We’ve all heard the equality vs. equity argument by now haven’t we? Yeah, no? Well the long and short of it is that equality is the granting of the same thing to everyone, the same opportunities, the same supplies, the same aid, and so on and so forth. Equality is meant to make everyone feel better because they’re getting equal treatment and are being treated in an equal manner.
But in a world where many people aren’t made equal this doesn’t quite cut it.
As you can see from the picture above equality doesn’t help when the circumstances between people are different. We don’t always see it, but a lot of us are born with privileges and abilities that others don’t have and aren’t made privy to due to one reason or another. It could be physical or it could be according to status or simple geographical location but not everyone is given a fair shot in this world due to one reason or another. This is why so many people clamber for equity instead of equality.
To some it might seem as though those that are being given equity are being given an unfair advantage, but in order to push this thought away it is necessary to be up front and honest with ourselves about the advantages we have over others that make equity necessary. It might seem unfair that they need added help, but in the same regard it is unfair if they don’t receive it.
Equity can foster resentment in both those that receive it and those that don’t.
Some people that desperately need equity for one reason or another will gladly deny it simply because they don’t want to be seen as a pity case, while others will accept it largely because they know getting by without it will only make life harder than it’s already been. Those that don’t get it and don’t need it however are quite mixed in their feelings towards equity as some regard it as taking pity on those that don’t want it while others believe that those that are disadvantaged in any way should simply work harder at life. This might seem like a rather careless statement, and it is when it’s made, but it is one that those with said disadvantages might echo a time or two.
Equity is in fact needed at times, but it is a manner of helping others, not showing pity upon them. In that respect however it is also noted that those with disadvantages are not always ‘brave’ or ‘inspirational’ for taking the equity offered to them by others, as many will acknowledge that they simply wish to have the same life experience as others and might need a helping hand now and again.
Equity is more about giving everyone an equal chance at life, not giving people an advantage over anyone else.