Which of course leads to the other aspect of this proliferation of labels: rampant accusations (especially online) of not being a real feminist/geek/liberal/goat cheese enthusiast. It’s apparently not enough to yourself ascribe to such labels, you have to take up arms against all those ‘pretenders’ as well who dare to sully the good name of your label by claiming to ascribe to said label when they clearly don’t know the first thing about it! Don’t pretend to be a geek! I know you’re lying, you don’t even know the entire script of Star Trek by heart! You can’t be a gamer, you’re a girl! Even labels that might previously have been seen as negative or derogatory, like geek or nerd, are now proudly self-ascribed to. However, too many of these self-ascribers spend too little time actually taking part in the activities that define their label of choice and too much time working themselves up into a screaming frenzy in an attempt to denounce ‘fakers’. Dude, seriously, you need to calm the hell down. Every person who identifies with your label isn’t automatically challenging you to a duel to see who is a better geek/liberal/gamer/Breaking Bad enthusiast.
And yes, there are ‘fakers’ out there who only take up the label to get attention, and yes such people are annoying as hell, but screaming the house down in order to ‘prove’ their fakeness doesn’t make you any less annoying! Life is too complicated as it is without adding the added complication of apparently having to prove yourself to a self-appointed board of experts before they will allow you to call yourself a Sci-Fi fan. So sit down, calm down and move on. Just because you take your labels so seriously doesn’t mean everyone else does as well. And just because you define your particular label in a particular way doesn’t mean that’s the only way it can be defined. Accept that and move on.