On the other hand, labels make things easier for us. For instance, I could tell you that:
I’m a male human of Irish, German, Italian & Romani descent. I’m sexually attracted to female humans, but have an appreciation of the beauty in both the male and female human form. I have been with the same partner for nine years, but we have yet to sign a contract formalizing our partnership. I am at times an artist, a musician, and always an aficionado of the creative spark. I have a strong work ethic, and believe that if a person needs to work to support oneself, that person should work! I typically vote democrat, but reserve the right to pick whoever I deem best for whatever position is in contest. I strongly support things like marriage equality, green and conservation initiatives, health care reform, and higher taxes for improved services. I attempt to live a life based on reasoned observation of the universe I inhabit. I require evidence for phenomena I cannot explain with simple observation; therefore, I have no belief in the supernatural (but I still like reading ghost stories…).Or, I could say:
I’m a single white straight male liberal atheist.And, damn! That’s much easier. It just doesn’t give the full picture. But neither does the longer-winded description.
So, this is really a long way of saying that though labels are irritating, limiting, and occasionally offensive, in our world, we need a simple indicator to tell us how to proceed. That’s the function of these types of words. It pays, though, to look past the word and find out what’s behind it. Sort of the, “Don’t judge a book by its cover” idea.
Having now given myself permission to use labels as needed, I have to say, the wingnuts were out in force in my home state of Minnesota last night.
[Jerry Holt / Minneapolis Star Tribune]
Please, please, please, oh denizens of my beloved Minnesota, vote with your minds and not with your hearts. Get rid of the stupid once and for all!