[personal profile] wingedbeast
I've been gone a long time from this blog (and from this series). A large part of the reason has been Pokemon Go. But, another part has been my difficulty in getting my thoughts together on this promised topic. What labels are rather than what they're not. I've both oversimplified and over-complicated it in my mind.

So, I'll keep it simple, perhaps more simple than I promised. If so, that's my error. Labels are descriptions. They can be accurate descriptions or inaccurate descriptions. But, they're descriptions, nonetheless. They can be influenced by the intent of those who adopt the labels as well as those who would seek to assign the labels, but they can't proscribe anything onto the labeled.

The hard part is finding out what they mean and why.

SJW (Social Justice Warrior) is a label. It's intended with irony, claiming someone is in such a desire to fight for social justice that they'll get involved in any battle, regardless of whether or not there's a real injustice involved. I've been accused of this when I argue that, yes, privilege is a thing. Is that an accurate description based just on my position in that particular issue?

Does SJW really mean someone who's looking for personal Civil Rights glory regardless of reality? Or does it just refer to anybody who takes a position disliked by those who wish to dismiss ideas out of hand?

MRAs (Men's Rights Activists) bill themselves as defending the rights of men. But, the common trait I find among MRAs is sharing their disdain of feminists/feminism. I could quite readily be wrong on that account, but that perception means that, to me, MRA really means "disdainer of feminists". Are they defending rights or using a particular label to hide, even from themselves, what changes the meaning of the label?

These are questions that involve the behaviors of those under self-adopted labels, the behavior of those who employ assigned labels, the associations (due to both reality and common imagination) that a word takes on, and any number of other matters that have me getting into the territory of over-complicating this issue, perhaps to fill out space.

Short answer, though, is descriptive, not prescriptive. In assigning and in hearing labels, the point is to get to an accurate understanding that you can use for yourself or communicate to others, not to push people into a box that will be more convenient to your own efforts.
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