poured water on your house, we’d have to pour water on everyone’s house; otherwise, it wouldn’t be fair.”
Are you kiddin’ me!!!
The Fire Department uses their noodles. They ignore the principle of “equal” meanin’ “the same”, and they put out the fire!
Social Security’s in trouble. Not everybody needs a check. Save money by not givin’ it to the people who don’t need it, so you have money available for the people who do!
“But that ignores the principle.”
Who the hoot cares!
Movin’ on. With trepidation.
The entire feminist movement is predicated on the unacceptability of inequality between the sexes. This has led to a battle for equality – “equality”, of course, meanin’ “the same”– everywhere. If men do it, women have a right to do it, includin’ the military, where women, adherin’ the principle, demand the equal right to kill people from other countries. I’ll leave it at that today; I’m in enough hot water as it is. Remember ladies, I’m with you on the bathrooms.
And let’s not forget this:
The one area where I don’t see women battlin’ for equality. The area is: the equal right for women to die as early as men do. You don’t see a lot of marchin’ in the streets for that one!
On average, men die years – I’ve heard the statistic seven years – before women. If you don’t believe that, walk into any retirement home. The men are in noticeably short supply. If you ask, “Where are the men?”, you will not get the answer, “Golfing.”
The men are, by a huge majority over the women,
In the ground.
Hey, “equality” means “the same”, Ladies. What are you going to do about that one?
How ‘bout this:
Let’s champion the principle of “equality” meanin’ “the same”, as a general rule, but be wise enough to know when this normally worthy principle needn’t apply.