Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Prejudice-Free Society

What would it look like?

Would women have equal representation in jobs such as firefighting and police work?  Or does the explicit advantage that men have in terms of physical strength mean that only a prejudiced society could favor women over men for a job men are, on average, significantly better suited for, all other characteristics being equal?

Let's say firefighters, at least, are mostly men.  Would a prejudice-free society have equal representation in all other jobs?  It's not even possible; the latent overrepresentation in some jobs -requires- underrepresentation in others.

Which others should we expect them to be underrepresented in?

Posit, for a moment - really stretch your imagination here - a society in which men seek different qualities in a mate than women do.  Is this sexism?  Nevermind where it came from, is a discrepancy, in and of itself, sexism?  Could these tendencies be self-propagating on a purely informational/game theoretic (memetic) level, without getting into genetic tendencies?

Is a society, as Quizzical Pussy posits, in which most people prefer men's voices to women's sexist, or black people's voices to white's racist, without the preference itself being prejudicial on an individual level?  That is, is it possible for a society of unprejudiced individuals to be prejudiced on the whole?

At what point did we begin confusing preference with prejudice?

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