The Pyramid of Equality | Teen Ink

The Pyramid of Equality

March 6, 2018
By Brooklyn-Jayne SILVER, Cobden, Ontario
Brooklyn-Jayne SILVER, Cobden, Ontario
5 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Worrying means you suffer twice" - Newt Scamander

Equality: “the state of being equal, especially in status, rights, and opportunities”. Much like Maslow’s Pyramid of Needs, the Pyramid of Equality demands to be fulfilled, yet many individuals deny to others the rights and opportunities any human being deserves.


Feminism: “the advocacy of women’s rights on the bases of the equality of the sexes”. You would think that, being 2018, we would finally have equal rights for both sexes, but alas. In fact, women still deal with the same issues today that they dealt with a century ago: lower pay, extremists, and white supremacy. Inside the feminist movement lies a hierarchy of itself, but, for once, the highest individual is not the rich white man; it is the non-oppressed white woman.

Women feel the need to be heard, certainly, and we deserve it as well. However, there are some that abuse the power they have instead of using it for the benefit of all women. Emma Watson writes in her virtual book club, Our Shared Shelf, that “being a feminist is more than a single choice or decision. It is an interrogation of self”. She goes on to write about how her gender, race, and class have privileged her in her fight for equal rights, and about how they have influenced her perspective on feminism as a whole. She used to believe that being a feminist was easy, a simple decision one had to make in life. She now sees the layers to it: how not all women can be heard, especially those of a different ethnicity or colour than a white woman.

This brings me to the white feminists, which is a group of people that excludes women of colour and of religion, focusing primarily on the trivial struggles of everyday life and blowing them out of proportion. Many black girls and women suffer because of their poor upbringing, which is linked to racism, whether in the community, at school, or at work. Many non-christian women are scorned because of their religion because it affects the way they dress and speak. Some women are not even considered women at all!
A new debate in the white feminist community has arisen; should transgender women be allowed to be feminists? Of course they should! Everyone should! When has being a real feminist ever been a bad thing? Why does it matter who or what you are? Feminism is for men and women and for everyone in between. Ciara Hall writes in her newsletter that “[there] are some feminists [...] who present the argument that transgender women have no place in mainstream feminism. They say that transgender women are not really women, that their experiences are very different from cisgender women’s and, therefore, they are outside of the mouvement”. I disagree. This mentality is why, instead of moving forward, we are caught in a circle of injustice.
Racism: “racial prejudice or discrimination”. With a definition this simple, you would think that more people would understand what it means to be racist. They don’t. For most people, racism is a horrible thing, as it should be for everyone. To admit that you are racist, or that you have been racist in the past, is to commit an awful crime. It is too difficult for most people to acknowledge that they or someone close to them may have been racist, so they deny it instead. Reni Eddo-Lodge writes it perfectly: “The words hit a barrier of denial and they don’t get any further”.
Racism stemmed from the white man’s swollen ego, and that is how it is still depicted today. The media, of course, does nothing to help this image. There is now a Brazilian civil rights organisation that, in an attempt to stop racism, depicts on billboards racist posts that people have written on the Internet. While I agree with the idea, I do not agree with the target. These racist posts are strictly against black people. Where is the help for middle-easterns? East Asians? Caucasians? Because, despite your first instinct to deny it, racism against white people exists.

Racism against caucasian people is called reverse racism. It is simply a term used to describe racism against a superior group. While I don’t think that a white person is better than a person of colour, I do know that white men dominate many work fields. I certainly sympathise with those who are considered an inferior race. I understand that many of them, especially in the States, have it harder than I do. However, there is no denying that if a white family moved into a predominantly black community they would get closely scrutinised and differently treated. There is no denying that coloured men and women are praised simply for being their colour, while white men and women are scorned for it. There is no denying that using adjectives such as “Black”, “Indian”, “Asian”, “African”, etc. would be racist if they were instead “white”. To put an end to racism, we must quit putting labels on ourselves and others. As Morgan Freeman once said so plainly: “Stop talking about it. I’m going to stop calling you a white man, and I’m going to ask you to stop calling me a black man. Making it a bigger issue than it needs to be is the problem here.”

Religion: “a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith”. A small word that causes major problems. A short definition that causes lengthy and heated discussions. North America was built on Christian beliefs, so it is no surprise that, when the Jews started immigrating, there were strict laws set in place. And when the Muslims started immigrating, there were strict laws set in place. And when the Christians continued immigrating, there were... strict laws set in place? Not really.

Why can we not, as a society and a free country, accept differences, whether they be of religion, race, or gender? When will equality prevail? Will it ever come to pass? I believe, as a young canadian citizen, that times are changing. We must continue to teach our children, educate our friends, and respect our peers for a better time to come.

The author's comments:

I wrote this for a school project. It is truly what I believe. I hope that if I have said anything offensive that you will forgive me. My intention is simply to express my opinion.

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