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26 May 2011 @ 01:55 pm
Exclusionary and Divisive Attitudes in the Queer Community  
Sooo I know some of you saw that debacle. In sf_d. A lot of you probably didn't? But that's alright because I'm pretty sure the things I want to say here can stand completely separate from that, but I do have a few words to say on that first, as to why I'm now writing a post on it;

I was really actually very, very angry. That was pretty much the most pissed-off I can be; I was shaking with anger, light-headed, etc. With the main result being, as I said at the time, I couldn't get out everything I had to say. This can actually be pretty good for an actual discussion since as you all know I usually have a tendency to ramble on for PARAGRAPHS AND PARAGRAPHS, and when I'm that mad I kind of get straight to the point :P in fact, I'm rambling right now, so let me get to the point: I don't feel like I did justice to the point I wanted to make, and there are some things I wanted to discuss that wouldn't have been appropriate in the context of that um...discussion anyways. So I am going to talk about them now.

And I'd like to remind everybody again that I completely welcome discussion and debate. However, for probably the first time ever, I am also going to request that you stay respectful. I mean I generally trust all of y'all to do so but I feel like this is a topic on which emotions might run high.

Also, I would like to note that I have been struggling with how to write this for a few days now, because the fact is that I can't back up my points with personal experience, because I'm not asexual myself. The things I do know, that I am drawing some of my conclusions from, are very personal stories shared with me by my ace friends and acquaintances, and it's not my place to go telling those experiences to others.

So um, with that in mind, let's talk about this!

Okay, I guess the first and most obvious topic to address is: sexual privilege. Yes, I do think it exists. Yes, I do think queer people who are sexual possess sexual privilege. It is true that there are people, especially conservatives (and religious conservatives) who are much less hostile towards a queer asexual person than a queer sexual person. However, arguing that this negates sexual privilege is completely ignoring the fact that conservative people are not the only people who discriminate. (There is also the fact that 'you're one of the good ones' is not exactly the antithesis to discrimination; and these people would probably still disapprove of queer asexual people being in relationships, even if sex is not involved, because they would not actually believe sex was not involved, because they don't believe asexuality is a valid identity.)

I understand the wish to believe that the liberal set of the population, and especially social justice groups and queer groups, do not discriminate against people. But this is just not true. Anybody who has read wombyn-born-wombyn feminist rhetoric knows that there are groups dedicated to some form of social justice that happily outright hate other minority groups.

Is this oppression?

I would say it is obvious that a social justice group, being composed primarily of minorities and their allies, cannot oppress people, since they don't hold enough power in society to do so.

However, when you also see it coming from liberal people who are in the majority - who do hold power in our society - who are not queerphobic but openly regard being asexual as an 'illness', 'unnatural', etc; then I argue that their actions could be oppression. I think, at the very least, this is something that should be discussed openly, not dismissed because asexual people are not discriminated against enough. What is the point at which you are allowed to discuss how society treats you? Is it only when everybody is against you? Where is the cutoff point where it suddenly becomes ridiculous to discuss these things? I always felt it was when a group of people was obviously a majority with power; and to be frank I think that is where it should be. I think any other attempts to quantify or rank levels of discrimination, oppression or general suffering, and decide who may and who may not discuss these things in the appropriate spaces, is silencing.

Yes, by the way, that's in the appropriate spaces. Obviously I am not saying that every space must now be devoted to discussing sexual privilege? IDK, I think that was clear, but just in case.



Now the question is, okay, so what, exactly, are these sexual privileges? That is, how are asexuals discriminated against?

Well, as I've already said, I frankly can't say much on this point because I am not asexual. However, if you ask somebody who is asexual if they have ever been discriminated against, made to feel unsafe, or verbally or physically assaulted because they were asexual, IME chances are pretty high that they will have a lot of examples for you. We have to listen to what they have to say and stop telling them to shut up. Silencing is a terrible thing.

The one thing I can talk about in this topic is asexual erasure. Some people might argue that there is in fact no such thing as asexual erasure, as there are plenty of, for example, people in TV shows and movies who are not actively shown to be having sex. This is, frankly, ridiculous because most of the TV shows and movies you find this in are meant for young audiences, and the general social assumption is still that if they are an adult, they are having sex or have had sex or will have sex at some point in their life, it is just not discussed. Even if a character is openly stated to be asexual people will completely disregard this. I don't mean shippers, who will generally change the sexuality of a character to suit their needs; I mean most fans. If they even understand what asexual means ('so is he like, a starfish???').

Okay, I went off on a bit of a tangent there. Back on track.

So the thing is that erasure isn't just bawww hurts my feelings~. It's actually a pretty big problem. First of all, the emotional impact is not something that can be easily dismissed. I know, personally, trans (and particularly FtM) erasure is pretty much the biggest negative influence on me emotionally; being told day after day that basically you are alone, that you are a freak and normal people don't want to have to hear about you or even acknowledge that you exist, realizing that there are huge numbers of people who actually do not know you exist because the world hides your existence like a dirty secret; that can be emotionally devastating at times.

Erasure also has effects beyond the emotional impact. Most people will not believe that there are hate crimes directed at asexual people. If they hear about a personal experience from an asexual person, it is dismissed as a single incident and therefor attributable to something else, such as misogyny. This is because hate crimes against asexuals don't get reported as such. Police and other authority figures do not understand what asexuality is; or they don't believe it's a valid identity. They don't investigate asexual hate crimes as such, either. The very idea of hate crimes against asexuals is just swept under the rug. And this is just accepted by queer people as indicative that they don't happen, as if there was no fight to get hate crimes recognized in the first place, as if we can suddenly expect the majority to recognize hate crimes when they see them.

I would like to believe that the exclusion of asexuals from queer communities is due in most part to naivete; that people honestly believed that if hate crimes were happening, if discrimination was happening, we would hear about it from people in power, that people who are not asexual would start investigating it of their own accord. But I have heard too much from people in queer communities to know this is the case. There are many, many people within the queer community, especially activists, who believe that asexuals are unnatural, basically freak accidents, the result of mental illness or childhood trauma. I have also heard the opinion more than once that asexuals are just liars, or 'virgins who are scared to do it'. I heard a lot of these things while discussing the fact that my partner was asexual; this did not deter them from saying these things to my face. I have seen my asexual friends told they weren't welcome in queer communities; regardless of if they were homoromantic (or even in a gay relationship at the time), or if they were attending as allies in solidarity with me and our other friends, they were shown out with thinly-veiled hostility, or were generally not taken seriously to the point where they, understandably, just left. It seems to me that a lot of the exclusion and silencing of asexual people coming from within the queer community is due simply to prejudice against asexual people.

And I don't fault the queer community at large for that; it happens, and obviously we are not responsible for one another's prejudices. We are not a monolith. What I do find troubling, though, is that nobody wants to discuss these problems. There is a general denial that there could be any problematic discrimination within queer communities. It is an understandable defensiveness; but it has to stop.

I would also like to briefly go back to the fact that a lot of potential hate crimes or discrimination against asexuals are dismissed as being the result of another kind of prejudice, usually misogyny. I am not going to deny that other prejudices may play a part in some, or even many incidences of discrimination or hate crimes against asexuals...but I would argue that the same is true for many cases of discrimination against homosexual people and trans* people. If a lesbian is assaulted by a man for being a 'dyke', does he mean he hates her for being gay, or because she doesn't make herself available to men? If a trans man is verbally attacked for 'pretending to be a man', is it because it's socially unacceptable to be transgendered, or is it because the person feels he is a woman stepping out of 'her' place? I think it could be either; it could be both. Neither of these invalidates the fact that gay and trans* people are discriminated against, or that they suffer hate crimes for what they are; it just means that the causes of hatred are not always black-and-white.


A lot of the things I have said here about asexuals applies to a few other groups as well; notably, bisexuals (and pan- and omnisexuals, even moreso in some cases). There are many gay people who have no problem openly declaring that they think all bisexuals are 'just doing it for the attention' or 'can't decide', and it is not uncommon for bisexual voices to be silenced in the queer community. However, this issue IS being discussed; people are addressing it. In my experience, discussing the exclusion of asexuals from queer communities, and the discrimination asexuals face, has been greeted with nothing but hostility, which is why I wanted to focus on asexual people here.

I probably had more to say, but I feel out of words for now. So yes, I think that's it. Again, I welcome (and encourage) respectful discussion on the issue...as you (hopefully) realize by now, since that's basically my point; we have to talk about these things, not shut discussions down.
 
 
Current Mood: determineddetermined
 
 
 
Topheranobjectinspace on May 26th, 2011 06:38 pm (UTC)
I'm afraid I couldn't read this because my god the subject has so many potential triggers for me, and I never know which side to come down on, and it's all weird. And I'm tired today :-P

But the fact you got pissy over it says good things about you.
like a herd of turtlespoto_heart on May 26th, 2011 09:10 pm (UTC)
Aww that's quite alright dear C:

Teach Holly to use the LJ, I'm sure she has quite enough opinions on everything for the both of you, LOL.
Willowwillow_41z on May 26th, 2011 08:05 pm (UTC)
I knew I'd seen you commenting in either ontd_f or sf_d on the subject. I don't know if I agreed with everything you said, but I do know that I really appreciated how you continued to stick up for asexuals. It made a trainwreck of a thread slightly better. So, thank you.
like a herd of turtlespoto_heart on May 26th, 2011 10:01 pm (UTC)
At this point, I don't even know if I agree with everything I said there, TBH...I don't remember most of it, I was too spitting mad. I'm glad I helped, though :)
babycharmander: doinkbabycharmander on May 26th, 2011 08:16 pm (UTC)
these people would probably still disapprove of queer asexual people being in relationships, even if sex is not involved, because they would not actually believe sex was not involved, because they don't believe asexuality is a valid identity.)

Linked here from the asexual community... I'm afraid I only got up to this point because HANG ON please don't jump to conclusions like that!! o__________o I am a conservative Christian and I believe my sexual identity exists!
babycharmander: embarrassedbabycharmander on May 26th, 2011 08:23 pm (UTC)
also forgive me if I read that wrong because my fever's making it a little difficult for me to think clearly right now
(no subject) - poto_heart on May 26th, 2011 09:12 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - babycharmander on May 26th, 2011 09:32 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - poto_heart on May 26th, 2011 09:57 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Thoughts - ysabetwordsmith on May 27th, 2011 07:39 pm (UTC) (Expand)
ace_of_the_artsace_of_the_arts on May 26th, 2011 08:21 pm (UTC)
*sigh* This was nice to see. Thank you. Discussion. OMP. It might truly exist! :V

I'm not going to play "keyword bingo" this time with what you wrote, and I consider myself one of the lucky ones who's largely gotten acceptance from the people I know. But even then, I've gotten "joking" comments about being "unnatural" for being asexual from my own sister. I've also tried to be in the queer community... but eventually simply stopped going. I still haven't decided if it was just me being me or not.

Virginity: As for virginity... what the hell does virginity have to do with anything these days? Besides saying, "Yeah, I've done it." or not??? What kind of virginity are we talking about here? Penile to vagina? What about lesbian couples? Two men? Are we talking penetration? Masturbation? Or are we talking about the ones who are completely untouched?

Liars: Also, saying all asexuals are either afraid or lying isn't particularly bright in general either, IMO. Nothing is absolute and telling someone "this is why you do something" or for a particular reason precludes actually asking. Something I found while browsing through some quotes says: “Prejudice is a great time saver. You can form opinions without having to get the facts.”

In a way, being asexual is like a slap to the face of the majority. Humanity tends to be communal and, well, for lack of a more flattering adjective, mobbish, believing that another person is similar to oneself... When those beliefs are challenged, in this case, the belief that "everyone is a sexual being", the majority recoils and looks upon that "abnormality" as the betrayer and counterattacks the Other.

Perhaps to give an analogy, is to liken the asexual to a spy. They look like "one of us", act like "one of us", and then they show their "true colors". What do you do to a spy?
like a herd of turtlespoto_heart on May 26th, 2011 09:30 pm (UTC)
Oddly enough, nobody ever seems to give me flack for being a virgin, either =/ at least, not in queer communities. But when they would talk about my ace partner, it would suddenly be about him being a scared virgin...and that that was terrible. It obviously was just a coded way for them to say 'omg, what a weirdo'.

I agree that people are uncomfortable with their idea of normality being challenged. They don't want to think about the fact that other people could be so different from them. It makes them suspicious.

“Prejudice is a great time saver. You can form opinions without having to get the facts.”

Ahaha, so true.
(no subject) - the_vulture on May 27th, 2011 03:44 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ace_of_the_arts on May 27th, 2011 03:45 am (UTC) (Expand)
Thoughts - ysabetwordsmith on May 27th, 2011 07:44 pm (UTC) (Expand)
swankivyswankivy on May 26th, 2011 08:43 pm (UTC)
Thanks for going into this; I'm from the asexuality group, and I for one appreciate that you have a lot of words and tend toward rambling. Me too, me too.

I'm not really sure how to go into the discussion of whether sexual privilege exists, because I think wherever you have a HUGE majority and then one teeny minority it's almost inevitable that the majority gets things the minority is denied. I don't think it's sexual people's fault of course, and I don't think they have to be INTENDING to oppress us in order to still contribute to the existence of the status quo (you know, "but everyone is sexual, and if they say they aren't, they're effed up and/or lying"). But this knee-jerk "OMG how dare you say we are privileged!" reaction from these communities does make me narrow my eyes a bit, since that's pretty much how most entitled people act when their privilege is called into question.

I think that if each queer person in that community sat down with the "knapsack" and looked at the list for heterosexual people, they'd be able to generalize almost EVERYTHING in it to asexual people (if they were being honest). Just like them, we're not represented in culture. Just like them, people in our own family and friend groups can shun us or attack us if they find out. And just like them, we are often made into representatives for our sexuality even if we don't want to be. But unlike them, we don't have counseling centers or therapists devoted to our "genre" of sexuality, and we don't have large amounts of resources or clubs where asexuals can meet other asexuals for romantic dating, and we don't usually get accepted as EXISTING the first time we tell the people important to us. (On that last, of course sometimes gay people have to deal with "being gay is bad" or "maybe you just haven't had the right opposite-sex partner," but in nearly all cases they're at least going to know what you MEAN by gay and believe you actually are, even if they think it's wrong.)

With very little else to do but try to turn to the queer community for understanding, we get this kind of reaction and are told we don't belong there either. And furthermore that we're co-opting people's identities by trying to have it acknowledged that we're not straight and we do experience erasure/oppression. And since most asexual people are probably assumed straight by society, of course those of us not in homosexual relationships are often afforded some modicum of straight privilege, but that doesn't mean for all intents and purposes *we are straight* or don't have our own problems. (Any more than a trans person who "passes" can't be hurt by transphobia anymore.)

If you're interested, I have a published article called "Are Asexuals Queer?" and I can point you to the website if you'd like to read it.
like a herd of turtlespoto_heart on May 26th, 2011 09:56 pm (UTC)
because I think wherever you have a HUGE majority and then one teeny minority it's almost inevitable that the majority gets things the minority is denied.

I agree with this completely. It seems like a no-brainer for me that at the very least, most things in the world are made BY and therefor FOR sexual people...everything from literature to philosophies and religions, down to things like self-help books. That is at least one place to start looking at obvious privilege. Society just isn't structured to automatically include minorities.

You've also mentioned some things I meant to go into but forgot to. Especially the lack of resources and help for asexual people, which is another BIG problem caused by asexual erasure. Also, the idea of 'passing privilege', that so many people in queer communities use to claim that asexual people don't belong because even if they are in a gay relationship, they could pass for straight if they wanted to. It is an interesting discussion, but the fact that it is used to completely invalidate the idea of asexual people suffering any discrimination or oppression, even for being in a same-sex relationship; that is ridiculous.

I would love to read your article C: it's a topic I've thought about myself but I feel like I haven't heard enough opinions on it to talk about it.
(no subject) - swankivy on May 27th, 2011 02:23 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - poto_heart on May 27th, 2011 06:27 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - swankivy on May 30th, 2011 12:48 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - poto_heart on May 30th, 2011 02:50 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - swankivy on May 31st, 2011 01:52 am (UTC) (Expand)
Yes... - ysabetwordsmith on May 27th, 2011 08:40 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Yes... - swankivy on May 30th, 2011 01:27 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Yes... - ysabetwordsmith on May 30th, 2011 02:02 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Yes... - swankivy on May 31st, 2011 01:39 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Yes... - ysabetwordsmith on May 31st, 2011 02:13 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Yes... - ysabetwordsmith on May 31st, 2011 02:14 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Yes... - swankivy on May 31st, 2011 03:36 pm (UTC) (Expand)
soulsplitting: Cowled Dragon unhoodedsilvrguillotine on May 26th, 2011 10:27 pm (UTC)
I don't have the knowledge or wider experience necessary to really participate in this sort of discussion, but I just wanted to say thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
like a herd of turtlespoto_heart on May 26th, 2011 11:03 pm (UTC)
You are always welcome <3
beethoven7th on May 26th, 2011 10:36 pm (UTC)
Oh, you're good
I have a feeling you will never fail to impress! And now I think that you've given me an idea about how you can be heard. I took a glance at the rest of your journal, and I know that these kinds of writings have been concentrated in the last few weeks, but have you considered making a website or your own circular or even getting your own column in a rights paper? You have a lot to contribute. No pressure :P
like a herd of turtlespoto_heart on May 26th, 2011 11:12 pm (UTC)
Re: Oh, you're good
As you say, I've been writing about these things much more recently...I don't know if I'll run out of things I have the experience to write about. I also feel that my style is a little too informal for something like a circular or a paper...but I might start a blog just for these sorts of things, and keep this for my personal blog. I have been thinking about it.

And thank you, for saying I have a lot to contribute C: it means a lot.
Re: Oh, you're good - beethoven7th on May 27th, 2011 10:47 pm (UTC) (Expand)
captaintwiningscaptaintwinings on May 27th, 2011 01:18 am (UTC)
Thank you so much for this thoughtful post. I tried to talk about some of this, but I phrased it wrong.

I don't think I've ever seen this kind of support and acknowledgement from a sexual person. It's making me feel like a human being. Thank you.
like a herd of turtlespoto_heart on May 27th, 2011 01:59 am (UTC)
You are very welcome.
the_vulturethe_vulture on May 27th, 2011 03:46 am (UTC)
Thank you very much for being supportive of asexuals!
like a herd of turtlespoto_heart on May 27th, 2011 07:34 am (UTC)
You're quite welcome :D
hey stranger I want you to catch me like a cold: [cat]starrysnafu on May 27th, 2011 05:48 am (UTC)
Excuse me, I'm just here to applaud and mumble "word" repeatedly in the corner... :)

Thank you for writing this excellent post. It's like jeez, we're not demanding anything of anyone-we're just wanting to discuss things and possibilities but that seems so offensive to many.
like a herd of turtlespoto_heart on May 27th, 2011 07:34 am (UTC)
Thank you for thinking it's excellent C:!
confessions of a bathrobe werewolf: top hatdie_monster on May 27th, 2011 07:10 am (UTC)
SERIOUSLY ALL THIS. A lot of the time sf_d is on point but I am so sick of some of the Oppression Olympics that's been going on lately. Like really? Those sneaky asexuals are claiming queer identity to be ~special~? No, no oppression in being told you're unnatural, having an identity that most people don't realise or believe exists, having no representation in popular media, having relationship gurus like Dan Savage categorically encourage your partners to leave you or demand an open relationship, the likelihood your partner WILL leave you if you are asexual...Yeah, if ace people want under the umbrella WHY THE FUCK NOT. I mean a lot of the same sexual essentialism/shaming/general bigotry that applies to queer people applies to asexual people. It's the same damn societal bullshit. And if you're on the receiving end of that, then by damn you get to be in the bag/umbrella/fabulous rainbow pavillion/pudding whatever. End of.
like a herd of turtlespoto_heart on May 27th, 2011 08:18 am (UTC)
Yes, exactly. It's treated as if asexuals identifying as queer is exactly the same as straight people appropriating the label...when it's obviously not. swankivy linked an article she wrote on the subject a few comments up that I really liked.
Well... - ysabetwordsmith on May 27th, 2011 08:45 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Kitty_Stitcher: Firefly - Where's my town?tarnera on May 27th, 2011 10:27 am (UTC)
I don't know you, but I am an asexual person. I have been lucky enough to get acceptance from the people around me (though I'm fairly certain my parents don't quite get it...) but this... this made me cry. Honestly, with both rage that these things happen (and I know they happen) and that there's someone out there who is not asexual but still willing to stick up for us and speak with feeling.

Thank you.
like a herd of turtlespoto_heart on May 27th, 2011 03:53 pm (UTC)
<3

Some of your guys comments are making me cry. I don't think I realized how little support y'all are really getting, and it makes me very sad. But I am glad that I'm helping in some way.
Eileen the variably sane: Ahiru and the lamp ❧ Princess Tutucompass_ink on May 27th, 2011 03:45 pm (UTC)
Thank you so, so much for writing this. As an asexual I get very angry and hurt whenever this nonsense rears its head, and I didn't even attempt reading it this time because I didn't have any expectation that it would be anything other than vitriol. So reading this and knowing that you were trying to bring this viewpoint to the discussion is very heartening.

So again, thank you for being supportive of us. It means a lot.
like a herd of turtlespoto_heart on May 27th, 2011 03:57 pm (UTC)
Your appreciation means a lot to me, as well :) TBH I thought nothing good would come of the whole thing, but it wasn't something I could just leave be. So, I am glad that so many of you guys feel I'm doing something positive.
pfmoi on May 27th, 2011 05:21 pm (UTC)
With this whole hullabaloo, I've been feeling very in over my head, because I only realized I was grey-a this January just past. I haven't had to deal with as much of the same stuff as most asexuals, because I have a very small social circle, but even in the five months I've been ace, I've ticked off a few slots in the "Coming out ace" bingo card. I'm coming from the asexuality comm, and I want to thank you SO SO much for your understanding, your way with words, everything. I'm adding this to my memories to show other people, as needed. May I friend you?
like a herd of turtlespoto_heart on May 27th, 2011 05:24 pm (UTC)
Thank you for reading, and for sharing your experiences C: and of course you may friend me! :D
(no subject) - poto_heart on May 27th, 2011 05:40 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - pfmoi on May 27th, 2011 05:57 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Elizabeth Barretteysabetwordsmith on May 27th, 2011 05:51 pm (UTC)
Thoughts
First, thank you for carrying on a rational discussion about this topic.

>>I would say it is obvious that a social justice group, being composed primarily of minorities and their allies, cannot oppress people, since they don't hold enough power in society to do so.<<

They can, in any context where they have control. For example, the wombyn-born-wombyn argument has kept a number of people out of the Michigan Women's Music Festival, Dianic covens, and assorted other events.

I quit going to WisCon because I got tired of watching women pick on men and transfolk, liberals pick on conservatives, people of color in the Carl Brandon society hassle every not-dark-enough person who walked in the door, the transfolk party on the party floor get hassled for playing music like everyone else was ... it was just pathetic. As if half the attendees had decided, "Hey, we're actually in control of this space. Now WE get to fuck over the people we don't like!" Culture FAIL.

There's a very strong, very widespread temptation for oppressed people to become oppressors when they gain power. It's how they've been treated; they tend to think of it as normal. But it doesn't work very well, regardless of who is on top. Resisting the temptation is very difficult.

>>Now the question is, okay, so what, exactly, are these sexual privileges? That is, how are asexuals discriminated against?<<

Well, some are obvious. There is a social expectation to get married and have children. If you don't, people tend to pester you; this isn't as strong in mainstream America as in some other cultures, but bad enough. Marriage is highly privileged -- it gets you tax breaks, makes it easier to buy a house and get other persk, etc. It's a sexualized union; there isn't a nonsexual version available to people who wish to function as a permanent social unit. (I'm in favor of different types of marriage and social union, but sheesh, the mainstream can't even figure out that gay marriage is beneficial.) So if you're not married, you also have a devil of a time with designating someone to handle emergencies if you are incapacitated; hospitals are bitchy about visiting; lawyers yawp about inheritance and wills. All the problems homosexuals have because they can't marry also apply to asexuals who don't marry. You shouldn't be pressed into a sexualized situation just to function in society.

Then of course there are gems like corrective rape, which is the violent end of the "You just need to have sex with the right person" argument. It happens to homosexuals; it can happen to asexuals. Anyone can be raped, but some folks have extra risk factors that conventionally sexual people don't.

All of this is damaging to society as well as to individuals, because diversity is strength. If it weren't, it wouldn't be there. Ecosystems are strongest at their most diverse; in a society, diversity boosts problem-solving ability. So trying to stamp it out weakens a society.

We don't need EVERY human being to have sex and make babies. It's a GOOD THING if some people are concentrating on some other major life goal. They may put extra resources toward someone else's kids and/or tackle a different project altogether. The same evolutionary benefits of homosexuality apply to asexuals too. It's not a bug, it's a feature.
like a herd of turtlespoto_heart on May 27th, 2011 06:10 pm (UTC)
Re: Thoughts
I think you're very right that groups that usually don't have control in society often seize the opportunity to do so when they can. I'm not so sure it's oppression, though, as opposed to discrimination or exclusion? Since the control they have is very localized; but I can see the argument being made that their control is localized to what could be considered vital resources, since they're usually safe spaces for queer people, and safe spaces are very important for people who don't feel safe in greater society. And I see how exclusion from vital resources could very well be oppression.

I would argue, personally, that marriage is more of a romantic than a sexual situation; considering people that one might label as sexual and aromantic - like guys that we might traditionally label 'players' or 'eternal bachelors', who wouldn't consider marriage unless their preferences undergo some change, or they're pressured into it by society. But it is true that there are expectations that go along with marriage that include things like sex. I think marriage in general is a really complicated issue, and right now it hurts a lot of people, the way society sees it...you are completely right that diversity is a strength, and the social attitude that marriage+kids is the lifegoal that everybody should have is a problem. In this case, I think, the ecology that would be strengthened with more acceptable diversity would be our economy; the homogeneity in our society now allows some industries to grow to monoliths, and locks others (like real estate) into very rigid patterns that make it difficult to recover from what should be a small recession.

Okay, I went off on a total tangent there. I think I was trying to get at this: the marriage issue is a really complex one that I don't really feel capable of tackling myself. But you have a lot of good thoughts on it.
Re: Thoughts - ysabetwordsmith on May 27th, 2011 06:47 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Thoughts - poto_heart on May 27th, 2011 07:14 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Thoughts - ysabetwordsmith on May 27th, 2011 07:32 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Thoughts - poto_heart on May 27th, 2011 07:58 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Thoughts - ysabetwordsmith on May 27th, 2011 09:34 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Thoughts - ysabetwordsmith on May 27th, 2011 06:47 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Thoughts - poto_heart on May 27th, 2011 07:01 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Thoughts - ysabetwordsmith on May 27th, 2011 07:28 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Thoughts - poto_heart on May 27th, 2011 07:55 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Thoughts - ysabetwordsmith on May 27th, 2011 10:46 pm (UTC) (Expand)
mylittlehazmat on May 30th, 2011 01:52 am (UTC)
Thank you. I was kind of in the thick of it (and still am) and I didn't realise there were actual respectful conversations going on about it. I blame it on my complete inability to use LJ properly, but ... it's nice there are people out there who aren't completely willing to stick us with a knife and twist it.

I've been accused of being heterosexist, bigoted, emotionally coercive ... I've been torn down, and this gives me just a tiny bit of hope that maybe there might be some good at the end of the tunnel. Somewhere.
like a herd of turtlespoto_heart on May 30th, 2011 02:59 am (UTC)
You're welcome. I'm sorry people have treated you so terribly, and I really wish I could do more to help. That is, I hope I can do more to help, in time.