The bad side of equality | Teen Ink

The bad side of equality

April 21, 2021
By María05 BRONZE, Santo Domingo, Other
María05 BRONZE, Santo Domingo, Other
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Is classifying people into social groups wrong? The answer is in these 2 books: Twelve Angry Men, and “In the time of the Butterflies”. These novels are about how discrimination is displayed in different circumstances—and how it changes when it refers to a woman or a man. In the former, it’s a case of classism and the latter it’s sexism. In both “Twelve Angry Man” and “In the time of the Butterflies,” we discover that there are great consequences obtained when someone of higher rank or power begins to classify people into social groups. 

In the first place, according to “In the Times of the Butterflies” by Julia Alvarez, just because a person has a lot of power doesn’t mean that he or she has to decide and define the lives of other people. Since it’s up to them to choose what career they want to study, who they want to marry, or what they want to do with their lives. For example, in “In the Times of the Butterflies” the dictator of the Dominican Republic Trujillo fell in love with a young woman named Minerva Mirabal, but she didn’t love him back, so he forced her to be with him. And when she refused he sent some of his guards to kill her, and her sisters. This shows that at that time people didn’t have the right to choose what they wanted to do, or who they wanted to be. Since their whole life was decided by someone with more power than them, and if they didn't do what that person wanted, they would end up dead. 

On the other hand, according to the play “Twelve Angry Men” by Reginald Rose, people shouldn’t judge others by their social class. That is if they are poor, if they are rich, if they live in a slum, or if they live in a mansion. For example in “Twelve Angry Men,” there’s a scene where Juror #4 and #5 were arguing about kids that live in slums. “Four says, “We’re missing the point here. This boy—let’s say he’s a product of a filthy neighborhood and a broken home… The children who come out of slum backgrounds are potential menaces to society.” Here this confirms that most people don’t see beyond what they perceive, which in this case is a boy who lives in a slum. Then juror #5 says, “Five responds,  “I’ve lived in a slum all my life…” Foreman: Now let’s be reasonable. There’s nothing personal. Five: There is something personal!”. (Rose, 21) The reason why juror #5 gets so offended is because he’s also from a slum, and he’s a hardworking and honest man. This evidences that where a person comes from or in what conditions he lives doesn’t affect their way of being in society. Since as it says in the book, juror #5 was from a slum, and not for that reason he is a gang member or a murderer. 

Therefore, the biggest lesson that both books teach is that it’s important to learn not to label people. Or establish their place in society according to that classification. Because if people do this kind of thing, some of them are going to get hurt. If a lot of people have their mindset in this lie there’s gonna be others that are going to get fewer chances in life. For example, in “In the Times of the Butterflies”, Minerva was talking with her parents about wanting to go to law school. “For years Minerva has been agitating to go to law school. “Ay Dios mío, spare me.” Mama sighs, but playfulness has come back into her voice.” The purpose why Minerva’s mom reacted that way is because in their society women aren’t allowed to choose certain careers just like law school. Then she says, “Just what we need, skirts in the law! “It’s about time we women had a voice in running our country”. “You and Trujillo”, Papá says…” (Alvarez, 10) This conveys that without a man beside them women are nothing in society, that they’re just an ornament for them. But the truth is that women are just as much as men in society. 

In conclusion, these 2 books portray that people shouldn’t put labels on others because even if they don't realize it, they can seriously affect them. The Bible says in Luke 6:37, “Do not judge, and you will not be judged.” In this quote, people can see how it commands them to not condemn others because of where they come from or who they are. Since in the same way, they judge others they’re going to be judged. It also says in Matthew 22: 39, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” This shows that people should treat others the way they like to be treated. Reading these books is important because they will teach you how to treat others, human values, and what people are worth. 

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