Question of the Month: November 19th, 2019.

How often do you think or talk about being ace? 

Is being ace a daily topic and always on your mind? Is it the primary frame of reference for your identity? Or is it one of many ways you understand yourself? Not so important? Changing over the years?

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“An Asexual World”: Asexuality in Death Stranding

It’s always fun when you’re watching a show or playing a game, and find a surprise mention of asexuality. Sorry, I meant to put “fun” in scare quotes.

I had bought the game Death Stranding on the day it was released, and within a few days I learned that among its many text logs, there’s one titled “An Asexual World“. It’s not good. After describing asexuality, the text speculates–and laments–that most people in the post-apocalyptic world of Death Stranding are asexual.

First I’ll explain what Death Stranding is about, how “An Asexual World” undercuts its message, then Queenie will discuss the Japanese context from which it arises.

Part 1: Death Stranding

cn: I will avoid spoilers as much as possible, only discussing the premise and themes that should be apparent from the start.

Death Stranding is a AAA game by famed video game auteur Hideo Kojima, his first game after leaving Konami. Kojima is best known for the Metal Gear series, which broke the stealth genre into the mainstream. His style is cinematic and literary, with political commentary that some would say is too on the nose. Death Stranding takes place in a world where a major catastrophe forced people live in isolated bunkers. You play as Sam Porter Bridges, a porter who traverses the American wastelands to connect people together.

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Linkspam: November 15th, 2019

On Fridays, we will share links to news, blogs, and anything else we find interesting.  We can’t catch everything, so you are invited to self-promote in the comments!

Ace Blogging

aceadmiral talked about non-explicit representation in fiction.

Jude Tresswell briefly discusses sexual-asexual relationships, the subject of their new novel and short story.  An audio reading of the short story is included.

Fuck Yeah Asexual and Naomi Clark talked about some very problematic text in Death Stranding.

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Restored Carnival of Aces: “Mental Health and Asexuality”

The Carnival of Aces has been around for many years, and some of the blogs that have hosted carnivals have gone defunct.  In some cases, I’ve restored the archives by finding someone who reblogged the carnival, but in other cases I’ve had to use Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine.  I’m mirroring three of them here, and this is the last of them.

February 2018: “Mental Health and Asexuality“, originally hosted by hurricane sophia

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Linkspam: November 8th, 2019

On Fridays, we will share links to news, blogs, and anything else we find interesting.  We can’t catch everything, so you are invited to self-promote in the comments!

Ace Blogging

Coyote wrote about QPR revisionism, and how it gets misused for aro reparations.

redbeard explained the Equality Act in the US.

Community Activity

The Carnival of Aces is seeking submissions, with the theme of “Asexuality and Animals”.

News & Outreach

them published an article about how zines paved the way for asexual recognition, featuring the Ace Zine Archive

Aro blogging

AUREA has a guide to dealing with loss of friendships.

The October Carnival of Aros, on “Aromanticism and Aloneness” has appeared.  The November Carnival of Aros is seeking submissions, with the theme of “Aro Community Wishlists”.

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Carnival of Aces: Reaching Out, Reaching in

The Carnival of Aces for October has been posted on Ace Week.  The theme was “Reaching Out, Reaching In”.  Please take a look!

The next Carnival of Aces is being hosted by Constance Bougie.  The theme for November is “Asexuality and Animals”.  Get your submissions in before the end of the month!

The Carnival of Aces is hosted by volunteers each month.  If you would like to volunteer, please see the masterpost for instructions.  The next available slot is in December.

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We need to talk about straight aces

I’m continuing my series on “The Discourse”, that big flame war that occurs on Tumblr regarding the inclusion of aces in LGBTQ spaces. I wish to strip away euphemism, so I’m calling it “The Ace Flame War” rather than “The Discourse”.

Of all the consequences of the Ace Flame War, one of the strangest to watch was the transformation of the word “straight”. It used to be that some aces would identify as straight, just as some would identify as gay or lesbian. But aces identifying as straight became taboo. A lot of aces seem to prefer “heteroromantic” or simply “hetero”. And to this day, if I ever mention straight aces I get people telling me off for implying that straight aces exist.

You know, I run this survey and I know very well that many aces still identify as straight when prompted.

What happened? As I’ve discussed before, the Ace Flame War was nominally about whether aces should be included in the queer community. And “queer” was set up in opposition to “straight”. Aces wanted to argue that they were queer, and therefore argued that aces cannot be straight–no, not even the heteroromantics.

A few people pointed out that that “queer” and “straight” were never mutually exclusive in the first place, but that rhetoric never gained traction.

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Posted in Articles, asexual identity, asexual politics, LGBT, romantic orientation | Tagged | 14 Comments