The difference between equality and justice


Pierce Goddard

In the last 40 years, the U.S. has not only progressed in the field of technology, but also on the the views of society. However, this evolution is far from complete. With these dramatic changes our nation has undergone come consequences enforced by confusion. Debates across the country over various topics have been disputed for what seems like forever, and have all come down to one argument: whether the topic is just or equal.

So what is the difference between justice and equality?

Well, the answer is so simple, that people tend to overthink it and the concept gets lost in translation. Justice is the quality of being fair, while equality is the state of being equal.

To relate this topic to the standpoint of gender roles, quite a few different opinions seem to rise to the surface. Personally, I think that gender norms should be eliminated. If a man wants to stay home and take care of the kids, while his wife pays the bills with her time-consuming job, more power to them.

However, the topic of justice versus equality becomes controversial when obvious facts come into play, but aren’t recognized. Relating it to gender norms again, males and females have undeniable different characteristics that should be accounted for. Women, unlike men, can give birth to children, while men are physically stronger than women. This is not an insult to women by any means; men are just built to withstand a higher capacity of weight. I am not saying that women aren’t strong, or that men can’t raise children on their own, but I am merely just stating the obvious facts that society has deemed as a diss.

Although having different characteristics, a woman and a man should have equal opportunities and rights. Both male and females should be allowed to put equal amount of effort into their society, and get equal the reward. These roles should come down to ability and preference, not expectations and restrictions.

Oftentimes, there are cases in which the difference between justice and equality is taken advantage of. Excuses and assumptions from both sides of the spectrum are put into play, and out comes a new, but recurring problem of stereotypes.

This is when the characteristics and personality types of males and females becomes more heated of a topic than what the debate was really about in the first place. Gender roles tie in with stereotypes because both are limiting a human to one way of life, rather than being treated equally. Having different characteristics or traits should not have a negative connotation in any way, but that is often not the case when perceiving this subject.

Men and women should be treated equally, not the same. To give an example of why I think so, I put it into the context of animals. If you owned a hamster and a horse, one must show equal affection to both of the species, but they should not be classified as the same. A hamster is small, lives indoors, and requires the attention of humans to receive their basic necessities. As for horses, human attention is required in order for the animal to live, but in different ways. Instead of putting your horse in a cage with a wheel, a horse can be ridden for exercise.

Both animals are given an equal amount of affection, but shown in different ways because of the characteristics and traits of each pet. This is how justice and equality should be viewed.

I am not in any way saying that the stereotyping of genders should be allowed, but I believe that the whether discussing gay rights, stereotypes of genders, or political power, the difference between justice and equality is one to be taken under consideration. In any of these current examples, the moral of the opposing views should not change because it’s not about what side you choose, it’s whether or not you know the difference.