Friday, 1 July 2016

July 1, 2016 Chautauqua

 
Beth's Ponderings

   What label(s) do you invoke when things aren’t going your way, in hopes of turning the tide for you?

   You know the labels I mean.  “I am a (fill in the blank with your gender, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, weight, height, age, education level, etc).”

   Labels that you then use to portray others as being anti-(whatever your particular label is) when they disagree with you?

   Using a label to “blame” or “shame” others is very easy, and it is effective in some respects as the other person can’t argue with the label.  

   But...and it’s a big but, the label usually has nothing to do with the situation or issue at hand.  It allows the person invoking the label to abdicate responsibility for whatever they are doing, that they probably shouldn’t be doing or they wouldn’t be hiding behind the label in the first place, and it puts the other party in the awkward position of being the bad guy when they really aren’t.

   I recently heard a woman, in a position of authority, say that if you disagreed with her current decisions that means that you are anti-women and anti-feminism.

  Uh...NO!

  It means that you disagree with her decisions - which have absolutely nothing to do with her gender, or whether she’s a feminist.

   By invoking the labels of woman and feminist - which she clearly is - she totally derailed the conversation, and shut down any attempts to discuss the nature of her decisions, and their impact on the various parties involved.

   Invoking a label is more an indication of fear, than an indication of confidence.  It is something to hide behind, instead of dealing with reality, and facing the situation head on. 

   Everyone isn’t going to agree with you in this world.  That’s a given.  But, if you are comfortable in your own skin, and feel confident with the choices you make in your life, you have no need to invoke a label to get your own way.

Beth

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