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Tarantulapaws

Aromanticism and gender expression?

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Posted (edited)

Been meaning to ask for a while now, but does anyone feel that their aroness interacts with how you express your gender? While I am already a nonbinary person, I find that one thing that factors into how i present is that I'm not trying to attract anyone's attention in a romantic way if that makes sense. I also find that when it comes to not doing that I have a tendency to go for looks that are in other lgbt+ people's tastes rather than the tastes of cis straight men. I guess I was just wondering because I hear a bunch about gay/lesbian orientations and gender non-conformity, but very little about aromantic or bi and pansexual instances of this. Do aces do this too?

Edit: Maybe I should specify that what I mean above is that when given the choice to present femininely, I often won't. And when I do it's in non traditional ways. One reason I do this along with dysphoria and just aesthetic is that sometimes I really don't want anyone's attention. It often doesn't work so well when it comes to friends forming crushes on you as I've learned, but it's still something I've done for years that ties into how I look on a daily basis.

Edited by Korbin

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Posted (edited)

I don't know if this really counts as a gender thing, I'm pretty firmly cis, but I do tend to dress in more unconventional (usually very feminine, but in a very irregular way) styles and I never care about dressing in ways that men would find appealing. I would be quite happy if my style reads as queer, especially to other queer women, but ultimately I dress exclusively for myself. I dress pretty strangely, and I don't really care if anyone else is bothered by it, because I'm not looking for anyone's approval but my own.

Unfortunately this tends to attract weird nerd dudes who think I'm a manic pixie dream girl.

Edited by Jot-Aro Kujo
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Posted (edited)

Do you see this topic? 

 

As @Jot-Aro Kujo I am a cisgender woman. However I am not feminine. For instance I don't wear make-up (though other girls try to convince me...). I just don't feel the need to do that. I really don't want to add to the stereotype that girls we ar this or that to seduce guys; but I feel like, and this is true for both boys and girls, but gender-coded things are linked to seduction somehow. A girl is considered as feminine when she is "sexy" (make-up, high-heels, skirts, etc). Same for boys by the way, except that the things considered sexy are not the same (muscular, deep voice...).

(And it's continue in couples, like the gender-roles are based on who is supposed to do what in the relationship... and not only for straight couples : look at all those homophobe jokes, "who's the girl/boy in the relationship?" Basically saying that you need a boy and a girl in a couple)

So really, I feel like agender people are more present in the aromantic community (at least I see a lot here, but, as far as I know, I never met one in real life), and I am really wondering if it is not linked to that somehow. Though of course that is not conscious. It's just : if gender-roles pr coded things are linked to couple things, isn't it logical to not relate to it?

Edited by nonmerci
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18 minutes ago, nonmerci said:

Do you see this topic? 

Dangit could have sworn I looked for a thread before I wrote this.

19 minutes ago, nonmerci said:

if gender-roles pr coded things are linked to couple things

Also YES. This was what I was attempting to describe in not so many words!!

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Yeah, I definitely do feel like even as a cis woman, even as someone who is very feminine, I think my experience with womanhood is very different from what an allo woman's would be. Women are so deeply linked with romance, both in that we're seen as objects for men's affections, and also in that we're expected to want it for ourselves. Little boys are taught to dream of being astronauts and firefighters and sports stars; Little girls are taught to dream of marrying a handsome prince. Teenage girls are expected to be boy crazy. When you're someone who doesn't want/do any of those things... It's strange, and a little isolating.

One area where this particularly bothers me is media. Stories centered on women are almost always romance stories, and in stories that aren't romance-heavy, what few women are present usually wind up being love interests for a male character. Growing up I worried a lot that I must have been secretly a misogynist, because no matter how hard I tried I could never really like stories like Sailor Moon or characters like Winry or Padme, so surely it must have been because I hated women, right? Now of course I know that it's because they're all too deeply tied to romance, so I don't blame myself for it, but I still wish there were more stories for women like me. It's so disheartening looking at my top favorite characters and thinking about the fact that the vast majority of them are guys, or looking at my favorite stories and thinking about the fact that most of them have very few women.

As a side note, have you heard of the term arogender? My friend @arokaladin coined it a while back to describe that concept of gender identity being heavily affected by aromanticism. It might be interesting for you to read about.

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3 hours ago, Jot-Aro Kujo said:

Little boys are taught to dream of being astronauts and firefighters and sports stars; Little girls are taught to dream of marrying a handsome prince. Teenage girls are expected to be boy crazy. When you're someone who doesn't want/do any of those things...

For some reason, it made me thought about Yugi-oh... well, not linked to marriage though, but here we go : on the island, you have not a lot of women, and the only important female duellist is Mai, that I really started to love... But then, come the subject of what she wants to win. So, for the guy, you have Yugi who wants to save his grandpa, Joey who wants to save his sister, Kaiba who enters for his little brother, some side characters who does that for honor (other for money, too)... But Mai, what does she wants? The money so she can buy clothes. Like, yeah, that's the only aspiration of a girl : buying clothes!

 

3 hours ago, Jot-Aro Kujo said:

One area where this particularly bothers me is media. Stories centered on women are almost always romance stories, and in stories that aren't romance-heavy, what few women are present usually wind up being love interests for a male character. Growing up I worried a lot that I must have been secretly a misogynist, because no matter how hard I tried I could never really like stories like Sailor Moon or characters like Winry or Padme, so surely it must have been because I hated women, right? Now of course I know that it's because they're all too deeply tied to romance, so I don't blame myself for it, but I still wish there were more stories for women like me. It's so disheartening looking at my top favorite characters and thinking about the fact that the vast majority of them are guys, or looking at my favorite stories and thinking about the fact that most of them have very few women.

That's sad. And I agree for Padme (don't know the other) : I kinda liked her in the first movie, but in episodes II and III, her whole life is about Anakin... Like, they forgot she is supposed to have a politic role in the story?

And my father loves old western, and for me, it full of toxic masculinity, and you are happy when you find a women in there... Really, both genres are bothering me here.

 

I think they try to change that (like, when I compare to the old movies and now, there was improvement... I don't think a show like Orphan Black could have existed back in the days (by the way), but yeah, there are still place for improvements. Movies like 50 Shades of Grey still exist and have success after all...  You're not mysognist, it's just that a lot of female characters ar not likeable : in old movies, they are there to value the guys; now there is improvement, but at the same time, the "strong independant woman" will always ended up falling for the guy, no matter how strongly she was supposed not to at the begining... And also, I kinda don't like that, like, if we don't want to date it is necessary because we are some strong feminist who wants to prove she doesn't need a man? Like, it can be just because we enjoy being alone, it is necessarily because we want to prove a point to men? Not just because, you know, we are a person who don't think about men all the time? Also, though female characters are claiming their independance, there are still mostly love interests for guys... Ad to be honest, I was trying to find shows where this is not the case, but I don't find a lot... Though I can say :

-Orphan Black, a show about female clones, where the guys are the love interest or the help for the women, not the contrary; romance are really not the center of their existence

-Frozen, because Elsa, obviously... Probably Brave too though I can't stand Merida personnaly

-Maybe Caitlin from the Flash (not in the first seasons; but it was cool to see in season 4 and 5, she has no love interest at all and nobody cares... don't know for season 6, haven't seen yet)

-Regina from Once Upon a Time : yep; she dates during the show, but at the same time, the conclusion for her is that she doesn't need a lover to be happy , she has her friends ans her son for that.

 

(Sorry, I digress from the original topic)

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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, nonmerci said:

For some reason, it made me thought about Yugi-oh... well, not linked to marriage though, but here we go : on the island, you have not a lot of women, and the only important female duellist is Mai, that I really started to love... But then, come the subject of what she wants to win. So, for the guy, you have Yugi who wants to save his grandpa, Joey who wants to save his sister, Kaiba who enters for his little brother, some side characters who does that for honor (other for money, too)... But Mai, what does she wants? The money so she can buy clothes. Like, yeah, that's the only aspiration of a girl : buying clothes!

I actually relate to Mai a lot! She's great. Absolutely everything I wanted to be when I was like 5 years old. I love her so much. Imo though her motivations were more complex, I think the buying clothes thing was mostly just what she told people, not necessarily the real reason she was entering.

Edited by Jot-Aro Kujo

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Posted (edited)

Oh, don't get me wrong, I love Mai. Funny, I don't think I could stand her as a child, I was all for Thea (for some obscure reason that I can't really understand now), and Macuba (yeah, I know, he's a guy; at first I thought he was a girl, and then, I decided that he is one, because I was probably desperate to find some female character lol) (and anyway, watching it as a grown-up, all my favorite characters changed... Thea? Ugh, give me some Mai and Kaiba please!). In fact, that was because I relate to her that I couldn't stand that scene. Like, you have this strong woman, give her some interesting motivations please! (yep, I am not a woman who loves shopping)

 

Oh, also, now that I think about it : Yumi from Code Lyoko too. She doesn't go crazy about love at all (even if this is imply like she and Ulrich are not indiffferent to each other, and that there is kinda of a love triangle with her, Ulrich and William, the romance is treated in a subtile way, it is never clear if they are dated or not and it never has the spotlight... as far as I know, you could tell me she is aro allo, I'd believe you)

And if you don't know Code Lyoko, I recommanded it. That's French, but there is an English translation (as it is an anime, I don't think it the translation will bother you)

Edited by nonmerci

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2 hours ago, nonmerci said:

In fact, that was because I relate to her that I couldn't stand that scene. Like, you have this strong woman, give her some interesting motivations please! (yep, I am not a woman who loves shopping)

Ah, that makes sense. I'm kind of the other way around, because if I made a lot of cash from a card game tournament, I 100% would use it to buy clothes. But like I said, I don't dress for men; I buy clothes because I like them, not because of social pressures. When I say "I want to buy clothes" usually what I mean is "I want to buy a $100 gothic lolita JSK".

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On 4/6/2020 at 4:01 PM, Korbin said:

Been meaning to ask for a while now, but does anyone feel that their aroness interacts with how you express your gender?

No. There's no relation between the two for me.

That said, I'm agender. I don't think that my agender side and my aro side influence each other, but they do definitely come from a similar place and feel similar in a lot of ways (I found out I was agender because I was aro!) but that's really as far as the interaction goes.

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On 4/6/2020 at 8:01 AM, Korbin said:

Been meaning to ask for a while now, but does anyone feel that their aroness interacts with how you express your gender?

Huh. I have never really thought about this in detail before?

Aroness definitely interacts with me experiencing gender, to me - @Jot-Aro Kujo and @nonmerci kinda already discussed the romance expectations that are way too often associated with femininity, and I'm trans vaguely-guy-ish. Most of my friends as a teenager were cis girls who… performed to that? So - me being aro and perceived as a girl in my friend circle's discussions was kind of hell, and dysphoria and romance repulsion had a lot of Not Fun Interactions in any discussion involving crushes (Who Is Your Crush?) and any discussion involving romance.

Gender expression, though -

My hair's short because I like it short and I experience both sensory overload and dysphoria from it being long, which is a hellish combination; I dye it occasionally because it's fun. Most of my dress sense is either me trying to be comfy, copying my 70+-year-old Dad (who is probably not the greatest role model concerning gender expression), trying to Look Like A Proper Teacher (which I will be, some day. And I like dressing to the stereotype. It's fun.), trying to Have Fun, or any combination thereof.

So - I'm genuinely not quite sure whether my aroness interacts with my gender expression? Maybe in that how I dress and act is centered around me - being comfy, having fun - and not about attracting anyone's romantic attention? It's more that me being aro takes out a possible factor from my gender expression than that it contributes directly, I think. (Unless you count me really really Liking Aro Buttons etc.) Taking out a possible factor is a type of interaction, though?

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Posted (edited)

Well it seems like I am a triple bladed dagger. I am an autisitic, very heavily sapphic, bi female already. Being autistic, bi and aro basically makes a part of my life based on not wanting, understanding or needing romantic advancements from men (or anyone else). I describe myself as neither masculine or feminine in gender expression; I do whatever and I believe I don't act fully 'female' or 'male', which is common for autistic girls as well. I only wear clothes to please men if I want to. There are two things more feminine that I never do and those are wear makeup and high heels. I mix mens and womens clothes all the time. I also enjoy mixing masculine and feminine pronouns and am mostly pronoun indifferent (I just dislike they, it and emoji pronouns).

I am not dressing ultra feminine all the time to get a date, and that's how I feel being aro may play a role, along with my autism and sapphicness.

Edited by TripleA
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On 4/7/2020 at 12:36 PM, Jot-Aro Kujo said:

One area where this particularly bothers me is media. Stories centered on women are almost always romance stories, and in stories that aren't romance-heavy, what few women are present usually wind up being love interests for a male character. Growing up I worried a lot that I must have been secretly a misogynist, because no matter how hard I tried I could never really like stories like Sailor Moon or characters like Winry or Padme, so surely it must have been because I hated women, right? Now of course I know that it's because they're all too deeply tied to romance, so I don't blame myself for it, but I still wish there were more stories for women like me. It's so disheartening looking at my top favorite characters and thinking about the fact that the vast majority of them are guys, or looking at my favorite stories and thinking about the fact that most of them have very few women.

I feel you wholeheartedly, it is so hard to find a movie or a series that has a plot that doesn't involve romance. But whaat is more important is that the female representation is media is very very poor. Not only is their role around in a love story, the people only concentrate in the love story, and leave the plot and everything else in the shadows. I mean, there is so many materials to do. Not everything has to revolve around two people meeting and "falling" for each other. You can know someone without having sex with that person, or you can help someone to study without having to be sexual tension in the air. What's worse, when they use love as an excuse for a crime of passion, or as a motive to commit a crime. Is there no other way to develop a story?

Ps. I, too am disheartened and bothered by media (movies, series, heck even tv news) and the course it takes sometimes. I can count with one hand, the number of movies that don't use romance as follow up, or the second season of series that develop romance as motives. (Tremors movies is an example of something i like. Romance isnt a strong motive there.)

On 4/9/2020 at 12:28 PM, Momo said:

No. There's no relation between the two for me.

That said, I'm agender. I don't think that my agender side and my aro side influence each other, but they do definitely come from a similar place and feel similar in a lot of ways (I found out I was agender because I was aro!) but that's really as far as the interaction goes.

Now on the topic of the thread, my pansexual identity only meets my aromantic one in very few instances. I see them as separate because I am pansexual, but that does not erase that I am aromantic too. I can meet any person, and the first thing I do is to know if they like coffee or not. I don't see their identity nor sexuality as a factor of anything. I only want what's not to see with the eye, their ideals, their aspirations, how they drink tea or coffee, do they use straws?, are they comfy with me or do they want space?. Those things I care about more than anything, because I want to see more than an average person, what should be really important, and that doesn't relate with if I would sleep with the person or not, yes that would be an option,  but it is not the only thing that I care about. Soul before bed, if at all cuz I certainly not actively looking for sex, only a deeper relationship that leads me to getting to know someone more than the rest of the world, and that relationship does not have to involve romance. Enjoying a walk with someone doesn't mean I have to sleep with that person, heck my dog sleep with me, and do people ask me: hey, do you have sex with your dog? No. they say: omg so cute! mine sleeps with me too!. (bit of rant but yeah)

Tldr: sexual identity doesn't relate with romantic identity, only small overlaps. and dogs are cute :3

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Posted (edited)
On 4/10/2020 at 6:28 PM, Blake said:

Enjoying a walk with someone doesn't mean I have to sleep with that person, heck my dog sleep with me, and do people ask me: hey, do you have sex with your dog? No. they say: omg so cute! mine sleeps with me too!. (bit of rant but yeah)

Read this for a second time and almost spat my water out. 

And the thread had been intended to be about gender expression and aromanticism. Essentially, does the concept of gender expression (or gender roles) being tied to couple things, effect aros any way in particular? I'm sorry I rambled the way I did in the original post. I didn't quite understand my own question until nonmerci put it to better words.

 

Edit: Still messed this up. Intended to go on to say that I wondered if it affected the gender expression of aros.

Edited by Tarantulapaws

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