Two things came to mind when I picked this word. The first being the childhood mantra we all utter at some point: “It’s not fair!” The second being a distinctive sniff followed by: “Well. I never!”
Both phrases encompass the definition, but one is inward and the other not. (Feeling or showing anger or annoyance at what is perceived as unfair treatment.) While it’s true that unfair treatment — perceived or otherwise — is a staple of growing up, by the time we reach adulthood, that anger is more often directed at causes than at personal circumstances. Interestingly, the root word from Latin is spelled the same and stems from ‘not worthy’ as indignus, to ‘regarding as unworthy’ as indignant. The problem is of course, what defines as unfair? While we cling to the notion that justice is blind, humans are most certainly not and given any issue, you’ll find indignant people on all sides.
Is BDSM unfair? Typically you have a Top and bottom, or Dom and sub, and that appears on the surface to be inherently unbalanced; even cruel. But you can’t be indignant about BDSM or those that partake in the lifestyle unless you can prove it’s abusive, illegal or unjust. You may be personally offended by spanking, or bondage etc, but claiming indignation on behalf of the perceived ‘victims’ of D/s, falls well short of any legal proof of harm. If you’re indignant over tattoos, piercings, baggy pants, loud music or any other aspect of someone’s appearance or activities, then you are using the word incorrectly.
There is a darker side to being indignant though, and that links to the emotions of both Dom and sub when they feel unworthy of each other. When self-confidence wavers — or does not exist — the discipline and domination that is the hallmark of D/s, can turn toxic in an instant. What was agreed upon treatment becomes unfair. What was a partnership, becomes two hostile camps and the bonds are dissolved. BDSM is not static, and if you find yourself indignant due to actions by your Dom or sub, it is past time for a frank conversation about needs and wants.
D/s is a true partnership between equals who find things that both enjoy in a loving, respectful and most importantly, with honesty in a relationship with full knowledge, consent and trust.