Posted in Commodity Wisdom, Politics, Race by chamblee54 on June 17, 2012

Chamblee54 had a post recently about conservatives and liberals. A lot of people see things in those terms. There are other pigeon holes that people get stuffed into. Not only politics, but religion, fashion, and sexual activity are classified, usually by someone who disapproves. Maybe the true religion of our culture is Labelism.

A trip to google city had lots of results. The top result (possibly paid for) is a company called Labelism. You can create personalized labels, usually for an alcohol product. “Welcome to Labelism. The personalised Wine, Whisky, Champagne and Beer gift service where you become the designer & create your own label.”

The always helpful Urban Dictionary calls labelism “The act of judging people by the labels of their clothes. Here are a few examples of labelism: 1(in Abercrombie): I’m so classy. 2 (in Hollister): Me, too. 3 (in American Eagle): Don’t forget me. 1: We all rock! 4 (in Aeropostale): Hey, I’m classy, too! 1: You wish, you wannabe! 2: Yeah, Loser! 5 (in Wal-Mart clothes): I’m pretty classy myself. 1: Eww Get away! You’re poor! 2,3, and 4: Gross! White Trash! Nasty! 5: Whatever, you label whores!”

Ablogspot facility called Quadrilateral Thoughts gets a bit closer to the original concept of this post. “labelism: The tendency to skew diverse particular ideas, events, people, and so forth by grouping them under overly generalized labels in the service of argument.” A few examples are given. “All these statements are logically fallacious, even though they are the stuff of common rhetoric. They take diverse realia and oversimplify them because the human mind has difficulty processing complexity.”

A playground called Young Americans for Liberty comes out as an Anti-Labelist. “If we refuse to be objective in this way, but rather use smear terms and labels, then it is no surprise that more anti-labelites are produced. We become part of the problem rather than part of the solution.”

Labelism dot org is another take. “Labelism- There Must Be For There To Be/Create Create/ Leaving Assupmtion To The Act/Support Support/ Do Good To Be Good/ Look Passed Word Act-RE-Reality=Option/True”

In 2008, MacKenzie Kern was bothered by people labelling each other. “For Stroudsburg Middle School seventh-grader MacKenzie Kern and others her age, words, particularly labels, can harm the emotionally vulnerable. Someone wearing black clothes and dressing in dark makeup is a “goth.” Someone wearing brand name clothes such as American Eagle or Aeropostale is a “prep.” Someone wearing bright, flamboyant colors is a “scene.” And then there are the “skaters,” who ride skateboards, the “jocks,” or athletes, the “nerds” and the “emos,” or emotionally troubled.”

“You’re stereotyping people just because they dress, act or look a certain way or listen to certain kinds of music,” says Kern, who has been called a “hippie” for wearing  a T-shirt with a peace symbol. “People have labeled me and I’ve labeled others, which is something I’m not proud of.”

That’s why Kern has taken a stand against “labelism” and is trying to convince others her age to do the same. Every day since March 27, she has worn a white belt around her waist in school and out in public. From one end of that belt to the other are signatures, almost all of which have been put there by children ages 12 to 16 who support her stance. “I feel it’s important to focus mainly on kids in my age group,” she says. “If this generation of kids can set an example by stopping labelism, then maybe future generations can do the same. So far, I have only one signature from an adult, a teacher who told me she believes in what I’m doing and said she’s glad I’m doing it.”

At one point, Kern had 105 signatures on her belt. But for each person who agrees with ending labelism, there’s one or more who say Kern is wasting her time. “I’ve had both students and teachers tell me I’ll never really change anything because most people will go on labeling,” she says. “I’ve even had students who signed my belt tell me they want their signatures removed because they changed their minds. So, I scrubbed off five signatures, which took me back down to 100.” But that won’t stop Kern from trying to raise awareness among others her age.

This post was a good idea that turned out to be boring. The spell check suggestion for labelism is Isabella. Pictures are from The Library of Congress.

4 Responses

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  1. Cal Gough said, on June 18, 2012 at 6:34 am

    Not all that boring, this one. I for one had never heard the useful term “labelism,” so now you’ve given that to me, so thanks for that. Also, those photos of the cadets of yesteryear are so mysterious…what stories some of those faces seem to tell (to my projecting mind)

  2. Did BHO Say He Is A Liberal? « Chamblee54 said, on September 23, 2012 at 9:46 pm

    […] liberal?” If there is a reply, it will be shared here. One viewpoint is that conservatives enjoy labels more than liberals do. You seldom hear anyone boasting about how liberal they are, while […]

  3. Labelism | Chamblee54 said, on June 18, 2013 at 6:31 pm

    This is a repost.

  4. […] there is a reply, it will be shared here. This is a repost. One viewpoint is that conservatives enjoy labels more than liberals do. You seldom hear anyone boasting about how liberal they are, while […]

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