Big Question Reflection: What is inequity?

According to the formal definition of the word inequity in Merriam-Webster dictionary, inequity is lack of fairness and unfair treatment. More specifically, I would like to touch upon the inequity that is caused by the “assigned gender” and how it restrains many people. First of all, assigning people genders depending on what reproductive organ they have at birth creates an inequality between the people who embrace the assigned gender identity and those who actually have a different gender identity. The ones who realize that their gender identity is different than that of assigned are eventually forced to fight for their identity and who they are, while others don’t. Also, different gender identities inflict different burdens such as gender specific expectations and assigned roles upon people’s shoulders. This also creates an inequity, because people are forced to shape their ways of living, interests and even parenting roles depending on those expectations. Thus a generic, even a cliché, example of this is the inequity between males and females, where females are usually seen inferior to men both in personal and professional life, and children being raised differently depending on the genitalia they have. Finally, a quote from the article About Purportedly Gendered Body Parts by Dean Spade (2011) expresses my view of inequality really well: “We’ve fought against the idea that the presence of uteruses or ovaries or penises should be understood to determine such things as people’s intelligence, proper parental roles, proper physical appearance, proper gender identity, proper labor roles, proper sexual partners and activities, and capacity to make decisions.”


One thought on “Big Question Reflection: What is inequity?

  1. nickamarini

    While overall I tend to agree with what you are saying I have to question certain things. Firstly what are the benefits of gender assignment if any, and how would they play out differently? For instance do we value the mother daughter and father son bonds that might be erased if we did not use genders at all? If we are saying that we are not assigning them at birth is it safe to assume that the child will choose their own at some point? All these things seem ignore the root of the problem to me though. The problem seems to be how gender is interpreted. Society funnels each one through specific lenses and if we were able to destroy those lenses then all we would be left with is differences in sex and not gender. For instance allowing a male sex child to identify as a female does noting to prevent him from female stereotypes and transgender stereotypes. However if the concepts of boy and girl were the targets then that issue would cease to exist. If both girls and boys play with whatever toys they want, read whatever books they want, and do whatever activities they want, then perhaps the issues of inequity can truly be erased.


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