The asexuality alert journal is a miniseries where I journal my way through the Google alerts for asexuality during Pride month. This is the second post, where I talk about June 2-8.
Part of the point of this series was to compile statistics, to get a sense for where asexuality appears in the “mainstream”. So during this first week, I thought a bit about the best way to classify the alerts. This classification is still a work in progress.
Asexuality mentions – These are articles aren’t really about asexuality at all, but happen to include the word in a list of other identities. I have two subcategories: articles that spell out the LGBTQIA+ (or similar) acronym, and articles that explain what all the flags mean.
Reddit – I have no idea how Google Alerts decides what websites are worth including, and this is something that has changed a lot over time. At the moment, Google Alerts seems to like a particular website that appears to mirror Reddit. But like, the website itself is blank?? Gosh, I don’t know how to explain it. Long story short I got a lot of Reddit.
Most of the Reddit alerts are things I don’t want to talk about, but I still include them in the statistics. I also have a subcount of alerts from ace and aro subreddits.
Complete misses – I try to filter out articles about asexual reproduction of microbes, but they still get through sometimes. One got through this week, and well now I need a category for it.
Articles focusing on: a) Educating the reader, b) personal stories, c) TV, d) celebrities, e) books, f) memes. So far, some of these categories are still empty, so it’s based on a bit of speculation and past experience. The line between personal stories and the others can get quite blurry, but well I put each article into only one category.
In addition to the categories above, I’m also recording statistics on a few “themes”. Every article fits into exactly one category, but not every article fits into a theme. Currently, the themes I’m tracking are: demisexuality, rainbow capitalism, “bad”, and “hostile”. You’ll see examples of “bad” and “hostile” this week—a “bad” article is well-meaning but goes horribly wrong, while a “hostile” article is not well-meaning at all. I might add more or remove themes as I go.
Finally, I mentioned that I started tracking aromantic alerts this month. I’m afraid that I’m getting very few alerts, so I’ll just have three categories: Those which overlap with the asexuality alerts, complete misses, and the hits.
Statistics for June 1-8
- Total asexuality alerts: 39
- Asexuality mentions: 15
- Acronyms: 9
- Flags: 6
- Reddit: 8
- Ace/aro subreddits: 4
- Complete misses: 1
- Articles focusing on…
- Educating readers: 3
- Personal stories: 4
- TV: 5
- Celebrities: 0
- Books: 2
- Memes: 1
- Demisexuality: 2
- Rainbow capitalism: 1
- Bad: 2
- Hostile: 1
- Asexuality mentions: 15
- Total aromantic alerts: 5
- Overlap with asexuality alerts: 3
- Complete misses: 1
- Hits: 1
In past experience, TV shows tend to drive a lot of news coverage, especially whenever some character comes out as ace. Among the 5 articles this week, there was one that mentioned Bojack Horseman and a fan-analysis of Star Trek DS9. The other three were about Everything’s Going To Be Okay. The tricky thing about TV articles is that I don’t know anything about TV, so I have no idea if this is a new or ongoing thing or what. Well, let’s take a look at one of them.
A teenage girl on the autism spectrum tells her girlfriend, who is also on the autism spectrum, that she realized she actually isn’t sexually attracted to women.
Cool. Here’s another one:
Unfortunately, G.L.A.A.D. signs-off on most Hollywood scripts nowadays and is the arbiter of an increasingly extreme Gay, Inc. agenda. Therefore, these ludicrous storylines will only increase.
Oops, I stumbled into the one “hostile” article in the list! Let’s not link that one, it’s just not that interesting.
The “bad” designation goes to a Popbuzz article declaring the greatness of some Twitter meme. The meme places “asexual” on a “libido/sexual drive” scale, opposite to “hypersexual”, and “aromantic” is placed opposite to “hopeless romantic”. As a scholar of terrible graphs of orientation, I give this one a 3/10, slightly above the layer cake thing.
What about the good articles? Well at this point I’m just previewing stuff that will go in the linkspam…
There was a personal story about the impact of finding representation in Alice Oseman’s Loveless. Now, I have a small complaint about this one, in that the author leans a bit much on platonic love as a way to humanize people. Although, that’s kind of on Oseman IMHO. In the aro community there’s an identity/submovement about rejecting the centrality of love as a humanizing force–ironically the identity is called “loveless”, sharing a name with Oseman’s book.
On the subject of aro articles, there’s the one article I found via aromantic alerts, that didn’t show up in asexual alerts. It’s written by an allo aro, and it spends a lot of time going through aro 101. But there’s also a personal story in there about wanting to be a mother. This is exactly the kind of article I love seeing in my alerts–well written, thoughtful, and completely outside my usual circles.
See you next week!