Contextual Play of Equality

The idea of considering oneself as equals with one’s partner or friends remains quite fascinating. Sometimes individuals experience equality, and the other times, they aspire for equality. Yes, the previous statement is quite paradoxical. To understand better, here’s an example. A lady in her twenties might experience political equality when she goes out on the voting day and chooses her representative, but at the same time aspires for equality in the workplace where her increment is limited due to the glass ceiling effect.

Hence, to understand if equality in the society or in one’s personal lives is a boon or a bane, it is very important to put the same term in various contexts and measure it. This article will be looking at two contradictory contexts to generate a wider understanding of the same.

To justify why equality is essential in the country, one doesn’t always have to look at meta issues like society. Things can go wrong at even smaller levels like the language and education system. The process of deconstruction plays a very important role here. Literary theorists like Derrida, or Showalter and many more have constantly tried to point out the gender discrimination in language system and fought the phallocentric model. This fight for equality persisted in the 90s, but it is disappointing to observe that nothing much has changed since then. The current education system is a striking example for the same. The curriculum of psychology in graduation studies follows the 5th Edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) to understand the causes and symptoms of various mental disorders. This same manual identifies ‘gender dysphoria’ as an acute mental condition where the individual aspires to adopt the way of functioning as the opposite (labelled) gender. Undergoing surgeries to achieve the primary or secondary sexual organs is mentioned as a consequence of the same condition. In a country, where citizens fought to achieve equality in terms of the removal of Section 377, as well as allowance of same-sex marriages, an education curriculum like this can definitely be considered as a step back. Therefore, in this case, the need for equality is more than ever.

Now there are various other contexts, where equality can be seen as something utopian, but not practical. This can be better explained with a hypothetical situation. Suppose there is a start-up company which deals with talent management. Recently, they cracked a high-end client and by the reasoning of client satisfaction, the company received a sumptuous amount of bonus. Holidays were around the corner, so the boss decided to distribute it amongst the employees. Being a theoretical supporter of equality, he divided the whole money based on the number of employees and everyone received the same amount. This also means that the interns who worked for four hours received the same money, as the associates who worked for eight hours, and the managerial people who worked for twelve hours. So in a situation like this, there was equality, but was it justified? Equality may be an option, but it is important to evaluate if it is an ideal choice.

As individuals it is very difficult to outrightly be in favour or against the idea of equality because one would always be placed in situations where they would have to choose differently. The best way to approach it is to situationally analyse what is the right thing to do at that particular point of time.

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