Society: “Life Was So Much Easier Before All These New Labels”

Easier for you perhaps, but not for them

Matt Mason

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“I don’t get it!” they cry from their armchairs and a position where they just don’t want to get it and have no intention of educating themselves. “I don’t get it!” they cry while pointing back to the good old days when genderfluid, demisexuality, pansexuality and trans weren’t labels people used to describe themselves, and neither were autist, adhd, or neurodivergent.

Photo by Patrick Perkins on Unsplash

No, it was so much easier and better in “the good old days” when society chose labels for those people. This was a time when the comfort of the masses mattered more than the personal feelings of the people you were labelling and, in some cases, your comfort and belief in conformity mattered more than reality.

“Why does Sam Smith have to be a zhe or they! I don’t get it?!?!?!?!?! What’s wrong with using he or she?”

“Demisexuality isn’t a thing. You’re just like everyone else!”

“ME isn’t real. It’s just flu for yuppies!”

“Bisexual? Nah, they’re just sex mad.”

“ADHD? Kid just needs a good hiding to make them behave!”

“Dyslexia? No such thing. The kid is just stupid and lazy and won’t make anything of themselves in life.”

In some cases, past negative attitudes have changed (ADHD, ME, and dyslexia for example) and that is the whole point — society changes as we gain understanding and so do the associated labels.

When they are defined, claimed, and used by the people to whom they apply, they are empowered instead of made to feel broken.

Maybe it was “easier in the past” for you because you were given a license to be openly prejudicial and your privilege of not being part of those groups meant you didn’t have to think about it. People used to (try to) force themselves into boxes that didn’t fully fit for your comfort.

When younger I was labelled “late developer”. Some people assumed I was gay. I even doubted myself the first time I kissed a girl and felt literally nothing.

Yet when I found a label that did apply to me “demisexual” all those people who labelled me “late developer” and…

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Matt Mason

Freelance writer. Medium is my place to muse and vent the serious and the frivolous: asexuality, childfree living, gaming, society, satire and more.