Words Matter: Dominant v. Domineering
2 weeks ago • Jan 17, 2023
SirsBabyDoll(sub female) • Jan 17, 2023
In order to not derail another thread < "Is there such a thing as punishments for Dominants" https://thecage.co/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=4992 >, I'm moving the discusion surround definitions here.
A side discussion evolved surrounding the differences between "Dominant", "Domineering", "Submissive", and "Subservient". I had questioned someone's use of the word "Domineering" in place of "Dominant". I had pointed out that "Domineering" and "Subservient" had negative connotations.
To be concise, here is the definitions in question:
Dominant (noun) :an individual having a controlling, prevailing, or powerful position in a social hierarchy.
dominant (adjective) : commanding, controlling, or prevailing over all others
domineering (adjective) : inclined to exercise arbitrary and overbearing control over others
Google seems to use "Oxford Languages" dictionary (I do not know if they are connected to the trusted "Oxford Dictionary") and their definition is:
domineering (adjective) : asserting one's will over another in an arrogant way.
(and for the sake of comparison, here is the definition THEY have for "Dominant":
Dominant (adjective) : most important, powerful, or influential.
(what' funny is that they do not have a definition for the noun form in regards to sociology).
It is MY view that the attitude that is inherent within the definition of "domineering" is the most important factor. "in an arrogant way", "overbearing" are NOT positive traits. There is a HUGE difference between describing yourself as a "dominant" person (commanding, controlling, or prevailing over others) and a "domineering" person (asserting one's will over another IN AN ARROGANT WAY).
Now lets compare the other side of the slash...
Merriam Websters definition was, shall we say, "lacking in clarity" so I'll use google's "Oxford Languages" definition because the example sentence fits with THIS author:
submissive (adjective) : ready to conform to the authority or will of others; meekly obedient or passive.
submissive (noun) :a person who takes the submissive role in BDSM sexual activities.
"she's a submissive who likes to push the limits of the dominant partner's rules"
Why do words matter? Because words carry inherent emotion AND intent. A person can be Dominant and NOT be domineering..and vice versa. How many times have we ranted about "fake doms" here on the Cage? I think I've seen plenty and ranted plenty in my time here.
When considering a dynamic with someone or even just in conversation with someone, do you take the time to ensure you are both using the same dictionary? Words matter....but so does DEFINITIONS and I think that sometimes, its necessary to ensure that you both have the same understanding of a term, even ones that seem obvious.
What are YOUR views? How do you define words such as "dominant", and "domineering"? Do they have an emotional intent for you?