harp: (LolWut?)
This is a reply to Guardian's excellent, fun, entertaining post smacking the Sexual Privilege Checklist. Crossposted at Dreamwidth because Livejournal, you so ugly now.

I already mentioned on Guardian's journal that when it comes to orientations, Asexuals are the 1%, to put it in "Occupy Wall Street" terms and that stupid checklists are popping up because of Tumblr Social Justice Asshole McCarthyism.

From the Asexuality Tumblr:

I’m envisioning the creation of a new tumblr to gather examples of sexual privilege. Stories could work too. I am really excited about this project but I definitely couldn’t take it on alone (also, I suck at images). Let’s do this while it’s still boiling our blood!
And there we have the biggest problem with all of these checklists. They're not based in thoughtful emotion, they're based in emotional thought- and there's a huge difference between the two. It's not about education or making a change or making anything better. It's about being angry and yelling and feeling put-upon and having a contest to see who suffers the most. Why "do this while it's still boiling our blood"? Because once things are settled and given thought, it becomes clear that we are not oppressed. We're annoyed, irritated, exasperated, bothered, and bored with the endless questioning, but oppressed? No.

Let’s create a resource so the next time the sexual privilege argument comes up, we can slam our checklist down on the table! Let’s DO THIS!!
"Let's get our proof ready so next time everyone's crying about how hard they have it, we can join in so they won't suspect us of being happy, because as we all know, this is McCarthyist Internet and if you're found guilty of being happy, you're automatically assumed to be part of the problem."

Following up on the issue of sexually inactive men's masculinity being challenged
Now... how about this interesting twist? "That's only insulting to women because they're saying it's shameful to be a woman."
I can see that. Does this mean it doesn't happen the other way around?
"If a woman is portrayed as doing manly things, she's seen as sexy. It's a compliment, not an insult. It's not an insult to be considered masculine."
Well... what about when they diminish or insult the femininity of fat women or lesbians or women who are dressed in big clothes? They're implying that they're masculine, and it's not a compliment. It's a "bad" thing.

Quickest way to get to an issue is to wipe away all the us vs. them frills on it and get to the base issue. So all "us vs. them" varnish wiped away, "when a human being deliberately tries to make another human being feel as though their gender identity makes them are unworthy of kindness or respect, that's mean."

Tangental as HFIL: At a GLBT College conference, I went to a gender ID workshop with my friend Ben. The speaker's main point was "we should just get rid of gender". Ben really disliked that. He explained to me that his identity as a (gay) male, masculine presenting person was important to him. I wasn't getting it at the time; I really though "we should get rid of gender; I wish we could get rid of gender!" Two weeks later, I came out as trans.

Yeah, that was more about me wanting to not deal with my own issues. But now, I do get what Ben was saying. Mostly. More, anyway. For example, I don't mind being ID'd as a super huge mega lesbian "bull dagger" (*Is that supposed to be an insult? What's it mean? Is it a dagger to be used by a bull, or perhaps a dagger made out of bulls? I don't see how it's supposed to be insulting. You fish arrow. you squirrel gun, you... duck knife. That one does sound like it could be an insult. Or a compliment? Ducks can't use knives, so if one did, it would be pretty skilled.)

If you date someone of a different sexual orientation, you are not accused of being abusive
I bet bisexuals who date hetero/homosexuals get accused. Either of "the safety of het priviledge" or "as soon as a (person of the same sex) comes along, you'll run to them".

I am generally not asked to educate others on my sexuality or answer personal and uncomfortable questions regarding my sexual behavior.
That's not oppression, that's a natural consequence of people being curious when they come across a new concept. Sometimes it's done out of respect (I'm going to ask questions so I don't make a mistake) and sometimes it's obnoxious curiosity. Either way, no, it isn't your job to educate anyone or to answer any questions. The polite solution to this is to remind the person about personal boundaries and social etiquette. Or, you know, you could just start asking uncomfortable questions back, but most of the time, they don't seem to mind talking about it... weird.

Tangent #2- I just remembered a classmate from Northland that none of the students really cared to be around because she was very stubbornly opinionated. I guess she kinda thought she knew more than we did because she was married and had two kids. I didn't mind her, but the story I'm about to tell is an example of the kind of opinions she had. She told me that she thought I was being transgender because the new trend was gender ambiguity and that I was trying to be different. I was too hurt at the time to think of it, but now I'm just laughing about it. Lady, I was a dark skinned New Yorker in a town in Wisconsin with the population of 800. I think I had the "different" thing covered. If only I'd been as trolly as I am now. By the way, another opinion she had was that she wasn't getting her dog vaccinated because she heard that vaccinations made animals "less of a pure bred". I'm not kidding.

My sexual identity does not lead people to believe that I am an amoeba or capable of asexual reproduction.
Nobody with a working brain actually thinks that; this is just stretching to find something to cry about.

Know what kind of list would seriously be justified? A "people attracted to their own age group privilege" checklist. Coming soon: An Entry Explaining my Weird Indignation on the Subject.

If I choose to date, it is fairly easy to find people of my sexual orientation.
That's not a priviledge, that's a natural outcome of having a rare sexual orientation! It's not like someone exterminated all the dateable asexuals! It's nobody's fault. Nobody is imposing anything on you by having their own orientation.

My sexual orientation is not considered a disease in the DSM.
Alright, in general, for something to be considered a disorder worthy of the DSM, one of the criteria it must fit is that iit has to cause the person in question distress. It's not like anyone's going to go rounding up all the asexuals to "fix" them. In general, nobody will know you're asexual until they spend a certain amount of time with you or unless you outright tell them.

You do not have to explain your sexuality to romantic partners
Almost all of these things are just maintenance that comes with the territory or non-issues.

If I am distressed about my sexual orientation, it is usually possible for me to find a therapist who is experienced in this area and won’t treat my sexuality as a problem to be fixed.
If your orientation is causing you distress, then what would you say is the problem that needs to be fixed? Also, have you ever even been to a therapist? Fixing things doesn't mean making them the opposite or getting rid of them. In this case, it's most likely going to be about reframing your orientation in your mind so that outside factors don't cause you to distress about it. And by the way, show me the therapist that'll try to change your orientation. Won't be a very good one. Even second year psychology students know that.

If I’m heterosexual and read a novel or short story with sex or romance in it, there is a good chance my orientation will be represented. If I’m gay, lesbian, or bisexual, there is at least an entire niche publishing industry for me.
Ok, this one right here. This was the item that made me stop taking this list seriously (if I ever did).

#1- That's not a privilege thing- that's an "it comes with the territory" thing.
#2- Those novels are written from the POV of a sexual, written by a godamned sexual. Moreover, the story is telling about the experience in the life of one character or set of characters. It strikes me as getting butthurt and whiny at Snow White because it didn't represent villagers and baristas with kidney problems.
#3- Write what you know. If you want to read a story about asexuals, then write one! Because we all know that if a sexual tried to write a story about an asexual, they'd be just begging for buthurt losers to point out every which way that the story "doesn't represent them aaaacurately" or "is ZOMGOFFESIVE WAAAAH!" It's like... you can't win in that situation. It's either "you're not representing me at all BOO FUCkING HOO" or "THAT'S NOT ME, BOO FUCKING HOO". I wouldn't mind so much except nobody ever offers alternatives. It's always just "NO THAT'S BAD BAWWWW!". It doesn't take much to tear someone down, to be a fussy, whiny, colicy infant. What takes energy is saying "do this instead". But they'd rather throw fits and be huge babbies.

In casual discussions of sexual orientation, my sexuality will often be mentioned.
In casual discussions about smoking, my smoking habits will be mentioned. This is smoker priviledge. If I am a non-smoker, I do not experience this privilege.

I’m not accused of slut-shaming based on my orientation alone.
Guardian:On the other hand, it's totally legit to accuse someone of slut-shaming just because they CHOOSE not to have sex

Like religious people! "I'm a devout (some faction of Christiantiy, as it's the one most often seen as opposed to this sort of thing)" Oh, they probably assume that all sex is bad. At the risk of making all sorts of people assume all sorts of things, lemmie just say that my super duper Christ Crispie sister, a super duper Baptist, the lady who married a man whose ambition is to have his own church, the woman whose new LJ name is "lovedByGod2", the woman whose AIM away message is "I'm reading my Bible and so should you", really likes porn, is not opposed to visiting sex shops for kinky marital aids, has had premarital sex, and commented positively on my Ron Weasley Bondage Art.

When you see forms asking for sexuality for diversity reasons you see something that represents you or is close to you in the options.
Annoying, but unless it's a study about something sex-related, and I mean about the act or something, you can generally leave it blank and that's as good as an answer. Or write "Asexual"? And if those options aren't there and "other" isn't there, it's usually one of those optional questions.

People don’t think my sexual orientation is a result of having “given up” on finding sexual / romantic partners.
Again, most of these come with the territory of the relative rarity of the breed and people trying to learn the new thing by applying the schema they already have. Like those children's toys with the pegs and shapes? It's giving the child a new peg, a heart shaped one. She's going to look at it, then try to put it into the round hole because it has a round top, then the triangle hole because it kinda looks like that, then the square one because why not, and on and on trying to make sense of the new information given.

I second your annoyance with that list, Guardian.

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August 2016


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