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Acephobic antagonism in aro spaces

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38 minutes ago, LauraG said:

I didn't reach out to both of the people I quoted up there, mostly because best case scenario I didn't think they'd listen to me... worst case I'd get hate mail... How do you suggest people balance making the effort to reach out to people yourself, when you are fairly certain they won't listen to you (or you've seen them fail to listen to others in the past), versus trying to reach out to others who might have a better chance of getting through to the people making the comments in question or at least try to draw attention to the issue so that others know it's not okay?

 

 

Honestly? This might sound kind of dumb, but my suggestion is to just... Try anyway. Go on anon, if it's on Tumblr. I don't think that anyone has to try to educate every person they see make some sort of microaggression, but if you're going to use a person specifically as an example, you do have a responsibility to at least try to talk to them directly if possible, to give them a fair chance to talk things out rather than just going This Person Is Bad Here's Why No I Will Not Tell Them This Directly I'm Gonna Steal Their Dirty Laundry And Air It In Someone Else's Yard.

In general, I think if you're going to use someone's words as a specific example of what not to do, you should ask yourself three questions:

 

1. Do I have the full context for this comment and why they made it?

2. Have I spoken to them directly about it?

3. Have I seen someone else bring up my concerns to this person?

 

If the answer to all of these is "No", then talk to them. If they're receptive to you, you can say "Here's a thing that happened, I talked to the person and everything's good now but this thing still happened, so here's an example of mistakes people make and how they can learn from them" (e.g. my conversation with @Lokiana about the use of the phrase "dirty allosexuals", which I did not understand the full connotations of until she was kind enough to talk it out with me). If they ignore you or are hostile to you, you can say "Here's a thing that happened, this person was really rude to me and not willing to listen, so here's an example of how nasty people can be" (e.g. the "Attraction is cancelled" meme, which I explained the horrific connotations of and received no response from the OP).

But the bottom line is, you have to at least give them a chance. Nobody should go around flaunting people's words without giving them a chance to explain themselves. If you've given them the chance, and you have the full picture, then you can talk about it, but always give them the chance first.

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19 minutes ago, Jot-Aro Kujo said:

Not exclusively, no.

 

Well then at the very least I'm glad we're in agreement that there's more than one factor involved.

 

Before I respond to the rest, would you be willing to take this conversation to the original thread in question? I figure we're getting off topic for this one, although it's up to you, really.

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1 minute ago, Coyote said:

 

Before I respond to the rest, would you be willing to take this conversation to the original thread in question? I figure we're getting off topic for this one, although it's up to you, really.


If it’s all the same to you, I would very much prefer not to. There’s 500 bazillion issues going on in that thread and I’m tired of all of them. The reason I brought it up was not to dig up old drama, but to explain how things you’ve done in the past/did again in this thread are counterproductive to getting people to listen to you, in the hopes that you could learn from this explanation. That’s all. 

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Then my apologies to Tost for this thread going off topic already.

 

45 minutes ago, Jot-Aro Kujo said:

Yes, I do want to listen to what people have to say on important issues. But if you want someone to listen, you must first speak to them.

 

I have some more specific questions then, beginning with: How?

 

I mean -- literally -- is your preferred contact method PM via Arocalypse, or something else?

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2 hours ago, Jot-Aro Kujo said:

you saw people who made mistakes- Including people who likely did so by accident- And instead of attempting to resolve the situation by speaking to them directly, you took their words out of context and used them on a different platform as an example of People In The Aro Community Doing Bad Things™ without even notifying them that you were doing so, despite many of those people being actual users on this site. That's... Pretty uncool. It's one thing to say "Yeah, this person said this thing and I talked to them about it and they ignored me", it's another thing entirely to just go "This person said this thing" and leave it at that without trying to talk to them first.

 

I'm going to preface this with a disclaimer: I am very aware that I can also be guilty of this - I feel we all can be. That said, I would like to encourage everyone to take this to heart. Talk to people if something is upsetting you.

 

1 hour ago, LauraG said:

I didn't reach out to both of the people I quoted up there, mostly because best case scenario I didn't think they'd listen to me... worst case I'd get hate mail...

 

I can't address other platforms and most of the links shared so far have been to Tumblr, but I do want to say that if this happens within this forum then please reach out to one of the staff. We definitely don't want this sort of behaviour on the forums and there are things we can do to help.

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1 hour ago, Coyote said:

I have some more specific questions then, beginning with: How?

 

I mean -- literally -- is your preferred contact method PM via Arocalypse, or something else?

 

For me, personally? Sure, I guess? I don't really have a preferred method of communication. Anywhere you can reach me is fine.

For other people, I assume it would depend on the platform. In general, I don't think the method of communication matters so much as the actual communicating. Send them an ask on Tumblr, reblog their post and add a comment, @ them on the forums, whatever- Doesn't really matter how you do it, the important thing is that you talk to them before going and accusing them of things.

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11 minutes ago, Jot-Aro Kujo said:

Send them an ask on Tumblr

 

...Alex. Please tell me you're not serious.

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1 minute ago, Coyote said:

 

...Alex. Please tell me you're not serious.

 

Why would I not be..? You're complaining about posts made on Tumblr. Thus, the solution would be to attempt to communicate with the posters, on Tumblr. I don't understand what you're getting at.

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5 minutes ago, Jot-Aro Kujo said:

Why would I not be..?

 

So you are serious.

 

I guess I could go into a whole spiel about why me trying to have that type of conversation with someone via an anonymous ask message on Tumblr would feel like trying to wash cotton candy, but instead I'm going to leave it at: No.

 

What I could do, conceivably, is send someone an ask message going "Hey, I'd like to talk; what's your contact information?" -- but in most circumstances, to be honest with you, I'd expect a message like to be regarded with suspicion. Maybe you're more optimistic about how that would pan out and will tell me to try it anyway, I don't know.

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1 minute ago, Coyote said:

 

So you are serious.

 

I guess I could go into a whole spiel about why me trying to have that type of conversation with someone via an anonymous ask message on Tumblr would feel like trying to wash cotton candy, but instead I'm going to leave it at: No.

 

What I could do, conceivably, is send someone an ask message going "Hey, I'd like to talk; what's your contact information?" -- but in most circumstances, to be honest with you, I'd expect a message like to be regarded with suspicion. Maybe you're more optimistic about how that would pan out and will tell me to try it anyway, I don't know.

 

Alright, then that's on you. I have expressed that myself and others think it's really not fair to bring up someone's post as an example of Bad Content without attempting to communicate with them directly first, and that this kind of behavior ultimately leads to people not wanting to listen to you. If you're outright saying that no, you will not attempt to communicate with them... Well, uh... I don't really know what to say to that..?

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This thread might be irrevocably derailed at this point, but if anyone wants to confront me about anything that isn't the actual topic of this thread, please PM me or ping me in a more relevant thread. Here are some more thoughts I had related to what @pressAtoQUEER brought up earlier:

  • In a bunch of cases, I've seen people rattling off a string of categories in the from of "aces, aros, and aro aces" -- this would be an example of treating "aces" and "aros" as if those categories don't already include aro aces, which is just baffling.
  • I think another factor here -- although this is far more minor, relative to everything else -- may be the term "aspec" itself. A lot of people are already familiar with the problem where people will say "aspec" when what they mean is "ace," but I figure the problems go deeper than that.
  • The tag policing. Just.... the tag policing.
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Guest Sennkestra
7 hours ago, Jot-Aro Kujo said:

I definitely do recognize that allo aros need to be careful not to repeat acephobic rhetoric, and some people are... worse about that than others. 🙄 It's something I've been trying to keep in mind lately. That being said, I definitely agree that aces also need to recognize the line between "this is genuine acephobia and I should ask this person not to talk like that" and "This person is angry about legitimate injustices done to them and I Am Feel Uncomfortable When We Are Not About Me so I'm gonna tone police them".

 

I'm just going to point out that the fact that both this thread and the last thread about people regurgitating anti-ace tropes around QPRs were completely derailed by back and forth arguments about whether criticisms were made in the right tone or in the right forum instead of actually talking about the anti-ace tropes being criticized is basically the same kind of tone policing situation.

I know forums will be forums and some level of forum politicking and personal conflicts are inevitable, especially as threads get longer and more off the original topic, but I would recommend to both @Jot-Aro Kujo and @Coyote that at some point it might be worth acknowledging that you both have very different communication preferences and are never going to agree on what style of criticism is best (which is a completely subjective issue anyway) and just letting it drop, because if you both keep trying to get the last word in it's going to keep derailing any chance to actually have constructive conversations on any of these related topics, and I don't think that's actually what either of you want. And I'll leave my comments on that part of this thread at that.

--

Anyway, to get back on to the main topic of the thread:

Quote

Another type I've seen (that probably overlaps with all three of these?) is downplaying legitimate issues that aces face, or implying that aces, especially allo aces, don't really have it all that bad. I think this often happens simply because the people saying this don't know a lot about issues aces, especially allo aces, face (maybe they're thinking of issues aros face, and thinking that aces/allo aces don't have to deal with those, forgetting that there are additional issues that being ace/allo ace might add into the equation?). But when that's combined with "everything's always about aces all the time so I don't want to hear/learn anything new about aces because I'm tired of it" it doesn't work out so well.

 

Yeah, I think part of the issue is that because ace communities and aro communities overlap or at least bump into each other a lot, there's sometimes an assumption that like.....being aromantic should automatically make people experts on what asexuality is and also what harmful anti-ace tropes are and how/why to avoid them?  On the part of both general aro folks (who think they don't need to bother learning anything more) and ace educators (who may expect to be able to go straight into 201 topics and skipping the 101 we give for other non-ace groups, when maybe we do need to start with the basic baby steps more.)

But like, even newbie aces don't start off knowing that much about the diversity of ace community experiences and how not to make problematic assumptions unless someone in the community takes the time to teach them (which honestly is a huge part of ace community organizing - not just external education, but internal communication). Getting newbie aces to stop being problematic about aromanticism (where a lot of that "aces can love!" comes from, btw  - it frustrates even non-aromantic ace activists I know to no end) and getting newbie aros to stop being problematic about aces takes a lot of internal community work....but I think it's also difficult because while I know of lots of ace activists groups actively working on incorporating "how to avoid anti-aro antagonism" into their intra-community training activities....the are community barely even has groups, let alone trainings.

I also think there's an assumption that aces and allies are "natural" allies and that being part of one group makes you both able/responsible for both, which also downplays the amount of actual work that is required for two communities to build active allyship. This comes in the form of people/groups procaliming "aspec" projects or spaces without actually putting in the work to actively include all groups (though tbh, while everyone gets shafted by this, agender folks probably get shafted by this lip-service "aspec" approach even more); but also in the form of people assuming/demanding that groups that cater to one of these groups must also serve all "aspecs" equally even if that's far outside their actual scope.

So, idk, I think maybe to that end it would help to 1. have more formalized training on allyship as aro organizations start to emerge, and 2. to frame allyship with ace communities as important for it's own sake, but in the same way that we should also work on allyship with other LGBTQ+ people, disabled people, POC etc. rather than because of some kind of inherent "aspec" connection? Does that even make sense?
 

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6 minutes ago, Guest Sennkestra said:

to frame allyship with ace communities as important for it's own sake, but in the same way that we should also work on allyship with other LGBTQ+ people, disabled people, POC etc. rather than because of some kind of inherent "aspec" connection? Does that even make sense?

 

I think so. I'm on the fence about it, just because some people seem really committed to the idea and I'm not sure I've evaluated their arguments properly, but I have no particular objections myself.

 

8 minutes ago, Guest Sennkestra said:

(though tbh, while everyone gets shafted by this, agender folks probably get shafted by this lip-service "aspec" approach even more)

 

Yeah, I've been wondering about that...

 

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1 hour ago, Coyote said:

In a bunch of cases, I've seen people rattling off a string of categories in the from of "aces, aros, and aro aces" -- this would be an example of treating "aces" and "aros" as if those categories don't already include aro aces, which is just baffling.

 

This might be a uniquely Tumblr thing, but this isn't how I would have read this. A similar list would be transgender, nonbinary and gender diverse. Just because someone fits into one of those categories doesn't imply they don't fit into the rest. That said, that also isn't how I parse this list either. I parse this list as a shorthand for "alloace, aroallo, and aroace".

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15 minutes ago, Momo said:

This might be a uniquely Tumblr thing, but this isn't how I would have read this. A similar list would be transgender, nonbinary and gender diverse. Just because someone fits into one of those categories doesn't imply they don't fit into the rest.

 

hm. I think (?) I see what you're saying, but I don't consider that analogy to be perfectly parallel -- a closer analogy would be saying "trans people, nonbinary people, and trans nonbinary people."

 

Quote

That said, that also isn't how I parse this list either. I parse this list as a shorthand for "alloace, aroallo, and aroace".

 

...Okay, in that case, I will say this: that entails interpreting "ace" by itself as implicitly meaning "alloromantic ace," and I want people to please... not... do that.

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2 minutes ago, Coyote said:

 

Quote

That said, that also isn't how I parse this list either. I parse this list as a shorthand for "alloace, aroallo, and aroace".

 

...Okay, in that case, I will say this: that entails interpreting "ace" by itself as implicitly meaning "alloromantic ace," and I want people to please... not... do that.

 

I agree, it's not a great way of looking at it, but I still feel like it'd go some way to explaining the thought process behind such a list of identities in lieu of actually having someone to ask what they meant.

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Posted (edited)

I'm going to preface this by saying I'm overwhelmed. Not just by the thread but by real life circumstances. So I'm really sorry if I come off as incoherent. 

 

But on the topic of tag policing... Can we please cut it out with the narrative that people asking for tags to be kept on topic is 'policing' in the same way that telling someone they aren't x is policing?

 

I'm too tired to bring up specific posts and I don't really want to make it the bloggers problem but... The problem isn't even that ace or aspec alone in a post in non aro inclusive, it's that for a community with a history of getting covered up or equated to another, I wish people would be more careful about how they handle that. There would be no problem if most people didn't equate aromanticism to asexuality. But I can confirm that anyone I've ever met and came out to had assumed I was ace- and or asserted I was ace after I corrected them. Tag policing isn't about trying to put down aroaces for feeling a connection with their asexuality but pointing out that something is perpetuating a common myth. This is not a case where we're trying to antagonize aces at all. 

 

I'm sorry if this is a little off topic but I couldn't help but see someone bring it up. Especially because I'd seen this passed around by ace blogs I follow and I wanted to try clearing that up. It's not because we hate aroaces or anything like that. 

 

Edit: I understand that we share a history and community. Hell, as far as many people are concerned aromantic may as well mean the same thing as ace. What I'm getting at is that this is making it difficult for aros to try making aro specific spaces for the aros that do see a distinction. And saying this very concept alienates aroaces is unhelpful.

 

Further edit: the person I vaguely mention isn't even at fault in any way. No one really is. It's just the issue of the matter is the misconceptions commonly spread, which is why people do point out when posts that come off as off topic posts are in the aro tags. I could explain further but this is already getting long enough for someone who can't stop making typos. 

Edited by Korbin
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1 hour ago, Korbin said:

But on the topic of tag policing... Can we please cut it out with the narrative that people asking for tags to be kept on topic is 'policing' in the same way that telling someone they aren't x is policing?

What would you prefer we call it? Harassment? Vigilante modding an unmoderated space? Somehow I doubt those two come across any better... (this is mostly a joke)

 

I say this because I have received a slew of nasty messages of this variety for a post that was so relevant to aromanticism that in the notes there were people asking me what it had to do with asexuality (it was an ace week post, so it mentioned aces for that reason, people got confused about this once it was no longer ace week). It was a post inspired by my aro experiences, so I tagged it as aro for that reason, but also because I wanted to be able to find it again when I wanted to reblog my aro-related posts at times like ASAW! Tags have multiple functions beyond doing a sitewide search of the entirety of tumblr.

 

Having a bunch of people come and tell me that my post, which was inspired by my aro experiences, wasn't aro, did feel like they were policing my identity. (And I got another person literally call me alloace over that same post for using the word queerplatonic and ace in the same sentence, so I was maybe also primed to interpret it that way, but it still felt really awful.)

 

My point is that if you misinterpret the other person's post, and you tell someone that their post isn't aro, you run the risk of saying things that do sound like identity policing.

 

I once saw a blog accidentally tag a post that said something like "it's okay to want romance without sex" as aromantic. Now, I'd agree that's inappropriately tagged. But how did someone correct that? By saying "this isn't aro"! Cupioromantic aros and aros who otherwise "want romance" exist, and when you say "this isn't aro" on a post like that, you're essentially calling everyone in that category "not aro." Which is identity policing, even if accidental (which I think it probably was in that case - it just felt icky to read).

 

Do you have any suggestions for how people could continue to address mistagged posts in a way that won't put others through that awful experience I had?

 

2 hours ago, Korbin said:

There would be no problem if most people didn't equate aromanticism to asexuality. But I can confirm that anyone I've ever met and came out to had assumed I was ace- and or asserted I was ace after I corrected them.

 

What's the connection here? How do mistagged tumblr posts, specifically, contribute to this misconception? This feels like a correlation not causation kind of thing. Maybe this is the source of disagreement here? I don't think that the misconceptions are caused by the mistagging, but rather vice versa - misconceptions cause the instances of real mistagging, which are usually done by baby aces or people who are not themselves ace or aro. I honestly do not believe that tumblr tags are enough of a community face to really contribute to this misconception, and we're better served addressing that misconception in other ways that would be more effective than messaging each individual who doesn't understand the difference between asexuality and aromanticism.

 

2 hours ago, Korbin said:

Tag policing isn't about trying to put down aroaces for feeling a connection with their asexuality but pointing out that something is perpetuating a common myth. This is not a case where we're trying to antagonize aces at all. 

 

I believe that! I believe that it's not intentional - I think it comes more from not understanding how certain posts are relevant to aromanticism, or just how people go about making the correction. Personally, I believe the risk of causing harm to another aro is not worth it, but if you have suggestions for ways to mitigate that potential harm instead, I'm all ears.

 

On this note - I believe posts that are about being aroace, where the "aro" part of that is a significant aspect of the post, but are also limited to aces in some way, would not be inappropriately tagged with "aromantic" - because even if they're about asexual aromanticism, they're still about aromanticism. I've seen some people tag police because a post was limited to aces, but still about aromanticism, which I don't think is okay, would you agree with that?

 

2 hours ago, Korbin said:

What I'm getting at is that this is making it difficult for aros to try making aro specific spaces for the aros that do see a distinction.

 

Those spaces are important! But honestly? Tumblr tags are a terrible place to try to create any kind of community space. Why is everyone so focused on trying to turn them into a that? It's literally just a sitewide search of Tumblr! No different from a google search, except that it is limited to tumblr! It feels as ridiculous to me as writing letters of complaint to the essential oil company Aromantic telling them they are invading the community space that is my Google Alert emails.

 

Additionally, tumblr tags are, by nature, unmoderated - and moderation done by people who are not designated mods does not lend itself to a positive community space. You want a place where you can create community guidelines, and have designated mods who reach out to people who don't follow the guidelines, and who can straight up delete irrelevant posts if needed. Why not put energy there as opposed to tumblr tags, which is like, the least productive community space you could possibly put effort into?

 

2 hours ago, Korbin said:

Further edit: the person I vaguely mention isn't even at fault in any way. No one really is

 

I appreciate this, considering I'm 95% sure that that's me? Even if I'm not completely sure what you mean by this. But thanks :)

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11 minutes ago, LauraG said:

What would you prefer we call it? Harassment? Vigilante modding an unmoderated space? Somehow I doubt those two come across any better... (this is mostly a joke)

 

It was gently reminding the op that aromantic and asexual were not the same thing, as did others. On my part at least. I will admit that the op who posted the screenshots of what I responded to sometime ago was an asshole about it. 

 

13 minutes ago, LauraG said:

I appreciate this, considering I'm 95% sure that that's me? Even if I'm not completely sure what you mean by this. But thanks :)

 

I don't think it is. I don't really participate in discourse all that much, and it wasn't a post that had been widely reblogged yet. It just showed up on my dash and both the op who took the screenshot and the person who responded were jerks.

 

21 minutes ago, LauraG said:

I once saw a blog accidentally tag a post that said something like "it's okay to want romance without sex" as aromantic.

 

 In fact, I believe this was the post. Good to know they miss tagged it.

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3 hours ago, Korbin said:

Hell, as far as many people are concerned aromantic may as well mean the same thing as ace. What I'm getting at is that this is making it difficult for aros to try making aro specific spaces for the aros that do see a distinction. And saying this very concept alienates aroaces is unhelpful.

 

I've only been loosely following along because I don't have the attention span for more, so I could have easily missed something (I have not clicked on any links! I realize this takes away a lot of context), but where exactly did you see someone claim that in this thread? I identify as both aromantic and asexual specifically because I see the two as separate, distinct, and different (which is not a knock on any non-sam aspecs who experience their aspecness differently than me, it's jme). And I certainly think aromanticism deserves its own community and its own place.

 

But I am aromantic, and I also belong in aromantic spaces!!! Yeah, even though I'm asexual.

 

I support more aromantic visibility and education and inclusion. I support the aromantic community taking on its own identity.

 

I also support any non-ace aros wanting specific spaces for them and to talk about being aromantic and being sexual and/or having sexual attraction. That's valid and that's a space they should get to have. I have nothing to say regarding those experiences, so it's not something I need to be included in.

 

But as far as my understanding... that's also not what we're talking about in this thread. We're talking about aroaces feeling generally excluded from their own community. I have seen fellow aroaces get bullied out of the aromantic tag for making posts about aromanticism that also include their asexual experiences and/or are of course also wrapped up in their asexual experiences to the point where I'm afraid to not only post in the aromantic tag but to even acknowledge my asexuality at all in aromantic spaces. I am an aroace person here telling you that I feel alienated by some beliefs that have become prevalent enough in aromantic spaces. There have been points where, even though at this point in my life my aromanticism is a bigger part of my identity, I have felt like I need to stop identifying as aromantic at all because I'm just a nuisance and a problem. Do my experiences and feelings here not matter?

 

3 hours ago, Korbin said:

Tag policing isn't about trying to put down aroaces for feeling a connection with their asexuality but pointing out that something is perpetuating a common myth. This is not a case where we're trying to antagonize aces at all. 

 

Perception is differing from intent here, and that is a problem. I agreed the tag was a problem a couple months there and everything was just cross-posted stuff from the asexual tag (even like pride posts that contained the ace flag but not the aro flag), but that's not even what's in the tag anymore. The tag is successfully an aromantic-focused space now where aromantic people are getting policed for the slightest little personal post about their own personal experiences or a post not being 100% laser focused on non-ace aros. The policing needs to stop because we are causing people to fear posting aromantic content in case it's not some arbitrary standard of "aromantic enough", and that shouldn't be what we want.

 

.

 

It's been extremely hard and anxiety inducing for me to gather any thoughts at all regarding this subject because I've been scared of talking about it because I've been made to feel that acknowledging this equates to silencing and dismissing the problems and issues that non-ace aros face, which I absolutely don't want to do. I fully recognize that I don't experience all those same issues, and I have my own things to unlearn regarding supporting my fellow aros in a better and more educated manner. Multiple issues can coexist without us having to dismiss one to gain visibility for the other, though, and the fact that other people have been feeling the same way as me makes me sad that I've been avoiding talking about it.

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9 minutes ago, pressAtoQUEER said:

Perception is differing from intent here, and that is a problem. I agreed the tag was a problem a couple months there and everything was just cross-posted stuff from the asexual tag (even like pride posts that contained the ace flag but not the aro flag), but that's not even what's in the tag anymore. The tag is successfully an aromantic-focused space now where aromantic people are getting policed for the slightest little personal post about their own personal experiences or a post not being 100% laser focused on non-ace aros. The policing needs to stop because we are causing people to fear posting aromantic content in case it's not some arbitrary standard of "aromantic enough", and that shouldn't be what we want.

 

I had no idea about this as I had been avoiding the aro and ace sides of tumblr alike for a long while due to my own issues. I only just now about a year ago bring myself to identify as aro again myself due to violent exclusionist rhetoric. The one post I did see about it recently was this post here:

45 minutes ago, LauraG said:

I once saw a blog accidentally tag a post that said something like "it's okay to want romance without sex" as aromantic.

 

I had no idea it was this bad and I am sorry.

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3 minutes ago, Korbin said:

I only just now about a year ago bring myself to identify as aro again myself due to violent exclusionist rhetoric. The one post I did see about it recently was this post here:

 

I completely understand. I had my own years-long, self-hating, difficult time struggling with exclusionism and coming to terms with myself all over again. Really tough stuff to work through, no matter where/how it's hitting you. I hope you're feeling better and feeling safe in the spaces you've re-entered!

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Guest Sennkestra said:

there's sometimes an assumption that like.....being aromantic should automatically make people experts on what asexuality is and also what harmful anti-ace tropes are and how/why to avoid them? 

 

I think it also goes in the other direction, that aces should have some intuitive knowledge how to avoid anti-aro sentiments and why things like mistaging can feel like more of a malicious act instead of any other kind of act.

 

7 hours ago, Guest Sennkestra said:

the are community barely even has groups, let alone trainings.

😭😭😭 it's the reality tho

 

7 hours ago, Guest Sennkestra said:

I also think there's an assumption that aces and allies are "natural" allies and that being part of one group makes you both able/responsible for both, which also downplays the amount of actual work that is required for two communities to build active allyship.

 

Yeah, that's true. But there's tension there, bc why should we build this allyship with aces first and foremost..?? So there are some aroaces who put effort in it when they're involved in ace activism, but there are also aros (of all kinds) who don't think that's a priority (I'm willing to take everything).

 

7 hours ago, Guest Sennkestra said:

also in the form of people assuming/demanding that groups that cater to one of these groups must also serve all "aspecs" equally even if that's far outside their actual scope.

 

That annoys me, and I want it to go. But it's also a reason why i never look at ace resources as potentially having anything relevant to aromanticism, which is often not true ¯\_(ツ)_/

 

2 hours ago, LauraG said:

Why not put energy there as opposed to tumblr tags, which is like, the least productive community space you could possibly put effort into?

 

i agree with everything laura said, but this especially 😂

i haven't checked the tags on tumblr personally for a long time now, and from what i remember, the posts that I didn't want to be in the tag were things like "all lgbt people are beautiful" tagged with every identity label the person knew, and stuff like "it's okay to be ace! i love being ace" tagged as ace and aro. the second kind of thing annoyed me more, bc it was specifically about aces with no mention of aromanticism, was only tagged with aromanticism other than asexuality, which to me implied that the author thought it'd be relevant to aromantics (why not tag it lesbian for ace lesbians..??), and i felt that aces should know better, bc idk, they're naturally more sensitive to the difference between aromanticism and asexuality.

 

2 hours ago, pressAtoQUEER said:
hours ago, Korbin said:

Hell, as far as many people are concerned aromantic may as well mean the same thing as ace. What I'm getting at is that this is making it difficult for aros to try making aro specific spaces for the aros that do see a distinction. And saying this very concept alienates aroaces is unhelpful.

 

how is the general misconception that aromanticism and asexuality are the same thing making it difficult for aros to make aro specific spaces?? to me it's more the invisibility of aromanticism that hinders that, as a lot of aros do see the distinction when they know aromanticism as a concept exists

 

2 hours ago, pressAtoQUEER said:

We're talking about aroaces feeling generally excluded from their own community. I have seen fellow aroaces get bullied out of the aromantic tag for making posts about aromanticism that also include their asexual experiences and/or are of course also wrapped up in their asexual experiences to the point where I'm afraid to not only post in the aromantic tag but to even acknowledge my asexuality at all in aromantic spaces. I am an aroace person here telling you that I feel alienated by some beliefs that have become prevalent enough in aromantic spaces. There have been points where, even though at this point in my life my aromanticism is a bigger part of my identity, I have felt like I need to stop identifying as aromantic at all because I'm just a nuisance and a problem. Do my experiences and feelings here not matter?

 

this sadly seems like an issue for many aroaces. and the "funny" thing is im sure that some allo aros would be able to say similar things, but in reverse - maybe about a different space, or at a different point in time. what's going on that makes us fight each other to the point that everyone feels like they have to leave parts of their experience at the door??

Edited by bydontost
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2 hours ago, pressAtoQUEER said:

I identify as both aromantic and asexual specifically because I see the two as separate, distinct, and different (which is not a knock on any non-sam aspecs who experience their aspecness differently than me, it's jme). And I certainly think aromanticism deserves its own community and its own place.

Same. I never get why some people think we necessarily see our aromanticism and our asexuality are necessarily linked?

 

2 hours ago, pressAtoQUEER said:

We're talking about aroaces feeling generally excluded from their own community. I have seen fellow aroaces get bullied out of the aromantic tag for making posts about aromanticism that also include their asexual experiences and/or are of course also wrapped up in their asexual experiences to the point where I'm afraid to not only post in the aromantic tag but to even acknowledge my asexuality at all in aromantic spaces. I am an aroace person here telling you that I feel alienated by some beliefs that have become prevalent enough in aromantic spaces.

On the same note, recently I have been questioning a decision of mine, to create an aro allo character for a story, because all this ace-antigonism made me feel legitimate to do so as if I would steak aro allo voices. Which was weird because I never felt that way before and always defended the idea that someone can write on whatever subject as long as they are well-informed,  know what they talk about. I also had other LGBT characters before. And I think that my doubts were born because at some point, I started to feel like my asexuality makes me a bad aro.

 

54 minutes ago, bydontost said:

this sadly seems like an issue for many aroaces. and the "funny" thing is im sure that some allo aros would be able to say similar things, but in reverse - maybe about a different space, or at a different point in time. what's going on that makes us fight each other to the point that everyone feels like they have to leave parts of their experience at the door??

That's what makes all these issues complicated. I think that somehow, the acephobia that is growing here is a response to an aro-allophobia. For instance, the thing about tag policing. For me, it is clearly create by the (legitimate) feeling that some aces was damaging to aromanticism by tagging their post "aro" even if there is nothing about aromanticism in their post. Outside of Tumblr, I recently made a similar experience by looking at aro ressources on scholar Google : I exclusively find things with "asexual" on the title. OK,  the fact that there were apparently no articles about specified aromanticism stuff didn't help, but I was sad though not surprised to see that just the title reflects how it is difficult for some people to think aromantic as it's own thing.

But the legitimate feeling of having aromanticism treated as a subset of asexuality, or anger of seeing exclusively ace stuff tagged as aro... all this creates suspicion for anything that is link to asexuality. And so what @pressAtoQUEER talked about : having post that talk about both aromanticism and asexuality being hated for doing so, or hate against aroace posts. It's literally extremism : taking a problem and going so much, so extreme into it that it leads to be hurtful for other people. And the worst is, as people has a legitimate problem on the first place, it is very difficult to show them how their own behavior is wrong.

 

8 hours ago, Guest Sennkestra said:

I also think there's an assumption that aces and allies are "natural" allies and that being part of one group makes you both able/responsible for both, which also downplays the amount of actual work that is required for two communities to build active allyship.

This is so true! There is the idea that if you are aro, you know everything about the ace community, and vice versa. But it's not true. I am ace and I am not involved in the ace community as a whole (because I can't relate to allo ace experiences who seem too be the most part of it). I acknowledge some things because it was my first entrance in the a-spec world, but I am far from being an expert. So I don't imagine how it is for some aro allos. And the same way, I don't imagine how it is for allo aces to know about aro experiences. The fact that hat the communities are connected by their history doesn't mean that all aces aces are involved in the aro community and tdknow their problems, and vice versa. We can ask people to know these things if we never tell that he in that he me first place.

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Hi @Korbin -- you already got some responses already, but I'll just add: I left my comment vague because I knew some of the people here were already familiar with the things I meant, and I figured if anyone wasn't familiar, they could ask. Thank you for bringing up the topic so that others could elaborate.

 

I agree that ideally, the aro tag on Tumblr would only display relevant results -- and I don't think that's a bad thing to want, morally speaking... but unfortunately, I don't think it's a reasonable expectation to have for an unmoderated space, in practice. Or in other words, by expecting that, people are setting themselves up for disappointment. Irrelevant posting is what always ends up happening with big unmoderated spaces, which is why I made that point #1 in my case for how Tumblr structurally undermines communities.

 

Of course, people get justifiably irritated at the irrelevant posting, but unfortunately the vigilantism on that topic has taken a bad turn. What I myself meant by the term "tag policing" was a reference to those situations where aros get yelled at by other aros for tagging their aro posts as aro because their aro posts are judged not aro "enough." In other words, people's expectation that the Tumblr tag search serves as a "community space" means that aros are getting yelled at to get out of the aro community.

 

In order to stop this, people would have to entirely rethink how they approach Tumblr as a platform and find a more effective way to meet their community needs.

 

5 hours ago, bydontost said:

what's going on that makes us fight each other to the point that everyone feels like they have to leave parts of their experience at the door??

 

*gestures at this*

 

I mean, I have my hunches as to the answer, but. *gestures to this again*

 

4 hours ago, nonmerci said:

because at some point, I started to feel like my asexuality makes me a bad aro.

 

You shouldn't have to feel this way, because it doesn't, and it's extremely unfair that this is happening. :icecream: Unfortunately, this thread isn't the first time I've aro aces disclose feeling like this.

 

4 hours ago, nonmerci said:

Outside of Tumblr, I recently made a similar experience by looking at aro ressources on scholar Google : I exclusively find things with "asexual" on the title. OK,  the fact that there were apparently no articles about specified aromanticism stuff didn't help, but I was sad though not surprised to see that just the title reflects how it is difficult for some people to think aromantic as it's own thing.

 

I have some further thoughts on that -- which might not be reassuring, I don't know, but I think it deserves to be said: What shows up in Google Scholar results isn't necessarily a good representation of "what people think," and not just because Google Scholar doesn't have everything. People don't just publish an academic paper on something just because it's a thing that's true.

 

Speaking as someone who's going into a PhD this fall -- what gets published academically is largely a function of 1) available funding and 2) what people are already talking about. There are all sorts of things I'd like to write papers on, but if you're going to do that, you can't just write something the way you'd write a blogpost. Imagine if publishing a post or making a thread required you to first cite and link to at least like seventeen other things on the same topic, and then you had to make a case for why your thread is relevant to existing conversations that people are already having, and only if a committee agrees that your contribution is relevant to existing conversations, then your post or thread can go live. It's kind of like that.

 

But I'm not just saying all this to say "it's hard and complicated." I'm saying this because if you want better Google Scholar results, then think in terms of what a potential aro researcher would have to work with. Aromantic research can't follow the exact same trajectory that asexual research did. Unlike sexology, there's no psych field of like... romance... ology. There's psych lit on married couples and stuff, sure, but it's not a perfectly parallel situation. I don't expect psych lit to be very useful to draw on for the purpose. So if someone's trying to publish something focused on aromanticism, at this stage they'd probably need to cite anything in the academic literature that so much as mentions the romantic orientation model in order to establish precedent.... which.... means.....

 

Do you see where I'm going with this?

 

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