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Labels and Scales.

J.Yoo's picture

In the Trangendered vs. Cisgender group, we discussed the problems labels created, but also how they have helped recognize these problems.  Humans are geared towards classifying things: it's how we learn and understand.  Label-less things are lumped into a group with other label-less things, most of which are generally overlooked.  So, if we chuck the Transgender label, although we might be able to tone down some discrimination, the issue would get tossed into the "Work on it Later' pile.  Haraway says she would rather be, "A Cyborg than a Goddess," but if that goddess knows exactly who she is and what label she has collected, it doesn't look half bad to me.

Also worth noting: when we teach children (young children) about the world, we teach them in a binary of good and bad.  To a toddler, lying is always bad and telling the truth is always good.  You can't tell them about lying to protect someone's feelings, or when the pure truth would cause more trouble than it's worth, because they don't understand.  Likewise, I believe we don't have a scale for things yet because we're not ready, possibly because we can't understand.  And we might not ever, but throwing out labels and forcing everyone into one, androgenous category is not the answer.




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