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Life is not…

February 28th, 2009 · No Comments

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِ

I’m in a constant state of awe seeing how people enter these elaborate debates across all different mediums on the internet.  Due to the fear of bring branded non-pc, anti-Semitic, a fear monger, etc. people have turned to the anonymity of the internet.  This anonymity offers a shield where anyone (or everyone for that matter) can display an extreme amount of indignation.  It doesn’t matter what the person is advocating, everyone pits his/her indignation against the other’s indignation.

One of the common themes that comes up is how inequality is still thriving between men and women, and nothing will be resolved until the playing field is 100% even.  The term “egalitarian” fits these individuals desire’s quite well.  My response to that:  Life (or reality) is not egalitarian.

No matter how someone will pit the argument, men and women are different.  If we’re going to discuss topics where there should not be a difference between men and women (pay for doing the same work, access to resources, protection under the law, etc.), no argument there.  Those things aside, there are fundamental difference between men and women (biologically).  To list out two:

  • Men can not bear children
  • Men can not nurse

One can enter the more subjective differences between men and women, but that’s just asking for a fight.  We can uses these two biologicially differences to extrapolate how they affect women, both in the short term and long term.

Consider two employees:  one is male, and one is female.  Both provide adequate work, and both are on par for promotions and pay raises.  Assume now the female becomes pregnant.  Now, by law, that female is afforded certain accomodations and also she expects a certain amount of flexibility from her employer to deal with her pregnancy and post birth.  Now assume that you are the manager.  You need to appoint someone to a potential managerial position, and it’s someone you need to depend on.  You have no issues with either employee from a quality of work standpoint.  You also have no issue with either employee from a soft skill perspective.  The only defining point is you, as the manager, know that the female employee is at a stage in her life where she is building a family, and as such, there is the risk that she will be taking more time during the day to take care of family related matters.  That, however, does not guarantee that she will be unable to fulfill her responsibilities, but there is an added risk that can’t be ignored.

Again, I am intentionally avoiding the more subjective issues (decision making, discipline, inhibition, etc.).  Achieving a complete state of  egalitarianism or equality is impossible.  Men and women are different, and as such, the circumstances will always be different.  There are certain situations where society can help bring down discriminatory practices, but in the end, business is business.  If people are expected to operate in a completely objective manner, then each individual’s circumstances will dictate how others view him/her, and by default, no two people have the exact same circumstances.

Complete egalitarianism is not possible.  Complete equality is not possibe.  What we can do is strive for complete equity.

Tags: Random · Thoughts

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