Peggy McIntosh and Isaiah Berlin Discuss Equality
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When Peggy McIntosh and Isaiah Berlin discuss their ideas about equality, fairness, advantages and privileges, some ideas are the same while they disagree on several other things. Both writers obviously agree on the fact that equality is not in a society because of the abundance of inequality in a society. McIntosh shows how the dominant or superior (such as the whites) receive more advantages than all of the other minorities “inferior” to them. However, Berlins explains that some of the inequality in the society is okay because of the need for it such as the orchestra as Berlin explained, and its not controversial in the society. Both of the authors explain the concept of fairness in their texts. Peggy McIntosh talks about a way to explain fairness for the whites and the minorities, as well as for the men and the women. In order for it to be “fair” for both parties, the whites must give up some of their privileges and advantages which prove to be impossible because of the doubt that the whites have the privileges and advantages. Both of their ideas on equality are different and contrast each other. For example, Peggy McIntosh is a white woman, but makes a huge deal of white privilege being taken away to achieve equality. Isaiah Berlin believes that there needs to be inequality and not just complete equality or it would be an all egalitarian utopian, robot-like society in which he claims that no one wants.
In order to fully understand the differences that the two writers have in discussing, its important to look further and deeper into their thoughts. Contrasting the two authors is discussing equality, Peggy McIntosh believes that being an educated white woman she was taught about racism and realizes that others are put at a disadvantage, and in order to make it fair and make sure that nobody is being put at an advantage or disadvantage in order to ensure this policy, the person at an advantage (the whites, or the men etc.) must give up their advantage and privileges so that everything can be equal. “Denials which amount to taboos surround the subject of advantages which men gain from womens disadvantages. These denials protect male privilege from being fully acknowledged, lessened or ended,” [