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Is true equality ever achievable?
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bad gal lotita
post Mar 3 2017, 06:22 PM
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With this video doing the rounds today, and after discussing gender equality in class today, I feel like it's time for me to open up yet another discussion on equality. However when defining equality in a social context I do think it's intriguing to split them into these four sub-sections, and I'm interested on hearing everybody's take and seeing how similar/dissimilar the results are!

Speaking internationally I'm sadly going to tick myself as "no" on all of these. For topics which each have so many paths of discussion, and debate, on the whole I can easily conclude that with each of these minorities within these subsections, I can't ever see (even western!) society moving in such a way to completely abolish all discrimination. I really hope I'm just being pessimistic here and somehow I can be proved wrong. kink.gif Obviously I'm speaking purely internationally here, could be interesting to direct some discussion to specific nation states! For the first three (gender, racial, sexual orientation) I think these are utterly desirable and as long as I continue to TRY make my way in politics I'll always be striving towards the utopia of achieving these equalities! Ideologically I'm struggling to find a standpoint for class equality. I agree more with equality of opportunity than equality of outcome, however can't agree with the idea of a classless society. I think a tiered system is needed in order to provide motivation to work, as SADLY human beings aren't inherently good and will seek out self-interests. You can probably guess that Bentham's ideas are the most intriguing to me :')

There's a nice vague opening post from me with my initial thoughts on this, I'll try contribute and further discussion as much as I can here! Of course don't feel like you have to discuss all of these, feel free to pick up one point concerning equality and let us know your thoughts!
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bad gal lotita
post Mar 3 2017, 06:23 PM
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Also an interesting train of thought is how far do we define equality? Whether we define it in terms of legislation, or in terms of public perception.
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ʟɪɴᴅsᴇʏ
post Mar 3 2017, 06:29 PM
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I put yes for all of them bar class which I put unsure for. I feel like for the first three, 100% equality is what everyone is striving for, just some are closer to that than others, there is a long way to go but I like to think that in my life time I'll see things like "coming out" being a distant memory and it won't be a thing anyone has to do anymore because it won't matter who you love. The same for sex and gender, like it won't matter what you identify as, people are people and that's that, again I think that's something most of us are striving for, a world where there is no gap between men and women etc.

Unfortunately I think there's always going to be a divide between social classes, there's probably always going to be someone better off in comparison to someone else, I can only hope that there won't be such a difference between upper and lower classes.
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Liаm
post Mar 3 2017, 07:02 PM
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We did racial inequalities today and yesterday in lectures and seminars as well laugh.gif

A lot of these are so deeply ingrained into society's institutions; just look at the police brutality in America :/ I think a drastic reform of the police system is needed for that one, I think there should be more requirements to be an officer for one. Over here you can just do like a Public Services BTEC and a bit of training afaik, and I think there should be more involved. Potential police officers should have to learn about things like social justice, identities and inequalities to have more understanding of the struggles people face and how they should be treated. But equally I understand that is idealistic, it would take generations to overhaul something like the police that drastically.

I think in generations to come, gender and sexuality equalities are probably more likely, but still probably a way off. Things like under-representation of women in executive positions, gay marriage not being legal in many countries, and women being paid than men in identical roles, still exist and are prevalent sadly. They of course shouldn't, and with all the gains made for women it seems absolutely ridiculous that there's still that pay gap in 2017. I think it's dismissive to say it will never happen, but it certainly won't be soon, put it that way.

As Lindsey said, I think class is the hardest one. Equality of opportunity is one thing, I think that is getting better as student loans and the help available mean that people have more opportunity than ever to go to uni and get an education, for example I come from a single parent family and my mum really isn't well off at all I'll just say that. However, it's not as evident as school as these sort of children tend not to have the same academic success to get towards going to univeristy in the first place. For whatever reason, being a lower class just sort of shuts you out of a lot of things, you don't have access to the same materials, cultural capital etc. to know what to do and where to go when it comes to bettering yourself after school. But with regards to actual class equality, I think it's something that will always be, really :/ You can argue the gaps are closing, but as Lindsey said there are always gong to those who are better off and those who are worse off, in a capitalist society. Then there's the 1% which is a whole other can of worms, it always astounds me that such a tiny proportion of the world control such a large portion of wealth when there are people who have virtually nothing.
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Chez Wombat
post Mar 3 2017, 07:11 PM
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No for all, unfortunately. It obviously *should* be, but certainly in the current world we live in, I just don't think it's possible. These 'norms' are so ingrained in society and cultures that it'll take an awful lot of work before it's overturned completely and not be newsworthy when a significant step forward is seen, and likewise when big steps backwards stop happening to complement them.

This post has been edited by Chez Wombat: Mar 3 2017, 07:12 PM
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Jade
post Mar 3 2017, 07:39 PM
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It REALLY pains me to say this but I voted 'No' for every option. sad.gif There will certainly be progression but I don't believe that we will ever be a truly equal world. I really wish I did believe otherwise, but like Chez says the norms we have in society are so ingrained that I find it difficult to imagine all of that being completely undone. I of course hope to be proved wrong but that utopia seems so far out of reach.
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Oliver
post Mar 3 2017, 07:54 PM
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Yeah, unfortunately I also think it's a "no" for all of them, as much as it hurts me to say. sad.gif
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Jacob Alan
post Mar 3 2017, 09:29 PM
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Achievable? Certainly for gender and race, the west is incredibly close in most aspects of equality, however in middle eastern countries (for example) it's so far behind it's hard to see anything changing in the near future sadly. I put 'unsure' for sexuality because there seems to be a separate stigma on that issue and attitudes haven't started changing until a lot more recently. As for class, it's nearly impossible to ever see the system being abolished, but I live in hope that social mobility will become ever more possible.
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Doctor Blind
post Mar 3 2017, 10:09 PM
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Well I am going to be optimistic and say 'yes' for gender, race and sexuality. When you think of how much progress has been made even just over the past 50 years and how attitudes are continuing - albeit slowly - to change then I fully believe that it is an inevitability that we will end up with all 3 at some point. I do think it is a long way off unfortunately, but I do believe we will get there because there is an inherent will within each of us to achieve this, and as acceptance and understanding grows around us so do we also remove our prejudice and the barriers that there are to equality.

I think income equality is a different matter - whilst it reduced post-war and up until around the 1970s, since the liberalisation of the financial sector and the banks we have seen a gradual move back towards the larger inequalities of the late Victorian and early Georgian period, something than is a natural consequence of a more capitalist society. I think that because those that have benefitted from these inequalities are in sufficient numbers and quite happy to be incredibly wealthy, we will not see any concerted effort in order to reduce the inequality beyond piecemeal efforts attempted at placating the working classes (although granted there is probably a threshold beyond which all kinds of social disorder could break out - which governments must seek to prevent being crossed in order to keep a stable society).
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Conderella
post Mar 3 2017, 10:09 PM
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Yes for everything but class and maybe sexuality, although voted yes for the latter. Class has always been a dividing factor and i hardly doubt it will go away unless people stop being greedy, which means stop being humans smile.gif
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Doctor Blind
post Mar 3 2017, 10:15 PM
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QUOTE(lotita @ Mar 3 2017, 06:22 PM) *
Ideologically I'm struggling to find a standpoint for class equality. I agree more with equality of opportunity than equality of outcome, however can't agree with the idea of a classless society. I think a tiered system is needed in order to provide motivation to work, as SADLY human beings aren't inherently good and will seek out self-interests.


In the next 50 years work will become much less important as the majority of jobs become automated. That will radicially change society because we may need to bring in things like a citizens wage. Your whole basis for having a tiered society then completely breaks down ! : )


This post has been edited by Doctor Blind: Mar 3 2017, 10:15 PM
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popchartfreak
post Mar 4 2017, 01:03 PM
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No for all of them. Equality of legislation is very achievable, but the history of the human race is a history of conflict and inequality. A sizeable proportion of the human race is filled with hatred and bigotry and the only way they will shut up is if there is a utopian world where everybody can have what they want. Clearly that is impossible so there will always be people with grudges looking for an opportunity to obtain a personal utopia (ie riches or power) at the expense of others.

Witness how, despite all the advances of the last few decades in the quality of life, and legislation, how quickly people jump on a populist bandwagon and have no concern for the consequences on other people as soon as things get less rosy for them personally.

I'd go farther - I think the human race is doomed to cause it's own self-destruction, either in a major self-inflicted catastrophe, or a gradual decline over centuries as the planet struggles with human-related disasters. The only possibility I can see is if a lack of empathy in individuals turns out to be genetic (it's certainly not upbringing) and it can be "fixed" by tinkering scientists (and all the moral issues that go along with that).
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CornishAromantic
post Mar 4 2017, 06:30 PM
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No for all, unfortunately sad.gif Well, unless a dramatic vibrational change happens in theory of a morphic field (lol ya never know!), there are far too many negative factors at play as well as too much lack of understanding for those who differ to themselves for such a thing to happen, at least for a while...
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burbe
post Mar 4 2017, 06:41 PM
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No.

The human race seems to be stuck in a never ending cycle of discrimination for different groups in society. Looking at history, there's always going to be some group that are outcast, which is really sad. The prevailing argument of the government and media will always influence sections of society and that will never change. They will always have a scapegoat and/or villain for whatever problems are currently happening to shift the blame off themselves.
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Liаm
post Mar 4 2017, 08:35 PM
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QUOTE(popchartfreak @ Mar 4 2017, 01:03 PM) *
No for all of them. Equality of legislation is very achievable, but the history of the human race is a history of conflict and inequality. A sizeable proportion of the human race is filled with hatred and bigotry and the only way they will shut up is if there is a utopian world where everybody can have what they want. Clearly that is impossible so there will always be people with grudges looking for an opportunity to obtain a personal utopia (ie riches or power) at the expense of others.

Witness how, despite all the advances of the last few decades in the quality of life, and legislation, how quickly people jump on a populist bandwagon and have no concern for the consequences on other people as soon as things get less rosy for them personally.

I'd go farther - I think the human race is doomed to cause it's own self-destruction, either in a major self-inflicted catastrophe, or a gradual decline over centuries as the planet struggles with human-related disasters. The only possibility I can see is if a lack of empathy in individuals turns out to be genetic (it's certainly not upbringing) and it can be "fixed" by tinkering scientists (and all the moral issues that go along with that).

Exactly, you can change legislation but you can't really change the human nature of wanting to be better or seeming to better than outgroups. Of course, a lot of us don't act like that, but no matter what gains are made and what changes happen, there is always going to be someone economically, biologically, socially or culturally different who comes off the worst :/
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