i was reading an article today critiquing ‘click activism’ a.k.a ‘slacktivism (‘A Click Is Not Enough’, Johanna Lovatt, Weekend, p. 8, Herald Sun, 23 January 2016). I agree with the premise of Lovatt’s article.
The problem is, very rarely does ‘click activism’ change ingrained attitudes that havve caused the problem in the first place (especially when it comes to discrimination. I want to talk about that more shortly). Very few people donate funds or time to issues that they, according to their Facebook profile, are supposedly passionate about. I think it even goes further than that.
Seeing many Facebook profiles with the rainbow filter after the SCOTUS ruling and nationwide legalisation of same – sex marriage across the U.S. was heartening, and, to be honest, with some surprising. I hope that was a start of discussion and a safer environment for members ofcthe LGBTQ+ community. Or is it? Will people be able to come out more freely without fear? Will people will more openly condemn discrimination and mistreatment faced by the LGBTQ+ community? Will LGBTQ+ people be able to raise concrns without being criticised or shouted down? Forcthose who championed the SCOTUS ruling last year, will you stand up for people who are bisexual? Pansexual? Transgender? Asexual?
In regard to asexuals, i want yo write a few points on how
people can support people who come out as asexual and
the comunity in general.
- Educate yourself. Learn exactly what asexuality is.
Resources that may be helpful include Asexuality Visibility Education Network (AVEN) website, research done by Canadian Anthony Bogaert. You can search a number of videos by SwankyIvy (real name, Julie Sondra Decker) on YouTube. She also has a book ‘The Invisible Orientation: An Introduction to Asexuality”. The book can be downloaded from Itunes.
Be wary if you see media items about asexuality. While many reports and representations are OK, there are some that are not well informed.
2. If someone comes out to you, believe them. Many asexuals realise that they lack sexual attraction in puberty (not all, but many). My guess if someone comes out to you, they are not ‘too young’ to know.
3. Please DON’T pester asexuals about dating or sex. It’s unlikely that dating or having sex with the ‘right person’ will change their mind
4. Please keep questions respectful. Don’t cause embarrassment asking unnecesssarily personal questions. This includes when an asexual person is in a romantic relationship.
5. Please allow asexual friends/ family members to join conversations. This may main refraining from certain topics that the asexual person maybe uncomforable with. Let them bring up topics they want to talk about.
6. If you know, or are close to people who are asexual, let them know you love and care about them.
7. Remember, the person who has come out to you is the same person he/ she/ they, etc always were
8. Be vocal against sexual assault, indecent assault or sexual harrassment that asexual people can be victims of. That includes
being vocal when an asexual friend is being pestered and receiving unwanted advances.
Activism, whether on – line or real life should be about fighting injustices faced by people. I think knowibg what the cause is, the pitfalls and how to combat those injustices is a start. Also, activism should, ultimately be an everyday thing. So, criticise discriminatory slurs, stand by LGBT+ loved ones. Educate yourself and love and accept asexual loved ones. With these steps, this just may combat discrimination.
So, that’s my list so far (sorry for tge dodgy spacing. Just the Ipad I’m on at the moment).
Any advice I missed?