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How does Amatonormativity negatively affect you as an Aro woman or afab person?


Ikarus
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As an Apothi aro ace male, I have it easier, can’t imagine how annoyed I would be if I where a female aro ace for a week. I have come back to this old meme I created, and then posted a long time ago, and the meme gave me a new topic idea I haven't seen discussed here. I am surprised more people don't talk about how amatonormativity targets woman in particular. The way amaton. affects woman seems a lot more annoying to me compared to my own experience. One day I just happened to think about what my life would be like if I where a woman, and I realized that life would be a lot harder simply because of amaton. What really freaked me out was the thought of being asked out, or random people looking at me because they thought I looked sexy which would make me profoundly uncomfortable.

I feel a little weird making this post because i'm a male, but here I am... 

To begin with, I think the way woman are portrayed in media / books due to amaton. definitely affects the way others see woman. 

Woman in media / books and my problem with how woman are portrayed in them

1. Friendships are rarely fully developed or payed attention to in movies (never between the opposite sex) 

2. They are heavily romanticized or sexualized.

3. Romance and sex as uninteresting characteristics in others to me

4. Characteristics such as beauty are objectified / the protagonists prize

5. Defined positively and negatively by romance, sex, or a family role compared with men.

Positive sense: Beautiful, enchanting, lovely, darling, sweet, a nurturing mother

Negative sense / insults: Sexually / romantically inferior, infidelity, or lives a loose lewd lifestyle

6.. When woman's person is discussed, they are objectified, and not humanized while mens identities are recognized beyond their appearances. 

7. woman are called old maids if they never marry regardless of their accomplishments. Men are seen as independent amazing people for their success, and are celebrated for their accomplishments, not scrutinized like woman are for not marrying, even seen as cool for being independent. 

 

Aromantic woman struggle a lot with Amatonormativity, here are 3 big problems

 

1. More likely to be asked out on a date by strangers than men who typically initiate the conversation / the pick up community / think flirting with woman is the mans job and its manly to know how to handle rejection blablabla..

2. Society pressures woman into always looking sexually / romantically desirable to attract a date.

3. Woman are overly romanticized or sexualized by media and books

 

Comments I got after an old meme post from aromatnic woman.

I sometimes feel very insecure and paranoid that someone would think that my body looks good in a sexual or romantic way. It just purely disgusts me and i don't know why! Even though I'm underage and not that attractive it still makes me a bit uncomfortable when I go out wearing skirts and thigh highs ( i like to beware them! They make me look pretty and cute, but sometiems too cute...).”

As someone who’s afab and who get’s called ma’am or miss a lot I’m really glad people don’t often flirt with me because I want none of it.”

I can be extremly uncomfordable. I hate beeing called sexy, or anything where the tone of voice implies that it means sexy. It makes me fell all gross and discusting. I hate having boobs for the same reason. They make some males act all.. Ewwu!”

That just about wraps up my thoughts and research, what do all of you think? I would also appreciate any comments from woman on how amatonormativity affects you as an aromatic person.

Oh... here is the meme I posted a while back on reddit. 

Screen Shot 2021-04-22 at 11-compressed-2-min.jpg

Edited by Ikarus
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TW: R*pe culture, brief mentions of sexual trauma

As a fem-presenting nb individual who was socialized female, I have a decent deal of experience with this. The first part is just me picking at general amatonormativity, heteronormativity, and how sexism plays into it. The second bit is more of my own personal experiences. 

 

Those of us who were socialized female (AFAB), have consistently been sent messages that our worth is rooted in mens’ perceptions of us. It’s been ingrained into us that we’re supposed to cater to men. That their attention, sexually and romantically, is to be prized above all. And that all of us have a universal goal in pursuing that. 

Female bodies are always pegged as inherently sexual objects, credit being to victim-blaming in r*pe culture. We’re told to “dress modestly” as to “not to distract men”, and “leave a little to the imagination.” All men and boys. Our teachers, our relatives, our friends. We’re told to hide ourselves because our natural state is deemed inappropriate. 

It’s normalized in our society for men and boys to be possessive of our bodies. To exhibit a sense of ownership over them. Husbands and boyfriends “declining” or “not allowing” their wives and girlfriends to wear certain outfits. I hated swimsuit shopping when I was younger for this exact reason, because it always amounted to my mom going, “your dad won’t like that” to every other suit I tried on. 

The trope of the dad always going after the daughter’s boyfriend. The brother who hates the boyfriend. Both of these being on the basis that the boyfriend is being intimate sexually and/or romantically with her, and both men/boy family members feel entitled to her body. Notice how there are little to no tropes related to mothers and sisters trying to butcher the son’s sexual and/or romantic pursuits. 

We’re shunned for existing with the bodies we have. We’re shunned for pursuing romantic and/or sexual relations with men and boys up until a certain age. And, you guessed it, shunned for not pursuing those romantic and/or sexual relations with men and boys at all! You’ll see this is a common theme with how people generally view women, fem-presenting folks, and people with fem-aligned genders; there’s just no winning. 



Speaking from my own personal experience as a female socialized, fem-presenting nb person who is aroace, it’s confusing and contradictory. It was consistently being told that us pursuing guys romantically and/or sexually was shallow, dumb, and even impure. With the way my mom talked about her husband’s feelings towards my swimsuits and my body, I had no doubts that he’d hate the thought of me romantically dating anyone. And I thought my parents would be overjoyed when middle school me came to the conclusion that I didn’t want to date anyone romantically until high school.

 I remember distinctly telling my mother in the car one morning, and me being so deeply confused when she prompted me with a, “why?” 

Middle school was a mess of amatonormativity. I told myself I had high standards. I convinced myself I just hadn’t seen enough guys, and that I’d fall in love when the rumored “right one” came along. I cried because I didn’t find people “hot” like most did. I cried because I was always guaranteed to be a cold second-best to my friends’ romantic partners. 

It was picking an objectively attractive guy as a safe pick for a fake romantic crush. Another game of, “kiss, marry, kill” to awkwardly giggle through. I always thought people were exaggerating. The worst bit of it was the sympathy that came with it, and the immaturity people tacked onto me because of my nonexistent experience with romance and sex. 

When relatives and extended family came around, it’s all they wanted to know. “Any boys yet?” Always yet. Like it was inevitable. It was the only thing that seemed to define me. 

I’ve had experiences with sexual assault, as most female-socialized folks unfortunately have. And peoples’ reactions and hyperfixation to my nonexistent romantic pursuits played a heavy role in me remaining in that abusive situation for external validation. 

That in itself is hard to open up about, because I know a majority of people will discredit my aroace identity on the basis of me having sexual trauma. But I’ve always been aroace, and I think we should discuss how amatonormativity, heteronormativity, and sexism can factor into female-socialized aro, ace, and/or aroace folks experiences. Especially with trauma that can come with it. 

 

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I am 39 yo soon 40 yo and I think amatonormativity is actually very hard on me and other women especially around my age because people expect us to be in a relationship. We are women so we have to want to settle down with a man/woman in a serious relationship and they just don't or can't accept that this is something that we don't want or not interested in like it. I have even met people thinking that a woman couldn't be happy if she wasn't in a relationship. For them it was the aim of life : being in a relationship, it is maybe some law of nature or whatever, we exist to be in a relationship, we can't live any other way, it is like this for centuries and it just can't be any other way... There is really a big pressure of society on us about that. And same for sex : everybody should be interested in sex, want to have sex all the time and love it. It is really annoying. I am aroace but with libido so sometimes I do have sex but like once a year or even less sometimes I don't have sex for several years. I don't like it and don't even feel anything when I do it I wish that I didn't heave any libido at all. 

I have the chance to not have been in the situation of men (or boys when I was younger) wanting to date me, this is something that never happened to me, I don't know how I would react to that and how the other aro women do. Men aren't really looking at me and it is such a relief and I know how lucky I am.

My family used to put pressure on me too (except my mum actually she has always been ok with me not wanting to be in a relationship) but now they have stopped. They finally understood that my life was full as it is and that I don't need anything else and that my career is the most important.

 

 

 

 

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