When we reject politics that justify arguments by concluding that differences beyond merit are as rational as the ability of someone to carry out a task, ethnic or biological membership for example, our collective success is guaranteed more securely. Consider the inclusion of women into the political realm and the disadvantages that a nation suffers when they are not fully.
The success of a nation depends greatly on the adequacy of policy that it chooses to enact. One nation may be at a disadvantage to another simply because of differences in resources and location, a land locked country will be at a trade disadvantage when compared to one filled with natural ports. But the ability of a nation to succeed within its limits depends on the ability of those who make its laws to solve problems without creating additional ones.
It is therefore a great advantage for any nation to have a greater sized pool of people from which they can draw political talent from. Nations that draw their political class from the plurality of society will have a far more diverse set of opinions from which the most ingenious can be selected from. The ability of a political system to include the largest subset of its population in policy creation increases the odds that the policy making process is successful. This isn’t to say that any person and their political ideas are as qualified to address a problem as another. The argument is that a larger population will have a larger pool of particularly brilliant politicians who can rise through the ranks until they are in positions of influence.
If we accept the fact the cognitive abilities of a man and a woman are not greater for one than the other than it becomes obvious that a system should not discourage or ban one sex from participating in it. If woman are banned from participating in politics than half of the potential ingenuity of a society has be eliminated from the problem solving process. Furthermore, if the proverbial carrots and sticks of a system, or the society’s opinion, manifest against woman, then potential ingenuity is lost as well. If it is twenty percent more difficult for a women to succeed politically then the overall ability of the law makers has been diminished by ten percent (these mathematics are of course illustrative but their purpose is sound).
To be Egalitarian is therefore beneficial to the society as a whole. Discrimination based on anything other than the proven merit of the individual reduces the political capacity of the society as a whole. This principle is applicable to every single aspect of society. Reducing participation, whether through hard stops or incentives, in the profession of acting to less than the entire group of society, hamstrings the ability of the profession to produce ingenious actors and actresses.
This argument of course has nuances. The imposition of law requiring populous representation in all things would be highly destructive as it may work to discourage whatever majority group already exists from participating, reducing overall ingenuity. Additionally, some fields may have unequal participation for understandable reasons, a subject that regards a specific gender would naturally have more from that gender participating.
Precedent must, however, be addressed realistically. Female participation in a field like engineering may be lower than neutral simply because younger women do not see themselves in the position. If we reject the idea that women are somehow programmed to stay away from the topic or be worse at it then it must be societal understanding that is reducing participation. In this case it makes sense to incentivise women to take up the profession and continue to do so until the incentive can be removed and gender parity is sustained because of a change in the way society views it.
While stacking the deck in this way may technically make it easier for women to succeed for a time, in the long run having parity will increase ingenuity and justify it. Taking up projects like this to address major areas of inequality across the entirety of society, regardless of who is under-participating, will have a net benefit for all of us.