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Coyote

What is the "a-spectrum"?

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Magni stoops to addressing me directly, eh.

For anyone who's interested to know: the "I don't love my friends" paraphrasing comes from the first use of the word "aplatonic" in a 2012 AVEN forum thread, based on this quote from the first post:

  • "Sure, the people I've 'friended' are nice, and I'd want nothing but for them to be happy, but I don't really have a bond with them. The only people in my life that I've bonded with are those I feel romantic attraction to. So, don't get me wrong, I have friends and care about them; but love is a powerful word, and one I cannot apply to them."

i.e. "I don't love my friends."

That's a thing that happens and an experience to take into account wrt intercommunity dynamics, and I think that's the relevance of that -- as a provocation to address certain intercommunity dynamics among aros and aces that overemphasize loving close friends.

17 hours ago, John Rando said:

In this case, this allo that "just don't love his friends" would certainly not like to be forced any "aspec" label onto him. But if this person have other traits such as some kind of neuro-divergence or social awkwardness or anything that prevent him to have the "official" love relationship (according to the idea that platonic bonds plays a role in many sexual and or romantic relationship), he may start to consider it.

Maybe. So far this talk all feels very hypothetical, so I'm wondering -- what are these narratives, in practice? I mean, does anyone have any links? If we're going to model these things this way I'd like to go a step beyond abstract thought experiments.

4 hours ago, nonmerci said:

An allo ace could say the exact same thing about aromanticism "what this person who says "I just don't fall in love" has to do with me?"

Yeah, and presumably you'd have an answer for them based on something more than hypotheticals, right?

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22 hours ago, John Rando said:

Other exemple : platonic dynamics plays a role in gender socialization, take as exemple male groups that are expected to behave kinda like a wolf pack, if you are not part of the pack, your experience to masculinity is different. That's not to say that aplatonics always are gender misfits but it can change your gender experience. Hence some links with agender folks for certain aplatonics.

It seems that you equate 'aplatonic' and 'asocial'. But aren't they something different if 'aplatonic' is analogous to 'aromantic'... describing a "lack" in the capacity/desire to have friendships?

Could the 'wolf pack' not just simply be about social interaction rather than friendship?

As an extreme example: ex-mafiosis confirmed that the cliche "it is often your best friend in the Mafia who kills you" is true -- which certainly does not fit my definition of a "friend". So though those in criminal groups spend a lot of time together and make exaggerated displays of friendship, there is always strong distrust. It's like they lead a highly social life in that group but with no real friends there.

---

Asociality/'aplatonicity' differ from aromanticism and asexuality (and 'agender') that they are far less likely regarded as neutral traits. So many aromantics and asexuals may not want to include them in the a-spectrum.

I mean... I have difficulties finding anything about 'aplatonic' which isn't (a) making fun of the term or (b) calling them sociopaths.

Though I don't see how having no desire for friendships or social interaction is in itself negative... (and historically there were religious or mystical traditions where it was regarded as desirable). BUT: only few people (orphans, abandoned children) lack first-degree relatives for all of their lives. So the bare minimum society expects us is to develop a bond to our loving mother, loving father... if someone fails at that, I understand that it is regarded as negative trait. But sure there are worse things, like being anti-social.

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5 hours ago, Coyote said:
10 hours ago, nonmerci said:

An allo ace could say the exact same thing about aromanticism "what this person who says "I just don't fall in love" has to do with me?"

Yeah, and presumably you'd have an answer for them based on something more than hypotheticals, right?

In this case, the basic argument I would make to answer this would be :

  • "Look, I just don't fall in love* and you just don't crave about sex*, ok, whatever. But in this society, whether we want it or not, it is more than that, because this is something society is not expecting us lacking. And bigottry decides that unexpected is bad. And normal non-biggoted people have trouble relating to us because of it. And so we are facing difficulties in our relationships and social prejudices. So it would be nice if we recognised that we have a common interest in taking this problems down [1] and I belive that together we can do it better than as separated community in some cases [2], so are you in ? If not, that's ok."

You can disagree with [1] and/or [2] so I'm not expecting everybody to think that sharing something, not that well defined, called "aspec" between aros and aces is relevant. And some don't. I also know gays that don't think queer is a relevant concept to them either. And they have the right to think so, because this is somewhat about strategy, so individual relativism logically rules.

I hope we agree that aromanticism, asexuality and aplatonicism are (not) felt in the same way. If not we can talk about that. But if that's the case, then you can use the same argument for people that just don't love their friends*. And I think some of them would likely answer "yes". But I don't have an allo apl comunity on this forum to prove my case.

* not very good descriptions of aro, ace and apl according to me...

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48 minutes ago, DeltaV said:

It seems that you equate 'aplatonic' and 'asocial'.

That's not what I meant. Aplatonicism is making you asocial as much as aromanticism does. There are some social interactions that you "cannot put on autopilot". You can be aromantic and have romantic relationships. You can be aplatonic and have some platonic relationships. Not all friendships are based on platonic attraction but alloplatonics usually have some relationship that are based on platonic attraction. I don't.

If you form your bonds based on affinity rather than platonic attraction (like you are both fond of physics), then the friendship is not the same as it were based on platonic attraction (I they move town or stop liking physics, there is no frienship interest anymore). So it can have an impact on your social life. The impact is not the same for everyone and sometimes you can not even notice it, but in some cases, it can change a lot. My life would certainly be different if I had platonic attraction. Maybe I would not be a nerd or maybe I would love waged work or maybe I would not be agender or maybe I would not be anarchist, or maybe I would not be lithromantic/lithsexual... or maybe it's the otherway around or a comon cause, but my life and personality would be different for sure.

1 hour ago, DeltaV said:

Asociality/'aplatonicity' differ from aromanticism and asexuality (and 'agender') that they are far less likely regarded as neutral traits. So many aromantics and asexuals may not want to include them in the a-spectrum.

Well it is often regarded as a neutral trait partly because it's not a visible one. And it is often said thant closet is not a privilege.

To give an exemple I come out as aroace almost everytime were it is relevant to the conversation both to friends and strangers. But I never dared to come out as aplatonic outside of arocalypse because I fear a lot that it would impact my relationship with some of them if I tell them that "I like very much spend some time with you and I would cross half the country on one foot for you if you were in trouble, but if you moved out of my life, I would just go on with my life like you never existed :|".

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On 4/1/2020 at 1:12 AM, Coyote said:

I've seen it only very infrequently, but for instance, it's in the description for the PF community A-SpecUsers: "A place for support and friendship for asexual, aromantic, and agender pillowfort users." I asked the comm creator... why that grouping, and their response was basically "we all get the same crap." I don't really get that reasoning, but there you go.

This is a three way conflation. With seven demographics involved here. Unlikely that this will be helpful to more than one of those groups of people. Quite likely to help none of them.
 

On 4/1/2020 at 1:12 AM, Coyote said:

The origin story, apparently, is that "a-spectrum" was originally created on Tumblr in 2015 to mean "the ace spectrum and the aro spectrum" together in one word. This is something that strategicgoat, warriorsdebt, and whes did specifically because anti-ace & anti-aro bloggers on Tumblr kept conflating the two concepts. So their response... was to create a word for both concepts? ...And now we have the problem of that term, itself, inspiring a lot of conflation of the two concepts (where people will use "aspec" when what they actually mean is just "ace"). Great going, everyone. 

This conflation originate from Tumblr. It's likely that conflation between sexual and romantic orientations has existed for as long as the concept of sexual orientation (maybe around 120 years).Doing this seems very much an act of self harm. It undermines the work the asexual community has done in debunking the assumption that asesxuals are also aromantic. It makes debunking the assumption that aromantics are also asexual even harder.More generally it contributes to the invisibility of varioriented people. Who may be, at least, one in nine of the population. An indirect effect of this conflation being to deny that perioriented allo allos can experience only sexual or only romantic attraction. 

 

On 4/1/2020 at 3:33 AM, Lokiana said:
Given that start, I wonder when and how agender began to be grouped into the asexual and aromantic spectra(ums? I have no idea how English works and this is my native language.)

The "a prefix" being used for negation is of Classical Greek origin.
It's use in Modern English may be somewhat indirect from Latin and Romance languages.

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On 6/5/2020 at 1:30 PM, John Rando said:

Let me explain, as a person that dont feel gender as a thing on the emotional level, there is a big corelation for me between this experience and my apl, aro and ace ones. It feels kind of the same. It is such comon feeling for aro people to feel that way that we even have a word for it, arogender.

Romance is highly gender coded. It also forms a significant of expected gender roles, including those of children. Thus it wouldn't be that surprising if all aros can experience social dysphoria in connection with it.

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22 hours ago, John Rando said:

But I don't have an allo apl comunity on this forum to prove my case.

For that reason I think unless any one such person would like to speak up about it (and I'll leave the door open for that), for the time being, I figure lumping these allo-allo folks in with aros or aces doesn't make any more sense than, say, grouping us with people who don't experience empathy, or something. It just seems arbitrarily based on etymology over the practical realities, since "experiencing a lack of something" covers way too many groups that aren't getting equal consideration.

Again, leaving the door open for folks to draw other connections I haven't thought of here.

11 hours ago, Mark said:
On 3/31/2020 at 7:12 PM, Coyote said:

I've seen it only very infrequently, but for instance, it's in the description for the PF community A-SpecUsers: "A place for support and friendship for asexual, aromantic, and agender pillowfort users." I asked the comm creator... why that grouping, and their response was basically "we all get the same crap." I don't really get that reasoning, but there you go.

This is a three way conflation. With seven demographics involved here. Unlikely that this will be helpful to more than one of those groups of people. Quite likely to help none of them.

I mean yeah last I visited it (and based on checking it just now), it mostly gets used as an ace and aro group. I'm not even sure if anything agender-specific has been posted there more than once. So if it's meant to cater to non-ace and non-aro agender people... it's... not really doing that.

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1 hour ago, Coyote said:

For that reason I think unless any one such person would like to speak up about it (and I'll leave the door open for that), for the time being, I figure lumping these allo-allo folks in with aros or aces doesn't make any more sense than, say, grouping us with people who don't experience empathy, or something. It just seems arbitrarily based on etymology over the practical realities, since "experiencing a lack of something" covers way too many groups that aren't getting equal consideration.

You seem to think the only people who could want to speak about m their aplatonicism would be allosexuals alloromantics people. Which would not be the case, I think?

 

Personally, though I don't define myself as aplatonic, I can relate to things about them, in particular with the definion here about not feeling squishes, which leaded me to feel weird sometimes in the aro community (less now but when I enter the community and so how all the resources I find talk about that and QPR, I felt like it was the norm).

 

I'm not saying aplatonic people should be in the a-spectrum, just that if one day they want to, I wouldn't see it as a problem.

 

On 6/6/2020 at 11:52 PM, DeltaV said:

Asociality/'aplatonicity' differ from aromanticism and asexuality (and 'agender') that they are far less likely regarded as neutral traits. So many aromantics and asexuals may not want to include them in the a-spectrum.

I don't think it is necessary less neutral trait? I mean, you talk about how people confuse aplatonicism with sociopathy, but there are still a lot of people who thinks that aromantic means psychopath, so... can you elaborate please?

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1 minute ago, nonmerci said:

You seem to think the only people who could want to speak about m their aplatonicism would be allosexuals alloromantics people. Which would not be the case, I think?

That would not be the case, no. Certainly I see aces and aros doing that more (while using that term, anyway).

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Posted (edited)

I'm sort of approaching this sideways from the rest of the thread, but I guess...I tend to see conversations about who is part of a "community" in the abstract a bit useless, because like, what does being in or out of a community even mean?

I personally find it a bit more grounded to talk about how things play out in terms of things like spaces and resources  - for example, things like the a-spec pillowfort group that coyote mentioned, which in theory includes agender people, but in practice is not really used by any agender people, whether it's because they find it uncomfortable or because they just find it unrelatable.  Like, what's the point of quibbling about which specific a-terms are "included" unless there are actual spaces using the name to make practical attempts to actually include (or not include) these various sub-groups?

Like, I think everyone in this board is mostly familiar with the tension that arises in any group that tries to provide support for just aces and aros, in terms of balancing conflicting needs and disproportionate resources and such. And many groups have decided to just stick to being just ace or just aro groups, because they know that allows them to better focus on their constituents or because they know they aren't prepared enough to meet the needs of both populations at once. I could easily imagine this being a similar problem with trying to extend services to agender or aplatonic people - just adding them to a name is just as much of a useless bandaid as an ace group changing their name to "aces and aros" without any underlying structural or topic changes.

So I don't think it should be that controversial for some "a-spec" groups who picked up that name as part of an attempt to service ace and aro people specifically might want to continue to focus on that mandate and not feel able to extend those services to other groups outside their original scope and areas of expertise. (Although, going back to my personal opinions, I do think that's also a reason to consider more specific community naming choices instead of the confusingly unclear "a-spec").

---

Also, to provide a suggestion from completely another angle  - as an example of finding commonality in "a-" identities and shared experiences of "absence" as a defining trait, there's been some interesting work with asexual and atheist communities, like panels with ace atheists about the shared experiences of asexuality (and sometimes aromanticism) and atheism and being defined by a "lack" of something more mainstream, whether it's interest in sex or interest in god(s). Yet, at the same time as we recognize that overlap, I think we also recognize that the needs of atheists and the needs of asexual people were often best met in separate community spaces most of the time. 

Edited by sennkestra
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5 minutes ago, sennkestra said:

I'm sort of approaching this sideways from the rest of the thread, but I guess...I tend to see conversations about who is part of a "community" in the abstract a bit useless, because like, what does being in or out of a community even mean?

I personally find it a bit more grounded to talk about how things play out in terms of things like spaces and resources  - for example, things like the a-spec pillowfort group that coyote mentioned, which in theory includes agender people, but in practice is not really used by any agender people, whether it's because they find it uncomfortable or because they just find it unrelatable.  Like, what's the point of quibbling about which specific a-terms are "included" unless there are actual spaces using the name to make practical attempts to actually include (or not include) these various sub-groups?

Thank you.

6 minutes ago, sennkestra said:

(Although, going back to my personal opinions, I do think that's also a reason to consider more specific community naming choices instead of the confusingly unclear "a-spec").

Do you have suggestions?

Something I was thinking about earlier is how, at different times, when discussing the concept of having "a-spec" as a term, people have emphasized convergent aroaces, especially the folks who want to leave the ro/sex part unspecified (as with terms like "bi" and "gay"). So that's one use case. But the term is also clearly getting thrown around all the time just to mean "aces and aros both," as a completely different use case. Which I resent, as an ace who doesn't identify with it.

21 minutes ago, sennkestra said:

Also, to provide a suggestion from completely another angle  - as an example of finding commonality in "a-" identities and shared experiences of "absence" as a defining trait, there's been some interesting work with asexual and atheist communities, like panels with ace atheists about the shared experiences of asexuality (and sometimes aromanticism) and atheism and being defined by a "lack" of something more mainstream, whether it's interest in sex or interest in god(s). Yet, at the same time as we recognize that overlap, I think we also recognize that the needs of atheists and the needs of asexual people were often best met in separate community spaces most of the time. 

huh. That's interesting, because I was thinking about atheism here just earlier (and even brought it up back in September, as another a-word), but I didn't realize that people had actually discussed that connection before on panels. I agree though, I think that connection is more conceptual than something that would translate community-wise.

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Posted (edited)
17 minutes ago, Coyote said:

huh. That's interesting, because I was thinking about atheism here just earlier (and even brought it up back in September, as another a-word), but I didn't realize that people had actually discussed that connection before on panels. I agree though, I think that connection is more conceptual than something that would translate community-wise.

(Hopefully not derailing too much, but the two main panels were both for unconventional online conferences, so you can actually find recordings here from 2015 and 2018)

17 minutes ago, Coyote said:
49 minutes ago, sennkestra said:

(Although, going back to my personal opinions, I do think that's also a reason to consider more specific community naming choices instead of the confusingly unclear "a-spec").

Do you have suggestions?

Aha, yeah, see, that's always the harder part. I personally prefer names like "Aces & Aros" or "Ace/Aro/Agender" (or even better, "and/or"!) to just saying "a-spec" since it makes it very clearly spelled out who is included.

Although, tbh, if people really want to keep using the a-spec wordplay in group names,  adding an explicit tagline or spelling it out would be much appreciated, especially in community names and descriptions. (So like, less "ABC College A-Specs" more "ABC College A-Specs: A community group for ace and/or aro identified students - and then include that tagline everywhere - in event page headers, in group titles, in rules posts, in emails, etc.)

As far as for casual conversation about things like "there are trends in a-spec communities..." I would prefer phrasing like "there are trends in ace and aro communities" or "there are trends in ace, aro, and agender communities) (emphasis on the s at the end of communities) because these are almost always talking about trends that occur in disparate spaces that are almost always either ace or aro focused, rather than some unique third category of "aspec" spaces. (And, for the many instances where really the thing mostly only happens in just ace or just aro communities....just say that)

 

Edited by sennkestra
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1 minute ago, sennkestra said:

As far as for casual conversation about things like "there are trends in a-spec communities..." I would prefer phrasing like "there are trends in ace and aro communities" or "there are trends in ace, aro, and agender communities) (emphasis on the s at the end of communities) because these are almost always talking about trends that occur in disparate spaces that are almost always either ace or aro focused, rather than some unique third category of "aspec" spaces.

!!!

I tried to raise a question about something like that on one of K.A. Cook's posts, once, and the comment's still marked as awaiting moderation, but here's a part of what I wrote:

  • Because, to be honest with you, one of my hangups with that statement (to take things one at a time here) is actually… what is an “a-spec space”? Personally, I don’t call myself that word and havhaven't fully bought into it as a concept, but… for your purposes here, am I supposed to? …I mean, when you say “a-spec spaces,” can you give me a specific example? What should I be looking at here?

I had to ask because ze was talking about listening to aro allos, and if we take "a-spec space" to mean "any kind of space that centers on either aces or aros," then that's an umbrella broad enough to include ace-only stuff too. So we can rule that out for not making sense. But if we rule out that interpretation, then what's the alternative? Dedicated, merged "a-spec"-specific "spaces"? So... what, the Tumblr blogs that have "a-spec" in the URL? What am I actually supposed to be thinking of?

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On 6/6/2020 at 11:59 AM, Coyote said:

Magni stoops to addressing me directly, eh.

I find this to be passive aggressive and entirely unnecessary.  Also your paraphrasing has an entirely different connotation and context then the quote you cite in your justification.  And like....when I, as an aplatonic-spec person, tell you that I find what you're saying about aplatonic people to be offensive, the proper response would be to stop and think about how what you're saying comes across negatively and ask for clarification if needed, not to dismiss my concerns and further justify yourself.

On 6/6/2020 at 1:27 AM, Magni said:
On 6/5/2020 at 4:12 PM, Coyote said:

That's the question though, would an alloromantic allosexual have any reason to want to identify with the ace & aro umbrellas like that? I mean, if someone's like "I don't love my friends," I don't see what that necessarily has to do with me. I'm not preemptively ruling it out, just asking what the rationale is supposed to be.

@CoyoteI don't like how you seem to be equating aplatonic with, like, just some allo person going "I don't love my friends"? It reminds me of exclusionist rhetoric and the ways people have ridiculed the term aplatonic.  (idk how to word this better rn but can try to elaborate later if needed)

I will elaborate on why I had a problem with your comment.  It wasn't just the flippant definition of aplatonic you used, but the rest of the context and how it is similar to exclusionist rhetoric.

Exclusionists would say stuff like "oh a cis heteroromantic heterosexual person who doesn't have friends can just say they're aplatonic and pretend to be lgbt" and just generally ridicule it as a term a lot.  Do you understand how what you said comes across similarly to that?

 

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Posted (edited)
Quote

Exclusionists would say stuff like "oh a cis heteroromantic heterosexual person who doesn't have friends can just say they're aplatonic and pretend to be lgbt" and just generally ridicule it as a term a lot.  Do you understand how what you said comes across similarly to that?

For reference, I think it might be helpful to clarify that both @Coyote and I have been involved in separate conversations elsewhere about whether "love" is a useful or helpful term for describing personal relationship ideals, both among people who do find "love" to be a helpful and positive descriptor, and also among people who don't find "love" to be a helpful or accurate description, and who are uncomfortable with calls to embrace and uphold "love" as a universal positive in non-romantic ways - rather than questioning whether anyone should ever uphold "love" as a universal positive. Whether "loving friends" should be accepted as a universal positive ideal, or whether it should be pushed back on (some people don't "love" their friends, and that's just fine!) was specifically one of the parts of that. 

So I don't think that part was meant to be flippant at all, but rather that it was being influenced by other recent conversations . (although I agree that the "directly addressing" part in response was unnecessarily hostile)

With regards to exclusionists though, I just want to gently push back on "exclusionists will make fun of us" alone as a reason to avoid certain phrasing - because I do know people who would describe themselves as not feeling "love" for their friends in very similar terms, and I don't want to throw them under the bus just to avoid stupid exclusionist opinions by saying "we're not like those weirdos". (ace and aro communities already have problems with silencing straight-identified aces and aros and basically throwing them under the bus to more easily win flame war arguments, instead of pursuing more nuanced takes  - I don't want to see that happen to other groups)

Edited by sennkestra

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8 minutes ago, sennkestra said:

With regards to exclusionists though, I just want to gently push back on "exclusionists will make fun of us" alone as a reason to avoid certain phrasing - because I do know people who would describe themselves as not feeling "love" for their friends in very similar terms, and I don't want to throw them under the bus just to avoid stupid exclusionist opinions by saying "we're not like those weirdos". 

It's not about "you shouldn't phrase it like that bc exclusionists will say it's weird", it's "I feel hurt by what you are saying because it is similar to hurtful things exclusionists have said".  I feel like only one part of the problem is being recognized; it's not just the definition used, it's that combined with the context/example.

The vast majority of people who use aplatonic are arospec or acespec in some way, maybe there's some neurodivergent alloromantic allosexual people who may use it but otherwise I'd be wary of an alloromantic allosexual person using aplatonic and defining it as "I don't love my friends", and even more wary of it being used as a random example by someone else for why aplatonic wouldn't be included in a community.  It's not just the definition, it's the statement as a whole that comes across like exclusionist rhetoric which I find hurtful.

***

This....didn't need to turn into a debate? You could've just acknowledged that what you said came across as hurtful/you would try to do better in the future, and moved on? Instead of debating me that it isn't hurtful when I'm telling you it is.

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43 minutes ago, sennkestra said:

With regards to exclusionists though, I just want to gently push back on "exclusionists will make fun of us" alone as a reason to avoid certain phrasing - because I do know people who would describe themselves as not feeling "love" for their friends in very similar terms, and I don't want to throw them under the bus just to avoid stupid exclusionist opinions by saying "we're not like those weirdos". (ace and aro communities already have problems with silencing straight-identified aces and aros and basically throwing them under the bus to more easily win flame war arguments, instead of pursuing more nuanced takes  - I don't want to see that happen to other groups)

I'm going to chime in here as someone who does use description, 'doesn't feel love for their friends' (or anyone in particular tbh). 

I didn't see @Magni's comment as throwing me/people like me under the bus, but rather a request, from someone who identifies as aplatonic, to think more carefully about how that definition might affect those who identify that way, especially when coupled with the example of the alloallo person. 

In the same vein of not throwing people like myself under the bus when discussing this topic, lets try not to throw other people under to protect us, especially other aplatonic people. 

I'm going to be honest, @Coyote's example rubbed me the wrong way a little. It hits a little too close to the fictional examples exclusionists pulled out of nowhere to try and prove some gotcha about why aro and ace people couldn't be part of any iteration of the wider LGBT/queer community. Which, I thought, was Magni's point. 

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Posted (edited)

To clarify, I guess I'm just personally wary of arguments that trend towards "allo people won't relate to this anyway, so we don't have to think about how their inclusion or exclusion will affect community dynamics" or "allo people who identify with this term are suspicious" because I remember a time and place where these same types of arguments were frequently deployed by ace community members against the concept of aromantic allosexual people, including in response to anti-ace aggression. Because while is is true that aplatonic is a concept that has mostly been picked by aces and aros so far, and is not widespread among others, I also remember a time when aromanticism was only popularized among the asexual community. But it turns out that when you start building out a new identity as capable of standing alone, and not dependent on the groups where it first became popular - it turns out that sometimes people from other communities and groups start finding it useful as well.

So, if someone were creating an ace & aro & aplatonic "a-spec" group, for example, thinking about how non-ace and non-aro aplatonic people would eventually fit in  - and what steps the community would need to take to accommodate them - and whether this is done through converting existing spaces or by creating new ones - are things that should be considered.

After all, wouldn't the point of adding "aplatonic" to a specific group or page's defintion of "a-spec" be to better include people who don't identify with either of the other ace and aro terms in the definition (i.e. mostly non-asexual/non-aromantic or "allo allo" people)? Talking about potential non-asexual/non-aromantic aplatonic people seems like the logical next extension of the idea of aplatonic being a core part of the definition of a-spec, not just a random non-sequitor.

(Although, I also realize this is also somewhat of a moot question unless there start being more explicit "aspec" resources or spaces for people to be actively included or excluded from, or unless "aplatonic" specifically starts gaining ground among wider spaces)

Edited by sennkestra
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11 minutes ago, sennkestra said:

Because while is is true that aplatonic is a concept that has mostly been picked by aces and aros so far, and is not widespread among others, I also remember a time when aromanticism was only popularized among the asexual community. But it turns out that when you start building out a new identity as capable of standing alone, and not dependent on the groups where it first became popular - it turns out that sometimes people from other communities and groups start finding it useful as well.

9 minutes ago, sennkestra said:

After all, wouldn't the point of adding "aplatonic" to a specific group or page's defintion of "a-spec" be to better include people who don't identify with either of the other ace and aro terms in the definition (i.e. mostly non-asexual/non-aromantic or "allo allo" people)? Talking about potential non-asexual/non-aromantic aplatonic people seems like the logical next extension of the idea of aplatonic being a core part of the definition of a-spec, not just a random non-sequitor.
 

That's actually kinda why it rubbed me the wrong way. Saying 'I don't see what that necessarily has to do with me' when talking about 1) including a label in general and 2) including a certain combination of identities (in this case alloallo aplatonic) reminds me of both my experiences with exclusionists denying my queer identity because it stems from being aromantic, and conversations I've had where aces have refused to acknowledge my aro identity separate of (and having nothing to do with) asexuality.

The example used felt a little more like saying 'well these people have nothing to do with me, so all aplatonic people can be excluded'. I can't speak as to the intent behind the comment, just talk about how it comes across, which, at best, seems thoughtless. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, VoidArcana said:

That's actually kinda why it rubbed me the wrong way. Saying 'I don't see what that necessarily has to do with me' when talking about 1) including a label in general and 2) including a certain combination of identities (in this case alloallo aplatonic) reminds me of both my experiences with exclusionists denying my queer identity because it stems from being aromantic, and conversations I've had where aces have refused to acknowledge my aro identity separate of (and having nothing to do with) asexuality.

The example used felt a little more like saying 'well these people have nothing to do with me, so all aplatonic people can be excluded'. I can't speak as to the intent behind the comment, just talk about how it comes across, which, at best, seems thoughtless. 

To clarify, since after reading this I think I might have interpreted the question differently - I don't think anyone is arguing that "aplatonic" people as a whole should be fully excluded from any hypothetical* conversations about "a-spec spaces"

I think the question (as I understood it at least) was instead about what is a "sufficient condition" to be considered part of a theoretical* "a-spec" community. For example, many bi aces and bi aros are part of "a-spec" (as defined as ace or aro) populations, but I wouldn't include "bi" as part of the definition of a-spec because of that. Similarly, when people in this thread suggest that maybe "agender" doesn't need to be part of any theoretical "a-spec" definition, they aren't saying we need to kick agender ace/aro people out, they are just saying that being agender alone may not be a sufficient reason to be part of the kind of "a-spec" community that they have in mind. 

Thus, since ace and aro agender and/or aplatonic folks would already be included under most definitions of a-spec communities, I think @Coyote's question to @Magni is why non-asexual and non-aromantic aplatonic people would make more sense to ally with in a single coalition rather than non-asexual or non-aromantic agender people. 

-

*I might slow down after this reply, because I'm not sure this conversation is actually helpful unless anyone here is actually looking to build or create some kind of "a-spec" resource where nailing down who should be included in the space is a more urgent necessity. I think I've already made it clear that I'm just not a fan of anyone using any variation of the "a-spec" label in general, whether it includes aplatonic people or not; and in general I'm much more interested in descriptive approaches of "hmm, how are people currently using the term" than prescriptive modes of "what is the correct way to use that term in the future", and I think the first question has mostly already been answered.

I think it's also worth questioning what the point of nailing down a definition of "a-spec" would involve - would it involve finding everyone who is using "a-spec" in other ways and trying to convince them to use it differently? Would it involve creating new "a-spec" support spaces or resource lists?  Would it be worth trying to convince people who use "a-spec" for just ace and aro people to include/not include agender or aplatonic people? Would that even have a chance of being successful? Or would it be worth starting a new venue for that form of alliance under another term to avoid confusion or fighting with people who prefer another definition? 

Edited by sennkestra

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5 hours ago, sennkestra said:

With regards to exclusionists though, I just want to gently push back on "exclusionists will make fun of us" alone as a reason to avoid certain phrasing - because I do know people who would describe themselves as not feeling "love" for their friends in very similar terms, and I don't want to throw them under the bus just to avoid stupid exclusionist opinions by saying "we're not like those weirdos".

Personally, what shocked me in that was not only exclusionism but also how it seems to deny that aplatonic people face problems because of their aplatonicism? I may be wrong, but I read Coyote's comment like that : "these people just don't love their friends, no big deal, I don't see what it has to do with me who have real problems". Maybe that's not what Coyote says but that's how I read it. I don't have any problems with the definition, just the wording.

Also, I think that if an alloromantic allosexual labels one day as aplatonic, it would be they will feel the need to do, maybe because it makes them feel different, not understood, or I don't know.

Again, I'm not saying aplatonic should be included, I have no opinion on that and I don't even use the word a-spec myself. My point was just : there were a lot of discussion about who could ou couldn't be included, but about aplatonicism I think it was particularly rude.

 

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Posted (edited)
16 minutes ago, nonmerci said:

Personally, what shocked me in that was not only exclusionism but also how it seems to deny that aplatonic people face problems because of their aplatonicism? I may be wrong, but I read Coyote's comment like that : "these people just don't love their friends, no big deal, I don't see what it has to do with me who have real problems". Maybe that's not what Coyote says but that's how I read it. I don't have any problems with the definition, just the wording.

Also, I think that if an alloromantic allosexual labels one day as aplatonic, it would be they will feel the need to do, maybe because it makes them feel different, not understood, or I don't know.

Again, I'm not saying aplatonic should be included, I have no opinion on that and I don't even use the word a-spec myself. My point was just : there were a lot of discussion about who could ou couldn't be included, but about aplatonicism I think it was particularly rude.

FWIW, that is not even remotely how it read to me, especially since it mentioned absolutely nothing about who does or doesn't have problems. Instead it felt more like a question of, at what point are two groups different enough to have different spaces? What makes aplatonic (which was suggested as an addition to future use of "a-spec") different from agender (which was suggested to not be included, despite being included by some others previously)? I can see potential reasons, but I'm curious what those advocating for those specific position would say from their perspectives.

I think it's important to not read everything in terms of tumblr-style exclusionist-inclusionist debates, where it's assumed that talking about whether or not a group makes sense to "include" in a specific conversation is inevitably tied to "whether they have problems" or "whether they deserve resources". Groups can have legitimate issues but still have different enough needs that that it doesn't always make sense to pair them together (see previous conversation about ace/aro and atheist crossover discussions)

(Consider, for example, how many people  - both ace and aro - rightfully objected to the idea of just shoehorning allosexual aromantic people into "ace communities" that made no changes to their name or structure, and chose to instead create seperate spaces with different names and formats - either specific aro communities or "ace and aro" communities that spelled out clearly that they should include both groups. I think the question is, would trying to add "aplatonic" as an additional tentpole to existing ace/aro/(agender) focused "a-spec" blogs or discussions - rather than creating new opportunities for alliances - lead to similar issues?)

Edited by sennkestra

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, sennkestra said:

I think it's important to not read everything in terms of tumblr-style exclusionist-inclusionist debates, where it's assumed that talking about whether or not a group makes sense to "include" in a specific conversation is inevitably tied to "whether they have problems" or "whether they deserve resources".

I... don't think that's what we're doing? I don't use tumblr so I don't even know how these posts look like.

My point is : if a few people here, included aplatonic people, find this post offensive, it may be because it wasn't well formulated? Not that we are over-sensitive? That's all we are saying. In this case,  that the statement was so under-developped that it ended up reductive and over-simplified, and so hurtful.

 

1 hour ago, sennkestra said:

What makes aplatonic (which was suggested as an addition to future use of "a-spec") different from agender (which was suggested to not be included, despite being included by some others previously)?

But I think there is a difference between how both questions have been asked here. For agender people, we we were wondering : "are the problem both communities face similar enough to group them"? But with aplatonic people, it was more "do I want to associate or be associated with these people"? Which is not exactly the same question, because it leads more to judgment than constructive thoughts, in my opinion.

Anyway I'm not sure all this discussion makes any advance for the topic neither, so... my bad.

 

Edited by nonmerci

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@Magni If I take the time to type out a response to that, will you answer it?

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Sorry to bring this about, but as we are already in the meta discussion ... May I suggest that we open two fresh topics about a-spec and agenders and about a-aspec and apls, because it seem that arguments tends to differ sometimes between the two. It could also help to not push away new readers that would not like to read 4 pages of segmented, with inconsistant subjects and definitions and quite a few personnal arguments and maybe restart the conversation in a little more discursive way.

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