Up Front by Emma Hart

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Up Front: Submission Pun Goes Here

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  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Russell Brown,

    bank made you get married before it would grant a mortgage

    We happened to be married at the time but I distinctly remember thinking "so married people don't default on loans?"

    In the interests of not pissing off the person who could stop us being able to buy a house I kept my thoughts to myself.

    This bill, when it passes, will be a step closer to having a society where all people are treated equally.

    But as an aside I find it interesting that equality is such an evolving issue. It is only as we deal with one inequality that we realise there is another to which we have all been blind. I wonder how future generations will view the things we simply take for granted and think of as normal, in the same way that past generations would have been shocked at the idea that having indentured servants was something wrong.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4450 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    I wonder how future generations will view the things we simply take for granted and think of as normal

    It's a scary thought, isn't it? At least it's one we're capable of having. Even if we can't see where the changes will one day so "obviously" need to be, we can accept that our idea of "equality" will keep evolving.

    I mean, when it comes to legal recognition for relationships, the next step is obviously (and yes I know, just by typing this I'm making Colin Craig very happy) accommodating polyamory. That is, changing the law to recognise something that already happens.

    To me, our adoption and abortion laws also clearly need work, and our labour and welfare laws are also clearly headed in an 'away' direction as far as equality is concerned. Maybe that's enough to be getting on with, but there is a sense that one day we might have done all the obvious stuff and be a bit lost.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I wonder how future generations will view the things we simply take for granted and think of as normal

    It's also too damn easy to forget the rights and freedoms we currently enjoy didn't happen through the intercession of magic elves -- something to think about on Women's Suffrage Day and every other.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Emma Hart,

    Maybe that's enough to be getting on with, but there is a sense that one day we might have done all the obvious stuff and be a bit lost.

    Yes, there must be an upper limit to improving equality. It could be approached as an asymptote, so that more and more effort and/or time are expended for less and less gains. Which does mean that there will always be more to do, but it will seem less and less important.

    But if you're worried about the end of the fight, fear not. There are plenty of forces seeking to backslide to contend with. And actual backsliding, too, as you say. There's the whole rest of the world, too, a great deal of which is awful on the liberality front.

    I personally doubt that we will reach an equilibrium on equality in my lifetime, because that's not a state that is easily maintained. And economic inequality is still one of the greatest inequalities, and it's still built into our system, so normal that questioning it is difficult. Indeed, it's not even clear that it can be eliminated without more cost than return (and I mean all costs, not just money).

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10633 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to BenWilson,

    there must be an upper limit to improving equality

    But they thought that in the 1600s, and the 1700s, and the 1800s, and the 1900s.

    And we laugh at how foolish they were.

    It's partly, as Craig says, about recognising just how hard the fight was for those people who changed the past.

    It's partly about recognising that there is a hard fight still going on today.

    But it's also about being open to the idea that the things I think are normal and right and fair today might just be shown to be ... well ... evil, someday in the future. What is really scary about that thought is that the future might be only a few years away. How will I adjust?

    That may be a fanciful pointless thought exercise but it helps to understand the opposition to things like this so very obviously good bill.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4450 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    And we laugh at how foolish they were

    Do we? We might laugh at where they drew the line, but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist, just because they got it wrong. They also had ideas about the limits about how fast humans can travel that were laughable then, but our new, revised limits are considered pretty sound.

    I consider it clear there must be an upper limit simply by the definition of equality. It's things being equal. If they are equal, the limit has been reached. If you find this hard to agree with, try considering the negation. Can equality continue to improve, forever, at a constant, or even increasing rate? I'm certainly interested to hear how you could see that working.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10633 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to BenWilson,

    I consider it clear there must be an upper limit simply by the definition of equality.

    I should be more precise. This pertains to any individual quantity. There could be an infinite quantity of things to be equalized. Are there? If there are, is this infinity mainly caused by subdivision of a larger thing, in which case the basic size of the problem does not grow? Perhaps we discover new facets of the concept of equality that were not previously considered, but is there an infinity of such new facets?

    I guess I'm not so sure, now. You can't put an upper limit on something that has a changing definition. But it's almost slandering the idea of equality to say that it has an ever-changing definition.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10633 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    What is really scary about that thought is that the future might be only a few years away. How will I adjust?

    Yes, unpredictable. It's quite possible that progressive change is proposed that I object to deeply. That hasn't happened to me yet, but I can't rule it out, because I don't know what I'd be ruling out. Each case has to be judged on it's merits.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10633 posts Report Reply

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