THE COST OF INEQUITY

 

In a recent Facebook post I received some flak because of the following Statement:

“I am all for equality…, let there be no mistake, but with it comes the responsibility for accepting the consequences of our action. If I, as a straight man, wish not for the advances of the Gay community, a Gay bar would perhaps not be the best place for me to get a drink, because in so doing I am implying that that is why I am there. The same goes for a woman who does not wish for the advances of a man. His apartment is perhaps not the best place for her to enter alone… because in so doing she may be implying to him that that is why she is there. If she were drugged and dragged there, she of course has reason to file charges… but if she enters the room on her own free will, she should be held equally responsible for the outcome.

I understand now why some of the women were upset with this statement and why they insisted that the woman always has the right to say NO, at any point during consensual sexual activity, thereby nullifying their consent and making illegal any further activity performed on, or in front of them, by the man… as well as releasing them of any responsibility for what happens as a result of their fling.

There is a true story that goes along with my original statement, that may explain better, where I am coming from. It happened several years ago in a quiet village where I once lived and worked. Names are withheld because many of the people are still living.

A young man with great ambition, use to visit my home. He was a high school student, from not the best of families in town, but his determination to be someone, set him apart from most of the other boys and made him a leader in the student body. One afternoon, as I was returning to my home, some of the students came running up to tell me that the young man was found raping a girl in a vacant house near the edge of town. The girl’s family was part of the elite and judgment was swift. He was kicked out of school permanently and ostracized from the community.

I would later hear his side of the story, although I have no idea which version was more accurate. He claimed that he and the girl had snuck out of school during a break and were making-out, as they had done on other occasions in the past, when one of the men in the community overheard them talking. The man flung opened the door and as soon as the girl realized she was in trouble she cried rape.

If the story had ended there and the community had taken the time to hear out both sides of the story before coming to their quick decision, perhaps a more fair and unbiased decision could have been made and both of the young people would today be outstanding members of the community, perhaps even married with children… however, the story did not end there.

The young man felt he had been treated unfairly and vowed to get even with the community. He bought himself a gun and over the next several years he formed a gang that terrorized our community and others surrounding us. His gang was responsible for many highjacked buses and holdups and, before his death, he had killed several of the people involved.

My question is this… who is responsible for all of the death and destruction that followed their act of making out? Is it the boy, who couldn’t let go of what he felt was an injustice? Or is it the girl, who nullified her consent when she suddenly realized she was in trouble? Or was it the community, who decided to protect the girl and her family and punish only the boy.

All played a part in it, of course, and to try to pin the blame on anyone now is senseless, however, there is a lesson to be learned, and I think it applies to what is happening in todays society. We have lost the ability to be fair and impartial. Our justice system is corrupt and our judgement of others is based on defending those we identify with, and rejecting those who remind us of others who have hurt us in the past. Isn’t it time we stop trying to be equal, and get back to appreciating our differences instead? Only than can we start working on building a more equitable approach in how we relate to, and judge each other.

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