Equality is not a Virtue - By Dougal Cameron
There is widespread agreement that the most valuable resource in the world is time.
Because when you want to do literally anything, like seeing your loved ones, or even waking up tomorrow morning, the first thing you need is time. I would submit that time is much more valuable than money. I’m sure most elderly billionaires would instantly give up their fortunes to be young and poor again. Time is the world’s most valuable currency, and women everywhere in the world have more of it than men. In literally every single country in the world, a newborn girl will expect to outlive a newborn boy according to ourworldindata.org. In Russia, women will expect to live 10 years more than their male peers, while in Bhutan, the difference is less than half a year.
In Australia, women’s life expectancy is over 4 years higher than men according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Further, the female life expectancy advantage has even been observed in chimpanzees and whales, although it is not universal. What’s more? The life expectancy gap in our species has grown substantially over the last century.
The life expectancy gap is the definition of a ‘systematic inequality’. Am I outraged? No. Am I offended? No. Should we even aim towards equality in life expectancy? No. Why? Because it is not a problem. It is the result of people’s individual choices and a range of biological factors where there is absolutely no place for regulation.
So, to understand why it is a non-issue that women are significantly richer in time than men, and indeed why many so-called ‘inequalities’ are also a non-issue, we should first discuss why there exists a life expectancy gap in the first place.
The female advantage in life expectancy is partly, but not entirely driven by higher chances of surviving childhood. In most countries, child mortality is higher among boys than girls which is an important factor driving life expectancy. Indeed, during the first year of life, in the absence of any outside influence which could differentiate mortality between the sexes, male mortality is 25 to 30 percent greater than is female mortality.
However, even in wealthy countries, where the child mortality rates are relatively low, the infant mortality rate cannot explain much of the difference in life expectancy. Indeed, in France, Sweden, the US and the UK, the life expectancy of women, conditional on reaching the age of 45, was also significantly higher than that of men.
The evidence also shows that differences in chromosomes and hormones between men and women affect longevity. For example, males tend to have more fat surrounding the organs (visceral fat) whereas women tend to have more fat sitting directly under their skin (subcutaneous fat). This difference is determined by both estrogen and the presence of the second X chromosome in females; and it matters for longevity because fat surrounding the organs predicts cardiovascular disease. But biological differences also only tell part of the story.
Some key non-biological factors also contribute to the inequality in life expectancy. For example, men tend to smoke more than women. According to National Institute on Drug Abuse, in 2015 in Australia 16.7% of adult males and 13.6% of adult females smoked cigarettes. Also, although women now participate extensively in the workforce, their professional activities are, on average, less prejudicial to their health.
The increase in the life-expectancy gap over the last century suggests that environmental factors, particularly those that interact with specific genetic elements, have disproportionately benefited women. Data from 1887-1930 shows that people dying from infectious diseases between the ages of 5 and 25 were disproportionately female. As infectious diseases were reduced for all, females therefore reaped more benefits than did males. There is no explanation why women were disproportionately affected by infectious diseases in the first place.
However, the tenuous truth claims are only half of my gripe with the social commentary on gender/identity inequalities.
What many people overlook when analyzing these inequalities is the pernicious ‘solutions’ that social justice advocates have come up with for fixing them. One common avenue of redressing the inequalities are quotas for the ‘oppressed’ group. Justin Trudeau, the Canadian Prime Minister, gloated in 2015 about a 50/50 gender split in his cabinet. He said, “It’s important to be here before you today to present to Canada a cabinet that looks like Canada”. It would be hard to find a more glaring divergence from Martin Luther King Jr’s golden rule, to judge people on the content of their character rather than (insert irrelevant identity trait here).
Let us consider how gender preferencing in a similar way to Trudeau’s 50/50 cabinet might be used to fix the life-expectancy gap.
Men may be given priority in receiving healthcare. If the there are several women in line to receive life-saving surgery and a male joins the back of the queue, its only fair that the man gets served first right? I mean, we must fix the gender inequality, and there are too many women outliving men. Go right to the front of the line sir.
Let’s take another example. Two new-born babies both desperately need a doctor’s attention. One girl, and one boy. The doctor naturally chooses the boy, because he is a boy. The doctor is performing a noble act of creating gender equality. Bring on the woke applause.
We have now established that the most valuable resource a human being can have, time, is divided unequally among genders. We also know that it is not caused by the invisible but all-powerful force, the ‘Matriarchy’, but by a combination of biological and individual choices freely made. It also seems that especially the quota solution which is popular in governments, corporate boards and university enrollments are morally bankrupt.
What can we learn here?
Firstly, we should be very skeptical towards many of the so-called ‘inequalities’ that we are told plague our society today. Herein, we find that that the causes are often not the invisible but all-powerful, God-like patriarchy, but biology and individual decisions.
Secondly, considering natural characteristics as primary, and content of character as secondary, should be a relic of the past. The level of the individual is the right level of social analysis rather than the group. After all, a group is but a collection of individuals. The reintroduction of identity politics by social justice advocates has been a well-played sleight-of-hand trick. Those seeking to divide people on the grounds of inalienable identity should be met with great resistance on the cultural playing field.
Finally, the word ‘equality’ should no longer be worshipped as a God.