Intersection of Justice and Equality
Relating the issue of equality of women and men to justice protects women from becoming oppressors themselves. The challenge is not simply to provide women equal opportunity to participate in the present racially, economically, and politically oppressive social order. In this case, women might not be oppressed categorically, but certainly all people would continue to be oppressed through society’s institutions. Rather, the aim is to create new thoughts and structures which not only embody the truth of the equality of men and women, but embody justice in its totality, in all social systems, eliminating oppression in general.
There are many habits of thought that need to be overcome and replaced for this change to take place. One in particular is categorizing, comparing, and labeling people. Many relationships between individuals involve the tendency to place one person as better, and thus, dominant, and the other as worse, and thus dominated. This obviously leads to an inappropriate exercise of power, leading to oppressive attitudes and behaviors. Justice, oneness, and equality are needed to purge out these habits.
The social structure most affected by the intersection of equality of sexes and the concept of justice is in the institution of the family. The family – the basic unit of society – is civilization in miniature; and as humanity undergoes a maturing process, it, too, must profoundly change. It is the social space in which individuals learn habits, qualities, attitudes, behaviors, and values. Current conceptions of family that include a space of dictatorship dominated by one adult, a space of absolute loyalty to the exclusion of others, a space of liberalism centered on each person’s self-gratification, all are inadequate for humanity’s needs, and inconsistent with conceptions of oneness, justice, and equality of men and women. The same principles that guide the advancement of civilization should likewise apply to the development of a family.
As justice and equality of sexes becomes the governing principles of family life will love flourish, will each individual develop their spiritual capacities, and will children learn habits of thought and behavior that will be carried on into the building of mature social structures.