Have A Very Merry Christmas!

Just a quick post to wish everyone a Merry Christmas ANC may 2015 be a wonderful year for you all. Thank you to all who have taken the time to read, view, comment, and follow my blog.

I want to give a special thanks to Bryan Patterson for his support and kind words to get me to advertise this blog and for the tips he’s given mad for this blog. Bryan, thank you.

Have a Merry Christmas and New Year everyone. I’ll be back next year.

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‘There’s Gotta Be Somebody….’

I can’t say how many times I’ve heard/ read that there’s ‘somebody out there fir everybody’. But is that ‘somebody’ always a romantic partner? I’d say, ‘no’.

  • It could be a best friend
  • Queer – platonic partner
  • Close family memberm
  • Maybe even a pet
  • Maybe multiple people and relationships are important to someone.

I was thinking about this when I was on Facebook before. The big problem we have when defining that ‘special someone’ is that, well, at least I think, that aromantic asexuals in particular are  automatically excluded. But why? Why can’t a platonic or queer – platonic relationship be given just as much emphasis?

Look, it understand for most people, a ‘significant other’ is going to be a romantic/ sexual partner. It’s never going to be for everyone though. But I believe everybody needs to loved regardless. To quote Canadian rock band Nickelback:

‘Nobody wants to be the last one there

Everyone wants to feel like someone cares

Someone to love, with my life in their hands

There’s got to be somebody for me like that

Cos nobody wants to do it on their own

And everyone wants to know they’re not alone

Somebody else that feels the same somewhere

There’s gotta be somebody for me out there’. (Note: yes, in the context of this song, Chad Kroeger is talking about a romantic/ sexual relationship. But I still think it can apply to the need for love in general).

 

 

 

The Need For Affection

Mamamia and news.com.au both adopted the story told originally to New York Magazine about a 58 – year – old heterosexual male who claims going through life not having lost his virginity or ‘without having a proper kiss’. This isn’t due to a choice to remain celibate. He links his lack of success with women to low self – esteem stemming from an abusive father. All the articles I’ve read seem to indicate more than just a lack of sex. It seems to be a lack of intimacy in general.

I’m not knocking the fact that this man would love an intimate relationship, but this story obviously goes beyond that. This man is looking for love and affection that he, by the sound of it, didn’t get while growing up, especially from his dad. As a result, it seems to me that he finds it extremely hard to connect with anyone, let alone on a sexual level.

The thing is, we all need to know we’re loved, from childhood throughout one’s life. To me, that’s the tragedy of this story. Non – voluntary celibacy, along with an eventual lack of desire seem to be symptoms rather than the problem. He’s even rejected suggestions that he could just see a sex worker. Obviously, he wants more than that.

I’ve often said that celibacy should be chosen by the individual, not thrusted on an individual. But regardless on whether we’ve had sex or not, we all need some form of love and intimacy in our lives. ThT to me, is  what this story is really about.

 

has anyone else read the story? What did you think about it?

 

What is Misogyny?

Trigger Warning: mention of rape and violence. If this is triggering for you, please get any help you need.

  I’ve written before that one of my pet peeves is when people misuse the term misogyny. Msogyny is defined as: dislike of, contempt for or ingrained prejudice against women. 

So, what does that mean in real – life terms? I think deeply ingrained attitudes that lead to gross mistreatment of women and young girls, either personally or culturally and systematically. Examples include:

  • ISISystematic abuse (particularly rape) against women and girls, forced marriage, etc (for example: ISIS)
  • Toxic attitudes that say that women do not have the right to have autonomy over their bodies (e.g. Julien Blanc)
  • Bullying of female employees in the workplace (note: I’m not talking about banter. I’m talking about deliberate degredation of women in the workplace)
  • Comparisons of women to ‘meat’ in regard to hoe a woman dresses. Again, I think it’s used to diminish a woman’s right to own their own body and sexuality

So there’s a few examples from the top of my head on what I think misogyny looks like. Now I’ll talk about what I think misogyny ISN’T:

Misogyny isn’t mere disagreement with a woman or a particular issue attributed as a woman’s issue, (e.g an opinion on working mothers necessarily).

I think misogyny goes beyond just being rude (or being to be perceived as rude) to a particular woman (this is from something I heard last night which sparked the idea of this post. Please take note, I do not endorse nor condone being rude to anyone).

 

I am sick of the term ‘misogyny’ being thrown around too willy – nilly. It really doesn’t help anyone who is the victims of oppression or crimes I believe that are caused, at least in part, because of misogynistic attitudes.

There are some of my thoughts. What are your thoughts on what misogyny is and do you think that the term is too often misused?

Is Sexuality Private?

From time to time, people say ‘sex is private’. True. However, issues surrounding sexuality are (or seems to be) increasingly not private. Just think about it; why is gay marriage often such a heated topic? Why are sexual and gender minorities over – represented in ill – mental health, self – harm and suicide statistics? Why does the mention of LGBT+ issues cause such a storm to the point of hatred? Surely if it was just a ‘private’ issue, it wouldn’t haves such an affect, would it?

When talking about the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, critics argue ‘they shouldn’t shove it in our faces’. However, the Mardi Gras started in the late ’70’s as a protest against discrimination and police brutality against gay men in particular. This ‘private issue’ saw people being electrocuted to theoretically rid the ‘patient’ os same – sex attraction. It made young LGB people in particular, go through unprofessional, sometimes downright unethical ‘counselling’ that in turn, proved to harm the patients psychologically.

This ‘private issue’ saw asexual teens and young people feel alienated and broken. It sees asexual people being asked deeply personal questions, only to have their answers backfire back on them. Asexual people are also subject to institutional discrimination in some parts of the world.

If it was such a ‘private issue’, something that people don’t need to know about, will all this still go on? Maybe it’d be great if it could just be ‘private’. But the past ANC in some cases, ongoing discrimination against LGBT+?people is a public matter.

Should Asexuals Use The Term ‘Queer’?

Should asexuals adopt the term ‘queer’? Where should the term be used?

Sometimes, debate is sparked,  both within and outside the asexual community about whether asexuality should be considered ‘queer’. An online survey published in ‘The Invisible Orientation: An Introduction to Asexuality revealed that 41% of respondents did identify with the ‘queer’ label. So is it? First, what is the definition of ‘queer’? Simple answer, depends who you ask.

If you look historically and socially, the term ‘queer’ is most often used as a slang term for gay. However, that strict definition has become to include more people: those who are Trans or not gender conforming, people who are a gender, people involved in kink/ fetish, and people who live non – traditional lifestyles, such as those involved in polyamory and sex work. Such a broad definition has faced some fierce criticism on Tumblr and other platforms from people who argue that gay people should use the term, and not people like asexuals.

So, is asexuality ‘queer’? I never use the term myself when talking/ blogging about asexuality. It never really crosses my mind to be frank. I’ve personally don’t have a problem with using it (in a non – insulting way). I think before it is used in any context, people’s feelings should be considered. The territorial nature of some people who argue that asexuals shouldn’t use the term I think are deliberately out to be divisive and are unnecessarily antagonistic. I understand that many LGBT have been and still face persecution. I’m not denying that. But there is something I want to point out too: most of us (well the ones I’ve seen on Facebook), want to ally with the LGBT. Many do rally at Pride parades in their cities and even support gay marriage. Some asexuals are even same – sex attracted themselves; not sexually, but romantically (homoromantic, bi – romantic,etc). Not exactly the same thing, I don’t think many people, if anyone, pretends that it is. Just let those people in!

As mentioned before, some people use the term ‘queer’ to describe non – normative sexual lifestyles that is not necessarily anything to do with one’s sexual/ romantic orientation. I don’t have any issue a about it personally. I just hope debates like this don’t cause unnecessary division and hostility.

What do you think about the term ‘queer’? Host should it be used, if at all?

Discrimination Against Asexuals

Trigger Warning: This post speaks about sexual violence. If this is triggering for you, feel free to move on from this post. Get any professional help you may need.

I’m up to the part in the book “The Invisible Orientation: An Introduction to Asexuality”. I’m going to change tactic though and say what I think about the whole issue from what I’ve read in the book (the chapter’s too long to do a brief post, I think).

We hear about homophobia all the time. It’s come to a point, where in society, it’s generally frowned upon. Someone can even be sacked or prosecuted for making an overtly homophobic comment, or at the very least, be under public pressure to apologise (especially if it’s caught by the media). However, I can’t help but think the same standards are being held against asexual people. It’s like, in some cases they’re fair game. Now, before anyone jumps on me, I’m very aware of the oppression that LGBT people face. I’ve talked before about it on this blog. But asexual discrimination I feel is just as important, but little known. Some areas of discrimination faced by asexuals include:

  • Not having marriage legally recognised
  • Alienation and disfavour within religious communities
  • Refusal to be able to adopt
  • “Corrective” rape
  • Discrimination from the mental health professionals
  • Self – hatred/ internalised discrimination

Having a marriage annulled because of a lack of sex

By what I’ve read, it sounds like marriages, at least in the US can be deemed iligitimate if it’s known that the couple aren’t having satisfactory sex and a partner complains about it. And this is a problem for the government because? Why not get them to seek professional help (no, not just to ‘fix’ the asexual) to get the couple to work out their relationship and work on a compromise that they’re both happy with? If such an arrangement doesn’t work out, then maybe, the relationship wans’t meant ot be. But once a marriage is in place, the government should be play no role policing how such a marriage should opperate (unless, of course crime is going on). Maybe I’m mistaken. But it just seems a bit off to me.

Alienation and disfavour within religious communities

Some religious communities are very heteronormative, especially if they have a very strict traditional view of gender. She talks about how many asexuals feel demonised for their orintation, or like in mainstream society, made to feel like there’s something wrong with them. I just want to interject a view from what I’ve personally viewed.

In some Christian circles, even Evangelical circles, there is a move away from enforcing marriage and demonising people, simply for being single. They even quote Paul from the bible to accomodate their approval. However, I’ve often wondered whether this comes out of a form of political correctness; like people feel like they HAVE TO accommodate singles in a bid to not be demonised from the outside. Then again, they could just be making the decision to be more accommodating. But this doesn’t cover people in non – sexual, but romantic relationships.

Sex is expected to be a given in marriage in a Christian context, especially if they hone on the fact that they strongly believe that sex should be reserved for marriage. I actually think they go too far sometimes. I’ve even read in a book wher the Evangelical Christian author practically blamed infidelity on the partner that withold sex. Now, to do it out of spite, I can understand that’s not good. But to make a blanket vilification against a partner that can’t have sex or are not comfortable with it isn’t right. I’m inclined to agree with Decker when she condemned such an attitude as being abusive.

Refusal to be able to adopt

Apparently, in the US, there have been incidences where a couple have been refused adoption due to couples (or at least one person) being asexual. I think the idea behind it is that they should be able to reproduce naturally? Anyway, I think it’s ridiculous. Again, invasion of privacy. And it needs to be said, why? Why does a couple’s sexual practices (so long as they are legal and consensual), have any bearing on whether they should be able to adopt or look after a child? I don’t get it. Mind your own business, for heaven’s sake! If a couple is having troubles, let THEM sort it out and determine what action should be taken NOT government agencies!

“Corrective” rape

Decker says in the book, as well as her video on discrimination, that asexual women, in particular, can be vulnerable to sexual assault. The perpetrator can be either a stranger or even a partner/ spouse. It goes on the stupid theory that an egotistical maniac can “turn” a woman because of his own grandiosity (at least for the stranger part), which is ridiculous! In intimate partnerships, an asexual partner can feel bullied into having sex with their partner. When this happens, and the partner who’s been (let’s be honest here), raped opens up, according to Decker, people are likely to be sympathetic to the perpetrator rather than the victim.

NEWSFLASH: spousal rape is now illegal in most Western countries, including Australia in the mid 1970’s. So there should be NO EXCUSE. I’ll say it again, if a couple feels like they need help in regarding sexual issues, they should feel free to look for it, but NOT for the sole purpose of humiliating one of the partners!

Discrimination from mental health professionals

The latest edition of the DIagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM V), changed the definitions of Hyposexual Desire Disorder (HSDD) and Sexual Arousal Disorder (SAD), deliberately differentiating them (particularly HSDD) between the disorder as opposed to asexuality, which is the orientation. In 2010, asexual advocates, including founder of AVEN David Jay demanded that these modifications be made. Unfortunately, apparently, not all health professionals have caught on. Asexuailty can be fixated on as a “problem” in a person’s lives, regardless on whether the client focuses on it or not. To me, this is unethical, frankly. Mental health professionals are not there to plant ideas into client’s heads! They’re there to HELP  the client work through their issues (without intruding), so they can live life that they want (I studied Community Services for two years, which included modules on couselling and client/ professional communication). From what I’ve read, if a licensed professional did the same thing to someone who was gay, they’d be deregistered, or at the very least, disciplined by their medical/ psychological board. Why aren’t asexuals given the same respect? Fortunately, there are therapists/ counsellors out there who recognise asexuality as an orientation and are likely to treat the asexual client respectfully. Decker hinted that it might be best to seek a counsellor who has experience in LGBT counselling.

Self – hatred/ internalised discrimination

This part made me cry, because I get it. It is something that people can go through, and it can be quite psychologically harmful. It’s very easy to do, hard to get over. Fortunately, I can honestly say that I’m coming to a place where I’m accepting who I am. I’m not completely there yet, but better than what I have been in the past.

The pain can be exacerbated if the person feels like they should isolate themselves in a bid not be rejected from others. By “isolation”, I’m not just talking about it in a physical sense. I’m talking aboutbeing in a group, but feeling like you can’t (or shouldn’t) open up about your own experiences in fear of being rejected if the topic of relationships, marriage pop up. Somtimes, the second one is more painful. Sometimes, when an asexual opens up, I won’t lie, it can backfire. However, somtimes, coming out can be liberating as well.

The chapter as a whole was quite disheartening. It really opened my eyes to how a lot of work needs to be done to eradicate sexual orientation – based discrimination. I’m quietly hopeful. With more visibiility, more advocacy, hopefully we’ll come to a point where discrimination against asexuals will become more frowned upon.