You ever just want to be done with it all?

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.

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About Lasciel

Out, out, brief candle!
This entry was posted in Asexuality, Gender, GSM, Human Sexuality, Queer Issues and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to You ever just want to be done with it all?

  1. Aaron says:

    Modern Psychiatry is founded largely upon Freud’s opinions that the subconscious consists of repressed things. One of the things he quoted as most repressed, were sexual urges (in his time, not ours). In essence, psychiatrists seem to believe that a lack of sexual urges is a repression of sexual urges, and there is a certain bias in their treatments, as they seem to make the assumption that clients will only talk about what is troubling them and that the good things will slip their mind.

    In my simple opinion, Psychology in this current day and age consists largely of making the client believe they are ‘cured’. Thus, pills are a common prescription for depression (although, some of them work). Largely, the cure to the problems underlying mental issues is usually for the client to learn how to avoid things which cause them stress, or to overcome fears, rather than offer a quick-fix.

    Now, I do sympathize with the ignorance of the majority; they seem to have a habit of trying to name ‘enemies of the american dream’. People like having a face to their problems, which they can completely and utterly annihilate or make light of. Why? It’s because it makes them feel that they have faced their problems, when it is simply a way to ignore them. That also happens to be the reason why most people like to think they’ve been ‘cured’, or have found ‘truth’. They don’t like confronting reality, in all its endless variety.

    Personally, I encourage open-minded skepticism, that is, the ability to accept the fact that you don’t know everything while acknowledging that not everything you hear is correct. Too many people are narrow and empty-minded, and I cannot imagine that open-mindedness could cause any mental harm unless you fear how much there is that you don’t know. It is that sensationalism that causes me to ignore many otherwise reputable sources of information. They are compensating for something through their fanaticism, and I think that it is fear and insecurity. It is something omnipresent throughout human history.

    • Aaron says:

      Upon reading the linked article, I hardly found it to be denying the right to identity, but rather, the writer, Jill, appears to be under the impression that identity exists to allow you to be an activist. In so far as that goes, she does not seem to realize that it isn’t about earning equality – an impossibility in a system run by the majority – it is about making life easier for people of identities that are marginalized. In that regard, she fails to see that we are seeking equality, and in a relatively unselfish manner. She says we oppress ourselves by whining, when in reality, we are doing the same sort of activism she prizes, trying to earn more equality, rather than reassurance that we are normal.

      She believes that awareness =/= activism, and it seems that to her, awareness = attention seeking/whining. She also implies that identity is a conscious decision and that identities which cause you to face opposition are entirely your fault in this sentence: “But self-involved oppression-hunting isn’t social justice activism.”

      She is exactly the sort of person I would expect to find in a feminist group, as she sees life as a grand social struggle against oppression and has a strong sense of ‘justice’/good and evil. In socionics, a personality theory which is remarkably apt at describing how people perceive life, I would place her undoubtedly within the personality ESI/ISFJ. Nonetheless, I do not deny her right to that opinion, so much as I found it extremely uninformed. She is just another person expressing her ideals by expressing her opinion.

  2. Pingback: Linkspam: January 18th, 2013 | The Asexual Agenda

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