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Coyote

What can we do besides wordsmith?

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Recently encountered a reblog-chain started by @arokaladin that touches on a few different sites of language/expectations shift:

 

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Like for instance the umbrella term for all identities on the arospec that weren’t aro used to be grey aro, and grey aros and aros together were the arospec, but now I see arospec used to mean greyro which. I can’t really police because I am just aro but I think is taking away a term we needed to refer to the whole community. 

 

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It’s also definitely part of the reason for the weird attempts to define qprs as capital d Different to friendships rather than just platonic relationships that the people involved wanted to label a certain way. (Normally different in a way that creates a relationship escalator too, making qprs better or more romantic, or as it’s often put ‘more committed’ than friendship.) Which again reinforces a binary that those of us who do want qprs are Different to those of us who don’t. Which corrupts a term that Needed to be based on choice for a lot of people and tells those people they are different to the rest of the community, (and often better) and tells romance repulsed aros who have/ have had/ want to have qprs that they are associated with romance against their will.

 

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I’ve noticed this too, the change in how qprs are discussed and the loss of certain terminology (or at least the terms being used less) and I’m not sure if it’s for the better in this case. Queerplatonic relationships were, from my understanding, defined entirely by the fact that the people involved 1) had platonic feelings for each other and 2) Agreed to call themselves partners, and that everything else involved could be anything  if it’s what made the people involved happy. Like, I thought the lack of clear parameters was the point, and while I’m not saying queerplatonic attraction is fake (if people say they experience it, I believe them), I don’t like that it is treated as some kid of prerequisite for being in a qpr since it makes it sound like platonic-but-not-exactly style dating instead of the deliberately nebulous construct it is supposed to be?

 

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14 minutes ago, Coyote said:

I don’t like that it is treated as some kid of prerequisite for being in a qpr since it makes it sound like platonic-but-not-exactly style dating instead of the deliberately nebulous construct it is supposed to be?

Interesting. I thought about it as link to attaction, because I ended up associating it with squishes, I don't really know why. But I remember now that the first time I saw the term, it didn't make me think about attraction at all, but about two people who get along and understand each other.

True also that the point was that QPR weren't suppose to have clear parameters, but in this case I can get why people are slowly changing that : people lack to have clear définitions (or maybe just me). However, in that case, I don't think it would be productive, because QPRs can be so different that having a clear definition where everybody fits is impossible. It would be like having a definition of grey that fits everyone.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Coyote said:

I can’t really police because I am just aro but I think is taking away a term we needed to refer to the whole community. 

Speaking of this, is there much consensus on a term to refer to the whole community? I’ve always used “arospec” and “aro spectrum” as a broad term that referred to anyone who fell under the aromantic umbrella (handle aros as well as demiros, greyros, etc). 

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1 hour ago, Coyote said:

Like, I thought the lack of clear parameters was the point, and while I’m not saying queerplatonic attraction is fake (if people say they experience it, I believe them), I don’t like that it is treated as some kid of prerequisite for being in a qpr since it makes it sound like platonic-but-not-exactly style dating instead of the deliberately nebulous construct it is supposed to be?

I know I've said this a bunch of times before, but the only definition of "queerplatonic relationship" I've been able to articulate that actually fits the varied and sometimes contradictory explanations people give of QPRs is, "A platonic relationship that in some way crosses boundaries of what is broadly considered acceptable/normal in platonic relationships, and which the people involve consider non-romantic."

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On 8/3/2019 at 11:57 AM, eatingcroutons said:

"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.

It isn't just Tumblr. There's this aces & aros article which goes on about platonic (and queerplatonic) relationships as though these are the only possible kinds of non-romantic relationship.

 

On 8/3/2019 at 11:57 AM, eatingcroutons said:

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 find the likes of "life partner", "soulmate", etc to be repulsive even without romance.

 

On 8/3/2019 at 11:57 AM, eatingcroutons said:

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.

There's the term "nonamorous". Though I find it hard to interpret this as anything other than "asexual" in Latin.

 

On 8/3/2019 at 11:57 AM, eatingcroutons said:

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.

I'm not sure how well this distinction would work for me. Since it seems it may well put a lot of things, especially sexual and sensual, I see as non romantic under Romo-talk" and relationships which I'd see as "romance like" under "Nonromo-love". Where would purely sexual flirtation, sexual friendships. sensual friendships, non-romantic dating and so on fit into this classification.

 

On 8/3/2019 at 7:42 PM, nonmerci said:

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.

That's also the impression I get. I think it's the use terms like "couple", "life partner", "strong bonds", "more than". Which I very much associate with the way allos describe romance. Another thing being that I see "platonic" as being more of an antonym to "sexual" than "romantic".

 

On 8/3/2019 at 11:55 PM, raavenb2619 said:

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? 

It's something which isn't confined to Tumblr.
It seems that the soulmate concept is itself normative. Quite likely a meme which underpins amantonormativity.

I wonder if another way variation is the idea that everyone wants a singular "best friend".

 


 

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4 hours ago, Mark said:

 

I wonder if another way variation is the idea that everyone wants a singular "best friend".

Oh man, I’d completely forgotten about that. It always confused me, why could you only have one best friend? Why aren’t I allowed to care a lot about multiple friends? 

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On 8/5/2019 at 12:51 PM, raavenb2619 said:

Speaking of this, is there much consensus on a term to refer to the whole community? I’ve always used “arospec” and “aro spectrum” as a broad term that referred to anyone who fell under the aromantic umbrella (handle aros as well as demiros, greyros, etc). 

 

Well, I don't know how to provide proof of consensus, but I find the "non-aromantic" use of "aro spectrum" to be new and bewildering, and this is how I use it:

 

db1636e49ba7_aro%20umbrella.png

 

In this post, Siggy (a grayro) refers to the excluding-aromantic use of "arospec" as "nonstandard usage," and I'm inclined to see it the same way. See that post and the comment section for a further discussion of the consequences of shifting the spectrum framework. ...Also, having been watching the responses come in to the Romantic Ambivalence Survey.... well, to be fair, that's not supposed to be a measure of the whole aro community or opinions on the community, but it is getting a lot of aromantic respondents, and so far, I can tell you that definitely the vast majority of respondents who checked off "aromantic" as their identity did answer "Do you identify on the aromantic spectrum?" with "Yes, I do."

 

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On 8/6/2019 at 10:14 AM, Mark said:

I'm not sure how well this distinction would work for me. Since it seems it may well put a lot of things, especially sexual and sensual, I see as non romantic under Romo-talk" and relationships which I'd see as "romance like" under "Nonromo-love". Where would purely sexual flirtation, sexual friendships. sensual friendships, non-romantic dating and so on fit into this classification.

There are other opt-in channels for sexual content, since there are a bunch of people who want to avoid that, too. 

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Reviving this thread again because I found this post on Tumblr, I’m curious if other people read it the same way I do (my thoughts are in the last reblog) or differently

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You mean the post about how marriage should be about platonic feelings? At least that's how I read it, that a marriage can only work if there is platonic content. Well, I guess that one of the question would be what is platonic exactly, but this is another debate.

Personnaly, I think that what makes a marriage work is trust and enjoying the other person company. If this is platonic or romantic, not the question I think. To know for sure that a platonic marriage works better than a romantic marriage, there should be studies; but really, I don't think it's possible because I think this is rare that even alloromantic people get married without sharing platonic things. Of course I can be mistaken, but I never saw this in real life.

 

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I submit that we should refer to this as the New Platonic Ideal.

This sounds like QPR should get married, but I think only the individuals should decide what is ideal for them or not.

 

By the way, I don't think it is ideal to replace the norm of romance marriage by a norm of platonic marriage is ideal. I think we should focus on celebrating the diversity of relationships, and stop giving advantages to people who are married. But that's just my thoughts of course. I personally don't cant to get married. Except for the cake and the dress maybe. :) This post also seems to think that all aromantics are looking for a "platonic lifemate", which is not the case.

 

Personally, I think the Platonic Ideal should be celebrating all kind of relationships, instead of focusing only on one type.

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5 hours ago, nonmerci said:

This post also seems to think that all aromantics are looking for a "platonic lifemate", which is not the case.

Yeah, it felt like it went from aros playfully hijacking the institution of marriage to aros conforming to it. And it kind of felt to me like it was saying the latter was better/more virtuous than the former. 

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14 hours ago, raavenb2619 said:

Reviving this thread again because I found this post on Tumblr, I’m curious if other people read it the same way I do (my thoughts are in the last reblog) or differently

 

Uh...

 

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I like this a lot, but I liked this a lot more when it was light jokes, because afterwards it felt like it was trying to say “we got married becauser we’re in a QPR” without saying QPR

 

...eh? atm I'm not sure there is necessarily a way to "say QPR without saying QPR," since QPR doesn't inherently mean anything in and of itself outside the framing as such. I also... don't... see why this is stated as a contradiction or a drawback. I mean.... What's wrong with posts about QPRs? What's wrong with posts about nonromantic marriage that don't use the term "QPR" specifically? ....I just don't understand what the objection is. Especially since the OP doesn't specifically start out by saying "married for reasons other than a QPR," so it's not like something's going directly against the OP's wishes (that I can see), and the first initial list even included “we got married because it gave us an excuse to have sleepovers every night,” implying the relationship isn't supposed to be totally devoid of emotional investment in each other. And... I don't see how the additions are taking it anywhere away from where it's supposed to be, except for maybe being... less flippant/humorous? ...but then again the original post doesn't feel all that funny to me in the first place, so. To me it's not all that noticeable. So I... don't see what the issue is, unless you're trying to blacklist QPRs & think this should have been tagged as such, so that you could blacklist it (in which case I might suggest just blacklisting marriage posts instead, to be more comprehensive).

 

4 hours ago, raavenb2619 said:

Yeah, it felt like it went from aros playfully hijacking the institution of marriage to aros conforming to it.

 

...? Which part?

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40 minutes ago, Coyote said:

I also... don't... see why this is stated as a contradiction or a drawback. I mean.... What's wrong with posts about QPRs? What's wrong with posts about nonromantic marriage that don't use the term "QPR" specifically?

Sorry, I guess I should clarify. The way I read the original post was two mischievous aros who, among other things, "got married because it gave us an excuse to ask for toasters from people as wedding gifts", but not necessarily as two aros who were in a QPR or some sort of Named Important Relationship (TM). Which isn't to say that the aros in question couldn't be, only that I read it as two aros that decided to get married primarily to get the benefits married people get. There isn't anything wrong with posts about QPRs, and posts about QPRs and nonromantic marriage don't have to use the term QPR, it's just that I feel kind of like there was a bait and switch. I started with a post that I interpreted one way (i.e. aros not in a Relationship (TM)) but by the end it became something else (i.e. aros in a Relationship (TM)). Does that make sense? 

 

40 minutes ago, Coyote said:

So I... don't see what the issue is, unless you're trying to blacklist QPRs & think this should have been tagged as such, so that you could blacklist it (in which case I might suggest just blacklisting marriage posts instead, to be more comprehensive).

Nope. Just what felt like a bait and switch. And it's definitely not clear cut/objective by any means, I was just wondering what other people thought. 

 

40 minutes ago, Coyote said:

...? Which part?

I would say this reblog (the one with HALF AS MANY CHORES, if you're on the first link I sent) because it started being activities with a much larger and regular time investment, compared to previous stuff (although I'd say there's hints of it in the reblog before it). Again, it's a subjective call, but I'd say the next reblog, talking about various financial benefits (and also walking dogs) pushes it again more towards a Relationship. But I'd say the long text reblog by vaspider, which talks about how marriages don't need romance but they do need platonic love, and in particular, 

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We should in fact consider the aromantic “platonic lifemate” as the ideal BASIS for a marriage in the long term. We should be looking at platonic lifemates and saying, “do we measure up to that standard? Is our love for each other aromantic TOO? Are we at that bedrock?” 

is probably the most...amatonormative? I'm not quite sure what it is, I just know I have a negative reaction to it. 

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9 hours ago, raavenb2619 said:

Yeah, it felt like it went from aros playfully hijacking the institution of marriage to aros conforming to it. And it kind of felt to me like it was saying the latter was better/more virtuous than the former. 

That's how I read it too. Probably because I don't want to get married.

 

If aros want to get married they can, and if they don't they don't have to be pressure to do it; that's how I see it. Otherwise it is normative.

 

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12 hours ago, raavenb2619 said:

Sorry, I guess I should clarify. The way I read the original post was two mischievous aros who, among other things, "got married because it gave us an excuse to ask for toasters from people as wedding gifts", but not necessarily as two aros who were in a QPR or some sort of Named Important Relationship (TM).

 

Well, sure, the original post didn't use the terms QPR or Named Important Relationship. None of the additions did. Excepting of course the one at the end talking about romantic relationships.

 

12 hours ago, raavenb2619 said:

Which isn't to say that the aros in question couldn't be, only that I read it as two aros that decided to get married primarily to get the benefits married people get.

 

Benefits is an ambiguous category. I think I sort of see what you're getting at, but the very first list did include "sleepovers," which isn't one of those technical/financial benefits specific to marriage as a legal institution or other people's conventions around it. So stuff like "surprise cookies" and "two people can walk more dogs" seems like more in the same vein, there.

 

If I could easily do it, I'd check the post for any sign of further followup from the original poster, but 1) I don't know how to do that as a non-tumblr-user, because it's 53k+ notes and my only option would be to scroll through that list forever in the hopes of catching a glimpse of a relevant comment and that's just ridiculously labor intensive for something like this, and 2) it looks like the OP has deleted the original post, anyway. I can't know if that's because they got annoyed with people's additions or just because of too many notifications. So... despite my impulse to want to verify the OP's intentions, that path is basically blocked off for me here.

 

13 hours ago, raavenb2619 said:

But I'd say the long text reblog by vaspider, which talks about how marriages don't need romance but they do need platonic love, and in particular,  is probably the most...amatonormative?

 

Imma be real with you chief... I didn't even fully read the addition by vaspider at first. I don't even having anything specific against that person, they're just one of the people that I've gotten in the habit of ignoring half the time. 

 

Anyway yeah they turned a post about "nonromantic reasons an aro might enter a marriage" into "a good outlook to have for a good romantic marriage," which, hm, while not necessarily wrong, does seem like kinda, uh, not what people were using the post for. But then again, I feel weird about speaking to intent when, again, that's so hard to determine in this case. But then again (x2), them starting off with "I want y'all to pause for a moment and consider this" starts off on a real condescending foot, if you ask me... and going "IF YOUR RELATIONSHIP WOULD NOT STAND UP WITHOUT THE ROMANCE IN IT, DON’T GET MARRIED" is kinda.... I mean, who is the audience here? It's on this post about aros, worded as if it's directed at the people posting/adding on, but then is seemingly addressing people in romantic relationships...? What? Who are you even talking to? Why are you talking to that group on this post?

 

.....'Course, it's a reblog-addition, not a comment, which means it's simultaneously being sent to people upstream and being shared to their followers, so maybe that bit is for their followers? I dunno. Managing audience stuff on Tumblr always seemed prohibitively complicated to me and I think that's a big part of how you end up with tonal weirdness like this.

 

But they're also using "aromantic" there as if it describes nonromantic relationship components instead of a type of person, which... what?

 

Also -- "I submit that we should refer to this as the New Platonic Ideal" -- No Thank You. To quote one of the classics: Plato's grave is a gender neutral bathroom.

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11 minutes ago, Coyote said:

Benefits is an ambiguous category. I think I sort of see what you're getting at, but the very first list did include "sleepovers," which isn't one of those technical/financial benefits specific to marriage as a legal institution or other people's conventions around it. So stuff like "surprise cookies" and "two people can walk more dogs" seems like more in the same vein, there.

 

That's fair. I only half noticed the sleepovers the first time, and probably rationalized it as "having an excuse to do a thing that friends like to do some times" to make it fit with how read the rest of the original post. 

 

12 minutes ago, Coyote said:

If I could easily do it, I'd check the post for any sign of further followup from the original poster, but 1) I don't know how to do that as a non-tumblr-user, because it's 53k+ notes and my only option would be to scroll through that list forever in the hopes of catching a glimpse of a relevant comment and that's just ridiculously labor intensive for something like this, and 2) it looks like the OP has deleted the original post, anyway. I can't know if that's because they got annoyed with people's additions or just because of too many notifications. So... despite my impulse to want to verify the OP's intentions, that path is basically blocked off for me here.

I get why you want to do that, but I also think it kind of...doesn't matter? In the sense, I guess, that I've had an inherently subjective experience reading through the posts, and I don't think the OP's intentions have much bearing on it either way. Whether or not the additions are in the spirit of the OP won't really change how I read through it. (Which is not to say that the OPs thoughts don't matter at all, just that they don't affect how I read the post. But I am curious to see what the OP meant.)

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On 9/15/2019 at 8:43 AM, nonmerci said:

That's how I read it too. Probably because I don't want to get married.

 

If aros want to get married they can, and if they don't they don't have to be pressure to do it; that's how I see it. Otherwise it is normative.

The thread definitely felt to me like it went from "you don't have to be in a relationship to take advantage of the institution of marriage!" to "marriage is a way to ensure continuation of typically amatonormative aspects of a non-romantic relationship!".

 

I get where the people in it are coming from but they list a whole heap of things that I don't want to share with another person in my life, because I don't want a partnership that involves sharing that much of my life with someone.

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Marriage as an institution is something that historically was not romantic. It instead existed to bring families together, create community bonds and provide stability in times of trouble.

 

Sadly, it was co-opted by romantic propagandists, and now most people associate marriage with romance. Marriage, in its altered form, is used as a tool to create "haves" and "have-nots". Gone are the days it brought people together and fostered community. We all know that nowadays, most marriages snuff out platonic friendships, and isolate us aros from our friends and families. That is why I can see why many aros would be turned away from what marriage has become, but on the flip side, I can also see why many aros would want to take back marriage and bring it back into a platonic realm.

 

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37 minutes ago, JetSettingAro said:

Marriage as an institution is something that historically was not romantic. It instead existed to bring families together, create community bonds and provide stability in times of trouble.

With "family" meaning "extended family", sometimes very extended. Rather than anything like a "nuclear family".
It's also a lot about money and property. For high status people this often included politics and treaties too. (In some cases marriages only to end and prevent wars.)
 

1 hour ago, JetSettingAro said:

Sadly, it was co-opted by romantic propagandists, and now most people associate marriage with romance. Marriage, in its altered form, is used as a tool to create "haves" and "have-nots". Gone are the days it brought people together and fostered community. We all know that nowadays, most marriages snuff out platonic friendships, and isolate us aros from our friends and families.

IIRC the greedy marriage is a recent thing even within Western societies. Yet the myth of marriage being "community building" persists.
There's also the "Bridal Tour" which could involve travelling with or visiting relatives and friends. Which appears to have fallen out of fashion.

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