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How Being Arospec Influences Your Gender


Rainy Robin
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I've heard some people talk about how their aro identity is really important to understanding their gender. If you have a similar experience, I'd love to hear more about it! 

As an example, I've heard a lot of people who are aroace and agender say that they feel really disconnected from the entirety of gender because of their disconnect to romantic or sexual attraction. Since romance and sex are usually coded by society as very gendered, some aroaces feel alienated from gender and identify as agender instead. 

I think this is really interesting, and would love to hear how others approach it!

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There's actually a term called arogender specifically for people who feel inclined to put a word to this phenomenon. Doesn't apply to me, but I thought I'd mention it in case people aren't aware.

Though I will say that even as someone who's very much a cis woman, being aro has often made me feel alienated from my gender. Womanhood is so closely associated with romance that there are very few women in media I can relate to- Most media aimed at women is about or heavily features romance, and most women in media aimed at men only exist to be love interests, or don't get much screen time/character development. For a long time I thought I must have had heavy internalized misogyny despite my attempts to avoid those kinds of thoughts. Eventually I realized it wasn't that I disliked women, it was just that I disliked romance, and... It's pretty much impossible to find women in media in a non-romantic context. :/

Edited by Jot-Aro Kujo
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I think I could speak to the experience of feeling a link between one's gender and orientation.

I am afab, and still identify as female to an extent, despite feeling some disconnection from it. Being aro may be part of it, though recently, I have also realized I experience some sexual attraction to women. My relationship with gender, and the desire to appear more butchy made more sense when I discovered this part of myself. This could be because women are often portrayed as objects of men's desire, and being in any romantic or sexual relationship with a man was something that had always made me extremely uncomfortable. I felt so relieved when I came to terms with my homosexuality, like everything was coming together.

I have also found that my capacity to feel attraction varies from day to day and influences my relationship with gender as well. On days where I don't feel much attraction to anyone, I feel more agendered, but on days where I feel sexual attraction to women, I feel more female.

There are many days where I prefer not to be seen as a woman, but some androgynous being. It wouldn't be accurate for me to say that I experience gender dysphoria, but I've had some upsetting dreams about my hair growing back long.

Edited by Finch
Wanted to improve the flow.
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4 hours ago, Jot-Aro Kujo said:

There's actually a term called arogender specifically for people who feel inclined to put a word to this phenomenon. Doesn't apply to me, but I thought I'd mention it in case people aren't aware.

Thanks for pointing this out!

4 hours ago, Jot-Aro Kujo said:

For a long time I thought I must have had heavy internalized misogyny despite my attempts to avoid those kinds of thoughts. Eventually I realized it wasn't that I disliked women, it was just that I disliked romance, and... It's pretty much impossible to find women in media in a non-romantic context. :/

This is such a good point, thanks for sharing! I'm trying to think of specific books or movies I've seen where there isn't any romance mentioned in women's storylines. It's so depressing that there aren't more good models for how womanhood doesn't have to be tied up to romance like how it's portrayed in most media. Do you have any recommendations of characters or media that has better representation? Most of the ones I can think of involve secondary characters or include romance in the plot in some way (ex. Hunger Games with Katniss, Harry Potter's Luna Lovegood).

2 hours ago, Finch said:

I have also found that my capacity to feel attraction varies from day to day and influences my relationship with gender as well. On days where I don't feel much attraction to anyone, I feel more agendered, but on days where I feel sexual attraction to women, I feel more female.

Thanks for sharing here! That sounds like a really unique and interesting experience. I love hearing about the interplay between sexuality, attraction, gender, and romantic attraction. I think it's such a nuanced topic and it's cool to see how those different elements interact. 

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Personally, I don't feel like there's any strong connection between my being aro/ace and being non-binary.  They're both important facets of who I am, but they don't affect each other any more than my love of sketching affects my religious beliefs.

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On 5/26/2021 at 1:09 AM, Rainy Robin said:

I've heard a lot of people who are aroace and agender say that they feel really disconnected from the entirety of gender because of their disconnect to romantic or sexual attraction. Since romance and sex are usually coded by society as very gendered, some aroaces feel alienated from gender and identify as agender instead.

Well, I'm not agender but I'm a trans man. I feel very connected with being aromantic and asexual. But I don't really think that me being transgender is an important part of my identity. I would rather live in stealth mode, I just don't feel the need to tell people that I'm trans and I'm definitely not one of those trans people who are really proud of being trans and buy trans pride merch. Most people think that I'm cis because I want to be seen as such and I don't go to a pride parade with a trans flag. I'm just not really connected to being transgender but I feel a huge connection with being aro and ace (especially aro, it's the most important part of my identity to me). I have a plenty of aro and ace pride merch because I'm proud to be aroace. I don't care about me being trans tho, I just don't see this as a big deal.

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I am aroace but not agender. I am a woman who is different from other women, don't have the same interests, don't want the same things in life. I don't dream about love, romance, having babies, having a partner. I am just a woman who want to live her dreams, travel, read, learn more and more things in her life but all by on my own not with someone else. 

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I am aroace, with aro being a really important part of my identity. However, it doesn't really conflict with my gender identity since I don't identify neither as male or female but as androgynous. I feel that there is not enough representation for queer characters in the current media, and less about minorities inside that umbrella. I want to identify with someone inside movies, series or just anybody that embraces their queer or non binary identity without relating it to sexual or romantic themes. 

I understand that one issue in the representation is that "it wouldn't sell; it is boring" so you do not hear in media things that aren't "juicy". That is one problem, or that people criticize without knowing all details. I for one abide for the rule that people should mind their business, so I am against the idea of reading about celebrities life if they do not give their consent.

Sorry if I went off topic, yeah my aroness and aceness don't affect much my identity as a person, because I am unique and so are everyone else, so I am cool with the idea of everyone being themselves and we care for everyone equally.

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  • 1 month later...

I'm not sure I can speak super eloquently on how exactly they're connected (aside from really convoluted attempts to vaguely impress my feelings on paper lol), but they feel that way for me! 

I'm aromid and agender/genderfluid ish? Partially for me my aro identity took so long for me to come to terms with that by the time I got to gender it was a really big part of everything I thought abt myself. But I also think that the way femininity/masculinity was often defined in my area was heavily reliant on their opposition in romance--a woman is the person who's with a man, etc. And the feminine was found in being appealing , particularly, whether that was actively being flirtatious or simple beauty. Men weren't pretty, women were. And, for me, I as a non-amorous aro was never in that opposition matrix, and spent a great deal of time trying to seem as unappealing as possible so I wouldn't be seen as a potential partner, and feeling very uncomfortable around my prescribed partner sex to boot. So even if it didn't "make" my gender per say it def influenced the way I think abt it. 

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@ArothrutheMoon Wow, that makes so much sense! You just described something that I've been struggling to articulate for a really long time now. Thanks for replying to this post :)

Also, I hadn't heard of aromid as a term until just now but it actually fits me really well. Thanks for bringing that up too! 

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Probably why I identify with animals a lot xD (other than the fact I like drawing, furries oof) does that count. Well not as an animal lol (some ppl do ofc) just liked them as a kid those stories made more sense to me than a lot of the princess stories and that. These days I am into a lot more things tho but when you are very young ya know. 

Yea I agree tho (as a Woman) a lot of female characters in media tend to be associated with Romance. Or I guess there are the evil characters but even those can be romantic lol. And I guess ghibli or certain anime (if you are careful) have some good Women/girl characters. And the tomboyish characters often aren't so much (but too tomboyish and a lot of male viewers get frustrated). The thing is for me personally I wouldn't really care about a tiny bit of romance tho if it wasn't the sole or main focus, sometimes ngl I think it is just bad writing or female characters being afterthought or just a person for the protagonist to be with. There are some books that don't focus as much but yea seems like much more that do sometimes, maybe it's what a lot of people want idk or ingrained thoughts like I guess it is more acceptable for Male characters not to focus on Romance. But I have seen a lot of modern YA lit particularly dystopian stuff or cultural stuff like that is much more varied and interesting.

In the end I dont think media necessarily depicts reality. There is always non fiction too I guess haha tho even those can be airbrushed to an extent.

 

Edited by mewix
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54 minutes ago, mewix said:

But I have seen a lot of modern YA lit particularly dystopian stuff or cultural stuff like that is much more varied and interesting.

That's because feminism fights for more female characters that are not just there so the male hero can date her. So there is more female characters in book and sometimes they even get the lead (though being the main character doesn't prevent from being very romanticize).

58 minutes ago, mewix said:

Or I guess there are the evil characters but even those can be romantic lol.

Even when they are romantic I notice that heroes and villains are not treated the same way. Usually the "good" girl will have a "pure" love based on careness and is there to talk or comfort the male character, and the "bad" girl is more passionate and there for physical contact rather than talking (and sex but that's not romantic). Same for good boys and bad boys. That's probably a way to demonized the physical contacts.

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