Equality Is Not Sameness
One of the longest-running errors in American society is that of equating equality with sameness. This error has been used and continues to be used for extremely destructive, invasive and malicious behaviors - such as for example forcing everyone to be the same person believing the same thing living the same life and exterminating anyone who is in any way different. In fact equality was never meant to mean sameness; and the use of the concept of equality to force sameness is a gross abuse of the concept of equality.
Equality means this: Equal rights, equal opportunities. That is it. It doesn't mean that everyone has to live the same life. It doesn't mean that everyone has to dress the same way, think the same way, speak in the same tone of voice, or believe the same errors. It doesn't mean that nobody can be distinct, or special, or eccentric, or different from people around them. Equality means: Equal rights, equal opportunities. That is it.
In its original intent, the idea of equality was meant to assist freedom by leveling the field for people who come from rougher backgrounds. But the misuses of the idea of equality have been used instead to sabotage freedom. If everyone is forced to be the same person and live the same way, then there is no freedom. And the misuse of the idea of equality to mean sameness has been used just to do this: Destroy freedom in the communities in which this misuse of the idea of equality is being practiced.
The same is the case also for the idea of women's equality. Once again, equality means: Equal rights, equal opportunities - in this case between women and men. But many feminists have again misused the concept of equality to mean sameness. So they have been teaching women to act like the worst of men. In the process they have been training women to deny themselves the better qualities that are more natural to women than they are to men: Qualities such as beauty, tenderness, warmth, elegance and ability to produce and to nurture life. Instead they have put women into a race of becoming the same as the men - a race in which they can only be second - while denying them the right to what is uniquely feminine, or what is more natural to women than to men.
In both cases, we see a vast misunderstanding of the concept. Equality does not mean sameness; equality means equal rights. Equal rights benefit freedom, fairness and human advancement by creating a fair field for everyone. Coercion toward sameness destroys personal freedom by forcing everyone to be the same, even as it undermines human advancement by destroying what is at the root of human advancement: Innovation that is in all cases a function of work by innovative minds that think differently from what is thought around them. The error of confusing equality with sameness is saboteurial to America and undermines its best qualities. And if America is to regain the world leadership in innovation or to live up to its promise of freedom, then this error must be confronted and overcome in every place that it exists.