Sometimes for want of a better word and saving time and energy, we resort to already existing labels. In the process of using a particular label frequently, we deny ourselves the opportunity to think beyond that particular word. Conveniently we slot people, objects, places and other things. Therefore it requires a feminist to point out and condemn labels that define women, are sexist. If not for them, we could not have realized that we are slotting women into a particular category.
Just take a look around you and you find that there are labels for almost everything. It is these labels that slowly make way for prejudices and stereotypes. Spaces have to be either urban or rural/country side. But most of the times we use labels just because we can’t think of any other word. Most of the times, these labels are also historical and sociological. Things are simplified for historians and sociologists if groups of people are slotted into a particular label.
In academics, one can observe this trait predominantly. If an individual gets slotted into a particular label, then that one remains with him/her throughout the career span. Even if the individual has changed loyalties and prescribes to another, the tag is sure to follow. It is therefore quite difficult to remain in the academic circle and not be labelled. These labels can sometimes be the area of an individual’s research. For example, if someone is passionate about the theory of post colonialism, then he/she is labeled a poco (short form for postcolonialist). Unwittingly, one gets pulled into the vortex of labels.
Labels can be limiting and suffocating. I am trying to think an alternate to this. I cannot seem to find any. Perhaps, you could suggest something. I would like to read what you have to say on this.