What makes someone an X?

I’m not a bootblack.  I’m just a girl who likes to clean boots.

That’s not a wholly unusual statement for me to make.  I’m not a xxxx; I just a girl who does stuff.  Hell, I think it was the bulk of my tear filled exceptionable “speech” when I was gifted with the Roehl award at TEASE 2010.   After years and years of it, self deprication kinda rolls of the tongue and, frankly, I’d like to think I’m able to self-depricate with humility and ease, letting the moment and spot light pass right on by to it’s next victim champion.

As as person who has done a lot of exploring in the kinkoverse without a lot of attachtments, I feel like I’m often defining myself by what I’m not.    Especially when I’m wandering into new territory.  Like I need to throw up a disclaimer before I open my mouth so that, if I accidentally stick my foot in it… well hey.  I warned you.  I never claimed to be an X!

I’m just this girl who does this stuff.  

Now let me be clear – I do some awesome stuff.  I love my stuff.  And even more -I love my people.  And I do have people.  I may be notoriously single; but I believe myself to be one of the most readily adopted orphans around these parts.  I am blessed.  But amongst these blessings, there is a nagging….

I know what A would ask at this point.  What would make you feel like an X and then, after we danced around for a bit and would boil down to legitimacy.  And he would ask again; what would it take to make you feel legitimate?

What makes anyone feel legitimate in what they do?  Letters behind a name, or titles in front?  Peer recognition?  Self recognition?

As per usual, I’m leaving this post with more questions then answers.  I’d be extremely pleased if anyone was so inspired to share with me their thoughts on this subject in the comments.

Now if you’ll excuse me.  I’ve got a date with a cup of tea and a whack of questions for Google.

5 thoughts on “What makes someone an X?

  1. Zed says:

    I think part of it is that you’re conflating two different things here – the actuality of something and the perception of said thing. To use your opening example, if you perform the functions and have the characteristics of a bootblack, then you are a bootblack. Whether you or anyone else perceives you as being a bootblack has no bearing at all on the actuality of what you are. This is not to say that perception is less important – it’s just an entirely separate question.
    So, to answer your your question: What makes someone an X? Being an X.

    What makes someone SEE themselves (or others) as an X? This is a question fraught with grey areas.

    The above ideas are heavily inspired by a TED Talk regarding this concept as applied to security.

  2. kayjah says:

    Tying the words “I am” to anything is a highly sketchy ordeal for me. It’s just not something I like to do.

    There are the implacable truths; *I am* a sister, a daughter, a mother, an auntie, a human, a friend, a singer, a songwriter, an artist… I’ll even throw in animal lover and overwhelmingly, a good, kind, caring person. Beyond that, though, I feel very little need to identify myself by what I do, think, feel and believe.

    I find myself wondering what’s the point in identifying as anything, really, other than that “I am” suffixes attached to those things I’ve found myself doing all my life. I don’t see it as undervaluing or belittling myself (at all, in fact) to allow my identity to exist as separate from what I do. I see it as freedom. From myself, my own expectations, and the expectations of others.

    And I wonder why the hungry rush to pin “I am” and “you are” and “he is” and “she is” and “they are” and “we are” to things.

    1. kinkopedia says:

      I’m not sure about others, but for me, the rush has to do with categorization. I want to know what things are so I know how to treat them. It’s an easier desire to quell when it comes to others, but not being able to categorize myself really fucks with my sense of order.

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