A common fantasy for girls is to end up with a “bad boy.” Someone who drives a motorcycle, wears a leather jacket, and doesn’t care about the opinions of others. Recently, Jeremey Meeks, a man arrested for possession of marijuana and unregistered guns, was eye candy for tons of women all over the world.
Many people have been categorizing Meeks as a ‘criminal,’ and have used several endearing adjectives with it. These people, however, don’t understand the weight of their actions. Lindsey Feldman writes about the social cauterization of this act in her article “Hot felons: Branding Jeremy Meeks.” “There is a difference between recognizing crime and the people who commit them, and understanding the weight of the category ‘criminal’.” Calling someone a criminal is not differentiating the crime committed from the person. It is separating yourself from that person, putting them in a category below yourself.
We unintentionally cauterize people everyday. Using words to separate that person from yourself. These can be identifying words for people. Society has to be careful with what words they choose, however. The linguistic laziness that is prevalent can identify someone as such that they don’t deserve.