Tuesday, March 16, 1999Letters
Reading Barbara Amiel's Feminists, Fascists, and Other Radicals (March 6) and Kathleen Mahoney's article, Feminists, Equality, and the Law (March 15), it appears that what Ms. Mahoney achieves by marrying her views to "substantive equality" is basically to ignore the complaint and fear that what is really being enforced is subjective equality, which is not equality at all, no matter what form of Orwellian spin is attached to it.
I think Ms. Amiel's complaint is that the provincial and federal legislatures as well as the Supreme Court of Canada are mistaken and misguided if the net result of their collective efforts is to deny real equality. If the legislatures have adopted substantive equality, the debate must continue to ensure that unfairness is not perpetuated. If Ms. Mahoney believes the debate has ended and is "long over" she is either lacking in objectivity or simply insulting Ms. Amiel, for Ms. Amiel is clearly still debating it as no doubt are many other readers of your paper.
Charles Flaherty, Hamilton.
In her commentary, Feminists, Equality, and the Law (March 15), Kathleen Mahoney maintains that "There is no reason why employment equity should lower workplace standards . . ."
A less kind person than myself might suggest that it would be instructive if Ms. Mahoney was to suffer the fate of having to undergo serious medical surgery at the hands of someone who was not at the top of the class in medical school, but was hired in part because of gender, race, or some other socially progressive criteria. Then, "formal equality" might take on a different sheen, even to such a philosophically inclined professor of law.
Don Carr, Brantford, Ont.
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