malice envy

[ (parental) abuse & homophobia tw ]

When I was a kid, I remember reading the summary for a novel about a little girl whose abusive father would beat her sister and ignore the main character completely, making her feel like a piece of the furniture.  I remember the summary saying something about how she wished he would pay attention to her, too.  I didn’t understand why she would feel that way at the time.

More recently, I’ve been thinking about how some aces rhetorically position LG/b identities as more socially legitimate than asexuality, act like gay people (specifically) are somehow privileged over them (ignoring gay aces ofc), and outright crave the same “level” of recognition as gay people have, in spite of the fact that most of that recognition is violent.  Because, I guess, some of us hate being eclipsed and ignored and gaslit so much that sometimes, the idea of direct, explicit malice can sound validating.

…And now, I think I understand what that book was talking about.

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9 responses to “malice envy

  • EdenNoMore

    Sometimes negative attention is better than no attention at all. At least you’re worth noticing. No matter how horrible it is, at least that’s more than being invisible.

  • SAA

    I think I understand what you’re getting at, though I do generally believe that there’s a conversation to be held not necessarily restricted to Ace spaces but in general LGBTQIAP+ circles how though I wouldn’t say “Privilleged” in the sense that would assume as if Homosexual people somehow have it actually *good* (Which would be ridiculous), there is this issue how especially in the mainstream sphere of discourse how problems not relating to the G and *sometimes* the L are pretty much overlooked.

    Hearing from my friends and acquaintances who are part of the leftover LBTQIAP+, there’s for example the issue that many conversations get dominated by (White, Cis, and often not Asexual) Gay men, to the exclusion of other people.

    Gay men, at least in the area I occupy and from hearing other people’s experiences (So generally EU and slightly US centric), are treated as more socially acceptable to express themselves than other groups of Queer and Transgender people, getting support even from predominantly reactionary political factions and figures such as UKIP or Geert Wilders for example, while for contrast in a lot of US states and EU nations there are for example still Eugenics programs in place against Transgender people
    [http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2012/02/most-european-countries-force-sterilization-transgender-people-map].

    This again of course is a relative thing, not implying Homosexual people are some ‘privileged’ class, the truth is still miles away from that.
    I hope what I’m trying to convery here came over? I’m really not trying to dismiss Gay people here.

    • Coyote

      1) It’s preferable not to use the word “homosexual” if you’re not gay yourself.

      2) Yes, there need to be conversations about/that acknowledge the specific obstacles faced by asexuals, bisexuals, etc. That conversation doesn’t start by casting homophobia as desirable.

      • SAA

        1. Oh, I wasn’t aware that Homosexual wasn’t an appropriate term, my apologies! Won’t happen again!

        2. I hope I didn’t accidentally cast homophobia as something desirable, I believe Gay people are still significantly and disproportionately disadvantaged by Heteronormative society. The central point I honestly was trying to get at is that people’s disavantages and acknowledgement are getting overshadowed over another in mainstream media coverage, I find there’s a lack of balance in discussion.
        Admittedly re-reading my comment, I do think I’ve phrased it horribly so I’m terribly sorry regarding that if I gave those impressions.

  • Libris

    As well as the whole specific obstacles thing, I can also understand desiring the recognition on a support level. For example, if I go to an LGBT support group, I can be pretty much sure that they will accept gay men, and it’s also very likely they’ll accept lesbians. They might or might not accept bi people, trans people is a tossup, and ace people is unlikely. In those circumstances, I can understand being envious of specifically non-ace cis gay people, because they are more likely to be able to find support and community.

  • Calum P Cameron

    It possibly doesn’t help that in works of fiction, possibly the most common reason for characters letting their enemies go free is “they’re not worth my time or effort to kill”.

    Then again, I’ve heard that even dogs will deliberately misbehave in order to get negative attention whenever they feel starved of positive attention, so maybe it’s just a common mammalian instinct or something.

  • careful with your extrapolation | The Ace Theist

    […] I tell y’all about malice envy? what’d I tell y’all about the dangers of being too quick to embrace validation in any […]

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