I don’t update here very often. Some of that is because of people’s attitudes on asexuality. You can see the sort of ignorant ideas people have it about it any time there is a new article on asexuality anywhere. It just makes me pretty sad that articles on asexuality in feminist spaces actually seem to garner as bad or worse comments than those on more general sites like slate.com, or articles in mainstream news outlets like The Guardian, The Atlantic, etc.
Let’s examine some comments:
When your chief complaint about your identity is that it keeps you from really identifying with mainstream romcoms you can probably safely remove yourself from the oppressed peoples list.
I can only suppose from this comment that the writer thinks things like corrective rape, non-consensual medical treatment for one’s sexuality, and being unable to seek out medical services for fear of being judged or otherwise having one’s treatment impaired by one’s orientation, are all things that are less important worries than lacking characters on TV to identify with.
These are only two complaints, but they are real ones asexuals face. When you seek treatment for depression or anxiety or other medical problems, and instead of getting treatment for those things, you have to constantly be on the defensive against psychiatrists who are more interested in treating your other “problem” (asexuality), then yes, that is a problem and something is wrong. People’s bigoted opinions about correct human sexuality are directly affecting one’s ability to be treated for actual problems.
This is not just a problem with psychiatry, it extends to doctors of the body as well as doctors of the mind, although I have most heard about asexuals having problems with psychiatrists. It was a psychiatrist, after all, that managed to convince me that I was wrong, and that asexuality did not exist. That caused me a lot of personal suffering.
But it is somewhat irrelevant, because most asexuals could not give a hoot about being put on some list of “oppressed peoples”. We are concerned with tackling our problems, not gaining oppression brownie points.
I asked a question in that article, which no one was apparently able to answer:
So which is it? Are we supposed to talk about our experiences in terms of oppression/inequality, in which case we are “co-opting the language of systematic oppression”. Or should we not do that, and instead focus on recognition for those identities, in which case we are making our issue”overtake a real analysis of inequality.”
The author of the article essentially said that by talking about asexuality in terms of oppression or marginalization, we were “co-opting the language of systematic oppression.” They then turned around and stated in the article that by focusing on gaining recognition for our identities, rather than possible oppression issues, we are overtaking and preventing a real analysis of inequality.
In other words, we should neither talk about possibly oppressive things nor about gaining recognition for our identities’ existence.
So I ask again here: What are we supposed to talk about? I can only surmise that we are meant to stay silent, to stay in the background, leaving the world ignorant of asexuality’s existence. I still want an answer. It’s hard to believe that of all the people that read that article, asexuals and non-asexuals alike, no one saw the disturbing implication that by talking about asexuality in any manner we are somehow harming the cause of other minority groups (which is funny, since most feminist sites make a point to say somewhere in their FAQs that tackling things like racism or sexism does not limit ones ability to care about other issues, like queer rights or world hunger. That is, that there is not a finite amount of issues that can be held as important to progress)
Sadly, I know I did not express what I meant particularly well in the comments section. I had just come off a 16-hour work shift, and do rather want to facepalm at my attempts to explain what I meant. Hopefully I have done so better here.
However, when one is dealing with comments like this:
Autosexuals. Pah. Seriously, we need a speshul identification term for “I masturbate” now? I have two very autosexual cockatiels in my house, yo.
It is pretty unlikely that one is going to gain any worthwhile conversation anyway. For the record, autosexual does not mean “I masturbate”. It is a term for someone who is primarily attracted to themself. It does not mean “I am a homosexual/heterosexual/asexual that masturbates”. It in fact does not mean that one masturbates at all. It means that one is primarily attracted to oneself as opposed to being attracted to other people. I have never seen an autosexual claiming to be oppressed, and in fact, have seen very few autosexuals at all. Unlike asexuals, they do not have an obvious internet presence or groups or blogs devoted to their identity. That is why autosexuals sometimes do turn up on AVEN or other asexual sites, seeking information. They don’t seem to have a significant group identity or presence in social justice circles. Indeed, google autosexuality, and most of what will come up is people mocking their very existence.
Mocking people for their varied sexual identities or practices. Very feminist, yes? Acting like you get to be the judge of demisexuals and demiromantics, when you don’t even know the difference between them, is also apparently a feminist thing to do.
The article is here: http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2013/01/11/generation-fight-identity-fight/ and it is response to a NYT article on the newer GSM identities (think genderfluid, agender, asexual, etc). The feminist article, as opposed to the NYT article, choices to include otherkin, transfat, and transethnic identitities in with the gender and sexual orientation identities in the NYT article. The NYT article is about the differences between the older gender and sexual orientation identities and the new ones. Why Jill (the author of the feminist response article) chose to bring up otherkin and other things that have nothing to do with gender identity or sexual orientation I know not.