Presenting as…

In Dave Pollard’s response to my thoughts about being liked he said “When asked how I self-identify, in any context, I simply reply that I do not.”

I’m the same with nationality. I don’t think of myself as Scottish any more. In fact the concept of identifying with any nationality is a struggle.

And yet we are required, by law in many cases, to fit into these boxes which come with consequences. Big consequences- like wars.

Other people tend to get freaked out when they can’t stick a label on you. Especially bureaucrats.

9 thoughts on “Presenting as…

  1. If I happen to hear a snatch of the Welsh national anthem, my neck hair tingles. It’s involuntary but is over in seconds and I think nothing more about the place where I happened to be born. We live in a world so deeply labelled, we rarely notice how we are steered to believe and consume by governments and corporations alike. Start discussing naming and labelling and you’re soon descending into the bowels of metaphysics.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. When my daughter was at secondary school I volunteered to help with the school’s careers morning.

    The format was a plenary session followed by presentations by parents to small groups.

    The first time I did it, the organiser, another parent, called me beforehand to discuss what I was going talk about. He started by asking what I did.

    I went through my usual Del Boyish bit of this/bit of that, ducking/diving patter. This not being banking, medicine, management or anything usual, he said, “Ah, I can see it’s going to be hard to pigeonhole you”.

    I felt a rush of what I think was pride.

    I ended up proposing a session titled “I don’t know” in which I’d help the kids (who’d so far avoided pigeonholing themselves) to have a chat about the challenge of not knowing what they wanted.

    The boxes with consequences thing resonates.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I did. Six half-hour sessions over the two years my daughter was at the school.

        Fascinating. The gamut of parenting laid bare.

        I asked one girl. What do you really (really) want? I want to dance. So why not dance? Well… it’s not a proper job… is it?

        The topic of the “proper job” came up in most of the sessions. I made sure we gave it a good gnawing.

        Like

  3. As a kid I found it odd, and still do, when people said “I’m occupation” “I’m name” “I’m nationality/locality”. As if those things define them. I tend to say “I (currnently) work as” “My name is” “I live/am based in”

    Like

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