Lousy labelling

By Raphy Islam


I have this mate who travels with me when it’s convenient. My travel partner, in some conversation, very casually mentions, ‘As a feminist, I can’t take this at all…’

The same youngster has been recently rejected by her lover and now she wants to earn some money till her parents decide to marry her off.

I believe, anyone, especially women, can do whatever they like. They want to achieve something, earn money, dress any way they want to; they can and nobody should come between their choices.

Nonetheless, these labels eventually start to resemble the people associated with them. To get the context, you can think of the color pink. Immediately we think anything pink would be girly. This is the social construct. Thus, people will start to call a girl a ‘Tom boy’ if she is more outspoken and likes to dress differently from the other girls.

Again, there is this guy who calls himself a ‘liberal’. But when he sees any girl dressed up ‘provocatively’, he has to shame her for it.

With every passing day these labels have gone haywire in these ‘educated’ minds. In a recent movie, I learnt, if you want to find the guilty, you only need to look in a mirror. This notion clearly describes our current society that loves to label people.

We’ve committed some fancy words to our vocabulary and continuously use them to benefit ourselves anytime we want. We lose perspective in order to claim ourselves as something that we don’t even own a shred of. Thus, the society remains unchanged and seeks greatness through labelling.

Similar things happen on a broader level. People who critique government gets tagged as an anti-national, critiquing capitalist policy gets to become communist and so on.

Labels, titles and names are all necessary. They help us to relate with a belonging. As a caffeine addict, I have been burnt quite a few times while making tea. Not literally, but I mistakenly used black cumin. This has led me to always smell the tea before using it.

Maybe that is the cure! Being observant of the labels.


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