Different But Equal.
i haven't totally thought this through, i'm kinda exploring how i feel about this by writing about it. so if it doesn't make perfect sense, i apologize.
with regard to gender roles, i have some degree of sympathy with the whole "equality and chivalry aren't really compatible" argument. but i'm kinda more of the mindset of "different but equal". women and men are different physically and in the ways that their minds work. they also have slightly different social roles, though those lines are (rightfully) much more blurred now than in the past. with regards to chivalry, i personally like being taken care of. i wish it happened more :) i like it when men open doors for me, let me onto elevators first, take my coat, etc. i don't think that makes either gender any less "equal", just different. like yin and yang, balancing each other, different but equal.
a similar argument with regards to race or culture. people of different races look different than those of other races. that doesn't mean one is any better than another, it simply means that they are different. and a person raised in a culture on the other side of the world is not any more superior or inferior than any other. each culture has different strengths and different areas in which it could be improved.
the bottom line is that as human beings, we are all equal. each and every one of us has intrinsic worth. each of us has different talents, different strengths, different weaknesses, different fears, different desires. it is because of our differences that we are able to help each other grow. i think that valuing and exploring our differences as well as our similarities is the best way to understand and achieve true equality.