Equality vs. Equity

I read somewhere recently, and I can’t remember where right now (damn it!) something that clicked in a major way for me. What is being sought is not equality for everyone. It’s equity. The way that clicked it into place for me was a cartoon of three people watching a baseball game over a fence. A teenager, a young child, and a toddler. Equality has them all standing on level ground, with the teen able to see over the fence and the young child and toddler reduced to looking through the slats. Equity put the young child on a box and the toddler on two so that the heads of all three were at the same height, looking over the fence.

The thing is, we don’t even all start on equal, flat ground. As a white, cis, mostly able-bodied woman, I’m pretty high on the slopes of a mountain looking over that fence. Honestly, the only things that put me down on the slopes rather than on the peak are lack of a trust fund, my gender, and my weight. Most of these are seriously mitigated by the fact that I’m white, which is what puts me so high on those slopes. The thing is, realizing I’m that high doesn’t mean I want me and those with me on the slopes to be pulled down to the depths of say… a fat black gay trans* woman who’s confined to a wheelchair. It means I want pile up under her until she’s up to where I am, so she has the same view I get. That’s what equity is. It’s realizing that I start way the hell up here and my responsibility is to do my best to make sure everyone can get where I am, or even higher if I can pull it off.

Tell me about it...