People are scared of labels?
“I don’t label things.”
“You can’t just say that it is like that. You can’t assume. You can’t mark things like that. It’s not how the world works…”
I often wonder as I discover the things around me—are people scared of labels? Or is it really no way to categorize something? It is really what you would call assumption to say something is labeled as such?
I am of a scientific nature. Such in the way that I am always asking, looking and classifying things around me. I want to understand. I want to empathize with everything. I want to be in the shoes of a little girl that runs in a store—to my grandmother who would sit in the early mornings staring so forlornly out the window.
What does it mean to “label” something?
It is a death sentence to a prison box of stereotypes and assumptions?
“I don’t like labels”
As if saying “I don’t like to be controlled”
Do labels control? Or is it the fact that someone considered you as ‘such and such’ that would make the human being feel threatened? It is these things that I have reasoned and I have come to understand. A label can be something that feels like a noose.
Growing up in this era is the greatest blessing and at the same time, a terrible curse.
Everyone has a voice. And everyone speaks. There is the internet where the voices can be shouted louder, where it can be backed up by thousands of silent onlookers.
As a quiet polite child. I’ve always let others speak over me. I’d listen and listen. Now at the age that I am, my desire to speak are drown with everyone shouting their ideals and things over me. One or two words spoken and zipped up by others that correct my way of seeing things and thinking things.
I want to understand others but other people don’t understand me. Therefore in my eyes I label them as “ignorant”. Because when you don’t open yourself to hear another person speak, it makes you stupid—stupid because you trap yourself in your own opinion and your own tiny well of knowledge.
One can come up with an image of the label “ignorant” right? Someone brash, uneducated, and savage looking perhaps? Or perhaps just a simple stubborn individual who doesn’t bother opening up to new ideas?
Here’s the thing with labels. It’s a memory gimmick.
What I have observed is that labels vary from slightly to drastically from person to person. But it is not necessary a bad thing. In my opinion it isn’t bad at all. It is how you view, and how you would apply labels to others and in daily life that can have a negative or a positive effect.
Labeling and categorization is necessary. If you don’t do it, it is done for you. In a supermarket, in a library, the index in the back of a book, character archetypes in a story. In a house, the rooms of an apartment are sized to fix what would normally be expected to be used as.
Without such, it would be hard to know, to remember or understand. It would be hard to dive deeper and discover at a micro level what the individual aspect truly is.
“There is no gender. There is only people.”
Dismissing labels would sound like the right thing in a liberal aspect—but what is gender exactly? It is a label that people consider as the “characteristics of a biological sex” others see it as the “psychological characteristics of person” be it male, or female by nature.
What defines something of one gender to the other? Well I feel that varies with culture. To different societies it is seen differently the characteristics that categorizes male and female. In my eyes my label for gender would be “the cultural characteristics and traits that signal the possible biological sex of the individual.”
I’m not saying that I’m right about my label. What I mean is that it is my label for such. It is my way of understanding in that subject. My label for gender may change as I learn more. It will evolve and gain subcategories as I look into it deeper.
So yes, in that respect, labels are assumptions based in prior observation and acquired knowledge.
But does a label describe everything about a single individual item/subject? No. Hell no.
I will say this again. No.
No. No. No.
Label doesn’t define a person or a thing, it a memory shortcut to better recognize it quickly. Gender. This one word means different things to different people. Once you read that word you mind spews out your own personal thoughts on that subject. Same thing with the word “bitch”, and “slut”. But use of the label in itself isn’t bad. It’s what it means to you that could have a negative effect.
Say what you want. But in the type of world we live in, you cannot exist without being labeled as something. Nor can you exist with yourself or something without being compared to something. We humans connect to things that we relate to—to things that we are able to compare. It is in that way that we bond as friends, as lovers, as a community.
My knowledge is always changing and growing. I am always humble to accept the opinions of others. At times I inquire politely of something in the sort of a label and I get criticized for it. It has bothered me and made me feel bad about myself for doing so. But I really think hard and I find that it isn’t bad.
As a person, you can’t let labels define you. You define the labels. So don’t hate on labels.
With time women’s label of being a housewife as changed. Women had changed the label (and they continue to change it). They are not defined by it. Label is the listed characteristics that point out to a category. It’s easy to recall something if it is labeled. But it goes further on a personal level. Only you as a person who has lived based on your own experiences, knowledge and interaction—can properly define what a label means to you.
There are general assumptions just for the sake of generalizations and because people love to be part of a group and agree to everything even if it doesn’t sit right with them. But those things don’t define everything. And at the most part it must just be taken into account and watch for anything else that might prove such generalizations wrong.
“I don’t use labels”
Be careful the next time you use those words. Do you really don’t label things? One moment a person may say this and then turn around and chat with a friend and be like, “I’m not like those snobby girls in school,” or “She’s a bitch,”
All I have left to say, is that, there is nothing wrong with labeling something or someone. We do it even unconsciously. The thing is to use it correctly. Use it as a means to understand not condemn. And there is something called discretion, and politeness that must be used. As they are people that labels feel like a jail cell.
Everyone is entitled to have an opinion and feel differently on the subject. This here, is mine.