• Announcements

    • Kelly

      New Team members Needed--Moderator, Project Team, and Declass Team: Voting   12/10/13

      See:   http://www.asexuality.org/en/topic/164659-new-declass-team-member-needed-voting/   http://www.asexuality.org/en/topic/164657-new-moderator-member-needed-qa-co-mod-and-world-watch-mod-voting/   http://www.asexuality.org/en/topic/164656-new-project-team-member-needed-resources-and-education-director-voting/  
    • Kelly

      AVENues Holiday Special Edition is now live   08/17/17

      The new edition of AVENues is done!   See:        
    • Lady Girl

      Ace Community Census   11/06/17

      It’s time for the 2017 Ace Community Census!   see:   http://www.asexuality.org/en/topic/162675-announcing-the-2017-ace-community-census/  
    • Heart

      Help fund AVEN's servers!   11/06/17

      AVEN is doing its annual fundraiser to raise donations for server costs! See http://www.asexuality.org/en/topic/163251-aven-server-fundraiser/ for more details.  
float on

please let us establish a strong definition for greysexuality.

Recommended Posts

FictoVore.
32 minutes ago, Pramana said:

I think Kristina Gupta's idea is that when you have a fixed category along a continuum like "gray-asexual" you're going to have divisions between lighter and darker shades of grey, and people arguing over whether gray-asexual itself should be defined in broader or narrower terms, or split into multiple categories yet again. Furthermore, she's focusing on identity politics cultures where self-meaning is generated through affiliation with identity labels, whereby people might self-regulate in order to maintain a sense of coherence and belonging within a particular community. In that regard, she found evidence that some AVEN members are reluctant to disclose aspects of their sexuality out of concern that doing so will lead people to say they're not asexual.

If Gupta wants to join the discussion she can, but it seems kind of pointless trying to bring other people's arguments and wild theories into this.

 

If people are reluctant to expose an aspect of their sexuality (like, for example, ''I do actually secretly desire sex when I'm on my period, I get really horny and want to screw every guy I see, but I'm too scared to say that because people will say I'm not asexual'') then they really, really need to have a good, hard look at how much importance they're attaching to a label that may actually not be right for them at all, and why they feel so much need to attach that label to their own experience that they feel the need to hide stuff (lying by omission) just to 'fit in' with the ace label.

 

By this Gupta woman's standards, the gay community is too strict if people have to hide aspects of their sexuality (like they only want sex with people of a different gender and have no sexual interest at all in people of the same gender) just so they can squeeze themselves into the 'gay' label. It really is quite nonsensical. She's pretty much advocating for 'no set definitions of anything in case some poor souls feel a bit left out', but she's not here to defend herself so you could just be misrepresenting her argument or something.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pramana
2 hours ago, FictoVore. said:

By this Gupta woman's standards, the gay community is too strict if people have to hide aspects of their sexuality (like they only want sex with people of a different gender and have no sexual interest at all in people of the same gender) just so they can squeeze themselves into the 'gay' label. It really is quite nonsensical. She's pretty much advocating for 'no set definitions of anything in case some poor souls feel a bit left out', but she's not here to defend herself so you could just be misrepresenting her argument or something.

The poststructuralist critique of fixed identity labels has been influential in queer theory. Basically, the idea is that the discourse of identity labels is both a creation of, and a reaction to, mechanisms of structural control exerted by the modern capitalist state over the individual. In response, one poststructuralist strategy is to advocate an anarchy of identities as a way to resist capitalism and promote human freedom.

I'm not entirely sure how Kristina Gupta would position herself with reference to that discourse, but this is the theoretical background she is invoking through referencing Michel Foucault's The History of Sexuality. In the passage quoted earlier, she argues against dividing the asexual spectrum into fixed categories of asexual and gray-asexual, and shortly afterwards writes that: "Second, the language of sexual orientation and identity may increase opportunities for the social control of people who identify as asexual. As Foucault has argued, the production of sexual orientation and identity categories at the end of the 19th century contributed both to self-regulation (fluid, unstable experiences were ordered by individuals into a fixed identity) and social control, as institutions gained more access points through which to intervene in and to regulate human bodies and lives, both at the individual and at the population level (Foucault, 1990)."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Snao Cone
53 minutes ago, Pramana said:

Basically, the idea is that the discourse of identity labels is both a creation of, and a reaction to, mechanisms of structural control exerted by the modern capitalist state over the individual.

If we stop having these conversations, will that help overthrow capitalism?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pramana
30 minutes ago, Snao Cone said:

If we stop having these conversations, will that help overthrow capitalism?

Capitalism and the patriarchy, according to Breanne Fahs's 2010 paper Radical Refusals: On the Anarchist Politics of Women Choosing Asexuality, which reconceptualises asexuality as a tool that women can use to protest the system. She doesn't provide any empirical evidence to support her theory of asexuality as sex strike, but it's common for this genre of writing on asexuality to forego empirical evidence. Here's the abstract:

"This article examines how women consciously choosing asexuality might inform both radical feminist politics and anarchic concepts of positive and negative liberty. By resituating some of the lesser-known narratives of the 1960s' and 1970s' radical feminist movement (e.g. Valerie Solanas' SCUM Manifesto and Boston's Cell 16 and No More Fun and Games), asexuality is shown to disrupt key intersections between sexuality and the state, particularly institutions that control reproduction, pleasure, and women's bodies. Using interview data with Cell 16 members, content analysis of early radical feminist writings, and theoretical and historical analyses of separatism, the piece argues that, by removing themselves from sexuality, women can take a more anarchic stance against the entire institution of sex, thereby working toward more nihilistic, anti-reproduction, anti-family goals that severely disrupt commonly held assumptions about sex, gender, and power."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
FictoVore.
1 hour ago, Pramana said:

Capitalism and the patriarchy, according to Breanne Fahs's 2010 paper Radical Refusals: On the Anarchist Politics of Women Choosing Asexuality, which reconceptualises asexuality as a tool that women can use to protest the system. She doesn't provide any empirical evidence to support her theory of asexuality as sex strike, but it's common for this genre of writing on asexuality to forego empirical evidence. Here's the abstract:

"This article examines how women consciously choosing asexuality might inform both radical feminist politics and anarchic concepts of positive and negative liberty. By resituating some of the lesser-known narratives of the 1960s' and 1970s' radical feminist movement (e.g. Valerie Solanas' SCUM Manifesto and Boston's Cell 16 and No More Fun and Games), asexuality is shown to disrupt key intersections between sexuality and the state, particularly institutions that control reproduction, pleasure, and women's bodies. Using interview data with Cell 16 members, content analysis of early radical feminist writings, and theoretical and historical analyses of separatism, the piece argues that, by removing themselves from sexuality, women can take a more anarchic stance against the entire institution of sex, thereby working toward more nihilistic, anti-reproduction, anti-family goals that severely disrupt commonly held assumptions about sex, gender, and power."

None of that is asexuality, it's celibacy. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Snao Cone

I regret everything.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
FictoVore.
9 minutes ago, Snao Cone said:

I regret everything.

Not as much as the second chick on the waterslide does :P

 

21 Best GIFs Of All Time Of The Week #197

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Snao Cone
7 minutes ago, FictoVore. said:

Not as much as the second chick on the waterslide does :P

 

 

As far as I know, she isn't on AVEN :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
FictoVore.
3 minutes ago, Snao Cone said:

As far as I know, she isn't on AVEN :P

I know you're just a radical feminist who has removed yourself from sexuality so you can take a more anarchic stance against the entire institution of sex, you can joke all you want but I can see through your facade Snao. THIS is why there are so many female asexuals on AVEN, I'm onto you now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Snao Cone
37 minutes ago, FictoVore. said:

I know you're just a radical feminist who has removed yourself from sexuality so you can take a more anarchic stance against the entire institution of sex, you can joke all you want but I can see through your facade Snao. THIS is why there are so many female asexuals on AVEN, I'm onto you now.

:ph34r:

 

Not gonna lie...some of those words are true...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sally
3 hours ago, Pramana said:

 by removing themselves from sexuality, women can take a more anarchic stance against the entire institution of sex, thereby working toward more nihilistic, anti-reproduction, anti-family goals that severely disrupt commonly held assumptions about sex, gender, and power."

Gee, if only I'd known that years ago, instead of just wondering why I didn't like sex.  My life has been wasted.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pramana

It is a fun paper to read, although perhaps the worst academic article published on asexuality so far. At least it provides an opportunity to write sex strike! with an exclamation mark.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Snao Cone

I mean, the power is really within ourselves to create opportunities to write "sex strike!" wherever we may see fit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Apathetic Echidna

I hadn't realised about the Foucault connection in Kristina Gupta's work. The self regulation can be a limiting action when people affix more importance to a label and existing within a specific community. Self regulation still happened without sexual orientation labels in the form of conforming to social expectation of life roles, this still does happen with sexual orientation identities.

However there was always something squiffy about the social control point (it has been a few years since I was reading Foucault but I do remember the discussion group tearing into it). Social control can be affected through focus on action and body. Though generally it is only with a specific term that right for a group can be campaigned for. An orientation term brings together like individuals into a community, that can be exploited and controlled, but it is also through that community that protective rights are secured. If only actions are targeted rather than an identified community is it easier to divide and conquer. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pramana
19 minutes ago, Snao Cone said:

I mean, the power is really within ourselves to create opportunities to write "sex strike!" wherever we may see fit.

Sex Strike! It never gets old. Coincidentally, I actually first came across the author two or three years ago in this news story about her gender studies course that gives extra credit to students who reverse gendered body hair removal practices: https://asunow.asu.edu/content/asu-professor-encourages-students-defy-body-hair-norms

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
roland.o

In case someone's tired of reading academic papers about sex strike!

http://www.ralf-koenig.de/lysistrata.html

 

The comic is only in German, but the auther mentions a theatrical version that was performed in Houston, Texas ;-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pramana

I would think that the main limitation to having an effective sex strike would be organizing enough people, although the Internet informs me of a number of historical examples that suggest some measure of success for the tactic. Sex strike!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pramana

Returning to Breanne Fahs's 2010 paper "Radical Refusals", I think she could have produced a better argument if she had looked at different sources. She defines asexuality as a glorified form of celibacy intended to achieve political purposes:
 

"Certainly, while celibacy (i.e. temporary periods of sexual abstinence) has a long, politically significant history within social and religious movements, asexuality (i.e. permanent, identity-based sexual refusals) has received little attention, particularly for feminist politics."
 

And then she reads that definition of asexuality into 1960s/1970s radical feminism, without providing evidence that those sources made such a distinction. For the most part, in the sources she quotes from this time period, it sounds like radical feminists understood themselves to be talking about celibacy, not asexuality. There is one exception where Fahs quotes Valerie Solanas who talks about how women can condition away their sex drives and dedicate their lives towards more cerebral pursuits. Here there does seem to be a concept of psychological transformation to a state that might be called asexuality according to how we would commonly use the term. But this goes beyond simply refusing sex in protest, requiring a psychological transformation to a state where one no longer has sexual desires, and so it is in conflict with the defitnion of asexuality as glorified celibacy that Fahs asserts.
 

Furthermore, Fahs doesn't provide any empirical evidence of people today in asexual communities who affiliate with asexuality according to the definition she provides or for the reasons she describes. The possibility she outlines has little to do with the "asexuality as orientation organized along the queer/LGBT model" established by David Jay and company. I have been cynical in thinking of this as a paper written because an angle was there so somebody had to write it, and now that it's been written we can more on to something that's actually relevant. However, I was reading about the history of the antisexual and nonlibidoist factions of the asexual community that were more prominent during the early 2000s. And there remains the Russian-based Antisexual Stronghold group, which continues to advocate the rejection of sex for ideological reasons (although I haven't been able to find out very much about what those reasons are). Now from what I've read, the Official Nonlibidoism Society required that members both hold antisexual views and meet a stringent definition of asexuality as a lifelong lack of both sexual attraction and sexual desire, while other antisexual factions accepted ideologically motivated celibacy as either fitting within their concept of asexuality, or as facilitating a transition to an asexual mindset. My educated guess is that the Official Nonlibidoism Society probably had the "born this way" requirement in addition to their ideological requirement because they held a sort of New Age interpretation of asexuality as a purified way of being (I'm told their website was adorned with unicorn and Hindu imagery), whereas the antisexual groups whose motivations were more strictly political (I'm not sure if any of these motivations were feminist, but I've seen indications they included a belief that sex had been degraded by capitalist consumer culture) were more open to interpreting asexuality as ideologically motivated celibacy or as achievable through ideologically motivated celibacy, and so these latter groups would probably provide the strongest support for Fahs's thesis. It is unfortunate that she doesn't consider any of these sources.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now