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The A Life Team

Do you find labels useful or restricting?

  

10 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you find labels useful or restricting?

    • I love labels, there just aren't enough of them!
      18
    • I find labels useful and that's why I use them
      199
    • I dislike labels, but use them because I feel like I have to
      49
    • I don't use labels
      15
    • I hate labels and so should you
      13
    • Other
      21


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The A Life Team   
The A Life Team

Labels. Some people revel in them, some people hate them. But everybody should probably be aware of them, so that is why labels are the topic of this edition of A Life.

Please do add your thoughts about the subject, but I urge you to listen to the show first. It will considerably clarify the poll and give tons of thought-provoking entertainment. You can find the show here:

http://alifepodcast.wordpress.com/

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kiss the sky   
kiss the sky

I only use labels when talking to others. To myself, I'm just me as a whole without any labels to divide myself. I think of other people in a similar way.

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Gatto   
Gatto

http://people.ischool.berkeley.edu/~nunberg/labelpains.html

If you ever find yourself desperate for a conversation starter, you might offhandedly drop the observation that the word label is related to lap, which was originally a piece of cloth than hangs down at the bottom of a garment. A little part of that meaning survives in the way we talk about political labels, with the implication that they're merely tags tacked onto things for convenience. We don't ordinarily say that duck is a label for a kind of waterfowl. Duck is just a name. Whereas calling a word a label implies that it distorts or oversimplifies the category it's attached to. You hear people say, "I don't believe in labels," but nobody ever says "I don't believe in names.
The beauty of a label is that it smoothes over the complexities and corrugations of the world to create an impression of common purpose. But that's also why a label can become an embarrassment when it comes to apportioning blame. At that point, people are just as happy to drop it in someone else's lap.

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InfiniteConciousness   
InfiniteConciousness

They can be great for explaining what you are to other people. If you say you don;t want romance or sex people will think you're wierd. If you say youre aromantic or asexual some people may still think you're wierd but at least it has that officiality to it.

Its like saying there really is such a thing out there and its not some made up thing and yes this IS what I identify as.

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UraNepu   
UraNepu

I voted "other"

I find labels:

1. irritating when they are used to point fingers (they are this/that booo)

2. useful when they are used properly

I label only myself if I need to confirm something to someone else (I say I'm asexual), though I also identify as "me" or as "I am my own kind"

I totally avoid labeling others except if I'm asked directly to say my opinion.

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BaronTheCat   
BaronTheCat

I'd say labels are good for those who can find one that fits, and bad for those who can't.

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Shockwave   
Shockwave

I don't use labels, I use adjectives. I like to describe things without defining them.

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MauveRose   
MauveRose

I actually like labels and knowing what each jar contains. I also think they are useful in matters of dating, but then again people are complex and sexuality is fluid. so I'm ambivalent :lol:

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PiF   
PiF

labels are handy when buying clothes..you ever tried putting a size 30 jean on a size 38 man? :ph34r:

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Observer   
Observer

They're good for food and clothes and chemicals and medicine! Maybe some people. When it comes to humans I find them often not enough to describe...see with me I need like paragraphs, or a novel...hmm maybe I should try simplifying myself.

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zoidberger   
zoidberger

I dislike labels when it comes to defining myself as there is none that I find that is even simplistically appropriate, but I will use a best-fit if necessary. I'd rather describe how I feel than sum myself up in a word or a couple of words.

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Guest member25959   
Guest member25959

Labels are just a convenient way of summing yourself up into one, or two words. But with the Labels I use I commonly find myself explaining them in depth :rolleyes:

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Vampyremage   
Vampyremage

Although there are some problems with labels, I feel that they are overall fairly useful. Its just important not to rely on them too much.

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Nieyx   
Nieyx

I never really liked labels, but as I grew older I found it useful inorder to better figure out myself by having something to define me. It's really more of a comfort/familiarity thing for me. When used negitively I have a problem with labels.

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lifegoeson   
lifegoeson

I find it more useful to define myself in relation to absolute labels than to call myself by those absolute labels.

Like, rather than saying I'm asexual, I consider myself to be somewhere on the asexual spectrum. Not fully asexual, but not fully sexual either (and how far down the spectrum I am can fluctuate). I would rather not have to label that, even, but it can be useful at times as a way of validating oneself to others. Implicitly, it proves that there are other people out there like you.

I've given up on orientation labels. The whole thing makes little sense to me so I just say I like who I like. I could call myself panromantic, but even that feels a bit weird.

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Vdougie   
Vdougie

I find labels pretty useful. They help tell alot about me and others. They can be useful if the person who aknowledges the label can know what it means.

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BonesTheHeretic   
BonesTheHeretic

I wrote an personal essay for my english class last week about being ace and about labels, so I'll just rehash the point I made then: sure, labels are bad in principle, but they come with an immense sense of solidarity that can be very comforting. If you have a label, it means there are people out there like you.

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the Lady Ashuko   
the Lady Ashuko

I have many labels, mostly related to asexuality and mental illness. I'm the kind of person who will freak out when I have a problem with no solution, so discovering these labels helped me to accept and understand the person that I am.

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futurus   
futurus

I voted that I found labels useful, but I will not use them if those to whom I am trying to explain myself will not know the label. I also don't use them if they are likely to be misunderstood.

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(Nightlight)   
(Nightlight)

Both useful and restricting.

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sus   
sus

I find labels mostly useful, as they often clarify a stance or a perception one has.

However, I also sometimes find that adhering to a label or definition can become a bit tiring, especially if that label does not fully represent who one is.

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SquirrelCat   
SquirrelCat

Do I use lables: Yes.

I somewhat dislike them because they force you to find labels that fit and that can be hard sometimes. But I also like them because they can act as a simpler way to define yourself to others.

So they can be useful but they may also act as a double-edged sword when people interpret the label wrong.

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Guest JonSnow   
Guest JonSnow

Vote dislike, but use.

They help defining, making comparisons.

But they are also dangerous:

- they are generally an over simplification (black, white)

- they create boxes and you might change your behavior in order to fit to the box

- you and the others may forget that you are not enterly defined by the label: for example asexual, but also a man, an informatician, living in ....

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Elara   
Elara

Other.

They can be useful but since everyone using them has a slightly different idea of what goes into said label..they can be annoying...as well as when people use them to stereotype things that are not even true.

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Lithiumion   
Lithiumion

I can see why people could find them restricting, and as they are merely an attempt to quantify a part of natural humanity, it is an inherently flawed system. That being said, I do find them useful (and use them myself), as they are currently the most efficient way to convey the way people feel about things.

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Beachwalker   
Beachwalker

I would hate to be doing my grocery shopping if nothing had labels. Apart from the fruit and veg section I think I would struggle. Labels applied too people can also be useful such as when there's a knock at your door at night and they call out it's the 'police', or at the hospital when someone identifies themselves as a Dr or a nurse, this can be useful, relevant and understood information that is conveyed by the label. If people want to label themselves that's fine, but how they choose to use said label is when I feel it can be at times problematic.

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Colorless Wind   
Colorless Wind

I chose other because I find them useful for some things, but sometimes they aren't that great in other circumstances.

For example, in my campus GSA I told people I was asexual. They were fine with it, and sometimes they'll ask me if I find a topic uncomfortable, mainly about sex so that if I'm talking with them they'll limit how much they talk about it or hold the conversation later. That's fine. On the other hand, I've had the people in the GSA completely ignore my opinion on topics such as dating because they know I'm asexual and figure that I don't understand where they're coming from, even though I've stated that I understand and that while I don't date or care to date, I understand why people do. Several of them think I'm just trying to fit in because most of them are sexual.

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Arcovia   
Arcovia

I voted Other; On one hand, I love labels and actually find it fun to find or create labels for myself, on the other hand, I hate it when anyone tries to apply a label to me, unless it's one I've already used.

When it comes to labels being used for something other then myself, I find them great when appropriate, but restricting when applied incorrectly.

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tanafluk   
tanafluk

I really like labels in the sense that if they exist, they let me know that 1) how I feel/am is common enough that there are enough people to necessitate/have made a label and 2) it's an easy way to explain myself to others without having to become personal.

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Janus DarkFox   
Janus DarkFox

I have a bit of bad history with labels, I find that my sexuality does not stay in one place. I'm more rather unlabeled due to the fact it is unexplainable having bisexual attractions yet absoloutly nothing else that fits me into the gray-A. To others, I am bisexual, for curiosities and uncertainties, that in itself have difficulties explaining it without getting the "don't exist card" thrown around and that's before trying to explain asexuality.  

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