Steven Pinker - Equality Quotes
3 Sourced Quotes
Equality is not the empirical claim that all groups of humans are interchangeable; it is the moral principle that individuals should not be judged or constrained by the average properties of their group. … If we recognize this principle, no one has to spin myths about the indistinguishability of the sexes to justify equality.
To a linguist, the phenomenon is familiar: the euphemism treadmill. People invent new "polite" words to refer to emotionally laden or distasteful things, but the euphemism becomes tainted by association and the new one that must be found acquires its own negative connotations. "Water closet" becomes "toilet" (originally a term for any body care, as in "toilet kit"), which becomes "bathroom," which becomes "rest room," which becomes "lavatory." … The euphemism treadmill shows that concepts, not words, are in charge. Give a concept a new name, and the name becomes colored by the concept; the concept does not become freshened by the name. (We will know we have achieved equality and mutual respect when names for minorities stay put.)