Fitzsimmons ♡

A message about AVEN's values

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Diamond Ace of Hearts   
Diamond Ace of Hearts

@Mysticus Insanus might I ask for a brief outline of your preferred definition of asexual? And how exactly you would have the site or the community deal with those who misuse the word?

 

(admods, I know that's back off topic but I think it might make the conversation around what we do with definitions - which is far more on topic - more informed if we had a concrete example of a more hardline definition to look at)

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Fitzsimmons ♡   
Fitzsimmons ♡
11 minutes ago,  skit said:

 

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. 

As long as folks understand AVEN ain't going to change ours, please feel free to go on. There's been and there can be other websites using other definitions, as you know.

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Fitzsimmons ♡   
Fitzsimmons ♡
Just now, Diamond, Ace of Hearts said:

@Mysticus Insanus might I ask for a brief outline of your preferred definition of asexual? And how exactly you would have the site or the community deal with those who misuse the word?

 

(admods, I know that's back off topic but I think it might make the conversation around what we do with definitions - which is far more on topic - more informed if we had a concrete example of a more hardline definition to look at)

Please bring it to the other thread...

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G0D   
G0D
1 minute ago,  skit said:
 

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. 

 

I know... I have been on the receiving end of this myself... I have been told many times that because I am a "non-libidoist" I am not Asexual. It is the reason I use "Grep-Sexual" in my profile. 

 

I have been saying for ages this place needs a clear definition one can point to and say "see here THIS is what an asexual is". I have tried to use the dictionary but that doesn't work <shrug>.. But I would rather have that, than the idea that and the ability to debate it than not be able to correct other things.

 

I am not sure if the advice I give to the very young (many of you might not think 14 is very young, I do<shrug>) breaks this ruling though. I really feel that just pandering to young people is dangerous, and I really think as a part of AVENS "Education" more information about female sexual development should be forthcoming. I get the feeling that AVEN has a tendency to recruit rather than educate. I am not saying that is something that is there by design, but it appears to exist in practice. 

 

Again to be VERY CLEAR HERE I single out females for the simple reason that there is a LOT of scientific, and anecdotal evidence that many women do not start feeling a desire for sex until their mid to late 20s and that peak is reached in the mid 30s, where as for men the peak is in the late teens. So for anyone unaware of these FACTS many young women will APPEAR to be asexuals where as in reality it's just a natural part of development. Adopting labels affects the way one thinks about ones self, and may go on to affect someone negatively. Now one has to ask the question given that 1% of the population is asexual, why are young women apparently a large part of the AVEN demographic?

 

Surely we don't want to just "recruit" people. I mean its nice to have people about to talk to, and I have no issue at all with non-asexual people being here, but to knowingly have a system set up in such a way to encourage labelling with no idea of the possible harm it may cause scares me. Do we really want there to be a scandal in the News about this, cos it's the kind of thing some journalists would go nuts about. Or perhaps something else that I can see happening, and that is someone suing AVEN. 

 

I REALLY hope someone is starting to see what I am trying to say here, and is going to take this seriously, I am not saying any of this to just be difficult, and I hope not just going to get flamed. I know this is only one concern and it is gender specific, but please do not mistake this concern as "sexist" etc. It is something that I have been meaning to write about for a long time. The idea that labels should be descriptive, and not prescriptive is a nuance that many young people find difficult to grasp. 

 

 

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Mysticus Insanus   
Mysticus Insanus
3 minutes ago, ithaca said:

As long as folks understand AVEN ain't going to change ours

^ This is the reason why

 

2 minutes ago, ithaca said:

the other thread

^ this is a complete waste of time.

 

I'm not here to play the royalty's jester, who is graciously allowed to say the darndest things as long as everyone agrees that no matter what he says, the King's and Queen's rule will remain absolute. I firmly reject the bone you throw us here. To be perfectly frank, I consider you pointing to that thread, when put side by side with your posts in this one, to be extremely condescending, and I won't play along.

 

 

As for my preferred definition, @Diamond, Ace of Hearts - it's still the same that it's been for years, and very close to the one used on AVEN.de. The search function is your friend.

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Fitzsimmons ♡   
Fitzsimmons ♡

I'm sorry if my post asking to move that conversation comes across as condescending after having explained for now 7 pages that X is not going to change and folks keep wanting to talk about changing X. I don't think I could have been clearer, to be honest. Yet I keep being met with a (translating) "you lot clearly don't know what you're talking about, you're doing it all wrong and it should be done by way" (from multiple sources). Pot, kettle...

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just an owl   
just an owl

Honestly, I'm starting to feel less bothered by the current definition, and more worried about the mindset that definitions should be all inclusive.

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skıt   
skıt
18 minutes ago, Gay Owl said:

Honestly, I'm starting to feel less bothered by the current definition, and more worried about the mindset that definitions should be all inclusive.

 

Well, if you could change the rule to whatever you wanted, what would it be?

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just an owl   
just an owl
4 minutes ago,  skit said:

 

Well, if you could change the rule to whatever you wanted, what would it be?

I don't wanna change any rules, I just want people to recognise that a definition for asexuality needs to be exclusive. Whether you argue that's the current definition or not, I don't care. It does nothing for education if the only difference between an asexual person and non asexual person is self identification.

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skıt   
skıt
1 minute ago, Gay Owl said:

I don't wanna change any rules, I just want people to recognise that a definition for asexuality needs to be exclusive. Whether you argue that's the current definition or not, I don't care. It does nothing for education if the only difference between an asexual person and non asexual person is self identification.

 

If the rules stay the same, then saying the definition is exclusive has no real meaning or impact. 

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FaerieFate   
FaerieFate

Members here have been told several times. This isn't a thread for definition debates. This is a thread for the Board of Directors to tell members where Aven officially stands on the values here. Talking about the definition here won't change their minds. A new thread has been made for you to have your debate. You've been asked several times to move it there.  So,  please move it there. Any further discussion that derails may result in admod action. 

 

faeriefate, moderator

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G0D   
G0D

oops sorry

Pressed <ENTER> on something I didn't mean to.

feel free to delete to remove clutter

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MistySpring   
MistySpring

The discussion and decision of what Aven's official asexual definition would be is one thing, that is clearly encouraged by Aven and up for discussion as a thread has been made for it but the OP is about how to be respectful towards members, to keep the core values of this site...and why would they change that? They certainly shouldn't imo. That is what ithaca is differentiating between (correct me if I'm wrong!).
How some people are interpreting that the sexual definition should be all inclusive...I don't think that is meant like how some seem to take it here. It means as I understand it that the community is all inclusive and believe in never labeling anyone else, it is always up to the individual.
It means that even if we had Mysticus Insanus preferred definition (or whatever the official definition would be) apart from telling people your opinion when they ask to know what they are (which is totally valid to me and it really isn't too hard to do so in a respectful manner)....if they choose not to abide by that definition/or they feel that it still fall under the asexual label they should be free to do so and not have people meddle in anymore with constantly jumping on them in every thread commenting negatively on their personal experiences trying to disprove how they decided to label themselves.They should feel welcome here and if someone thinks well they aren't asexual then go ahead and think that but don't ban, harass, bully, stalk or urge people to leave the site. It's horrific to shun people from the community in this way.

@faeriefate Hope this was okay to post as I don't feel like it debates about the definitions?

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Fitzsimmons ♡   
Fitzsimmons ♡

Perfectly put, @MistySpring.

 

If people are confused about what it means to help new starter without telling them "Yes you are X" or "No you are not X", I can maybe provide a couple of examples from my own most recent posts? 

 

 

 

Please now don't turn this into a debate about new labels and stuff, it's literally threads I picked randomly because they're the latest I engaged in regarding newbies and their orientation. Does it help as an example?

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FaerieFate   
FaerieFate
3 minutes ago, MistySpring said:

The discussion and decision of what Aven's official asexual definition would be is one thing, that is clearly encouraged by Aven and up for discussion as a thread has been made for it but the OP is about how to be respectful towards members, to keep the core values of this site...and why would they change that? They certainly shouldn't imo. That is what ithaca is differentiating between (correct me if I'm wrong!).
How some people are interpreting that the sexual definition should be all inclusive...I don't think that is meant like how some seem to take it here. It means as I understand it that the community is all inclusive and believe in never labeling anyone else, it is always up to the individual.
It means that even if we had Mysticus Insanus preferred definition (or whatever the official definition would be) apart from telling people your opinion when they ask to know what they are (which is totally valid to me and it really isn't too hard to do so in a respectful manner)....if they choose not to abide by that definition/or they feel that it still fall under the asexual label they should be free to do so and not have people meddle in anymore with constantly jumping on them in every thread commenting negatively on their personal experiences trying to disprove how they decided to label themselves.They should feel welcome here and if someone thinks well they aren't asexual then go ahead and think that but don't ban, harass, bully, stalk or urge people to leave the site. It's horrific to shun people from the community in this way.

@faeriefate Hope this was okay to post as I don't feel like it debates about the definitions?

This is talking about the values stated. It's fine. 

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SkyWorld   
SkyWorld

I'm genuinely sorry, but I'm really having a difficult time trying to understand how the "definition" debate is off-topic of this thread, when it's mentioned briefly in the OP about AVEN's values and what's not going to change... and it also mentioned that people are free to share their concerns. I'm not saying that I'm right or whatever, but could someone actually explain how it's derailing? Maybe some members have the same question I do. :wacko: 

 

  • AVEN's asexuality education
    • I think a lot of people are concerned here because although there are several different asexual education sites, it's AVEN that is the largest and most listed as a source for asexual education. Most people get it from AVEN, based on several articles on AVEN and IRL LGBT+ training (that I have actually attended to one and will get to that in a moment). AVEN has the most influence in educating about asexuality, and that can concern a lot of people if it's not improved.
  • Asexual education offline
    • I've been getting out more and trying to get more insight about asexual education IRL. There are several training sessions that my campus has, one of them is mandatory for freshman and they briefly cover LGBT+ issues and terminology as a way to make the campus more of a safe space, and all of the staff has had this training too. They also have more training sessions that goes more in detail about it. From my personal observations, one of the instructors for the training has said about asexuals that we're actually getting a lot of visibility. That tells me that more people are actually knowing that it's an actual thing. They do briefly go over it (they go over a lot of terminology, but asexual is one of the words that was talked about a bit more since it's one of those things that's hard for some people to wrap their minds around). They do define it the same as AVEN's definition and has listed AVEN's site one the list of resources.
    • I know that my own personal experience obviously doesn't cover the entire globe, but I thought that it might be important to share to give some insight and a personal example of who asexual education is going beyond the screen.
    • Oh, and I did forget to mention how I did take a class on Anthropology and in one of the chapters, it did briefly mention asexuality and also defined it as a lack of sexual attraction. So from my experience, more people are starting to know about asexuality, and they are taking it seriously.

 

I'm not necessarily saying this to dismiss people's concerns about people not taking asexuals seriously, I'm very sure there are some people out there who might feel that way. And there are also some factors that can go in about my observations based on where I live, what college I go to, what country, etc, what are likely not the same for others. And education isn't necessarily always completely perfect and can always be improved, but the point I'm trying to make is that it's not completely bad. Asexuality is getting more and more visibility and some people are indeed taking it seriously, and that's growing.

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Fitzsimmons ♡   
Fitzsimmons ♡
1 minute ago, SkyWorld said:

I'm genuinely sorry, but I'm really having a difficult time trying to understand how the "definition" debate is off-topic of this thread, when it's mentioned briefly in the OP about AVEN's values and what's not going to change... and it also mentioned that people are free to share their concerns. I'm not saying that I'm right or whatever, but could someone actually explain how it's derailing? Maybe some members have the same question I do. :wacko: 

 

Hi @SkyWorld. We explained that we use one definition, and that people are free to disagree with it and use whatever definition they like, as long as they do so respectfully and without labelling other people.

 

People seem to have been complaining that there shouldn't be the freedom to use whatever definition they like, that there should be just one (and each one of them would like the one they personally prefer to be the chosen one, of course), and some even that they should be free to label people. They can keep discussing what they prefer in a different thread, we said they're free to use another one if they disagree with the usual "lack of sexual attraction". If they don't like that freedom, we can't do much about it, it's one of our core values and it won't change.

 

We posted that we are aware that there have been discussions about it. I simply followed up saying we don't need yet another one here repeating the same things.

 

Our statement also included other important things, and I feel like it was all getting sidetracked in yet another definition debate.

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Diamond Ace of Hearts   
Diamond Ace of Hearts
3 hours ago, ithaca said:

Please bring it to the other thread...

respectfully, I believe you have misunderstood my intentions. I DO NOT want to debate definitions in this thread. I do want to contribute to that debate and I will do so on the relevant thread when I'm good and ready. I feel there's a separate debate to be had though, which relates directly to the opening post of this thread. I'm not seeking to change the stance of AVEN (I support it, broadly). Allowing people who dissent to the stance to have their say is only right and fair though, surely? And why not in this thread? This is the thread that brought up the topic so why isn't this the place to debate it? What makes this thread sacrosanct?

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Homer   
Homer
55 minutes ago, ithaca said:

We explained that we use one definition, and that people are free to disagree with it and use whatever definition they like, as long as they do so respectfully and without labelling other people.

Then what's the point in having a definition in the first place?

 

apple_128.png

This is an apple, right?

 

Now someone chimes in saying that they define this

banana.png

to be an apple. Now that's supposed to be totally cool because people can define apples however they like? *scratches head*

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Diamond Ace of Hearts   
Diamond Ace of Hearts
11 minutes ago, Homer said:

Then what's the point in having a definition in the first place?

 

apple_128.png

This is an apple, right?

 

Now someone chimes in saying that they define this

banana.png

to be an apple. Now that's supposed to be totally cool because people can define apples however they like? *scratches head*

nope, you say "well, that shares some characteristics with an apple, but you know, it also shares quite a few with a banana*" the idea is to guide the potentially misguided, not simply shut them down.

 

*obviously with something as straightforward as apples and bananas that sentence seems a little absurd, but sexualities are more complex, no matter how strict your definition.

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Ciri   
Ciri

Two different types of data there. One is categorical, the other is a spectrum. 

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Xenobot   
Xenobot
3 hours ago, ithaca said:

Perfectly put, @MistySpring.

 

If people are confused about what it means to help new starter without telling them "Yes you are X" or "No you are not X", I can maybe provide a couple of examples from my own most recent posts? 

 

 

 

Please now don't turn this into a debate about new labels and stuff, it's literally threads I picked randomly because they're the latest I engaged in regarding newbies and their orientation. Does it help as an example?

Ithaca, I hope you don't mind but I would really like to add this thread to your list of examples as it highlights how to handle a particularly tricky situation when it comes to balancing tact, education, and respect for the OPs situation. When I initially responded to this thread, I felt anxious about trying to help them while not breaking any rules. Seeing how you subsequently handled it gave me a much better idea of where the boundaries are for this sort of thing. I think anyone who says AVEN doesn't still value and promote education and honesty is overreacting.

 

 

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Fitzsimmons ♡   
Fitzsimmons ♡

@Xenobot I definitely don't mind, anything I post can be quoted. I've been on AVEN for about 5 and a half years now, and sometimes just giving people a bit of history and context can go a long way; it's one of the things I find more useful in education, keeping in mind the bigger picture. 

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FictoVore.   
FictoVore.
21 hours ago, Diamond Ace of Hearts said:

respectfully, I believe you have misunderstood my intentions. I DO NOT want to debate definitions in this thread. I do want to contribute to that debate and I will do so on the relevant thread when I'm good and ready. I feel there's a separate debate to be had though, which relates directly to the opening post of this thread. I'm not seeking to change the stance of AVEN (I support it, broadly). Allowing people who dissent to the stance to have their say is only right and fair though, surely? And why not in this thread? This is the thread that brought up the topic so why isn't this the place to debate it? What makes this thread sacrosanct?

That was what most of us were doing here, we were trying to discuss how the AVEN values regarding the overall definition etc affect the understanding (or lack thereof) about asexuality and regular sexuality in this community etc etc. How the "anyone who wants to be asexual is asexual based on their own personal defintion" thing does nothing but harm this community. It's a separate debate from the definitions debate, and relates directly to the OP, but as the definition is an integral aspect of that debate, it's being classed as a "definitions debate" and got the thread locked. The new thread that's been made is a definitions debate which isn't actually what I was interested in discussing here, but I was told by an admin I couldn't make a separate thread discussing the issues certain AVEN values create, especially when it comes to the whole "anyone can be asexual based on their own personal defintion" thing. So pretty much, we can't discuss our issues with that aspect of those values in this thread, but a definitions debate also isn't what we're interested in... Yeah.

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funfetti   
funfetti

You guys mentioned cookies? *looks for cookies* *looks under table...*

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Sally   
Sally
On 3/15/2017 at 5:32 AM, Gay Owl said:

I understand not allowing "no you're not asexual" but very few people seem to say "I don't think that sounds like asexuality because X, why would you think that you're asexual/different from non aces?" 

I've tried, but as an asexual, I can't say that from the  standpoint of a sexual.  All I can do is say that "generally, asexuality is  defined as blahblahblah", which usually is something about asexuals not wanting to have partnered sex.

 

But before I get my post in, 17 other people have said "Well, you can call yourself asexual but you might also want to choose abc or def or ghi" and on and on.  And I get disgusted and often end up not posting.  

 

 

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Sally   
Sally

So are people leaving getting cookies?  Someone above mentioned that.  I don't mind  Mysticus getting a cookie for when he leaves, although I'd rather he doesn't leave.  But why don't we who are staying (at least at the moment) get cookies?  Although I don't really want a cookie; I want cheesecake.  Please.  

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Mysticus Insanus   
Mysticus Insanus
6 hours ago, Sally said:

So are people leaving getting cookies?  Someone above mentioned that.  I don't mind  Mysticus getting a cookie for when he leaves, although I'd rather he doesn't leave.  But why don't we who are staying (at least at the moment) get cookies?  Although I don't really want a cookie; I want cheesecake.  Please.  

*gives Sally a sincere, non-condescending slice of cheesecake because she's one of the "stayers" who pretty consistently deserves one for her posts* :cake:

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Zendalis   
Zendalis
18 hours ago, Pan. said:

That was what most of us were doing here, we were trying to discuss how the AVEN values regarding the overall definition etc affect the understanding (or lack thereof) about asexuality and regular sexuality in this community etc etc. How the "anyone who wants to be asexual is asexual based on their own personal defintion" thing does nothing but harm this community. It's a separate debate from the definitions debate, and relates directly to the OP, but as the definition is an integral aspect of that debate, it's being classed as a "definitions debate" and got the thread locked. The new thread that's been made is a definitions debate which isn't actually what I was interested in discussing here, but I was told by an admin I couldn't make a separate thread discussing the issues certain AVEN values create, especially when it comes to the whole "anyone can be asexual based on their own personal defintion" thing. So pretty much, we can't discuss our issues with that aspect of those values here, but a definitions debate also isn't what we're interested in... Yeah.

I find the last two sentences of the above post by @Pan.  deeply disturbing. This seems a blatant attempt to deny members the free exercise to raise topics that engage in any narrative/opinion/discussion that challenges what is increasingly coming off as the intractable and entrenched views of the few in "power", so to speak. Such entrenchment and intractability is, in my opinion, counterproductive to the asexual community. I'm starting to get the distinct feeling that this is devolving into the proverbial "pissing contest", and this is sad to me.

 

Having said that, I also wish to make a couple bullet points:

 

  • The essence of this entire site, and almost every single post within it, is  about "definitions". We all found our way here because we were seeking to "define" ourselves. The very word "Asexual" is a definition...so definitions are pretty much unavoidable in all discussions we engage in.

 

  • The well being and progress of a social group cannot be achieved by either of the extreme points of the ideology pendulum. As always, consensus lies in compromise.

 

The last thing I wish to say is directly to @Mysticus Insanus I fully respect your views and your decision to leave, yet I also must make this plea...stay.

 

Through out my time lurking in this site, your posts -whether I agreed with them, or not-  made a tangible difference for me in RL. I cannot adequately express how much of a positive impact you have had on this aspect of my existence. The thought of your voice not being here not only saddens me, but also means a diminishing that this community cannot afford. In a nutshell, you are needed. 

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Joe Parrish   
Joe Parrish

@Pan. finally got a name that I can tag.  That makes this the best thread on AVEN.

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