Love is Love and Other Tautologies
Love is love, right? That’s the tagline for the modern movement which seeks to redefine what, precisely, love is. There are a multitude of problems with this idea, of course, but let’s take one specific instance.
It begins, predictably, with “love has no gender.” It proceeds to “love has no race.” Next, “love has no disability.” Next up is “love has no age.” We’ll get back to that in a minute. Next up is “love has no religion.” It ends with “love has no labels.”
There’s a problem with this progression, though. The video is subtitled “Love has no Labels” – it is about Diversity and Inclusion. So, if it is about diversity, doesn’t that mean “Love has no meaning”? Think about it. If there are no labels, then there are no distinctions – and there is nothing to be diverse from. It is a singular, and undifferentiated muddle. See, when you toss in a bunch of related, but not particularly accurate “labels” into the same pot, with the intention of erasing distinctions, aka labels, you lose all the labels – and any intelligible meaning for the term you want to be “label-less”.
Look, my view on race is fairly easy to find. I think “race” is a nonsensical concept. There is one race, the human race. There are tribes, tongues, peoples and nations – but “race” is none of the above. It is an artificial construct which not only should fade into obscurity, but deserves to. What one significant problem with this whole idea of “without labels” is, is that it uses labels to protest them.
It is a textbook self-refutation, directly out of postmodern thought. Love has no what? For that matter, love is what? I mean, look at what gets thrown together on that stage. Lesbianism, inter-“racial” romance, sisters, a homosexual “family”, an older married couple, inter-“racial” friendship, inter-religious friendship. Can you seriously tell me that there is no distinction between any of these?
Let’s mix and match the people in the video. Love has no labels, right? Words like “romance”, “friendship”, “family”, “age”, “relationship”, “gender”, are all labels – which we should eschew.
Would the producers of this video, or those who cheer it on when they see it, believe that the “love” between the (apparent) sisters, one of whom has Down’s syndrome, is identical to (which is what remains when you remove distinctions) the “love” of the initial lesbian couple? If not, why not? If love has no distinctions, if it has no “labels”, what possible basis would anyone have to object to such a relationship having an identical expression, viability, and justification?
Would the objection be to the “gender” of these two girls? Love has no gender, right? Is the objection to the “age” of these girls? Love has no age, right? Is the objection to the “disability” of one of the girls? Love has no disability, right? Is the objection, perchance, to the sort of expression of their love? Love has no labels – does it?
Is there a “label” for eros? Is there a “label” for friendship? Is there a “label” for familial bonds? I don’t see why, given this perspective. The goal is to eradicate categories. We could get more pointed, too. What would be the objection to the older couple adding one of the minor siblings (or friends) to a polyamorous relationship and/or marriage (not to mention, what would be the *distinction* between those “two types” of love)? If this makes you uncomfortable – it should. However, ask yourself – are you being diverse in the way this demands of you? Are you being inclusive? Better yet, is it even possible to be?
Just a few years ago I was seeing widespread scoffing from the media and various pundits at the very idea that homosexual “normalization” would lead to polygamy. Today, those people who scoffed at that idea are very, very quiet. It’s all very well to say “love has no age.” The problem with that is when you are tying it with the same idea that “love has no gender” – in terms of sexual relationships. Our culture has chipped the foundation out from under all of the distinctions that are required to have culture.
Just as aside, in Europe, over 90% of babies diagnosed with Down’s syndrome in the womb are murdered in utero. Love has no disability, right? “Women of color” are 5 times more likely to abort than their “white” counterparts. Love has no race, right? These are the policies your worldview creates.
The double standard in play here is frightening, and self-destructive. You don’t really mean “love has no labels.” It just sounds good if you don’t think about it. You don’t really think that siblings love each other the same way you love your wife. You don’t think that you love your best friend the same way you love your kids. You don’t want your best friend to love your wife the same way you do – or to love your kids the same way you love your wife. Nor do you want Grandma, Cousin Billy, or Sal at the body shop to do the same thing. You actually do make distinctions. You use labels, too. They are called “distinctions”, and you not only cannot, but have to, make them about nearly everything, in contradistinction from everything else. Throwing in “race” – which is an actual false distinction, only muddles the entire issue. Throwing in “age” in this context is not only muddled, but dangerous.
Love isn’t a non-descriptive tautology with a one-dimensional meaning that applies equally to each and every thing. If we did the same thing with another verb, you wouldn’t even dream of “affirming” it. Try on work is work. Work should be “without labels.” Every job is just as “affirming” as any other. They are all the same type, all do the same thing, and all result in the same product. Right? Only if the sky is a very different color in your world!
Substitute any other one you want. The same thing will happen. Yes, there are false distinctions. On the other hand, to recognize them as false distinctions is to… distinguish… them from the true ones!
Love without labels is just love without meaning.
[…] on these issues here and here. There’s a further review and response here from James White, and a response on the blog Choosing Hats. (image: […]
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