Take Your Labels and Shove It

What is the end game of civil rights? In a perfect world, civil rights would mean that the ways in which we define ourselves, through gender, sexuality, religious beliefs or lack thereof, or any other labels we choose or are chosen for us, would not matter. They would not matter when it comes to employment, where we choose to live, which organizations to join, running for office, or purchasing goods and services. The ideal endgame for civil rights would be the labels themselves becoming meaningless, unnecessary to apply because how a person identifies is no more significant than the color of their eyes. But, identity politics has instead made the labels more significant. People are required to identify, to belong to one group or another, and this ideological segregation has been an unfortunate side effect of the struggles for civil rights. The otherness of people has been reinforced alongside the strengthening of civil rights, turning the idea of equality into something like a finite resource, to be cut and divided among the differing groups. In acknowledging the differences between us, those differences become more stark than ever. Continue reading “Take Your Labels and Shove It”