A is for

A is for Asexuals and Aromantics.

A is not for Allies.  Allies don’t get a letter.

To break it down in no particular order:

  1.  Allies are, by the very definition of the word ally itself, not members of the marginalized group.  They do not suffer from the systemic oppression and erasure that affects every member of the group.
  2.   Asexual and Aromantic are primary identities; Ally is not.  The word ally describes a relationship to another group of people (see above), not a identity that stands on its own.
  3.   Priority belongs to actual members of the marginalized community, along with their needs and lived experiences.  Prioritizing Allies contributes to the exclusion and erasure of Asexuals and Aromantics.

Allies don’t suffer from the systemic oppression and erasure that affects everyone in the marginalized group.

They don’t have people telling them that allyship is not a real thing, that its all in their head, that it’s a kind of mental illness or physical debility, that they need to have their allyship corrected with medication or therapy or *corrective violence*. They do not have those same people telling them in the next breath that their allyship must be a trauma response to abuse in their past. They are not harassed by doctors and medical professionals as if allyship is a health problem they are neglecting.

They don’t have people telling them that they’ll grow out of it, that they’re only being immature, that if they tried not being an ally they’d see what they’ve been missing all this time and that would be the end of that. They don’t usually get lectured so much about how they’re only pretending in order to be the center of attention (well, they do, but for different reasons) or because they think they’re so dmn special and better than everyone else.

Whereas a/gray/demisexuals *do* go through all of that (and much more)-
*and a/demiromantics go through a lot of erasure and harassment of their own*-
and quite often within the lgbtqia+ community itself.

We show up to pride parades and not only find we’ve been forgotten again but also get flak for showing up because apparently we’re not real and therefore can’t be queer. We get left out of so many videos, memes, meetings, parades, conversations. We get left out, erased, and harassed by our own group, in addition to the systemic oppression faced by all in the lgbtqia+ community.

To repeat:  Allies don’t get a letter because they do not face the *systemic oppression* that the marginalized group itself does.  Allies don’t get a letter because they don’t suffer from *erasure*.

White allies of PoC do not suffer from the systemic racism that PoC do. Feminist men do not suffer from institutionalized misogyny.   Neurotypical allies do not suffer from rampant ableism.

Nobody’s overlooking the stories and needs of white/ straight/ neurotypical/ male-identifying people.  This very debate highlights how people are prioritizing non-LGBTQIA+ allies and erasing asexuals and aromantics.

Asexual and Aromantic are primary identities; Ally is not.

Who is an ally?  They are people outside of the marginalized group, who support the group.  Without that group, or the context of that group, describing a person as an ally is nonsensical.  They were people (probably straight/ cis/ dyadic/ heteronormative/ gender dimorphic people) before they supported the marginalized group.  A person’s primary identity is not Ally.  Being an ally is not a core aspect, or even a fixed aspect, of who a person is.

Plus, I would still identify myself as and consider myself to be demisexual even if there were no systemic oppression leveled against me any longer whereas nobody would be termed an ally in that case because there would be no systemic oppression and erasure to fight against, hence no allies in that fight.

Priority belongs to actual members of the marginalized community, along with their needs and lived experiences.

I’m an ally to people of color *and because of that* I know that their community should be centered around them and their needs, and that non-PoC allies *are already at the table*- they were at the table first! If anything, over half the table belongs to them, and they maybe should be offering the more marginalized and oppressed people a couple of their own seats.

Black History Month should center on the lived experiences of PoC, not of white abolitionists.  Women’s History Month should center on the lived experiences of women, not men who gave women the vote.  Autism Acceptance Month should center on the lived experiences of autistic people, not neurotypical cheerleaders.

And LGBTQIA+ Pride Month should center on those marginalized and systematically oppressed on the grounds of gender and sexuality, not their allies.

“But Allies are good”

I get that people think allies should be given credit for, well, for being allies.  Sure.  But that doesn’t mean they get a letter of their own in the very acronym that names the marginalized group.  You know, the marginalized group they are allies with but technically can’t belong to.  Especially when giving allies a letter erases minorities who are still struggling to be recognized as members of the marginalized group.

So, good for those allies for being brave and decent human beings?  Is there an expectation here that allies want payment for treating us with decency and respect?  Let’s remember that the allies are in a comparably privileged position, if anyone is going to be giving out gifts.  No good ally is going to ask for a gift that further marginalizes and erases members of the community; no good ally is going to think they are owed payment for being a good ally.

What if, what if, brave and decent human beings were the norm? Would we still need to give them a letter?  (see above:  if there were no more systemic oppression against the LGBTQIA+ community, they wouldn’t even be called allies anymore.)

What if it is highly problematic to say that acting as a brave and decent human being is a special thing not to be expected from the rest of society? What if it is highly problematic to indicate that brave and decent people belong to the marginalized and oppressed group by default?

Especially when it contributes to the erasure of people so marginalized they are still fighting to be acknowledged by the marginalized group itself?

tl;dr-
It’s the asexuals and aromantics here who need to finally be allowed full membership in their own community.

 

(Also I am horrible at providing trigger warnings but I will add them if you ask; sorry; I’ll get better)

 

this really says it all

I wanted to share a conversation I had the other day.

It started with them saying (in shortened paraphrase), “I was going through our old emails the other day, from way back.  That was hard to read.  I guess I was an asshole.”

When I was younger, or less weary of the world, or whatever, this is where I would have jumped in to assuage, reassure, fluff up the ego.  ‘Oh you weren’t an asshole’ or ‘we were both assholes’ etc.  You know the drill.  But this time, I just waited.  I wanted to know if this would be the time they’d actually say the words.

After a pause, they reiterated that they were uncomfortable when confronted with their past self, and said that it made them feel bad.

And I just waited.

And after a bit they said, “I’m probably still an asshole.”

I thought, Um, yeah,I know you want me to jump in and reassure you.  I picked that up the first time around.  It’s not going to happen.  We’ve talked about what you did, and how it makes you feel.  And then you gave me another prompt to comfort you and help you with your feelings.  So now…

And that is all they said.

Really?

Why was this conversation all about how they feel?  If you start out, “I see that I was such an asshole to you”, isn’t the follow up naturally “I’m sorry I treated you that way; I’m sorry I hurt you”?  Not “I feel bad when confronted with the truth of what I did”* and then, when no ego stroking is forthcoming, “Wellp, gotta run”.

Ah well.  It’s not like I was surprised.

I wasn’t surprised at all.

This is part of why I’m weary of the world.

 

 

 

*(which is exactly what they meant btw, not “I feel bad when I realize how I hurt you”)

Coping with the world–yeah, we get it.

MUST. READ.

Chavisory's Notebook

{This post references the comments made here.}

Once, when I was still a stage management intern, I was assistant stage managing a show on which I was having a lot of trouble and just generally felt like I couldn’t keep up. Some of the reasons why I was having such a hard time under those particular circumstances are much more clear to me in retrospect, and some are honestly still a mystery. There were blind spots and skill deficits on my part involved. There were certain ways in which I was ill-prepared that both were and weren’t my fault. There were other factors at play that didn’t originate with me at all. But it certainly wasn’t that I was just being lazy or not trying or didn’t care enough.

I was having a talk about it with the production stage manager one day—I could see well enough even then…

View original post 788 more words

They tell you I am wrong

And you believe them

You don’t even question it

They tell you I am broken

And you believe them

You don’t even question it

They tell you I am bad

And you believe them

You don’t even question it

They tell you I am dangerous

And you believe them

You don’t even question it

They tell you to hate me

Your own family

Your own family

You don’t even question it

Not the same

Stop saying that the protests against DJT today and the previous protests against Obama are the same. They aren’t. I will give you two reasons. (There are more.)

I heard during Obama’s administration (First List):

-Obama is not American (he was born in Kenya)
-Obama is not Christian (he’s a Muslim) + Obama’s going to put us all under Sharia Law

Republican pundits kept on about this, and on, and on, and never stopped about this. There was/still is a lot of fear and anger on these points.

That is NOT THE SAME as (Second List):

-the (nominee for) health secretary and Republicans in Congress are trying to repeal my healthcare although they have no working plan to replace it
-the education secretary has no experience and is considering defunding public schools
-the labor secretary’s career is based on undermining worker’s rights
-the head of the EPA wants to abolish the EPA
-the attorney general has a history of opposing civil rights
-the vice president has a strong record against LGBTQIA rights
-the president is in violation of the constitution but he claims it doesn’t apply to him
-ETC

>>>Reason Number One that these are not the same:

The second list of complaints are all demonstrably true, and they all directly affect (sometimes a majority of) American citizens in some way.

None of the things about Obama (first list) are true. The punditry manufactured the “danger” out of thin air and and that “danger/potential harm” never materialized because these things were patently untrue to begin with. But we still hear about them to this day.

>>>But examine this more closely and you’ll see:

The very nature of the claims on that first list has had a remarkable effect on the American public.

-Obama is American and has an American birth certificate.

You don’t believe his birth certificate is real? Even when it is an official birth certificate issued by your own government? So how do you know any birth certificate is real? Who gets to decide that? Do *you* get to decide if someone is “really” an American citizen, if their birth certificate is real? Even if fraud experts and officials whose very job it is to check these things out say it is real? So, you can just delegitimize ANYBODY’s citizenship, no matter their papers or references or established evidence to the contrary?

So, you get to declare anybody a non-citizen based on your whim? Deport or disenfranchise anybody based on your whim, in the face of established evidence to the contrary?

We are beginning to see the broader implications of this thinking right now, in the immigration issues, the executive order travel ban, and on supposed voter fraud, for example. Who is a “real” American depends- not on the standards that have always been used to determine citizenship, not on documents, not on where you were born, not on your parentage, not on the naturalization process- on a whim?

-Obama is a Christian and goes to a Christian church.

You don’t believe his faith is real? You don’t believe his stated religion is true? Based on no evidence in your claim and in the face of contrary evidence? Nothing he can do or has done can convince you? You delegitimize his baptism/confirmation/etc? You invalidate the authority of his pastor, his congregation, his church? Why are you the judge over everyone else?

And what reason does he have to change the foundational laws of the country? He’s a professor of law, why would he change the very laws he studied and taught and made as a congressman and swore to uphold as the president of the United States? He obviously *didn’t* enact sharia law. But you think it was because he was prevented from doing so, not because he had no intention of doing so? Based on nothing but the punditry has told you- even though it has been proven to be untrue?? So, even his character cannot be proven through his actions; only the punditry knows for certain?

This, all of this, is an undoing of truth, and of ways of finding and confirming truth. If the pundits discredit and delegitimize traditional, established means of proving what is true and what is not, then the pundits seize the authority to become the sole arbiters of truth. Not the government, not science (or religion), not the press, not your own lived experience in the world- only they decide what is true, what is real, and nothing can be used to argue against them; and you must therefore accept their authority. Science is a conspiracy, the media is a conspiracy, political opponents are conspiratorial liars, people with different points of view are criminals, liars, crybaby snowflakes, and the enemies of America.

If they say Obama is an America-hating Kenyan Muslim, then it’s true. If they say that the Democrats are whining because they are spoiled brats, then that’s true. If they say Mexican immigrants are rapists, refugees are Islamic terrorists, and only white rural working class folk are “real” Americans, then that’s true. If they say Jeff Sessions isn’t racist, Steve Bannon isn’t a white supremacist, DJT has no history of sexual assault, then that is true. Despite all evidence to the contrary. Because Authority’s Whim says so.

We need to recognize and publicly acknowledge how this leads to authoritarianism, and how quickly we could lose our democracy in this way:

“What we are witnessing now is the birth of a new political order” /Bannon

which leads us to

>>>Reason Number Two that these are not the same:

The very nature of the claims on first list (and their resulting implications on truth, facts, and authority) is integral to the tactics being used to undermine Americans and American institutions.

The second list calls out what is being done against Americans in an effort to stop the direction this is taking us as a country.

I’d say that’s as different as hell.

To-Read Pile

Yay, books came in the mail today!

Ravensbruck, by Sarah Helm. A book about Life and Death in Hitler’s Concentration Camp for Women. (Over 700 pages; was thinking it was 200…)

Also, ELI CLARE’s new book Brilliant Imperfection! I Highly Highly Highly recommend his Exile And Pride.

Always good to have more books lined up to start, just as soon as I finish my current read: the tenth anniversary revised and expanded edition of Foucault and the Government of Disability, edited by Shelley Tremain.