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Is aromantic vocabulary unconsciously amatonormative ?

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(Disclaimer: I've only skim-read this thread so might not be consistent with things previously said)

I think it's kinda because....for example, society (especially in the US) doesn't really value friendships that much; people don't consider it normal to be affectionate with your friends.  Because of that, the word "friend" has been kinda watered down to be a weaker relationship than what it should mean.  Therefore, terms like queerplatonic were created because it's not considered normal to be super close to friends and be affectionate, much less prioritize each other as part of life plans.  So it's not just trying to make terms that are "closer to romance", it's that platonic isn't considered as strong as it ought to be.  

 

I think some elements of it have been formed with internalized amatonormativity, and that has been complicated due to conflicting definitions...especially between the aro community and parts of the ace community.  Part of it might also be from trying to explain it to others in a way they'd understand.  But yeah I think it's generally useful to point out how the terminology has evolved in response to the surrounding culture; I know I've had previous conversations where it was realized that americans tend to use these labels even more because our culture has made it so taboo and weird to be genuinely close with friends.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Coyote said:

If you want to talk about amatonormative aro terminology... what's with people inscribing the "romance means more closeness than friendship" hierarchy on queerplatonic of all things? I want to tear my hair out.

I'm assuming you mean the definition of "Iodic".
(They appear to have missed out Ganymede from the model. Also no huge volcanic eruptions visible on the Iodic flag...)
Hierarchical language is present in the AVENWiki and Aromantics Wiki in the definition of "Queer Platonic Relationship".

The "Europic" definition appears to conflate romantic coded behaviours with "Nesting Behaviour".
 

The whole thing gives me a very much amantonormative and Relationship Escalator type vibe.
There's also a conflation between QPR and "life defining friendship" (singular).

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Probably yes, as the title of the thread says, because the sounding board will have been the established romantic view.

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Maybe a way to reclaim friendship is to make up new words for relationships that are less close than friends. Like one that describes the concept of "friendship of utility" mentioned earlier. Right now I can only think of two terms colleague and acquaintance. Are there others?

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On 3/25/2019 at 9:44 PM, Mark said:

Why not call it "queerromantic", "quasiromantic" or "pseudoromantic".
 

Yes but isn't the point of it that it's not a romantic relationship? So use the word romantic sounds wrong (even if some people seems to use it as a substitute, and that they building the same kind of hierarchy, the feeling is different from what I understand).

 

On 3/25/2019 at 9:44 PM, Mark said:

 Terms like "just friends" and "more than friends" imply some kind of hierarchy in terms terms of relationship types.

Agree. That's why I hate the concept of friendzone too. People tends to forêt that friends hop can be a goal in itself, and bring a lot of commitment too.

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1 hour ago, nonmerci said:

Yes but isn't the point of it that it's not a romantic relationship? So use the word romantic sounds wrong (even if some people seems to use it as a substitute, and that they building the same kind of hierarchy, the feeling is different from what I understand).

The definition on AVENwiki  is "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. People in a queerplatonic relationship may be of any romantic or sexual orientation. A partner in a queer platonic relationship is called a zucchini."
Which does come over as both hierarchical and romance like.

With 'QPRs' seeming rather different from this definition of platonic. "Platonic describes a relationship that is purely spiritual and not physical. If a guy and a girl hang out all the time but aren't boyfriend and girlfriend, they'd describe their friendship as platonic." Which is, also, why I feel 'platonic' is entirely inappropriate for anything which is sensual, sexual or involves physical attraction/desire.

 

1 hour ago, nonmerci said:

Agree. That's why I hate the concept of friendzone too. People tends to forêt that friends hop can be a goal in itself, and bring a lot of commitment too.

Concept also appears to support of seeing friendship and romance as dichotomous and the notion of romantic coding of behaviours.

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Most humans are romantic, and our languages reflect that. We have words like "chastity" or "adultery", which imply having sex outside of a romantic relationship is wrong. The word "love" is the strongest word we have for positive emotional attitude to another person. It is ambiguous, but it's core meaning is clearly romantic. If I told my best friend I love her, she'd think I want her to become my romantic partner. Yet there is no other word save "like", which is too weak to describe my emotions. In Greek there are two words: eros (romantic love) and agape (Jesus-style love).

 

If we want to change human languages, we'll be seen as another movement like the LGBT movement or national liberation movements, which also wanted to change the way people talk. Olaf Stapledon is a good example, he was able to talk about most bizarre ideas using common sense language.

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7 hours ago, Mark said:

With 'QPRs' seeming rather different from this definition of platonic. "Platonic describes a relationship that is purely spiritual and not physical. If a guy and a girl hang out all the time but aren't boyfriend and girlfriend, they'd describe their friendship as platonic." Which is, also, why I feel 'platonic' is entirely inappropriate for anything which is sensual, sexual or involves physical attraction/desire.

That's how I always interpreted the term QPR, but I then discover that there is a tone of ways to understand it.

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16 hours ago, Spacenik86 said:

Most humans are romantic, and our languages reflect that. We have words like "chastity" or "adultery", which imply having sex outside of a romantic relationship is wrong.

Romance is a modern idea. Even though the word literally means "Roman style" it postdates the Roman Empire by around a thousand years.
Whilst chastity can mean only having sex with a spouse romantic marriages have existed for, at most, two hundred years. With arranged marriages still being common even now. (Even in Europe.) Adultery is also about extra marital sex. Also predating romance (and romantic marriage) by thousands of years.
 

16 hours ago, Spacenik86 said:

The word "love" is the strongest word we have for positive emotional attitude to another person. It is ambiguous, but it's core meaning is clearly romantic. If I told my best friend I love her, she'd think I want her to become my romantic partner. Yet there is no other word save "like", which is too weak to describe my emotions. In Greek there are two words: eros (romantic love) and agape (Jesus-style love).

The meaning of "Eros" is "sexual love". In addition to "agape": "Selfless Love" Koine Greek uses "Philia": "Brotherly/Friendship Love" and “Storge”: "Familiar Love". The New Testament, the most widely known Koine text in the modern world, mostly uses agape. Which is to be expected.
In terms of Classical Greek there is also “Ludus”: "Playful Love", "Mania": "Obsessive Love", “Pragma”: "Enduring Love" and “Philautia”: "Self Love".

 

16 hours ago, Spacenik86 said:

If we want to change human languages, we'll be seen as another movement like the LGBT movement or national liberation movements, which also wanted to change the way people talk. Olaf Stapledon is a good example, he was able to talk about most bizarre ideas using common sense language.

In terms of "love" the usage of language has been changed. With this having happened recently.
Also interpretation. Including retconning romance into classical texts and lionising the likes of "Romeo and Juliet". 

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1 hour ago, Mark said:

Romance is a modern idea. Even though the word literally means "Roman style" it postdates the Roman Empire by around a thousand years.
Whilst chastity can mean only having sex with a spouse romantic marriages have existed for, at most, two hundred years. With arranged marriages still being common even now. (Even in Europe.) Adultery is also about extra marital sex. Also predating romance (and romantic marriage) by thousands of years.


Yeah, in old societies most marriages were arranged marriages, and "love" was meant to come later. But humans are pair-bonding creatures, and the concept of marriage was based on that. For me romantic love means simply pair-bonding, though its more extravagant aspects were invented in the 18th or 19th century.

 

Quote

The meaning of "Eros" is "sexual love". In addition to "agape": "Selfless Love" Koine Greek uses "Philia": "Brotherly/Friendship Love" and “Storge”: "Familiar Love". The New Testament, the most widely known Koine text in the modern world, mostly uses agape. Which is to be expected.
In terms of Classical Greek there is also “Ludus”: "Playful Love", "Mania": "Obsessive Love", “Pragma”: "Enduring Love" and “Philautia”: "Self Love".

 

I didn't know there so many other words. BTW, are you a Greek expert?

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On 6/15/2019 at 10:41 AM, Spacenik86 said:

Yeah, in old societies most marriages were arranged marriages, and "love" was meant to come later.

Arranged marriages, including those which are forced and/or involve children are still very much around in 2019. Including "Western Countries" (Europe, North American and Australasia) rather that just The Indian subcontinent. The form of "love" involved here closely resembling one of the definitions of "pragma".

 

On 6/15/2019 at 10:41 AM, Spacenik86 said:

But humans are pair-bonding creatures, and the concept of marriage was based on that.

There's little evidence to support "pair bonding" in humans as being anything other than a social meme. It's an unusual behaviour amongst mammals, especially apes.
An alternative explanation of monogamy and polygamy marriage customs would be as a mechanism to determine paternity. There also exist cultures with polyandry and at least one (the Mosuo) which dosn't have marriage.
It's also important to remember that far more that the 1-3% of people estimated to be aromantic never marry and this has been the case throughout recorded history.
 

On 6/15/2019 at 10:41 AM, Spacenik86 said:

 For me romantic love means simply pair-bonding, though its more extravagant aspects were invented in the 18th or 19th century.

The difficulty is that the idea "romantic love" just didn't exist until the 16th century with "romantic marriages" only starting to become fashionable in the mid 19th.
It's possible heteromonogamous marriage might be literally "romantic". In that it was imposed by the Roman Empire on Europe, North Africa and East Asia. Then to the rest of the planet by the Spanish, Portuguese, French, British, etc empires. 

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1 hour ago, Mark said:

It's also important to remember that far more that the 1-3% of people estimated to be aromantic never marry and this has been the case throughout recorded history.
 

 

Possible explanations why a romantic person doesn't marry:

-Some people love a specific individual so much, that being unable to pair-bond with them, they don't want anyone else. On of my mother's closest friend's fiancee died and she remained single ever after.

-Some people might be mentally unstable in a way which precludes a lasting romantic relationship. I mean autism and various forms of schizophrenia-style disorders. One schizotypal I knew online literally had an imaginary girlfriend, he said she comes to him in dreams.

-Some people whose romantic cravings are not very strong might suppress them in order to focus on some intellectual or spiritual pursuit. Nikola Tesla would be a good example.

-Some people are really unattractive and cannot find a partner.

-In the Victorian age and before women were not financially independent, so many men didn't marry because they couldn't afford to provide for a wife.

-In the modern era many people live in long-term committed relationships, but don't want to formalise them. This is very common nowadays. One of my real-life friends has been with the same woman for 20 years, they have a teenaged son, yet they don't want to marry.

 

We cannot really study human nature in its pristine form, everybody is affected by some culture's tradition and ideology. But it makes far more sense to assume human cultures are expressions of human nature, rather than something going against our natural way of behaving.

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