Categories
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:

 

 

 

 

339 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Holly Pervocracy
8 years ago

This shared history thing is getting a bit “queer people hunted the mammoth.”

Holly Pervocracy
8 years ago

…That was poorly phrased. But I mean that LGBT folk are not the only people with a history of oppression for not having the “right” sexual relationships.

darksidecat
8 years ago

reason asexual people are not allowed despite arguably having a tougher time than bisexual people

wtf? What the hell kind of bizzarro world claim is that. Ah, the “you must accept asexual people because of X bi erasure/biphobia”. Bi people don’t actually show statistical reductions in issues against lesbian and gay people (sometimes, they actually show more). The only way for a bi person to get a “pass” is if they never engage in any non-hetero activity, never voice those desires, are deeply closeted, and have their identity totally erased by those around them. The closet it not a privilege.

As to trans people, like I said, there is some overlap and some non-overlap, some shared identity w/LGB etc. some not. Connected does not equal being the same. The ties between LGB etc community and trans community are their own rather complicated things. But cis non-queer asexuals in attempting to claim queer identity aren’t making the claim to those ties at all, and they aren’t making a claim to similar ties. What they claim is stigma based on being asexual/not fully conforming to sexual norms, and that does not give them a right to a claim any more than a large variety of other groups without those ties.

@holly, 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.

Lauralot
Lauralot
8 years ago

“now that I call myself queer, let me ‘splain queerness and everything else to you actual queer people”

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
8 years ago

@DSC:

“Ah, the “you must accept asexual people because of X bi erasure/biphobia”.”

I had no idea that this was such a common argument that it deserved sarcasm as a response.

“The only way for a bi person to get a “pass” is if they never engage in any non-hetero activity, never voice those desires, are deeply closeted, and have their identity totally erased by those around them. The closet it not a privilege.”

I fail to see how you can say that a bi-person must be “deeply closeted” in order to not express interest in non-hetero activity. The whole point is that bi people are interested in both hetero and homo relationships. It’s like saying an omnivore has it just as bad as a vegetarian in a culture where meat-eating is the expected norm. It isn’t great, sure, because you can’t express a fundamental part of who you are… but still.

And then you go on to assert that a person who doesn’t eat food at all faces none of the stigma that the vegetarian and the omnivore do. -_-

Rutee Katreya
8 years ago

All people who disagree with you are hateful trolls. Nice.

Because you know, gay people are never reduced to the sex they’re having.

…That was poorly phrased. But I mean that LGBT folk are not the only people with a history of oppression for not having the “right” sexual relationships.

…Asexuals have substantially more of a history of acceptance though, or at least a half-state of it because it’s for totally different reasons. LGBT may not have hunted the mammoth, but it’s much harder to find acceptance of them throughout history. A number of religions provided sufficient excuse for asexuality to be expressed.

Mind, I’m inclined to give them the label; they’ve still faced at least some persecution, and are currently marginalized. But I see precisely where DSC is coming from; Remember the anti=miscegenation laws? Not all sex done wrong is queer. I don’t like zir choice to oppose this, but an overhoned rush to protect oneself from the majority is sort of an unfortunate side effect of being marginalized. No, that doesn’t make it okay.

@DSC: If being transphobic, biphobic, or homophobic is grounds to stop being queer, we’re gonna need to kick out most of those letters. There are plenty of cis transphobes among LGB, heterosexist trans people, and anti-gay or transphobic bi people. LGBT is already the worst alliance in history; It isn’t fair to hold asexual people to a different standard.

Lauralot
Lauralot
8 years ago

Because you know, gay people are never reduced to the sex they’re having.

Never claimed otherwise. But there are far, far better ways to express it than “YOU’RE JUST LIKE NWO!”

BlackBloc
BlackBloc
8 years ago

I’m not even going into the debate of whether asexuals can be considered as queer, since I’m still reeling from the revelation that apparently for some people foot fetishists (yes, even cis hetero male ones) or, say, poly doesn’t count as queer.

Mandolin
Mandolin
8 years ago

I fail to see how you can say that a bi-person must be “deeply closeted” in order to not express interest in non-hetero activity. The whole point is that bi people are interested in both hetero and homo relationships. It’s like saying an omnivore has it just as bad as a vegetarian in a culture where meat-eating is the expected norm. It isn’t great, sure, because you can’t express a fundamental part of who you are… but still.

This metaphor seems troublesome? It may work for some bi people, but for many monogamous bisexual people, they’ll be perceived as either vegetarians or meat-eaters a lot of the time. A bi person in a relationship with someone of the same sex needs the vegetarian option as much as their partner.

amandajane5
8 years ago

I would just like to point out that this thread is an excellent example of how feminists are a hive-mind and an echo-chamber.

zhinxy
8 years ago

“Ah, the “you must accept asexual people because of X bi erasure/biphobia”.”

I had no idea that this was such a common argument that it deserved sarcasm as a response.

“The only way for a bi person to get a “pass” is if they never engage in any non-hetero activity, never voice those desires, are deeply closeted, and have their identity totally erased by those around them. The closet it not a privilege.”

I fail to see how you can say that a bi-person must be “deeply closeted” in order to not express interest in non-hetero activity. The whole point is that bi people are interested in both hetero and homo relationships. It’s like saying an omnivore has it just as bad as a vegetarian in a culture where meat-eating is the expected norm. It isn’t great, sure, because you can’t express a fundamental part of who you are… but still.

And then you go on to assert that a person who doesn’t eat food at all faces none of the stigma that the vegetarian and the omnivore do. -_-

Kirby, I too am in favor of “give asexuals the queer label,” here. But I I think you’re seriously minimizing the issues that face bi folk here, in the service of saying that asexuals “arguably had it worse.”

Being attracted to both genders doesn’t mean we could just take or leave who we wanted to be with, for example. “I’m in love with this woman, here, but it’s okay! I can just be with this man, and since, you know, I’m attracted to men too, it’s not really skin off my back. It’s like how I don’t HAVE to eat broccoli” – Come on, kirby, you aren’t doing anybody any favors, here. 🙁

Rutee Katreya
8 years ago

but for some inexplicable reason asexual people are not allowed despite arguably having a tougher time than bisexual people…

Lemme get this straight;
Asexuals get to use religion and religious fervor as a cover to actually be asexual, and this is ‘arguably worse’ than bisexuals having to pass as heteros. I see.

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
8 years ago

@Madolin and Zhinxy:

No, I understand what you both are getting at. I was thinking of bisexuality in the wrong way. *sigh*

My main point was that if the queer label included such a diverse group of people, where each group over history had very different experiences from the rest, how could you accuse asexual people of trying to claim a history that they didn’t experience by wanting to be considered “queer” as well?

Lauralot
Lauralot
8 years ago

I don’t know what asexuals you’re around, but the asexuals I know get religion thrown at them to tell them how sinful they are. They’re meant to “be fruitful and multiply.”

captainbathrobe
8 years ago

Everyone who fucks funny (incl. not fucking) is a gazork, and they are all invited to the Gazork Club meetings,

Well, my fucking is fucking hilarious, so do I get to be in the club? 🙂

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
8 years ago

@Rutee:

“Asexuals get to use religion and religious fervor as a cover to actually be asexual, and this is ‘arguably worse’ than bisexuals having to pass as heteros. I see.”

Ok, that is one comparison that is in favor of asexuals having an easier time. But as Lauralot pointed out, this isn’t the case for everyone. Taking my words of “asexuals having an arguably worse time than bisexual people” to mean “asexuals have it worse in every conceivable comparison to bisexual people” is just being dishonest.

I’m aware now that I was thinking of bisexuality in the wrong way, but that still isn’t a very charitable response…

Rutee Katreya
8 years ago

I don’t know what asexuals you’re around, but the asexuals I know get religion thrown at them to tell them how sinful they are. They’re meant to “be fruitful and multiply.”

Unless they’re not. There’s sufficient excuse in most Christianities to use devotion to god as a reason not to do so. It’s not just catholic priests that do this. It’s by no means ideal, but it is also honest-to-god asexuality, not passing as hetero. Barriers to entering a religious life can wash this off (Not being brahmin caste for much of Indian history, f’rex), and a substantially smaller number of religions do actually expect kids from their priests, but most give an excuse. It’s far more widespread than queer acceptance, of which I can only think of a few sets of cultures in given periods that had any.

Lauralot
Lauralot
8 years ago

Uh, I never said that was the case for all asexuals?

I really have no idea what’s being argued about here anymore.

Rutee Katreya
8 years ago

To be clear: It isn’t cool that the life was only open to those who entered the priesthood. That is still restriction of choices, and possibly passing in some other aspect of your life.

darksidecat
8 years ago

I had no idea that this was such a common argument that it deserved sarcasm as a response.

The use of bi and trans identity as a rhetorical beatstick in these arguments is so common that you pretty much can’t have one without it.

I fail to see how you can say that a bi-person must be “deeply closeted” in order to not express interest in non-hetero activity.

Ensuring no one ever finds out you are bi or have bi desires means being deeply closeted. Not doing this means facing stigma. While bi people in “opposite” sex relationships may have some access to certain legal things because of it, social access is generally predicated on being erased (being taken for hetero and believed to be hetero) and there are also unique challenges. Not to fucking mention that not all bi people are cis and in monogamous “opposite” sex relationships.

The whole point is that bi people are interested in both hetero and homo relationships.

No, bi people are interested in bi relationships. Also, cultural models of sexuality that bi people face are completely nonanalogous to your example. Even if you are attempting to argue “passing” privilege (which, again, would certainly not even apply to all bi people, and, again, depends on being closeted), you fail to take into account that “same” sex sexual acts are seen as contaminating culturally and as creating a spoiled identity. If it is known that a person has engaged in “same” sex sexual acts, anything short of totally and completely denouncing them and claiming to no longer have those desires, they are generally taken as permanently marking the person. Again, this basically boils down to an assertion that bi people are privileged by being in the closet and by being considered not to have their desires and/or histories. The only way that bi people avoid stigma and discrimination is if the other person is totally and completely convinced they are not really bi, which is to be deeply closeted and/or totally erased.

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
8 years ago

grah…

Sorry Lauralot, I did my best. That’ll teach me to comment on things I’m not fully up to speed on… -_-

Holly Pervocracy
8 years ago

Celibate priesthood wasn’t an option in every culture. There’s lots (such as traditional Jewish culture, in my personal experience) where everyone is pressured to marry–often in arranged marriages.

Rutee Katreya
8 years ago

I didn’t say it was an option in every culture, and even where it’s present, it’s not ideal to only be able to express your sexuality in that way. But it is an option that is present in substantially more cultures than LGBT acceptance.

ozymandias42
8 years ago

To me, “queer” means “my gender and/or sexuality requires several sentences to explain fully.” I mean, if it just means LGBT… why not just say LGBT? o.O

To me, the strength of “queer” is that it encompasses all the edge cases. A cis het boy who has slept with men before. A kinkster who identifies as a straight woman but doesn’t mind being whipped by another woman. A straight man who married a closeted trans man and, post-transition, sticks by his husband’s side because he loves him. Hell, even people who are attracted to “femininity and I don’t care what bits you have” or “geekdom and I don’t care what bits you have.”

And, yes, asexuals and aromantics, too.

Polyamory and kink are more complicated, to me. I count someone as queer if they’re poly as a major part of their identity. My mono fuckbuddy who is technically in a poly network but really dreams of a committed mono relationship… I don’t count that. I’d count the “BDSM is my orientation” people as queer but not the “BDSM is fun but I could have a happy sex life without it” people.

I also like Mandolin’s definition of queer as “people disadvantaged by compulsory heterosexuality.” I wouldn’t mind working with that one.

tl;dr: Sexuality and gender are complicated and “queer” is one of the few words I know that acknowledges how complicated it is, and I really don’t want to make it be a synonym for LGBT.

Lauralot
Lauralot
8 years ago

Thanks for your post, ozy. I agree with every word.

Mandolin
Mandolin
8 years ago

Celibate priesthood as an option for men is also pretty functionally different from celibate options for women. Not that there aren’t issues with being forced into the priesthood or monkhood in order to hide your sexual identity *anyway*, but I think “congratulations! in order to avoid having sex, you may be a nun!” is an even crappier deal.

Also, of course, you didn’t always get to say “um… not interested in sex, will be a nun now” if your family was saying “this is the marriage we picked out. enjoy!”

Naira
Naira
8 years ago

Agreed, Ozy. Awesome post.

At the heart of it, I’m rather skeptical of words, in general. No matter how many words there are for aspects of sexual attraction/identity/orientation, they won’t be enough, because it is a spectrum, not a set of categories. So, sure “queer” is useful in some contexts, but utterly useless in others.

Shora
8 years ago

Do we really need to get into an argument about how asexual people are oppressed and how much and how does that oppression compare with LGBT and Oppression Olympics here?

This isn’t MRA’s whining about how hard it is to be a middle class cis white male. This is about people who know a thing or two about social justice, who you’ve talked with and mocked with and argued with, who have a sexuality that is different and viewed as less than in the mainstream media. What earthly reason is there to erase their identity and deny their experiences of oppression?

Stop it. Just stop it.

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
8 years ago

I wanna clarify my position, because I kinda started this whole oppression thing, which was rather stupid of me to do.

DSC was saying that asexuals have no right to claim the history of oppression that queer folk have faced by appropriating the label. My point was that that history is not that different from others that do fall under the queer label, and in fact the groups that do fall under the label are so diverse in their history that it already is a bit of special pleading to say that one group can’t join.

Righto… Time for me to be quiet now.

Naira
Naira
8 years ago

Kirby, FWIW, I understand what you’re saying. I’ve had enough “I know what I mean” moments, so I can understand if you’re frustrated too.

Viscaria
Viscaria
8 years ago

I don’t know, it seems to me that self-identifying as queer should matter?

I’m a cis woman, so I have the privilege that goes along with that. Though I’m bisexual, I’m heteroromantic and very gender-conforming, so I have a heck of a lot of borrowed straight privilege as well. Casual sex isn’t my thing, so I probably won’t even ever fool around with a lot of women. I’ve never had a poly relationship, and I’m not sure I would. Given all of that, I don’t personally identify as queer because I don’t feel I can relate to a lot of the prejudice and difficulties associated with being queer (I do consider myself an ally!) But someone who just knew about the bisexuality and not all of the other stuff might consider me queer by default.

If someone who is asexual – and therefore very likely to be told that they are confused, that they should change how they feel about sex, that their sexual identity doesn’t actually exist, that they are missing out on a valuable part of human life – wants to identify as queer, that seems pretty reasonable to me. I would consider them a lot more deserving of the label than me, even though some people would consider me queer without even questioning.

But as I said, I don’t consider myself queer, and I can’t tell people how their own community should work just because, gee, that’s what a privileged cis practically-hetero would do, so it must be right :/

Things are complicated.

Shora
8 years ago

As far as what “queer” means… yea, I don’t know. I’m not the one to suss that out seeing as I am a) cis and b) tragically straight. What I DO know is that it is not okay to look someone in the eye (figuratively) and say “You are identifying yourself wrong because your oppression doesn’t count.”

I am very, very upset to see Bagelsan’s (and by implication, Lauralot’s) identity erased in this space. Really, I have no words.

darksidecat
8 years ago

Sex outside of marriage has a long history of historical stigma as well (illegitemacy is actually one of the few fully legally established suspect classes under US law). Intermarriage between people of different religions, ethncities, races, etc. in some cultures as well. It’s not just about the existence of historical stigma, but rather how these stigmas are related to group identity formation that are at issue here. Even if we conceded a historical stigma (I am not sure that argument holds up well in many cases, but for the sake of argument), I do not consider that concedeing the right to claim queer identity or that this stigma is one related to those of queer people.

I mean, if it just means LGBT… why not just say LGBT?

Because LGBT isn’t the only way of naming those ways of viewing self or desire, and each of those terms has its own boundaries as well. For example, where do we place Aggressives in that list? Are they trans? Are they lesbians? Either one is more or less accurate in different cases. It’s that tension that queer is supposed to address, not one of any sexual practice that may be considered deviant ever (cis heteros having affairs are considered deviant…), but rather one of naming a collection of identities regarding a certain system of interactions between desire, sex, gender, and social standards.

If being transphobic, biphobic, or homophobic is grounds to stop being queer, we’re gonna need to kick out most of those letters.

This is true, but that bit was addressing the questions and comments about others regarding their inability to conceive how letting cis non-queer people use queer identity and demand access to queers spaces could be harmful. The question of why we should mind appropriation was raised.

Lauralot
Lauralot
8 years ago

I am very, very upset to see Bagelsan’s (and by implication, Lauralot’s) identity erased in this space. Really, I have no words.

Thank you.

Viscaria
Viscaria
8 years ago

I guess what I’m trying to say is asexuals are a group of people who are marginalized for not being straight enough, and that seems like a pretty good reason to choose to identify as queer.

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
8 years ago

DSC, why is it that asexuals should not be considered queer?

BlackBloc
BlackBloc
8 years ago

>>It’s that tension that queer is supposed to address, not one of any sexual practice that may be considered deviant ever (cis heteros having affairs are considered deviant…), but rather one of naming a collection of identities regarding a certain system of interactions between desire, sex, gender, and social standards.

Affairs are a particularly bad example here. Adultery does not question or cause a revolutionary reevaluation of how relationships are socially constructed in society. An affair is not seen by society as an ideological repudiation of monogamous marriage as a concept, but rather a personal failure to adhere to contractual obligations. That marriage is a hard commitment to follow is an agreed upon fact in Western society. Contrast that with polyamory.

I find this whole argument ludicrous. LGBT is only coalition politics. The idea that I, a bi cis man, share a history of oppression with trans people or cis gay men is reductionist both of my struggles and theirs. In fact, given some lesbian feminist critiques of the gay rights movement, even the concept of homosexuality itself (as a category encompassing both gays and lesbians) might be seen as a gay men appropriation of lesbian history of oppression. The line people like DSC are drawing seem to me to be purely arbitrary and only a matter of how fine grained your level of analysis is.

Naira
Naira
8 years ago

It’s that tension that queer is supposed to address, not one of any sexual practice that may be considered deviant ever (cis heteros having affairs are considered deviant…), but rather one of naming a collection of identities regarding a certain system of interactions between desire, sex, gender, and social standards.

Well, I agree a bit. Not all types of sexual deviance is “queer.” Having an affair breaks norms about lying and fidelity (among other things). One could argue that flogging (as an example of kink) breaks norms about perceived violent behavior (the one hitting is see as cruel and sadistic) and blurs the line between “pain” and “pleasure” (on the part of the floggee–they enjoy something that is widely regarded as something to avoid).

So, in that way, so-called deviant forms of sex are deviant in different ways and break different norms. They’re all lumped under a term like “deviant.” Although they are “deviant,” they are different kinds of actions, because they break social norms in their own unique ways.

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?

(I’m adding this, though I am echoing others; most recently BlackBloc)

Alpha Asshole Cock Carousel
Alpha Asshole Cock Carousel
8 years ago

why is it that asexuals should not be considered queer?

Again, my asexual hetero female friend does not want to identify or be identified as queer. Does that count? (BTW she identifies as an LGBT ally and actively participates in LGBT activism, so it’s not like she’s trying to avoid being associated with people who identify as queer).

BlackBloc
BlackBloc
8 years ago

@Alpha: But then again I’ve met trans women who didn’t want to be identified as queer either.

Alpha Asshole Cock Carousel
Alpha Asshole Cock Carousel
8 years ago

@BB and, what? you have a problem with that?

Lauralot
Lauralot
8 years ago

I believe BB’s point is that it’s fine if member of X group doesn’t identify as queer, but that doesn’t mean that no one else from that group should.

Caraz
Caraz
8 years ago

I gather it’s not so much ‘all asexual people should be considered queer’ but rather ‘all asexual people should be able to identify as queer if they wish’

Which I’d guess would apply to any of the other categories of people that could potentially fit under the umbrella of queer term. So I think self identification is possibly the most important factor.

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
8 years ago

@Caraz:

Yeah, that was the point of the question. DSC was arguing that no asexual person should be able to identify as queer, and I was asking why.

Alpha Asshole Cock Carousel
Alpha Asshole Cock Carousel
8 years ago

I gather it’s not so much ‘all asexual people should be considered queer’ but rather ‘all asexual people should be able to identify as queer if they wish’

Oh, well no problem then. Carry on.

Shora
8 years ago

I always figured it was Social Justice 101 that people can Identify themselves however they see fit, and that “correcting” someone on their identity is asshole behavior.

I don’t want to minimize the problem of appropriation. It is a thing! And a very bad thing! But that’s a 200 level course at least and there are productive and nuanced ways to have a discussion about appropriation that is not telling someone “You are identifying yourself wrong.”

Comrade Svilova
Comrade Svilova
8 years ago

I’m with ozy on “queer” being a big tent term. As a bi woman, I have had too many people telling me I can’t call myself queer to ever want to turn around and say that to someone else.

Viscaria
Viscaria
8 years ago

Just for clarification (and to Comrade Svilova in particular): just because I don’t identify as queer does not mean I don’t think other women with similar stories shouldn’t either. I just mean it is the wrong term for my identity, my feelings, and who I am. Self-identification seems like the important factor to me.

But this is about asexuality, not bisexuality, so I’ll shut up about that now. I just wanted to be clear.

Holly Pervocracy
8 years ago

I have to admit (if this wasn’t already obvious…) that this is kind of a loaded subject for me because I feel like I’m on the fringe of queer and not-queer in a lot of ways. I’m not trans but not gender-conforming, bi but dating a man, kinky but not 24/7, poly but not living with my partners. I feel like my life is smack dab in the zone where it’s easy for people in both the “normal” and the “real queer people” camps to dismiss me as just horny and goofing around.

And I do get a lot of cis-looking and straight-looking privilege. I don’t live the same life as someone who’s living with a same-sex partner or who’s transitioned from their assigned gender and I know that I don’t know what they deal with. I’m not about to shoot my mouth off about what that’s like.

But at the same time it still rankles me to be told that I’m exactly a cis straight girl and should claim nothing more. I’ve had people try to impose rules like “you’re not really bi if you aren’t attracted equally to women and men” or “if you’re not a man, you’re cis,” and it makes me feel… well, the same way I feel about limiting “queer” to a few narrow groups: like my sexual identity, or maybe just me, isn’t worth taking seriously.

Um… so that’s my personal issues around this. Wheee.

Comrade Svilova
Comrade Svilova
8 years ago

Just for clarification (and to Comrade Svilova in particular): just because I don’t identify as queer does not mean I don’t think other women with similar stories shouldn’t either. I just mean it is the wrong term for my identity, my feelings, and who I am. Self-identification seems like the important factor to me.

I totally understand that! Self-identification is the key. I was speaking about bi-erasure or the bi-phobia of some lesbians, but I should have made that clear, given that you’d just talked about bi identities.

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.