Asexual Journal Club: Emens 2013

Two weeks ago, we discussed “Compulsory Sexuality,” a paper discussing the relationship of asexuality to (largely American) law, particularly in terms of anti-discrimination law.

Emens, E. F. 2013. Compulsory Sexuality. Stanford Law Review, 66, 1-68.

This paper is not yet formally published but is an advance publication of a paper that will be appearing in the Stanford Law Review in the May 2013 issue. It begins with a lengthy introduction to asexuality as an identity for a presumed non-asexual audience and from there transitions into a discussion of asexuality in relation to law. For the most part, the paper discusses potential cases of asexuality interacting with currently existing law in the absence of actual existing cases. In particular, the paper focuses on job discrimination, housing discrimination, and marriage law. There is also a brief discussion of the one currently existing piece of legislation (in New York State) that explicitly protects asexual people from discrimination. There is no more in-depth summary available that I am aware of, but the entire paper is publicly available here should you wish to read further.

A general transcript of of the week’s conversation can be found here. Briefly, the conversation focused on some of the following topics:

  • the recent attempt to get asexuality included in the latest version of ENDA
  • the existing piece of New York legislation citing asexuality as a protected class
  • whether asexuality protection is more likely to happen as a function of precedent set by judicial decisions or by legislation
  • legal definitions of sexual orientation
  • whether asexuals do or don’t classify sex differently than allosexual people
  • asexuality in the workforce
  • whether asexual people really see the world all that differently from allosexual people
  • asexuality and marriage law
  • the history of anti-sodomy laws
  • whether younger or older aces are likelier to be out at work
  • whether any of us (all graduate students) happened to be out at work

As a reminder to anyone who would like to join in on these journal clubs, they are held at 1:00 PM PDT on Saturday afternoons over a group Skype chat. People who would like to be added to the skype chat should contact Skype user sennkestra and ask to be added to the group. Next week, we will be discussing “Asexual and autoerotic women: Two invisible groups,” a book chapter published in 1977 that is possibly the first academic publication to discuss what we now think of as asexuality.

Johnson, M. (1977). Asexual and autoerotic women: two invisible groups. In H. Gorchros & J. Gochros (Eds.), The Sexually Oppressed. New York: Associated Press.

About Sciatrix

Sciatrix is an American graduate student studying ecology, evolution and behavior. She identifies as asexual and has mostly given up trying to sort out the whole romance thing for now. She has previously blogged about asexuality at Writing From Factor X. In her free time, she trains in canine agility and knits oddly cabled hats.
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2 Responses to Asexual Journal Club: Emens 2013

  1. Brin says:

    on Saturday afternoons (that’s today!)

    But…today’s Monday. Was there a delay in the RSS feed? *looks up* No, this says it was posted May 6th. Copy-paste error?

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