‘Sapiosexual’ is the worst millennial term coined ever.
Labels are good. Forget all of the dismissive things you’ve earned about them; labels help give people power. The widening names that we have for different identities can make people feel empowered by finally having words to describe themselves. Labels never go too far, except, perhaps, in one case. Sapiosexual is possibly the worst term ever created.
A sapiosexual is someone who finds intelligence sexually attractive. The whole concept is completely ableist. Sapiosexuality is more on the spectrum of announcing you’re a far right nerd who supports eugenics than anything remotely to do with queerness. Everyone can have types, but to build a label around it suggests an element of exclusivity when sapiosexuals face no oppression. It’s about saying only that smart people are for them and they only want to be known as liking smart people. It ties into images of class, but it’s also dismissive of those without educational opportunities and taints those who don’t meet their false standard of intelligence. It’s inherently shaming.
The fact a label was coined at all raises serious questions. Labels regarding sexuality – homosexuality, bisexuality, asexuality, pansexuality etc. – were devised predominantly to describe those who experienced attractions to people of other than a different gender. They don’t always have empowering roots but they’ve become terms that many queer people use to describe their experiences and attractions. These words matter as not only do they describe identities, but they also allude to a history of oppression for queer identities. It’s why we have terms for bisexuality but we don’t have a green-eyed-good-sense-of-humour- sexuality. Sexuality is different from a type.
“Labels regarding sexuality – homosexuality, bisexuality, asexuality, pansexuality etc. – were devised predominantly to describe those who experienced attractions to genders other than simply a different gender”
If our types are classed as sexualities then the list will be endless, which is fine but that’s not what sexualities thus far have been used to describe. Pansexual people, for instance, will have huge differences in who they find sexually attractive. No two pan people might ever agree on who is attractive. It’s not about breaking down preferences, but about giving a language and label to those who fall outside of the norm. Sapiosexuals do not need that label. There are no cultural or societal repercussions whatsoever for finding intelligence attractive. In fact, choosing partners of high intelligence is downright encouraged in our ableist society.
Sapiosexuals don’t need a label. The fact it’s got a sexuality label and therefore is so similar to bisexuality, homosexuality, asexuality, and pansexuality is risking appropriation of the queer community. Let’s drop the pretentiousness. Sapiosexuality is the worst label that could have been created.
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