For the August 2015 Carnival of Aces, I wanted to write about my ideal version of the ace community & convey some big thoughts in a clear and compelling manner, but… it doesn’t look like I’m going to be able to write my ideal post on ideals. For the time being, the best I can offer is a few unrefined fragments like these.
If: any, then:
- an ace community with no rhetoric of “progress,” no depiction of change and improvement as a linear process, of gains as squares on a board game — no treatment of the work to be done as a mere matter of putting in elbow grease and tearing pages off the calendar; no expectation that matters will fall into place with time like we’re simply mining for bitcoins.
- proactive responsibility, accountability, and a readiness to accept criticism in those who set themselves up as authorities; an end to prescriptivism and Sorting Hat advice blogs and Platonic statements on What Is
- better yet, some recognition that the idea of “natural” category systems, especially w/r/t categorization of people, has a relationship to colonial science and the legacy of the Enlightenment
- space for grayroms, upsetting the strict and arbitrary het/aro/lgb division (when aros get mentioned at all) that keeps getting summoned; a community culture where supporting the model of romantic orientation for aces who use it goes hand in hand with acknowledging that it’s not useful for everyone
- an ace community that turns up its nose at disclaimers and tokenism and asks for a new rule
- an ace community that understands the difference between “equality” and liberation
- I’m already treated like I’m the same as a straight person, and that’s the problem.
- a lower value accorded to visibility, a widespread understanding that hypervisibility is not a privilege, and less enthusiasm and more disgust at “representation” in the form of a White woman called “Voodoo” whose asexuality serves as joke fodder; an ardent rejection of the elitist mind vs. body binary that would have White aces celebrating “One Night in Bangkok”
- enough self-awareness and ace-led conversations on abuse tactics for us to recognize en masse that wanting to be more visible at any cost, even if it exposes us to more anti-ace vehemence — and the implicit belief that toxic acknowledgement is better than none at all — is itself a product of internalized abuse
- more discussion of how asexuality, aromanticism, & nonamory impact access to material resources, more interrogation of the financial benefits to marriage, more analysis of how we define “ending up alone” & societal expectations w/r/t medical care and social connectedness for the elderly
- ace critiques of the sex industry replacing the fear of being deemed Not Sex-Positive Enough
- interrogation of the classic Victorian prudery we’re associated with as the hand-wringing of sexist, classist moralists scrutinizing the pursuits of lower-class poor women with limited choices
- respect for the histories of other communities (not mutually exclusive with this one), enough to where you don’t get aces suggesting a lethal STI as a good movie idea or ace organizations using an image of a white fist on vis/ed materials
- further distance from the rhetoric of Moving Forward and Modernity and Individual Liberty and the reverence for capital-s Science and written documentation that all together have long been put to colonialist ends; an end to liberalism in the ace community