Question of the Week: October 25th, 2016.

What do you think of the word asexual sometimes being defined as an organism that can reproduce by itself? 

When I first started identifying as asexual the common usage of the term was the scientific biological one, but perhaps times are changing. I haven’t heard anyone call me an amoeba in a while. In the past looking up the word asexual on the internet would bring up the biology definition right away, but I had to specifically seek it out today.

About Talia

Talia is an asexual, nonbinary, vegan-feminist that drinks a lot of coffee and stays up very late playing Blizzard video games and writing fiction. They are working on a PhD in Environmental Studies where they think a lot about oppression as intersectional and impacting identities differentially. Talia has a particular fondness for asexuality, fandom, and Critical Animal Studies. Their personal blog is petuniaparty.tumblr.com
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8 Responses to Question of the Week: October 25th, 2016.

  1. I have a Google Scholar alert to look for new academic papers on asexuality but it still tends to find a lot of biology papers about organisms which reproduce by themselves, which is annoying.

  2. That’s actually something I’ve talked about on my tumblr (a mini rant post, I guess).
    In my mother-tongue (portuguese), “assexuado” is used to refer to asexual reproduction, and “assexual” is the word for the sexual orientation.
    When people first started talking about asexuality in brazilian internet, the term “assexuado” was still common, though, as people use use web translators to understand what english-speaking internet was talking about; it’s a thing in our brazilian community to also correct when people use the wrong term, since it doesn’t sound like an orientation, but as a disease in our language. TBH, people calling us “assexuado” makes me sick and I walk away or pretend the person isn’t talking to me.

  3. teenbutch says:

    I am actually a biologist! I love the idea that some organisms can reproduce without having sex- did you know that a particular lizard that lives in the desert is all female and reproduces asexually, but has to first be “sexually aroused” by the another female lizard before it reproduces? I guess the more we know about the world around us, the more we can come to accept all parts of humanity as well (just my theory). I mean, if amoebas can exist without having sex, why can’t I? Mostly, I’m just jealous though…

  4. Sennkestra says:

    Honestly, I sort of appreciate having a word with another existing meaning because it has so much potential for wordplay and puns and the like. Also, amoebas make for great mascots imo.

  5. Nowhere Girl says:

    An English-speaking problem mostly. Someone mentioned Portuguese – in Polish, too, these are two different words: “aseksualny” as “not experiencing sexual attraction” and “bezpłciowy” as “reproducing by itself” (word structure: bez – without, płeć – sex/gender, owy – adjectival suffix). So no obvious amoeba puns for Polish asexuals. 😉

  6. Nowhere Girl says:

    Oh, one more things. Something that irritates me much more is yet another meaning for “asexual” – completely non-scientific, even very colloquial, but used anyway. I’ve seen it several times in Polish, but I think some people use it in English too: some people use the word “asexual” as if it meant “sexually unattractive”.

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