Entitlement or privilege?

Check out the interesting discussion on Ownership and Entitlement at Sir J's blog. He was discussing a post at The Thinking Dominant, which asks about ownership and entitlement. In essence, I'm restating my comment on Sir J's blog.

I think the better word is "privilege" rather than "entitlement." I see a huge difference between entitlement and privilege. I believe ownership, as in ownership of me, is a privilege, not a right. I believe it's always a privilege, rather than a right, as I can change my mind at any time - I always have the CHOICE to submit, which alters his ability to Dominate from a right (always entitled, regardless) to a privlege, which exists solely on my choice to submit.

So, let's look at the difference in definitions. Entitlement is defined by Merriam-Webster's online dictionary, as "a right to benefits specified especially by law or contract." A privilege is defined by Merriam-Webster as "a right or immunity granted as a peculiar benefit, advantage, or favor," but not one granted by law or contract.

We, as a community talk endlessly about consent in a D/s relationship, and most agree it is that consent which makes it far different from domestic violence or abuse. If an Owner/Dominant had the "right" enforced by law or legally binding contract, there would be no need for consent. But, no one has that right, or is protected by any law or legally binding contract which allows him to treat his submissive in a manner that violates her consent.

If you're wondering, I keep talking of a "legally binding contract" because we all should know that while there are many BDSM and D/s contracts, absolutely none of them should be considered legally binding.

As a US citizena, Daddy and I are entitled to the right to vote, the right to remain free from imprisonment for announcing our opinions about the government, religion, and other public figures (i.e,, freedom of speech), and the right to remain free of physical abuse or harm from others in the community. Those rights or entitlements are enforced by law or contract. Otherwise, our other freedoms, such as having the money to own a home, a license to drive a car, are privileges. We as US citizens don't have the "right" to own a car, or a home. This explains why there are so many rules in most areas of our lives, as we do not have the RIGHT to act as we wish.

Thus, it is a privilege to own a submissive, as it is by agreement between two people, and not enforced by law. No one has the right by law or by entitlement to own a slave. But, if two people agree to such ownership, then it becomes a privilege, and one that can be removed by choice, as that agreement is not enforced by law or a legally binding contract. Thus, a Dominant is privileged if he has a significant other who wants to submit to his every desire, and his "rights" to that ownership are obliterated if his partner's agreement to submit is withdrawn. Hence, my opinion that Ownership is a privilege, not an entitlement.

I'm glad Sir J brought this up. I knew that I wasn't comfortable with the word, "entitlement" in The Thinking Dominant's post, but until I saw Sir J's post, I hadn't given the question sufficient thought to clearly define my discomfort with the word "entitlement."

2 Comments so far »

  1. by mouse , on June 3, 2009 at 9:21 AM

    Not to mention so called slave contracts can get a Dom into a world of trouble. Since when found they can be used as evidence against them.

    I agree with your use of semantics. However, I was always taught that voting is more of a privilege than entitlement, since it can be taken away and not everyone has that right to begin with. Also, you must go through a process to vote meaning, before you can exercise that right you must first register. Much like driving a car. However many things can be argued both ways.

    I have always felt in a free society, the only requirement of voting should be proof of address and age. A simple drivers license or state ID would suffice, or even a current bill from a utility company. That's just me though.

    The point is I understood the spirit of your post as well as the spirit of Sir J's.

  2. by Sir J , on June 3, 2009 at 3:42 PM

    I believe we are of one mind on this topic. I too was not comfortable with the word entitlement and am much more likeing of privelage. I believe I argued that entitlement as in take with out regard is a bad idea. At least I hope it came across that way.

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