No Minister asks a question of feminists in response to the survey which found more than a third of women think they don’t have equal rights:
Is it that the survey company defined rights in a foolish way, that the respondents have a confused definition of rights, or just that a third of NZ women are into special pleading?
I’m a peopleist (not sure how to spell it) rather than a feminist because I think equal rights should be based on the acceptance that people are people and they are entitled to equality because of that not because they are part of a sub-set of humanity.
However, as I commented last night (four posts earlier) equality isn’t just about enshrining rights in law it’s about changing attitudes and some people still think some other people are lesser beings.
This doesn’t just apply to women and ethnic minorities, some middle aged pakeha men could sometimes argue that they’d been discriminated against because of their gender and ethnicity.
Take a look at the party lists. You can rightly argue that this positive discrimination is to improve the gender and ethnic balance because selection processes in the past deliberately or not resulted in a fairly homogenous parliament, but all else being equal a woman or someone who isn’t of full European descent is almost certain to find themselves in a better position than a man who is.
Back to the survey, I think everyone is equal under the law in New Zealand but psychosclerosis (hardening of the attitudes) prevents some people from accepting that and acting on it. So while all people have equal rights not all find equal acceptance.
Apropos of this is Adam Smith’s quote of the day at Inquiring Mind:
Attitude is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than what people do or say. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill. – W.C. Fields.