I just finished reading yet another article about another celebrity identifying as this label vs that label. It’s a pair of pet peeves of mine also, sooooo time for a rant… or two mini rants.
Is the public EVER going to face the cold, hard reality that being an actor, singer or model does NOT make one a rocket scientist?
Quite the contrary in most cases. Dedication to their craft means they haven’t spent much time at all studying physics, critical thinking, etc… In fact, Brian May of Queen fame is the only legitimate rocket scientist (astrophysicist to be specific) that I know of in the category of celebrity performers.
In my observation, the less a celebrity knows, the more likely they are to loudly voice an opinion on everything too. I’d say it comes from a deep-seated psychological insecurity from knowing they contribute little to society beyond an ability to amuse and entertain. Broad generalization? Absolutely! I could cite several easy examples though, such as the entire gaggle of Kardashians, or Kyrie Irving (and Shaq).
Think for yourselves, folks. You don’t need somebody in a gated Hollywood mansion or a multi-million dollar Manhattan penthouse who travels in closed circles, and has zero clue what the real world is like telling you what’s right for you, how to think and how to live YOUR life.
On to the main rant. Need I say that this is something that makes NO sense to me. Labels are a way to categorize people and put them into a box. Liberal, Conservative, Straight, Gay, Disabled, Black, White…
OK, I get it to a degree. Our brains are designed to categorize things to make processing information easier. Let’s face reality though; everybody is unique! Racial identity, sexual orientation, religion, etc… should mean FAR less than the content of a person’s character. Said judgment about THAT should also be made only after making an effort to truly understand the other person.
A huge part of the reason our political process is completely toxic now is because people blindly apply labels they can’t even properly define, and then make gross assumptions about the people thus labeled. True on both sides, period.
Sometimes I REALLY wonder if people even think about the labels they mindlessly switch in order to feel “enlightened”. Take handicapped as a perfect example. George Carlin did a great couple of jokes about the way that term got substituted with several others such as “handicapable” and how it sounded like people were trying to BS themselves into believing the issue didn’t exist (in order to avoid facing it).
FINALLY, years back, the term “Disabled” was somehow settled upon as more enlightened and compassionate. But is it really? Handicapped, by definition, means that a person can do something but is at a disadvantage doing it. Disabled… That means it can’t be done at all.
So, which is really more compassionate and uplifting to people stuck with the condition and label?
Yes, sometimes labels are abused by unthinking members of the public. “Retarded” being a great example. By it’s proper definition, the term isn’t demeaning at all:
Occurring or developing later than desired or expected; delayed.
I’d argue that with many of these abused labels, it’s NOT the label that needs to be changed, it’s the people misusing them. Forcing a change in labels is not going to change the condition NOR human nature.
I’m going to go WAY out on a limb here (at least as far as some will be concerned) and talk about labels in the LGBTQ community, as it seems to be a particularly contentious area regarding labels anymore.
In my opinion, the community has gotten FAR too obsessed with labels anymore. One of the things I think the gay rights movement did right years ago is that they didn’t overtly stress over most labels. In fact, if a label wasn’t completely derogatory (such as ‘fag’), they’d outright own it, and turn it around into a symbol of pride. That’s what happened with ‘gay’ and ‘queer’, for example. I believe that legitimately helped advance the cause also.
NOW, the community is not only more militant in going after others, but it’s turning in on itself too, as every little variation in sexual preference has to have a unique label. Is it really that hard to just accept that bisexuality comes in a spectrum, as a major example? Instead there’s more contention over that than I see on twitter over what qualifies somebody as a “real” writer.
The militant attitude in general there, AND displayed by other groups, isn’t helping anyone either. You can’t beat somebody into accepting you, much less liking or embracing you. That’s a process that involves mutual courtesy. Also a rant for another time.
So yeah… Is “lesbian” or “queer” any more valid than the other? I could point out that “lesbian” merely identifies a sexual orientation, where as “queer” means strange or abnormal. The real answer should be “Who Cares?” though. Again, it’s a person’s character and actions that should ultimately matter, not their gender, race, orientation, etc…
Just be a good PERSON, and the rest will fall into place.