Mudcat Café message #1180917 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #69530   Message #1180917
Posted By: George Papavgeris
08-May-04 - 02:39 AM
Thread Name: Let's update 'Sensitive New Age Guys'
Subject: RE: Let's update 'Sensitive New Age Guys'
The trouble is labels, and our general wish to pigeonhole people. That tends to drive us towards "black and white" definitions ans descriptions. So, to differentiate someone who is not, say, a Male Chauvinist, we have to slap a different label on, like Male Feminist or Sensitive New Age Guy (which is a silly label, its meaning is all in the connotations and not in the words themselves). But there is no label for "normal, decent human, respects women, etc).

Given that most of us are not perfect 100% of the time, what label can describe "respects women but occasionally laughs at mother-in-law jokes"?

On top of which, the "-ist" labels have connotations of being an activist for one cause or another, which most of us are not.

Labels are fine as a quick-and-dirty way of drawing a CARICATURE of a person. If you want to paint a more detailed and accurate picture of someone, or have a meaningful conversation on a subject, and are using labels, you are stuffed.

So I understand when your son doesn't want to be called a feminist, dianavan. He's right. He sounds a good bloke to know - for men or women.