What would it look like for there to be an anti-ace problem in the aro community?

You may have heard about the anti-allosexual problem in the aro community, so as something of a thought exercise, if there were anti-ace problem, too, how would that manifest? How would it be identified? What kind of form would it take?

Hypothetically. And in case it needs to be said: I do mean these questions seriously.

What would it look like for there to be an anti-ace problem in the aro community? Would it be considered bad form to even ask?

[Note: This post has been crossposted to Pillowfort. Preview image credit to Wee Sen Goh, CC BY NC.]

How blatant would it be? Would anti-ace rhetoric hide itself among otherwise legitimate points and arguments? Is it only anti-ace if it’s direct and naked in the light of day? Just how flayed of sympathetic motivations and understandable frustrations and well-but-also mitigating circumstances would it need to be to qualify?

Would asexuality become a detriment to credibility? Would aros emphasize the asexuality of aro aces they disagree with and deemphasize the asexuality of aro aces they do agree with? Would ace blogs receive hatemail for tagging aro-related posts as aro? Would ace blogs receive hatemail for promoting Aro Spectrum Awareness Week?

Would aros accuse the ace community of things it didn’t do? Would aros misrepresent ace history? If that happened, would pointing this out be treated as whiny and irrelevant? Or would speaking up about it be treated as itself a slight against aros?

Would there be aros afraid to speak, scared to get involved with the aro community at all? Would there be aces hesitant to get back into ace blogging at all, in part because of aro-ace conflicts threatening to reopen old wounds?

Would there be allosexuals putting words in our mouths? Would terminology that was popularized by anti-ace bloggers end up suffusing the aro community? Would the strawmanning phrase “dirty allos” — avoided by aces, beloved by allos who hate aces — find a way to resurface, too?

Would aces be talked about as a privileged class? Would people compare aces to cis people? Would allosexuals tell aces that they categorically hold power over them (as aces)? Would allosexuals try to silence aces? Would they outright say things like “aces, shut up”?

Or would it look like something else entirely, with nothing to do with any of these things?

If there isn’t an anti-ace problem in the aro community, then I’d hate to see what that would look like if there were. But hypothetically, if there were: how would you know?

9 responses to “What would it look like for there to be an anti-ace problem in the aro community?

  • AslansCompass

    Sarcasm much?

    • Coyote

      I’m always at a loss for how to explain to people that I’m not being sarcastic without it sounding like I’m just extending a joke. No, I mean these as real questions.

      • AslansCompass

        Cause honestly. All of these are things I see on tumblr. Not to mention the ongoing insistence on a clear distinction between aro and ace. In my life, it’s all the same thing, and I can’t seperate the two.

  • AslansCompass

    I think my previous post didn’t go through, cause I had more thoughts. In the continuing instance on separating aro and ace things, I see
    ..not exactly anti ace or anti aro, exactly, but a firm line, even when the line isn’t always there. I can’t distinguish the two in my life, so ace-isnt-aro or vice versa just leaves me feeling stuck between the two.

  • Sennkestra

    I also added these comments on pillowfort, but I figure I’d add them here as well in case they give anyone some food for thought:

    I think that in addition to the questions above, it’s also important to look at how other parts of the aromantic community react when potential incidents arise.

    After all, any community is inevitably going to have problems with people arriving who make all sorts of problematic statements – whether it’s straight up obnoxious bigoted trolls, or well-meaning folks who still have a tendency towards a few microagressions that they need to work on being more mindful about. What makes the biggest differences is how other members of the community react in these situations.

    Do other users just ignore these behaviors? Do they correct them? Or do they uncritically support them?
    When aroaces point out potential problems, is it only other aro aces who are responding to acknowledge the problem and look into potential solutions? Or are other community members also showing support?
    What actions (positive or negative) are taken by those in positions of authority? (whether it’s webmasters or mods with the clear ability to warn or ban users, the political authority that comes from having leadership positions in named activist groups, or the more nebulous social authority that comes from being a major and popular community figure). Do they take steps to counter bias/hostility/misinformation, or do they just ignore it or tell users to sort it out themselves? Or do they sometimes perpetuate these problems?

    Also, I think it’s worth talking at some point about the unique qualities of both potential intra-community hostility (in this case, whether there is hostility/bias/misinformation within the community towards aro aces who are part of the community), but also whether there are different kinds of inter-community hostility/bias/misinformation (which would be bias/hostility/misinformation towards non-aromantic aces).

    These phenomena can obviously overlap a lot (for example, bias against alloromantic aces inevitably causes spillover stress to aro aces as well), but can also sometimes present in very different ways that may require different tools to address.

  • Linkspam: March 6th, 2020 | The Asexual Agenda

    […] wrote about 4 ways the inclusion/exclusion axis is failing us, and asked what an anti-ace problem in the aro community would look […]

  • Vesper

    some of the questions raised in the OP ought not to be hypothetical at all, as such things have in fact been (and may very well still be) the reality… and i am somewhat confident in saying that you yourself are aware of that. which in turn brings us to the question that you posed to AslansCompass above: At what point (or in what ways) do these things qualify as an anti-ace problem?

    which is (are) question(s) that i personally feel like i will never have answer(s) for, both because i feel i have no ‘authority’ (for lack of a better word) to take it upon myself to answer such questions & because i literally just don’t have answer(s) to such questions. and so… here we are. *shrugs*

  • Asexual Privilege: Revival of an Anti-Ace Idea | The Ace Theist

    […] of that, and since there’s arguably an anti-ace problem in the aro community (depending on where you set the goalposts)… I have to wonder what’s going on […]

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