Sociologists and psychologists have recently become aware of a new trend emerging in contemporary, first-world society, particularly noticeable among the digitally-enabled. Dubbed “Fuck You Syndrome,” it is the complete rejection of any labels, assigned to one individual by another individual, with the intent of causing social anxiety and inducing feelings of inferiority. “This independent thinking is very dangerous to a rather large group of people, who have grown accustomed to gaining the benefit of a free, extra advantage for themselves and their social group, through the use of accusatory labelling,” said one scientist.
Accusatory Labelling includes, but is not limited to, assigned groupings such as:
Privileged. Racist. Islamophobic. Mysogynistic. Homophobic, and its’ cousin, Transphobic. Mentally Ill. Conservative. Liberal. Prejudiced. Religious Fanatic. Gun-Rights Fanatic.
Most, if not all of these terms are being used to either attribute or exaggerate character flaws, giving them seemingly indefensible, negative implications. Consider the following “definition” from the popular, crowd-sourced Urban Dictionary:
Trumper: “A person who is usually uneducated, ignorant, misogynistic, close minded (sic), racist, sexist, homophobic, white supremacist, conservative, pro-life, anti-poor, pro-war, anti-science and hateful. Is usually white, redneck, selfish and blindly supports Donald Trump.”
The labelling here shows a somewhat extreme example of accusatory labelling. “Fuck You Syndrome” rejects and refutes nearly every single label in this “definition,” apologizing for nothing.
A contemporary sociologist staunchly defends the practice. “Accusatory labelling evokes an appropriate response. We’re the first generation to recognize a long history of enculcated advantages given to some, at the expense of others. The responses that these advantaged people should have is to feel remorse, to realize the ways culture has promoted them and continues to promote them, to own a sense of indebtedness, and to set the present, and future generations on a course of reparations.”
Enter “Fuck You Syndrome.” “Fuck You Syndrome” calls this entire line of “reasoning” unreasonable, illogical, and ridiculous. In an open-ended survey of people with “Fuck You Syndrome,” the most common response to accusatory labelling was, “bullshit!”
Sample responses to the accusatory labels included, to cite a few,
“Do we hate, or abuse, or oppress women? Ask our wives. I’ve washed more dishes, done more housework, changed more dirty diapers, while we both hold down full time jobs. Ask our bosses. I’ve watched, and celebrated, when deserving, qualified women were promoted over me. I was taught to treat women with respect, and to be chivalrous.”
“Privileged? I respect the law, I work hard, and I watch people walk in knowing less, who politic and ass-kiss their way into positions over me. They either don’t last, or they walk in on good people who know and do their jobs whether some idiot tries to micromanage their jobs, while learning what their team is doing, or not. More often than not, they’re applying for the next job before they’ve started mismanaging the one they just lucked, or charmed, into. I’m qualified for more, but I’m not privileged enough to get it. I’m glad I have a job, but I sure as hell wish they’d pay me what I’m worth.”
“If I were privileged I’d be a lot better paid than people I supposedly have some privileges over. If I’m privileged, why do I have to work so hard, and still not receive any tangible benefits that are any different than anyone else?”
“Phobic? I’m not afraid. I have religious, social, and philosophical reasons for rejecting the lifestyle choices, beliefs, and behavioral choices I’m accused of being ‘afraid’ of. It’s not fear. It’s believing that there are absolutes in life, right and wrong, that all human life is valuable and has purpose, and that what people do can have either detrimental, or beneficial impacts on other people, whether done in public or in private. We are spiritual beings, and all human life is interconnected.”
“Racist? I don’t hate people at all. My friends at work and church, and my neighbors, are great people, from all races. What I hate is when I see people treating other people with disrespect, or disregard. For example, presuming I’m racist and privileged, without even looking at how I treat people, and without looking at my life and my career opportunities.”
“I’ve tried to make smart choices, thinking through the consequences. I show respect for authority and other people’s property. I think I show a reasonable degree of awareness and sensitivity to others, just as I expect from others, regardless of race or beliefs. Would I change how I act based on someone telling me I’m in this group or that? No. I’m not in the wrong, here. The label, if it’s not accurate according to how I perceive myself, must be wrong.”
“Why the fuck do some psychologists, and the SCHOOLS, for fuck’s sake, support and defend children, who are a) in denial of reality and basic scientific facts, b) rejecting their own identities, desiring to be someone, and something, that they’re not, and c) slapping their parents in the face, against norms and mores and deeply held religious beliefs? What happened to a parent’s right to raise their children, and to guide them and protect them from self-destructive behaviors and life-choices? Teachers are forced to deny the real, verifiable scientific classification, to deny the very science they should be allowed to teach, and to accept, embrace, and positively reinforce a child’s fantasy, delusion, or psychosis. This isn’t anti-science, ignorance, homophobia or transphobia. This is rejection of plain, foolish, stupidity!”
“Why is the person formerly known as Bruce Jenner revered in the media as a hero, just because he has lots of money, had his natural sex organs chopped off, bought fake boobs, takes chemicals to look less manly, put on a dress, and picked out a new name? That’s not ‘courage.’ ‘Courage’ is running into danger to save people. Courage is doing the right things when everyone is doing wrong, or doing nothing. Courage is speaking the truth when others want you to shut up, while they broadcast their lies, and demand that everyone believe them.”
The news media is also fond of blanket labelling. It’s almost as if they are part of a movement of subterfuge, telling their audience they are fair and unbiased, but by inspection, demonstrating a social slant through the divisive accusatory labels used to report stories.
Consider the following two examples:
1- The news media seems bent on grouping a large group of people under the blanket term “mental illness.” The problem with that blanket is that it covers symptoms ranging anywhere from mild, circumstance-driven depression or anxiety, to severe paranoid schizophrenia, hallucinations, dangerous, destructive impulse-control disorders, psychopathy and sociopathy. The “mental illness” label is trumpeted whenever there is a school shooting. The media reports often say “the shooter suffered from bipolar disorder,” failing to adequately research what bipolar disorder is, failing to understand what it causes in most sufferers, thereby failing to accurately report the cause of the escalation to violence. A fairly well constructed, broad overview of various classifications of mental illnesses is found on WebMD, reviewed in April 2019 (https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/mental-health-types-illness).
Most bipolar sufferers, just to clarify, are not ticking time bombs, dangerous people, prone to random, violent outbursts. On the depressive part of the wave, milder sufferers may just want to cry, stay indoors, lie in bed, and be left alone, and severe sufferers may be self-destructive or suicidal. On the manic side, sufferers may have energy to spare, and may clean, complete projects, be more socially active, shop, gamble, indulge in bingeing behavior, and/or feel increased sexual desire. At either extreme, the behavior is more self-destructive than outwardly destructive.
The “mental illness” label may fit people, but it is not socially constructive, nor adequately descriptive. On the contrary, a person diagnosed and treated for their specific, non-violent mental illness may be unfairly categorized or even deprived of certain constitutional rights, just because in their struggle, they sought professional help, even just once. When the media refers to “mental illness,” they almost always imply “out of control, and crazy,” These words cannot, and should not, be equivocated. It’s unfairly stigmatizing.
2- The news media is more obvious than not, in efforts to support the gun-control lobby. It is truly horrific and tragic to hear about people going on murderous rampages. It is terrifying to think of innocent children, just going to school, who may face one of these psychopathic lunatics. However, news reporters seem poorly focused on fact, and sharply attentive to hype. Following any such report, there are always interviews with witnesses or family. Statements from activists inevitably follow, blaming legislators and politicians for these terrorist attacks, and demanding greater restrictions on guns. At the top of their hit list, “assault rifles,” or “assault-style rifles,” for which the activist has no specific, clear definition. Minimal research offers that an assault weapon can be switched from semiautomatic to fully automatic. But fully automatic guns are not legal for civilian use in the United States. Additionally, the much maligned AR-15 is often misconstrued as an “Assault Rifle,” although “AR” is short for “ArmaLite Rifle.” It is a semi-automatic, and cannot be switched to fully automatic. The gun control advocate has no practical suggestions for how enacting new, more strict laws will stop law-breakers from obtaining firearms, and demands restrictions that will only impact law-abiding gun owners. (https://www.npr.org/2018/02/28/588861820/a-brief-history-of-the-ar-15)
Those who practice advantage-seeking accusatory labelling could be responded to in kind. The accused could easily resort to name-calling. Terms like ignorant, power-grabbing, closed-minded, racist, gender-confused, liberal, pro-baby-murder, anti-science, society-and-values-destroyer, hateful, selfish and lie-propagater, might easily be tossed back.
But perhaps there is a better approach. Refusing to kowtow to social pressure by just accepting these labels is not sufficient in itself. While the label-thrower hands out accusations, the response cannot be one in kind. It must be firmly rational, well-researched, and even somewhat understanding, in sharp contrast to the rabid, intolerant, illogical name-calling being done by those who are forcing their destructive views onto society, demanding that any other opinions, religious beliefs, or scientific data, be silent.
Conservative might be a fine label. But if the so-called progressive sociologists, pseudo-scientific psychologists, and other squeaky wheels want to try to mis -label those who stalwartly, and courageously, hold to traditional beliefs, rational thinking, and time-honored societal views, they may end up with a simplified, distilled, concentrated response: