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Aromantic Political Activism


Magni
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On 7/11/2019 at 10:10 AM, Spacenik86 said:

In the 2010s everything is politicized, most people are already tired of politics, please don't make aromanticism a political issue.

imho there is a difference between making X a political issue itself and caring about the connections of X with politics.

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On 7/12/2019 at 6:17 PM, NullVector said:

Sure, I'm interested in learning more if you have some links to stuff, book suggestions, etc.

 

Oh man I don't even know where to start. Just googling "private public feminism" should get you a lot of stuff. "Criticism of rights" should too. For now I'll just say that the "human rights" or "natural rights" framework is pretty classically Liberal (in the philosophical sense, "Enlightenment" thinkers and John Locke and all that) -- and I think you can get a good basic introduction to Liberalism if you try watching the the "What was Liberalism?" series. Alternatively, here's a more essay-style treatise on the topic from a Critical Legal Studies perspective (which weirdly enough presents feminists as taking the opposite stance, which I don't think is a good summation, but whatever). Might raise more questions than it offers answers, but. This is one of those more long journey to understanding types of things morseo than something I can clear up with a quick simple answer. I can't even remember where I first saw this stuff critiqued.

 

On 7/12/2019 at 9:19 PM, assignedgothatbirth said:

I do think for younger, financially-secure, and/or abled people there aren't a lot of issues (not that I'm saying you're any of those) but once you consider other factors money becomes a big issue. 

 

You can say that again. Amatonormativity and the isolation of being single started feeling a lot more pressing to me after I lost my family and lost my job, knowing that without a social fallback network or much in the way of financial security, it wouldn't be hard for me to end up homeless in a year. Now I feel a lot more pressure to find somebody to latch onto, if only out of necessity. Whereas, honestly, that kind of thing bothered me less back when I felt like I had good foundations and that there would always be people I could turn to if I needed them.

 

20 hours ago, NullVector said:

Having kids for elderly care strikes me as less of an issue to be honest. [...] In practice, the children are often so busy with their own families and financial troubles that the duty of care is passed on to institutions (e.g. nursing homes).

 

Privatizing the care of the elderly, for profit, in a way that's notoriously susceptible to abuse and substandard care? Sounds like an issue to me. The expectation that adult children take care of parents may not always play out that way in practice, but the same could be said of the expectation that a romantic relationship will make people happy -- i.e. just because in practice many people are miserable in their romantic relationships... doesn't mean that that pressure is irrelevant as a social issue. If anything I'd say this is still pointing back to the issues with privatization and individualism (and exploitative jobs and exploitative debts) breaking up the possibilities for more communally-interwoven living, again connected back to the norm of the nuclear family.

 

I mean, in the history of human society, we haven't *always* had nursing homes. What kind of a society makes nursing homes relevant?

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On 7/13/2019 at 12:45 AM, Coyote said:

Do you also think that social media and full-time TV news channels weren't a thing until the 2010s?

 

Social media became mainstream about 2006 but the profusion of politics started later.

 

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I take it you're either not familiar with or vehemently in disagreement with the 50-year-old slogan "the personal is political".

 

I disagree with it. If you wonder why, you could be interested in the following essay:

https://thecriticalrationalist.weebly.com/blog/the-personal-isnt-nessecerily-political

 

In general I don't have good opinion of 1960s American radicalism. It's enough to say these radicals sympathized with various totalitarian regimes in the Third World, because these regimes supposedly stood for national liberation. I'm appalled by students wearing T-shirts with the murderer Che Guevara.

 

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I'd have guessed earlier that you were thinking of "politics" as only strictly delimited to "electoral politics" or perhaps "directly pertaining to institutional government authority and policy".

 

The second is closer to my definition of politics.

 

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Who's "we"?

 

Citizens of Western democracies. In places like North Korea or Saudi Arabia things are completely different. If I was living in such a society, my priority would be to bring down the tyranny.
 

On 7/12/2019 at 11:30 PM, NullVector said:

I've tried to phrase that last paragraph as politely as possible; I'm sure you're aware of less polite phrasings of it!)

 

Okay, I am new here. Which phrases I should have avoided not to come off as impolite?

 

20 hours ago, Mark said:

Many therapists appear to be strongly of the view of everything being "personal". So possibly unlikely to even recognise something like Minority stress especially in connection to an "invisible minority"

 

So this is the opposite extreme. For activists or "SJWs" everything is political. For therapists everything is personal. We need a more balanced perspective which avoids both extremes.

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@Coyote when I wote that I saw elderley care as "less of an issue", the context I meant it in was as "not something I would expect to disproportionately imact aros and/or the childless/childfree, given how our society works in practice". I agree that how our society works in practice is not great in a lot of ways. The question here is whether those ways disproportionately impact aros in a way that makes aromanticism itself a political issue. For me, they don't. For others, they might.

 

I think I'd prefer the political discussions to happen at a lower level of resolution e.g. focusing on social issues that impact all single or all childless people, rather than just aromantic ones. Or, going even lower level, social issues that impact all people lacking in informal support networks, for example.

 

5 hours ago, Spacenik86 said:
On 7/12/2019 at 10:30 PM, NullVector said:

I've tried to phrase that last paragraph as politely as possible; I'm sure you're aware of less polite phrasings of it!)

 

Okay, I am new here. Which phrases I should have avoided not to come off as impolite?

 

Oh, I wasn't implying reference to anything you wrote. Just that elswhere on the interent, what I wrote might have been phrased in terms like 'snowflakes' getting 'triggered' by 'facts' they encounter outside their 'safe spaces'. I don't find that type of phrasing to be helpful! So I did not write my post that way.

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56 minutes ago, NullVector said:

I think I'd prefer the political discussions to happen at a lower level of resolution e.g. focusing on social issues that impact all single or all childless people, rather than just aromantic ones. Or, going even lower level, social issues that impact all people lacking in informal support networks, for example.

There might be issues which apply only to aros or which affect aros and allos differently. Additionally there's the complication that not all aros are single or childfree.

Something I noticed about this  Are You Single at Heart? questionnaire is that the first question is effectively asking "Extrovert or introvert" and some of the other questions look to contain logical fallacies.

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On 7/11/2019 at 4:41 PM, Jot-Aro Kujo said:

I... You do understand what the purpose of politics is, yes..? Politics decide the policies and systems that structure our lives. Everything that has to do with the way we live within our society is a political issue. I can understand being tired of "republicans vs. democrats" or "Brexit vs. EU" type politics, but politics also includes things like "How much of our taxes should go towards education?" or "Should our town sell the town green to real estate developers?"

Everything is politicized because when our lives are inherently built within a net of laws and policies and decisions, changes to those things don't just magically spring up overnight via wishful thinking. Everything is a political issue. If we want rights for ourselves, that's a political issue.

Spacenik86's post is kind of confused, but this line is very important:

On 7/11/2019 at 10:10 AM, Spacenik86 said:

Aromantics shouldn't forcibly re-educate people by pushing for law changes, if there has to be a cultural change away from pair-bonding let's it happen naturally.

I’m always surprised how many people regard laws as good instruments to change attitudes and for reeducation.


Probably they regard themselves as philosopher kings bringing the sheeple to their senses.

 

But isn’t Putin the only true philosopher king?

 

Last year the enlightened president Putin banned Jehovah’s Witnesses and put and end to their superstition and the harm it causes: No one will die anymore because of being brainwashed into rejecting blood transfusions.

 

In backwards countries like the US they let 14-year-old teenagers die because of this insanity.

 

His Yarovaya law is very fair: it bans a religious organization as extremist if it encourages members to refuse life-saving treatment. Jehovah’s Witnesses could have changed their teaching and they would still be allowed.

 

Still, Putin is not a man of petty religious intolerance. In most cases, he does not want to restrict the freedom of believers. For example, you are allowed to refuse to bake a cake for a gay wedding in Russia. Christians do not have this freedom in the US.

 

Only when it becomes serious, like a matter of life and death, Putin in his unending love for humanity sees himself forced to intervene.

 

Enlightened, tolerant, fair, loving and all-around sane – that’s Putin. The US government does everything the other way around which is exactly the wrong way.

----------

:P

 

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Hmm, so for me personally adoption is a really big thing that I see having political challenges with in the future, and I think what will really allow us to change and work on that problem is coalition building.

 

You mentioned working with the poly community on marriage, but we should also be working with poly folks on adoption. Monogamy is just as much of a prerequisite for adoption as marriage often is, and that’s another place where these two groups could work together. 

 

I also think with adoption, at least in the U.S, it would be important to do coalition building with non-christian religious groups. A lot of courts and adoption agencies are unwilling to send children to non-christian households, and that bias affects a lot of people. I know that personally as a children's class director at a Pagan place of worship I’ve had to do a lot of work to make services “acceptable” for pagan foster kids to attend because our cultural norms are so different. We’ve also had a lot of potential foster parents and adopters in our community turned away by agencies because they’re not “promoting christian values within the home”. And that’s just my experience with paganism, I know that a lot of other non-christan faith groups face similar problems when trying to adopt, and I think that given the opportunity, non-christain religious organizations are some really big, already organized, groups that could really help us with political activism around this issue.

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13 hours ago, Spacenik86 said:

Social media became mainstream about 2006 but the profusion of politics started later.

 

Prove it.

 

13 hours ago, Spacenik86 said:

I disagree with it. If you wonder why, you could be interested in the following essay:

https://thecriticalrationalist.weebly.com/blog/the-personal-isnt-nessecerily-political

 

Oh, you're one of those people who call themselves rationalists. It's all coming together now. 

 

Thoughts on your blogpost:

  • "As such, the problems that politicians and political scientists concern themselves with are what define politics."
    And so then how do you define politicians and political scientists? This seems recursive.
  • "The meme 'the personal is political' states that all personal problems are political and all political problems are personal"
    Did you know? Engaging with arguments in bad faith -- that is, deliberately misrepresenting or misapprehending them -- is not a good way of debunking them. Or I guess maybe you're just ignorant of the context of the phrase and how it was actually used in practice? Otherwise can't see why you would think picking a breakfast cereal is a relevant counterpoint.
13 hours ago, Spacenik86 said:

The second is closer to my definition of politics.

 

Thought so.

 

13 hours ago, Spacenik86 said:
Quote

Who's "we"?

Citizens of Western democracies.

 

I don't count myself among your "we," then. I'm not a citizen of a country that "already has the necessary human rights." I'm from the United States.

 

8 hours ago, NullVector said:

The question here is whether those ways disproportionately impact aros in a way that makes aromanticism itself a political issue. For me, they don't. For others, they might.

 

Is that the question? Because I think that might be a bad question to start off on. I think it makes more sense to ask, ex., What is amatonormativity, how does it manifest materially, what would it look like to advocate against it beyond the realm of the lexical and the symbolic, etc. rather than to, say, try to figure out a perfect Average Aromantic to measure any given question by. There is no one singular aromantic experience, after all. It's hard to say what does or doesn't disproportionately affect aromantics. It's not like there's large scale survey data on that. The most we can do is draw a connection between certain material dynamics and amatonormativity, which we might decide it's in the aromantic community's overall best interest to fight -- that is, identifying issues on which to mobilize the aromantic community, not necessarily "figuring out what issues are aro-specific." That's what I kind of assumed was Magni's thinking there. But maybe I'm wrong.

 

6 hours ago, DeltaV said:

the enlightened president Putin

 

Wow.

 

 

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On 7/11/2019 at 8:44 AM, Magni said:

Marriage: The legal benefits of marriage and lack of alternate options….having some way to declare someone as “family” for purposes of medical leave and such without requiring marriage/romance. Also, partnering with the polyamory community on this because they also face issues with the current system of marriage.

 

100% a real problem  - I'd say that it'd be good to be able to choose someone you trust to be your uhh proxy/plenipotentiary for situations like medical decisions, having access to your medical records. Marriage is also simplifying the issues of inheritance, but I guess this mostly would be an issue for people who do have partners, but don't get married. In terms of both of those, allying with poly and queer partnering people (where they don't have the option to get married) would be beneficial - it's harder to ignore a bigger group of people ;)

 

With adoption I'll just say +1.

 

On 7/11/2019 at 8:44 AM, Magni said:

Workplace Protections: the queer community in general still needs protections against discrimination, but it does affect us too, and it would be important to include not only that they can’t discriminate against people for their sexual orientation, but also their romantic orientation. (This is the issue I personally would be most concerned about tbh)

 

This is a big issue for aromantics and singles in general, so especially single aromantics. Discrimination can have many faces, like someone noticed it doesn't have to be firing someone for being aro. It can also being overlooked in promoting, having a lower salary (someone who's single doesn't need the money anyway am I right??* *note: yes, this is right, but in the current climate "from each according to their ability, to each according to their needs" isn't working out anyway, right?? right), being forced to work at hours/on days no one wants to work, being excluded socially, etc. Here alignment with singles that aren't aro and childless people and women who have families, but earn less than men who have families would make us a bigger group   :)

 

On 7/11/2019 at 8:44 AM, Magni said:

Healthcare: this has some overlap with my first point about “spousal” benefits, but generally making sure aro people aren’t discriminated against in healthcare. This includes mental health, and making sure we could seek therapy without having to educate them about our identities or have our identity medicalized. Additionally, I believe there is something about single people receiving less aggressive treatment options and therefore having worse outcomes, so preventing that kinda thing too.

 

Talked some about medical stuff in marriage too, so won't repeat that addition. But here I believe a change of mentality is needed - singles receive worse treatment, because their lives are perceived as being less worth saving *shrug*. It's a real problem that should be brought to attention of more people, but probably not something that can be solved by legislation.

 

On 7/11/2019 at 8:44 AM, Magni said:

Support Networks: most adults seem to get their social needs met via their romantic partnerships, or find community via religious groups. There’s generally a need for non-denominational groups to provide support and community, because people generally need that sort of thing, and feeling isolated can be detrimental to people’s health. One form of this might be lgbtqa+ community centers in general, ones that are alcohol-free community resource centers (which other parts of the queer community want too).

 

Activist groups would be great too hehe. But yes, some solutions for people who don't have that familial/spousal support network is needed and should be talked about.

 

On 7/11/2019 at 10:10 AM, Spacenik86 said:

Adoption should above all give the child a responsible, stable and mature environment, and in most cases this means the conventional family.

If we can't provide a kid with 100% responsible, stable, mature, conventional hetero couple, it's better for them to rot in orphanages where they have oh so great adult oversight and opportunities aplenty, clearly.

 

On 7/11/2019 at 6:54 PM, Coyote said:

You've mentioned the polyamorous community and "the queer community" as communities with overlapping goals and aims here, and to that I'd also add decolonialists and anticapitalists.

 

Cool cool.

 

On 7/11/2019 at 8:26 PM, nonmerci said:

the PACS. But it's for couples too I think (it was create mostly for couple of the same sex, when marriage wasn't allowed for them, but any couple coud use it

 

Yeah, but it's still for couples, leaving poly and other non-duo friend constellations with no options.

 

On 7/12/2019 at 11:18 AM, Mark said:

These issues are becoming more obvious as marriage declines.

 

Yes! All the more likely those problems will find solutions :) The only thing I'd be wary of would be the amatonormative mentality of "well, but I'll get a partner eventually and it won't affect me anymore" of some of those people. The society generally holds the belief that giving greater advantage to marrieds with children is 100% right.

 

On 7/12/2019 at 11:18 AM, Mark said:

Something which can be an issue here is Skin Hunger which I'm not sure that highly platonic "community/resource centres" are going to be able to address.
For many aros their social needs can include romantic coded activities. Thus there needs to be inclusion in respect of these.

 

Contact sports ? Good old sex work ? New career opportunities for professional cuddlers ? But for real now - maybe there will appear some ways to fulfill those needs that aren't here today. Meanwhile we can focus on mentality in which toching friends could happen more often.

 

On 7/12/2019 at 11:30 PM, NullVector said:

it would be nice if conceps like "romantic harrasment" and "romantic consent" were anywhere near as universally acknowledged as the analagous concepts of "sexual harrasment" and "sexual consent".

 

Mmm, great point.

 

On 7/12/2019 at 11:30 PM, NullVector said:

You can make the case that existing legal frameworks privilege marriage and aren't good at legitimising other relationship archetypes, sure. Like Elizabeth Brake did in Minimizing Marriage. But she wasn't exactly calling for revolution on all fronts in that book! More like liberal reforms/tweaks to an existing contract law framework that already grants people the core political freedoms, but is currenly a bit inflexible in the inter-personal space.

 

I, uh, thought that this is what we were discussion here, reforms that would legitimize lifestyles other than hetero couple marriage. I don't think anything that's been said here called for a revolution.

 

On 7/13/2019 at 9:45 AM, NullVector said:

Having kids for elderly care strikes me as less of an issue to be honest. I think in practice (at least in 'the West') it's often somewhat of a romantic fantasy parents have. In practice, the children are often so busy with their own families and financial troubles that the duty of care is passed on to institutions (e.g. nursing homes). Using the (probably significant) extra money you save from not having kids to afford a better standard of elderly care would strike me as, 9 times out of 10, the more reliable plan for old age.

 

It can be a fantasy only, but at least sometimes the kids can pay for the nursing homes. To have more extra money, it'd be cool to have the same salary that people who have children and/or families do ;) And people can be minimalist and not think about some far-away prospects of "having money for retirement", sigh, especially if they're working tiring but underpaid jobs. So here I'd focus on first allowing people to have the money they can leave for later (or invest) and then encouraging them to do so.

 

On 7/13/2019 at 3:16 PM, Mark said:

There seem be very few of these...

 

This can always be changed ;)

 

On 7/14/2019 at 6:15 AM, Coyote said:

communally-interwoven living

 

This would be the best option lbr.

 

On 7/14/2019 at 6:15 AM, Coyote said:

I mean, in the history of human society, we haven't *always* had nursing homes. What kind of a society makes nursing homes relevant?

 

Realistically?? The kind of society that no longer tells the elderly to get their stuff and leave the household when they can't work anymore and the family can't spare the freeloaders.

 

Quote

from: https://publishing.cdlib.org/ucpressebooks/view?docId=ft096n99tf&chunk.id=d0e35564&toc.depth=1&toc.id=d0e35564&brand=ucpress       p.364

The history of old age has tended to swing wildly between two extremes in this history-as-policy debate. A romantic view of the past has produced images of a time when the old were treated with respect, when they occupied positions of power by virtue of their control over family holdings, and when they were surrounded and supported by married children and grandchildren. In this view, the history of industrialization and "modernization" has been a tragic one for the lives of the old: they have become the victims of "progress." In making this argument, scholars have seized not only on temporal distance but on spatial and cultural distance as well, pointing to the non-Western, less industrialized societies as still today maintaining much of the "traditional" concern for the welfare of the elderly that presumably marked Western societies in the past.

On the other side, especially notable among European historians, we find a revisionist view, one that sees a far grimmer story of old age, in which old people crowded meager public charitable facilities in search of a miserable lodging, or a piece of bread, to allow them to survive in a society that gave no quarter to those lacking the brawn or the health to earn their daily living. In this view, old people have never been as well off as they are today, when government programs and social legislation protect them and transfer payments force the young to support them.

The chapters in this book demonstrate that neither of these two scenarios provides an adequate understanding of aging in the past.

 

On 7/14/2019 at 11:00 AM, Spacenik86 said:

Citizens of Western democracies. In places like North Korea or Saudi Arabia things are completely different. If I was living in such a society, my priority would be to bring down the tyranny.

 

I'm gonna... take a wild guess and... assume that most people here don't live in either of those countries. And if they do... they can probably recognize what their priorities are... And as a person not living in NK or SA, I always I think I can aim higher than "not fearing for my life 24/7", for example aiming for "the best standard of life and equality for all in the place where I live" :)

 

22 hours ago, NullVector said:

I think I'd prefer the political discussions to happen at a lower level of resolution e.g. focusing on social issues that impact all single or all childless people, rather than just aromantic ones. Or, going even lower level, social issues that impact all people lacking in informal support networks, for example.

 

This is my view too - this doesn't have to fly under the banner of "making the world a better place for aromantics, but aromantics only, if you want to benefit from this, you have to show your aro card". In my understanding those are issues that also impact aros and as a group we could be working on allying with other impacted groups to make the changes that are benefiting all...??

21 hours ago, DeltaV said:
On 7/11/2019 at 10:10 AM, Spacenik86 said:

Aromantics shouldn't forcibly re-educate people by pushing for law changes, if there has to be a cultural change away from pair-bonding let's it happen naturally.

I’m always surprised how many people regard laws as good instruments to change attitudes and for reeducation.

 

Oh boy, who said anything about reeducation by law..?? And what kind of reeducation would that be...?? Because the line "away from pair-bonding" makes me think someone was suggesting abolishing options of legal pair-bonding here.............?? I thought I read a thread about changing and adjusting policies that currently don't include people who aren't pair-bonded.

16 hours ago, bananaslug said:

I think what will really allow us to change and work on that problem is coalition building.

 

Great point!

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On 7/15/2019 at 3:36 PM, bydontost said:

Oh boy, who said anything about reeducation by law..?? And what kind of reeducation would that be...?? Because the line "away from pair-bonding" makes me think someone was suggesting abolishing options of legal pair-bonding here.............?? I thought I read a thread about changing and adjusting policies that currently don't include people who aren't pair-bonded.

Well, in this case it would be far-fetched to suspect it. But as my last obviously satirical post in this thread (which some people still took at face value) made clear, I’m in general not so convinced by this line of reasoning.

 

The usual procedure in a democracy is that changes in societal attitudes lead to changes in the law. But the reverse is also true, and to some degree dangerous. I gave the example of the ban of the Jehovah’s Witnesses organization according to the Yarovaya law which is easy to make sound reasonable. Any argument against it OTOH will sound long-winded, abstract and dogmatic. The problem is … it comes from … Putin! I simply don’t think that Putin has the well-being of his citizens in mind, but rather it’s another attempt to define what it means to be a “good Russian” (= change the public opinion in a way that’s useful to him), to put it very mildly.

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On 7/12/2019 at 4:34 AM, Holmbo said:

If someone is making romantic gestures at you, like asking you out or bringing romantic gifts even though you've made clear you're not interested in a romantic relationship, that shouldn't be allowed.

Could have a lot of common ground with feminism and organizations that seeks to question gender roles and dynamics.

True, because even allos can deal with romantic harassment from someone they're not interested in. It's just more common for aros (and aces, for sexual harassment). We need to change the culture that sees anyone who says "no" as a challenge.

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On 9/1/2019 at 11:25 AM, DeltaV said:

I simply don’t think that Putin has the well-being of his citizens in mind,

 

You think?

 

On 9/3/2019 at 12:38 PM, Cake-Loving Dragon said:

It's just more common for aros (and aces, for sexual harassment).

 

Is it? I don't think there's necessarily been any particular data collected to measure that. Anyway, I think this might be a case similar to what Redbeard was saying the other month about romantic orientation & discrimination law, about how emphasizing a romantic/sexual split could actually have negative consequences -- currently, if someone were being harassed in this way, the avenue already available to them would be to call it sexual harassment.

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On 9/3/2019 at 7:38 PM, Cake-Loving Dragon said:

True, because even allos can deal with romantic harassment from someone they're not interested in. It's just more common for aros (and aces, for sexual harassment). We need to change the culture that sees anyone who says "no" as a challenge.

I don't think it is more common for aros, just that we won't put the same words on it. Allos would call is "sexual harassment". Because, you know, romance can't lead to bad behavior like that, it is pure and beautiful (irony).

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