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QPR Misinformation Is Not an Appropriate Vehicle for Aro Community Building

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QPR Misinformation Is Not an Appropriate Vehicle for Aro Community Building

Hi folks, long time no see. I made this post about a month ago, and I'm posting it here now because I'm looking for some more responses from the aro community.

 

  • One sentence summary (not written by me): Some people have argued that QPRs originate in the aro community as opposed to the ace community, but this is inaccurate and a poor way of seeking aro validation.
  • One paragraph summary (not written by me):
    A common problem in the ace community is that people don't give enough attention to the aro spectrum as an independent entity. In the process of pointing this out, multiple people have claimed that QPRs originate in the aro community. This is a claim we know is wrong because some of us were there. Some of us are eager to listen to aro voices, and we don't have an issue with QPRs becoming important to the aro community. These false claims about the history, though, are hurtful and counterproductive.
  • Medium-length summary (not written by me).
  • And, again, the full length version can be read here for the full explanation w/ examples, links, and sources.

 

I think this remains important to address because this now-deleted* post still has more notes (164) than this (68), this (21), and this (24) combined, to say nothing of all the other ones.

 

*That is, deleted at the original source, but because of how Tumblr works, people are still able to reblog it -- and still are reblogging it. This means that the misinformation I'm talking about is still spreading further than the attempts to correct it.

 

Edited to add 12/20/19:

 

Given that there are many people frustrated with the real crimes of the ace community, and given that people keep talking about a fake crime instead of just focusing on the real crimes (and even citing this fake crime as an intracommunity grievance), what are some potential solutions here?

 

Edit 1/4/20:

 

Title changed from "QPR Revisionism is Not An Appropriate Proxy for Aro Reparations" to "QPR Misinformation Is Not an Appropriate Vehicle for Aro Community Building."

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Any concept was invented by an individual, and this individual should be credited rather than a community.

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some responses:

1. rewriting history sounds like a conscious effort (especially paired with the title with "revisionism" and "aro reparations"), this all seems to me more like misinformation due to the lack of access to reliable sources. people probably induct that since it's talking about a blurry line of friendship and something else, and not about sex, it came from aros, not aces. even in this 2013 post you cited the person says "oops, i'm sorry, i didn't know". so i'd take this into account

2. i agree with this "A lot of aros have been hurt by amatonormativity in the ace community. In the context of this hurt, they are looking for affirmation of their identities and experiences as legitimate, valuable, and important." and yes, with the lack of information about the origins of qpr, i can see why aro people want to fight for what they perceive as stolen history, want to have some of this history

3. goddamn am i fed up with this constant talk of qprs and where they originated

4. i think we as aros should focus on building our own thing with the help of aces if they want to help of course, but my focus isn't very much on making specifically asexual communities better places for aros  (though there is a huge overlap). im aiming for aro people seeking out aro communities instead of ace ones and making more spaces in general more accepting of aros tbh

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I was sure that QPRs was originally an aro term! I mean, I never thought about it because I personally don't care about how a word was created. But as bydontost said, I thought it was created by aros because of the definition that we have now, that focuses on friendship and romance. I had ni idea this concept was important for the ace community, so thanks for letting me know!

 

53 minutes ago, bydontost said:

i think we as aros should focus on building our own thing with the help of aces if they want to help of course, but my focus isn't very much on making specifically asexual communities better places for aros  (though there is a huge overlap). im aiming for aro people seeking out aro communities instead of ace ones and making more spaces in general more accepting of aros tbh

I agree! I mean, I think it is very important for aros to feel safe in ace places if they want to go there. But I know that even if I am ace, I don't go on ace spaces, not because I don't feel sage but because I don't think it will be useful for me (basically, I identify as ace because I don't feel sexual attraction, but I don't see that as having a huge impact on my life, let alone my identity; while I feel that aromanticism has an impact on my life choices). I would be glad to see more aro communities!

Also I don't get why we are focusing on making ace communities safe place for aros, and not LGBT and society in general (because I guess that, for instance, a bisexual aro also have a lot of problems for joining busexual communities,  or at least I sometimes saw bi-aro complaît about it, but we don't adress this issue as we do with ace communities).

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48 minutes ago, nonmerci said:

I was sure that QPRs was originally an aro term!

 

:icecream: I'm glad I posted this here then! When a lot of people are saying it and it seems to add up, it's easy to just take their word for it.

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On 12/11/2019 at 3:40 PM, bydontost said:

3. goddamn am i fed up with this constant talk of qprs and where they originated

But tost, someone is Wrong on the internet!!!! 

 

Seriously though, AUREA cites the original coiners of the term and a comprehensive etymological history. Equating kids on Tumblr not knowing that history to a campaign of intentional revisionism is a stretch. Just correct them with a link to the actual origin of the term and move on. That's what I do if I see someone who mistakenly thinks queerplatonic was coined by aros. 

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10 hours ago, eatingcroutons said:

Just correct them with a link to the actual origin of the term and move on. That's what I do if I see someone who mistakenly thinks queerplatonic was coined by aros. 

 

How do people typically react when you correct them? My experiences trying to politely correct people have... not been positive, to say the least. I'd be curious to hear how you go about it if it typically goes smoothly for you.

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It was not my intention to discuss intentions (or rather, whether or not people are doing this deliberately). While there does appear to be a common thread to the motivation, I think my argument stands regardless of whether people were sharing the misinformation knowingly or unknowingly. I also presume that a disproportionate amount if it may be unknowing.

 

However, since intentions are of interest apparently, that seems like a good reason to talk about this post by @arokaladin (dated Nov 26, 2019). The original post is melayneseahawk (a panromantic lesbian) asking why the term "queerplatonic" exists. Arokaladin reblogged the post with a response, and in it, they wrote, "Qprs/queerplatonic relationships are a kind of relationship that started in the aro community." In the replies of that same post, @raavenb2619 helpfully corrected them on that point, and Arokaldin wrote back, "I'm aware."

 

So when we've got someone issuing false statements about this and then responding to the corrections with "I'm aware," without apologizing or taking it back, what are we supposed to make of that? Should I assume Arokaladin is also mistaken about being aware (and that they simply wrote back without actually reading the post)?

 

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43 minutes ago, Coyote said:

It was not my intention to discuss intentions (or rather, whether or not people are doing this deliberately). While there does appear to be a common thread to the motivation, I think my argument stands regardless of whether people were sharing the misinformation knowingly or unknowingly. I also presume that a disproportionate amount if it may be unknowing.

 

However, since intentions are of interest apparently, that seems like a good reason to talk about this post by @arokaladin (dated Nov 26, 2019). The original post is melayneseahawk (a panromantic lesbian) asking why the term "queerplatonic" exists. Arokaladin reblogged the post with a response, and in it, they wrote, "Qprs/queerplatonic relationships are a kind of relationship that started in the aro community." In the replies of that same post, @raavenb2619 helpfully corrected them on that point, and Arokaldin wrote back, "I'm aware."

 

So when we've got someone issuing false statements about this and then responding to the corrections with "I'm aware," without apologizing or taking it back, what are we supposed to make of that? Should I assume Arokaladin is also mistaken about being aware (and that they simply wrote back without actually reading the post)?

 

 

Did you read her full reply, or just the first two words?

 

Quote

I’m aware, since it’s only recently that aros have been able to have a community outside of aro spaces. You could say the same for a lot of our terms, but I don’t believe in bringing up the ace community and ~all the things they’ve done for us~ every time we talk about our own terms just because of a technicality. You’re free to take issue with my wording, but that’s my feeling. Please don’t take this aggressively, I just want to have conversations about aros without having to talk about asexuality and reinforce the idea that we’re a smaller part of that community or that *technically* some of the aro community was until recent years confined to the ace community, because honestly it makes me sad. The coiner of the term queerplatonic talks abt not wanting it conflated with nonsexual romantic relationships that alloro ace people have. I agree with that.

 

What this means in regards to your point is up to interpretation, but I don't think it's at all fair to act like she just said "I'm aware" and left it at that, because that definitely gives the wrong impression.

 

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2 hours ago, Jot-Aro Kujo said:

Did you read her full reply, or just the first two words?

 

I read it fully. I chose to quote a shorter excerpt to be concise, and I can see what you mean about that possibly giving folks the wrong impression.

 

Since you brought it up, I'll add this: "it's only recently that aros have been able to have a community outside of aro spaces" does not make "Qprs/queerplatonic relationships are a kind of relationship that started in the aro community" any less of a false statement. I consider that sentence and everything from there on to be irrelevant to what I'm actually talking about -- except in that it demonstrates the third part of my argument: people jumping at the chance to needlessly claim QPRs as aro-community-originals in the name of supporting broader, more worthwhile aro causes (ex. to dispute the idea that "we're a smaller part of [the ace] community," etc.).

 

So actually, in that light, that serves as more evidence for what I'm trying to say here. Thank you for bringing that up.

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Fair enough. I just didn’t want Annest’s words being taken out of context and made to look dismissive and rude. She’s a close friend of mine who puts a lot of thought into her posts, so regardless of if you agree with them or not, I don’t like to see her words chopped up and twisted to seem thoughtless and shallow in an out-of-context setting. That’s all. 

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12 hours ago, LauraG said:

How do people typically react when you correct them? My experiences trying to politely correct people have... not been positive, to say the least. I'd be curious to hear how you go about it if it typically goes smoothly for you.

Usually with something like "huh, interesting, I didn't know that," before getting back to whatever they were actually talking about in terms of queerplatonic relationships. Sometimes the discussion sidetracks for a bit into the history of the term. As for how I go about it, I just point out that the term was coined before a distinct "aro community" really existed, and that the people who created it don't identify as aro. I've never had a negative reaction to that. 

 

12 hours ago, Coyote said:

However, since intentions are of interest apparently, that seems like a good reason to talk about this post by @arokaladin (dated Nov 26, 2019).

Mate I can't help you with that one, they blocked me ages ago for enjoying Impure Fiction. But if you take issue with their posts on Tumblr, have you considered contacting them directly, rather than posting essays on different platforms entirely? You ask, "What are we to make of that?" but nobody on these forums can read their mind any more than you can. 

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On 12/15/2019 at 4:32 AM, eatingcroutons said:

 

 

Mate I can't help you with that one, they blocked me ages ago for enjoying Impure Fiction. But if you take issue with their posts on Tumblr, have you considered contacting them directly, rather than posting essays on different platforms entirely? You ask, "What are we to make of that?" but nobody on these forums can read their mind any more than you can. 

 

Several of us have actually already reached out on tumblr. It remains to be seen if that will influence their behavior at all in the future (they haven't made any changes to the current post in question).

But I've also seen similar sentiments over and over from more than one source, so I think it's still worth talking about on a community level so that other future users can make note of this and know what bad habits to avoid in their own writing, because spreading harmful mistruths out of ignorance can still cause harm. Which is why posts like this aim to get out ahead of that ignorance.

(Also, fun fact - there were actually some distinct aro communities forming elsewhere around the same time! That's just not where these terms came from. Someday I'll get around to making a more detailed post about that, because that's something even a lot of more history minded people may not have realized)

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On 12/15/2019 at 7:32 AM, eatingcroutons said:

Usually with something like "huh, interesting, I didn't know that," before getting back to whatever they were actually talking about in terms of queerplatonic relationships. Sometimes the discussion sidetracks for a bit into the history of the term. As for how I go about it, I just point out that the term was coined before a distinct "aro community" really existed, and that the people who created it don't identify as aro. I've never had a negative reaction to that. 

 

Hm. In my experience people tend to be quite reluctant to let go of the idea that it was aros who coined the term, often getting stuck on not believing that the coiners don't identify as aro. Maybe bringing that up earlier in the conversation would work better. 

 

I also found @Coyote's post helpful because it highlighted that often the reluctance comes from being afraid of losing the term somehow? So I'm planning on reassuring that that's not the case in the future too. Hopefully one of those things would help.

 

4 hours ago, sennkestra said:

But I've also seen similar sentiments over and over from more than one source, so I think it's still worth talking about on a community level so that other future users can make note of this and know what bad habits to avoid in their own writing, because spreading harmful mistruths out of ignorance can still cause harm. Which is why posts like this aim to get out ahead of that ignorance.

 

Yeah, I agree that this is somewhat of a widespread problem that does warrant some community effort to correct. I get that we're all tired of this topic, but as long as the misinformation is spread more than the corrections to the misinformation, the more the problems going to keep coming up. If we address it, we'll be able to put it behind us much more than if we ignore it.

 

And to further illustrate the point of this causing harm, I've gotten anon hate calling me an "alloro ace stealing aro terms" for mentioning that aces (of unspecified romantic orientations) might be in queerplatonic relationships. Seeing as I also get hate calling me allo for being greyro, it wasn't the most pleasant message to receive. I want to make sure that doesn't happen to other people.

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21 hours ago, sennkestra said:

Several of us have actually already reached out on tumblr. It remains to be seen if that will influence their behavior at all in the future (they haven't made any changes to the current post in question).

The post in question has been deleted by the OP. 

 

As for getting out ahead of ignorance: Tumblr is a terrible platform for controlling the spread of misinformation. We've all seen how political psyops campaigns take advantage of this, and Tumblr's algorithms are notoriously fickle and opaque. End result being that comparative numbers of notes on different posts are an extremely poor measure of any community's attitudes to or interest in a post or idea. 

 

Posting something in the general tags in the hope the platform will surface it to others is a crapshoot at best. Some things that can be more effective include sending asks to people who've posted/reblogged incorrect posts, reblogging to reply directly to incorrect posts, tagging people in posts with correct information, and contacting larger resource blogs if their information is inaccurate. 

 

In terms of discussing this on a community level, we've done that at some length in this community; I can't remember anyone spreading misinformation about the origins of "queerplatonic" in this community any time recently. I'm not part of any of the aro communities on Tumblr, so can't help you there. AUREA is the closest thing we have to do building a coordinated resource between the many scattered aro communities, and explicitly acknowledges the origins of the term queerplatonic. 

 

15 hours ago, LauraG said:

Hm. In my experience people tend to be quite reluctant to let go of the idea that it was aros who coined the term, often getting stuck on not believing that the coiners don't identify as aro. Maybe bringing that up earlier in the conversation would work better. 

If people really want to dig their heels in, I just link to the primary sources. They're all still out there, and I've yet to meet someone who disagrees with hard evidence of how the coiners themselves choose to identify. 

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1 hour ago, eatingcroutons said:

The post in question has been deleted by the OP. 

 

Sorry, are we looking at different posts? The post I was mentioning is very much still up (at least on my end), although it's possible it may not be showing for blocked users or something. Just want to make sure we're not actually cross-talking about different things.

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On 12/16/2019 at 6:22 PM, sennkestra said:

(Also, fun fact - there were actually some distinct aro communities forming elsewhere around the same time! That's just not where these terms came from. Someday I'll get around to making a more detailed post about that, because that's something even a lot of more history minded people may not have realized)

 

Aw shoot, good point. I keep forgetting about that, or else I'd have acknowledged that as another problem with the quote, too. I look forward to your post about it. :icecream:

 

22 hours ago, eatingcroutons said:

As for getting out ahead of ignorance: Tumblr is a terrible platform for controlling the spread of misinformation.

 

I agree! This is one of the many impacts that Tumblr can have on community building.

 

For those who are only interested in aro advocacy more generally, I think this is just one example of how Tumblr has hobbled community memory. QPRs aren't the only topic where this happens -- for example, I've also seen it with aplatonic. And it's not that people aren't creating resources on these topics, saving and preserving primary sources, and writing up historical summaries. It's that that's not what sticks, and chasing down individuals isn't efficient when incorrect versions of posts are still able to spread out of the OP's control. This issue has a structural dimension. Thank you for bringing that up.

 

*****

 

Back on the topic of QPRs, I'm glad that Crou has had such good experiences with correcting people. I'll go ahead and use that as a prompt to talk about some other kinds of experiences.

 

1. At the beginning of this reblog-chain, @LauraG links to a compilation of primary sources.

  • Aropanalien's responses started with a misunderstanding of what Laura was saying,
    • then going "it’s not okay to say [this] term was coined by the ace community,"
    • then "the term was created by both communities" and "aroaces coined qpr" --
  • not to mention @Magni's reiteration of "it was coined by aroaces."
  • There's sometimes this double-edged sword, honestly, where A) detailed link compilations like mine are seen as information overload, but B) more simple explanations like Laura's are rejected out of hand because people think they already know the truth. Even combining the two approaches together, like Laura did right there, can still lead to this result.

 

2. On this post, @raavenb2619 tried to address the problem w/ a short explanation & a link to a source.

  • Annest dismissed that response and did not edit her statement.
  • Now Sennkestra is making another attempt, with links to more sources.
  • Meanwhile there's also whatever the heck Seventeenaros is doing there w/ reiterating "its an aro term."

 

3. My own experience messaging someone about a misinformation post did (after a lot of back and forth) eventually result in them deleting the post and apologizing, but not without a ton of initial pushback. Links on request, but most of our correspondence was private.

 

4. And then there's also this exchange that happened last year. I mention this one because despite the response Aphobephobe's essay received from people who were literally there, they later had a friend repost the whole essay, unedited. [Edit: see below.]


So taking into account these examples, people discussing this topic don't always just accept the facts when presented with them. Multiple people, not just me, have repeatedly encountered resistance. And in my experience, there are a lot more people willing to spread misinformation and make a mess than there are who are willing to stick around and clean it up. I would love to see that change.

 

*****


Anyway, AUREA has been brought up a couple times now, so that's got me thinking, maybe I should ping @AUREA and ask for an official response. Or, alternatively, they do have those monthly "What's been going on in the community?" posts that it could be slotted into. Dunno how much of an audience they've built up for themselves yet, but hey, could be worth a shot.

 

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6 hours ago, sennkestra said:

Sorry, are we looking at different posts? The post I was mentioning is very much still up (at least on my end), although it's possible it may not be showing for blocked users or something

The link in Coyote's post is a reblog. Try to click through to the OP and you'll see it no longer exists, as Coyote mentioned. 

 

5 hours ago, Coyote said:

Back on the topic of QPRs, I'm glad that Crou has had such good experiences with correcting people.

I'll just highlight, in case it wasn't explicitly clear, that my experiences are with aro communities outside of Tumblr. I'd qualify your claim that "...there are a lot more people willing to spread misinformation..." with an on Tumblr, as it seems that's where all your examples are from. There are a bunch of reasons I (and many others) are not part of any aro communities on Tumblr, and if you have issues with Tumblr communities or what's being said by the people in them, it might be more effective to talk to those communities rather than complain to this one.

 

5 hours ago, Coyote said:

Anyway, AUREA has been brought up a couple times now, so that's got me thinking, maybe I should ping @AUREA and ask for an official response.

I mean it's up to them, but I personally wouldn't expect them to give an "official response" every time someone on a social platform makes an inaccurate post about something to do with aromanticism. They've done a pretty good job collating a set of resources that any of us can link to when we see myths or inaccuracies being perpetuated. 

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12 hours ago, Coyote said:

And then there's also this exchange that happened last year. I mention this one because despite the response Aphobephobe's essay received from people who were literally there, they later had a friend repost the whole essay, unedited.

coyote, I think your bias towards "people are doing this on purpose" is showing again... aphobephobe didn't "have a friend repost" anything, she deleted her blog *because* she knew there were errors in it and she didn't want them spread further......

 

7 hours ago, eatingcroutons said:

There are a bunch of reasons I (and many others) are not part of any aro communities on Tumblr, and if you have issues with Tumblr communities or what's being said by the people in them, it might be more effective to talk to those communities rather than complain to this one.

I also think this would be more efficient, and definitely linking to sources so that people can see the proof for themselves

 

12 hours ago, Coyote said:

there are a lot more people willing to spread misinformation and make a mess than there are who are willing to stick around and clean it up. I would love to see that change.

is your expectation for the answer from the aro community that you were looking for earlier is "we'll make a bigger effort to clear up the misunderstandings"??

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I also, frankly, feel like it's kind of unfair to complain about specific individuals who don't even use this platform. It's one thing to say "This thing is an issue on Tumblr," it's another thing entirely to say "Persons A B and C are perpetuating this issue on Tumblr". As others have said, if you have a problem with them, you should reach out to them directly. If you've already done that, then... That's that. Sorry if you didn't get a satisfying result, but the hell do you expect us to do about it?

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11 hours ago, eatingcroutons said:

The link in Coyote's post is a reblog. Try to click through to the OP and you'll see it no longer exists, as Coyote mentioned. 

 

Ah, I think I see where there's confusion. I was referring to the link to the arokaladin post from this November, which was directly linked in the specific quote I was responding to (requoted below with original link for reference). That post is still up. The post that was mentioned in the first post in this thread as deleted was a completely different post (the much older but wider spread post by aphobephobe), which is a completely different thread.
 

On 12/15/2019 at 4:32 AM, eatingcroutons said:
On 12/14/2019 at 3:47 PM, Coyote said:

However, since intentions are of interest apparently, that seems like a good reason to talk about this post by @arokaladin (dated Nov 26, 2019).

 

 

 

23 minutes ago, Jot-Aro Kujo said:

but the hell do you expect us to do about it?

 

I would think the goal here is to just be aware that this is an ongoing concern, and also be educated about the causes behind it, and to start thinking about potential ways to respond for if/when it inevitable does filter out to other parts of the aro community that you are more active in. Right now it's happening most on tumblr - but that's also because tumblr is largely where people are talking about aromanticism the most. But the emerging communities there are closely connected with the communities both here and elsewhere, and things tend to spread around.

 

11 hours ago, eatingcroutons said:
16 hours ago, Coyote said:

Anyway, AUREA has been brought up a couple times now, so that's got me thinking, maybe I should ping @AUREA and ask for an official response.

I mean it's up to them, but I personally wouldn't expect them to give an "official response" every time someone on a social platform makes an inaccurate post about something to do with aromanticism. They've done a pretty good job collating a set of resources that any of us can link to when we see myths or inaccuracies being perpetuated. 


Unfortunately as far as @AUREA, detailed aro community history (including the adjacent history of things like queerplatonic) with sources is actually something that don't really have much on in their resources yet, especially one that really explains the issues mentioned here (although that's understandable, because it's a missing resource almost everywhere). Does anyone know if there's a best way to nominate resources for the site (or at least the periodic "what's going on" linkspams?) I think some of the posts like the original Queerplatonic Geneology post might be good to include somewhere, and I also have another post about the history of early aro community spaces (c. 2010 to present) that I'm putting together at the moment. That might be easier than trying to start from scratch.  (I'll shoot an email over eventually, but figured I'd ping them here as well in the meantime)

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10 hours ago, bydontost said:

she deleted her blog *because* she knew there were errors in it and she didn't want them spread further......

 

I'm getting mixed information on this. The note on the repost says "she deleted for reasons related to the discourse and a busy life," and I'm not sure which is more accurate. 

 

10 hours ago, bydontost said:

aphobephobe didn't "have a friend repost" anything

 

Good point. I misremembered what exactly was in that preface note, and I've messaged the reposter to clarify. Hopefully you're right and we can get that all cleared up. In the mean time I've scratched that one off the list. Did I get anything else wrong?

 

10 hours ago, bydontost said:

is your expectation for the answer from the aro community that you were looking for earlier is "we'll make a bigger effort to clear up the misunderstandings"??

 

Expectation? No.

 

*****

 

4 hours ago, LBMango said:

I'm just very confused how "reparations" fits into this... 

 

Hey there, Mango. :icecream: In the linked post, I was using "reparations" to mean something like "compensation" or "advocacy to address grievances," in the context of aro-ace community relations. Does that make sense, or should I keep explaining? 

 

(Asking because I sometimes explain too much or too little, and I don't want to assume how much is right for you.)

 

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18 hours ago, Coyote said:

For those who are only interested in aro advocacy more generally, I think this is just one example of how Tumblr has hobbled community memory. QPRs aren't the only topic where this happens -- for example, I've also seen it with aplatonic. And it's not that people aren't creating resources on these topics, saving and preserving primary sources, and writing up historical summaries. It's that that's not what sticks, and chasing down individuals isn't efficient when incorrect versions of posts are still able to spread out of the OP's control. This issue has a structural dimension. Thank you for bringing that up.

I was thinking about this kind of issue. In terms of aplatonic along with squish and alterous. 
Were these also coined in an "ace-first" environment?
I think it's also worth asking which terms originate from the "aro community"?

 

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13 minutes ago, Mark said:

I was thinking about this kind of issue. In terms of aplatonic along with squish and alterous. 
Were these also coined in an "ace-first" environment?

 

I've compiled some information about aplatonic, squish, and alterous here. Short version:

  • "Aplatonic" was first used in 2012 by a homoromantic ace on AVEN.
  • "Squish" was first used in 2007 by an ace on AVEN.
  • "Alterous" was first used sometime around 2015 on Tumblr -- the coiner has deactivated their blog, but they submitted the idea to the ASAW tumblr, for what it's worth.

Note that I don't think these things have any particular implications (about "who can use them," etc.). I'm just answering Mark's question.

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