Axver (axver) wrote,

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On divides between people.

Sometimes, people say incredibly stupid things. A good example is Bush's mother's recent comment that the evacuees from New Orleans are now better off. Another is the following quote I found in last week's Time magazine. For the record, I've never heard of this person before and have no idea of their political leanings, so this isn't any kind of attempt to slam an individual or an ideology or anything of the sort. I was just left flabbergasted when I read this piece of 'brilliance' (emphasis mine):

In 1900, [American] women did not have the right to vote. If Iraqis could develop a democracy that resembled America in the 1900s, I think we'd all be thrilled. I mean, women's social rights are not critical to the evolution of democracy.
- Reuel Marc Gerecht, former Middle East specialist for the CIA

I didn't think anyone in this day and age actually still believed such tripe. Let me get this straight: the rights of roughly half the population are not an important factor in the growth and furthering of democracy? Why? Since when were the rights of women so trivial that they can be overlooked in the development of important aspects of society and government? I thought ignorant philosophies like that had finally gone out of fashion for good.

Recently, I ranted about the needlessness of racial divides, but I don't think that entry was broad enough. At the end of the day, we are all members of the human race, we are thinking and feeling individuals, and we should stop erecting unnecessary divides between races, nationalities, the genders, social backgrounds, et cetera. This is especially important because such divides are usually used simply as an excuse to discriminate, hate, and marginalise. Of course, there are times when distinctions must be made - anyone with a reasonable grasp on reality can tell there are important differences between the male and female bodies and thus a game between the mens' and womens' rugby teams of New Zealand would be nothing short of a horrific mismatch. Such distinctions, however, are not divides and should not be used to construct divides. At the end of the day, men and women are essentially equal as individual humans. I'm not going to say something stupid like men and women are as smart as each other, because I'm positive that if you could somehow find the average intelligence of all men in the world and the average intelligence of all women in the world, it would not be perfectly equal to the most insignificant decimal place. What I will say is that men and women both have the potential to be exceptionally intelligent or, on the other hand, exceptionally daft. Regardless of a person's gender, each individual is worthy of the same treatment and opportunities, the same respect and dignity, and the same quality of life without the hindrance of any divides or discrimination.

At the end of the day, take pride in who you are, if you feel there is a reason to. Take pride in the heritage of your nation, the successes of your race, the achievements of your gender, and everything else that makes up who you are. But don't do that at the expense of anyone not in your particular groups; don't let your warm affection for your successes mutate into a discriminatory and even hateful air of superiority.
Tags: discrimination, divides, divisions, equality, inequality, sexism, society
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