A Truly Equal Society?

I’m sure we’d all like to believe that in today’s world, we truly live in an equal society. Certainly, social development has progressed in leaps and bounds over the past few generations, making more progress in this small time period alone than the past few hundred years, arguably. However, if you listen carefully, you can still identify elements of people’s attitudes or societal views reflected through the media that indicate that there’s still a fair way to go. The biggest obstacle we have to achieving a truly equal and harmonious society is the fact that we still see certain people as ‘the other’. People like to claim that they’re not racist or sexist, but in fact end up immediately contradicting this as soon as they swear that they’re super nice to their black neighbour or have a gay best friend, as if this is something we should hoist them on our shoulders for and march them down the streets with streamers and balloons celebrating their open-mindedness. These inclusive attitudes should come naturally to us, and if you feel forced to proclaim your accepting nature to everyone, that seems to indicate that you’re more concerned about others not seeing you as bigoted, rather than actually treating people equally. The clearest evidence of this not being an equal society is if you analyse the media and the arts. You rarely see a film with a non-white or non-heterosexual protagonist that ISN’T about the plight of being non-white or non-heterosexual. We can’t be equal until we are able to portray other races or sexualities as the normal part of reality that they are. Why can’t a gay person just BE without everyone constantly pointing out the obvious and asserting that they support them no matter what. Race and sexuality, as well as class and lifestyle choices should be a non-issue in a truly equal society. I’m not suggesting that we live in a ┬ádisturbingly homogeneous society where we are scared to highlight our quirks. There is a delicate balance to be struck. In an equal society, there is no such thing as ‘the other’: there are beautiful facets of the one reality.

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