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oriented aroaces

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The idea of oriented aroaces is something that I came across fairly recently. The gist of it, to my understanding, is that the split attraction model can include more than just sexual and romantic attraction and can include sensual, aesthetic, alterous, queerplatonic (etc.) attractions, and that any of these can be important enough to warrant a label of their own. Thus someone could be a straight aroace or a gay aroace or a pan aroace. 

When people describe crushes and romantic attraction to me I can say that I don't feel that emotion. Whatever it is that they are feeling, it's foreign to me. But at the same time some people are more "special" than others. Girls are definitely gorgeous in a way that guys aren't (sorry guys). And I think I do feel alterously or queerplatonically, I'm still not sure exactly what the difference is. I feel like some people do wind up in a gray area for me. I do want to cuddle with them and go on dates with them and build a life together with them but I don't want to kiss them or do anything beyond that with them. And with that I do have a preference: girls.

I feel like lesbian aroace is fitting for me, but I'm also hesitant to use it. I don't know if alterous and aesthetic attraction is really enough for me to also call myself a lesbian. I feel like maybe if I called myself that it would be unfair to real lesbians who do experience sexual and/or romantic towards women. And the more labels I take, the more difficult it is to explain my orientation to others. Hell, I can't really comprehend it myself.

I also think about amatonormativity in this mental debate with myself. Is it amatonormativity that has me telling myself that I need to spend my life with someone? I really do get attached to some people to the point where I can't imagine my life without them. But I don't know, maybe that really is normal for friendship and I'm just overgeneralizing the alloromantic people's seeming tendency to eventually leave friends behind. And is it amatonormative if you really want to spend yourlife with a small group of people?

I like lesbian aroace. It feels more right than any of the many other labels I've tried on for myself. But... I just don't know if it's really a real thing that I could use.

I just don't know.

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Yeah, I definitely feel similarly. I would technically consider myself to be an enbian aroace because I only feel queerplatonic and aesthetic attraction to other nonbinary people, but even though I'm partnered with another nonbinary person nblnb isn't really an identity I feel I can claim outside of aspec spaces. My qpp is nothing like a typical romance, and I don't want to overshadow enbians who feel romantic or sexual attraction, because that's a whole other set of experiences, and honestly enbian identity is so new and unknown anyways that I don't want to cause a lot of confusion for people who are just learning the term. 

 

It's difficult because on the one hand it is a label that fits me, but on the other hand, I worry about how my use of that terminology might negatively impact other enbians and that's a hard line to draw 

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3 hours ago, lonelyace said:

But... I just don't know if it's really a real thing that I could use. 

We have words and meanings of words. The meaning of words can change. According to the modern meaning of the word “dolphin”, a dolphin is not a fish because it does not have gills. Yet, in bestiaries from the middle-ages dolphins were categorized as “fish”. This is not wrong, it just reflects a different meaning of the word “fish” (e. g. has such-and-such a shape and is an aquatic animal).

 

What would be wrong is fully understanding the modern meaning of “fish” and believing that a dolphin is a fish in this sense.

 

Virtually all major encyclopedias and dictionaries define “lesbian” (noun) as a homosexual woman. If we accept that meaning, aroace lesbians are not a thing. Like fish who are mammals are not a thing. Period. Case closed.

 

We can only argue about if we should change the meaning of “lesbian”.

 

There are two reasons for this:

  1. Cleaning up our words for economical reasons. If we still would insist on calling dolphins fish, this would be annoying for biologists. It’s more convenient if normal language and scientific language agree. So we have all been taught the new meaning of fish (= “gill-bearing aquatic craniate animals that lack limbs with digits” – which is much more precise yet in most cases still honors tradition).
  2. We value a word for certain reasons, for example because is evokes certain emotions, has a cultural heritage etc. and want to make it more inclusive. As the ranks of the army and navy have been expanded in meaning to be used in the air force, too. Who knows… maybe someone did protest like “In the good old days commodores were on real ships on the ocean and didn’t fly around in those newfangled aircraft!!!” B|

To change the meaning of “lesbian” so that there are “aroace lesbians” imho clearly fails reason 1. It does not make anything clearer or more economical.

 

Regarding reason 2 I don’t feel qualified to say something. For practical reasons I don’t think such attempts will be well-received.

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Woof. This stuff is kind of a mess. I'm gonna put down some notes about the term "oriented aroace" first and then address some of the specific issues you raise.

 

While on the one hand, people choosing labels for themselves is their own business, I'm not thrilled about "oriented" (specifically) as a distinguishing label because, tbh, it makes it sound like folks don't think of aromantic and asexual as themselves orientations. Maybe that's just quibbling over semantics, I dunno. But I'm also not thrilled about how it's been used and defined, either. I've brought this up already elsewhere, but I'll just say it here too since it's relevant:

 

The term "oriented" aroaces was (apparently?) popularized by an anonymous-aside-from-their-tumblr-url tumblr user, who defines the term like this:

 

Quote

What’s a Bi Aroace and/or an Oriented Aroace?

In short, bi/gay/pan/etc. aroaces [oriented aroaces for short] experience attraction that’s neither romantic nor sexual, but is significant enough to warrant a place alongside their aroace orientation. Most often, this attraction manifests as the desire to form committed partnerships with people of one’s preferred gender(s), but other experiences with non-romantic/sexual attraction exist as well.

 

Anything else that's important to note?

This label was specifically created for aroaces who do not experience any kind of romantic/sexual attraction, though it fully welcomes those who do not know whether they feel such attraction or not. To avoid confusion between oriented aroaces and folks on the aroace-spectrum (demi/gray/etc.), please use "gay/bi/pan/etc. a-specs" for the latter group.

 

...And there's already problems with that alone, even aside from the confusing talk as if aro aces aren't on the aro & ace spectrums,* because "those who do not know whether they feel such attraction or not" and "grayros/gray-aces" are already overlapping categories. In other words, this definition is crunching the umbrella of grayness.

 

* Seriously folks. What the heck.

 

With that said, I also want to temper this with some acknowledgements. I do think it's fine for people to label identities on an unorthodox axis if they feel like it. That one tumblr user there isn't the one who invented that concept, after all. Aros and aces have been using multiple identity labels since well before that was called being "oriented." And if anything, I would like more attention drawn to unorthodox attraction, axes, & identities in general, because I could benefit from that myself, despite not using orientation language for all my attractions. ...I just don't like "oriented," specifically, in light of all of the above, as a way of doing that.

 

Anyway, more to the point--

 

3 hours ago, lonelyace said:

I feel like lesbian aroace is fitting for me, but I'm also hesitant to use it. I don't know if alterous and aesthetic attraction is really enough for me to also call myself a lesbian. I feel like maybe if I called myself that it would be unfair to real lesbians who do experience sexual and/or romantic towards women. And the more labels I take, the more difficult it is to explain my orientation to others. Hell, I can't really comprehend it myself.

 

This might be something to take up with lesbians & the lesbian community, but I can also understand why you might anticipate hostility there on this particular issue, so that places you in a tricky spot there. You're not alone though. I can think of at least three different bloggers off the top of my head who might relate, but just an example, you might be interested in this post by Aceadmiral about the attendant baggage (note the post introduces it as "homoromantic asexual issues," but it's worth noting that Aceadmiral themselves doesn't have a romantic identity and also wrote this).

 

So I guess what I'm thinking is... There's reason to anticipate some sensitivity there, and some of that reaction may be understandable but also not all of it will be correct. For the time being, for figuring out where and how to locate yourself, the questions that I think may be the most useful are 1) Do you want to be a part of/interact with lesbian communities? If so, how much/in what ways? 2) Do you want to connect with lesbians generally on the basis of lesbian-ness, or just lesbian aro aces? 3) Would seeking out more of the latter's narratives be helpful to you? Are you specifically interested in narratives of lesbian aro aces, or would you expand it to aro aces with unorthodox-axis identities more generally? Or even non-axial ones? 

 

3 hours ago, lonelyace said:

I also think about amatonormativity in this mental debate with myself. Is it amatonormativity that has me telling myself that I need to spend my life with someone? I really do get attached to some people to the point where I can't imagine my life without them. But I don't know, maybe that really is normal for friendship and I'm just overgeneralizing the alloromantic people's seeming tendency to eventually leave friends behind. And is it amatonormative if you really want to spend yourlife with a small group of people?

 

No, it isn't. There's nothing romance-supremacist about bonding with people and wanting to form longterm relationships. The only amatonormativite thing about that would be saying that that can only happen through romance -- which you're not saying.

 

3 hours ago, lonelyace said:

I like lesbian aroace. It feels more right than any of the many other labels I've tried on for myself. But... I just don't know if it's really a real thing that I could use.

 

If it feels right, then it's right. Any identity can be real if you make it real. What it sounds like you're asking, though, if there are others who do the same and what that looks like.

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2 hours ago, DeltaV said:

Virtually all major encyclopedias and dictionaries define “lesbian” (noun) as a homosexual woman. If we accept that meaning, aroace lesbians are not a thing. Like fish who are mammals are not a thing. Period. Case closed.

 

We can only argue about if we should change the meaning of “lesbian”.

 

Yeah, but this doesn't take into account that most major encyclopedias and dictionaries are written by cis straight people who aren't necessarily familiar with queer and lgbt+ language nuances.

 

Like that definition also leaves out: 

- Homoromantic women who aren't homosexual 

- Women who identify as lesbians due to trauma 

- Women who are sometimes attracted to men, but chose to identify as a lesbian due to a strong preference for women

- Nonbinary lesbians

 

All of which are groups that *most* LGBTQIA+ people agree are in fact part of the lesbian community. Assuming that standard dictionaries will have accurate and nuanced definitions of lgbt+ terminology ignores the power structures and social disconnects between those who use the identity term and those who write the dictionary itself. That definition isn't all-encompassing to begin with, so I don't think it necessarily needs to be adhered to when figuring out personal identity. 

 

1 hour ago, Coyote said:

If it feels right, then it's right. Any identity can be real if you make it real. What it sounds like you're asking, though, if there are others who do the same and what that looks like.

 

@lonelyace if Coyote is right and this is what you're asking I would recommend checking out the tumblr blog aroacelesbians

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1 hour ago, bananaslug said:

Yeah, but this doesn't take into account that most major encyclopedias and dictionaries are written by cis straight people who aren't necessarily familiar with queer and lgbt+ language nuances. 

That’s not the job of dictionaries. Most large ones today are descriptive, not prescriptive. They describe the predominant meaning of a word for all the speakers of a language.

1 hour ago, bananaslug said:

All of which are groups that *most* LGBTQIA+ people agree are in fact part of the lesbian community.

I’m sorry, I’ve gotten too old for untangling such obvious ouroboros situations. Do Xs decide who is an X? That sounds fair, but then who is an X?

1 hour ago, bananaslug said:

Assuming that standard dictionaries will have accurate and nuanced definitions of lgbt+ terminology ignores the power structures at play. That definition isn't all-encompassing to begin with, so I don't think it necessarily needs to be thought about when figuring out personal identity

Ouroboros again.

 

If aroace lesbians can exist or not depends on the meaning of words. Probably we don’t want to talk about this… maybe the question was: is it unethical to use/push the “aroace lesbian” label?

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48 minutes ago, DeltaV said:

They describe the predominant meaning of a word for all the speakers of a language.

 

Yes, I'm aware, and for the general public that works fine, but when getting into community discussions of "who can identify with x" you need a more complex understanding of the term and the community around it or else you're liable to end up gatekeeping. 

 

57 minutes ago, DeltaV said:

is it unethical to use/push the “aroace lesbian” label?

 

How are you defining "ethical" because I am honestly very uncomfortable with that question if you're using that word in the traditional sense. It isn't harmful or morally wrong for anyone to feel that a certain queer label fits them, even if it's an unconventional one, and honestly, that shouldn't even be a question.

 

 I think this is more an issue of respectability politics than anything else and whether or not people will view terms like aroace lesbian as "respectable" is a totally different question then whether on not the term is "ethical" to use. 

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To everybody who has commented so far, I really appreciate your insightful responses and I hope that there are more to come. I very much appreciate the discussion so far, though I'd like to comment on a few things.

 

3 hours ago, Coyote said:

I'm not thrilled about "oriented" (specifically) as a distinguishing label because, tbh, it makes it sound like folks don't think of aromantic and asexual as themselves orientations. Maybe that's just quibbling over semantics, I dunno. But I'm also not thrilled about how it's been used and defined, either.

I hadn't thought about this. In my mind aromantic and asexual are orientations and the oriented at the beginning is just to demonstrate the extra orientation. But I can see where you're coming from, and now that you've pointed it out, it will probably bother me a little bit too.

 

3 hours ago, Coyote said:

This might be something to take up with lesbians & the lesbian community, but I can also understand why you might anticipate hostility there on this particular issue, so that places you in a tricky spot there.

I only know one lesbian and I think that she would probably be pretty understanding. I've considered bringing this up with her, but the level of explanation this would require would be astronomical. Even then there's no guarantee that she would even get it. I have tried to explain all of this to my two queerplatonic partners with varying levels of success and as much as I would like to embrace this, the explanation is really a killjoy.

 

4 hours ago, Coyote said:

1) Do you want to be a part of/interact with lesbian communities? If so, how much/in what ways? 2) Do you want to connect with lesbians generally on the basis of lesbian-ness, or just lesbian aro aces?

My experience so far has been that the division between the different segments of the larger LGBT+ community exists almost entirely on the internet while real life queer spaces tend to be much more mixed. I could be wrong as I have heard of trans and asexual specific groups, but for the most part it seems being pretty mixed. That being said, yes, I think I would like to interact with lesbian/wlw communities. This aesthetic and alterous attraction to women has been a source of confusion for me, as I first identified as gay, then as homoromantic asexual before realizing that I didn't quite match up with what I was hearing from other homoromantic asexuals. I think it would be wonderful to interact with other lesbian aroaces but that doesn't seem likely to happen. I mostly get excited if I meet someone who fits one category, whether its lesbian, asexual, or aromantic.

 

4 hours ago, Coyote said:

3) Would seeking out more of the latter's narratives be helpful to you? Are you specifically interested in narratives of lesbian aro aces, or would you expand it to aro aces with unorthodox-axis identities more generally?

I would love to interact with others who have as you say "unorthodox-axis" identities. I almost think that @bananaslug and I should start a little support group or something of our own.

 

1 hour ago, DeltaV said:

If aroace lesbians can exist or not depends on the meaning of words. Probably we don’t want to talk about this… maybe the question was: is it unethical to use/push the “aroace lesbian” label?

To be honest my original question was somewhat muddled in my head. I was asking if lesbian aroace is a real thing, and I appreciate your input on that. I do tend to agree more with Coyote in that new identities can be made up. It seems to me that much of the lgbt+ community is built around creating new words to describe our diverse experiences. And yes, the ethicacy of using the lesbian aroace label is also a question in my mind.

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3 hours ago, bananaslug said:

I would recommend checking out the tumblr blog aroacelesbians

 

Hadn't heard of them, but e.e @ them using the lipstick flag.

 

41 minutes ago, lonelyace said:

I think it would be wonderful to interact with other lesbian aroaces but that doesn't seem likely to happen. I mostly get excited if I meet someone who fits one category, whether its lesbian, asexual, or aromantic. [...] I would love to interact with others who have as you say "unorthodox-axis" identities.

 

I've been trying to think of more specific links and people I could point you to for this... There are a couple of people I know, like Rowan and Sciatrix, who may well be pretty close to what you're talking about, but I can't think of specific blogposts of theirs atm that would be useful here. In addition to the Aceadmiral links, though, you might be interested in some of the stuff that Laura's written on being a homoplatonic aro ace, and potentially also some of what Elizabeth @Prismatangle (a grayro ace) has written on being "bi, not otherwise specified."    Actually come to think of it, on that topic there's also Vesper's video on being a bi-but-not-biromantic ace, too.

 

56 minutes ago, lonelyace said:

And yes, the ethicacy of using the lesbian aroace label is also a question in my mind.

 

You know... It occurs to me the dilemma you're facing kind of reminds me of the qualms I've had around butch identity -- I've mentioned on my Pillowfort blog before how I feel weird about using the term because I'm sure some people would view me as not "qualified" to touch it, even as indirectly as calling myself "butch-aligned." I still haven't completely resolved that for myself, but for me, here are what I consider to be some key questions on that front: Do I get something out of being recognized as "having something in common" with that group? And how much does/would it bother me to be "mistaken" for sharing traits I don't share, via that association? What are the risks and rewards of highlighting that relationship, for either of us?

 

I gotta head to bed soon but some of the arguments you might face seem pretty predictable from a ways off, so if you want we could also talk through what I think some decent counterarguments would be.

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I am generally of the opinion that if someone finds a label useful for themselves, they should use it? Yeah, be aware of context and how you're communicating it and stuff, but if you find a label useful for yourself, you should use it.  But similarly, people shouldn't feel forced into using a label, even if it technically applies, and thus people shouldn't try to force others to use a label.  Also, as far as the historical context with usage of words: back in the 70's and 80's, there were way less words, and the lines were more blurred between groups? Such as aces being lumped in with the bi community and stuff.  Also I think there was something about "bambi lesbians" who were....presumably ace? 

With butch specifically, like.....I know before I knew I was ace and aro, I knew that I was queer.  Before I figured out I was agender, I wanted to appear butch/androgynous, not only because of my unrecognized feelings about gender at the time, but also because I wanted to distance myself from femininity and what would be considered "conventionally attractive", because I did not want to cater to the male gaze, I wanted to do the opposite such that they wouldn't have interest in me.  There is a lot of overlap between lesbians and afab a-specs in how we both are....expected to be attracted to men and yet we're not, and subsequently how we want to distance ourselves from that.  From what I understand, both butch and femme are based at least in part on these experiences, which also apply to us.  And in general like.....we may only recently have the words for ourselves, but we have been part of the community for a long time, we just would've been grouped into different labels?  So in general, arguments trying to exclude us because of historical context are just.....completely mis-interpreting context.


***

I feel conflicted by the oriented aroace thing for myself in general.....because, like, I think I'm probably attracted mostly to other enby people? or enby and women but not men? But I also don't know, because while I do feel a distinct attraction worth labeling, the only solid descriptor I have of it is that it is very Demi.....so I usually go with demiplatonic.  So, I guess technically I could be demi-oriented aroace? But the way it is set up seems to be only based on gender direction of attraction.....and uh considering they way the coiner has excluded arospec and acespec people, I a) am irritated with it on principle and b) feel that if I did consider myself that way, it would be misconstrued as demiro/demi-ace.....which would have backlash. 

And I can't really label gender direction with any accuracy because like......I have a sample size of 2 and 3 halves? And with several of them, gender knew them to be at beginning changed? So yeah, it's confusing.....Overall I feel really conflicted over the label so I'll probably just stick with demiplatonic since the aplatonic-spectrum is an established thing which I've always related to to some extent, and even though attraction might be less platonic and more.....mix of queerplatonic, alterous, and sensual, it is simpler. 

(suppose tangent to overall conversation, but had thoughts wanted share and stuff)

 

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On 4/29/2019 at 4:32 AM, bananaslug said:

Yes, I'm aware, and for the general public that works fine, but when getting into community discussions of "who can identify with x" you need a more complex understanding of the term and the community around it or else you're liable to end up gatekeeping.  

I gave this as an example. Because I’m still wondering what is the question? Is it a question purely about the word lesbian (how it is used by whom, etc.) or is it a question that we have no sufficient understanding of because we do not have elucidated what lesbian means?

 

Do we want to behave like Humpty Dumpty:

 

 "I don't know what you mean by 'glory,' " Alice said.
    Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. "Of course you don't—till I tell you. I meant 'there's a nice knock-down argument for you!' "
    "But 'glory' doesn't mean 'a nice knock-down argument'," Alice objected.
    "When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less."
    "The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."
    "The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master—that's all."

    Alice was too much puzzled to say anything, so after a minute Humpty Dumpty began again. "They've a temper, some of them—particularly verbs, they're the proudest—adjectives you can do anything with, but not verbs—however, I can manage the whole lot! Impenetrability! That's what I say!

 

… or not?

 

So would you want to tell me what the complex meaning of the word lesbian might be so that we can have a discussion if there can be aroace lesbians?

On 4/29/2019 at 4:32 AM, bananaslug said:

How are you defining "ethical" because I am honestly very uncomfortable with that question if you're using that word in the traditional sense. It isn't harmful or morally wrong for anyone to feel that a certain queer label fits them, even if it's an unconventional one, and honestly, that shouldn't even be a question. 

Well, sorry. But I didn’t even ask “Is it ethical to use the label aroace lesbian?”. I just asked if that was the question!

 

In general, I think that certain usage of words can be unethical – like manipulative. It could be downright illegal, as in fraud. It’s probably of no use in a court of law if I told you the stone in a ring is a diamond (yet in reality it is cubic zirconia) and defend myself like Humpty Dumpty.

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5 hours ago, DeltaV said:

or is it a question that we have no sufficient understanding of because we do not have elucidated what lesbian means? Do we want to behave like Humpty Dumpty...or not?

 

I am not suggesting that there is no clear definition of lesbian, or that every person should dictate for themselves what that word mean. What I am suggesting, is that when trying to figure out who does or doesn't "count" as a lesbian we should be curious as to how lesbians define themselves, because only taking into account the ways in which a, most likely straight and cis, dictionary editor defines the word "lesbian" won't give us a complete picture of how that word is used.    

 

6 hours ago, DeltaV said:

So would you want to tell me what the complex meaning of the word lesbian might be so that we can have a discussion if there can be aroace lesbians?

 

It's been several years since I identified as part of the lesbian community, so I don't think it's necessarily my place to define this word, but I will happily pull up some alternative definitions of the word "lesbian" from actual LGBTQ+ organizations. 

 

GLAAD: "A woman whose enduring physical, romantic, and/or emotional attraction is to other women. Some lesbians may prefer to identify as gay (adj.) or as gay women"

 

National LGBTQ Task Force:  "A woman whose romantic, emotional, and/or sexual attraction is towards other women."

 

PFLAG: "Refers to a woman who is emotionally, romantically, and/or physically attracted to other women. People who are lesbians need not have had any sexual experience; it is the attraction that helps determine orientation."

 

It's worth pointing out that while these definitions, are all quite similar to each other, they're distinctly different from the Merriam-webster definition. None of them use the word "homosexual" which is a term most gay and lesbian people consider derogatory, and all of them specify that there are different kinds of attraction that might lead a woman to identify as lesbian. These definitions are also much more inclusive of the groups I listed above, and leave more room for the existence of lesbians who feel attraction in less conventional ways. 

 

I'm not saying that Merriam-webster is necessarily wrong, but I think it's important to consider how a community describes itself when having these conversations because they're the people who will ultimately be most impacted by who ends up using that label.     

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On 4/30/2019 at 11:53 PM, bananaslug said:

I am not suggesting that there is no clear definition of lesbian, or that every person should dictate for themselves what that word mean. What I am suggesting, is that when trying to figure out who does or doesn't "count" as a lesbian we should be curious as to how lesbians define themselves, because only taking into account the ways in which a, most likely straight and cis, dictionary editor defines the word "lesbian" won't give us a complete picture of how that word is used.

The stated job of nearly all English dictionaries is to describe the meaning as used normally by English speakers. They probably did that correctly here. In my observation someone not deeply involved in LGBTQIA+ issues would scratch their heads if they encountered “aroace lesbian”.

 

To let Xs decide what X means sounds very nice and fair but runs into the obvious circularity problem. E. g. what if (!) cis women define “woman” in a way that trans women aren’t women?

On 4/30/2019 at 11:53 PM, bananaslug said:

It's been several years since I identified as part of the lesbian community, so I don't think it's necessarily my place to define this word, but I will happily pull up some alternative definitions of the word "lesbian" from actual LGBTQ+ organizations. 

 

GLAAD: "A woman whose enduring physical, romantic, and/or emotional attraction is to other women. Some lesbians may prefer to identify as gay (adj.) or as gay women"

 

National LGBTQ Task Force:  "A woman whose romantic, emotional, and/or sexual attraction is towards other women."

 

PFLAG: "Refers to a woman who is emotionally, romantically, and/or physically attracted to other women. People who are lesbians need not have had any sexual experience; it is the attraction that helps determine orientation."

 

It's worth pointing out that while these definitions, are all quite similar to each other, they're distinctly different from the Merriam-webster definition. None of them use the word "homosexual" which is a term most gay and lesbian people consider derogatory, and all of them specify that there are different kinds of attraction that might lead a woman to identify as lesbian. These definitions are also much more inclusive of the groups I listed above, and leave more room for the existence of lesbians who feel attraction in less conventional ways.

That “homosexual” is derogatory (usually regarded more so as a noun) is a different issue.

 

Now, if we take the above definitions, there can obviously be aroace lesbians.

On 4/30/2019 at 11:53 PM, bananaslug said:

I'm not saying that Merriam-webster is necessarily wrong, but I think it's important to consider how a community describes itself when having these conversations because they're the people who will ultimately be most impacted by who ends up using that label.     

I don’t know how a definition can ever be wrong. There can be other problems with a definition like that it is very far removed from standard usage, misleading/manipulative, offensive, harmful, unwieldy, etc.

 

Since Merriam-Webster is a descriptive (not prescriptive) dictionary, they would simply state a wrong fact if they gave a definition that didn’t match what English speakers usually mean by a certain word. Don’t blame the messenger! B|

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