This is a post about “inclusion” as an ideological value and discursive formation in an asexual community context, as well as in neighbor communities with discursive spillover. The inclusion/exclusion axis has become extremely prevalent in certain pockets of the ace community in recent years, and as approach to ace issues, it’s become detrimental: it’s all but entirely overtaken how some people about anti-ace sentiment, it homogenizes “LGBT” as a fixed trait, it benefits the traitors among us, and it makes any other types of issues that much harder to recognize.
[This post has been crossposted to Pillowfort.]
This is a post about the ace and aro communities’ reclamation of the term “split attraction model” from the most recent anti-ace online harassment wave, picking back up on the discussion from here. A quick recap of that post: romantic orientation & differentiating types of attraction are not the same thing, and “split attraction model” is an anti-ace-derived piece of terminology that lumps the two of them together. For that reason, I’m here referring to ace & aro use of the phrase as a type of reclamation, in that it was imposed on us from the outside and now some have adopted it.
In this post, I do some more thinking out loud about the semantic work that the phrase “split attraction model” does and does not accomplish. The post has roughly three main parts. First, I share some of my understanding of why the term surfaced in the first place, in order to contextualize how it’s been reclaimed and is used now in the present. Second, as a response to that, I’ve present five narratives to complicate the resulting binary. Third, I’ve got some tentative suggestions for finding a way forward.
This post is for the July Carnival of Aces, on the theme of “then and now.”
In the past five years or so, my relationship to the ace community has changed, gradually. There’s a difference between saying that and saying that the ace community has changed, and I don’t think I’m in touch enough now (or have ever been) to confidently make a case like that… but, because there are so many bloggers I know who are burned out on ace discussions or dead sick of the usual unmerry-go-round, I also know I’m not alone in feeling tired, and drifting, and withdrawing, and sometimes, closing the blinds. But this isn’t a post about being jaded and frustrated with the state of things (as fair as those posts are). This is also a post about changing my online practices to better suit what I actually want out of ace blogging, and how that’s still a work in progress for me.