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running.tally

Defining Aromantic and the Difference Between Official and Personal Definitions

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@running.tally

My thing is that it can’t be easily defined because it isn’t a spectrum. Greyromantics aren’t aromantics due to the simple fact that they acknowledge that they experience romantic attraction. Another thing is that greyromanticism is generally an umbrella term for all the extreme micro labeling the community does. Some micro labels do fall under aromanticism but why is it so much trouble to identify as aromantic and be done with it? All in all, the reason we identify as aromantic is to convey to people that we don’t have desires for romantic partnership and it likely isn’t going to change

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2 hours ago, Star Lion said:

@running.tally

My thing is that it can’t be easily defined because it isn’t a spectrum. Greyromantics aren’t aromantics due to the simple fact that they acknowledge that they experience romantic attraction. Another thing is that greyromanticism is generally an umbrella term for all the extreme micro labeling the community does. Some micro labels do fall under aromanticism but why is it so much trouble to identify as aromantic and be done with it? All in all, the reason we identify as aromantic is to convey to people that we don’t have desires for romantic partnership and it likely isn’t going to change

There are aromantics who id as aro and feel romantic attraction and greyros who possibly don't and still id as greyro, and where do you sort identities like "cupioromantic" - 0 attraction, but would like a romo relationship. There were people complaining that grey is an umbrella term they disidentify with, because they feel it makes the romanticism spectrum linear and despite identifying with a microlabel they also identity with aromanticism. And it feels insensitive to say "why someone can't just id as aro" - I'm assuming they have their reasons. And there also exist people who id as aro and desire romo relationships, it's just... there's a lot of conflicting interests there

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13 minutes ago, bydontost said:

There are aromantics who id as aro and feel romantic attraction and greyros who possibly don't and still id as greyro, and where do you sort identities like "cupioromantic" - 0 attraction, but would like a romo relationship. There were people complaining that grey is an umbrella term they disidentify with, because they feel it makes the romanticism spectrum linear and despite identifying with a microlabel they also identity with aromanticism. And it feels insensitive to say "why someone can't just id as aro" - I'm assuming they have their reasons. And there also exist people who id as aro and desire romo relationships, it's just... there's a lot of conflicting interests there

Cupioromantics are just aromantics who aren’t romance repulsed. If you don’t experience romantic attraction, you’re not greyro. If you experience romantic attraction, you’re not aromantic. People id as labels that just don’t make any sense for them to have in real world use because it either doesn’t fit definition or it isn’t practical. Calling grey an umbrella really does the opposite considering you’re saying there’s labels that just fall under it, no linear lines mentioned or inferred. I think despite what people believe on this situation, we need to look for what makes more sense and what’s going to be more practical in social situations as well as scientific ones

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10 minutes ago, Star Lion said:

Cupioromantics are just aromantics who aren’t romance repulsed. If you don’t experience romantic attraction, you’re not greyro. If you experience romantic attraction, you’re not aromantic. People id as labels that just don’t make any sense for them to have in real world use because it either doesn’t fit definition or it isn’t practical. Calling grey an umbrella really does the opposite considering you’re saying there’s labels that just fall under it, no linear lines mentioned or inferred. I think despite what people believe on this situation, we need to look for what makes more sense and what’s going to be more practical in social situations as well as scientific ones

This is how it's often defined, so you'd think that's how it is, but reality isn't as neat and sorted as that. I don't fully understand the middle of the post :( And as for how we should proceed - personal identity labels usually mean something, but sometimes aromantic can mean "I don't feel attraction, but want a romantic relationship and I want to communicate that I'm aromantic in my attraction" and sometimes aromantic can mean "I may feel attraction, but I for sure don't want romo relationships, and I want to communicate that I'm aromantic in my lack of desire for romo relationships", so. I'm sure it feels practical for both those people from the example. I wouldn't worry about scientists, because they generally know that self-description is not great for measuring different concepts. But I'm kinda worried about common people who come across aromanticism 

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21 hours ago, running.tally said:

The balance is hard to reach but some generalization is needed at this point in aro activism to just get non-aros to somewhat understand our experiences and support us. It's umbrella-crunching, as you've referred to it before, for sure. But many powerful allies simply won't care to hear about experience diversity

 

With all due respect, what you're talking about here -- saying there's no choice but to oversimplify things in order to appeal to the sensibilities of more powerful people -- sounds like the ethos of respectability politics.

 

Anyway, I think it's a false dilemma. There's always the option of something as tautological as "People are aromantic if they feel like aromantic experiences [of some kind] describe them somehow," with an addition like "absence of romantic attraction, distaste for romance, or disinterest in romantic relationships are some examples of what can be considered aromantic experiences." If that's "too much diversity" from someone's point of view, then the problem is their attitude, not the string of words.

 

5 hours ago, Star Lion said:

Some micro labels do fall under aromanticism but why is it so much trouble to identify as aromantic and be done with it?

 

Are you really asking?

 

2 hours ago, Star Lion said:

Cupioromantics are just aromantics who aren’t romance repulsed.

 

The only definition I've ever seen of cupioromantic (including here and on AUREA) involves wanting a romantic relationship, not just "not being repulsed." Those two things are hardly interchangeable.

 

2 hours ago, Star Lion said:

If you don’t experience romantic attraction, you’re not greyro. If you experience romantic attraction, you’re not aromantic. People id as labels that just don’t make any sense for them to have in real world use because it either doesn’t fit definition or it isn’t practical.

 

What the hell? Who are you to tell people what they "really" are? Aromantics call themselves aromantic for more than just one reason, and greyros don't all call themselves greyro just because of romantic attraction. If you look at threads like Why do you identify as gray-romantic?, you'll find a mix of different responses, and there are also greyros who are uncomfortable with being assumed to experience romantic attraction. Attraction isn't the be all end all of everything. Some people aren't even sure when they are or aren't feeling it. Any discussion of greyness needs to account for that. The whole premise is a social construct anyway -- what do you even mean "isn't practical"?

 

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@Coyote

Just because you have the right to call yourself something doesn’t mean that it’s true. Romanticism isn’t based off of your politics on a situation, it’s about who you’re attracted to and you have micro labels such as graysexual to be more specific on that attraction. You don’t know your sexuality or the specifics? Identify as “unsure.” You have to balance “feelings” and logic carefully or else everything loses its meaning for existence and it becomes a confusing cluster mess

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Hey @Star Lion I think you may be confusing the aromantic that is an identity (the identity that means experiencing no romantic attraction) and the broad aromantic concept that is what I'm talking about here.

 

@Coyote YES this is exactly why I am so conflicted. I don't want to get into respectability politics (in fact, challenging the powerful and default definitions of romance are what we're all about anyway), but what I mean more is that very broad definitions have, in my experience with non-aros, been very confusing. Many non-aros who I want to understand aromanticism, who have big voices and are big allies, regard aromanticism as less legit when given too much right away. I want to get to a broad definition that is just simple enough that it can be a stepping stone for introducing people to the community without condensing it to the point that all we're doing is pleasing the authority (at the cost of our own erasure). In the end, I agree that it's their problem if they can't understand nuance.

 

Anyway, I think we're on the same page here. We want to capture the community's diversity. 

4 hours ago, Coyote said:

There's always the option of something as tautological as "People are aromantic if they feel like aromantic experiences [of some kind]

Yeah, something like this! It's just deciding on what goes into [of some kind] that I was stuck on.

Edit: Actually, I don't even know there needs to be something there, apart from common examples like those you listed and those I mentioned from AUREA's definition. Perhaps just common examples are the best middle ground we can have for now.

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10 hours ago, Star Lion said:

Cupioromantics are just aromantics who aren’t romance repulsed.

How do you come to that? Cupioromantic are aros who want a romantic relationship. Nothing to do with being romance repulsed or not. I am not romance repulsed but surely I am not cupioromantic.

 

 

5 hours ago, Star Lion said:

Romanticism isn’t based off of your politics on a situation, it’s about who you’re attracted to and you have micro labels such as graysexual to be more specific on that attraction.

Wait what? You suggest we should use greysexuality to speak about our romantic orientation?

 

7 hours ago, Coyote said:

With all due respect, what you're talking about here -- saying there's no choice but to oversimplify things in order to appeal to the sensibilities of more powerful people -- sounds like the ethos of respectability politics.

I think some generalizations can be useful not to satisfy powerful people, but as a pedagogy. When you want someone to understand a new notion, you don't jump to the more complex ideas without being sure he understands the general idea.

In fact it's not that we have to generalize. But I think that when we come to a definition, we begin with something general and then complexify it. See what I mean?

For instance, I remember that when I came across asexuality and aromanticism, I was very confuse at first. Why? Because of how things were explained. It was saying attraction was an umbrella, and then presents the different grey labels. But I didn't understand what was this grey are and why it was useful or consider aro or ace rather than allo.  Surely, spending time on a general explanation before talking about the different grey labels would have helped me to understand these labels then in their specificities. 

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On 6/25/2019 at 10:27 PM, Star Lion said:

Cupioromantics are just aromantics who aren’t romance repulsed.

I think that the term more describes having a desire, similar to that of alloromantics, to be in a romantic relationship. Rather than an absence of romance repulsion.

Non being repulsed by something does not automatically mean you want to do it. Certainly it does not imply having any kind of desire or motivation to do the whatever.

An aro might not be romance repulsed and indifferent to being in a romantic relationship. I'm also not convinced that cupioromantics can't, also, be romance repulsed. Especially given that it's possible for alloromantics to be romance repulsed.
 

Since romance is so normative it can, often, be the case that someone who's not into it is expected to justify their position. (Which is a case of the Shifting of the Burden of Proof

When it comes to normative assumptions often Moving the Goalposts and No True Scotsman are also extensively used.)

 

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A lot of what you guys are saying is not getting through to me, I’m highly confused but I’ll try anyways

6 hours ago, running.tally said:

the broad aromantic concept that is what I'm talking about here

There’s no such thing as a “broad aromantic concept,” it’s literally one thing which is a person who doesn’t experience romantic attraction. Nothing else is relevant in terms of “what makes you aromantic”

2 hours ago, nonmerci said:

How do you come to that? Cupioromantic are aros who want a romantic relationship. Nothing to do with being romance repulsed or not. I am not romance repulsed but surely I am not cupioromantic.

Okay, I admit I really didn’t put much thought into what’s said. It wasn’t so much meant to be a definition but more of to get my point across. I’m mostly pointing out that logically (not all non romance repulsed aros aren’t cupioromantic but) cupioromantics aren’t romance repulsed. Also below

1 hour ago, Mark said:

I'm also not convinced that cupioromantics can't, also, be romance repulsed

Why the heck in any world across a multiverse would somebody want a romantic relationship if they are both unable to experience romantic feelings and even repulsed by the concept of romance itself? You keep comparing them to alloromantics which is making me think that you’re actually trying to describe alloromantics

 

I’m also trying to figure out, is there truly an aromantic out there who would prefer the option of any romantic partner over any aromantic partner? 

2 hours ago, nonmerci said:

Wait what? You suggest we should use greysexuality to speak about our romantic orientation?

This question is one I’m trying my best to comprehend what you mean and where you got that assumption. I’m saying that micro labels such as graysexual are created to give more of a description to your sexuality or romanticism. A person might just say “bisexual” to some people but “grey-bisexual” to others

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40 minutes ago, Star Lion said:

This question is one I’m trying my best to comprehend what you mean and where you got that assumption. I’m saying that micro labels such as graysexual are created to give more of a description to your sexuality or romanticism. A person might just say “bisexual” to some people but “grey-bisexual” to others

What confused me is that you use "graysexuality" to speak about both sexuality and romanticism. For romanticism, we talk about grayromanticism. People can be gray for sexuality and not for romanticism, and vice versa.

41 minutes ago, Star Lion said:

Why the heck in any world across a multiverse would somebody want a romantic relationship if they are both unable to experience romantic feelings and even repulsed by the concept of romance itself?

I'm not sur about that. Humans are illogic, and we live in an amatonormative world. I even think there would be less cupio if there wasn't this pressure to get married. So people who could be both romance repulsed and aromantic could want a romantic relationship, to do like other people for instance. Maybe they don't call themselves cupioromantic, or are not even aware they are aro, but they must exist.

Nothing us humans can do can surprise me, really.

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40 minutes ago, nonmerci said:

hat confused me is that you use "graysexuality" to speak about both sexuality and romanticism. For romanticism, we talk about grayromanticism. People can be gray for sexuality and not for romanticism, and vice versa.

Ohhhh yeah, I know this. I have a really bad habit on here of wanting to say “sexual” because of making so many post on AVEN. I was also just saying “such as” meaning that I’m talking about any micro label related to sexuality or romanticism

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14 hours ago, Star Lion said:

Just because you have the right to call yourself something doesn’t mean that it’s true.

 

This is the kind of stuff where there might as well be no "true."

 

11 hours ago, running.tally said:

YES this is exactly why I am so conflicted. I don't want to get into respectability politics (in fact, challenging the powerful and default definitions of romance are what we're all about anyway), but what I mean more is that very broad definitions have, in my experience with non-aros, been very confusing. Many non-aros who I want to understand aromanticism, who have big voices and are big allies, regard aromanticism as less legit when given too much right away.

 

hmm. You've mentioned "powerful allies" and "big allies" here a couple of times. It might help here to link me an example of what conversations you're thinking about. I have my suspicions about what's going on there, but I don't want to speculate any further in the abstract when I'm not sure yet what you have in mind.

 

A thing to take into account, regardless, is that whatever you put on your "front page" (so to speak) as "the simple definition" is necessarily going to influence how people understand the borders of the concept and could have unanticipated consequences later down the line. I think an instructive basis of comparison here would be the history of debates and fissures over how best to define "asexuality," precisely because it illustrates how this goes down. When David Jay made the website for AVEN (not the first online asexual community, but relevant because that's what AUREA is meant to become comprable to), he threw up a very simple one-narrative definition, and although that definition has been debated and contested ever since (from the very first year of AVEN's existence in 2001), that line on the front page has never ended up getting changed by the people who run the place. Now, more than a decade since then, you've got people so influenced by and accustomed to that front page definition & the exclusive focus on attraction & parsing aromanticism via direct parallel to asexuality that you get folks like Star Lion here, saying formulaic things like "it’s literally one thing which is a person who doesn’t experience romantic attraction. Nothing else is relevant."

 

So with that in mind: Y'all have mentioned that you aim to create the aromantic parallel to AVEN. So anticipate that your website may be subject to the same things that AVEN has been subject to. Imagine that there will be people who only look at that front page definition on AUREA, take it as gospel, and look no further. How hard or how easy do you want it to be for that front page definition to be used in the same way that AVEN's has been?

 

Just something to keep in mind.

 

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2 hours ago, Coyote said:

Imagine that there will be people who only look at that front page definition on AUREA, take it as gospel, and look no further

Then you have people such as myself looking to understand everything there is to know about the subject so they spend about 6 hours a day trying to piece everything together questioning anything that doesn’t make sense in relations to other pieces of information. Eventually they put their knowledge to the test resulting in conversations about questions they couldn’t answer themselves and the help of having conversations with people who have been on the site for over a decade as well as people of all different unique experiences eventually answering all questions they’ve had and fallacies they’ve noticed. They continue to work with the site helping several other people make sense of it all themselves and are open to any person who can give them a new perspective that actually makes sense

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@Coyote Thank you for those resources! Our definition on AUREA is something we're open to changing as discussions happen, which is a big reason I asked this question.

 

I also ask this question out of personal curiosity. So the big/powerful allies I'm thinking of are not AUREA-related (though AUREA will be thinking of partnerships with others too). I'm still thinking big/powerful but not quite on national or international scales. More local. When I come up against locally powerful queer organizations where I live or outspoken LGBTQ+ leaders/groups in my area, me as an individual having to sit down for a several-hour conversation on the intricacies of aromanticism hasn't been feasible. Like @nonmerci was saying, it would have been useful to have something broad or at least understandable in a short version to give before gradually introducing the rest, in order to take me seriously as a queer person (and not just "an attention seeker" or "queer wannabe").

 

I also know that this issue on a small scale is likely to replicate on a larger scale, and so as I've been working in AUREA and examining our definitions, this issue has magnified.

 

Also, off topic, but in the future it will probably be useful to indicate whether I and other AUREA team members are posting as individuals or AUREA reps. We may open a new account for that or at least say something regarding it.

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10 hours ago, running.tally said:

I also ask this question out of personal curiosity. So the big/powerful allies I'm thinking of are not AUREA-related (though AUREA will be thinking of partnerships with others too). I'm still thinking big/powerful but not quite on national or international scales. More local. When I come up against locally powerful queer organizations where I live or outspoken LGBTQ+ leaders/groups in my area, me as an individual having to sit down for a several-hour conversation on the intricacies of aromanticism hasn't been feasible. Like @nonmerci was saying, it would have been useful to have something broad or at least understandable in a short version to give before gradually introducing the rest, in order to take me seriously as a queer person (and not just "an attention seeker" or "queer wannabe").

Hm just as someone who was involved a lot with the ace flamewars on Tumblr I'm not sure how much of a difference this is going to make as far as earning respect from other orgs. Aces on there really, really, doubled down on the "asexuality just means no sexual attraction" definition as a response to the claim that aces were just "losers who think they're special just because they don't want to fuck" and "incels". This did nothing to stop the harassment however. Of course, I doubt that queer orgs will be quite this hostile but I think we should maybe take that as an opportunity- why not go the whole way and try and get as much support for everyone in our community as we can?

 

From an education standpoint too, it will let us give information so that more people may identify as aromantic than would have otherwise.  Just from my own experiences with "graysexual", it took me five years between hearing the term to finding this post that Siggy wrote and this description of a greysexual narrative:

Quote

Experience attraction that may or may not be called sexual, since it shares some characteristics with sexual attraction, but not others.

Which was an experience that I had certainly had, but never thought about in the context of greysexuality- even though I had identified as such in the past! But that was because the only definition I had seen up to that point had been "experiences attraction infrequently". I had drifted away from using that label though, precisely because I thought that I was having the weird in-between feelings of not quite sexual attraction too frequently for me to use "greysexual". I was lucky enough to stumble across a greysexual narrative because I was still a participant in the broader ace community, but what if I hadn't been, and instead felt completely alienated by both asexuality and allosexuality? I think if our definition is too narrow, we risk having people who might have otherwise identified with aromanticism simply not joining the community in the first place- and if participating in our community is the only place where more complex narratives emerge, then I do think we run the risk of alienating many of our own simply because we prioritized certain narratives. 

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On 6/26/2019 at 2:30 PM, Star Lion said:

Then you have people such as myself

 

Yes, speaking of people such as yourself, I notice you responded to the part of my post that was directed at Neir but not the part of my post that was directed at you. In light of that, I will ask you a question. Do you believe that everyone has a "true" romantic orientation, which is separable from how they do or don't identify?

 

14 hours ago, running.tally said:

I'm still thinking big/powerful but not quite on national or international scales. More local. When I come up against locally powerful queer organizations where I live or outspoken LGBTQ+ leaders/groups in my area, me as an individual having to sit down for a several-hour conversation on the intricacies of aromanticism hasn't been feasible.

 

Presumably this is something that AUREA is meant to help with, no?

 

13 hours ago, running.tally said:

Like @nonmerci was saying, it would have been useful to have something broad or at least understandable in a short version to give before gradually introducing the rest, in order to take me seriously as a queer person (and not just "an attention seeker" or "queer wannabe").

 

I notice you're using quotation marks here. I'm familiar with the kind of accusations you're describing, but I don't have any links on hand at the moment. Do you have direct experiences with or links to public exchanges where you or others have gotten called those things -- specifically because of an inadequately "simple" definition? To clarify, I don't doubt that it happens -- or, well, I don't doubt that that's something people claim is the reason for slinging mud -- but like I said, I'm not currently convinced that's a completely accurate description of the situation as it usually happens. Or in other words:

 

I suspect that some of the people you're thinking of might be engaging with you (general you) in bad faith -- and trying to get you to blame yourself for it.

 

There are ways to deal with people engaging in bad faith, certainly, but I don't think "taking what they say at face value" is one of them. That's why I keep asking for links. It's hard for me to say for sure what's going on without looking at a specific example. In any case, I'm not sure whittling down a "simple" short definition is a guarantee towards getting taken seriously in the way that you hope for.

 

....Tangentially related:

 

It occurs to me to ask, do you have any plans to include a section of essays or articles by/about folks on the aromantic spectrum, like an Aro version of the AVEN Asexual Perspectives page? I remember when I first started my questioning phase, I read through all the definitions in glossaries and wikis, but that didn't help much. Simple, raw, short-form definitions left me completely lost. I also made a lot of bad kneejerk assumptions in reaction to the unfamiliarity (up to and including stuff like "some of this just seems like splitting hairs and trying too hard," "probably only the real asexuals are the aromantic asexual nonlibidoists," etc.). Being faced with materials that straight up said "no, those assumptions are wrong" didn't totally convince me. There was something missing, and I was aware that I didn't understand. But you know what did help me come around? The more extended writing. Commentary and personal narratives and critiques of social norms and discussion and... stories. Stories, not definitions.

 

It's how it's worked for me, and it's how I'm sure it's also worked for other people. I still think back sometimes about that ace panel that I once participated in with Sciatrix, and some of the comments she made after the fact. She's had a lot more experience doing ace advocacy panels before -- and her perspective, from what I remember of what she said, is that people respond to those kinds of "informational"/"educational" efforts differently when you're talking about technical definitions vs. about experiences. She also mentioned later how, during the panel, one couple in the room reacted with visible surprise when she mentioned how it's often easier for her to just present herself as a lesbian, rather than to get into the complicated specifics of being a partnered ace. And how, once we got off dry 101 and instead started getting into the things we'd lived through and the things that made or identities salient... it was like there was a whole shift in the energy in the room. Because what we were talking about at that point went from a weird foreign complicated niche technical concept to something that actually, meaningfully affects people's lives. And things like that, that shift toward context and stories, has ever since been cemented in my mind as a necessary part of getting these identities "taken seriously" on a broader scale. 

 

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15 hours ago, Coyote said:

my post that was directed at Neir 

Lol my bad, I jump the gun a lot

 

15 hours ago, Coyote said:

Do you believe that everyone has a "true" romantic orientation, which is separable from how they do or don't identify?

It’s hard to say considering that labels are complicated as we have all different confusing circumstances such as people only attracted to cars, people only attracted to androgyny, etc. What I will say though, is that some people identify in ways that really don’t match what their actual experiences are and there might be a better (non-micro) label that would work better than what they’re using. Whether this is out of ignorance, a different perspective, or an attention seeking mindset

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On 6/27/2019 at 12:49 PM, assignedgothatbirth said:

Of course, I doubt that queer orgs will be quite this hostile but I think we should maybe take that as an opportunity- why not go the whole way and try and get as much support for everyone in our community as we can?

Quote

Presumably this is something that AUREA is meant to help with, no?

 

You both have an excellent point. If AUREA sets a precedent for defining aromantic as something necessarily vague or variable from person to person and complex (hard to use language to define), and we as a community fight for acceptance of this kind of rhetoric as inherently queer, we could do a whole lot of good. I like this idea. I wonder how to implement it so that there are still terms for those who like to have specifiers/definitions as starting points. Perhaps we can say somewhere that our definitions are just that - simplifications and starting points that stand in for more nuanced discussion that interested persons are encouraged to become involved in.

 

I think y'all can tell that it's been my own personal experiences that have made me wary of this kind of thing. Such a shift in defining a queer community will definitely be met with resistance by someone or other and my own experiences with conflict regarding these things is why I've appeared so hesitant in this thread. @Coyote, believe me, I would love to show you evidence because I know that taking things at face value online is dangerous (especially with people who, like you've said, are just looking to rile me up), but some of my experiences have been in person. I've heard very well-meaning individuals who are genuinely afraid that aros will take away resources from everyone else "just because they don't feel romantic attraction," saying that queer people need resources for "having queer experiences, not for lacking them." (This is a misunderstanding of the "not feeling romantic attraction" definition, i.e., that not having romantic feelings is not in and of itself a queer experience, but the 'lacking' narrative is pretty common in my spheres.) It's difficult to explain to these people that, no, aromanticism is inherently queer and aros face oppression, and aros won't steal everyone's resources (especially since the resources we need are probably different from those other queer folks need, but that is a fact conveniently forgotten by many of these people I encounter). Anyway, that was a tangent, but I think that I'll be all right personally if enough of us defend where we want to go as a community in terms of self-definition. I just want to be able to have a coherent response to these types of people when they do inevitably come along and go "Uh, but that's confusing and doesn't make sense! So it can't be queer!"

 

As for perspectives (essays, articles, etc.), 100% yes. We plan to have our News Feed be dedicated to that. Right now, what you see in the feed is general and has been curated by the AUREA group because we just started. We have a general monthly What's Going On post we plan to do, to talk about what is being discussed or debated in the community. Apart from that monthly AUREA-curated summary article, we also plan to have posts on specific issues, definitions, discussions, and et cetera. We have a few lot of ideas for these but we also would like volunteer contributors to approach us with their own ideas (as guest writers - individuals or teams).

 

I also like the idea of having specific stories. We want to include interviews with people (or have those people guest-write themselves) about the nuances of their experiences. Whether that's commentary about debates going on in the community or how they define a particular term that may have its definition disputed/confusing or anything else. For some people, definitions are helpful because they're grounding, and for others, the narratives are what really illuminate things. It's good to have a mix of both so we definitely will have both.

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16 minutes ago, running.tally said:

I've heard very well-meaning individuals who are genuinely afraid that aros will take away resources from everyone else "just because they don't feel romantic attraction," saying that queer people need resources for "having queer experiences, not for lacking them." (This is a misunderstanding of the "not feeling romantic attraction" definition, i.e., that not having romantic feelings is not in and of itself a queer experience, but the 'lacking' narrative is pretty common in my spheres.

I don't have the time to search for it now but I'll do it later if you're interested,  but I remember having seen something similar on arocalypse. I think the members who said those things had been excluded. They were saying that aromanticism should not be included in LGBT communities because they would feel excluded. That we don't know oppression. Even that if we call the LGBT line for suicidal thought we are stealing someone place. That was so awful.

 

16 minutes ago, running.tally said:

Perhaps we can say somewhere that our definitions are just that - simplifications and starting points that stand in for more nuanced discussion that interested persons are encouraged to become involved in.

I think that's a good idea.

As you say, some people are helped by narratives, and other like me are helped by definitions. Having both on the website can only improve it. Plus if you present definitions as a starting point, people who are interesting will go de deeper,  while people who just want a general idea could have one but still know this is more complicated.

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7 hours ago, running.tally said:

I've heard very well-meaning individuals who are genuinely afraid that aros will take away resources from everyone else "just because they don't feel romantic attraction," saying that queer people need resources for "having queer experiences, not for lacking them." (This is a misunderstanding of the "not feeling romantic attraction" definition, i.e., that not having romantic feelings is not in and of itself a queer experience, but the 'lacking' narrative is pretty common in my spheres.) It's difficult to explain to these people that, no, aromanticism is inherently queer and aros face oppression, and aros won't steal everyone's resources (especially since the resources we need are probably different from those other queer folks need, but that is a fact conveniently forgotten by many of these people I encounter).

That's also something I've come across a lot, and to this I would reply with something along the lines of "isn't having a queer experience tied directly to lacking a straight/cisheteronormative experience? In that case, aros do have a queer experience, as they lack that straight/cisheteronormative experience". That wording is messy, but I mean that as long as aros are excluded from the 'mainstream' narrative, they are sharing a key experience with the queer community. That mainstream narrative appears to me as something that is hetromantic + heterosexual  + cisgender (and possibly + amatonormative?), and any queer example I can think of off the top of my head is removed from at least one of those concepts. Aromantics obviously missing the hetromantic (and amatonormative) part(s). 

 

7 hours ago, running.tally said:

I also like the idea of having specific stories. We want to include interviews with people (or have those people guest-write themselves) about the nuances of their experiences.

I also think this is a great idea, as this allows people (both aro and non-aro) a way to conceptualize and maybe empathize with the ~aro experience~. 

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On ‎6‎/‎28‎/‎2019 at 9:53 PM, running.tally said:

I just want to be able to have a coherent response to these types of people when they do inevitably come along and go "Uh, but that's confusing and doesn't make sense! So it can't be queer!"

 

 

 

@running.tally Did you try explaining aromanticism with allegory ? Often time I find people understand that kind of things better if you explain it using concrete things. Like for exemple : a lot of people like chocolate but some are allergic to chocolat or just Don't like it. If you imagine that romantic attraction is chocolate, it works !
I explain it like that to a lot of people who didn't know what aromanticism was and even to a friend who had an aphobic reaction. The friend understood better and were less confused after I explained using allegory.

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Yeah allegory works. Something that can be used is "it's like being a straight boy in a place full of boys".

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On 6/19/2019 at 3:29 PM, nonmerci said:

I thought aromantic as "someone who fits in the aromantic spectrum"

As a circular/recursive definition this is not that useful :)

 

I think @Coyote's suggestion here is a good one.
Thus you have "An aromantic person is a person who does not experience romantic attraction."

With "romantic attraction" being defined something like "An unconscious desire to be in an amantonormative type relationship with someone".

 

4 hours ago, Herbe de provence said:

Did you try explaining aromanticism with allegory ? Often time I find people understand that kind of things better if you explain it using concrete things. Like for exemple : a lot of people like chocolate but some are allergic to chocolat or just Don't like it. If you imagine that romantic attraction is chocolate, it works !
I explain it like that to a lot of people who didn't know what aromanticism was and even to a friend who had an aphobic reaction. The friend understood better and were less confused after I explained using allegory.

There's also the Mustard Pickles thread.

 

4 hours ago, nonmerci said:

Yeah allegory works. Something that can be used is "it's like being a straight boy in a place full of boys".

Or "straight girl in a place full of girls"; "gay boy in a place full of girls"; "lesbian girl in a place full of boys".

Another option would be "Like being a Harry Potter fan at a Buffy convention or vice versa"

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