“Was I Fired Because of My Asexuality?” Revisited

“Was I Fired Because of my Asexuality? Revisited” AKA in which I am automatically a cold, rude, liar because of my asexual orientation and mental illness.

Two years ago, I wrote a post here Was I Fired Because of My Asexuality? about an incident that happened at an ex-workplace.

It should be noted that at no point did I ever receive any negative feedback on this post—to my face. I received no negative or hostile comments on this blog. I did however, turn up some rather nasty things people had to say about it elsewhere on the internet—anonymously, big surprise.

Here are some of the things anons on the internet had to say:

“this is why you were fired. you didn’t talk to your coworkers you probably acted cold and distant to them never interested. this sent off vibes you had a bad attitude. AND THEN YOU WERE RUDE TO YOUR BOSS THAT sealed the deal over him thinking you had a bad attitude.”

This anon asserts that I was fire for being cold, distant, and uninterested in my co-workers. They also assert that I was rude to my boss.

Since I made it pretty clear in my post that I wasn’t cold or uninterested, merely shy, I can only presume that the above anon thinks I am a liar as well.

As for why I was fired, well, I think my boss made it pretty clear why SHE thought she was firing me. According to her, I was a mentally ill pathological liar. That’s not firing someone because they’re rude; that’s firing someone because you think they’re mentally ill. You don’t get much a much clearer case of ableist firing in the workplace than a boss outright telling you that they’re firing you because you’re a crazy liar, and that you need a psychiatrist.

As for why I am dredging up these old comments now, when they certainly have very little worth… Well, I think they’re a quite nice example of the sorts of conclusions people jump to about asexuals. It’s interesting how anti-asexual champions of queer issues are so quick to ignore a clear case of discriminatory firing against the mentally ill (“You’re mentally ill, a liar, need therapy, YOU’RE FIRED”.) But hey, what is intersectionality, when there’s a chance to bash on those inherently homophobic slut-shaming asexuals, amirite?

Anyway, onto another comment:

“i do not believe for one second the coworker went into long detailed descrips of her bf’s dick

tho considering this is all written from the asexy’s pov, it was probably more like “i saw my boyfriend last night” and she just turned that into “my boyfriend pounded me into the mattress with his glorious pulsating six inches” bc the only thing non-asexuals do is fuck, right?”

Well, right there. I’m a liar and delusional because I’m asexual. I stock condoms, vibrators, and lube, assist customers with some deeply personal health and sexual issues at my current job, but wait… I’m so terrified and hysterical over even something so innocuous as a girl talking about her boyfriend, that I hallucinate sex stories to get upset over.

Yeah right. THAT seems like a healthy and non-stereotyped view of an asexual, right? No. None of those anons know me… but they know right off the bat that I am a liar and delusional. How? Why, I’m asexual, of course.

Oh but asexuals don’t have to deal with negative stereotypes, do they? Everything is peachy keen for us. /sarcasm

This person presents the asexual POV as inherently dishonest and warped.

You know, if a customer walked up to me today and started talking to me about his penis, I wouldn’t be at all put out. It’s practically in my job description. But you know what? I still don’t want to hear about my co-worker’s partner’s junk. Nope. Not ever. Not getting paid for that shit.

I did, however, learn that it’s something I should put up with. Now I say nothing when male co-workers make such timeless sexual abuse jokes as “old enough to read, old enough to breed”. Now I just smile and take it when a male coworker I barely know decides it’s cool to talk about how large my breasts are, and compare them to his girlfriend’s.

I don’t like being unemployed. I’ve already seen what employers think of my word as an asexual, mentally ill female bodied person. Thanks to the internet, I’ve also even gotten a glimpse at what many non-asexual people think of my word.

We’ve seen what they think of Adria Richard’s word. We’ve seen what they think of god knows how many female-bodied people’s word, or mentally ill people’s words, or GSRM people’s words.

Anyway, let’s pick through some more comments that are indicative of the type of reaction asexual people being fired for being asexual will be likely to receive (aka, even if they have a ton of proof, they’re all most likely going to be considered bullshit liars according to non-asexuals):

“with how asexuals on the internet treat queer people on the internet i wonder how many of their “i was fired for being asexy!!!1!” stories should actually be “i was fired for being an asshole to someone who was queer and i did it in the name of being asexy”

Here, not only are asexuals who say they were fired for being asexual disbelieved, but their firing is automatically chalked up to homophobia. This, despite the fact that a very large portion of asexuals are trans* or homo/bi/pan-romantic. Doesn’t matter. We’re still all homophobes, in the eyes of many anti-asexuals.

“tbh i think they’re full of shit about being fired and just co-opting queer people’s stories and the lack of deets for their claims doesn’t help”

probably
or they were just fired for being an annoying ass about their asexiness

This last one actually has me quite curious. What IS “being an annoying ass about their asexiness”? What does that constitute? Talking about asexuality? Talking about asexual issues? Talking about their asexual partners or relationships? Do they mean complaining about sexuality in the workplace? (That’s hardly an asexual action; see: Adria Richards, who as far as I know, is not asexual).

The last string of comments I’d like to address is one that was prompted by my mentioning that incompatibility with coworkers is considered a valid reason to fire an employee.

Anon 1:

“wait can you really get fired for not talking to your coworkers

like is that actually a thing”

Anon 2:

“if you actively oppose the atmosphere of the workplace, yeah

i mean if you’re just quiet but kinda nice and still friendly then it’s probably no big deal

but if you storm off whenever coworkers start talking and act like that dumb asexy, well…”

This is a quite interesting and telling line. If you’ve read my original post, you know that my reaction to my coworker was described by me like this:

when Christie chose to go into long, detailed descriptions of her boyfriends’ genitalia and her sex life with him, I chose to go over and clean the ice cream machines, or sweep the floors.

Going over and doing the (mandatory) menial cleaning chores while someone was chatting, in a work environment where we were technically not allowed to talk or to stand idle, is a pretty far ways off from “storming off”, I think.

But of course, we can’t forget that I am an asexual and mentally ill, and thus, a deluded liar who cannot be trusted to accurately describe my own experiences.

I (in my lying liar deluded point of view) would have thought that I was a quiet and shy, but still nice and friendly person. I guess I probably WAS wrong. A nice and friendly person is apparently a person who doesn’t make a peep about the sexism, racism, sexual harassment,homophobia, cissexism, ableism, and body-shaming in the workplace that make it a hostile environment.

Good thing I learned my lesson about that.

About Barnacle Strumpet

Out, out, brief candle!
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15 Responses to “Was I Fired Because of My Asexuality?” Revisited

  1. Pingback: Linkspam: April 26th, 2013 | The Asexual Agenda

  2. jimhabegger says:

    Hi! I’m just posting to let you know that you have at least one sympathetic listener!

  3. Aydan says:

    I’m guessing this was hms_anon? I wouldn’t take them as representative of any larger population. A subset of that community has been obsessed with asexuals for years, to the extent that they’ve been responsible for nearly every troll that has bothered the asexual community on Tumblr. That subset also overlaps significantly with the vocal anti-ace critics on Tumblr, so it might seem like more people think things like this than really do.

    I don’t say this to dismiss your aggravation and distress at encountering this! But I also don’t think you need to worry that every non-asexual, or even many of them, would react this same way.

    There is one thing I wish the anons were right about. I wish we lived in a world where “being an asshole to someone who was queer” could actually get someone fired with any reliability. I doubt it happens in the vast majority of the US, though. How many states don’t even ban employment discrimination based on sexual orientation?

    • No, it was sfd_anon on LJ, which at the time (August, 2011) seemed to have just as big an obsession with aces then. (hms_anon had just been created then I think). There was a lot of hateful comments and threads on asexuals around where they linked to my blog, but since they weren’t addressed at me, I just ignored them. I too think there’s a lot of overlap with the anti-asexual crowd on tumblr; certainly the hateful ones on LJ and DW are quite aware of happenings on tumblr re:asexuality, and asexual users there. (Not that it seems to be doing them any good, lol)

      It’s alright, I definitely don’t think every non-ace thinks like this. I do think it’s dangerous to underestimate the amount of people who will discriminate against and preach hate against asexuals though. A lot of people aren’t vocal against aces because they’re either not aware of them, or aren’t taking them seriously yet. We as a group will likely get more pushback and hate in the future once our visibility is increased, and asexuality is more widely presented as a valid orientation. Then, we will be perceived as a threat and challenge to traditional entrenched ideas about human sexuality by many close-minded people, and the hate against us will increase.

      Yeah, I have to wonder what dreamworld the anons live in, where someone being mean to someone for being queer would result in them being fired. I don’t think that will be at all based in reality any time soon…

      but it’s yet another example of how the anti-asexual set will twist reality into some weird fantasy if it means putting down asexuals. On the one hand, they claim that LGBT people are oppressed so much more so than aces, but then will claim that an instance of an ace being an asshole to a LGBT person is enough to get the ace fired…. What a joke; most LGBT people can’t even be out at work without risking being fired. You almost have to admire how they don’t let reality get in the way of smearing asexuals.

      That’s not even touching the rather offensive, erasing assumption that there is no overlap between asexuals and LGBT people, that most of the anti-asexual set likes to make.

      • Aydan says:

        Oh, yeah. sfd_anon basically migrated and became hms_anon. So, same group of people. Still apparently obsessed after 18 months!

        And yeah, I agree about the twisting reality/dreamworld thing. Occasionally I’ll run across something from someone who’s a feminist but also dislikes aces that makes me go, “Do you realize how misogynist you’re being right now?”

        While I agree that it’s a bad idea to assume everything is going to come up roses for aces as we get more visibility, there is a bright side in that this particular group is, like, ten people.

        • I suspected so. It’s kind of disappointing to learn that they’re still the same pits of anti-ace sentiment.

          A lot of feminists or social justice activists who should know better seem to let their anti-asexual sentiments get in the way of logic. I’ve seen this most in regards to ableism and sexual assault but I’m not surprised misogyny gets a free pass either. I’m really curious what is it about asexuality that provokes this odd response from them. A shame none of them want to have real dialogues with us… we could learn a lot about anti-ace sentiment if they’d examine their motivations and be forthright.

          True; and I suspect we’re not alone in this. Every movement seems to have these few SJ activist oddballs in them that are very… well…virulent? I count us fortunate that we don’t have many of that kind of people (none specifically that I know of) within our group, acting this way towards other groups. I’m more worried by the responses asexuals report when they come out. The bad responses are perhaps not often as severe in their anti-asexuality stance as the anti-aces on the internet, but given that the offline people tend to have more influence and control over asexual’s lives and well-beings, I find it more disturbing.

  4. Aydan says:

    What a coincidence that I should read this post of yours now at the same time I’m reading the Emens legal paper about asexuality. Did you know she cites you in reference to the concept of job-related legal protection for asexuals?

  5. Lindsay says:

    Hi!

    I got here from Feministe, and I just wanted to say I think you were treated unfairly, too. I’m not asexual — I’m bi, but also autistic, cursed (or blessed, however you want to look at it) with a very low libido, and intensely touch-phobic, so I probably run into a lot of the same social problems that you do anyway.

    • Yeah, people unfortunately aren’t very accomadating to anyone who is different ): Which I can never understand, it’s not like it’s such a big deal to be a little understanding of people who are shy, anxious, or autistic, or not very sexual.

  6. Doesn't Like Rape Apologia says:

    I’m sorry but as a women, your post is sexist, anti-”sexual” as you like to call us and is rape apologia. Many “sexuals” have spent a lot of time and money creating a legal structure in which none of us, at least in theory, should not be forced to listen to sexual content in the workplace. It’s called sexual harassment.

    I am a “sexual” women in the workplace. Is your claim then that because I am a “sexual” woman that I should be made to listen to long descriptions of sexual acts by co workers? That I should just put up with it because I like to have sex? Do you understand that these things are not the same? If not, then what has your firing got to do with asexuality? If a sexual person would be treated exactly the same and it would be the exact same violation, then why is this different?

    This is rape apologia because it implies that being sexual somehow means you are asking for sexual harassment in the workplace. Might as well say that being sexual is asking for rape because, you know, wanting to have sex sometimes means clearly that ANY kind of sexual contact ANYWHERE is appropriate, even if it involves coercion. Sexual people are unrapeable and should welcome sexual harassment. Disgusting.

    • I don’t think I’ve implied that anyone is asking for sexual harassment in the workplace. For the most part, most people seem to think that what happened to me at work was NOT sexual harassment; therefore I could only conclude that my inability to enjoy listening to such talk was a result of my repulsion as an asexual.

      Everyone, with the exception of one asexual blogger, has told me that the conversation that bothered at my work was completely normal and in line, and does not constitute workplace harassment. Therefor, I can only conclude that it was a normal conversation and I was unduly upset due to a facet of my asexuality.

      Since you’re concerned with rape apologia, I will inform you that the term “sexual” as an identifier for people who are not asexual, is itself considered problematic and controversial, in ace and LGBT circles, because it is rife with consent issues, especially in regards to queer people and PoC. If you had bothered to backread my blog at all, you would notice that I use the term “non-asexual” in all but my initial posts (which were before the issue with the term ‘sexual’ was widely debated or known). Saying something like “‘sexual’ as you like to call us” only reveals your own unfamiliarity with ace issues and with this blog in particular.

  7. Pingback: It’s Complicated, Let Me Draw You This Graph: Asexuality and Reductionism | The Asexual Agenda

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