A few days ago I wrote a post on Do labels help? Children with difficulties. You can read it here.
It prompted some lively debate on twttier and attracted some interesting comments on the post itself.
I've been giving quite a lot of thought to this subject and wondered why we give labels? and not just in cases where a correct diagnosis and labelling can support an individual with medical, physical, finacial and education needs.
23 years ago I started my working life with The Spastic Society...'you can't call it that. it's derogatory to people with Cerabel Palsy, lets change it's name to SCOPE' good move for 2 reasons, people still call one another 'spastics, spazzies' I've challenged many child in my teaching as to what they mean by using that word and how it can offend others.
But who decides on the label, why do we need to put ourselves and others in categories?
Gypo, Pikey, Gay, Lesbo and many, many others are used as an insult, used often to describe someones beahviour at a moment in time and usually rarely aimed at the group of society that 'own' that label.
So it made me think about what label(s) I have, whether they are right or wrong, this is what I think I am, going back to when I was born.
Future Olympic gymnast
Child Welfare Officer
Now obviously some of these labels remain unchanged, I'm still someones daughter, sister, aunt, wife and Mother and other labels such as friend come and go.
I missed one label out on purpose as I don't know where it happened in life but it's probably the only label that is me, where I didn't make a choice, where it just happened, but it's not a label I ever use to define myself, that makes up my identity and that's 'Straight', nor do I use the term 'non disabled or enabled'
You read through my list of lables and at various times in my life you can use those labels to judge me, based on your experiences, based on your social norms and values.
You picture me as a little girl, who loves her gymnastics, but where did it all go wrong? I was a single mum, how old? ah well probably in her teens, married out of lonliness, divorced soon after, had an affair, married someone rich, that's how she was able to give up work and retrain as a teacher'.But you'd be right and you'd be wrong. That's just a few of the assumptions people have made of me because of my labels
What made me a SAHM? being an expat, that's all, plain and simple.
Unless you've met me you'll not know me, you read my tweets, you make judgements on the written word, you put me into categories and label me....but that's life, I do it to you also.
So what labels do you give yourself? What have you been labelled as? Do labels really help you? or Do they hold you back?
Don't forget to read the post first on labelling learning difficulties as this post is more generic.