Showing posts from November, 2021

Beware the False Dichotomy

  The appeal of the dichotomy is understandable. It’s psychologically soothing to have two clear options, so we can act accordingly. Unfortunately, life is messy and complicated, and many of the dichotomies we embrace as a society are not only false, they are actively damaging. Consider the false dichotomy of “fight or flight,” of which I’ve written before. If you believe you only have two possible responses to perceived threat of trauma, you won’t realize that freeze, flop, and friend may be more appropriate to the situation. You could end up punching your boss, because running away is for cowards. Even worse, however, are the dichotomies we apply to sex, sexuality, and gender: you’re either gay or straight, male or female. What we are finally beginning to acknowledge is that these things exist on a spectrum, and the old labels just don’t work anymore. But there are still those who cling to these false dichotomies and refuse to recognize anyone’s identity if it doesn’t fit in a bo