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Coyote

What can we do besides wordsmith?

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Hey folks please keep it civil and don't quote abusive posts since that's just throwing gasoline on the fire. I think this is a good discussion, so I'm leaving it open unless it gets out of hand.

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On 6/27/2019 at 10:47 PM, Scoop said:

You actually both confirm and ended up disproving my statement here. There are no flags coming from Arocalypse, of course not, it's not an image based site. However I did say vocab is likely to come out of here and ykno when I scrolled back further than the current — I think it's about 4 of 5? — threads the next 20ish aren’t about vocab at all. So 1) Arocalypse isn’t trapped in the vocab and language debate like many other areas of the aro community, 2) you can ask: well what is the forum building instead? and 3) it's meant for discussion and it's fulfilling that goal. I shouldn't have been so quick to add it to the list of 'places where people want to do more but are trapped by This Is The Way Things Are Done Here'. Obviously Arocalypse has its own problems — this thread unfortunately went off track and I've seen it happen on other threads also — but the format of the site isn't one of them.

 

That sounds about like what I was thinking, as well. So... not to be a broken record here, but I think addressing this problem of a neolabels-over-discussion cycle would have to mean... moving more aro community engagement away from platforms that tend more in that direction, i.e. Tumblr.

 

Btw, you mentioned Discord as well, but I mainly use Discord just for IMing people I already know and haven't explored many group servers -- can you say more about what the state of aro discord looks like?

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New month, same stuff.

 

"the fact that this word has two definitions - no platonic attraction vs. no queerplatonic attraction - makes any discussion very confusing."

Does it? Does it really?

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10 hours ago, Coyote said:

New month, same stuff.

 

"the fact that this word has two definitions - no platonic attraction vs. no queerplatonic attraction - makes any discussion very confusing."

Does it? Does it really?

Searching for "definion of aplatonic" returns only definitions of "platonic", which isn't useful at all.

Searching for "definition of platonic attraction" returns 

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Platonic attraction is more of a spiritual and emotional attraction to someone you like. It is above sexual or physical needs of an individual. You usually have platonic relationship with your best friend even if he or she is of opposite sex . ... First teen crushes are often platonic.

Which comes from this Quora post.
Also found are the Wikipedia entry on Platonic love; the Urban Dictionary definition of platonic love and and AVEN forum post on the distinction between platonic and romantic attraction.

There appears to be little consensus when it comes to the meaning of the term. As well as conflation between "attraction" and "love".

 

Searching for "definition of queerplatonic attraction" returns

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A queerplatonic (or quasiplatonic) relationship is a relationship that is not romantic but involves a close emotional connection (platonic) beyond what most people consider friendship. The commitment level in a queerplatonic relationship is often considered to be similar to that of a romantic relationship.

Which is the AVEN wiki definition of a QPR.
Also found are an AVEN forum post on the distinction between alterous and queerplatonic attractions along with the Urban Dictionary definition of queerplatonic.
Again there appears a lack of consensus about meaning and conflation of "attraction" with other things.

 

Searching for "definition of alterous attraction" returns
This from AVEN

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For those who haven't heard of it, alterous attraction is a sort of gray area between platonic and romantic attraction. It's defined as "described as wanting emotional closeness without necessarily being (at all or entirely) platonic &/or romantic". You can have a romantic or platonic orientation and be alterous.

 

This, subtely different version, from Urban Dictionary

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Alterous Attraction is normally used in the asexual/aromantic community. It describes feelings you have for someone that is neither strictly platonic or romantic; It's somewhere in the middle

 

And this from the previously mentioned AVEN forum

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According to its vague creator given definition, alterous can mean 5 things; all of which already have titles. Here’s a link to that definition.

Creator’s definition slightly reworded for better clarity:

Alterous is desiring emotional closeness with someone specific; nothing more, but the person feeling so is not comfortable with calling the feeling romantic or platonic for whatever reason.

(So it's not necessarily being between the two; it may be between the two, or they may feel romantically/ platonically but not want to use those words, or they may feel something they associate with romance because they don't know about the following words or other attractions. And the creator never mentions that any other attractions can be felt under it. The other definitions you see of alterous are not the creator's definition and exist through the grapevine effect.)

1) a desire to further know/befriend someone; this desired bond can vary from friends, to close friends, to best friends, and can include nervousness

(a squish)

2) desiring or having closeness/importance stronger than the best friend norm

(a type of QPR or queerplatonic squish aka queerplatonic crush)

3) not being comfortable with calling things romantic or platonic

(a relationship anarchist)


4) having romantic attraction, but either the desires for the relationship are close to platonic/sparsely romantic, the feelings aren't intense, or involve no sensual desires

(hyporomantic, gray-romantic, or asensual alloromantic)

5) someone who can't tell the difference between romantic attraction and platonic attraction; which can possibly be fixed by better explanations

(quoiromantic aka wtfromantic)

 

Searching for "definition of nonamory" returns. (Strangely few people appear to realise that it means "asexual" in Latin.)

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Nonamory means the person wouldn't want to have a partner. ... It was my impression that nonamory could also refer to the lifestyle of an alloromantic person who chooses not to seek romantic relationships, in the same way an allosexual person can still be celibate.

From this tumblr post  with it's specific "no QPR" definition here.
This term appears to have at least two different meanings.

 

 

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On 7/7/2019 at 9:15 AM, Mark said:

Searching for "definion of aplatonic" returns only definitions of "platonic", which isn't useful at all.

 

I can't tell if you're saying "yes, it is too confusing" or if you're saying something else.

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20 hours ago, Coyote said:

 

I can't tell if you're saying "yes, it is too confusing" or if you're saying something else.

Looking for "definition of aplatonic" only returns definitions for "platonic".
Looking for "platonic" gives various definitions.


Urban Dictionary

Quote

aplatonic
not experiencing platonic attraction; having no desire for friendships.

Quote

aplatonic
Having no intimate feelings for others, especially those one has sexual relations with. Many would describe being aplatonic as stupid and often cruel. Aplatonic people typically lack a common moral compass and truly believe it to be a sexual orientation. Anyone they have sex with is purely for their own personal pleasure.

 

LGBTA Wiki

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Aplatonic
.

Aplatonic is an term used by a-spec individuals that do experience platonic attraction.

Despite the first impressions of the word aplatonic people can still have friends and still desire friends. Aplatonic is a term used to describe aromantics who do not get squishes (platonic crushes) like some a-spec people do.

 

Aplatonic can also be used by a-spec people with a schizophrenia-spectrum disorder. It is used to describe how some people with a schizophrenia-spectrum disorder do not desire friendship, or do not feel like friendships bring them emotional satisfaction.

 

Asexuality Blog (tumblr)

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The term aplatonic does not mean someone who doesn’t want friends. It does not mean someone who doesn’t have friends, or someone who is antisocial. It is not ‘uwu I don’t have any friends I’m so queeeeeer’. No, stop spreading that information. Aplatonic is simply a descriptor used by some aro people to explain that they do not experience squishes nor desire to be in qpps/qprs. 


The term appears to have a third, rather misanthropic, usage. Apparently related to using "platonic" as a synonym for "friendship".

Even with different antonyms to "platonic attraction" and "queerplatonic attraction" there's still the problem of huge ambiguity.

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On 7/11/2019 at 1:39 PM, Mark said:

Even with different antonyms to "platonic attraction" and "queerplatonic attraction" there's still the problem of huge ambiguity.

 

So what are the consequences there? Has anyone been in a situation of, say, calling themselves aplatonic,* then getting mistaken for not-experiencing-queerplatonic-attraction, and having to clarify, "no, wait, I do experience queerplatonic attraction, just not platonic"? I mean, what? I won't presume to know for sure, but that would surprise me if so. I kinda think of queerplatonic as a subcategory of platonic, in some ways -- the difference is to what extent its manifestation is normative, in contrast to the delimited "just friends" expectation, not some inherent essential difference unto itself.

 

*Sticking a pin in here as a reminder that the original introduction of the word aplatonic didn't even involve the concept of "platonic attraction" -- that's a retroactive interpretation based on the asexual-as-lack-of-sexual-attraction definition, and people apparently like to interpret these things as a parallel set.

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On 7/12/2019 at 3:15 PM, Coyote said:

So what are the consequences there? Has anyone been in a situation of, say, calling themselves aplatonic,* then getting mistaken for not-experiencing-queerplatonic-attraction, and having to clarify, "no, wait, I do experience queerplatonic attraction, just not platonic"? I mean, what? I won't presume to know for sure, but that would surprise me if so. I kinda think of queerplatonic as a subcategory of platonic, in some ways -- the difference is to what extent its manifestation is normative, in contrast to the delimited "just friends" expectation, not some inherent essential difference unto itself.

 

I haven't experienced this personally, but I ran into someone on Tumblr who has, relevant posts here and here

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13 hours ago, raavenb2619 said:

I haven't experienced this personally, but I ran into someone on Tumblr who has, relevant posts here and here

 

Well fry me in butter and call me a catfish.

 

Thanks for the links. Okay, let's see...

 

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Yes, there are two definitions to aplatonic. but the one that’s commonly used is about qp attraction. It’s gotten to the point where that’s mainly what ‘aplatonic’ is misunderstood to be.

 

...commonly? This is all news to me. It would be convenient if people would more often link what they're talking about, but oh well. The second link does include an example of this to me that just reads as one person being weirdly clueless. Can't tell from that how widespread this really is.

 

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Aplatonic means ‘experiences little to no platonic attraction’

 

Quote

Aplatonic is the lack of general platonic attraction.

 

No, it doesn't, and no, it is not.

Or rather, if people want to use it for that as well, fine by me, but it's pretty rude to exclude the coiner's own meaning of the term. In his introduction of it, he makes no mention of the concept of "platonic attraction." I really wish people would cool it about always making everything about attraction all the time.

 

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My big concern with that, in associating platonic attraction and qp attraction under the same label, was people assuming that qp attraction was ‘just another form of platonic/friendship-ness’.

 

Is that really that bad of a thing? The "queer" in "queerplatonic" comes from "queering" the notion of the platonic -- operating outside of social norms for relationships that aren't definitively-wholly-romantic. Differently platonic doesn't mean not platonic. Trying to essentialize queerplatonic as some inherent essential specific thing, somehow separable from and totally not a friendship, is worse, in my opinion, than anything they're concerned about there, and can only come from the kind of thinking we saw with alterous, where people are embracing -- rather than disputing -- an across-the-board definition of friendship as a specific and limited status.

 

In other words, fretting over queerplatonic being viewed as a subcategory of platonic.... feels... amatonormative.

 

Quote

Yeah, the aplatonic label is a descriptor for aromantic people.

 

In a followup post, this user clarifies that they're aware it isn't just for aromantics & was in fact coined by a homoromantic. However, they're also saying that it "became" aro-specific (?), and also this:

 

Quote

I’ll still say that it’s a term largely used by aromantics, but that aspec non-aros/alloros can also find it useful. (I say aspec non-aros/alloros because I don’t see why non-aspecs would need the word ‘aplatonic’.

 

What is this based on? Do we have any particular survey data on who does or doesn't use "aplatonic"? How can we be sure who it's "largely" used by, besides just whoever you've been running into, personally?

 

This user says they "don't see why non-aspecs would need the word," presumably meaning "people neither on the ace nor aro spectrums," but in fact, the Twitter account Aplatonic Agenda was run by someone who considered themselves an alloromantic allosexual at the time.

 

On that note... if people are attached to this idea of the term "aspec," for a general "a-spectrum," then... why wouldn't that include "aplatonics," inherently? Regardless of their sexuality or romanticism? I mean, what's the justification for the framework here?

 

Quote

Yeah, aplatonism originated from the trauma and/or ND community. 

 

...huh? No, it originated on AVEN, in the ace community. The original thread mentions abuse but doesn't frame itself as a conversation in "the trauma community" at all. I don't understand framing it that way. If you want to say that's a group that's really picked up on it, then you can do that without misrepresenting where it "originated."

 

Quote

Many don’t like it when qprs are compared to ‘just friendships’ because qprs are meant to be a queering of what’s traditionally acceptable in platonic relationships. The two aren’t the same.

 

See, this is what I was talking about. It's not that they're "not the same." It's that "friendship" doesn't have to be "just."

 

Anyway hot dang is there a lot of misinformation out there about these two terms, even among people trying to clear up the misinformation. It would be cool if Tumblr offered folks absolutely any option for redacting this sort of thing once it's already been circulated.

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I'm really confused right now. I thought aplatonic was about queerplatonic attraction, but apparantly I was wrong and erasing people? But I don't get what platonic attraction is exactly. I mean, I guess I sometimes feel it as I initiate some friendships with people, but it didn't sound like an attraction, more a desire (though it was directed to someone so I guess it was an attraction anyway?), and not often.

 

And now, can we name the lack of queerplatonic attraction? Aqueeplatonic is ugly and with some problems from what I heard. Asquishy? Nonsquishy? My, I am confused.

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5 hours ago, nonmerci said:

I thought aplatonic was about queerplatonic attraction

 

Nope. I'm really confused where people are even getting this. Is it in one of the wikis or something?

 

5 hours ago, nonmerci said:

But I don't get what platonic attraction is exactly.

 

I don't either (like, whatever feelings I feel, I wouldn't call it that) -- but when "aplatonic" was suggested, the person suggesting it didn't say anything about "platonic attraction." He was just talking about not bonding closely with friends.

 

5 hours ago, nonmerci said:

And now, can we name the lack of queerplatonic attraction?

 

Why would we do that (again)? That's basically what this thread was in response to people already trying to do. And to me, it's like... I don't know, it's like have a word specifically for "not being a Cheondoist." It's just so niche and specific to even know what queerplatonic means anyway. The way I think about it, we have words like aromantic and asexual because of amatonormativity and sexnormativity. Is their a comparable.... queerplatonicnormativity? I mean, geez, if there's anything even like that, it's on such a small scale that I think we should just try and fight the norm directly in our tiny communities, because it seems like this whole thing is just one big misunderstanding.

 

Like I asked before -- how many people even have QP relationships? I think some people may be getting too many of their impressions of Aro Community Experiences just from looking at word lists. This is, again, a part of why I suggested that AUREA put together some personal narratives on aromantic experiences, so that people would have some real meatier stuff to dig into and feel reassured by.

 

Also, like, not... everything has to be in the attraction framework. I wouldn't say I "experience queerplatonic attraction," but that doesn't mean I'm deliberately avoiding or personally alienated by the concept, and I sure don't want to be made to say I have a null queerplatonic orientation.

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19 hours ago, Coyote said:

...commonly? This is all news to me. It would be convenient if people would more often link what they're talking about, but oh well. The second link does include an example of this to me that just reads as one person being weirdly clueless. Can't tell from that how widespread this really is.

Well, between New month, same stuff, "Aplatonic is simply a descriptor used by some aro people to explain that they do not experience squishes nor desire to be in qpps/qprs" from Asexuality Blog (Tumblr), the two links from arrtypo, and the following aromantic wikia link, I'd believe that there's a reasonable amount of conflation going on. 

 

https://aromantic.wikia.org/wiki/Queerplatonic

Quote

"Squish", which is used as the platonic version of "crush", is another term to describe partners in queerplatonic relationships - even if the queerplatonic relationship has its own term "plush" as an alternative for "crush". Mostly used to describe the feeling of wanting to have a queerplatonic relationship with somebody, this term can also be used inside the relationship as an alternative to "zucchini". It can be used as a verb as well as a noun.

I haven't seen "squish" used as a term for partners in QPRs, but given this association of squish and QPRs, I can see how someone that knows that aplatonic is about squishes would also think aplatonic is about QPRs and vice verca. 

 

20 hours ago, Coyote said:
Quote

My big concern with that, in associating platonic attraction and qp attraction under the same label, was people assuming that qp attraction was ‘just another form of platonic/friendship-ness’.

 

Is that really that bad of a thing? The "queer" in "queerplatonic" comes from "queering" the notion of the platonic -- operating outside of social norms for relationships that aren't definitively-wholly-romantic. Differently platonic doesn't mean not platonic. Trying to essentialize queerplatonic as some inherent essential specific thing, somehow separable from and totally not a friendship, is worse, in my opinion, than anything they're concerned about there, and can only come from the kind of thinking we saw with alterous, where people are embracing -- rather than disputing -- an across-the-board definition of friendship as a specific and limited status.

 

In other words, fretting over queerplatonic being viewed as a subcategory of platonic.... feels... amatonormative.

I think there's two things going on here. What arrtypo is concerned about is people using the amatonormative rhetoric of "just friends" and similar to discredit and invalidate QP attraction that allos already apply to their own friendships. Coyote, I think when you say "'queering' the notion of the platonic", you're using the word "platonic" as a much larger, catchall term, whereas arrtypo is using it as a much more specific term (likely implicitly contrasted against other types of attraction like sexual, romantic, sensual, etc). I don't think that worrying that queerplatonic being treated as a subcategory of platonic has to be amatonormative, because someone can interpret the two concepts to be different things while simultaneously working against "just friends" and similar rhetoric. (But I do understand why you would read it that way.)

 

20 hours ago, Coyote said:

On that note... if people are attached to this idea of the term "aspec," for a general "a-spectrum," then... why wouldn't that include "aplatonics," inherently? Regardless of their sexuality or romanticism? I mean, what's the justification for the framework here?

This is something I've thought about for some time, but probably deserves its own thread. 

 

20 hours ago, Coyote said:
Quote

Many don’t like it when qprs are compared to ‘just friendships’ because qprs are meant to be a queering of what’s traditionally acceptable in platonic relationships. The two aren’t the same.

 

See, this is what I was talking about. It's not that they're "not the same." It's that "friendship" doesn't have to be "just."

Hm. I agree that arrtypo is being amatonormative by saying that. (But my earlier point, of wanting to distinguish between platonic and queerplatonic not being inherently amatonormative, still stands). 

 

6 hours ago, nonmerci said:

I thought aplatonic was about queerplatonic attraction, but apparantly I was wrong and erasing people?

My understanding of the situation is that someone coined the word "aplatonic", different groups of people interpreted it to mean different things, and now there's some infighting happening over it. As long as you're aware that there's multiple meanings and don't go up to people and say "you're not allowed to use that word the way you want to, even though you have in the past for some time, because I'm claiming this word solely for my own interpretation", should be fine, I think. 

 

51 minutes ago, Coyote said:
6 hours ago, nonmerci said:

I thought aplatonic was about queerplatonic attraction

 

Nope. I'm really confused where people are even getting this. Is it in one of the wikis or something?

At this point, I think it's not really one source anymore. Which also means it's been in use long enough that saying "aplatonic is not about queerplatonic attraction" won't be received well by some people, and a more diplomatic approach is necessary. 

 

1 hour ago, Coyote said:

but when "aplatonic" was suggested, the person suggesting it didn't say anything about "platonic attraction." He was just talking about not bonding closely with friends.

I think there's a few things going on here. I don't know if the coiner knew about platonic attraction at the time. If he didn't, it's entirely possible (though not a guarantee) that he'd find the phrases "platonic attraction" and "not experiencing platonic attraction" helpful in describing his experiences. If he did know, the previous sentence is moot. But I think that the fact that so many people have used the phrase "aplatonic" to mean something that doesn't exactly match the experiences the coiner described is evidence that the word has evolved. Sure, it doesn't mean what it originally meant, but I don't think that should mean that its current usage and meaning are automatically invalidated. 

 

1 hour ago, Coyote said:

Is their a comparable.... queerplatonicnormativity? I mean, geez, if there's anything even like that, it's on such a small scale that I think we should just try and fight the norm directly in our tiny communities, because it seems like this whole thing is just one big misunderstanding.

I think, given the number of people that think that all aros want QPRs, there's definitely something like that going on. 

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3 hours ago, Coyote said:

Nope. I'm really confused where people are even getting this. Is it in one of the wikis or something?

Queerplatonic and platonic are close words, and to be honestly I'm not sure if I really get the difference or not (except that queerplatonic is use for QPR, and that people don't want it to be associated to friendship). Then there is the fact that squishes seems to be linked to QPR sometimes.

 

3 hours ago, Coyote said:

Why would we do that (again)? That's basically what this thread was in response to people already trying to do. And to me, it's like... I don't know, it's like have a word specifically for "not being a Cheondoist." It's just so niche and specific to even know what queerplatonic means anyway. The way I think about it, we have words like aromantic and asexual because of amatonormativity and sexnormativity.

I just would like a word to feel my experience. Plus I won't use it outside the aro community I think, if I ever do it out loud, so with people who use that concept.

I don't think we have words like aro and asexual because of the norm, but because it can describe our experiences. Of course if everybody were aro and ace we won't use it, but I think that if we live in a word 50% aro/ace and 50% allo, and being one of the other is completely seen as normal, we would still use these words.

I like to have a word to express how I feel, that's it.

 

3 hours ago, Coyote said:

Like I asked before -- how many people even have QP relationships? I

I don't know, but that doesn't mean they don't feel this attraction. Just like a allo is still allo even if he don't date.

I personnaly like describe things in terms of attraction, it is more useful than doing it in term of behavior, though I get that everybody don't feel this way.

 

3 hours ago, Coyote said:

Is their a comparable.... queerplatonicnormativity? I

Maybe talking about queerplatonicnormativity is too much (and too long to wrote lol), but yeah, something like that. One of the first thing you saw everytime you go on a page about aromanticism is something along the line "don't worry, we can have QPR's". I remember that it kinda calm me at first, and I ended up thinking about a QPR the way I think before about romantic couple. The way I see it, QPR is using the same was as romantic love by asexuals, as a way to justify their humanity.

Same for squishes.

Now I'm not saying we should not talk about QPR and squishes, because some people want one and a lot of aros seem to feel it. But having a term to describe those who haven't would be useful I think. Vocabulaire help people to conceptualize,  and as you said the first thing we see (and the first thing people search) is a definition. So if we had a word that we can use and put on the AUREA for instance, and else where,  to explain better that not all aros want QPR, I xan't see how it would be negative?

 

Anyway as you said this thread was not originally about words, so I'm not in the subject any more. 

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17 hours ago, Coyote said:

 don't know, it's like have a word specifically for "not being a Cheondoist." It's just so niche and specific to even know what queerplatonic means anyway.

Maybe also like a specific word for "being uninterested in becoming a Cheondoist".

 

17 hours ago, Coyote said:

The way I think about it, we have words like aromantic and asexual because of amatonormativity and sexnormativity.

Curiously something can be both normative and a minority pursuit.
Such as marriage and nuclear families in many industrialised countries currently.

 

18 hours ago, Coyote said:

Is their a comparable.... queerplatonicnormativity?

There do appear to be people who believe (or want to believe) that this is a thing.
I think partly due to respectability politics and partly wanting an "aros are/do this" type definition.

Which goes back to the original post about the "default aro".
 

18 hours ago, Coyote said:

Like I asked before -- how many people even have QP relationships?

Along with how many want/desire/pursue them.

 

16 hours ago, nonmerci said:

Maybe talking about queerplatonicnormativity is too much (and too long to wrote lol), but yeah, something like that. One of the first thing you saw everytime you go on a page about aromanticism is something along the line "don't worry, we can have QPR's". I remember that it kinda calm me at first, and I ended up thinking about a QPR the way I think before about romantic couple. The way I see it, QPR is using the same was as romantic love by asexuals, as a way to justify their humanity.

The "don't worry..." bit most definitely looks like Respectability Politics. Though even beyond that QPRs seem lionised or (ironically) romanticised over and above other kinds of non-romantic relationships.

 

17 hours ago, nonmerci said:

Same for squishes.

I was quite surprised when a ran a poll about squishes how few of those who responded experience them.
As with QPRs you can get the impression that they are something which applies to most aros. With sexual, sensual, aesthetic, etc "crush analogs" being mentioned a lot less often.

 

17 hours ago, nonmerci said:

Now I'm not saying we should not talk about QPR and squishes, because some people want one and a lot of aros seem to feel it. But having a term to describe those who haven't would be useful I think.

I think it depends. If QPRs and squishes are things experienced by a minority of aros there might be little need for a word to describe people who don't.

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On 7/16/2019 at 12:28 PM, raavenb2619 said:

Well, between New month, same stuff, "Aplatonic is simply a descriptor used by some aro people to explain that they do not experience squishes nor desire to be in qpps/qprs" from Asexuality Blog (Tumblr), the two links from arrtypo, and the following aromantic wikia link, I'd believe that there's a reasonable amount of conflation going on. 

 

huh. Well, you got me there. What a mess.

 

I'm gonna see what I can do about that AromanticWikia page, now that I've got an account over there. Recently did a bunch of edits on the quoiro page, if you can believe it.

 

On 7/16/2019 at 12:28 PM, raavenb2619 said:

I think there's two things going on here. What arrtypo is concerned about is people using the amatonormative rhetoric of "just friends" and similar to discredit and invalidate QP attraction that allos already apply to their own friendships. Coyote, I think when you say "'queering' the notion of the platonic", you're using the word "platonic" as a much larger, catchall term, whereas arrtypo is using it as a much more specific term (likely implicitly contrasted against other types of attraction like sexual, romantic, sensual, etc). I don't think that worrying that queerplatonic being treated as a subcategory of platonic has to be amatonormative, because someone can interpret the two concepts to be different things while simultaneously working against "just friends" and similar rhetoric. (But I do understand why you would read it that way.)

 

It'd be cool if the two of us could talk about this directly. *shrug* But oh well.

 

So, a couple of notes on that: When we're talking about being friends, we can call that "being friends," but when we're talking about the social norm of how friendships are supposed to operate, I like to call that "being 'just' friends," with the quotation marks around "just" being indispensable. It's very important to me to one way or another mark that distinction, rather than treat the two as one and the same. 

 

So while maybe not everyone who uses "queerplatonic" (as a term) for their feelings/relationships will need to make use of the term "platonic" by itself, it's questionable to me to say that none of those feelings/relationships are "platonic." That's like making a hard distinction between "biromantic" and "romantic." Just because one defies certain social norms for the other doesn't mean they're not overlapping categories. Like I said -- hammering home on that "just" in "just friends" is important. It's not that "queerplatonic partners" and "just friends" are inherently innately different -- it's that the two terms express different attitudes about the meaning of the relationship.

 

I can't tell if I'm disagreeing here or just putting words in a different order to come at the same goal in a different way, but I have to wonder if arrtypo would agree or disagree with me there.

 

On 7/16/2019 at 12:28 PM, raavenb2619 said:

If he didn't, it's entirely possible (though not a guarantee) that he'd find the phrases "platonic attraction" and "not experiencing platonic attraction" helpful in describing his experiences.

 

Who knows. The more salient feature to me is that he was discussing depth of emotional bond and the word "love," specifically, which seem to have been all but omitted from this discussion. I dunno what he's up to these days, but I also know at least one other, currently active blogger who relates more to that perspective than the attraction-based one, and myself, in general, I'd appreciate more space for things to not always be dragged exclusively back to the question of attraction.

 

22 hours ago, nonmerci said:

Queerplatonic and platonic are close words, and to be honestly I'm not sure if I really get the difference or not

 

You can read more about it and its origins here. I mostly think of it in terms of defying expectations for how nonromantic or ambiguously-romantic relationships are supposed to work.

 

22 hours ago, nonmerci said:

I just would like a word to feel my experience. [...] I like to have a word to express how I feel, that's it.

 

I like the smell of cinnamon, I like to trim my nails short because I don't like like how they feel when they start getting long, I bite the inside of my cheek sometimes, and I like to sit like a frog. All of those are experiences. Presumably, you also have corresponding experiences -- how you feel when you smell cinnamon, how you feel about it when your fingernails grow long, whether you've ever bit the inside of your cheek, and how you like to sit. For all I know, you might want concise, singular words for those experiences too. I won't preclude the possibility. My guess is, though, out of the range of experiences you've had in your life, some of them feel more worth labeling than others.

 

My thinking is, if so: what are the other factors in what makes an experience feel worth labeling?

 

22 hours ago, nonmerci said:

One of the first thing you saw everytime you go on a page about aromanticism is something along the line "don't worry, we can have QPR's".

 

This. This is the very thing that I wanted to talk about with this thread. Where are the places where this is happening? What sites, what posts, what people? We need to track them down and change the story -- and try to circulate even more stories to the contrary.

 

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Thread title: What can we do besides wordsmith?

Thread content: intense wordsmithing

 

On 7/16/2019 at 5:21 PM, Coyote said:

Is their a comparable.... queerplatonicnormativity? I mean, geez, if there's anything even like that, it's on such a small scale that I think we should just try and fight the norm directly in our tiny communities, because it seems like this whole thing is just one big misunderstanding.

"Queerplatonicnormativity" is exactly what the Tumblr posts you linked to at the start of this thread were complaining about, and fighting that norm within our communities is exactly what they were suggesting. When arotaro says, "That 'default' is so overpowering that those of us who do not fit into this description often feel excluded from the aro community," they're talking about the 'default' assumption that all aros want a QPR, or some kind of committed partnership.

 

An example: an old friend of mine was in a really, really bad mental space and I told him "I love you" because I knew he needed to hear it. I then hopped onto Discord to vent about how saying "I love you" had made me really uncomfortable, and got a response along the lines of, "Baby steps are fine! You do you, as long as he's fine with taking it slow too." And I had to explain that we weren't "taking it" anywhere, that I was not remotely interested in a relationship with this guy (or anyone else).

 

In my experience the extent to which this "default" exists varies among community spaces, but in every aro and aspec space I've been in, at least once people have assumed I want or would be interested in a QPR. I tend to spend less time in the spaces where that assumption is more prevalent, largely because I find discussion of QPRs and seeking and maintaining them equally as off-putting as discussion of romantic relationships. So I guess that's a manifestation of what arotaro was complaining about: I feel somewhat excluded by those community spaces.

 

I don't think that having an agreed-upon label for those of us who really aren't interested in any kind of partnership or committed relationship, seriously is the best way to solve that problem. Not least because of the issues the links in the OP describe about coming up with such a term.

 

An example of something that has been helpful is the Arocalypse Discord explicitly segregating off channels for "Romo-talk" (discussions of romance-coded things) and "Nonromo-love" (discussions of queerplatonic and other non-romantic relationships), to minimise the prevalence of those topics in general channels. Other things that would help of course include more visibility and discussion of the experiences of those of us who are very, very happy to be single and stay that way forever.

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On ‎7‎/‎17‎/‎2019 at 8:16 PM, Coyote said:

This. This is the very thing that I wanted to talk about with this thread. Where are the places where this is happening? What sites, what posts, what people? We need to track them down and change the story -- and try to circulate even more stories to the contrary.

 

My bad, I completely forgot to answer, sorry.

It's not a specific website, juste a general feeling I had after go on different websites or posts about aromantcism. Most of them were mentioning QPR's, with lines like "not feeling romantic attraction doesn't mean that aros can't form strong bounds with people, or even form couples", or something like that. At first I think it's just something aros can do, and after reading a lot, I view it, if not as a norm, at least as something popular or frequent in the community.

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I came up with another possible source for the misconception that all aros want a QPR, but it’s a bit indirect. 

The Tumblr community seems to be pretty fascinated with soulmates and soulmate AUs, but often times when aro bloggers (including myself) complain about soulmates being amatonormative, we get a bunch of people telling us that soulmates can be platonic (as if that helps anything). Maybe some people see this unhelpful chant of “soulmates can be platonic” and interpret it to mean that all aros want/have some sort of partner/soulmate? 

 

Put another way, I think many people believe everyone has a soulmate, learn about aromanticism, wonder how aros fit into the idea of soulmates, see “soulmates can be platonic”, and assume that the “solution” of how aros fit into the idea of soulmates is that aros have platonic soulmates. 

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Returning to the initial question of what we can do besides wordsmith, I think the push to constantly create new terminology is both a result of a rapidly expanding community and a desire to somehow wordsmith our way through intracommunity differences. I guess you could call it growing pains? What happens, at least in community spaces that I've been involved in, seems to be that people begin to take notice of some sort of difference or disparity in aro experiences and narratives, and try to create the language to concisely name and talk about that disparity (for example, as others have mentioned in this thread, aromantics who don't want a qpr or similar relationship feeling alienated by those who do). I don't see the problem with this, on a surface level; if people want specific terminology to talk about their experiences, then more power to them. I personally do consider myself nonamorous, in the "not wanting a qpr or similar relationship" sense. The issue comes when we try to make the terminology we have exhaustive, intensely specific, applicable to all and not up for interpretation. And that's never going to be possible.

 

For me, the seemingly never-ending onslaught of new terminology, while it can often be used to point out the diversity of aro experiences or to shed light on unequal representation within the community, does very little to actually solve whatever problem it's meant to address. People can use whatever labels for themselves that they feel comfortable with, and I'm never going to take that away from them; however, we need to address the root causes of problems rather than simply create terminology to attempt to patch them up. The focus should be on creating spaces where all arospecs feel welcome to talk about our experiences without having to box ourselves into a corner--that's what we can do besides wordsmith.

 

As for how we do that? I don't know, and I don't think anyone does, or else we would have done it already. But for starters, casting all other terminology aside, what are the main goals of aro activism? When you strip back all of the word salad, what's left? Heteronormative/amatonormative society largely doesn't understand or accept us, regardless of any distinctions we choose to make between one another. In my opinion, a core tenet of aro activism should be dismantling the idea that love, in any form, is normative or necessary in order to be a valid human being capable of good and worthy of respect.

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2 hours ago, techno-trashcan said:

In my opinion, a core tenet of aro activism should be dismantling the idea that love, in any form, is normative or necessary in order to be a valid human being capable of good and worthy of respect.

 

+1 but also: can you elaborate?

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2 minutes ago, Coyote said:

 

+1 but also: can you elaborate?

 

Yeah sure! It's about separating love from humanity, or love from goodness or kindness. We're all likely familiar with the prevalent idea that love is what makes us human, but what I see talked about less is the idea that being capable of love is the same as being a good person. You can love someone and still hurt them; you can treat someone with kindness even if you don't like them at all. We can't choose whether we feel love or not, no matter whether that love is romantic or platonic or something else or what-have-you. But we can choose to be kind and to do what's right. Moses Sumney talks about this as well.

 

The kinds of love you feel or do not feel and in what quantities don't determine your value as a human being. Love, to me, is an arbitrary concept. And we don't solve amatonormativity by shifting the focus merely onto a different type of love; we don't do right by each other by simply repackaging the same rhetoric used to alienate us ("Love is what makes us human!") in a different wrapping. A narrative in which any form of love is pure or universal or a sign of being a good person will always be one in which one of us is left behind.

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@Coyote I'd never heard of that concept before, but from a cursory glance, it would seem so!

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5 hours ago, techno-trashcan said:

We can't choose whether we feel love or not, no matter whether that love is romantic or platonic or something else or what-have-you. But we can choose to be kind and to do what's right.

As someone for whom empathy is always a conscious choice, not a feeling, I agree with this so hard. 

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