Roz Kaveney (rozk) wrote,
Roz Kaveney

Memes and SM

Some of this is copied from my comments in another LJ - but it struck me as interesting enough to pick up on here.

Essentially, someone mentioned buying some new toys, one of which was a crop named Cynthia. So I enquired and was told that all crops have names which end in -ia.

And said:That's really interesting because here we have a subcultural meme that has crept in within the last ten years or so - during my period of being active in the SM scene this was not yet around.

You can see where it has come from - it is a descendant of the old gay male trope of feminizing names. Notably Lily Law for the police. And generally people name things more than they used to - a lot of my friends name their bicycles and their computers. Perhaps there is a particular sort of object which is an extension of the personality which gets named...

This sort of subculture meme is interesting also because they sometimes evolve simultaneously in different countries. There are a whole slew of little ritual superstitions that exist in the MtF Trans community both about starting transition and about surgery and quite a lot of them exist in both the UK and the US and some of them seem to extent well into Europe. My intuition is that the Brazilians in Paris have their own set of memes which will be quite different from the rituals of, say, those Indian hijras who identify as trans as much as being part of an aeons-old Hindu way of looking at things.

And yes, this is where the essentialism vs. social construction debate gets really interesting...
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