Reaction becomes definition
Labels serve two purposes:
1. to categorize people, thereby dividing them
2. to limit your sense of self by naming it.
Certain obvious differences are highlighted such as race. You’re either black or white. You can’t make it any more different than that if you tried! Somehow “Hispanic” is a category all its own while “American Indian” gets rounded up with “Polynesian” and “Eskimo.”
But it is the not-so-obvious differences that society seems to want to draw attention to the most. You are either gay or straight –Â or if you are a bit confused, then another label.
We must remember that words disconnect as well as communicate ideas. Words are made up where none existed before. How many words does the world need?
Were the Greeks gay? Clearly, our labels only apply to the culture in which they are concocted.
So many complex issues are reduced to simplistic A or B choices and these choices that people are presented with force them unwittingly into rival camps. Again, I use the example of homosexuality. Is it a choice or an innate condition? Your answer to this trick question defines your politics. But why should it? Any thinking person knows that …well… it’s both. So let’s stop arguing about it!
Labels push us into our narrow, assigned roles of Typicality, our terrible sameness. What kind of music do you like — country or rap? Frustrated, you wish only to say, “I like good music.”