“If you went through sexual abuse or harassment it’s no wonder you’re ace….”
This is one of the worst things anyone could say and not just to an asexual, but anyone. First, it is offensive to assume our orientation has to come from abuse. Secondly, what if that someone or someone who may be there was really abused or harassed? This may only deeply upset them, if not trigger some worse reaction. Are you really okay with doing this?
And from what I have observed about people who ask questions like this one and others like it about masturbation and others, do not really want to help, but to invalidate that someone’s identity. Even worse when they claim they can cure you. Such people don’t sound like they want to help, more like they just want to sleep with you. So once again the best way is to listen what people tell you and be respectful and tactful if you want to ask something. Yes, trauma and other issues from abuse and/or harassment can cause changes and other problems. People can renounce sex after such a traumatic experience, but that doesn’t make them asexual. Same with the claim that all asexuals had to go through some traumatic experience and that’s why we are asexual. There are asexuals who did, the number of what part is unknown, but not all, and for those who did, it doesn’t have to mean that that’s why they are asexual. Asexuality is a sexual orientation, not a symptom. So making it a “rule” makes no sense and is insulting as well as invalidating to those who did.
“Asexuals don’t belong into Queer/LGBT spaces, they haven’t been oppressed enough….”
Many LGBT/Queer people and communities around the world say this. They also ask why anything like Asexuality would need visibility. Well, here is why.
Though perhaps asexuals don’t experience violence like homosexuals, transgender individuals and others, they still experience other forms of oppression and ignorance.
– Discrimination by health professionals – Where homosexuality isn’t considered a disorder anymore asexuality still is. Not to mention how few professionals, health and psychological, don’t know about it and will hence treat it as a symptom, even if someone tells them they are fine with this and that it actually is a sexual orientation.
At the website thewip.net I’ve read about a mental health professional who right away denied the existence of asexuality by saying it is the depression of her patient and informed her that the right treatment would “clear that up.”
– Housing and accommodation discrimination – Yes, asexuals can be denied Housing and accommodation on the basis they are asexual. Even more should that one be single, and still more should that someone be aromantic, or not wanting a romantic relationship for any reason.
– Job discrimination – An asexual can be denied work opportunity on the basis of being asexual, or can be fired on this basis. Apparently not showing interest in what other people deem natural and/ or not wanting or showing interest in relationships seem for many employers a good reason to fire you.
– Marriage discrimination – Even asexuals form same sex/gender couples and would like to get married, yet in many countries they can’t. America recently allowed it, but this is not where the trouble for asexuals end. Marriage for asexuals can be actually terminated on the terms that there is no sex. Yes, you heard correctly, on this basis a marriage can be terminated, no matter how loving those two parties are and how much romance there is in their relationship.
And now imagine one of the partners is an immigrant. Not just that the marriage will be terminated on the basis that if it doesn’t contain sex it is a fake marriage, that someone will be deported back where they came from.
And personally I think a termination can hurt more than being unable to marry.
Adoption discrimination – Same sex/gender couples aren’t allowed to adopt may they be asexual or not.
In the book The Invisible Orientation I read about a couple that wanted to adopt a child and they been asked why they couldn’t have any kids on their own, the couple answered they were asexual. The answer they got chilled even me. The worker there told them that then they are wrong, that asexuality is wrong and their marriage should be terminated. Sweet, isn’t it!
– “Corrective” rape – Oh yes, even this isn’t unknown to many asexuals and the same “rules” apply as to any rape victim, they may be blamed instead of the rapist. And the reason behind this? To awaken the sleeping sexual attraction or drive in asexuals. To show them how amazing it is through violence. Sadly, many see corrective rape as a logical or even the right thing to do. Here is a more specified article on it.
– Mocking – Personally I think asexuals are mocked as much as homosexuals are, if not more, a lot more. Homosexuality is quite known nowadays and many accept it. However, asexuality isn’t nowhere as known and much less accepted, as with the public as with professionals. People mock us that we are amoebas, tell us we are broken, that we need therapy, or right away tell us that asexuality doesn’t exist and we are saying it to be special, and many other.
Not to mention the survey, which I read about again in The Invisible Sexuality, conducted about whom people would accommodate and/or employ from the minorities. Homosexuals were first, then bisexuals, pansexuals, and asexuals were the very last. And here is also a nice part on it.
Still think we don’t belong into Queer/LGBT spaces, or is hate and discrimination used as a means to decide who has a place and who not? And if so, since when discrimination became such a privilege? Shouldn’t it be enough that we all don’t belong into the heteronormative society by not being heterosexual and cisgender? Do we get points now for hate?
Some say it’s because we don’t feel sexual attraction, which is true, we don’t, but is this really a good reason to deny us? True, we can feel alienated by it, but the fact stands that we do not consider ourselves a part of the (common) heteronormative society. And so if you deny us too, where do we belong then?
These are just a few. Of course, there is more to asexuality, much more, but for now I think this is enough and gives you a nice overview of what it really is and isn’t and why we need awareness work.