Aristotle stated that “the worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal.” I believe the great philosopher was on to something.
Equality is not a “one size fits all” proposition. “Nuts” and “bolts” are equally metallic—but they are not equal. “Straight” and “curved” are both shapes—but they are not equal. “Three” and “seven” are both numerals—but they are not equal. To speak of these things being “equal” is not particularly helpful. To enforce equality where it doesn’t exist is not only wrong but pernicious.
The voices that cry for equality are numerous. I think it’s time to rediscover the virtues of inequality—and to celebrate it.
We need to applaud the fact that humans come in a variety of shapes and sizes: tall, short, plump, and thin. We do not have the same interests, aspirations, and dreams. We are of differing intelligence, appearance, creativity, and abilities.
Science clearly affirms that our genders are different. We are equal in dignity and worth, but this does not mean equivalency or alikeness. We are not interchangeable. Men and women are profoundly and marvelously different in a multitude of ways. We are not equally beautiful, tender, sensitive, intuitive, or strong. We are gloriously diverse.
We have different inclinations and strengths. Men are better suited to making houses, women do better at making homes. Engineering appeals more to men, and nursing is more attractive to women. That’s fine. Why try to force equality where there’s diversity? We need to accept the fact that we are not all equally good at the same things. There is contrast and complementarity. And it is beautiful.
A world of total equality would be insipid and dreary. To reduce everything to sameness, to eliminate contrast, to do away with difference is to get rid of that which makes life fascinating, exciting, and challenging. It turns everything gray. It all becomes bland.
True equality is about the dignity and worth of each person. It is not about sameness, identicalness, or interchangeability. When equality denies diversity it becomes absurdity.
It foolishly attempts to make unequal things equal.
–J. O. Schulz