Tag Archives: a-spec

Ace, Just Ace: A Personal Response to the Combined Spectrum Model

A post about identifying with the asexual spectrum as a specific and isolated concept, apart from any version of a composite “a-spectrum” — i.e. why I don’t identify as “aspec.” Today’s post is brought to you by an exchange on the TAAAP Pride Chats server after I mentioned this in passing. I don’t consider my disinterest in the model particularly noteworthy, since I know it’s not just me, but multiple people in the channel expressed curiosity about it (and it’s also come up elsewhere), so I’m writing this post as my own explanation.

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On “A-” Homogenization

Companion piece to this post on lgb homogenization, I suppose.

A while back, when I criticized the terms acephobia/arophobia/aphobia for the phobia suffix, I got a comment disagreeing with my replacement suggestions on the basis that we supposedly need “aphobia” or some equivalent in order to bundle anti-ace and anti-aro concepts together in one term.  A short argument resulted.

In light of that, this post and its tags feel like support for what I was trying to say there:

#the replacement with ace- and aro-spectrum with a-spec; and allosexism and amatonormativity/ace- and aro-phobia with aphobia?#really really obnoxious and lazy and imprecise and it drives me up a wall ok#there are REALLY DAMN GOOD REASONS both in terms of denoting ideologies and being able to point out intracommunity issues with having those#*having those terms and ideas be SEPARATE THINGS

…Yeah.

And granted, Sangam did say:

I never argued for doing away with the terms you proposed entirely — I simply don’t think they are sufficient to act as a REPLACEMENT for what “aphobia” already covers, which is the subject of this discussion.

…but while anti-aro acts and anti-ace acts do have overlap, sure, I still don’t think a combo-term (1) deserves to be used to the exclusion of specifics (as I’ve seen some people doing — using “aphobia” in all cases instead of using more specific terms like compulsory sexuality, amatonormativity, etc. as the case may warrant) or (2) does what Sangram says it does, re: “solidarity.”  A non-aro-spec ace using “aphobia” doesn’t communicate anything to me as a quoiro and doesn’t do me any good on that front, so I don’t know what model of solidarity we’re using there.  And anyway — being able to label amatonormative junk that goes on in the ace community is more important to me than having a term that homogenizes aces and aros in a way that doesn’t distinguish where populations and experiences diverge.  I mean, maybe that should be important to me, but right now it’s not really.

…So it’s actually quite fascinating to me to see “a-spec” proposed as something that could mean “a spectrum of nonattraction, unspecified” (or as James puts it, “a specific phrase meant to emphasize inability or lack of desire to distinguish one’s own aro and ace identities as separate pieces rather than a composite whole”) as opposed to its current meaning of “aro spectrum and ace spectrum combined as one umbrella for all.”

Related addition 1/19/18: Vesper tweeted about the relationship between the ace community and the aro community