June 2014: In a discussion about ace advice blogs and identity policing, Kiowa (nolivingunderstarlight) responded to the fact that some of her own advice was cited as part of the problem. She renounced her specific post but defended her general practices with the belief that it’s okay to say whether someone is “probably” asexual. Sennkestra/Cleander wrote back with an in-depth counterargument. I know of no response to that.
October 2015: In response to an ask about apothisexual, Kiowa wrote, “We do not advocate any sexuality terms that do not deal exclusively in feelings of sexual attraction.” When Hezekiah confronted her about this by making an analogy to LGB identities, Kiowa replied by identity-policing aces and LGB people. This got responses from Hezekiah, Sennkestra, Siggy, and me. I know of no response to those.
That same week, Kiowa also identity-policed another ace advice blogger.
November 2015: In reaction to my post Examples of Bad Ace Advice, Kiowa and two other AA mods wrote an official response, in which she apologized for her pre-2015 identity-policing and apologized for what she said to Arf, but also criticized my post on multiple points and argued that her current approach is not prescriptivist.
The next day, she commented on my reply to ask how I would ask her to do things differently and told me that what I wrote was unkind, ignoring my rebuttals to her previous (more concrete) criticisms of my post. Since her question had already been answered in multiple places, I asked her if she’d read one of the main links I’d already provided in the original post. Siggy and Hezekiah stepped in as well.
Addressing 0% of the points we’d made and the questions we’d asked of her, Kiowa replied, “I’m honestly ready to let this one lie.”
That was November 17th. I haven’t heard from her since.
She’s still had time to answer asks on Asexual Advice, though. In a post published on November 24th, she upheld an ahistorical understanding of “the” definition of asexuality, possibly in relation to this discussion.
As far as I’m concerned, we’re still not on the same page.
As a mod of a popular and prominent ace advice blog, Kiowa occupies a position of authority. That authority comes with power and responsibility. I would like for her to be accountable to the rest of the community in how she handles that responsibility and to follow Arf’s ideals for ace advice blogs as gateways to the community.
To create a gateway to the community, one necessarily has to be engaged with that community.
Kiowa’s record of engagement, in general, from the things I’ve seen, is to respond once to criticisms delivered to her doorstep and to rarely continue the conversation much further than that, even when that means ignoring rebuttals.
Obviously, the Tumblr format is ill-suited to this matter, since, as has been noted before, Asexual Advice gets flooded with too many notifications to sort through. If AA had an email address that I was aware of, I would use that. If AA had a comment section that didn’t require a Tumblr account, I would use that. To continue the conversation that is important to me, I don’t have many options at my disposal. So here I am, writing this post, pointing out the timeline of what has happened.
Not that I expect her to to respond to every little thing, but these concerns have been raised about her repeatedly, as an ongoing issue.
I want to know why she isn’t doing more to resolve it.
Update: if you’re following this issue, here’s the latest.