For the asexually curious and the curiously asexual

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.


Comments on: "The magical queer hat" (3)

  1. Kristin said:

    Thank you. Just…thank you. As an asexual college student active in women’s studies and LGBTQ stuff on campus, I feel that terminology arguments sometimes distract from needed work. Like…there are folks not feeling safe on campus or being ignored in classroom discussions, but we’re too busy discussing “what we mean” by language.

    Don’t get me wrong; there are definitely places to discuss these things (non-discrimination policies, feminist epistemology research, etc.), but people should NEVER be left out or ignored because of an inclusivity (or exclusivity) debate.

    • That’s exactly my thoughts. I’ll try to write about this again in the next few days, but in terms of basic cost-benefit analysis- if we assume that asexuals should have access to queer spaces, and then get proven wrong, there’s not much harm done. If they assume that asexuals shouldn’t be allowed and we argue about that for as long as it’s possible to argue (and it’s possible to argue about something forever if you’ve decided what your opinion is already), then that hurts a lot of people. So my solution is, let us IN and then we can have this endless debate, rather than having it on the doorstep.

  2. […] asexual curiosities: The magical queer hat I have conversations about whether asexual people, especially heteroromantic and aromantic and I […]

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