LETTERS: Categorizing humans a needless exercise

No one should feel there is a coherent categorization in which to announce themselves.

Re: Declaring sexuality shouldn’t be a thing (Student Views, Jan. 16)

This was an exceptionally thoughtful article by Maddy Caldwell.

But I’d add that not only should no one ever feel they need to announce their sexual orientation, or fear being marginalized for it, no one should even feel there is a coherent categorization in which to announce themselves.

We’ve made a similar mistake to the failed 17th century attempt to bucket people into “races” using arbitrary physical traits. We now know that categorization doesn’t stand to any scientific scrutiny of biological variation.

Not that genetic validation should’ve been required. A simple thought experiment kills the idea. Imagine lining up the world’s population of humans from darkest skinned to lightest. Would we have clear dividing lines to segment what we currently consider black, white, yellow, or red?

Have you not seen a so-called Caucasian that has darker skin than some so-called African-Americans? What about widest nose to thinnest? Or height? Every attempt is futile. Absurd. It’s clearly a continuum for which categorization is arbitrary and largely pointless.

So too with sexual orientation.

What is gay? Is it any same-sex attraction? Or a certain degree? What if you had a same-sex dream? A brief thought? Or does it require the act? What if it’s just once? Is there an instance criteria? What if you appreciate both sexes? What defines a bi-sexual? What if somebody just wishes to experiment? And why would it matter?

Again, if you were to line up the world’s population from most attracted to same-sex to least, would we have clear dividing lines? What would they be based on? Is there even a point to doing so?

What we have is another unbroken continuum. Another pointless attempt to arbitrarily categorize, but serving only to create artificial in/out groups.

And needless marginalization.

Michael Davie

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