Asexuality Alerts: Week 2

The asexuality alert journal is a miniseries where I journal my way through the Google alerts for asexuality during Pride month. This is the third post, where I talk about June 9-15.

Of celebrities and Hollywood

Remember how last week, I made a category for celebrity news even though I didn’t have any examples yet? This week, I found 11 news stories about David Archuleta, an American Idol finalist from 2008. He said he wasn’t sure if he was gay, bisexual, or asexual.

This is basically how it always happens. It’s almost always a celebrity I’ve never heard of, who “comes out” as asexual to the journalists (to say nothing of whether they were out in their personal lives), and often the statement is made in a way that leaves some doubt as to whether they actually understand what asexuality even is. This all gets filtered through celebrity journalists, who frequently don’t know what they’re talking about.

In this case, I think Archuleta knows what he’s saying. But in Hollywood, you can’t take that for granted, because “asexual” is still periodically used in premodern ways. I also got an alert this week for a trailer for the upcoming film, “Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard”, where there is a joke referring to asexuality:

It must be your powerful asexuality that makes you such a good listener.

I’m afraid that my sparing intellect is not sufficient to analyze that one.

Of statistics and lies

This week, I also learned about a new Ipsos study on LGBT adults, which found that 1% of adults identify as asexual, based on a survey of 27 different countries. 2%, if you just look at Gen Z (1997+). Neat to get those trans-national statistics.

In another article, I saw a statistic saying 1.7% of adults identify as asexual. I rather like this article, being a look at local organizing in Iowa, but it’s marred by how wrong that statistic is. Remember in the first alert journal, I went on a tangent about Rothblum et al. 2020, and all the readers thought, “gee why does Siggy have such an axe to grind about some random paper?” Well let me tell you! The paper and press release say it’s a study of sexual minority adults, but if you dig into the methodology, they filtered participants on whether they were specifically gay, lesbian, or bisexual, disqualifying people who identify only as asexual. The Iowa article gets this even more wrong by changing “sexual minority adults” to “adults”.

At this point do I even put the article in the linkspam? I have to have some standards.

Of aromantic hostility and oils

You know, I had to change the query for aromanticism (to “aromantic” -chemical -chemicals -oils). I think filtering out “aromatic” removed too many legitimate stories–not because people are misspelling it, but because google accounts for the possibility that the user has misspelled it. I did not realize that it would be so hard to get aro alerts. Or that the alerts would be of such miserable quality.

I did get one hit this week, but it was bad. It merely included aromantic as part of the acronym… and it was from a hostile conservative website. It goes to show that opponents are quicker to include aromanticism than queer people are.

From the complete misses, I learned that there is a cosmetics company called “Aromantic UK”. Just… why?

Of nicer things

There were two more articles that stood out as particularly nice. Vice had an interview with an asexual sex worker–a cam girl. That one can go in the linkspam. And there was a fairly basic article from the New Indian Express.

The article from India is kind of generic, IMO, but I wanted the excuse to mention that not all alerts come from the US. While my vision is limited to English media, in the past several years I’ve seen a large growth in coverage in India. I don’t know the details of what Indian activists did to achieve this, but it’s clearly an achievement! In honor of this, I’ve added an “India” theme to the statistics.

Statistics for June 1-15

  • Total asexuality alerts: 71
    • Asexuality mentions: 22
      • Acronyms: 15
      • Flags: 7
    • Reddit: 8
      • Ace/aro subreddits: 4
    • Complete misses: 1
    • Articles focusing on…
      • Educating readers: 4
      • Personal stories: 7
      • TV: 6
      • Movies: 1
      • Celebrities: 11
      • Books: 4
      • Memes: 3
      • Video games: 1
      • Research: 2
    • Themes…
      • Demisexuality: 2
      • India: 3
      • Rainbow capitalism: 2
      • Bad: 3
      • Hostile: 1
  • Total aromantic alerts: 8
    • Overlap with asexuality alerts: 3
    • Complete misses: 2
    • Hits: 2

See you next week!

About Siggy

Siggy is an ace activist based in the U.S. He is gay gray-A, and has a Ph.D. in physics. He has another blog where he also talks about math, philosophy, godlessness, and social criticism. His other hobbies include board games and origami.
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1 Response to Asexuality Alerts: Week 2

  1. Pingback: Asexuality Alerts: Week 3 | The Asexual Agenda

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