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辩论:不要再搞「平权运动」了?

辩论:不要再搞「平权运动」了?


我们翻译这篇文章的理由


随着多元文化主义对社会平等的推动,少数族裔、女性、单亲家庭等易受歧视的群体,在升学、就业、晋升、银行贷款、获取合同等方面,反而享有法律规定的优先权利。比如不少美国大学都为这些弱势群体保留了一定的录取比例,结果就是:如果两个学生有着同样的成绩,一个亚裔,一个非裔,那前者被录取的几率就微乎其微。有人认为这种矫枉过正的“平权”已经对白人和男性构成了“逆向歧视”,但也有人坚称这是对弱势群体的必要帮助。平权是伪善的政治正确,还是社会公正的重要砝码?


兼听则明,这篇文章选自《经济学人》的 Debate 板块。我们很喜欢这个板块,可以把公共议题拿到台面上讨论,多一些自由思想的碰撞,少一些教条的政治正确。最后,不是必须赞同哪一方的看法,你也应该有你自己的思考🤔


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辩论:不要再搞「平权运动」了?


作者:Ella WhelanVS & Julia Rubin

译者:王津雨 & 赵萌萌

校对:邹世昌

编辑:周伍豪


Should affirmative action be scrapped?

平权行动是否应取消?


反方:不应该取消


辩论:不要再搞「平权运动」了?

Julia Sass Rubin is an Associate Professor at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, Rutgers University, and an Associate Visiting Professor at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University.

朱莉娅·萨斯·鲁宾,罗格斯大学规划与公共政策学院副教授,兼任普林斯顿大学公共与国际事务学院客座副教授。


Affirmative action refers to efforts to provide equal opportunity in educational admissions, employment hiring, and promotion to those of different races, ethnicities, income levels and physical abilities. Affirmative action is necessary because our society is not meritocratic. In fact, preferential treatment based on income, race and ethnicity is the norm.
平权运动是指为不同种族、民族、收入水平和身体素质的人群提供平等的入学、就业和晋升机会而做出努力。平权运动必不可少,因为我们的社会并不是
唯才是举的社会。事实上,社会基于收入、人种和种族提供优惠待遇已是常态。

meritocratic /mɛrɪtəˈkrætɪk/ adj. A meritocratic society or social system gives people status or rewards because of what they achieve, rather than because of their wealth or social position. 任人唯才的; 以功绩定地位的


I write this as someone who has benefitted from those privileges. As a white, upper-middle class woman from a highly-educated family, I never had to worry about whether I would have enough to eat, a safe place to live, or would be able to see a doctor when ill. I never attended underfunded schools with unprepared teachers, inadequate textbooks, unsafe or dilapidated facilities, and fellow students who were hungry, traumatized by violence, or exhausted from holding down two jobs to help feed their families. My parents had the knowledge, time and ability to help me with my schoolwork or to open doors by connecting me with others in their social networks. Teachers and employers never assumed that I was not smart or competent because of my skin color, ethnicity or accent. These privileges provided me with many advantages over others who worked just as hard or perhaps even harder than I did but were not as fortunate.

上述观点是我提出来的,而我是一个受益于这些特权的人。作为一个来自高学历家庭的中上阶层白人女性,我从来不用担心自己是否有足够的食物、安全的住所,或是在生病时能否顺利就医。我从没上过资金不足的学校,不用担心师资缺乏,课本不够,场地设施不安全或破旧不堪。我的同学没有饿过肚子,不会遭受暴力导致身心受创,也不需要疲于奔命,打两份工养家糊口。我的父母有知识、时间和精力来帮助我完成功课,还能为我牵线搭桥,进入他们的社交圈子,帮助我打开通向社会的大门。老师和雇主不会因为我的肤色、种族或口音断定我不够聪明或不能胜任。这些特权给我带来了许多优势,而那些和我一样努力、甚至可能比我更加努力的人,因为不够幸运,就被我甩在了身后。


In America, we could address such inequities through public policies, as we did for a short time in the 1960s and 70s. But we are not. Instead, income inequality is increasing dramatically, further limiting access to opportunities. And because income is very unevenly distributed by race and ethnicity, growing income inequality is exacerbating America’s already substantial racial and ethnic inequalities.

在美国,我们可以通过公共政策来解决这种不平等,就像我们在上世纪六七十年代采取的短暂措施那样。但我们没有这么做。与之相反,收入的不平等还在显著加剧,进一步限制了人们得到机遇。而且,因为收入在不同种族和民族间的分配极不平衡,所以收入不平等的加剧正使得美国原已严重的种族和民族不平等情况更加恶化。


Affirmative action is also necessary because there is no “objective” way to compare candidates when admitting to universities or hiring for jobs. Supposedly meritocratic selection criteria actually reflect and reinforce our society’s inequities and prejudices, giving tremendous advantages to those already at the top. For example, multiple studies have confirmed that standardised test scores mirror family educational attainment and income, and that job and admission interviews are subject to numerous perceptual biases that favour in-group candidates. Since those doing the selecting are likely to be from more privileged groups, that means others like them have an edge. Only by acknowledging these biases and inequities, and structuring selection to consciously address them, can we make access to opportunities even remotely equitable.

平权运动之所以不可或缺,另一个原因在于,在人们申请大学或应聘工作时,并没有一个”客观的”方法去比较申请人。所谓的择优标准实际上反映并强化了我们社会的不平等和偏见,给已经处于顶层的人群带来了巨大的优势。例如,多项研究已经证实,标准化考试成绩能反映家庭教育程度和收入水平,而且面试者会偏爱”圈内”候选人,大量的这种认知偏好会影响工作和入学面试过程。因为选拔的人很可能就来自享有更多特权的群体,这意味着那些条件和他们类似的人群就具备优势。只有承认这些偏见和不平等、并通过制定选择标准有意识地解决这些问题,我们才能让人们获取平等的机会——哪怕平等程度非常微小。


There are many reasons to support affirmative action. Diversity of experiences, cultures, and ideas brings immense benefits to classrooms and work environments. For me, however, the most compelling reason to support affirmative action is equity. As an upper-middle class white person, I have benefited from our society’s de facto affirmative action for people like me. That is not right because the family you are born into should not dictate your life chances. I support affirmative action because I want the economic and demographic composition of an entering college class or a company’s workforce to reflect the broader population from which it is drawn rather than being skewed by privilege. I support affirmative action because everyone in our very unequal society should have an equal opportunity to succeed.

人们支持平权运动的理由有很多。经历、文化和思想的多样性能让课堂和工作环境受益匪浅。然而,对我来说,能够实现公平才是让我支持平权运动的最大原因。作为一个中上阶层的白人,我真的得到很多好处,因为有的权益分派是为像我这样的人服务的。这其实是不对的,因为家庭出身不应该决定人生机遇。我支持平权运动,因为我希望大学入学或公司雇用时的经济人口构成,能更多反映实际的人口情况,而不被特权扭曲。我支持平权运动,因为在我们这个极度不平等的社会,每个人都应该有平等的成功机会。

译者注:affirm 有offer (someone) emotional support or encouragement 的意思。所谓 affirmative action ,实质是权益分配向弱势群体倾斜。在政治运动的语境里译为“平权运动”没有问题,但这里翻成“权益分派”才准确。


正方:应该取消


辩论:不要再搞「平权运动」了?

Ella Whelan is a columnist for spiked magazine and author of What Women Want: Fun, Freedom and an End to Feminism.

艾拉·韦伦,《Spiked》杂志专栏作家,著有《女性想要什么:快乐、自由、女权主义的终结》


Life isn’t fair. So how do we change it? Support for affirmative action often comes from a genuine sense of injustice. Why shouldn’t life be fair? What can we do to make life fairer for those who draw the short straws?

生活并不公平,那么我们应如何改变这种现状?平权运动之所以有人支持是因为他们真的感到不公平。为什么生活不能公平一些?对于那些抽到人生下下签的人,我们能做什么才能让他们的生活公平一点呢?


However, it often tends to be the richest, whitest, most privileged people who worry about affirmative action. It’s a desire that’s less about the needs of the disadvantaged, and more about easing the guilt of those who’ve done pretty well. In this way, calls for affirmative action often end up acting as a means of self-flagellation for the better off. Isn’t it interesting that the most vocal supporters of affirmative action are often university students or public intellectuals?

然而,关心平权运动的人一般都是最富有的人,白人,特权最多的人。但他们关心的并非弱势群体的需求,而是减轻自己的负罪感,因为他们享受的特权太多了。按照这种逻辑,呼吁平权最终也不过是特权阶层的自我救赎的一种方式而已。这难道不是很有意思吗?发声拥护平权运动最多的就是大学生和公共知识分子了。


Perhaps it’s because affirmative action feels a little insulting to those of us who aren’t part of the much-maligned pale, male and stale group. It’s more commonly known as a leg-up—suggesting ethnic minorities, women, the disabled or the working class have short legs in the first place. As well as this, there’s a danger of fetishising diversity. Some have argued in the comments that diversity is a good in itself. But that suggests a concrete difference between identities—what do women bring to the table that men don’t? A softness? Femininity? In fetishising diversity, we often stray dangerously close to stereotypes.

我们中很多人不是年老的白人男性(而他们总被过度中伤),所谓「平权运动」对我们这些年轻力壮的人来说,听起来有些侮辱人。所以现在人们不常说「平权运动」,而说是在帮助他人——但它其实在暗指少数族裔、女性、残疾人和工作阶层本身就需要帮助。此外,还有过度推崇多样化的危险。评论中有人认为多样化本身就是好的。但这种想法却在暗指身份上的不同确实存在——有什么事情是只有女性拥有而男性没有的呢?温柔体贴?女性气质?由于过度推崇多样化,我们很容易走向刻板印象,这是很危险的。

much-maligned: If you describe someone or something as much-maligned, you mean that they are often criticized by people, but you think the criticism is unfair or exaggerated because they have good qualities too. 被过度中伤的
pale, male and stale: means a complaint about any organization dominated by old white men. 年老的白人男性
stray /streɪ/ v. to start thinking or talking about a different subject from the one you should be giving attention to 偏离、背离、离题


But what really clinches the argument for me—and what I’ve seen some of the comments touch on throughout the week—is that affirmative action suggests we need to be told to be good to each other. It’s rooted in the same kind of politics which believes in things like unconscious bias or microaggressions. Supporters of affirmative action believe that minorities need help, but the rest of us need help, too, to overcome our implicit racism. Without the threat of legal action if we don’t fill our quotas, there’s no way we’ll hire a woman of colour or a gay wheelchair user. If it weren’t for the gentle push of policy, we’d be a nation of bigots. One comment asked whether white males would give up their space for black females. If they didn’t, would that mean they were racist? Instead of redistributing wealth and opportunity based on identity, why not create new jobs, new opportunities and new systems which include everyone?

但真正让我下定结论的——也是我这周在一些评论中看到的——是平权运动似乎表明,现在的我们需要有人命令来我们去友善待人,然后我们才能做到。同样,在“无意识偏见”、“微歧视”等概念主导的政治运动中,这种观念也是根深蒂固。平权运动的支持者认为不但少数族裔需要帮助,其他人也通通需要别人帮助——需要在别人帮助下去克服内心潜在的种族主义。如果没有法律要求必须满足工作场合的人种配额,我们肯定不会雇用黑人女性或者同性恋残疾人。如果不是政策在温和约束,一个国家的人都会抱有偏见。有一条评论问道白人男性是否会把自己的地位让给黑人女性。要是他们没有这么做,就是种族歧视了吗?与其再纠结于就不同身份重新分配财富与机遇,为什么不创造新的工作岗位,新的机遇,新的系统,让每个人都受益呢?

clinch /klɪntʃ/ v confirm or settle (sth) finally 最终确定或解决(某事物)
touch on: to talk about someone or something but without saying much about them 提及
microaggression: a term used for brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioural, or environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative prejudicial slights and insults toward any group.
bigot /ˋbɪɡət/ n person who holds strong (esp religious or political) beliefs and opinions, and is intolerant of anyone who disagrees 偏执的人(尤指在宗教信仰或政治方面)


The misanthropy behind affirmative action—the mistrust of society—does a disservice to the merit and talent of those it patronises, and is an insulting indictment on those it intends to instruct. Affirmative action suggests that, without elite beneficiaries, the only people who will excel are the white and rich in society. Instead of rowing over who gets the handout at Harvard, why not campaign to change the quality of education throughout America? Rather than promoting women over men for board positions, why not provide better childcare provisions so that more women are free to come back to work sooner? If we want to make the world a fairer place, we should stop seeing minorities as less capable and put some energy into a collective commitment to change society for the better—and for all.

平权运动背后的厌世主义——对社会的不信任——是在伤害被平权对象的品质与才能,也是在侮辱控诉其他人。平权运动是在暗示,如果没有那些精英阶层的既得利益者,那这个社会可以优秀的人就只有富裕的白人了。与其争吵到底谁才能进哈佛,为什么不发起运动,改变全美的教育质量呢?与其提高女性董事会成员的数量,使其超过男性,为什么不增加儿童保育经费,让女性更快返回职场呢?如果我们想让世界变得更加公平,就不应该认为少数族裔没有能力,而是要共同努力,改善社会,让每个人都能受益。

misanthropy /mɪs`ænθrəpi/ n. the feeling of disliking people and avoiding their company 厌世主义
disservice /dɪsˋsəvɪs/ n ~ (to sb/sth) [C, U] harmful or unhelpful action 损害; 危害; 伤害
row /raʊ/ verb [I] MAINLY UK INFORMAL to argue, especially loudly 争吵,争论。



辩论:不要再搞「平权运动」了?

  • 本文原载于 The Economist

  • 原文链接:https://debates.economist.com/debate/affirmative-action



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