Equality: The Three Types

We hear people talking about equality so much nowadays, but in the spirit of equality they attribute all types as the same. However, they are not the same and, logically, never could be the same.

Binary Equality

We have all seen this type many times in the news. It is the simplest type as things are either equal or not equal. Examples of binary equality are such things as the gender pay gap.

It doesn’t take much imagination to see how these issues can be fixed. In the example of gender pay gap, well just make the pay equal. It all sounds pretty simple. Don’t get me wrong, there are issues that are more complex to fix as they may be about fixing social perceptions or individual mentalities but I’m sure you get my point.

Linear Equality

A bar with under equality on the left, equality in the centre and over equality on the right.

When someone is disabled, I believe, their inequalities fall onto the linear equality scale. Let me just explain what under, over, and central equality are.

Under equality is a simple concept. For example, if a disabled person goes for a job and doesn’t get it due to their disability rather than their ability then this would fall in the under equality category. When disability is taken into account to the extent that negative opinions are formed and thus impacting on the person in a negative way.

Over Equality would be where a person’s disability is completely disregarded. This, to some people, may seem like a good thing. Although from my experiences, this can be damaging also. I’ll use the disability of being visually impaired for an example here. If a visually impaired person is within the workplace and they need to read some handwritten text, if they are treated like anyone else, they may not get the support they require to be able to read the text. If a person’s disability is completely disregarded, they may begin to feel that asking for help or support is a sign of them not being able to perform their job.

Another example of over equality would be when designing a building, wheelchair access is not thought of. Why would it be thought of if disabilities are completely disregarded.

So, the ideal equality for a disabled person would be somewhere in the middle ground. Where their disability is not disregarded, it is considered but not in a negative way. but in the sense that it is an attribution of the person.

Attribution Equality

When we are young, we are usually told how unique we are, how special and different we may be, and how there has never been a person like you and there never will be a person like you. As we get older, we all do the same qualifications, work in the same types of work places and so forth. We begin to make our unique attributes equatable to others.

These are inequalities that we should have. There are differences from person to person and we should acknowledge and respect those differences. Such as in offense or defence, women are more likely to damage a person’s reputation than to get physical. Whereas men are more likely to get physical. This is in general but certainly not always. There are many, many other differences not just between sexes but between races as well as just between individuals. My sister does not like maths at all, she has never quite understood it. Whereas I like maths and it just makes sense to me.

We all have differences and we all are unique it’s about time we all accepted that and move on.

In Conclusion

Right now, I believe that, we suffer with confusion within society when it comes to the topic of equality. Partly due to political correctness people don’t want to say something that may offend someone else.

I think that we confuse Attribution Equality with Binary Equality a lot. I also think that Linear Equality is never thought of and it is only ever seen in a binary context.

When someone is fighting for equality, we need to carefully look at what type of equality it is. As a society we need to seriously overhaul how we currently think of equality and how we currently go about fixing any problems.

I would really like to hear what others think of the idea of three types of equality. Comment below or get in touch on Twitter or Facebook.

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