People argue a great deal about what they should call themselves and others. To me this seems such a pointless argument.
Generally people are into what they’re into for pleasure, for what pleases themselves and as far as I’m concerned they can call themselves what they want, even if I think it makes them sound a bit of a prat. I’m certainly not going to go out of my way to complain about their choice.
Yet there is debate after debate on forums about terms that people have found offensive for whatever reason of their own.
While I can understand if people are not comfortable with having terms that are not their choice applied to them I can’t quite manage to be offended by their choice of term in itself.
For some people their choices are part of their protocols. Again that’s fine, if you want to be ‘Master whatever’ to your partner, you go ahead and be that and good luck to you. If it gives you a kick then brilliant. I’m only going to have a problem if you expect me to address you by your terms or subscribe to your relationship protocols. Because I will not any more than I’d expect anyone outside of my relationship to do things my way. That’s really just another long winded way to say that I don’t mind what you call yourself and you shouldn’t mind what I call myself.*
When it comes to the general use of words. Like for instance one that I’m very familiar with, the use of ‘Rigger’ to describe a rope bondage top… or bondage top, or nawashi or ropester** or bakushi or… well you get the idea. Still there are objections to even the most innocent of usages.
Personally I don’t have any objections to any of them being applied to me though I feel some are more applicable than others. Generally I do like ‘Rigger’ because it’s such a neutral word. It already applies to may professions. Theatrical riggers, Sailing riggers, Industrial riggers. All of those professions are different and yet have common elements. Some are professional and some are amateur. Some require lengthy qualifications, some do not. It’s a general term, one of long use, and it’s one that people immediately grasp. If you don’t like it personally, again fine but the objection to it as a general term for some who ‘rigs’ is kind of beyond me.
The same thing happens with terms for rope bottoms or ‘bunnies’. Some people just hate the term bunny and insist on ‘bottom’. Others hate bottom saying that it implies inferiority. Some insist on ‘model’ as a neutral term while others find it mysteriously offensive.
This is the thing for me, the mysteriously offensive part. How did ‘rigger’ or ‘model’ become offensive to some? They are to me neutral terms that could apply to amateurs and professionals, they apply to either sex are not specific to any particular dynamic or preference. If you don’t like them, simply don’t use them.
How helpful or useful are the arguments on this, how do they improve anything? What useful advancement of skill or knowledge do they provide?
If you have a personal preference, fine, go with that. Just don’t expect everyone else to prefer what you prefer. If someone prefers differently to you, then that’s fine too. Just respect their preference as you wish your own to be respected.
*I call myself Dave, so you would have to be pretty whacked out to find that one a problem.
** I do think that ropester is kind of cool and funny.