What does “equality” mean to you?

Does it mean an even playing field, or a pedestal?  Unfortunately, our country seems to be leaning torwards the pedestal idea these days.  As we are all aware, the Clinton Senate seat is up for grabs.  Women’s advocacy groups are calling on Gov. Paterson to specifically appoint a woman (Article).  As a young woman myself (perhaps particularly because of it), I’m outraged.  This is not equality, and I don’t appreciate these arguements being carried out in my name.  Should someone receive preferential treatment because of their sex?  No.  To begin with, forcing gender-based appointments down the country’s throat tends to turn a lot of people off to the equality arguement, valid or not.  Second, it encourages the idea that women cannot succeed without aid.  Third, I would like to trust in my fellow citizen that they would rather have someone lead their country because they are right for it.  After all, is Washington about leading a nation, or proving points?  When I tell my representative I want them to support this or that move in congress on my behalf, I could really care less whether they were a skirt or pants.  They argue that there is “an abundance of qualified women”.  I am sure, however, that there are many qualified (well…at least in the sense that the mainstream media means it) men as well.  Equality is letting both compete based on their political ideas.

Is equality a just goal?  Certainly; if you mean it in the sense that everyone is allowed to enter the playing field and market their goods for what they are worth (excuse the economic comparisons, but free market theory does seem to apply to so much!).  Equality is not guaranteeing a win as long as their goods are of reasonable quality while denying the goods of top quality.  It does not mean setting any seller up on a pedestal.  I’ll finish with this.  Frankly, I would be offended by any such actions on my behalf, giving me a leg up.  Take college admissions, for instance.  If you truly appreciate what a college education can mean, wouldn’t the idea that you owe your success not to your own merit, but to some characteristic, bother you immensely?  I know it would bother me.

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