You can read (the most) about it here on the Surly Blog.
I could say that we're all born equal, but were not. Man, woman, short, tall, chubby, skinny, propensity to bald at an early age...
I do think we're equal in so many ways, in as much that we all have the potential to be an asshole, and not someone I would treat as an equal due to my extreme dislike of assholes. That would have to be decided through shared life experiences, and not based on gender, color, or nationality. You know, things that are pretty much out of your own control. I didn't choose to be a white American male, but every morning I have to decide if I want to be an asshole.
Let's throw religion out the window. Assuming only one of them got it right, the rest of them just made up a bunch of rules and put them in writing. Many of those rule books (which get reinterpreted constantly) don't really treat women as equals either, so... maybe we should skip that topic altogether.
If we're just descendants of apes, who's only interests are eating, tending to their loved ones, enjoying their down time, protecting what's theirs, and procreating...
Wow, not much of a stretch of the imagination. We started there and then started making rules. Rules mostly made out of fear and a desire to control those fears and the others around us (who we're afraid of).
Deep down, we're hardwired with a desire to stay alive and keep making more of us. Sex.
I read an interesting book called Buyology years ago.
Yes. Yes, it does. Not only do boobs sell things to men, ribbed man-abs in the window of an Ambercrombie and Fitch do to. Instinctively. Because whether we like it or not, we know women want what they got, so we want what they got... and this is going on in our gray matter. Not necessarily with voices or images in our head, but just electrical blips that we can't really control.
Holy shit, where was I?
So anyways, apes making rules and trying to figure out life. Rules to make sure that no one hurts anybody else, but so no one hurts anyone else's feelings?
How far do we go? Make rules banning a certain amount of skin exposure associated with each product we're trying to sell? I mean, a suntan lotion ad without an attractive person in a bathing suit seems ridiculous. If a woman is in an ad for a cycling related product, how far can her jersey be unzipped before a line is crossed?
We as a society came up with all these rules about what body parts should be seen in public, and then in turn, we figured out a way to sell it all back to ourselves for a tidy profit. I didn't have to google very hard to find images of different cultures where the women are walking around topless and the men have their dorks hanging out. They all look pretty happy in the pictures, and nobody is buying something based on its proximity to breasts in an advertisement. I guess their society needs a couple hundred more years to "evolve."
Every day, most of us waste time making decisions to alter our current appearance. Clothes, make up, tattoos, hair, plastic surgery. Whatever. All we're doing is changing how we as objects end up on someone's retina and are then perceived by those viewing us. We treat ourselves like objects, tell our fragile psyches that we "feel better about ourselves" this way or that.
I select my t-shirt based on how well it accentuates my few positive attributes while hiding my mostly negative parts. You know, how I look without a shirt.
But add beer and social decorum falls away and my shirt is off in a banquet hall. Shirts don't make sense for anyone once the temperature gets above 72°, unless you're on the couch watching Netflix and trying to keep the popcorn from getting woven into your chest hair.
The time we spend in front of the mirror would be better spent figuring out how to be more interesting, perhaps less of an asshole. Hell, you'd probably be better off clicking likes that equal prayers, because that might actually make a difference in the world.
But prolly not.
Where do I stand on this topic that I need to get back to?
I don't stand anywhere. I feel bad for the people that are offended, bad for the people who didn't think they were going to offend anyone, and bad for myself for taking a mild interest in other people making each other feel bad.
I wear socks that say "FUCK YEAH" on them, and that offends some people. Do I care?
Maybe a little.
But do I want to have to? No.
Did you know those people running around naked on the other side of the planet have way more free time than we do AND DON'T HAVE THE INTERNET?
I don't think they would care what kind of socks you wear.
That's as deep into my onion as I have time to peel. So many more thoughts, no real end or tidy way to wrap it up, put a bow on it, and present it as an ideology. And who cares anyways? It's just, like, my opinion, man.