The Inequalities of Equality

November 14, 2013 10:38 am

Introduction:

In this article, I will endeavour to describe the key principles of equality. Moreover, I will demonstrate to the reader the foreseeable and consequential, flaws and discrepancies that exist within this ideology.

 

What is equality?

To begin I would like to analyse several words that are key to defining the ideology of equality. The definitions below are as viewable in Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.

 

Equality: A situation in which people have the same rights, advantages etcetera.

Equal: Someone who has the same rights and opportunities as you do.

Discrimination: To treat a person or group differently from another in an unfair way.

 

equalityThe law:

Equality in the United Kingdom is enforced by an Act of Parliament.

Equality Act 2010 – “It is against the law to discriminate against anyone because of: […]” The Act goes on to list numerous social groups that may be victimised by discrimination. (gov.uk: 2013).

 

Therefore, it can be noted that the key principles of equality are: The same rights, advantages and opportunities for everyone; it is illegal in the UK, not to comply with this ideology.

 

Who can benefit from equality?

The Equality Act 2010, clearly states the following groups and situations should be exempt from discrimination, by law:

[…]

Age

Being or becoming a transsexual person

Being married or in a civil partnership

Being pregnant or having a child

Disability

Race including colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin

Religion, belief or lack of religion/belief

Sex

Sexual orientation

[…]

At work

In education

As a consumer

When using public services

When buying or renting property

As a member or guest of a private club or association

(gov.uk: 2013).

 

Why is there a “Who can benefit from” in equality? Should equality not automatically benefit everyone?

By our earlier definitions alone, it is clear that the ideology of equality does not support a selection process in which, who, where and when can be defined. Equality, by definition, must, and can only be, applicable to everyone, everywhere, at all times.

 

equality-and-justiceBy stating that certain groups cannot be discriminated against, there is instantly inequality. By attempting to define the characteristics of where and who equality applies to, the result will shift the balance that is equality and produce inequality; equality must remain equal.

Equality does not exist in a state other than equally neutral; to state that it can manifest and prioritise certain groups is an absurd notion.

Furthermore, not only do obvious flaws exist within the ideology of equality, there are numerous troubling discrepancies that are prevalent within the current equality system being enforced under UK statute law.

Moreover, when the phrases “ * ’s rights” (where “ * ” can represent any number of social groups protected by law from discrimination) are used and perceived as a by-product of equality, there is a major flaw in the system. Equality states that equal rights must be the acceptable norm; there is no option for specific group rights.

Equality states that everyone, everywhere, at all times is equal and must be treated as such.

By nominating groups to have rights, equality has been neglected in favour of inequality, yet, flying a flag of equality in an attempt to persuade unsuspecting citizens into confusing the facts.

If rights are assigned to a specific social group, the remaining population that does not fall under that social group are neglected of those rights, therefore, select social groups with their own specific rights, is by definition, discrimination against everyone else and unacceptable under the ideology that is prevalent within equality.

Increasingly, rights are being assigned to various social groups with complete disregard for the definition of equality. Likewise, over a period of time, social groups will become accustomed to associating their specific social group rights, with a sense of rightful superiority and begin if not continue to take advantage of it.

Due to the nature of statute law and the repercussions of breaking it, very few people if any actively protest against group specific rights, however, supporting these groups by actively promoting equal rights for everyone (including the current population of “right-less” people) will help to dissolve group specific rights and reform as a truly equal, unanimous coherent identity.

 

To summarise:

Equality can be defined as – where everyone is equal

The current equality model as enforced by the Equality Act 2010, serves as a driving-force for an inequality-rife society.

Group specific rights can be viewed as supporting inequality over equality.

An ideal solution would be to nullify group specific rights and replace with a truly equal rights based system.

 

Bibliography:

 

Equality Act 2010 guidance. Available: https://www.gov.uk/equality-act-2010-guidance. Last accessed 2013.

Types of discrimination. Available: https://www.gov.uk/discrimination-your-rights/types-of-discrimination. Last accessed 2013.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English. Available: http://www.ldoceonline.com/. Last accessed 2013.

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  • Andy Blenson

    A very good point in this article, the PC world can get a bit carried away with “equality” and forget the importance of justice!

    • Alison T-D.

      Agreed, some people get so tied up in being politically correct that they actually damage society.

  • Great article – I love the picture which illustrates the difference between equality and justice!

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