August 6th, 2013


Cred Check

The little slice of the blogosphere that I watch has been writing about a quiz crafter by Lisa Morton, purporting to sort professional writers from hobbyists. In her commentary, ursulav asked "Do professional accountants get this kind of crap?"

And this made me think about the areas in my life where my credentials have and have not been questioned.

Areas where I've been questioned:
* Am I a real woman?: This never happens in person and hasn't happened much if at all in the last 15+ years. But in the pre-Web days of the Internet, I got this all the time. I remember on one MUD where one particular guy asked every single alt I had, and then threatened that he'd try to get me banned for having alts when I commented on it. (Answer, yes, I am).
* A real geek? I don't even know what this means.
* A real comics fan? I used to be keen on the Marvel mutants, but I stopped buying comic books 16+ years ago. I still buy graphic novels on occasion and I read a number of webcomics. So this depends on what you mean by 'comics'.
* A real cosplayer? No, I just like to dress strangely at any venue with a reasonable tolerance for unusual attire. I don't costume in the sense of mimicking a particular character.
* A real gamer? Yes. I've even been known to drag my boyfriend to gaming events at times, although all of my SOs have also been gamers. Board games and mindless puzzle games are my favorites.
* A real writer? These are real words that I am really writing, so I guess so? I don't get paid for it and I am not a professional, however. This is my hobby.
* Really bisexual? Yes. Really.

Areas where I do not get questioned:
* Am I a real artist? I am not. I am not sure why I see a lot more "real writer" cred-checks than "real artist" ones. I don't know if illustrators (the sort of art and artists I see a lot of) are less hung up on this thing than writers, or if it's just that I'm not diligent about drawing even as a hobby, so no one asks.
* At my actual job. Despite not being qualified for half the stuff I end up doing at the bank (sure, I'll write and maintain your VBA code! why not?), no one at my job ever questions my ability. If I really can't even fake doing something, I always have to tell them because they won't ask. I have no idea why this is.
* A real furry? Technically, I can remember one person saying I wasn't, but he wasn't serious. I've never had a furry try to exclude me. (I am at the periphery of the fandom these days but still a furry).
* Really polyamorous? I don't know why 'poly' gets less doubt than 'bi', but it does. (Yes, I'm poly.)

I'm not sure where I'm going with this, but I thought it was interesting to reflect on what parts of my life inspire sufficient disbelief that some people feel a need to question me about it. I don't even know what the difference is, really; it all seems quite arbitrary. What do you get cred-checked on?