That’s Latin for “the unknown limits,” the Internet tells me. You will soon learn that this is an appropriate title for this post.
Readers, it is evidently time for some more meta. I love meta a lot. Possibly this blog has more meta than any other blog you have ever read in your life. I do not know why I love meta so much; possibly it is a matter of living at the historical moment I do, possibly I just like recursion.
In any case, I was minding my own business, thanking tigtog for a link to dear ZatB*, when tigtog kindly added ‘thanks for writing such fascinating querying of our eagerness to assign [eta: rigid] identities to other people’.
I hadn’t really thought about it that way before, but that seems a good encapsulation of the kind of work I am trying to do here, a querying of the eagerness to assign rigid identities. I’ve been wondering what the thread of coherency is to this project – I knew there was one!! – beyond what it says on my About page: ‘I’m mostly doing it to further causes I care about, express myself, build connections and develop my mind.’
I’m enjoying looking at race and gender and sexuality and disability and so forth and nudging at essentialist ideas about who a person can be. At the end of the day, people are people with their own variations and manifestations of identities and circumstances. I think it important to remember that people aren’t a list of ticky boxes, and when ideas about what a particular kind of person can be don’t fit with what such people can be, it’s time to stop and reflect.
I like to play around with ideas of evident and invisible identity; I play around with them in my writing and in my life. Because people aren’t as readable as they may first appear. I think, to that end, it’s important to make privileged identities evident as well as marginalised ones: terms like heterosexual and whiteness had to be expressly invented and brought up so that sexuality and race could be properly discussed. It’s interesting that assumed and evident identities can be absolutely invisible. I don’t like evident/invisible dichotomies. I like blurred lines; I like not knowing the limits.
It’s an important focus for me to have for now, and I’m glad that it’s my project. I’m not sure what the limits will be. I’m grateful to tigtog for helping me crystalise what’s going on here.
*It is pronounced ZAT-bee, by the by. I bring this up because a reader – hi Kristian! – asked me last week, and I thought some others might be wondering.