Tag Archives: pathologization

An Incomplete Log of Inquiring Minds

Originally I intended to post this list as part of a larger post.  For now, I’ve decided to post the list alone.  Got a hunch it might be useful to link at some point.

Below, an incomplete list of certain kinds of search terms that have appeared on my stats page since 2014.  Expect some callous ones.

Continue reading

Advertisements

healthism and femininity

[cw: Christianity comparison in post; sexually-toned “reparative therapy”-toned psychiatric abuse, misogyny, and anti-sex worker sentiment at link]

Anyway this is the kind of thing I’m talking about when I say the concept of “health” has been used to abuse and control people.

And I should be able to drop a sentence like that and leave it, without anticipating someone seeing it and coming back to me with “It’s good to be healthy though.  Don’t shame people for trying to get healthy.”  Of course it’s convenient to be healthy.  But I should get to be able to say “be wary of how people deploy the concept of ‘good for your health'” without getting inane responses, the same way I should be able to say “be wary of how people deploy the concept of ‘it’s God’s will'” without someone replying, “But some things ARE God’s will and it’s important to follow it.”  I mean, I expect even very sheltered Christians to get the idea that some Chritianities are worse than others and do lead people astray, but I swear I don’t know how to get through to some people about healthism, not when it’s as ingrained in my culture as it is, I dare say more than Christianity is.  Critiquing healthism is incomprehensible blasphemy.  I might as well tell someone “I want to be sick and always getting sicker.”  It’s…  I don’t know.  I worry.  I worry about the pervasiveness of a faith that strong.

Here are some quotes for those of you who didn’t click the link.

A quote from user lesbian-lily in the linked comment chain:

I’m too tired to find sources and images and whatever, but this is literally how they used to assess women’s mental health and still is a lot of the time. If women wore baggy clothes, didn’t wear make up, didn’t have perfect hair or rejected femininity in any way it was used as a sign of their mental health, a sign that they were crazy and needed fixing. Women wouldn’t be able to free themselves from institutions until they began to conform to femininity. Associating self care with femininity is kinda really fucked up considering we used to get sectioned purely for not being feminine enough.

A quote from Beauty and Misogyny: Harmful cultural practices in the west screenshot’d by user nineteencigarettes:

Pertschuck’s big worry is that, “The woman who feels unable to meet the demands of a female identity and who grooms and dresses accordingly is indeed likely to be viewed as asexual by those around her” (1985, p.221).  The woman may desire precisely such freedom from men’s gaze but Pertschuck will not allow it.  He sees the solution for such women who refuse to service male sexuality as “appearance training.”

What’s got me hecked up is that I can’t even be properly horrified at just the passages themselves, because I’m also thinking…

I’m imagining that someone would tell me the use of the word “asexual” here has nothing to do with the modern usage by the ace community, not even a little bit.  Which makes about as much sense to me as saying that there’s no anti-butch sentiment in trying to “help” an unfeminine woman engage in more feminine beauty rituals, as long as the reason for that “help” isn’t paired with suspicion that she’s attracted to women.  Or as much sense as saying that this “appearance training” to make her sexier (to men) has nothing to do with heteronormativity.  Just misogyny.  Just misogyny alone.  Because those two systems don’t overlap like that and aren’t enmeshed in each other or anything.

I’m so hecked up by the homophobia of saying homophobia doesn’t care about making women attractive to/attracted to/”sexually available” to men.  It’s just so patently false, so black is white and red is blue, it springs up in my brain now when I read about this stuff.  God, I want to fight someone.  But this is down the rabbit hole deep.


an ethnography of running for your life

A post in which I talk about some comments on another post of mine, entitled What To Do If You Think Your Partner Might Be Asexual.

Consequently, expect anti-ace hostility and rape apologism in spades.  Please note that even for anti-ace hostility, some of these are unusually extreme.

Continue reading


>>

“Lifelong lack of sexual interest, though a recognized entity, is unlikely to produce distress” (quote from Pipeline | S1 Biopharma, found via redbeard’s post)

Citation needed.


regarding the flibanserin arguments

[ blanket trigger warning for anyone who has experienced sexual coercion ]

This whole mess… I thought I was numb to it by now, the idea of people supporting efforts to “fix” us.

If you’re not up to speed, you can find info on flibanserin here and here.

And it’s horrifying to read about, but I was emotionally compartmentalizing it well enough… up until I saw people — ordinary internet kids, not the drug’s marketers — brushing aside that 1) it’s not safe 2) it doesn’t work 3) this probably isn’t something you could make an effective medication for anyway & 4) all the explanations of how it would be used to hurt women, with comments like “okay well maybe don’t support THIS pill but you shouldn’t oppose the CONCEPT of medication for sexual desire because even if YOU wouldn’t want to take it, some women might want to!

And it’s one of those things that doesn’t just make me angry but is just… utterly baffling to me, because one of the most basic things I was always taught was that pleasure/fun isn’t a moral override.  It doesn’t have moral value.  If something hurts people, someone saying “well I like it though” doesn’t make it okay.

Honestly, this junk reminds me of how any criticism of the beauty industry is at risk of being derailed with “but remember some women like make-up and traditionally-feminine things!” as if that has any relevance as a rebuttal.  It’s the exact same crap.

So you know what?

Even if some women were to be like “yeah, I want a pill for that!” (hypothetically in absence of any societal pressure to want such a thing), (and ignoring that female sexual desire is probably too complex wrt the factors influencing it for anyone to just make a working pill for, and that there are better options), I would hope that the desire for sexual satisfaction wouldn’t be more important to them than protecting the mental health and physical safety of other women.


ace armadillo

The way I am doesn't have to be natural to be acceptable.

So, uh.  I’ve gotten into photo editing software again, and I made this as practice.  Anyway, I’d like to see this idea emphasized more often.  Asexuality doesn’t have to be “natural” to be okay.


Capitalism, (Re)Production, and Bread and Circuses

The other day, I came across this part of this essay by Marlene Dixon, and you can guess what it prompted some thoughts about.

If we conceptualize human reproduction as “production” in the capitalistic sense (that is, production of future labor), and if we conceptualize bodies that are capable of conceiving as the “means of production”, and if we conceptualize bodily autonomy, consequently, as a threat to oligarchical control over the means of production, then some of the classic objections to asexuality — while still irrational — begin to make a little more sense.

Continue reading


Sex Aversion Is Sex Aversion

Recently, my stats page informs me, someone arrived on this blog by searching “is sexual aversion unhealthy or holy.”  It’s not unusual for concerning search terms to pop up, but I want to respond to this one nonetheless.

Continue reading


note to self

Continue reading