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douchebaggery misogyny rapey reddit that's not funny!

“Men run faster than women.” “Hence rape.” Or, Reddit in a nutshell.

Here’s a little exchange from Reddit that I found on ShitRedditSays that basically sums up everything that’s less-than-charming about the site.  We start off with a blanket statement of male superiority, followed by an enthusiastically upvoted rape joke, and then we get massive downvoting and a “fuck you” to someone who’s challenging the blanket statement. (If you follow the link you’ll see that Butch_Magnus isn’t the only one jumping on piv0t.)

 

The context: This is from the Pics subreddit; they’re discussing a “sexist treadmill” with a control panel that looks like this:

 

 

 

 

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sloejenphys
sloejenphys
8 years ago

I’m not experienced or involved enough with the LGBT community to really weigh in on what falls under the queer umbrella or not, but as an asexual being dismissed does sting quite a bit. I personally don’t identify as queer, but considering how often I’m told I’m confused, I’ll change my mind, I just haven’t found the right person yet, etc. I can easily see how some asexual people would embrace the queer identification and feel they should have the right to do that. Also, as an asexual woman if I have one more person tell me I must still want to get married and have children (not in this lifetime) despite the fact I don’t want to have sex (women never want to have sex, it’s an obligation to marriage, herp derp) and am aromantic I am going to kick them in the shins.

Comrade Svilova
Comrade Svilova
8 years ago

I must still want to get married and have children (not in this lifetime) despite the fact I don’t want to have sex (women never want to have sex, it’s an obligation to marriage, herp derp)

Ugh, SUCH a damaging cultural narrative. No one benefits (no, not even the husbands of these women, because how can it be a benefit to sleep with an unenthusiastic partner?!)

Comrade Svilova
Comrade Svilova
8 years ago

And sloejenphys, that’s not to ignore how you specifically are affected by that narrative. I didn’t mean to take what you’d said and make it suddenly about het sexual people. Just expressing my general sense that that is a toxic cultural narrative.

darksidecat
8 years ago

So…what about asexuality makes its deviance different from what you think are queer relationships? What norms do you view an asexual identity breaking as opposed to other queer identities?

Ah, a question that properly requires a book length answer, but I’ll try to give one in brief using Beatrice Green’s “Homosexual Signification” as a loose outline of major themes of homophobia historically and culturally (this is a great article, I highly recommend it, it tries out creating a “taxonomy of homophobia” Green, Beatrice C. “Homosexual Signification.” Journal of Homosexuality, 49: 2, 119 — 134)

1. Pollution-Contagion. Leviticus explicitly locates sexualities between people assigned the same sex at birth as unclean and an abomination (Deuteronomy also calls dressing in the clothes of the unassigned sex as an abomination, and considers male assigned at birth people who have lost their penis or testes as unfit to participate in religious consecrations). The polluted body is seen as both contaminated and contagious, including in some cases as a literal bringer of plague and destruction (this is historically extremely common in a literal sense, and still common in both a literal and figurative sense). In contrast to clean and pure bodies, these bodies are viewed as a constant threat barring purifiction or removal. Desires to do these things are desires to become unclean and endanger the community.

2. Sinful-Wrongful Behavior. This involves the view that same sex assigned at birth sex are seen as sins, as disobedience to God, and desires as desires to sin. Related to this is the nominally secular notion that this type of sex is a form of liscentiousness and is “out of control”, and that allowing it will encourage those that already do it to do it and those that don’t to start.

3. Penetration-Emasculation. This is the fear that penetration womanizes a man (we see certain types of sex as gendering, being penetrated is gendered as feminine).
Thoguh Green does not argue such, I believe that sex roles in gender presentation of female assigned at birth people’s sex roles as well. There exists a ninth century canon that says this: “If women who choose chastity in the cause of religion either take on the clothes of a man or cut their hair, in order to appear false to others, we resolve that they should be admonished and criticized, because we consider that they err through a great ignorance rather than zeal.” This is in stark contrast to female assigned at birth who presented as male and engaged in sex with women. These people were often accused of witchcraft and executed if caught, and there was a common claim that witches could change sex that increased in the later middle ages. I do believe there is more than a little ground to argue that female assigned at birth/female sexual activity with women is seen as masculinizing in many cases as well.

4. Queer-Androgyny. Her terms, I’m not trying to circularly define here, she defines it as a term“used to respond to the transgressive threat that is seen to be posed by gay men who blend masculine and feminine characteristics”. So, she’s defining queer in terms of androgyny, or gender stereotype non-conformance. Fear of androgyny comes from fear of maintence of cisnorms (my terms there, not hers) and “a fear for the de-centering of heterosexuality, of (white) male privilege”

5. Against Nature-Contra-naturum. “The fear in each of these arguments comes from a reproductionist perspective that holds that the only legitimate reason to engage in sexual acts is for the purpose of procreation.”

6.Liscense-Debauchery. This is sex negativity in general and the signification of certain types of sexual acts and desires as being “oversexed”, “wild”, etc.

6. Generativity–Sterility. This involves seeing acts and desires as contradictory to reproduction within a stimatized minority group that has been subject to attempts at elimination.

7. Stigma-Gay History. This is these identities, bodies, acts, desires, etc. being seen as “spoiled identities”.

It can quickly be observed that there are massive grounds for overlap with trans issues on all of these, sometimes the idealogies underlying homophobia are based on cisnormativity or on gender binary notions that in practice are heavily cisnormative.

However, these do not largely apply to cis non-homo or non-bi romantic asexuals. Insofar as asexuals are less likely to reproduce, they could invoke fear of non-reproduction under number 6 if they are of another marginalized group, but it isn’t clear that they would do so more than a cis hetero who elected to not have children. The ways that cis non-homo or non-bi romantic asexuals might problematize normative sexual roles or normative gender roles is not very similar to LGB, etc., trans, or similar identities and practices. There have actually been virtually no claims to similarities of cis non-homo and non-bi romantic experiences, histories, and norm deviations on this thread, but rather a facial assertion that any type of norm deviation in terms of sexual practice is enough to make claims on identiteis that derive from the former.

Sidenote: “I understand the problem with appropriation (by anyone), but I’m not convinced that policing other’s identities is an effective way to deal with the threat of appropriation.” On this thread, telling people that an identity is not theirs and they are appropriating has been treated as identity policing per se, so how do you think people may defend themselves against/call out appropriation without telling people they are appropriating and don’t have a right to use an identity?

Lauralot
Lauralot
8 years ago

DSC, I don’t know if you intend to make asexuals feel unwelcome here, but at least as far as I’m concerned that’s exactly what you’ve succeeded in doing.

I still identify as queer. Nothing in that post convinced me that I’m wrong for doing so.

Bagelsan
Bagelsan
8 years ago

1) Deuteronomy … considers male assigned at birth people who have lost their penis or testes as unfit to participate in religious consecrations

So losing your genitals made you less of a person, but I’m sure everyone would totally look kindly on a person who did not intend to use their still-present genitals. They would not at all get treated as less-than based on this essentially sex-less identity. Asexuals, for example.

3) This is the fear that penetration womanizes a man (we see certain types of sex as gendering, being penetrated is gendered as feminine).

So sexual activity is used to identify and gender a person appropriately, for example it is properly “feminine” of a woman to be sexually penetrated. Somehow I doubt that men who did not wish to sexually penetrate, or women who did not wish to be sexually penetrated (asexuals, for example) were seen as complete men or women regardless.

4) Fear of androgyny comes from fear of maintence of cisnorms (my terms there, not hers) and “a fear for the de-centering of heterosexuality, of (white) male privilege”

I imagine that an identity that de-centered heterosexuality as part of de-centering (or not participating in) sexual activity would not be exactly welcomed by heterosexual privilege, then. An identity like asexuality, for example.

5) Generativity–Sterility. This involves seeing acts and desires as contradictory to reproduction within a stimatized minority group that has been subject to attempts at elimination.

If sex for the purpose of procreation is a good and necessary thing, then people who are not interested in having sex (asexuals, for example) would not fit well into this privileged goal of reproduction.

7) Stigma-Gay History. This is these identities, bodies, acts, desires, etc. being seen as “spoiled identities”.

Well, people have already listed some of these, but I’ll bet you can imagine if you think real hard ways in which an identity sans sexual desire, a body not inclined to engage in sex or reproduction, and an act as unnatural or “spoiled” as celibacy (ASEXUALS, for example) might get some flak over the millennia.

…So, what’s the score? Do we only need to match at least half of the listed criteria to count as queer? You listed 8 and I hit 5 of ’em, so will you respect my right to self-identify yet?

Lauralot
Lauralot
8 years ago

Bagelsan, I love you.

zhinxy
8 years ago

Because I don’t see “queer” as directly analogous to LGBT and because I agree with Bagelsan that asexuals hit a lot of “the buttons, I’m just going to say that I have some problem with “non-homo-or-bi-romantic” cis asexuals and “the label” – But that I am not an expert on asexuality, and I don’t know how precisely, we can interrogate an asexual person’s feelings to find whether they are or are not “too hetero” for the label. I think that we should respect people’s self identification, and we should address our issues about appropriation, which is incredibly important, not to asexual individuals claiming the label, but in general terms. Any given asexual identifying as queer – I dont know how or why to find out if they “should” claim it, and I don’t think I should…

Bagelsan
Bagelsan
8 years ago

I’m still not clear what DSC’s huge fucking pressing desperate concern with this is, frankly. Yeah, I get it that we apparently want our borders and philosophy to be fucking flawless, but I’m not sure it’s worth such picky levels of assholishness just to get every individual squared away in their QUILTBAG letter just so. Asexuals who identify as queer probably aren’t going to invade the entire QUILTBAG everything with our overwhelmingly vast numbers, yanno.

For example, I went to a women’s college, and there was one student who came out as a trans man during that time and nonetheless stuck around the next few years to graduate with everyone else. We didn’t drive him away with pitchforks even though he wasn’t a woman, and we didn’t panic that suddenly trans men were going to come pouring out of the woodwork and swamp all the women on campus and that would be the end of women’s education forevah, we just fucking dealt and let him do his thing and decide if he was cool with being in a women’s college, because that’s the non-asshole response.

zhinxy
8 years ago

So, I suppose, I come down on “Accept Asexuals as Queer” but I don’t think the conversation shouldn’t be had. And I am so, SO not anywhere nearly an expert on asexuals and their issues.

Lauralot
Lauralot
8 years ago

Personally, my biggest issue in regards to my asexuality has always been identity erasure. This thread’s been a shining example of that.

Bagelsan
Bagelsan
8 years ago

Bagelsan, I love you.

If you and I homoplatonically love each other, then that totally counts as queer, right? 😀

Lauralot
Lauralot
8 years ago

Sounds good to me. 😉

Aloren
8 years ago

Wow I missed a lot! I consider myself queer. Over the past year or so that I have discover the asexual community and ideitfiyed as asexual… Well I really realized I only went along with the very few sexual relationships with men I have had because it was the thing to do. Now after a lot of reflection I have the same capacity (and maybe more) for feelings for women and trans folk. I am still sort of with a male SO as in we live together and have a family. We do really well family side but are totally romanticly and sexually incompatible. So it probably just a matter of time. I have told him he is free to seek other sex but he is very mono. In the distant future once my kids are more grown up I see myself in a poly or asexual relationship. So if I had sexual attraction and desire I would consider my self pansexual. But I don’t and I am really not very romantics either I will just stick with asexual and queer.

darksidecat
8 years ago

The problem is that your claims about historical and cultural developments are purely theoretical (“I imagine…”, “I doubt…” are you making a claim that this is historio-cultural fact or not?), and not really supportable by the actual facts of the matter. For example, the extreme historical power of the Papacy and the fact that its officials were required to be celibate, abstinence only until marriage, virgin saints, virgin martyrs, Virgin Mary, the incredibly prominent view that Jesus was nonsexual, the fact that nonsexuality was not seen as impure (unlike intersexed or eunic status, after all, impurity was the issue there, virginity and no extra marital sex is still seen as “pure” and plenty of people in fact refer to virginity as “sexual purity” even now). In communities where adultury, same assigned sex sexuality, transness, etc. could and were sometimes punished with death under the law, similar laws did not exist in regards to celebacy. Celebate people were largely not seen as death spreaders and as social destroyers. Tesla and Newton’s distinct lack of sex life is not perceived as casting a pall on their accomplishments, nor did it seem to make significant barriers to them. Contrast this with, for example, Turing. I’d actually love to see any supporting historical evidence for your claims about historical stigmas. Because you really have no grounds other than some rather odd speculations on anything other than the non-reproduction issue (and again, I ask if this means that sterile or voluntarily childless cis heteros are also queer on those grounds alone).

Lauralot
Lauralot
8 years ago

And you have no ground to deny asexuals the queer label other than your own self-imposed standards. I don’t care what sources you use to back it up.

Holly Pervocracy
8 years ago

Welp, it’s settled! *wipes hands* Being asexual is totally awesome and everyone loves you for it.

Maybe you’re actually super-privileged, did you ever think of that, asexuals! You just don’t know what we sexual people live with!

(Sorry if I’m getting snippy, DSC, but freaking let it go already. Kicking a small number of marginalized people out of the group isn’t saving it from appropriation, it’s just being a jerk to people who have to face “maybe you haven’t met the right one yet! have you tried therapy?” even from people who would never say that to a gay person.)

Lauralot
Lauralot
8 years ago

(Sorry if I’m getting snippy, DSC, but freaking let it go already. Kicking a small number of marginalized people out of the group isn’t saving it from appropriation, it’s just being a jerk to people who have to face “maybe you haven’t met the right one yet! have you tried therapy?” even from people who would never say that to a gay person.)

This. A thousand times this.

I’m not sure why you’re making this the hill that you’ll die on, DSC, but you’re not convincing anyone of anything (except maybe to lower their opinion of you) and all you’re doing is making yourself look bigoted.

Bagelsan
Bagelsan
8 years ago

Maybe you’re actually super-privileged, did you ever think of that, asexuals! You just don’t know what we sexual people live with!

I imagine you might have to shower slightly more often, on average? And put up with icky kissing right on the face, though I guess you weirdos are into that. 😀

Holly Pervocracy
8 years ago

We have to wash our sheets more too. The burdens just keep piling up.

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
8 years ago

Yeah, I’m a little late to the party, and I kinda hope this thread stays dead… but holy shit. A freaking novel of a post and what do we have? Queer is defined as anything that has faced historical stigma, mostly from Abrahamic (mainly Christian and Catholic) religions. The question you still haven’t answered, DSC, is WHY? Why is this the definition of queer? Do all queer people know about these eight points, and agree that this is what defines them? There’s no connection here!

*huff huff huff*

@Baglesan:

I’ll tell you one thing, awkward boners just before a swim meet or just before you’re called to write on the black board… having a sex drive is hard work. 😛

kladle
kladle
8 years ago

Oh lawd! What did I start?

I do think darksidecat has a point here– “queer” is by and large the name for those people who violate a specific set of gender/sex norms. While I typically don’t begrudge asexuals who ID as queer, I have seen some internet spaces designed for LGBT folk be co-opted by heteroromantic asexuals or hetero demisexuals. I have not seen this happen offline and I think for the most part asexuals are usually fine in queer spaces. But if you are asexual and consider yourself queer due to being asexual (rather than being trans or homo/bi oriented) I think you have to be very aware of what sort of spaces you’re entering and why. And be aware of the history of the identity, and in how you’re expanding the identity by choosing it as your label.

That said I do think homo/bisexuals have a great deal in common with asexuals, all being minority sexual orientations. While LGBs and Ts have a certain set of things in common (the stuff DSC was talking about), LGBs and As have a different set of things in common with each other, and it’s often extremely useful for them to get together for alliance purposes. That’s why I usually prefer “sexual minorities” or “sexual and gender minorities” for the great big lump of everyone together.

I’m not sure how I feel about “queer” personally because the idea of identity is very weird for me– obviously I don’t want to police anyone’s identity, because that’s not a good thing to do, but also I am not comfortable with the idea of “saying it makes it so”. Because as far as I can tell, one of the purposes of “identifying” is political, it’s to ally yourself with a group and gain personal power by confirming something about yourself publicly and guiding your life accordingly. This seems to indicate to me that there has to be some sort of boundary involved, lest the political power get broken up etc. But you also don’t want to be wielding that power against other disadvantaged groups– for example, you don’t want your definition of woman to be so restrictive that you’re doing crotch checks at your women’s festival. I really don’t want to hurt or disadvantage any asexual people out there like Lauralot or Bagelsan by trying to keep a space for LGBT-esque people. The “queer” fights end up tearing me up so much that I mostly choose not to do the identity politics thing altogether.

The asexual/sexual thing I have always found weird because I don’t think I am personally clearly either. I have looked at the whole “demisexual”/”grey-A” stuff as well and neither seems to fit the way I experience sexuality/romance/whatever. I actually find it very hard to understand distinctions between friendship/romance/sexuality. For instance sometimes I can’t tell if I am in love with all my friends or if I’m not in love with any of them. I often feel like my ideal relationship would be something like a Boston marriage or something. I don’t think I am asexual because I do clearly have a high libido (I am pretty content to handle it myself) and I am occasionally sexually attracted to people. There isn’t really any pattern though to who I’m attracted to– I know what I don’t like, but I’m not sure what constitutes my “type” other than people who are unusually gentle/sensitive, and I find androgyny especially compelling. Apart from that I don’t know, and I am pretty much functionally asexual in daily life (attraction and sexuality don’t play that big of a part day-to-day).

Rutee Katreya
8 years ago

I’m not sure why you’re making this the hill that you’ll die on, DSC, but you’re not convincing anyone of anything (except maybe to lower their opinion of you) and all you’re doing is making yourself look bigoted.

Actually, the continued insistence that it was JUST AS BAD for a group that generally has much more community acceptance is leading me to think zie has a point about appropriation. It wasn’t. Yeah, it sucks for you, both historically and now. But it ain’t remotely the same kind of suck. I still disagree with DSC about the label but jesus fuck, don’t pretend it’s the same sort of history when you had societally acceptable places to be, and were held up as the height of sexuality in multiple cultures.

Lauralot
Lauralot
8 years ago

I never, ever said asexuals had the same experiences as everyone else. I stand by my words to DSC, and don’t put words in my mouth.

Lauralot
Lauralot
8 years ago

Never claimed asexuals had it just as bad as everyone else either.

2-D Man
2-D Man
8 years ago

Whew, finally caught up with the thread. Lauralot, as a non-queer-identifying asexual man, I strongly appreciate the stance you’ve taken here. Good job!

Lauralot
Lauralot
8 years ago

Thanks, 2-D Man. A number of posts in this thread have made me feel unwelcome, so I’m glad that you appreciate them.

Lauralot
Lauralot
8 years ago

Them being my posts, if that wasn’t clear.

darksidecat
8 years ago

The question you still haven’t answered, DSC, is WHY? Why is this the definition of queer?

I think I have gone to great lengths to answer that question, I suspect you aren’t listening.

Queer is defined as anything that has faced historical stigma

I disagree extremely strongly with this proposition, and do not know of anyone who truly agrees with it either. Cis hetero adultry, historical stigma, so queer. Pretty much any woman’s sexuality, even if she is cis, hetero, vanilla, monogamous, married, is queer. No, that’s not the definition and I think we all know it.

And you have no ground to deny asexuals the queer label other than your own self-imposed standards. I don’t care what sources you use to back it up.

The fact that you don’t care what sources I have, or how I argue indicates that the number of grounds I have been bringing up are being noted, you are just dismissing them out of hand.

I never, ever said asexuals had the same experiences as everyone else.

You and to an even larger extent bagelsan, have argued that these experiences that lead to the formulation of queer identity and history are similar enough and the same enough that you feel you can use an identity label that involves reclaiming painful parts of that history. You are claiming a right over these types of histories and experiences when you claim queer identity.

And put up with icky kissing right on the face

Something that can get queer people literally killed in a number of situations, and massively discriminated against in others, but haha, why not fucking dismiss things like that in a discussion of queer identity.

Sorry if I’m getting snippy, DSC, but freaking let it go already.

No. I don’t have to sit back and take appropriation and will not be silenced and told to shut up and take it based on the fact that others disagree when the other side is not being hit with the expectation of ending the argument immediately as well. I have argued my point and said things that others did not like, and they have done the same to me, however, what I have not fucking done is just announce that others have an obligation to shut up and drop it because I say so, a courtesy that is damned well not being granted to me here. I don’t appreciate the concern trolling towards me here either that has been going on in this thread.

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
8 years ago

@DSC:

“I disagree extremely strongly with this proposition, and do not know of anyone who truly agrees with it either.”

Both you and I know that any sort of stigma at all is not what I meant. Your long post is essentially a list of 7 different ways that queer folk have been stigmatized, by one rationale or another. In essence, you are defining queer entirely by stigma, albeit a certain kind of stigma. This is working from the definition you have given (or at least the only one I can glean). Which, by the way, never actually answers the question of why, only the question of what.

So the real question, my original question, is why only those particular types of stigma can be accepted as queer. And also why Baglesan’s reply showing that many of them apply to asexuals as well doesn’t show that asexuals should be able to identify as queer.

darksidecat
8 years ago

In essence, you are defining queer entirely by stigma, albeit a certain kind of stigma.

Queer is a reclaimed slur, a slur targeted at specific communities and specific experiences. It is a term that carries with it a history of pain, a history of stigma, a history of these experiences.

Which, by the way, never actually answers the question of why, only the question of what

Oh, you want to know why I think appropriation is an issue, okay, let me repeat myself

I see it as the usual issue of people who aren’t part of an oppression trying to claim it, first that it furthers the marginalization of the oppressed group by denying it rights over even its own spaces and priorities, second, that people want to claim the label and access but don’t want to have the experiences, third, that people can and do use it as an attempt to silence the oppressed group in discussions and arguments (“now that I call myself queer, let me ‘splain queerness and everything else to you actual queer people”), fourth, reclaimed terms carry a history of pain and an attempt by outsiders to “reclaim” them does nothing but further that pain, fifth, the appropriaters generally want the help of the group but don’t want to be expected to be helpful/non-stigmatizing towards it. I have seen these things play out with cis hetero kinksters appropriating the queer label. I do think appropriation can be harmful and dangerous.

Even if you disagree that it is what is happening here, I don’t really get this inability to conceive why someone who believes their identities are being appropriated, that they are being asked to allow their spaces to be appropriated, and that people from the out group are using a fucking reclaimed slur for the oppressed group could be worrisome, painful, annoying, upsetting, etc. etc. Even if you think I am wrong about what is happening here, you should be able to get that someone who views it the way I do would see it as creating these issues and would feel this way. Oppressed people have a right to call out and to refuse to allow appropriation of their identities and histories, and have a right to see such appropriation is harmful, right? I know that not everyone here agrees with me that appropriation is happening, that is clear, but there is a dismissal of issues around appropriation and use of reclaimed slurs going on when you ask why a person who feels like appropriation is happening does not like it.

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
8 years ago

@DSC:

No, I want to ask why your particular definition of the word “queer” is the correct one. Is it that the only communities that are allowed to use the “queer” label are the ones that were called “queer” in the past?

Shora
8 years ago

From what I have seen in LGBT spaces, queer used in a lot of different ways by a lot of different people. DSC’s insistence on keeping the term “queer” exclusive is the first I’ve seen of it, and it really bothers me.

As far as I can tell, the facts are these;

1. Lots of people, including LGBT people, define queer differently

2. DSC has a very solid definition of “queer” that may differ from what others in the LGBT community define it as

3. DSC uses this definition as validation to tell people what they are allowed to identify as.

Darksidecat, I don’t really know what makes you the arbiter of queer identification, but you are erasing people, and that is so not okay. Really, really, not okay. Please stop

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
8 years ago

Hmm… “Gazork” is actually looking pretty nice right about now… Shame that my sex has not been very funny thus far. May I be Gazork-curious, until such a date that I may try out some more hilarious sex? That’d be nice…

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

Just to clarify, I believe that people are entitled to self-identify however they choose, so my point was never “you, specific asexual person, should not identify as queer”. My question was whether or not the term queer is or should be considered to automatically encompass asexual people in the same way it’s automatically assumed to encompass LGBT people. Also, in a general sense, what people think “queer” means. In my personal circles everyone who actively calls themselves queer is LGBT or genderqueer, so I had assumed that was what most people thought queer meant.

If people are actually using it to mean anyone non-normative in a sexual or orientation sense, then cool. I’m not particularly attached to the term, I was just confused to see it being used in a way I wasn’t familiar with. It would never have occurred to me that anyone would describe me as queer because I like BSDM, for example.

The bisexuality sub-conversation was weird, especially the bit about oppression. I think it’s easy to forget how much this stuff depends on where you live, what your social circle is like, etc. I can only think of a handful of occasions on which I’ve faced any prejudice as a result of being bi, and most of those cases have involved other LGBT people (mostly the L part). Bi-phobia is real, no doubt about that, but honestly hasn’t had a huge impact on my life. I think that’s because I’m conventionally feminine enough that I’m usually read as straight, so the kind of drive-by gay bashing and verbal abuse that a lot of other LGBT people get never happens to me. In terms of anything I’d actually call oppression…eh, not really. And I think that’s the case for a lot of women who are both bi and conventionally feminine – we pretty much have straight privilege unless we go out of our way to out ourselves, or we’re in the company of female partners. The men who I’ve known who’ve been openly bi have faced a lot more overt discrimination and generally shitty behavior than I do, and in terms of shitty behavior directed at LGBT people in general I think the worst of it tends to be directed at people who are gender nonconforming in most cases.

darksidecat
8 years ago

Is it that the only communities that are allowed to use the “queer” label are the ones that were called “queer” in the past?

The only people allowed to use an oppressed identity are those whose identity falls within that oppression, the only people allowed to use reclaimed slurs are those who are part of groups the slurs are against. This is not a hard concept. Formulation of oppressed identities, which queerness is, involve those pains, those historical experiences, those stigmas, etc. The building an identity for resistence by the oppressed agaisnt an oppression is not the work or property of those outside of that oppression. Yes, oppressed people totally fucking do get to dictate the use of their identities built from their experience of that oppression. Yes, members of the oppressed group can and do have differing opinions about identity and meanings, but those are in community debates, discussions, rights of ownership, not ones that people not subject to the oppression have a right to step into.

Queerness is an oppressed identity. It is an identity naming, dealing with, and arising from histories and experiences of these oppressions and these oppressed communities. To claim a queer identity is to claiming such. It’s not a cheap rhetorical exercise for those whose identities have not fallen under these oppressions to use whenever they feel the need for a cumbaya rainbow umbrella so broad virtually all of the world can stand under it.

@shora, it is totally fucking inappropriate for a cis hetero to try and dictate what queerness means to queer people. You are actually a privileged person telling an oppressed person how our identity should be defined here. Don’t fucking do that. In what bizarre version of the universe do you think that is acceptable fucking behavior? In what fucking headspace do you live where you think that cis heteros get to demand genderqueer queer people have debates or not about queer fucking identity as you dictate? No, I will not let a cis hetero dictate my fucking identity or when and how I can discuss it. In fact, don’t ever, ever fucking speak to me that way again. You are engaging in flat out oppression right now. A fucking cis hetero trying to ‘splain queer and trans spaces and identities to a fucking genderqueer queer person, fuck, do you not pay any damned attention to your actions?

The last paragraph above applies to shora, certainly not to the trans and/or queer people on this thread disagreeing with me, who have a total right to participate in those discussions, and, shit, not even to the cis non-queer asexuals who have been debating here, because they are non-maliciously (if wrongfully and in ways that can cause harm) trying to figure out their identities and they have a genuine interest in boundary lines of queer identity in this matter, even though I disagree that they have a right to it. That line that I think cis non-queer asexuals have crossed here in regards to queer identity co-option and appropriation, shora just sailed so far past those sort of lines they can’t even be viewed anymore.

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
8 years ago

@DSC:

Alright, this is the last I’ll post on this subject, since I’m pretty much guaranteed a paragraph full of “fucks” thrown my way as well. It is not “dictating to a queer person what queer means” to side with asexuals in questioning the use of the word “queer.” It almost sounds like you are implying that cis hetero sorts are not even allowed to have an opinion on the matter, lest we be forcing you to… something or other.

The worst Shora could be accused of is relating to you how other self-identified queer people identify themselves, and how your rigid definition is at odds with theirs. In fact, I don’t think Shora is even trying to “appropriate” the term for herself, and then dictate to you what it means as per your example. So what it boils down to is that people disagree with you, people who want to self-identify as queer and people who don’t. The ones don’t are disagreeing by virtue of agreeing with the ones who do, and for some reason this is an offense to you of the highest sort.

This may start to sound like tone-trolling, but here goes. This debate will go in one of two directions, since you seem to be very set in your views. On the one hand, you agree to disagree, but realize that you were marginalizing the asexuals here on the forum. On the other, you continue making this last stand for what you feel is an attack on your existence, alienating you further from those who would be your allies. Your choice.

darksidecat
8 years ago

It almost sounds like you are implying that cis hetero sorts are not even allowed to have an opinion on the matter…

Yes, that’s pretty much right, or at least, insofar as you have an opinion, you have no right to inflict it on us.

I consider this discussion to have two debates involved in it, an in-community debate between queer people, and a between community debate of queer people with cis non-homo/non-bi/etc. romantic asexuals. So asexuals have a right to debate here, because their identities are at issue, and queer people do, because queer identity is at issue. However, the fact that these debates are going on does not make is suddenly okay for cis heteros to start thinking they have any right whatsoever to start telling queer people their business.

I don’t think Shora is even trying to “appropriate” the term for herself…

I’m sorry if that was unclear. I don’t think Shora is appropriating, I think she is engaging in outright oppression. A privileged person telling an oppressed person the oppressed person’s identities and how the oppressed person may debate and discuss them and must view them is oppressive.

So what it boils down to is that people disagree with you…

Mere disagreement isn’t the issue. The disagreement is over queer identity. Cis hetero people don’t get a say in that topic. A privileged person trying to dictate the identities and their meanings and boundaries of an oppressed person to an oppressed person is oppression.

And, you are right, you are tone trolling, after I specifically said I wasn’t interesting in more concern trolling. But thanks for splaining how I should debate queer issues to me, because that’s totally appropriate.

Alright, this is the last I’ll post on this subject, since I’m pretty much guaranteed a paragraph full of “fucks” thrown my way as well.

Well, since you asked in such a cluelessly privileged way, how could I say no?

Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck

talacaris
talacaris
8 years ago

How come this identity discussion hasn’t had any input at all from NWO, Meller or Brandon. Why won’t they enlighten peopl?. What is the MRAposition regarding queer identities?

Wetherby
Wetherby
8 years ago

It doesn’t affect Brandon, so it doesn’t matter.

Mind you, you’d have thought he’d have popped in to make sure that we all knew.

Sorka
Sorka
8 years ago

talacaris:

Feminists disagreeing with each other? This is likely to be too unsettling and baffling for the MRA minds. Surely we all just sit around the bra-burning fires and talk about how much we hate men whilst braiding each other’s underarm hair?

Sorka
Sorka
8 years ago

Oh, and the MRA position regarding “queer identities” is probably something along the lines of “what’s that?” / “queer identities don’t exist” / “all men are either straight or gay whilst all women are bisexual”.

zhinxy
8 years ago

DSC, in your opinion do “pansexual” and “agender” count as queer identities, and why specifically does asexual not count,? And is it primarily or all about “shared oppression” rather than “non-het or-cis sexuality” I’m not trying to be defensive, but trying to sort out the reasoning.

Xanthe
Xanthe
8 years ago

Not to agree fully with darksidecat but I fully appreciate the anger where ze is coming from, because I also take strong exception to the idea of cis hetero people having a say in what is or isn’t queer from their admittedly outside vantage point. I refused to agree with someone else’s definition of queer, so perhaps I should give my personal view.

Queer is a lived identity and it means you are “out” in a significant part of your life. When I came out as bisexual at the age of 20, homosexual acts were still criminal offences punishable by jail. I was ostracised by some of my previous friends, who told me to my face that I was an evil person whom they never wanted to see or hear from again. I was lucky that none of my immediate family took this attitude, unlike one gay uncle who was ostracised by his father (my grandfather) and banished from home. This is a common reaction faced by anyone who comes out homosexually or trans*gendered, because it is sex and gender — being seen to have engaged in the “wrong” sexual behaviour or exhibit the “wrong” socially approved gender — where the repression has been the most virulent.

The discrimination is real, systematic, and pervasive, and the law has been gradually catching up (but not fast enough, and in some places it remains barbaric). I hid being in a homosexual relationship in one (frequently misogynistic) workplace with good reason, since misogyny and homophobia go hand in hand; but some homosexual and trans* people don’t have the luxury of quarantine some parts of their life off from unwanted hate and stress. Basically, not having to worry about homophobic and/or transphobic oppression is a privilege that to my mind, forms the nebulous boundary where someone is not queer.

With respect, I cannot see all asexuals as being automatically “queered”, though there is clear and obvious overlap: strongly so for trans* asexuals; likewise pan/homoromantic asexuals. For an example of the disjunction between queer and asexuality, I totally fail to see how a cis heteroromantic or a romantic asexual would be prone to the profoundly negative effects of homophobia or transphobia except by virtue of their strong association with homosexuals or trans* people. So I can see that some people have wider definitions from the aspects of other socially-frowned-upon practices (polyamory, BDSM, kink and some paraphilias that don’t involve harm), and I don’t want to invoke a round of Oppression Olympics, but from my perspective queer is strongly tied to openly LGT people and bisexuals (more or less so; my personal experience of this is complicated!), and then, varying degrees of overlap with the loose QUILTBAG++ alliance.

One last word: when I came out as bi in my youth, I didn’t also come out as transgendered, though I am — and I’m currently shyly peeking out of that closet (my partner and a few friends are in the know), fearful of the absolute sh*t and hate I feel I am likely to receive simply by going about what I want to do and who I want to be — and coming out as bisexual and dealing with people’s homophobia was traumatic and depressing enough.

Xanthe
Xanthe
8 years ago

Damn auto-incorrect on the iPhone mangled some words; some I managed to fuck up myself. Quarantining is the word I meant to type instead of quarantine in the third paragraph. In the next, I plead that the iPhone tried to erase “aromantic” as a legitimate form of asexual identity. (They obviously need to update the dictionary as well as fix Siri.)

zhinxy
8 years ago

Xanthe – While I certainly agree with anger that het cis people should not dictate terms to us, are you implying that closeted people are not queers? There is a significant part of my life in which I am not “out,” – does this unqueer me? It IS the lived experience of being queer in my particular circumstances.

Bagelsan
Bagelsan
8 years ago

“And put up with icky kissing right on the face”

Something that can get queer people literally killed in a number of situations, and massively discriminated against in others, but haha, why not fucking dismiss things like that in a discussion of queer identity.

Yup, that joke was definitely about oppressing you and not just about me being silly at Holly. Well spotted. 9_9

zhinxy
8 years ago

Yup, that joke was definitely about oppressing you and not just about me being silly at Holly. Well spotted. 9_9″

-Seconded. I really don’t think there was any dismissing going on.

Xanthe
Xanthe
8 years ago

Zhinxy, please note I didn’t say you have to be out in every aspect of your life. But I do not consider entirely closeted people queer, because that is a denial of identity, and when I say queer that is fundamentally about identity. There’s a well-known connection between being homophobic and being a repressed homosexual: I can think of a number of preachers in the United States who have been “outed” for being obvious hypocrites in vilifying homosexuals while being homosexual themselves. Should we regard them as “queer”?

Bagelsan
Bagelsan
8 years ago

The only people allowed to use an oppressed identity are those whose identity falls within that oppression, the only people allowed to use reclaimed slurs are those who are part of groups the slurs are against.

“Queer” is not just used as a reclaimed slur anymore, DSC, its definition and appropriate use have expanded from that in many circles. No one has to be called a “queer” to their face in a specifically derogatory manner in order to use it, now; it’s also a political and/or academic blanket term that can be used purposefully vaguely to cover a multitude of identities, as well as a purposefully vague term used on a personal level by many people due to its inclusive and non-specific nature, allowing them both to include the diversity of other people as well as encompass the diversity of their own complex oppressions and identities.