Back in the summer of 2014, Queenie wrote a post titled “Prioritizing identity” in response to a pervasive pattern of divvying up the ace community by romantic orientation. This was specifically in the context of the “are aces queer” debate, and so it involved both 1) splitting off the gay/lesbian and bi aces from the rest (the focus here was overwhelmingly on cis people) and 2) dictating that in order to be let into LGBT communities, it’s not just enough for cis aces to be L, G, or B — they specifically need to deprioritize their ace identity, putting other identities first. To date, this remains one of the main associations I have with any kind of pressure on aces to prioritize their romantic orientations.
This post, too, is about priorities, but to be more specific, it’s largely a post about deprioritizing. It’s post about my decision to deprioritize the romantic orientation model, and it’s a post about quoiromantic aces like me being deprioritized by a community that likes to claim us, and it’s a post about why getting hitched (as in married) is a logistical priority for me in way that has nothing to do with what gets prioritized in aro community discourse. It’s about politics and it’s about financial insecurity and it’s about the thought of dying. It’s about saying, and being, not a priority.
[Crossposted to Pillowfort. Preview image by Morten F, licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.]
All relationships have boundaries, but people usually don’t state them explicitly unless the other person has crossed the line. Therefore, openly stating a boundary implies that the other person has done something wrong, and members of estranged parents’ groups aren’t having that.
—issendai, Down the Rabbit Hole: The world of estranged parents’ forums, “Estranged Parents and Boundaries”
Possibly of painful interest to those of you with family issues and crummy parents. This is mostly just quotes, but if you’re like me, it can be illuminating/helpful to see echoes of personal experience atomized like this. Obvious content warning for self-entitled parents saying awful things.
“See, this is why you don’t talk to relatives about politics.”
“How about just ‘don’t talk to relatives.'”
Contrary to popular misperceptions of fundamentalists, then, [James] Dobson does not see sex as a necessary evil. For Dobson, sexuality is our most primary energy. Whereas in Dare to Discipline, he castigates the “scientific experts” whose theories of child rearing led the nation to lose confidence in its heritage of biblical wisdom… Dobson idealizes and fights to preserve the modern family created by those scientific experts he loves to hate. But the point of his nostalgia was never historical accuracy. The point was discipline.
In large measure… this discipline is about maintaining middle-class status. Historian George Mosse has argued that the emergence of nationalism in the nineteenth century was intimately connected with white middle-class norms regarding respectable sexuality. Dobson cites Joseph Daniel Unwin… who frames the issues as quasi-mathematical law: a civilizations level of cultural attainment is inversely proportional to the openness of its sexual regulations regarding extramarital and premarital sex.
Drawing on Unwin, Dobson identifies sexuality as our deepest truth. It is the heart of personality: “Self-awareness begins with an understanding of our sexual identity… Everything we do is influenced by our gender assignment.” […] Whereas Freud presented the discipline that civilization exacts as a source of discontent, Dobson presents this discipline as true contentment. For the mechanism by which society effects sexual discipline (according to Dobson) is private property: having a mate, a family, and a home of one’s own.
Ann Burlein, Lift High the Cross, p.155-156
Okay there are a lot of other things I should be doing right now instead of posting here but I was thinking again today about how my company offers “compassionate leave” as a category of time off from work and how my coworker had to use her PTO hours (a different category) when she took time off to go to her uncle’s funeral, because she didn’t get compassionate leave for that, because her uncle isn’t considered “immediate family.”
The nuclear family is an economic unit.
Okay yeah and branching off that last post, how about this wild idea: Abusers… are… unreasonable. They do unreasonable things. They have unreasonable expectations. They are unreasonable. So I’ve got no clue what some people are on about whenever they say something like “imagine a parent getting mad at their kid for X, that doesn’t happen because that’s just ridiculous.” Hey, real fun fact: “it’s ridiculous” has never been enough to stop humanity from doing cruel and violent things. Holding that expectation at all is ridiculous. And more importantly here, it begs the question: Why are you expecting abusive behavior to be reasonable? Why are you talking like there exists any abuse where you’d look at it and say, “oh, yeah that makes sense”?
Do me a favor and pay attention to that. If someone’s position is that real abuse is “reasonable,” that’s the kind of thing that calls a person’s entire politics into question.