30 Minutes into My New Project and I’m already Conflicted (Quick Read)

Ever since taking a deeper look at the Medium Article ace-exclusionists like to cite I’ve been toying with the idea of writing a rebuttal as just sort of a demonstration that literally anyone can write and post something to Medium, but instead of just doing a sloppy copy-paste like the original I would treat it like more of a final project worth 25% of the class grade. Research actually isn’t one of my favorite things, I much prefer direct teaching methods like you find in traditional math classes, so I let the idea simmer for about a week to see if it would go away. It didn’t.

Another reason I was hesitant to adopt the rebuttal project is all the community college campuses are closed because of Covid so I don’t have easy access to archives and databases which limits my pool of sources to secondary and tertiary sources. I wouldn’t be satisfied with that. If I’m going to put time and effort into a project like this, because it’s about my sexual orientation it needs as pristine as I can possibly accomplish even if that pushes the timeline back. There’s no real rush. The original Medium article, despite the blatant copy-paste format isn’t going anywhere.

Just to test the inquisitive waters I started looking at the section of the article I could address, the part about David. The original article referenced rumors (although it didn’t refer to them as such) about David Jay being homophobic and a misogynist, but didn’t actually cite any sources. Since I had already gone down that rabbit hole before it was just a matter of going over the tumblr posts again specifically looking for things I had missed.

Tumblr is both a curse and a blessing because even if the original blog is deactivated any posts that were reblogged are still preserved. One blog in particular kept popping up in my search as not necessarily the original source of the rumors, but was definitely an agent in passing them on. When I went to their bio I found a link to her book. She had a book. This was no longer a nameless, faceless person on the internet. This was a writer and activist living in Montreal. What am I supposed I do with that information?

Do I blast this woman on Twitter (obviously not)? Should I pass the information on to ace activists (maybe)? Do I include that information in my rebuttal? Is her identity even relevant or is citing the original tumblr posts enough and it doesn’t actually matter who actually wrote it? I guess the shock of actually putting a face to the baseless tumblr claims rattled me. This is why I don’t like research, the pursuit of truth isn’t about comfort and the truth is rarely comfortable.

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What Does Iris Young Actually Say About Oppression?

In my previous post I pointed out that a Medium “article” commonly cited by exclusionists looks more like it was written by a rushed undergrad who cut and pasted their paper together hoping the prof wouldn’t notice than a serious article. In the “article” the author cited Iris Young’s “Five Faces of Oppression” not once, not twice, not thrice, but four times so it might be worth a quick look at why this thirty year old paper is so important and how it relates to the topic of ace exclusion.

First things first, who is Iris Young? Turns out she’s a pretty big deal. “Five Faces of Oppression” (pdf link) is just one of many, many publications she wrote on political and feminist theory. But for today we’re just going to be looking at the Five Faces paper.

Continue reading “What Does Iris Young Actually Say About Oppression?”

That One Medium Article Acephobes Love to Cite

There’s a Medium “article” that acephobes like to cite as “proof” that Aces aren’t inherently part of the LGBTQ community. Throwing the link into the Twitter search bar is an easy way to get a block list going.

Twitter Screenshot: “This article does a great job at explaining why asexuals are not inherently LGBT”
Twitter Screenshot: “worldpride madrid is wrong”
Twitter Screenshot “cishet aces in our spaces put us at risk.”

Today I’m going to put this article under the microscope. Who wrote it? What sources did they use? Is it accurate or is it just a hodgepodge of tumblr posts spliced together to look official?

Continue reading “That One Medium Article Acephobes Love to Cite”

Capture the Flag (Why I’m Concerned about Flag Discourse on Twitter)

Before we get started we’re going to need some context. It began (to my knowledge) when the creator of the pan flag came out and said that they supported bi-lesbians and pan-lesbians. Bi/pan-lesbian discourse is THE divisive discourse right now. Basically two kinds of people might call themselves a bi lesbian or pan lesbian; a) someone describing their romantic and sexual orientation (like aces and aros do) or more commonly it’s b) a nonbinary person who doesn’t feel like either label by itself is an accurate enough label so they’ll use the double label in community spaces.

Nobody is ready for the conversation on how terms like “SGA” and “het” get really complicated really fast when you actually account for nonbinary gender diversity. Regardless a lot of people believe that double labeling is invalidating for lesbians and discussions tend to get heated.

In response to the pan flag creator supporting bi/pan lesbians, a lesbian (as the Twitter rumor mill claims) created a “new pan flag”

In what I would consider an impressive counter tactic, pan-lesbians reclaimed the new flag and dubbed it the pan-lesbian flag:

It was at this point that I had a good laugh at the situation and assumed the issue would be self-contained.

It was not self-contained.

Soon newflagitis started spreading to other communities:

screen shot: “new bi flag”
“New bi flag” with stripe meaning

The idea of creating a new flag for bisexuality after BiNet’s “copyright” stunt and the resulting backlash is purely nonsensical and I would have been willing to dismiss the trend as merely teen boredom from Covid restrictions-

But then it spread to the ace community:

Screenshot: “new ace flag”

What was alarming about “new ace flag” posts was the misinformation that proceeded it. Once the word got out established ace accounts mobilized quickly to target the misinformation, namely that David Jay didn’t create the ace flag (see my previous post about how acephobes can’t get over a forum post from 2003). The AVEN threads showing the flag’s creation and unveiling were shared and boosted and the countering short hand narrative became “the ace flag was a community project”. It was noted that changing the purple to a gradient made the flag unfriendly for commercial production and artists. The flag itself was deemed mostly harmless and a fad that would likely die out quickly.

Shortly there after infighting broke out between aroace activist Yasmin Benoit and Rose from FYA. The flag situation was set aside in favor of what was seen as a bigger crisis that needed to be dealt with.

But then it happened again:

Once again someone posted a “new ace flag” proceeded by misinformation. I’m not sure if this is becoming a thing yet since the “antisemitic roots” mentioned in regards to the original flag is that AVEN’s symbol IS A TRIANGLE. That’s one hell of a reach, but he went for it and doubled down. Once again ace twitter mobilized to tackle the misinformation and point out that the “new flag” was too similar to other flags like the demi boy flag and the freysexual/romantic flag. As BiNet showed us, if you’re going to start flag discourse you better be squeaky clean. Similarly, when this flag maker was confronted by community members he started spouting exclusionary rhetoric like “allo is a slur” and “cis het aces aren’t LGBT” and eventually deactivated.

Our concern in the ace twitter community isn’t that people are making new flags. New flags appear all the time. The aroace flag, for example, has grown on me despite my initial rejection when I first saw it and it’s now one of my favorites for merchandise and swag. What made the “new ace flag” posts different from the pan and bi flag posts is that the ace flag posts contained misinformation directly lifted from anti-ace tumblr blogs like “David Jay is a misogynist homophobe” and “the AVEN triangle is a nazi symbol” and when confronted they used tumblr screenshots as “evidence”.

We’re not worried, per say, but we are getting a little nervous because we don’t know if this is just the latest teen fad as a result of being lonely and stuck inside during the Covid pandemic or if this is a symptom of larger issue that could negatively impact the community. We don’t know yet, but we’re keeping an eye on it.