Saturday, 30 July 2011

I am not pleased.


Ok, so it has come to my attention that some arsehole wrote a(nother) blog post on how asexuals are actually being special snowflakes, claiming oppression, unjustifiably calling ourselves queer, the whole tired rigmarole.

This has displeased me muchly, because until reading this I was in a good mood, having just spent significant time with my closest friend.

So I decided to pick apart the post, because I am now in the right kind of mood to do so.
Also, you may say I am being too hard on the op, or hurting their feelings.

Honestly, I don’t give a flying fuck. Sciatrix has summed it up well here.


(Italic is the original post, everything else is me)

 On weighing in on the asexual clusterfuck.
Starting off well here, acknowledging that it has been a clusterfuck. Congratulations, you get +1 observation.

Splitting this up into two parts, because I am realising that I had way more to say than I initially thought.

Possibly a good thing – maybe you’ve really thought hard about this!
I know that there’s a chance that this post is going to be disregarded as ‘trolling’ by some people, because this is just a baby tumblr, and I don’t post about sj, and really I don’t post anything all that often.

Or not. I don’t really care about the age of your tumblr anyway, there is no ‘posting age of consent’, and if you think people will assume you’re trolling  reword what you’ve written until they can’t accidentally think you’re trolling.

-1 writing skills.

 But, as they say, gators gonna gait. I’ve posted the vast majority of this over at sfd_anon (another reason people will probably think I’m trolling) in dribs and drabs

Ok, maybe you have thought long and hard about this. Or at least, fumed long and hard about this. So far it doesn’t seem like you’ve thought much, if at all.
 in seething anon comments, but frankly I want to get all of it out in the open because this whole debacle just makes me livid, every time, and maybe pinning my name to it will be a relief*.

GUESS WHAT? This ‘whole debacle’, as you call it, makes me livid too. (That’s why I’m ripping apart your post. Because I’m mad and feeling snarky.)

Quick heads up: there’s a particular (censored) slur in here, for gay women, a few times.

This is a good thing.
+1 consideration for others
There’s three things I’m gonna address in these posts, just so you don’t get halfway through this and realise you dgaf. 
YAY, a summary. This is nice, +1 consideration for others
This first one’s about the way some asexual people feel entitled to the label ‘queer’, and the way they’re manipulating language to make it seem like they do deserve to be included. 


Really? Really? Could you sound more condescending and paternalistic?
-2 consideration for others

The next one’ll be about whether or not coming out as asexual is as comparable to coming out as LGBT as Tumblr seems to think,

I’m sorry, I’m fairly sure you have never come out as asexual. I have never come out as gay/bi/trans*/etc. I am not saying “Coming out as gay is like this”, because I will never have that experience.


Also, fairly sure most people would agree coming out is different for everybody. The only way anyone ever coming out as ace could not be like anyone ever coming out as gay/bi/trans*/etc would be if all coming out experiences for each group was the same. As they aren’t, stfu fool.
and, a few footnotes on a quite common and pretty ugly little nugget of transphobia that seems to be a favourite tool in some asexual people’s SJ arsenal.
+1 points for remembering the T in LGBT,-1 for using the vague “some people” (It’s akin to saying “Some people say this, so ALL people say this.” Obviously, this is shit logic.)
Let’s just get something sorted out here with regards to “LGBT” and “GSM” and “queer”. I’m going to spell it right out for you (using many acronyms):

Oh good, you get to show off your wisdom social justice savvy

 ‘LGBT’ and ‘queer’ are two terms that mean the same thing, more or less. GSM is something that includes both, but is synonymous with neither. GSM and queer are not two words for the same thing. All queer people are GSM (GSMs?), all LGBT people are GSM, but not all GSM are queer.

One of these things is not like the others, one of these things just doesn’t belong

“But,” I hear the Tumblr activist cry, “queer is a word for anyone who isn’t heterosexual and cisgendered!” Well, yes


and no.

Or not.

Again: all queer people are either non-heterosexual or non-cis,

So queer = not cis, and/or not Heterosexual. Cool, I’ve got no problem with that.
Come, my ace fellows, TO THE QUEER GROUPS!

 but not all non-heterosexual and/or non-cis people are queer**.


I’m sure you’re not just saying this to keep out the aces. Really, you have to have a better reason that that.

Here’s why: the reason that the queer community is called queer is because queer is a slur against a specific group of people - LGBT people - that, depending on how you view it, is currently being reclaimed or has been reclaimed. The people who have the right to use that word are the people it has historically been used against - that’s 101 stuff, really. Frankly? People who are (aromantic or heteroromantic) asexual don’t fit under that umbrella, despite being GSM.

No, you don’t Yeah, you did just come up with that rule to keep out the aces.
(Also? Aromantic != asexual. Heteroromantic != asexual. You can’t decry us as “manipulating language”, and then do it yourself. If you’re going to refer to aromantics and heteroromantics, call us that. What you’re doing is aiming for a small group of us within the asexual spectrum, and hitting the whole thing.)

-1 for acefail
Have an analogy

Oh goody

, and it’s probably going to get me into trouble,
So why say it? You’re coming across as an immature child, doing the “I’m soooo naughty, isn’t it funny? Aren’t I soooooooo like, cool for being a rebel?”

 but here goes.

 Hold on to your brains, they may melt out of your ears with this next bit of logic.

 “D*ke”, for example, is a slur for a specific group of people: lesbians. Right? So say you’re looking at the lesbian community, who have for one reason or another decided to reclaim that slur and refer to themselves as ‘the d*ke community’. But, aha, you notice something: all lesbians are women. So, technically, d*ke is a slur against women.

Uh, no, it isn’t. It is a slur against homosexual appearing women. You do not have to actually be one in order for this slur to be used against you.

Trust me, I know from experience.

 But then you get straight women saying they belong, because it refers to people who aren’t men, and you can’t exclude SOME women! But it’s not a slur against all women: it’s a slur against a specific group of women, and that is gay women, and I think it’s obvious to everybody reading this paragraph that this’d be wildly inappropriate, right?

Nice straw man, what does this have to do with the topic?
(-1 for a strawman)

Just because all lesbians are women doesn’t mean all women have the right to call themselves d*ke. Likewise, just because all LGBT people are GSM people, that doesn’t mean all GSM people have the right to call themselves queer.

Ah, that’s what you think it has to do with the topic!(You’re wrong, but you gave it a shot. You just went in the wrong direction entirely.)

Not a good enough reason for you?

-5 for shit logic

 Here’s another:
Let’s hope it’s a better ‘reason’ than your previous ‘reason’.(Do the quote marks get across the fact that your reason wasn’t actually any more of a reason than the one given by 3 year old children when asked why they won’t play with the opposite gender? (i.e., “They’re ICKY!”) I’d hate for you to miss that.)

the way the asexual community has clung to the term ‘GSM’ as their green card for the queer community is an exploitation of a dual meaning of the word ‘minority’, namely, that it can be used to refer to either a numerical minority or to refer to an oppressed group.

We are actually both. No, seriously, we are. The fact that we have people like you claiming that our experiences aren’t real, that we don’t feel the way we do, that we don’t belong with “the normal people”, kinda disproves your point. A lot.

-5 for fail.

In some instances - LGBT people, or POC, for example - they are one and the same: these groups are both marginalised and outnumbered.

Also for example, The asexual community.

In some cases, such as women, they’re oppressed despite numerically being a majority.
And in some cases - like asexual people, like pastry chefs, like very tall people, like very tall asexual pastry chefs, like straight, cis men, for God’s sake - they’re numerically in the minority, but they’re not oppressed for being a minority,

-7 for being badly wrong about oppression

Everyone, sing it with me!

-10 for comparing unalike things.
You cannot do this, it breaks logic, please stop it, doing this just makes me not take you seriously (even less so, that is. You’re invaliding my identity, be glad I’m being even vaguely civil.)
but some Tumblr-aces are choosing to deploy the term ‘GSM’

This only gives me mental images of the great ship GSM, being shoved off from docks by aces wielding cake. I’m sure that’s not what you we going for.
“Deploy the GSM!” “Aye aye, captain!”

 as if it has those connotations of marginalisation

because it does, funnily enough. (I know, I know, how dare we use words in the way in which they are meant)

 when in actual fact it refers only to how many GSM people there are around.

Fairly sure it doesn’t. But, you know, whatever. You keep redefining your words, we’ll be over here going “WTF?”

It’s a lot like how “queer” means both “unusual” and “LGBT”.

And dyke is a slur and a wall to keep back the ocean (also a rock formation).

 Asexual people use that one, too, as a reason for them to be included.

Uh, no, we use the fact that we are not straight.

 The fact that you are queer-as-in-unusual does not grant you access to the queer-as-in-LGBT community

and here is the real issues. You have defined queer as == LGBT, which means if you are not L, G, B or T, you cannot be queer. So all you pansexual people, you aren’t queer. Neither are you, two spirits, or you, intersexed people, or anyone who is not one of the above but is also not straight.

We all apparently inhabit a no-man’s land, between “LGBT” and “Straight”.

(a helpful diagram of where the OP thinks were are in the great 2d land of sexual orientation. We didn’t get a compass or a map, let alone a home base)

 just like how being a numerical minority doesn’t automatically make you an oppressed minority.

And just like you (presumably), can be part of an oppressed minority but still oppress others!
-3 for oppression olympics

Seriously though, we aren’t claiming that because we are a minority we are oppressed. We are stating that we are a minority (you can’t argue with that, we only make up something like 1% of the world’s population) and we are oppressed.

Also, since when was oppression the keycard into the queer community? How do you check that? “You came out to a loving family who accepted you, you aren’t really queer. I don’t care if you love your own gender only, no oppression no queer.”

*There are some asexual people out there who seem to revel in the fact that LGBT people - queer people - don’t jump to put their names on their thoughts about the asexual-as-queer debate. Like there’s something to be proud of, that their detractors are just pissy little cowards

I’m sorry, why should we not be happy that people are aware that if they put their names to hate speech (which is what a lot of it is, thank you very much. Try replacing all references to asexuals in one of these vitriolic rants with references to homosexuals, or bisexuals, or transgendered people. Suddenly not so acceptable, is it?), that they will be looked down upon by some of the community.  

Also, if you’re going to identity police, you are a pissy yellow bellied coward, with or without using your pseudonym. Using a pseudonym is not actually a brave thing. You can walk away from your pseudonym at anytime. You are not being brave, stop looking for a gold star.

, like frightening queer people is something to be proud of.

But, frankly? The queer community - the LGBT community         

I’m sorry, you need to stop defining the queer community as LGBT only. It doesn’t work that way.

- is the one place where queer people can hang out together and be safe and queer

And somehow us asexuals being there will make it not safe and not queer?
Do we emit queer damping fields or something? Safety breaking vibes? Fairly sure I don’t, because I would have found out before now.

and gay.

Ahahahahaha, you failed your own definition, good job there.
Gay = attracted to your own gender. So, the GL is covered, the B is half covered, and the T has been thrown out the door again

-10 for hypocrisy and failing your own definitions

(There’s another word that’s got two meanings. Just to nip it in the bud - you’re still not queer just because you’re really, really happy, ok?)

Relevance? No, but it is a nice strawman.

-1 for another strawman

**More on this in the next post, don’t jump on me yet.

Too late.

Damn, we’re only halfway through! How does the score stand so far?
The OP is at: -43!
Anyway, ALLONS-Y!

Let’s dive right in, shall we? If you’re going to skip everything else, ace activists, because it’s ~policing~ or whatever, 

Nice scare quotes there.
at least read the last paragraph, because that’s got very little to do with what I think of your identity

Not much, obviously.

 and very much to do with what you seem to think of mine.
 Which of course is the more important thing in this discussion. About asexuality.

(This post contains so, so much anecdata.)
Cool. Thanks for warning us.
+1 for consideration of others

There’s another rationale as to why asexual people should be included in the term queer, and that’s the experience of coming out.

Plaese don’t argue we don’t come out. Don’t argue we have no issues with coming out, or that ours ‘don’t count’. If you do, I will scream, laugh historically, and then go and curl into a dear friend for a while while whimpering. And S really doesn’t need to deal with me being limpeted to his side for a while.

It’s apparently something we all share. I wouldn’t personally call that the defining characteristic of queerness, but we’ll run with it.

Because you are the one true definer of queerness LGBT.

I’ve come out a lot of times in my life as one thing or another. I’m still not really out. My close friends know. My family don’t. There have been times when I have briefly outed myself only to return, shamefaced, to the closet.

So have I. Not sure how yours “counts’ and mine doesn’t.

It took me a long, long time to even admit to myself that I wasn’t cis, and that I was same-sex attracted. I suppressed all that like a motherfucker. Even once I had accepted that those feelings existed, I would never even call myself trans, or even GQ; I wouldn’t even call myself bi, let alone admit that I was primarily attracted to the same gender. “Not cis”, I called myself. “Not straight”. If the thought crossed my mind that I was trans, or bi, or whatever, I would quietly squash it.

Yes, been there, done that.

“You’re just not 100% straight, is all. Nobody’s 100% straight.

Hello, old justification, thought I’d left you behind in 12th grade.

 Don’t get any funny ideas; you still need a place to live, you need companionship in your life.

Yeah. That moment when you have to choose between saying to yourself “I am This” and defiantly keeping your friends and family? I’ve been there too.

Still not sure why yours counts and mine doesn’t, but I’m sure you’ll tell me.

They might not be real friends if they’d ditch you for this, but they’re better than being cold and alone forever. You get bullied enough. No, you’re normal. You can be normal.”

No, I really couldn’t.

So you can imagine when I eventually - very timidly, and more than a little drunkenly - came out to a few of my mates, the first time, it was a big deal for me. Timid and drunk as I was, I knew that you can never quite know how someone will react, and I was preparing to get the shit kicked out of me, or to lose everyone I knew, or to get outed to everyone else. (I didn’t. I got lucky that time. I meant to post the story of when I came out as trans, but that one I can’t really deal with typing out for all to see.)

The reason that I’m not out to my family? Because, while I’m not sure about my immediate family, my extended family has made clear in no uncertain terms that any ‘deviants’ will be disowned, and I can’t really foresee that working out well for my family. Would my mother choose me, or her parents? Even if she did choose me, she’d essentially lose her parents. Because I came out. So I don’t. I don’t know when or if I will. I know I should, to everyone, in order to be true to myself etc. But I can’t bring myself to.

My family’s prone to mental illness, and so will probably assume I have one and send me to shrinks. Both of these things (your situation and mine) fucking suck. Why are you making my situation harder?

When I found the word “asexual”, though, it was easy, there was no internal conflict:

For you. For lots of us, there was a whole fucktonne. I’m still shovelling some of mine around.

 “huh. Guess you’re not such a freak. Got a word and everything.” it didn’t even seem like something that warranted coming out about.

Because your situation is every person who identifies as ace’s ever.
-1 for egocentricity

I didn’t fret about deceiving anyone, because it was not the strength or nature of the attraction that I felt that was the problem: it was the direction. The only times I’ve ever even bothered to mention it to people were invariably something along the lines of a friend asking why I never seemed to hook up, me saying I was asexual, them asking that (apparently dreaded) question

Because dreading having to explain, over and over and over again who you are is irrational.

 - “what’s that mean then” - and me explaining. Easy.

Fuck you. Seriously, fuck you. How dare you tell me that is is easy to explain who you are, all the while expecting to be told by your nearest and dearest that you are a freak, failure, broken and/or wrong. How dare you tell me that it is easy to be expected to react “nicely” when people say “No, you are actually this. You do not know your own feelings.”

How dare you.

-100 for fail of the highest order, identity policing, and invalidating experiences.

 Why? Because nobody gives a fuck about how strong your sex drive is, whether it is 0 or 1000, because nobody goes into that much detail.

You do not know the people I do then.

-1 for assuming your experiences are universal

Saying “I like x” (in either a sexual or romantic way) is enough detail for people, you don’t have to quantify it all the way down for them. For yourself, sure, but other people? Not so much.*

Which works great when you have something you actually like. Aromantic?

We’re shit out of luck.

-1 for forgetting aromantics

(also, the time I started with “I’m aromantic” I immediately got “But how will you fuck people? WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU SHAG PEOPLE? Would you want to fuck anything, like a bench or a dog or a building? I mean, if you don’t care about who you’re with, why bother with a person?”)

The thing is, some asexual people seem so frustrated by people asking what asexuality is, having to explain it, and that’s why they hate coming out.

And some us hate coming out (most of us who hate coming out) hate coming out for the reasons I’ve outlined above. Also, why is not wanting to explain every minute detail about your orientation not a legitimate reason to hate coming out?

-2 for fail

I wish that that was the biggest problem that LGBT people faced when they came out.

I wish that was the biggest problem asexual people face when we come out.

Unfortunately, that’s not the world we live in.

And you don’t seem to be helping it become that world.

Also: a quick note on a weird little transphobic trend that sometimes seems to crop up - the reply to angry queer people saying that if you’re hetero-, you’re not queer, that goes a little like this: so straight trans people aren’t queer?

Here’s the thing: there are straight trans people who DON’T identify as queer and queer trans people who identify as queer separately from being trans. For every other group, it’s divided into straight/queer, but trans people, oh well, they’re all the same, even the straight ones are queers.

I would like to point out that there are straight trans people who identify as queer also. Are you saying they can’t either?

So, when you say LGBT, you actually mean LGB.

(this is a hard thing for me to explain. If I say “I identify as queer” as my orientation, that’s not much clarification if I’m already automatically pegged as queer just because I’m trans).
That said, that’s just for me personally, I don’t like to be automatically labelled “queer” for being trans.

BUT I don’t begrudge straight trans people their inclusion in the queer community, and here’s just one example of why: we live in a transphobic world, and misgendering is rampant. A trans person in a heterosexual relationship is not always going to be treated that way. Some of the time they are probably going to be treated as two cis people in a gay relationship, and if the trans partner has the audacity to behave in any way that is ‘typical’ of their actual gender (eg: a trans woman wearing makeup), then that’s going to be treated not as them being trans but them being treated as a feminine gay man (or, for trans men, a butch lesbian). And that just plays back into homophobic stereotypes. But that’s just one example.

Whut? Striaght trans people aren’t queer because they’re trans, but they can identify as queer because...they’re trans? They’re mistaken for gay? I’m...not quite sure what you’re arguing here.

-2 for fail logic and unclear arguing


Wait, there’s more!

What’s most unnerving about this rather smug rebuttal, though, along with that gleefulha!-I’ve-outsmarted-those-pesky-queers-now attitude all in itself?

Ah, never have I seen this attitude. I’ve seen the “Ha! I’ve put those bloody freaks ace’s in their place!” one though.

Trans people are just that, PEOPLE. We are not your loophole into the queer community. We do not exist just so you can point to us and say “but you let them play!” We’re not here as an example for you. Kindly fuck off, you can’t hitchhike in with me, because frankly? I don’t want anyone in my community who cares about me as long as it benefits them and not a second more.

Sorry, but if you’re going by the only people who care about trans people all the time, you may have to kick out a lot of the GLBT. Including yourself, it seems.

And since when was it “your” community? You are a part of the community, not the ruler of it. You can make no rules.

If you’re going to be transphobic, or you’re going to ignore trans people, that’s one (ugly) thing. But don’t dress that up as if you actually give a shit about me, or you’re somehow morally superior, please&thanks.

I can understand that view point.

But could you please stop standing on my face to make it?
*Full disclosure, because people will probably decide it’s relevant: no, I no longer identify as asexual. Not that that matters, but whatever.

And thus we come to the end of my snark fest review of the post.

The total score is: -150!

(no) Thank you for playing op, please (don’t) come back!

(now I'm going to look at pictures of lovely coats and virtually hug my closest friend for a while.)

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