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    • Kisa the Cat

      Avenues May/June   05/09/17

      Hello AVENites! The newest edition of AVENues is now ready! Our theme this time was "ace connections".  May/June
♡ Fitzsimmons ♡

A message about AVEN's values

213 posts in this topic

8 minutes ago, Mysticus Insanus said:

If a person says they're homosexual (aka gay), but doesn't desire to boink people of the same sex - then no, they aren't gay, they are confused. And education should lead to them overcoming the idea that they were gay, to help them clear up their sexual confusion.

so ignoring your other stuff,  you're saying that even homo romantics are not gay?

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I'm trying to imagine what an AVEN that embraces "education" over inclusiveness looks like and I really don't see it as a utopia. The only realistic way to stop people identifying as asexual with whatever definition of asexual they want is to make it against the rules. So you're going to have an AVEN where there is an official definition and if you do not meet the requirements of this definition, but say "I am asexual" you will be warned and eventually banned. That's insane. 

 

The other way is to allow people to label others, but then you still need a singular dogmatic definition that cannot be questioned or the antisexuals and non-libidoists are going to start spouting nonsense about people not being asexual. Given that the definition wars have been waging for years without any clear conclusion, I doubt there will ever be s definition that won't cause a large chunk of the community to become isolated.

 

Neither are good for building a strong community if you ask me. 

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Tal has clearly stated that we need constructive criticism on here. By continuing after this posts, users are breaking Part 6a of the TOS. I'm locking this thread for cooldown.

 

Faeriefate, Moderator

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Given the fact that I tried giving a gentle shove and then a greenie, and the thread kept getting derailed with people's opinions, this can stay locked for 48 hours so people can chill out a bit. If you want to keep going with the definitions debate, take it to a thread that's actually for that, instead of spamming this thread with it. Also, there's no need for finger pointing.

 

Tal Shi'ar

Mod for Announcements.

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I'm unlocking this now. If people would like to keep the definitions debate, please take it to this thread. I'd also like to remind people to please keep calm and not to start finger point or start calling out other people, or insinuate it. This is rather unconstructive and leaves nothing but a toxic atmosphere.

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May I just say that I appreciate the statement of core values from board of directors and I am in agreement with it. 

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On 15.3.2017 at 10:49 PM,  skit said:

I'm trying to imagine what an AVEN that embraces "education" over inclusiveness looks like and I really don't see it as a utopia.

 

Perhaps not an "utopia". But miles better - and, most iportantly, with a lot more honesty and integrity - than AVEN is, as of now? You bet I do.

 

 

On 15.3.2017 at 10:49 PM,  skit said:

The only realistic way to stop people identifying as asexual with whatever definition of asexual they want is to make it against the rules. So you're going to have an AVEN where there is an official definition and if you do not meet the requirements of this definition, but say "I am asexual" you will be warned and eventually banned. That's insane. 

No, that is not the only realistic way. We could just tell them "no, you aren't asexual, because asexuality means [insert actually solid and meaningful definition here, which AVEN currently does not have and which the BoD does not want to exist, despite the V&E in the site's name], and by your own statement, that is not what you describe." And we could - and IMO, should - keep telling them this over and over again, until one of three things happen:

 

- they realize that they really aren't asexual and have been misidentifying themselves (best case scenario, this is successful education)

- they leave over being "invalidated" (suboptimal for them, but absolutely no loss to AVEN and the asexual community)

- they get banned for violating the TOS already in place (a scenario complelely irrelevant to this entire discussion here).

 

Would that be an improvement over how it is now? IMO, yes. Yes, yes, oh so very much yes.

 

 

On 15.3.2017 at 10:49 PM,  skit said:

The other way is to allow people to label others, but then you still need a singular dogmatic definition that cannot be questioned or the antisexuals and non-libidoists are going to start spouting nonsense about people not being asexual. Given that the definition wars have been waging for years without any clear conclusion, I doubt there will ever be s definition that won't cause a large chunk of the community to become isolated.

IMO, the definition debate is the singular most important visibility and education challenge there currently is, and if anything, we see far too little of it happening (on AVEN, that's in a good part down to BoD/admod boycotting of it over "core values" I consider harmful to this site and do not agree with).

 

If and when a solid, singular definition of asexuality would be posited on AVEN (which, after this BoD message, is regrettably no longer a hope I can realistically have, which is why I personally give up on AVEN), "isolating and invalidating" the chunk of the community that are not actually asexual would be an unambiguously good thing, IMO. It would strengthen the community, and massively, massively improve its health, integrity, and credibility. It would mean AVEN takes the mission statement poisted in its very name seriously, instead of treating it as an afterthought of "superduper inclusive community over any other concern".

 

 

So, yeah, skit... I could hardly disagree more with your stance.

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1 hour ago, Mysticus Insanus said:

Perhaps not an "utopia". But miles better - and, most iportantly, with a lot more honesty and integrity - than AVEN is, as of now? You bet I do.

 

 

No, that is not the only realistic way. We could just tell them "no, you aren't asexual, because asexuality means [insert actually solid and meaningful definition here, which AVEN currently does not have and which the BoD does not want to exist, despite the V&E in the site's name], and by your own statement, that is not what you describe." And we could - and IMO, should - keep telling them this over and over again, until one of three things happen:

 

- they realize that they really aren't asexual and have been misidentifying themselves (best case scenario, this is successful education)

- they leave over being "invalidated" (suboptimal for them, but absolutely no loss to AVEN and the asexual community)

- they get banned for violating the TOS already in place (a scenario complelely irrelevant to this entire discussion here).

 

Would that be an improvement over how it is now? IMO, yes. Yes, yes, oh so very much yes.

 

 

IMO, the definition debate is the singular most important visibility and education challenge there currently is, and if anything, we see far too little of it happening (on AVEN, that's in a good part down to BoD/admod boycotting of it over "core values" I consider harmful to this site and do not agree with).

 

If and when a solid, singular definition of asexuality would be posited on AVEN (which, after this BoD message, is regrettably no longer a hope I can realistically have, which is why I personally give up on AVEN), "isolating and invalidating" the chunk of the community that are not actually asexual would be an unambiguously good thing, IMO. It would strengthen the community, and massively, massively improve its health, integrity, and credibility. It would mean AVEN takes the mission statement poisted in its very name seriously, instead of treating it as an afterthought of "superduper inclusive community over any other concern".

 

 

So, yeah, skit... I could hardly disagree more with your stance.

 

Okay and what is stopping people in your version of AVEN from saying "sorry, you've had sex, you can't be asexual" or "sorry, you' have a libido, you can't be asexual" or "sorry, you experience romantic feelings, you can't be asexual." Now we have every "Am I asexual?" thread devolving into all these elitists trying to push their narrow versions of asexuality onto others and those threads become an even bigger mess.

 

So how do we solve that problem? You'd have to make invalidating people based on anything other than the "official" definition against the rules. However, then Admods will have to start throwing nudges and warnings at well meaning people wanting to help educate, but whom get the facts wrong in one way or another.  The only way this system works is if every single person who attempts education is an expert on asexuality and agrees with the definition AVEN forces upon the community. Neither are ever going to realistically happen. 

 

Your system sounds great in theory, but completely falls apart in practice because there is no feasible way to get everyone on the same page without mass censorship of those who don't fall into line with the official definition. You might think that a good thing, but if the community falls apart, then there won't be many left to do any education. 

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5 minutes ago,  skit said:

 

Okay and what is stopping people in your version of AVEN from saying "sorry, you've had sex, you can't be asexual" or "sorry, you' have a libido, you can't be asexual" or "sorry, you experience romantic feelings, you can't be asexual." Now we have every "Am I asexual?" thread devolving into all these elitists trying to push their narrow versions of asexuality onto others and those threads become an even bigger mess.

 

So how do we solve that problem? You'd have to make invalidating people based on anything other than the "official" definition against the rules. However, then Admods will have to start throwing nudges and warnings at well meaning people wanting to help educate, but whom get the facts wrong in one way or another.  The only way this system works is if every single person who attempts education is an expert on asexuality and agrees with the definition AVEN forces upon the community. Neither are ever going to realistically happen. 

 

Your system sounds great in theory, but completely falls apart in practice because there is no feasible way to get everyone on the same page without mass censorship of those who don't fall into line with the official definition. You might think that a good thing, but if the community falls apart, then there won't be many left to do any education. 

Which brings us back to why I think working on a solid (and that does and must mean exclusionary), official AVEN definition is the most important VisEd project AVEN should concentrate on.

 

I think people leaving in a huff - even if it's a sizeable bunch of them - who simply do not fit the definition of asexuality, but under the current policy are not only allowed/tolerated to misidentify as such, but actively protected from criticism, is not the community falling apart. It is the community getting its shit together and becoming stronger as a result, by refusing to let the asexual label become misappropriated. This is IMO absolutely neccessary for credibility of valid asexuals, as a whole.

 

And yes, that last sentence means I think there are people on this site who call themselves asexual but simply aren't (you freakin' bet I do think so!), and that I consider it a complete failure on AVEN's part that TOS forbids us to educate them properly.

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Mysticus, you're right in that's never going to happen (can we move on from that point now?). But you're wrong, based on my experience working with (and witnessing) visibility campaigns worldwide, when you say asexuality won't be taken seriously unless it's done your way. Facts prove you wrong, as I think I explained in a previous post.

 

And I believe it's because you misjudge the impact of a number of people potentilaly misidentifying compared to what the movement is achieving. Therefore you CAN keep thinking that our way of doing things is compromising visibility and education, but you'd be doing that in the face of facts that say otherwise.

 

You are welcome to stay in our community if you think you can keep your values, and at the same time respect ours and our rules. I understand if you prefer searching for a new place though. Best of luck with anything you decide to do!

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They aren't actively protected from criticism. You can still challenge someone's views on their own identity. You can't just tell them what their identity is for them. There is a huge difference between no labeling vs no questioning whatsoever. 

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14 minutes ago, ithaca said:

Mysticus, you're right in that's never going to happen (can we move on from that point now?).

I thought as much, and that's all I need to know. It conclusively confirms that further contribution from me to AVEN, including on the new definition thread opened by Tal, are a waste of my time and energy, as well as a waste of your bandwidth/server space.

 

The ideological differences between the AVEN highups and myself are so insurmountably high that there is simply no point to me staying here. I would be a hypocrite if I settled for treating this site as a mere social site vaguely related to asexuality, which is the only future I could realistically see for myself here after all this. I simply refuse to compromise my values that much.

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1 hour ago, ithaca said:

Mysticus, you're right in that's never going to happen (can we move on from that point now?).

Then what's the point? If it weren't for the community here I'd probably just leave myself. Nothing good comes from a site that just says "Nope, we aren't ever going to give way on the main focus of the site as it stands".

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24 minutes ago, Anthracite_Impreza said:

Then what's the point? If it weren't for the community here I'd probably just leave myself. Nothing good comes from a site that just says "Nope, we aren't ever going to give way on the main focus of the site as it stands".

We are never going good to adopt an exclusionary definition (the debate of such can move to the thread posted by Tal), is what I meant. It is Mysticus' right to believe that only that kind of thing would help education. We have different ideas.

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2 hours ago,  skit said:

They aren't actively protected from criticism. You can still challenge someone's views on their own identity. You can't just tell them what their identity is for them. There is a huge difference between no labeling vs no questioning whatsoever. 

By ToS, yes. Though, members are worried they cannot do that at the moment, due to the posts which have gotten a few in trouble recently. I think we'd need the moderation staff to write up some examples of how to question, without crossing the line, to set the members at ease on that point. 

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Just now, McFace Owly Owl said:

By ToS, yes. Though, members are worried they cannot do that at the moment, due to the posts which have gotten a few in trouble recently. I think we'd need the moderation staff to write up some examples of how to question, without crossing the line, to set the members at ease on that point. 

 

I think that's a totally valid thing to have clarified. . 

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56 minutes ago, ithaca said:

We are never going good to adopt an exclusionary definition (the debate of such can move to the thread posted by Tal), is what I meant. It is Mysticus' right to believe that only that kind of thing would help education. We have different ideas.

You mean, you're never going to adopt a definition which isn't so vague it could be applicable to the vast majority of the population?

 

Whats the point in an "inclusive" label, surely we might as well get rid of any definition and say "asexual is whatever the hell you want it to be"?

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The point has been stated and explained more than once. Any debate on it can be brought to the thread Tal linked to. 

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Posted (edited)

First of all, I think getting an "official" definition *is* important.  Even if not everyone agree, getting the vast majority of people here to agree on some definition of asexuality would help the site (and asexual visibilty as a whole) dramatically.  If I were looking at it from the outside, I would probably dismiss asexuals, since they can't even agree among themselves what the label means.  Even as someone in the community, it's very frustrating to see constant definition debates that go around in circles and never get resolved.  Nobody has debates about what it means to be homosexual or heterosexual, so why is asexuality so different?

 

Also though, I don't see this statement as saying we could never question someone's asexuality or tell them that what their experiencing  might not be asexuality.  If you look at some if my old posts in Q&A, you'll see that quite a few of my posts say something along the lines of "You're the only one who can know for sure what you are, but most people define [label] as [definition], which wasn't really reflected in your post.  Have you tried looking into other labels like [insert other labels that might be a more accurate fit]?" I've never once gotten nudged or warned for something like that, so it should be allowed unless the rules changed.

 

EDIT: Sorry ith if this is too off topic; I didn't see your last post before writing this.  If Tal or the BoD thinks it'll be better in the other thread you guys can move it.

Edited by deltaX
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4 minutes ago, ithaca said:

The point has been stated and explained more than once. Any debate on it can be brought to the thread Tal linked to. 

I'm not wanting to discuss the actual definition of asexuality, but rather how the site handles any change in definition. 

Even if you agree with the "current" definition of asexuality, how can you not believe its exclusive?

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Posted (edited)

I think the problem is enforcing an exclusive definition of asexuality isn't really feasible without tearing apart the community. 

Edited by  skit
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21 minutes ago,  skit said:

I think the problem is enforcing an exclusive definition of asexuality isn't really feasible without tearing apart the community. 

I fail to see why that would be. There are some sexuals and questioning folks on here, regardless of wether the ace definition fits them or not.

 

There is a giant difference between an inclusive, welcoming community (which is what we should aim to be) and an inclusive definition (which is utter bull).

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1 hour ago, ithaca said:

We are never going good to adopt an exclusionary definition (the debate of such can move to the thread posted by Tal), is what I meant. It is Mysticus' right to believe that only that kind of thing would help education. We have different ideas.

So it's not a definition at all. Alright, from now on being an atheist means you can believe in god or not, whatever works best for you :cake:

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1 minute ago, Homer said:

I fail to see why that would be. There are some sexuals and questioning folks on here, regardless of wether the ace definition fits them or not.

 

There is a giant difference between an inclusive, welcoming community (which is what we should aim to be) and an inclusive definition (which is utter bull).

 

Sure, but what I see some people arguing for is an exclusive definition and people who identify as asexual, but don't fit that definition, should be forced to stop somehow. 

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1 minute ago,  skit said:
 

 

Sure, but what I see some people arguing for is an exclusive definition and people who identify as asexual, but don't fit that definition, should be forced to stop somehow. 

 

I am not sure anyone is saying they should be forced to stop, more that it is a natural thing to question if someone is using the label correctly, or indeed say "Your wrong".

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Just now, Lord Grep said:

 

I am not sure anyone is saying they should be forced to stop, more that it is a natural thing to question if someone is using the label correctly, or indeed say "Your wrong".

 

The problem is lots of people who have no idea what they are talking about can say "you're wrong" when in fact the person questioning is totally right. The only real way to make that work is to make it against the rules to say "you're wrong" unless using an exclusive official definition correctly. I can see that sort of rule scaring people off of even bothering to do any education for fear of being banned. 

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And we still haven't moved from that point, have we? 

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4 minutes ago, ithaca said:

And we still haven't moved from that point, have we? 

Well considering this is a site for asexual education I'd say it was a pretty fundamental point.

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5 minutes ago, ithaca said:

And we still haven't moved from that point, have we? 

 

I think the discussion has shifted from what the definition should be to whether any definition should be exclusive or not which is way more on topic. 

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I do think the official definition needs to change (which I won't elaborate on here).

 

I don't think the rule about letting people determine their own label needs to change, for the reasons @ skit is saying. Discussion needs to be tactful and respectful. Nobody is the governing body of asexuality. It's not an official designation with legal consequences for using. If people are misusing it we can say "asexuality is _____, not _____" without being harsh. If someone still wants to identify as asexual when they're clearly not then ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ we're at a standstill with them, and rather than get into giant fights in one thread about it, we can save our energy for more constructive discussions.

 

Much like @deltaX I've responded to many questions by reinforcing a definition that doesn't match with the person's experiences, and never gotten in trouble for it. The rule about not telling people what they are or aren't should be about tact and respect. It should not be about validating everyone.

 

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