Why are asexuals so into their movement? They aren’t being oppressed or prosecuted anywhere and it’s not like you really can be by having a “lack” of something.
—Excerpt from The Comment Section:
Asexuals aren’t persecuted or oppressed or discriminated against!
Ohhh… Where to begin with this…
First of all, it is exceedingly rare that someone who is asexual makes a claim of oppression or discrimination or persecution or whatever over some trivial matter. If an asexual says that they were oppressed or discriminated against or persecuted because they were asexual, listen to them. Because they probably were.
Next, in the vast majority of cases, the thing the person is commenting on never even remotely mentions oppression or persecution. The commenter is pulling oppression out of thin air to use it as an attack. It’s a strawman. Simply saying “I am asexual and I exist” is not a claim of oppression. Talking about your sexual orientation does not indicate that you think you’ve been persecuted for it. Discussing a problem you’ve encountered in your life does not mean that you’re saying that you have it worse than everyone else.
Oddly, these people seem to believe that facing oppression and persecution is a necessary condition for having a minority sexual identity. You apparently don’t get to join the club unless you, personally, experience daily oppression for who you are. And they’ll often be very specific about what qualifies. Often, being denied the right to marry comes up as the criteria. Asexuals can’t be possibly be included because no one is preventing them from being married. Right, so, what that means is that where I live, in the State of Washington, gays and lesbians also can’t be included, because we passed R74 a few years back, and the Winsdor case made the Feds recognize these marriages. And does that mean that someone would be considered queer in some other states, but not queer in Washington, at least not after December 9th, 2012? Over time, as laws change and as people become enlightened, such a definition will cover fewer and fewer people.
A number of these kinds of comments suggest that keeping quiet will let you pass and prevent oppression. Are you asexual? Just keep it to yourself and nothing will ever happen! Well hey, that’s a great idea! Let’s have everyone do that! Hey, Sally, got a homophobic boss? Well, just show up at the office party with a beard to throw him off the scent! Hey, Joe, nervous about what people might think of your religion? What’s the big deal, hide that prayer rug and no one will ever know! Hey, Phil, live in a town full of racists? That’s what thick white cake makeup is for! … Never mind that forcing someone to hide who they are out of fear is a form of oppression.
These comments usually ignore intersectionality of any kind. It’s a blanket “Asexuals are not oppressed! Asexuals have no relevant problems!”. That means that if you’re a homoromantic ace or a trans ace or an asexual person of color, congratulations! You will never experience any kind of oppression or discrimination or persecution of any kind, because your asexuality acts as an immunity idol.
It’s also just outright dismissive. What these people are saying is, “I can’t think of any problems you might face off the top of my head, and you probably don’t have my problems, so I’m just going to yell at you for implying that you might have problems.” Just because someone hasn’t heard of it happening, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.
And when an asexual does try to bring up a problem that they actually have personally faced? Well then, that doesn’t matter, because someone else has it worse. You can’t talk about erasure, because there aren’t any laws against asexuality. You can’t talk about having trouble with relationships, because you can’t get fired for being asexual. You can’t talk about corrective rape, because you’ve never been killed for being asexual after walking out of a bar. What they’re saying is that your problems aren’t important enough to talk about, because there are other, bigger problems out there. Absolutely, all of those other issues are horrible, and it would be fantastic if we could find a way to solve them. However, the fact that there are other problems out there, does not completely prohibit discussion and resolution of smaller problems.
“I’m sorry, you can’t deal with the leaky pipe that’s flooding your basement, because there’s a coal ash spill in North Carolina.”
“I’m sorry, you can’t change your flat tire, because there’s a civil war in Syria.”
“I’m sorry, you can’t deal with that pebble in your shoe, because the inevitable heat death of the universe will eventually extinguish all possibility of life.”
That kind of thinking is ridiculous. We’re not a one problem at a time kind of species. There are enough of us to work on multiple problems at once, and it’s even possible for the same person to be working on more than one problem at the same time. You have a right to talk about problems that you face, whatever they are, however big or small, simply because you face them, and you don’t have to go before some kind of Grand Unified Problem Importance Committee to justify it.
—And another excerpt from The Comment Section:
Why do you need a community about not having sex?
From there, they try to minimize or erase any issues that we might face as being absurd, often making a remark like “I don’t knit sweaters, should I start a group for people who don’t knit sweaters?” (Or something equally silly.) This is an attempt to make us look petty and unreasonable for wanting to talk about ourselves and the issues we face with other people facing similar issues. They often try to say that not having sex or not being interested in sex isn’t a big deal, that it won’t impact how you live your life or interact with others. They completely miss how pervasive sex and sexuality are in everyday life, and therefore completely miss how living outside that bubble can affect virtually everything, from trying to find love to watching TV, from interacting with friends and coworkers to going to the doctor.
And underlying all of it is the bizarre misconception that it is fundamentally impossible for people to find a community with others based on something they don’t do. Apparently, they’ve never heard of vegans, atheists, or people who are straight edge.