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Labels?

The topic of labeling people based on beliefs, i.e. feminists, Marxist, etc, has come up several times in the reading I have had to do for classes lately. What do you think?

Some people say that labels are terrible and should be eschewed because they restrict us because no one believes exactly the same things and to give my belief the label of “x-ism” is misleading, because you, also a believer in x, believe slightly different things about x-ism. We should not be grouped together because it ineffectively represents both your beliefs and mine.

Others argue that, while they might be restrictive, labels help to situate scholars or people into a wider scheme, instead of just another person who believe x, y, and z, but not all of x, and only party of y, and isn’t really sure what she believes about z, which is what avoiding labels does. Including yourself as an x-ist gives those around you a way to understand you.

I’m not sure what I believe, but I guess that I think it’s existentialist to think that labels are to be avoided at all costs. I guess that means that I find my Self in the group with those who believe that labels are useful.


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