Question of the Week: July 25th, 2017.

Have you ever been caught out by your own internalised prejudices?

One example for me is even as a girl that loves tech, I have approached a guy in a video games store to ask a technical question instead of a girl, only to be redirected to her because she knows more about that topic.

I have done the same thing with other asexual folks, assuming they would never be interested in kissing or cuddling or even sex because that was the dominant narrative I was used to hearing, even though it wasn’t even the one that matched my own experiences.

About astarlia

Astarlia is proud of herself for only having volunteered for..... okay if you have to stop and count it's probably too many things isn't it? She is passionate about nerd culture, disability and mental health, alternative relationships, sexuality, and young adult fiction.
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5 Responses to Question of the Week: July 25th, 2017.

  1. Talia says:

    I also sometimes assume asexual people aren’t interested in sex because of the dominant ace narrative that doesn’t even match my own experience. I always have no idea whether an ace person will want to kiss or cuddle. I’m not sure why I draw the line. My assumption about aces and sex feels like an internalized prejudice, but also a very confusing stereotype that is simultaneously well meaning and exclusionary. When other people repeat that dominant narrative and make the same assumption I get frustrated because I feel excluded. When I repeat that narrative it’s usually on purpose; I know from ace community surveys and ace discourse that most aces aren’t interested in sex or vehemently do not want it. I go out of my way to remind myself that being sex-favorable is not common and I shouldn’t take up too much space (because often I assume the last thing sex-averse/repulsed and sex-neutral aces need to hear is more people talking about an interest in sex). There’s this unspoken feeling that I can belong in the ace community as long as I don’t talk too loud, but in doing that I actually invalidate myself and other people who experience asexuality like I do.

    • astarlia says:

      That’s a really good comment, thanks ❤

      I see a similar thing a lot about alloromantic aces trying to be respectful of aromantic folks.

      I think that sex-favourable ace rep is important too, otherwise you end up with people like me who *know* about asexuality but *still* doesn't think it applies to them bc they aren't sex averse…. (i got over that, but it took a REALLY long time)

  2. Rachel says:

    I don’t know if this counts as internalized prejudice per se but… I find it really difficult to conceptualize my aro aceness as really queer/LGBTQ+. While I adamantly support the inclusion of aromanticism and asexuality under these terms, I find them ill-fitting when applied to myself. I’ll use them as technical terms that communicate “hey, I’m not straight” but I’m uneasy with applying them to myself as identities:

    – LGBTQ+ and queerness, as popularly conceived, are dominated by people who are alloromantic and allosexual. In other words, people whom I have no more in common with than I do with straight people.
    – The constant fighting over the real-estate of queerness and LGBTQ+, and whether aros and aces ought to be welcomed under it, even if it means sharing space with people who hate us (not everyone, but enough)… It makes me doubt whether that real-estate is really worth it.
    – I definitely run afoul with conceptualizing my own relationships as “inherently queer/LGBTQ+.” I firmly oppose the idea of the idea of queerness as necessarily behavioral and performative, but I’m not wild about it being an inherent and passive quality either (it feels cheap in a participation trophy kind of way). Like, I don’t have a QPR, don’t fancy my odds on getting one, don’t even especially need one, and don’t otherwise engage in non-heteronormative relationships. My friendships? Pretty normative, tbh. Should my friendships be framed as essentially heteronormative even though I’m not hetero-anything? That feels wrong. Should my friendships be framed as inherently queer because I’m not straight, even though they are qualitatively pretty normative? That feels wrong too (again, participation trophy).

    • Cracticus says:

      I found following a lot of people and groups who welcome aces as queer and spending time around people who also accept aces as queer has gradually made me comfortable identifying as such. But I will admit, it did take a while.

  3. Rachel says:

    And I’ve thought of some more stuff:

    – I’m basically the inverse of Talia, in that I’m very much the kind of aro ace that the dominant community narratives describe: sex-averse, romance-averse, etc. So I find myself falling into the trap of the like-minds fallacy, assuming that my flavor of aro aceness is the default (and it kind of is, but that’s not a great perspective to work from).
    – Related to what astarlia pointed out, I feel like there is this real wedge between aro aces and alloromantic aces, especially between aro and lgb aces. Aro and het aces being lumped together for the purposes of gate-keeping (even though it makes no sense to do so) definitely exacerbates the feeling that lgb aces are ostensibly more acceptable by LGBTQ+ (even though that is definitely not the case, and no, lgb aces do not have it better).

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