Opinion

Avoid labels to embrace understanding

She’s a b*tch. He’s assertive. She’s crazy. He’s expressive. It’s a war of words, and women are losing.

If I had a dollar for each time I’ve heard a guy dismiss his ex as crazy, I’d have enough money to pay for my own loony bin treatment. The thing I find crazy is how common it is for guys to use labels on women whose behavior they find inconvenient or uncomfortable.

The same goes for whenever an assertive girl is called a b*tch. Assertive guys are hailed as tough go-getters, while strong women who go after what they want are called b*tches. This labeling attitude diminishes women and their emotions and helps maintain an unequal society.

Brushing off women’s expressive behavior by calling them “crazy” inhibits the chance for honest, open relationships – something that hinders both women and men. Likewise, tossing around “b*tch” causes women to question their emotions, their actions and themselves.

Labeling must be curtailed, and we can start by expanding our vocabulary. Men should address things they find annoying or overly emotional, call them for what they are and try to find the meaning behind them. For those who don’t label, call out people who do. If people are made aware of how damaging labels are, they’re more likely to stop using them. One or two syllables can carry more weight than you think.

Maybe when we figure out the reason someone is acting the way they are, we won’t find it so “crazy.” We might even discover mistakes made on our own part caused the behavior we deem so irrational.

 

Melanie Martinez is a sophomore majoring in journalism.

March 5, 2014

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Melanie Martinez


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