Jump to content

How do you feel about the term allo?


Recommended Posts

What's your opinion on the term allo? Why do you feel that way?

I have mixed feelings about that. On the one hand I don't like it because it's so frequently used in homophobic or otherwise oppressive and immoral ways to say that non-aro or non-ace people are inherently privileged and that allosexism and allonormativity are real things, to make invasive assumptions about other people's attraction, and to group gay and bi people with straight people on the basis of sexuality. It's also forcibly applied to people who aren't comfortable with it.

 

On the other, I feel like it wouldn't be a bad term if it were used:

-to encompass gray-ace and gray-aro people while also acknowledging our place in the aro and ace communities.

-as a neutral descriptor that doesn't denote privilege, that acknowledges the stigma and oppression even many straight people experience related to their attraction and sexual/romantic lives (ie reproductive rights for women, criminalization of sex work, eugenics, nonconsensual surgeries on intersex people, trans people experiencing violence for having sex, racist stereotypes about people of color's sexuality, etc.)

-in a way that doesn't imply wlw/mlm attraction is privileged and acknowledges the privilege that comes with not being attracted to one's same and similar genders.

-in a way that doesn't push an "us vs. them" mentality that I see often in the ace and aro communities

-in a way that doesn't pretend asexuality or aromanticism are oppressed identities (stigmatized yes, oppressed no)

-in a way that doesn't pretend asexuality and aromanticism are part of the lgbt community

-in a way that doesn't shame or alienate people for having sex or romantic feelings

Edited by El011
Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, since I use the term myself, as an aroallo, I guess I'll chip in with my two cents. 

I don't personally see the term allo as anything more than a neutral identifying word, just like "cisgender." And much like "cisgender", it's used to label something that, for the most part, is a societal given. Usually identity terms exist to label things that deviate from societal norms, such as lesbian, gay, transgender, asexual, aromantic, etc. But there's nothing inherently wrong with having a label for something that is already widely accepted. I'm allosexual and I see nothing wrong with that term. I'm happy to use it because it's an accurate definition of how I experience sexual attraction.

1 hour ago, El011 said:

to group gay and bi people with straight people on the basis of sexuality

Well... in this context, yes- gay, bi, and straight people alike would all be together if they were all allosexual and alloromantic. That's not equating their struggles, it's just a literal fact. If a gay person, a bi person, and a straight person can all feel sexual attraction and can all feel romantic attraction, then they would all be allosexual and alloromantic. I'm just as allosexual as my straight friends. There is nothing wrong with sharing the same label as another group with whom you don't identify.

1 hour ago, El011 said:

-in a way that doesn't pretend asexuality or aromanticism are oppressed identities

I won't pretend that being aromantic (or asexual) comes with the same exact oppression as other queer identities such as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or trans. At the same time, if you grow up asexual or aromantic in a society that, yes, normalizes the idea of alloromanticism and allosexuality, you can definitely experience hardships unique to aromantic and asexual identities. That sounds like a bunch of mumbo jumbo, but what it means is that on the most basic level, society assumes that most or all people experience sexual attraction and experience romantic attraction. So if you grow up with that message, it can be difficult to figure out who you are or what you want. Plenty of asexual folks talk about growing up and forcing themselves to have sex when they don't really want it. Sex is so normalized and advertised that being unable to feel sexual attraction can make people feel broken or wrong. Being aromantic can mean forcing yourself into relationships that you don't really want, unintentionally hurting other people or yourself, or in extreme cases wondering if you can love at all. Love is seen as a fundamental human experience, so being unable to feel it could absolutely cause someone confusion and pain.

Of course these problems aren't on the same level as having the right to marry denied to you, or the love you experience criminalized. But they are still prevalent problems nonetheless. In a way, I think dismissing the unique problems the ace/aro communities face as not being "oppressed" actually falls into the "us vs. them" mentality. One-upping each other's suffering or saying that one person's hardships are more valid because they are objectively (or subjectively) worse is not a healthy way to view the world.

1 hour ago, El011 said:

-in a way that doesn't shame or alienate people for having sex or romantic feelings

I honestly struggle with this one too. I spend a lot of time in the aro subreddits, and a majority of people that post there are aroace. A lot of them don't differentiate between asexuality and aromanticism, so I see a lot of ace posts that don't really belong in the aro subs. And yes, it feels a little invalidating to see commentary that frames sexual attraction as something negative or, indeed, alien. And at the same time, it probably feels constantly invalidating to see positive depictions of sexuality in almost every piece of media ever produced. The ace/aro spaces online, even if they get mixed up, are (and I say this literally) safe spaces for those of us who don't have anyone else who understands or agrees with our points of view. I try to keep that in mind when I see, say, a post about how shipping characters is cringy or bad, and keeping them friends is actually much better, and why do people always want to see characters bone and yadda yadda ya-- I don't agree with that, and it might feel invalidating to me, but their emotions and opinions are just as valid as mine. I have the whole internet to agree with me, they don't. It's not a black-and-white thing. I agree with you that shaming and alienating people (indirectly or not) for having sex or romantic feelings does wind up with some people feeling invalidated and hurt. I also think that asexual and aromantic folks are likely to be shamed or alienated simply for being who they are. 

In short, I think it's a bit like being white, or cisgender-- though, as you say, not on the same caliber as race or sexuality. It's a label to describe something that is already societally understood to be normal and correct (though, obviously, "normal" and "correct" do not and should not apply to someone's gender identity, romantic identity, sexuality, race, etc.) These terms can make people upset because usually when we label something, it's to differentiate it from something else that we consider normal- so when people use it to define something like being straight or cis or allosexual, it can sometimes feel like they're labeling those things as "alien" or "different" or "worthy of shame." And sometimes these things are framed like that- whether in a satirical or sincere context. Think "down with cis" or "ugh, straight people" or garlic bread memes. I choose to see those opinions as targets not to individual people who use those labels (like cis, straight, or allosexual), but rather to the societal norms that say anything that deviates from those labels should be seen as lesser. On a very small scale, saying that garlic bread is better than sex is a revolutionary statement, because it rejects the idea that sex is a universally positive thing- because to some people, it isn't. I know the word "revolutionary" feels like overkill here, but on a very basic level that's what it is.

I'm not really sure how to wrap this up, but I just wanted to chime in with my opinion. It's hard to reconcile the fact that aro/ace struggles don't always feel as important or legitimate as the struggles the rest of the queer community goes through with the fact that they are still real and legitimate struggles. Just because they aren't on the same level as the fight for queer and trans rights doesn't mean that they are invalid problems. They're just different. And as a member of the queer community I feel responsible to see that difference and give it the voice it deserves.

  • Like 6
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 weeks later...

@Queasy_Attention i thought that was all really well said.  in particular i'm glad you said the following:

On 12/5/2020 at 1:51 PM, Queasy_Attention said:

I'm just as allosexual as my straight friends. 

because i was thinking the same thing but wanted to hear the perspective of someone who isn't heterosexual, or asexual of course.  each of us, for example, could just as easily call ourselves aro allo, which i see we both do.  of course there's the obvious difference, but i wouldn't have the exact same experience as another aro heterosexual person--even cis woman--either. 

allosexual is just an easier way to say 'not asexual,' and i personally have no problem with it, nor with 'alloromantic,' or 'allo' (as in, both)--in each case, i use it to describe the group as a whole but would surely refrain from using it for a specific person if they preferred.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

The issue is similar like with "monosexual". But "allosexual" is a much more needed term to express ourselves concisely.

On 12/5/2020 at 7:51 PM, Queasy_Attention said:

And yes, it feels a little invalidating to see commentary that frames sexual attraction as something negative or, indeed, alien. And at the same time, it probably feels constantly invalidating to see positive depictions of sexuality in almost every piece of media ever produced.

The problem is that romanticism and sexuality are only vaguely equivalent. Analogies fail soon.

E.g. while media is full of positive depictions of sexuality, it's not so consistently. "Sex" is part of the infamous "sex, money, power" triad -- the attitude about all three is not that they're unequivocal goods. But conflicted and tangled up in knots and knots ... romantic love OTOH is regarded as very close to an unequivocal good.

So it's not symmetric to shame someone for experiencing romantic attraction vs. sexual attraction.

 

 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

There is nothing wrong with the terms allosexual nor alloromantic for all the same reasons that there is nothing wrong with cisgender, perisex, allistic, etc, etc. if you have an issue with the way people use these words then by all means criticise them. But different terminology doesn’t fix those problems. 

On 12/6/2020 at 4:08 AM, El011 said:

-to encompass gray-ace and gray-aro people while also acknowledging our place in the aro and ace communities.

-as a neutral descriptor that doesn't denote privilege, that acknowledges the stigma and oppression even many straight people experience related to their attraction and sexual/romantic lives (ie reproductive rights for women, criminalization of sex work, eugenics, nonconsensual surgeries on intersex people, trans people experiencing violence for having sex, racist stereotypes about people of color's sexuality, etc.)

-in a way that doesn't imply wlw/mlm attraction is privileged and acknowledges the privilege that comes with not being attracted to one's same and similar genders.

-in a way that doesn't push an "us vs. them" mentality that I see often in the ace and aro communities

-in a way that doesn't pretend asexuality or aromanticism are oppressed identities (stigmatized yes, oppressed no)

-in a way that doesn't pretend asexuality and aromanticism are part of the lgbt community

-in a way that doesn't shame or alienate people for having sex or romantic feelings

This list of issues is so contradictory as to be laughable. You say that aros are stigmatised then say that allos don’t have any privileges by virtue of being allo. You can’t have it both ways. Having privilege doesn’t mean you aren’t oppressed or stigmatised. Those are not mutually exclusive. But this isn’t a race to the bottom to find out who is worst off. It’s about acknowledging that different groups of people have different issues and needs.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Jot-Aro Kujo said:

I agree with everything the others have said. Plus, "allo is a bad term because it lumps people in with their oppressors" is a CLASSIC aphobic talking point that has been used to silence us.

Can't it also be argued that saying this is a homophobic talking point used to silence gay and bi people who have a problem with the word?

5 hours ago, Momo said:

There is nothing wrong with the terms allosexual nor alloromantic for all the same reasons that there is nothing wrong with cisgender, perisex, allistic, etc, etc. if you have an issue with the way people use these words then by all means criticise them. But different terminology doesn’t fix those problems. 

This list of issues is so contradictory as to be laughable. You say that aros are stigmatised then say that allos don’t have any privileges by virtue of being allo. You can’t have it both ways. Having privilege doesn’t mean you aren’t oppressed or stigmatised. Those are not mutually exclusive. But this isn’t a race to the bottom to find out who is worst off. It’s about acknowledging that different groups of people have different issues and needs.

Being stigmatized isn't the same thing as being oppressed and this isn't contradictory at all. In order for one group to be oppressed, there has to be a ruling class that can and does benefit from that oppression and in the case of aphobia, there's not. Gay and bi people are not a ruling class in terms of sexuality.

I'm sensing some cognitive dissonance here. You say that having privilege doesn't mean you're not also stigmatized but don't seem to apply this to aros. Don't cis het aros and cis aroaces have privilege related to sexuality by virtue of not experiencing homophobia?

Edited by El011
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, El011 said:

I'm sensing some cognitive dissonance here. You say that having privilege doesn't mean you're not also stigmatized but don't seem to apply this to aros. Don't cis het aros and cis aroaces have privilege related to sexuality by virtue of not experiencing homophobia?

I am white. I am privileged because I am white, if I argued otherwise I think most people on this forum would have words. I am also autistic, trans, aro, and ace. I am discriminated against for all four. Just because you have some privilege does not mean that you also do not experience discrimination, oppression or stigmatisation and there is no dissonance in that statement.

And related to your question, yes they do. But they do experience arophobia and acephobia respectively, things I have personally witnessed and the gay people have some measure of privilege for not experiencing that. Which does nothing to diminish the very real problems any of those three hypothetical people face.

Like I said originally, this whole concept isn't meant to be used as a measuring stick. It's a way to acknowledge issues and needs that various groups face and how they may inter-relate and connect to each other.

1 hour ago, El011 said:

Can't it also be argued that saying this is a homophobic talking point used to silence gay and bi people who have a problem with the word?

Do you think it's ok for transphobes, gay or otherwise, who dislike being called cisgender to shout down that word? It's literally the same situation. No one is asking people to self-id as alloromantic or allosexual, but the words are still useful for us to talk about people who aren't us and taking away vocabulary is a form of harassment and has been a common tactic for silencing people, as has already been mentioned.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

 Just putting my mod hat on for just a moment to remind everyone that the official stance of the forum is that alloromantic and allosexual are legitimate terms. However, using these terms as pejoratives or otherwise discriminating against people who are part of those groups is against the rules of the forum:

On 12/20/2020 at 1:37 PM, Momo said:

c. Offensive and bigoted content
Arocalypse does not tolerate racist, queerphobic, or sexist bigotry, as these create an environment that is hostile to the reasonable exchange of views. You may not post hateful, abusive or disparaging content about people's race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, romantic orientation, age, or mental or physical disability. This includes, but is not limited to, anything bigoted against 'asexuals', 'allosexuals', 'aromantics', ‘alloromantics’, ‘ace-spec’ or ‘aro-spec’ as identifiable categories.

Posting offensive content, or bigoted propaganda, may result in an immediate and permanent ban from the forum. Offences judged less serious by the Admod Team will be dealt with under the Warning system outlined below.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Momo said:

I am white. I am privileged because I am white, if I argued otherwise I think most people on this forum would have words. I am also autistic, trans, aro, and ace. I am discriminated against for all four. Just because you have some privilege does not mean that you also do not experience discrimination, oppression or stigmatisation and there is no dissonance in that statement.

And related to your question, yes they do. But they do experience arophobia and acephobia respectively, things I have personally witnessed and the gay people have some measure of privilege for not experiencing that. Which does nothing to diminish the very real problems any of those three hypothetical people face.

Like I said originally, this whole concept isn't meant to be used as a measuring stick. It's a way to acknowledge issues and needs that various groups face and how they may inter-relate and connect to each other.

Do you think it's ok for transphobes, gay or otherwise, who dislike being called cisgender to shout down that word? It's literally the same situation. No one is asking people to self-id as alloromantic or allosexual, but the words are still useful for us to talk about people who aren't us and taking away vocabulary is a form of harassment and has been a common tactic for silencing people, as has already been mentioned.

Gender, sexuality, and disability are different things. But how can you be oppressed for the exact same thing you're privileged for? Even in the case of cis women or non-cis men, one axis of privilege and oppression is trans status and the other is alignment under patriarchy so it's not the same thing.

As a gray aro, I am stigmatized for my ability to romantically love people of my same gender as well as for how rarely I experience romantic attraction. I'm also targeted for my sexual attraction, which I'm not privileged for. You're invalidating my experiences, posting bigoted propaganda, and being homophobic.

But only two of those things, my romantic and sexual attraction not my gray romanticism, will ever lead people on their own to fire me from a job, deny me housing, assume that I'm an abusive parent, assume that I'm a sexual predator, physically beat me, rape me, stalk me, or try to coerce me into conversion therapy.

And when I AM stigmatized for being aro, it's almost always because of misogyny and homophobia. Straight cis aro men aren't targeted by vitriol against casual sex and not wanting a relationship to anywhere near the same degree I, a gray aro socially perceived as a bi woman, am. If misogyny and homophobia didn't exist, neither would arophobia, but obviously not all aros are oppressed under misogyny or homophobia. I'm not being targeted for being aro and you're abusing mod power and invalidating me by saying I am or that I have privilege over you for being bi.

Gay people don't have privilege regarding acephobia or arophobia. They are oppressed for experiencing attraction, they aren't a ruling class when it comes to sexuality, and what you're saying is homophobic. You're breaking the rules of the forum. How does a group that has been targeted systematically with state sanctioned genocide have privilege?

Being called cis is not a problem because no one is oppressed for being cis. They can be oppressed for being a woman but that's, again, about alignment under patriarchy not about trans status. This is such a huge false equivalence.

Edited by El011
Link to post
Share on other sites

Please, keep it civile.

 

You apparantly don't know that but some people were actually raped because of their asexuality, by people who say they will cure them like that. And I think it is disrespectful to say it is just misogyny. In particular for the victime who are men.

And of course it is nothing compare to conversion therapy, but it is very difficult for an asexual or an aromantic to find a therapist, because most of the time asexuality and aromanticism is seen as a symptom of a pathology or of neurodivergency, and so the therapist will try to change that.

 

Now, do gay and bi people have it worse than aro and ace? Yes they are. But pretending that aro and aces face nothing, no real problem, no negation of their identity, or that it has another cause than acephobia or arophobia... that is simply not true. Maybe you didn't have to face it, fine for you, but it's not the case for everyone. You can find plenty of examples of negationism just here on this website.

 

1 hour ago, El011 said:

But how can you be oppressed for the exact same thing you're privileged for?

Because life is not black and white. It all depends on situation.

For instance, I am ace. For this reason, I am not priviledged compare to a heterosexual for instance... except if this an aromantic heterosexual. Because in this case aro allo face problems that I,  as an asexual, will never face (like slut shaming, impossibility to find a meaningful sexual relationship that will fulfil my need...). You also can find a lot of testimony about the ace community being offensive to and ease the aro (allo) experience.

And that the same thing for the LGBT. Gay people are oppressed because of heteronormativity. Aro and ace because of amatonormativity. This is different thing. In terms of heteronormativity,  being aro and ace is and advantage compare to being gay. But in terms of amatonormativity, this is the contrary. It all depends on context. And that's what you can find acephobic gay people, the same way you can find homophobic asexual. Because both group find societal problems who have not the same origins, and so depending in the context, one or the other applies.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

The official stance of the forum is that alloromantic and allosexual are legitimate terms. However, using these terms as pejoratives or otherwise discriminating against people who are part of those groups is against the rules of the forum.

Additionally, Vigilante Modding is not allowed. Vigilante Modding is harassing, attacking, or otherwise antagonizing members you believe are acting inappropriately and/or you believe have violated the ToS. 

Until further moderation decisions are made or until further notice, I am locking this thread.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

EI011 received a warning for offensive or bigoted content. This behavior has been repetitive and did not cease after official moderator warning. Since this is his third active warning, he is now permanently banned. We don't think it is productive to continue this conversation, in particular now that the one who started it is not here anymore, so we will keep the thread locked.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
×
×
  • Create New...