We’re always hearing how – as a society – we need to be fairer, more inclusive, more accommodating, more tolerant…it’s a never-ending set of demands placed upon us. Nobody could disagree that we do need these things, the problem is we’re going about it the wrong way.
In trying to accommodate the needs and desires of every group we are going to end up pleasing none because partial accommodation isn’t enough, in truth for many nothing would ever be good enough apart from a complete adoption of their needs regardless of anyone else’s. This is often referred to as a “balancing act”, in truth it’s merely something which will always divide us and lead to even more conflict. So what do we do? Simple, we start saying NO.
Nobody likes to be told “NO”, we get upset and offended, we demand that it shows ignorance on the part of the person saying it to us. We’ve never lived in a time of more entitlement where we demand society changes to suit us without any kind of willingness on our part to “meet it halfway”.
Society should have simple obligations. You will not be refused health care or education because of your differences. You will not be refused employment nor be paid differently because you aren’t part of the ‘majority’. You will be treated equally by the police and our justice system. After that, society should have no part of your specific issues.
Let’s look at religion. I believe all people should have the right to worship whatever gods they choose. Whether it’s an Abrahamic religion or the worship of aliens / the sun / whatever. Good luck to you, I hope it brings you peace and contentment. But that’s where it should end. Society should not accommodate your religion in any way, nothing should ever be changed, no laws should be made to ‘protect’ the religion. It’s YOUR personal belief, keep it that way and enjoy it.
Far too much importance is put on religion. There was a time when it was an effective way of controlling people, ensuring laws were followed, and generally keeping people in check. We’ve moved on. People no longer, overall, require a petulant child in the sky to ensure we don’t commit murder or covet our neighbour’s Ox. Morals aren’t intrinsically linked to religion, indeed the actions of many religious people in the world seem to indicate morals are quite divorced from religion a great deal of the time. If you believe a suitable punishment for adultery is to be buried to the chest in the dust while a group of baying men throw stones at your head then I put it to you, you’re not one of the good guys. If you believe circumcising an infant and then sucking out the blood from the wound is okay (as I believe a small enclave of ultra-orthodox Jews in the US do – possibly elsewhere) you’re a bad person. You might be right with your god but you most assuredly aren’t right. If, as a Christian, you believe it’s right to discriminate against homosexuals and continuously inform them of how they’re “against god” and hellbound then you’re not one of the good guys. Obviously if as an atheist you spend all your days insulting people for their beliefs…you get the picture.
Your gender isn’t anyone else’s problem either. It’s not “fairness” that drives you to demand others see you how you see yourself, it’s narcissism. We shouldn’t be seeing males displacing women in sport, politics, and more as a sign of being progressive. It’s pandering to people who have issues, it’s not our job to do that. Protect them from being discriminated against, for sure, but don’t equate not giving them everything they WANT as discrimination. It isn’t being discriminatory to tell someone “that thing you want takes rights from others”. It’s common sense. The answer is no. It’s simple.
The people currently screaming loudest about equality don’t care about equality, they care about getting their way. Anything else is “unfair”. This is not how a society should work. Equality and fairness require a level of compromise but that is a two-way street. The more you stamp your feet and demand you get preferential treatment the more you will find those happy to appease you (“votes, are there votes in this?”) and the more you will see a push back at some point. We must avoid the latter at all costs and one of the best ways to do that is by tolerance, understanding, and realising your demands might not be that important to everyone else and you aren’t actually the centre of the universe.
So, want to practice your religion? You will do so within the socially acceptable boundaries and laws that society allows. Don’t like that? Find another society more aligned with your beliefs. Don’t insist society changes for your god, it’s rude. Want to be seen as another gender or live your life comfortable in your body? You fill your boots and all the very best to you. But society shouldn’t be forced to accommodate your dysphoria or demands to be accepted as the gender/sex you present as. Not our problem. Most people will try to be kind, that should be enough.
We need to start saying “NO”. Not “fuck off” or “you disgust me”. Just “NO”.