November 2017
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why "can't we all just be PEOPLE" is not a valid critique of labels


icon: "ma'at (photo of a scale with a feather on it, and underneath it the word "Ma'at")"

Labels are important because people can find community using them (which is necessary for survival), and they give others a starting place to understand or learn instead of making assumptions in favor of default identity. There isn't this kind of "why can't we all just be people, I hate labels" backlash against political party labels or familial role labels or religious labels, because people don't feel like acknowledging variety in that way makes them take a new look at themselves. The reason privileged people push back against gender, sexuality, ability, and racial labels (and others related to oppression) is because those labels make one have to acknowledge privilege, which is quite uncomfortable.

If you have to label yourself as straight/cis/non-disabled/white, that is an acknowledgement that you do not suffer the oppression that queer/trans/disabled/people of color do. It recognizes that you have a different experience, and if you are at all aware, that experience is clearly privileged.

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Comments
wickedweasel ══╣╠══
Love this!!
"Hey man, don't give me that... We're 'all the same,' right?"

"...ummm, no. We *should've* been the same. We haven't been. You haven't HAD to live our lives, and we didn't get the OPPORTUNITY to live yours. We've been different. Let's call it what it is.

Now, can we maybe work on fixing this problem?"
volamonster ══╣firestarter╠══
Ugh yes, this. So much.
toll_booth ══╣╠══
People who claim to shun labels are often the easiest ones to label. And you're right, doing this is the prerogative of the privileged.
mosinging1986 ══╣Lost - Hurley - what - animated╠══
Here via LJ Home Page

"If you have to label yourself as straight/cis/non-disabled/white, that is an acknowledgement that you do not suffer the oppression that queer/trans/disabled/people of color do. It recognizes that you have a different experience, and if you are at all aware, that experience is clearly privileged."


LOL! Unbelievable!

The bigotry against whites, straights and I guess now non-disabled people is truly stunning. The hypocrisy from the "Tolerance!" crowd is even more so.

I'm glad people are at least now being open and honest about it.
belenen ══╣sceptical╠══
*eyeroll* 'Tolerance' is not valuable, and neither is this comment.
mosinging1986 ══╣Hobbits Laughing╠══
In other words, you can't address my logical and factual statement, so it's not "valuable" to you.
belenen ══╣sceptical╠══
lolz, 'logical' 'factual'

Stop wasting my time. Get out.
toll_booth ══╣╠══
Don't you just love how the very same people who condemn others for complaining are the first ones to complain?

You poor thing. If only you were a transgender black lesbian, then you would have so many privileges you wouldn't know what to do with them. /sarcasm Just think about all the ones who have been president, Supreme Court justice, or CEO of a major corporation. Hell, we haven't even had a straight white male president in six years!
mosinging1986 ══╣24 - Chloe - geek in trouble╠══
You poor thing. If only you were a transgender black lesbian...

You don't know what I am or am not. (Nor do you care.)

then you would have so many privileges you wouldn't know what to do with them.

Absolutely right. I'd have Affirmative Action on my side, I could claim "RACISM!" at every turn, I'd be able to sue anyone who did not agree with my mental illness of being the opposite sex, and I've have all of society cheering me on.

Glad we're in agreement on that!
belenen ══╣contemptuous╠══
I'm not putting up with anyone referring to transness as a mental illness or good god, acting like there is a social bias in FAVOR of people of color. You've been banned, oh putrescent puddle of vomit-smeared shit, so go lick yourself up and whine about how the mean queer 'oppressed' you.
toll_booth ══╣╠══
Oh I know what you are. You're one of those people whom belenen refers to as a pripoi. Get over yourself, pripoi.
raidingparty ══╣╠══
I don't think you know what you're talking about.
If you have statistics demonstrating that overclass folks are the targets of bigotry to a greater proportional degree than the underclass, I'd happily entertain the idea. But as I have never heard of a White church bombing in Alabama, no gentlemen's clubs being invaded by militant lesbians, no cases where a seeing person died because the society assumed the danger would be heard by blind people's superior hearing.

I can believe you, in particular, are stunned, and as such it is technically stunning. But it's always a shock to wake up.
basil_00 ══╣╠══
i like this. it makes sense to me and i agree.

also, this makes me think again how the label "straight" sounds to me like it would be offensive in the same way that calling cis-gendered people "normal" is. I know it's not quite the same thing, because "normal" implies much more strongly that other ways are wrong, but the word "straight" still seems to do that a bit. Like it's "right", you know?

Don't get me wrong, I love the monosyllabic "straight" and "queer" as opposed to the much longer "-sexual" words, but, i dunno, what do you think about this?
matrixmann ══╣╠══
See this a little differently.
May this seperation or splitting into groups once have been nessecary, nowdays it starts to take on characteristics of club- / league-thinking, or even elite-thinking.
One groups comes up, starts to claim for special rights, addressed to their special needs. Another group comes up, wants the same.
Groups spend a lot of time hanging around in their own culture and making clear to "the average" what their culture is like.
On the other hand they complain about missing integration into "the average".
Stating all the time "we're different" gets you there to be treated unequally.

First there was "the average", denying that something exists, now there is subculture (call it "counter-culture") that speaks "we don't want to be part of you", in the manner of "we want our own set of rights", "we want to be taken into account".
Guess why this doesn't lead to acceptance?
Self-strengthening act. Same thing you once found on the other side now also lives on the other side. And it constantly fights with what has been there at the very beginning.
This doesn't lead to equality or anything like "nobody stares at me for being what I am".
belenen ══╣feminist╠══
Stating all the time "we're different" gets you there to be
treated unequally.


This is wrong. You have confused cause with effect, likely because you do not understand oppression. Unequal treatment is a product of oppression, and it is certainly not due to the 'bad choices' of the oppressed. Before you diacuss this matter more i would recommend a 101 primer on the subject of oppression and privilege. Oppression exists because some people started exploiting others and that exploitation became reified trhough social structures. It has been diminished ONLY by the efforts unto death of the oppressed resisting. Forming an identity other than the one assinged is a valuable part of that process. You must name what you wish to resiat.
matrixmann ══╣╠══
No, I think I'm getting this right.
Once before it was, the average pointed at someone "you're different from us!", now it's like the acused answers "yes, I am different!", concreting the acusation of the average into stone. Not walking the direction of "but this doesn't make me less worth than you".
The roles of oppressor and offpressed are clear in this situation, right? (meaning "who started")
The fight for erasing this oppression hasn't just started yesterday. Through these years both parties of the conflict have made a certain development on their own. And the development of the fraction of the oppressed slowly starts a(nother) development (on their own) which I don't think is healthy.
belenen ══╣giggling╠══
Lolz. Your comment is ignorant and useless; you're not getting it right. Please go away.
matrixmann ══╣╠══
Then I may not seem to get it.
basil_00 ══╣╠══
oooh, thank you for "reify". just about as cool as "ecphorize". keep using cool words.
basil_00 ══╣basil exposition 1967╠══
Oppression exists because some people started exploiting others and that exploitation became reified trhough social structures. It has been diminished ONLY by the efforts unto death of the oppressed resisting. Forming an identity other than the one assinged is a valuable part of that process. You must name what you wish to resiat.

Could you elaborate on this, or have you elsewhere? I don't know if it's too abstract for me or what, but I don't think I'm getting what you mean.
webgirluk ══╣pic#118113725╠══
I often feel uncomfortable giving myself labels but I guess I do it in order to find commonalities with other people. I do call myself straight but only if someone asks directly as I have no better way to word my experiences up to now or the life I currently lead, which is with steering towards men but in some ways it could be too restrictive. I mean there may be a woman out there I fit with better than a guy, who knows? I currently am only physically attracted to or have beenbut it is good to keep an open mind I feel.
raidingparty ══╣╠══
And the opposite direction...
Totally agree about finding support.
Another reason self-labeling is useful is the normalization of the queer.
I think that's been the flash point for gay acceptance, for example.
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Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.