Just something I’m going to put out there:
It’s true that other than invasive questions and patronizing dismissals, I’ve never really gotten much crap from people who knew that I was asexual.
It’s true that many people read me as straight, and that I don’t have to deal with them harrassing about my orientation.
But then it’s also true that many people read me as lesbian and/or queer, and guess what - I’ve never gotten any crap from them either!
In fact, the possibility of being asexual has inconvenienced me far more than the possibility of being a lesbian or bisexual did.
Because, while it’s true that my family, friends and peers, didn’t react badly to my being asexual, they are also equally supportive about the possibility that I might have been a lesbian, or bisexual - and a lot less confused and suspicious to boot.
During the time when I thought I might be a lesbian, or later when I thought I must be bisexual, the idea of coming out never scared me - my parents and peers were totally awesome and queer-friendly and there was never any worry that they might reject me or call it a “phase” or anything else.
Asexuality, on the other hand, was an unknown quantity. I didn’t know if they’d know what it was, if they’d believe me, if they’d accept it, if they’d be weird about it. Luckily for me, after the initial awkward explanations and referrals to google, it went ok.
And so goes the story of my life.
I guess the point of all that was just to show why I find it so frustrating whenever people denigrate the issues that asexual youth face, saying “oh but those other people have it worse so shut up and stop whining.”
Granted, I was lucky. Many people would NOT be able to have that same assurance that they would be accepted even after coming out as LGBT - my situation is fairly uncommon.
But still, the thing that really hurt was the uncertainty. When young asexuals are struggling with their identities, they don’t know what’s going to happen; many don’t know whether or not their parents are going to kick them out, or send them to counseling, or forbid them from speaking of it, or mock them for it.
And in a world where so few know anything solid about asexuality, where myths and lies abound and where even the most seemingly tolerant people can be rabidly hateful towards asexuals, many of these young asexuals have no where to turn to if things do turn out badly; they have no to tell them that it can get better; they have no one to tell their parents that it’s ok to have an asexual child.
The fact that we aren’t being dragged out into the streets and stoned doesn’t negate the problems that we still have to face every day. They may be different from the problems that other groups may face, but then that’s true of any sub group. That doesn’t mean they matter any less.
Nor should the level of horribleness of their oppression ever be the sole defining factor of someone’s identity. I mean, it’s not like we take away the queer card of every young gay person who comes out and is accepted by their family.
Ideally, we should be aiming for a day when people will no longer have to suffer from such oppressions; clinging to them jealously as a mandatory entry requirement and harassing people for not being harassed enough doesn’t seem to help much toward that end.
(Cross-posted from my Wordpress)
So in one of my classes recently, we had a guest speaker come in to talk about wikipedia, and one of the points he made that really hit home was that Wikipedia has a huge gender gap problem. For the majority of articles, around 90% are all edits made by men. It’s bad to the point where a 70/30 male/female gender split among editors of a certain page is considered extremely good. When asked of any pages with a majority female editorship, the presenter couldn’t actually think of any examples. And this is kind of a huge problem. Wikipedia is one of the biggest resources for information in the world, and having that be so utterly and completely male-dominated is a little unnerving. However, talking about this made me curious: are there any subjects where women actually dominate? I tried looking for pages that I though might be likely to be majority female: Patriarchy, childbirth, Audre Lorde, tampons…..but all still have a majority of male editors.
Now, to get to point of all this:
Your mission (should you choose to accept it) is to attempt to find articles with at least 300 registered edits, in which the number of edits by women outnumbers the men. (Pages with a majority of women that are under 300 total edits are still of interest, but they are more a side bonus than the main goal. )
A useful tool for searching editor stats is the Wikitrip site: http://sonetlab.fbk.eu/wikitrip/
This is no mean feat. After I showed him the wikitrip tools, fellow ace blogger Andrew went on a hunt for pages of >500 edits with majority female editorship - and found only two. I have been poking around and so far have found only a few pages with female majority, and all of those were very small pages with few edits.
The list so far of >300 pages with majority female editorship include:
-(send me more if you find any!)
Other smaller pages with majority female include:
Diva Cup, Pleats, Vagina Monologues, etc.
shared via WordPress.com
(please try to post comments on the wordpress page in order to keep everthing in one place)
Or even a list of posts? or links?
Whenever the whole “Are aces queer?” debate comes up, there are always some really moving and detailed responses from aces telling their stories of why they identify as queer, and it seems like something that would be good to preserve - perhaps something like how there are collections of queer people’s coming out stories, or the experiences of PoC queer people, or similar collections. It’s something that can show the human side of the argument, and can be a resource for aces who ID as queer, or are considering it, to see stories and thoughts like their’s, and maybe a even a sort of haven from the eternal wars over the label (although that may just be wishful thinking).
Is that a project that people think would be good to start?
So, I’ve been thinking about making some kinds of ace visibility materials - something along the lines of those kinds of pamphlets you see sometimes that are like “Bisexuality - what you should know”, or like “coming out as gay or lesbian” or whatever. Basic info on asexuality.
So, tumblrites, I have a question - what format would you most like to see for these? I hope to do several variations, but I want to pick one to start with. A few ideas I have already:
-the simplest would be a bare-bones single page poster, that could be put up in educational spaces or something to pique peoples interest
-or, maybe something longer - like a 4-8 page pamphlet with more extensive information on asexuality, variants (like gray-a’s), romantic orientation, and ace resources, sites, and symbols. This would be more for people who have sort of heard f asexuality, but want to learn more.
-I’ve also thought of something like tri-fold brochures that cover more specific topics - i.e. coming out as asexual (and/or how to react), grey-A’s, demis, romantic orientational models, asexual-sexual relationships, etc.
-Also, a more intensive project that I’ve been considering is putting together a binder-sized collection of some of the better asexuality related news articles, scientific papers, blog essays, etc, along with something like a lexicon. I’d like to have something like this for working with people like queer studies professors/students or safe space moderators or other people who might want a much more intense introduction to asexuality. Any recommendations for things I should include?
(fyi: Omegle Spymode lets you anonymously pose a question, which is answered by two other anonymous strangers on the internet)
You’re now watching two strangers discuss your question!
Question to discuss:Should asexuals (people not sexually attracted to any gender) be considered a part of the queer umbrella? why/why not?
Stranger 2: in that they’re outside of the sexual norm, i think they have a place in there
Stranger 1: LGBTQIQAA!
Stranger 2: but i can see where people might be antsy about it, since there isnt quite the amount of discrimination against, say, a straight asexual than there would be against a regular gay guy
Stranger 1: There are so many ways of classifying your sexuallity at some point it doesnt even matter I think.
Stranger 2: but if they identify as queer, in the end its up to them
Stranger 2: yeah, true
Stranger 2: its possible to get into so many different labels it just gets confusing :p
Stranger 1: Exactly, the latest acronym is even longer than the one I said a minute ago
Stranger 2: i guess allowing everyone under ‘queer’ probably makes things easier in the end :p
Stranger 1: In the end it’s about supporting people that are considered different and need help, no matter what they consider their sexuallity or what words they attach to it
Stranger 2: quite, couldnt have put it better myself
Stranger 1: Glad you agree, now, off to spread acceptance across the internet!
Stranger 2: indeed! farewell!
Stranger 1 has disconnected
Strangers 1 and 2, I love you. (Just not that way.) Cake for you!