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Is equality feasible and is it worth achieving? Subquestion: By your definitions, is equality synonymous with fairness?

This is an idea I recently fell upon while thinking about colleges and scholarships. I was wondering why I've been told (not actually witnessed) that minorities get a better chance of getting in college for being a minority. This was apparently an attempt to level the playing field and make things for equal for applicants. I realized that in their attempt to equalize the playing field, they made it unfair. What are your thoughts on this situation and any other equality situation? Do you think people should be going for fairness or equality, both, or are they essentially the same thing?

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    May 19 2013: My life experience has shown me that some great scholars come from the worst possible economic and social conditions while some people who have the greatest access to economic and educational means end up as criminals. There is no single answer capable of fully resolving social ills which have grown out of de facto or de jure conditions established over time. The remnants of slavery have seemingly hamstrung the African-American population in the United States since their emancipation. We can also conclude that all women were subjugated to second class status until they received the right to vote, were given the ability to fully control their fertility, and policies were put in place to end discrimination in the labor force. In fact, laws were put in place to correct a historically unbalanced playing field for minorities and women. Unfortunately, some of these laws are viewed as a zero-sum solution wherein a class of people feel a potential loss of position and privilege rather than a belief that all parties will benefit universally.

    Time appears to play in the favor of resolving some social issues. For instance, women have become the majority in most American universities. As women filter throughout all majors (women of all skin colours) they should eventually break through all barriers in the labour force. It just takes TIME and patience. I don't have enough characters to provide a complete response, but to the heart of your question, fairness and equality operate on two different planes - equality is often achieved through a host of legislative or legal responses to a belief that there is a lack of fairness in any particular environment. Title IX was created to deal with the disparity between expenditures for male and female collegiate sports. It was considered unfair that women's sport was not equal to men's. Legal and legislative means leveled the playing field.

    Unfortunately it is a slow process mired in a presently destructive political environment.
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      May 19 2013: Thanks for the insightful comment! I have a question on the second paragraph. Do you think the reason women have become the majority in most American univesities was because of time (so it was kind of inevitable for that to happen), because of legislative means (an overcompensation for the disparity resulted in more women than men), a mix of both, or something else?

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