I suggest further that this focus on otherwise-privileged group members creates a distorted analysis of racism and sexism because the operative conceptions of race and sex become grounded in experiences that actually represent only a subset of a much more complex phenomenon…. I argue that Black women are sometimes excluded from feminist theory and antiracist policy discourse because both are predicated on a discrete set of experiences that often does not accurately reflect the intersection of race and gender. These problems of exclusion cannot be solved simply by including Black women within an already established analytical structure. Because the intersectional experience is greater than the sum of racism and sexism, any analysis that does not take intersectionality into account cannot sufficiently address the particular manner in which Black women are subordinated. Thus, for feminist theory and antiracist policy discourse to embrace the experiences and concerns of Black women, the entire framework that has been used as a basis for translating “women’s experience” or “the Black experience” into concrete policy demands must be rethought and recast.
–Kimberlé Crenshaw, “Demarginalizing the intersection of race and sex”
Although racism and sexism readily intersect in the lives of real people, they seldom do in feminist and antiracist practices. And so, when the practices expound identity as “woman” or “person of color” as an either/or proposition, they relegate the identity of women of color to a location that resists telling.
My objective here is to advance the telling of that location by exploring the race and gender dimensions of violence against women of color. Contemporary feminist and antiracist discourses have failed to consider the intersections of racism and patriarchy… Because of their intersectional identity as both women and people of color within discourses that are shaped to respond to one or the other, the interests and experiences of women of color are frequently marginalized within both.
–Kimberlé Crenshaw, “Mapping the margins”
Another part of that pressure is feeling as though I need to be able to make a concise statement about “the APoC experience” or about the intersection of asexuality and race, which is pretty much impossible. APoC are a diverse bunch, because the world isn’t divided up into “white people” and “people of color,” each of whom can claim a single, monolithic racial experience, and so my being the only non-white panelist puts me in a supremely uncomfortable position. How can I be the only one on the panel answering questions about the intersection of asexuality and race when I feel that my experience is so singular and isolated that I can barely speak for myself, let alone anyone else? How can I be a spokesperson for so many people with so many different experiences than mine, and yet none of the white aces on the panel are expected to speak to the “white ace experience”?
-Queenie, The politics of (in)visibility
A short linkspam of linkspams (and some individual posts) on ace intersections, including intracommunity issues and problems faced outside the community. I’m still not all there in the head but, hey, wanted to do a thing, still.
Note in case of tumblrwarp: please visit the original wordpress post in case of future edits/updates.
Gender (Identity and Alignment) – Carnival of Aces November 2011: Gender and Carnival of Aces March 2016: Gender Norms and Asexuality feature posts on being trans, being female, and being nonbinary.
Race and Ethnicity – Vesper’s APoC Resources page has tons of links to content on/by/for asexual people of color, including articles and videos on racism inside and outside of the community, such as The Large Space That White Supremacy Occupies In Conversations About Sexuality.
You can also find some posts on being Jewish in the roundup for Carnival of Aces October 2014.
Gay, Bi, and Queer – On this subject, I’d highlight Living gay (and ace), On “no romo”, and Being asexual, “of the bi-ish persuasion,” and afraid, as well as this post on guilt over desire for representation. For further reading, see Queenie’s so-called teeny tiny linkspam on asexuality and queerness.
Illness and Disability – Carnival of Aces June 2015: Mental Health and Carnival of Aces October 2013: Disability and Asexuality feature posts on being mentally ill, being disabled, and choices on the part of the ace community, disability activists, and health care providers.
Sexual Violence – Queenie’s Ace Survivors as Rhetorical Devices series explains how to avoid damaging rhetoric about survivors of sexual violence.
The RFAS (Resources for Ace Survivors) Recommended Reading page covers a broader range of topics under the same umbrella of asexuality and sexual violence.
Miscellaneous – Examples of Bad Ace Advice and Hezza’s Asexual identity prescriptivism linkspam address identity-policing and other issues.
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.
So, uh, remember this conversation? And this part? From when I said “White aces need to talk to each other about this”? Yeah. So. I came across this post and that’s immediately what I thought about, ’cause…
I wish every white person at one of these protests would commit to doing one-on-one relational work with other whites to deal with their racism
This frustrates me because I’m in a very “liberal” academic space and my white classmates are always having lil breakout groups to discuss allyship, meetings to talk about how they can support black and brown efforts and organizing
But they seem to have zero idea how to actually talk about racism to other white people who don’t already agree with them
And from there another person reblog-commented with a story about trying to talk to another White person about a racial issue & it going better than expected, followed by some general tips for the same kind of general situation. They seem like mostly decent ideas, and the one I want to highlight is this one:
1) Have people re-examine their own thinking. Don’t tell them how to think or how you think. Ask them questions that have them explore their thought process.
…And, um. It depends on what kind of mess you’re dealing with, but I think that’s a set of tactics worth keeping in mind, and it’s this kind of thing that has helped me… manage some vile conversations, without getting as deep in worst case scenario as it could’ve, I suppose.
And if White aces want to do something about White aces making the ace community alienating and unsafe, I think working on productive confrontation techniques is a necessary step.
[tw: description of racist violence]
The lynching tree — so strikingly similar to the cross on Golgotha — should have a prominent place in American images of Jesus’ death. But it does not. In fact, the lynching tree has no place in American theological reflections about Jesus’ cross or in the proclamation of Christian churches about his Passion. The conspicuous absence of the lynching tree in American theological discourse and preaching is profoundly revealing, especially since the crucifixion was clearly a first-century lynching. In the “lyinching era,” between 1880 to 1940, white Christians lynched nearly five thousand black men and women in a manner with obvious echoes of the Roman crucifixion of Jesus. Yet these “Christians” did not see the irony or contradiction in their actions.
As Jesus was an innocent victim of mob hysteria and Roman imperial violence, many African Americans were innocent victims of white mobs, thirsting for blood in the name of God of the Anglo-Saxon race. Both the cross and the lynching tree were symbols of terror, instruments of torture and execution, reserved primarily for slaves, criminals, and insurrectionists — the lowest of the low in society. Both Jesus and blacks were publicly humiliated, subjected to the utmost indignity and cruelty. They were stripped, in order to be deprived of dignity, then paraded, mocked and whipped, pierced, derided and spat upon, tortured for hours in the presence of jeering crowds for popular entertainment. In both cases, the purpose was to strike terror in the subject community. It was to let people know that the same thing would happen to them if they did not stay in their place.
–James Cone, The Cross and the Lynching Tree, p. 30-31
I don’t have high hopes for the input of a White dude who practices M/s, wrote a book on it without even acknowledging the certain specters invoked by the word “slavery,” and who freaking calls himself a “shaman,” as if that term isn’t racially-coded as hell.