For the asexually curious and the curiously asexual

Archive for May, 2011

What are you afraid of?

This is an open message to queer people who are reluctant to allow asexual people into queer spaces. The brief argument, if you’ve missed it, is that some asexual people (and not just the ones who happen to be trans, or be in the sort of relationships with people of the same gender that you’ve decided count- listen to us when we say that dividing us that way makes no innate sense) think there would be a great benefit to them if they were allowed into queer spaces. Some other queer people have decided that such asexuals aren’t valid in their communities, and to not allow asexuals the benefits they would get from queer communities. Many have argued that asexuals should be allowed into queer communities, because they are a sexual minority who face a lot of the same problems as other sexual minorities, because there’s nothing in the definition of queer which excludes asexuals, because an awful lot of asexuals are very connected to and very invested in the queer movement, because it’s just kinda obvious.

 

Let me take a different tack. What have you got to lose? What are you afraid of? If we can’t hurt you, then there can be no reasons to let us lose the advantages we can get from being tucked under the queer wing.

 

This is a serious question. There’s a comment thing down there. Treat it as a challenge. We have so, so much to lose. What about you?

The magical queer hat

Have been reading through some recent stuff on tumblr. Sci’s recent posts give you a little bit of the lowdown.

I have conversations about whether asexual people, especially heteroromantic and aromantic and I JUST DON’T KNOW YET, STOP TRYING TO MAKE ME CHOOSE A LABEL SO YOU CAN DECIDE WHETHER I’M A VALID PERSON OR NOT, I DON’T EVEN KNOW IF I’M ASEXUAL, ALL I KNOW IS THAT I CRAVE A RELATIONSHIP OF SOME UNDEFINED AND NOVEL AND POSSIBLY IMPOSSIBLE FORM WITH ANOTHER MAN/OTHER MEN BUT IF I’M AROMANTIC I GUESS I’M STILL NOT GOOD ENOUGH FOR YOU romantic asexuals should be allowed into queer spaces. These conversations are challenging, some of them are obviously intensely personal for me to have in queer spaces. And they mostly consist of me asking just why they’re so scared of letting a TINY number of people, scared, hurting, sexual minority people, into their spaces. What POSSIBLE justification they could have for creating and enforcing these arbitrary boundaries that are so alien to the actual communities they are discussing, other than fear. And WHAT REASON DO THEY POSSIBLY HAVE TO FEAR US?

But, yeah. I don’t care about arguing over whether we’ve appropriated the word ‘queer’. Spaces are important, and words just aren’t. Bear in mind that it’s me saying this. ME!

EVERY. FUCKING. POST. on this blog is about semantic crap that I’ve deemed important enough to waste my time on. So when I say that words genuinely aren’t important, I really mean that there are real pieces of ground to fight over, that there are genuine disputes to be had. This is (largely) not my frustration with the asexuals and allies who responded to the pieces, who did a wonderful job, and I think the strength of their response shows how truly alive and cohesive the asexosphere has become. This is more frustration with the original people, who thought it was more important to fight over who gets to wear the magical hat with ‘queer’ written on it than to discuss actual lives.

Ok, so lets say we don’t deserve the word queer (ignoring how that’s, you know, complete bullshit). Lets say we stole that word from it’s rightful owners.

So. Fucking. What?! What practical benefit is there to asexuals with their linguistic philandering? What practical detriment is there to ‘queer’ people? The word ‘queer’ is still a pretty bad word. It still turns to ash in the mouths of its victims and too easily to hate, to exclusion. It’s not a fancy club. It’s a collection of people who are ever so slightly more fucked up than the rest of society, by the rest of society. And sometimes by other queers. Pride is rebellious because being queer is not a symbol of pride. It’s not a happy. When someone says they NEED it, you listen to them. Because if queer is where they think they fit in, they probably have problems. And they probably have problems that you can’t see if you’ve spent all your time looking for ammunition against their identity rather than actually listening to them.

And to, well, the entire social justice movement. Just fuck off with the privilege crap. When ‘wouldn’t it be nice if everyone was nice’ becomes a calculus equasion, you’ve done it wrong. We don’t need huge arguments about intersections and how to apply them with logic and certainty. As soon as these arguments escape reality, they become useless. Some of the things I’ve read tonight have been ludicrous in the seriousness with which they take these little logical rules, apply them to the real world, reason backwards from their conclusion to make sure the rules fit the world. Make everything neat. Win.

Just stop it, ok? You’re making yourselves look ignorant. The world is watching.

The big, bad wolf

I’ve had this reaction almost every time I try to talk to gay people or fit into the gay scene, which is where the majority of my possible significant-if-not-romantic relationships are probably going to happen. It’s never been a reaction to me, but every time it is spoken, I cringe at defining myself, at coming out as aromantic.

It’s the idea that romantic relationships can justify you. Romantic relationships let you know that you’re a Good Gay.

I don’t think this myth comes directly from wider society. I think it’s a natural, and, in some ways, healthy, counterbalance against the idea of gay men as promiscuous, which was some part stereotype, some part reaction to that stereotype. Men of my generation and social class in the more metropolitan bits of Britain were largely raised with the confidence that it’s ok to be gay, and, after differing but not major amounts of teenage discomfort, ended up going on and doing whatever it is that normal people do, which is serial monogamy and vague wimpiness (totally not biased).

Luckily for me, my university LGBT seems to have fairly directly absorbed some of the ‘Den of Lost Souls’ feel of the old movement. And, I should specify, I don’t think that the normalised approach is any worse than the outsider approach. It probably works better for the majority of individuals. I pity the gay man looking for a typical monogamous romantic relationship in a community which doesn’t make space for such relationships.

But sex is more important for me than (traditional) romance. I’m on that side of the ratio. You know, the evil side. It doesn’t matter that sex is negligibly important to me, that’s still more important than romance, which is somewhere between null importance and a genuine desire to avoid. And sometimes, I can’t help feeling like the old, bad gay. Uncivilised by traditional relationships. Something for other people to be ashamed of.

Weird search terms

Coming back and finding even more penes-related search terms were used to find this blog, I decided to do a roundup of some of the weirdest search terms leading here, before there were too many to count.

penes (20 searches)

cakes (17 searches)

Which leads me to conclude that this blog is maddeningly unhelpful to most people who read it.

who’s theory was asexual

I can’t work out quite why I like this question. It might be because of the idea that only one person in the world can have a theory which isn’t sexually attracted to all the other theories.

asexual evil

Asexual is just a good adjective. “A brooding and asexual evil lurks…”

silly asexual

Doesn’t he know? There’s no such thing as a gruffalo!

how to always think objectively

 

Good luck.

im a lot like barney

 

Me too. Probably not in the same ways.

i’m sick of people thinking they are barney stinson

Sorry.

what episodes does barney stinson cry

The use to which I imagine this information being put is… mildly disturbing.

how does a white rhinoceros reproduce asexually or sexually

is a rhinoceros are sexual or asexual

are rhinos asexul or sexul

I like the increasing air of desperation. I like the fact that they ended up on the same post from my blog every time. In fact, my mind has already constructed an elaborate sitcom in which a harassed weatherman goes to the wrong interview room and somehow ends up in the job of a trained rhinoceros-keeper, continuing the charade with hilarious results, and frantically googling between attempts to get their mammalian charge to succumb to mitosis.

Also, sexul is a fun word. It reminds me of nazgul.

Now, ONTO PENES. The morale of this story is never, ever use latinate plurals on the internet. EVER:

penes advice

penesadvice.com

So far, so good. People can’t tell the difference between google and internet addresses, but that’s not much of a problem.

www.penes.boy

manpenes.com

 

Do not click on the automatic hyperlink. Do not click on the automatic hyperlink. I dislike being curious. It is a disadvantage when on the internet.

man penes with a women

a man penes

Penes as a verb? Possibly?

woman back man penes

boys having sex and show there penes

sex women hav penes

why penes raises when going to urine

guy penes no good sex

boys show penes

sex penes

strong penes video

girls touch penes

guy down penes

penes eraction

Choose your favourite. Personally, I rather like ‘Sex women have penes.’

penes principle

I think this is going to be my name, from now on, for the rule that you shouldn’t use latinate plurals on the internet.

 

ve penes

 

Short and sweet

peeness

 

Short and misspelt.

penes 2011

 

Now in calendar form!

penes penes

 

The musical!

wat sase penes

 

After a long while, I realised this was probably ‘what size penis’, and not, as I originally thought, ‘what says penis?’ The latter was a whole new level of creepy.

Feminism and 101

I think it’s largely pointless to deny that I’m doing a course which involves mostly English Literature and Law, considering that I’ve talked about the relation of asexuality to both of them, even though, in Britain, that’s a weird enough combination to narrow down my identity. I don’t have the energy for actively anonymous blogging, I’ll rely on no-one being bothered to stalk me.

What strikes me is how massively different these two courses are in terms of the student they assume. I think I might be taking the courses with the furthest gender gap. Law assumes it’s students are guys. Often white, conservative guys. A lot of it comes from judges, who adapt slowly, and are still basing their decisions on the same sorts of worldviews as the guys in the Lady Chatterly case who famously asked, in the 60s, if a reasonable man would ‘let his wife or servants read this?’ If you believe in the rationality of law, you’ll be surprised how much of the law of Psychatric Harm is rooted in Victorian ideas of a virtuous yet hysteria-prone woman needing to be protected. How much of every part of the framework of law bears real and physical marks of the sexist and heterosexual framework it was built on. It’s even noticable that judges are more likely to adapt the law of sporting negligence when it favours cricket (a beautiful game, preserving of the morales of the English) than football.

Literature, on the other hand, assumes that it’s students are women. Unlike with law, which probably has slightly more female students, the assumption is generally true. It’s not much better with regard to assuming that its students are white, although there is a heck of a lot more space for queer students. I could get by with intensive knowledge of feminist studies alone, but getting by without any knowledge of feminist studies would be almost impossible. The gendering in each piece is often one of the first topics of conversation, one of the deepest levels of analysis, and almost all the texts we’ve studied this year were chosen partly because they appeal to literature’s intended student- a woman who is interested in talking about the role of women.

I think I started this post (about a month ago, before my prolongued internet absence) thinking that I’d offer some solution or at least some material problem by the end of it. I can’t. I’m not even going to properly delve into the lack of progressiveness of the law, because greater minds with more research time than I have covered it (Helena Kennedy’s ‘Eve Was Framed’ is slightly out of date now, but a good and readable book for the legal or feminism layperson). I should point out that it’s good that the law doesn’t change fast. If the law became suddenly more into feminist or queer ideologies, I would mostly be troubled that it can alter on a whim. If the study of law became more feminist or queer then it would be far from representative of its subject.

I wonder what it would be like to be a non-feminist, who doesn’t have feminist concepts or any particular desire to gender their textual analysis, completing the same course as me. I think it would often require very conciously choosing to avoid a lot of the richest optional literature modules, because a particular theory you don’t respond much to is used everywhere. I don’t know if this is good or bad. Literature being changable, rooted, as it is, in fewer real-world consequences than law, it is good that it provides a voice for feminist and queer students, a voice which doesn’t rely on the student actively seeking out their area of interest (and I shall, in fairness, say that my university offers a good module on law, sexuality and gender). A voice which is positively the mainstream. I think it’s worth both courses recognising that their setup excludes people, because they both do. But I don’t know if anything should or could be done about it.

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