Labels Again


image is a package of gluten free ramen noodles


photo post is labels. Labels are so controversial it isn’t even funny. You see, in some ways labels are super helpful. The labels on this here soup tell me it’s Nora compatible and safe for me to eat. It lets me know how long I need to attempt to cook it (without starting a fire in the microwave, but that’s beside the point) and you know what? Those are helpful things!

In the world, labels help me know what is safe for me. Online, if I see groups using puzzle pieces or functioning labels, I know that it isn’t a beneficial place for me. But wait, you just said you liked labels! I did – when I get to choose them. Functioning labels are inflicted on me by someone else. The labels that I choose to use and embrace help me define me. The labels the world chooses to put on me help them define me.

When functioning labels are used, they’re to deny me services. You see, most days I can speak. Because I can speak for myself… I am denied services. Even though one phone call can send me into a meltdown for days or lose my words for a really long time. Even though I can advocate for myself and I do (and I happen to think I do a good job of it, kthanxbai), it doesn’t mean I don’t need help sometimes. I can’t do it all my own. For people who are so called low functioning, it’s used to deny them rights and agency.

Labels are not only for soup cans anymore.  But they’ve got to be used with caution.

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