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michaeld

AVEN's policy on invalidation

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michaeld

The AVEN Board of Directors would like to reiterate our commitment to building a positive and supportive environment on AVEN, where people are free to explore their identities without judgement or invalidation. Our full position on this matter was posted a couple of years ago:

https://www.asexuality.org/en/topic/152709-a-message-about-avens-values/

 

We have become aware that the rules disallowing invalidation have become lax in their application in recent months, perhaps longer. As a result some people, especially those new to the community, have been facing judgement or invalidation concerning their sexual orientation. As a board, we would like to make it unambiguously clear that this situation must not and will not continue.

 

Providing general information, support, and sharing experiences is fine. Contradicting other people’s sexual or romantic orientation or gender identity is not permitted on AVEN. To quote the relevant parts of the linked statement above,

 

Quote

As far as discussions on AVEN go, it is for each person to decide what sexual, romantic or gender identity fits them (if any). We are here to support each other, to offer facts, encouragement and any other relevant information, which may help people make sense of themselves, but in the end no one has the right to label anyone else.

[…]

When it comes to labelling individuals, a line is drawn. It is our duty as an organization to strongly discourage the assignment of sexual, romantic or gender-identity by any means other than self-identification.

Working with the admod team, we have clarified the wording of the terms of service pertaining to this policy, and an update will shortly be posted. Please note however that the policy we are introducing is not new: the new wording is designed to remove some possible ambiguities in the existing policy.

 

More important than the exact wording of the policy is its application, and we hope the coming months and beyond will demonstrate our commitment to the latter.

 

To those who have faced invalidation on AVEN, we are sorry for the experience you have had here. We would be happy to discuss the matter directly with you, and will gratefully receive any suggestions on how we can make AVEN a better experience for those who come in the future. Obviously it’s entirely up to you whether you would like to give AVEN a second chance.

 

To those who have offered help and encouragement to new members, supporting the right of people to identify as they choose in regards to their sexual and romantic orientation and gender identities, we say thank you. We really appreciate your efforts to help make AVEN an accepting and welcoming place free from gatekeeping.

 

Finally we do understand this policy is not popular with everyone. As a board we take full responsibility for it; thus concerns about the policy should be directed towards us rather than to the admod team.

 

We will also fully acknowledge that some of the members who disagree with this policy have some very valid points that we would like to take on board. One that we particularly appreciate concerns the (understandable but unfortunate) tendency of some in the ace community to stereotype sexual people. Our position is that it is eminently possible to address misconceptions about sexual people - e.g. treating the latter as hypersexual - without invalidating anyone. We will be following up on this point in due course.

 

As there are some questions about this policy that seem to come up over and over again, a Q&A follows this post. We may add to these in future.

 

We really appreciate everyone who works hard to make AVEN what it is - members, admods, PT, trainers and declass team and those who volunteer for other roles such as AVENues or the media and answering teams. We have a great community here and we feel that, working together, we can build a welcoming environment for those exploring their identities, without judgement.

 

If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to PM one of us or email info@asexuality.org.

 

From,

The AVEN Board of Directors

 

(AVENguy, Coleslaw, Kelly, michaeld, Wunderbahr, yazybee)


 

====

 

Q&A

 

What is invalidation?

 

In this context, invalidation means contradicting someone’s self-identification when it comes to sexual, romantic or gender identity.

 

Why does AVEN disallow invalidation?

 

Many people have faced a lifetime of invalidation, of being told they are something they are not and of feeling forced to fit other people’s expectations. AVEN - and the ace community - should be a refuge from that. We don’t want people to come here and face yet more invalidation. Instead we want AVEN to be a supportive landing point for those new to the community and to asexuality and gray-A identities, where people can explore their identities without judgement.

 

There are also historic reasons for AVEN’s stand. In the early years of the ace community, there were intense debates about whether people were allowed to call each other asexual unless they satisfied a checklist of properties - with some examples being not masturbating or never having been abused. We don’t want that kind of atmosphere here.

 

Please see the board's earlier statement for more on this point, as well as the following earlier discussions about AVEN’s position.

 

What is asexual elitism and why does AVEN discourage it? by KAGU143

Identity is a Tool, Not a Label - David Jay

 

What if people are wrong?

 

Sometimes people change their mind about their sexual, gender or romantic identity. It’s up to them to come to this determination. We can offer general support, encouragement and information, but as far as AVEN goes the only person who should decide they were mistaken is the person in question.

 

Does that mean you can’t disagree with people’s views on asexuality?

 

Not at all. You can disagree with people’s theories about asexuality. You can even disagree with some of AVEN’s official positions. What you can’t do on AVEN is impose your theories on other people to the extent of invalidating their identity.

 

If you wish to challenge some term or definition, we strongly encourage phrasing of the form “personally I don’t find definition X useful because ...” or “I think notion Y is problematic for this reason”. On the other hand calling a definition wrong, stupid, or saying such people don’t exist, is likely to cross the line into mass invalidation, and we strongly recommend avoiding this.

 

So this is all about using exactly the right wording?

 

We would like the policy to be interpreted in spirit, not just by the letter. Invalidation is not allowed on AVEN, either implicitly or explicitly, and no amount of rewording will make an invalidating statement OK.

 

By the same token, the intention of the rule is to protect people, not to trip people up who inadvertently use the wrong wording. Outright contradicting someone’s identity, or saying an entire identity doesn’t exist, is never allowed. For more marginal cases where someone inadvertently steps over the line, we would expect a clarifying note from admods for a first occurrence rather than any more serious action.

 

What about the definition?

 

AVEN uses the lack of sexual attraction as its basic definition of asexuality. Some also associate asexuality with the intrinsic lack of desire for partnered sex. However the definition is not the issue we are addressing. Not everyone has to agree with the definition of asexuality that AVEN uses. You are welcome to use your own definition, as long as it’s not used to invalidate anyone else’s identity.

 

Aren’t you really defining asexuality as “asexuality is whatever anyone wants it to be”?

 

No. There is a school of thought that defines asexuality extensionally by those who identify that way. This view is called the collective identity model, and while it is one possible view, it is not AVEN’s official position.

 

It is completely consistent to believe that some people may actually be wrong about their identity, but also to believe that it’s up to them to come to this understanding themselves - perhaps with encouragement, support and general information from the community - and that any attempt to correct them on their own identity will likely do more harm than good.

 

What about gray-asexuality? Is there a spectrum?

 

AVEN’s mission extends to supporting gray-A and demisexual people, and the invalidation rules apply just the same here. We want to be inclusive, respectful and validating of the full spectrum of identities, ranging from people who lack sexual attraction entirely to those who may experience sexual attraction rarely or under specific conditions.

 

We realise there is some debate about the status of grey-asexuality. Within reason, such debate is allowed on AVEN as long as it doesn’t cross the line into invalidation. If, as an example, you don’t like the term “spectrum” then instead of saying “the asexual spectrum doesn’t exist”, it is a lot more useful to say something like “I don’t find a spectrum a useful idea” or “I take issue with the idea of a spectrum for the following reasons”.

 

What if someone actually asks whether they are asexual or gray-A?

 

We strongly encourage you to give people the tools to be able to answer the question for themselves, pointing people at appropriate information if needed. Assigning identities to people by any means other than their self-identification goes against AVEN’s policy.

 

Having said that, it is not the intention of the policy to trip people up for using unfortunate wording when trying to help newbies. While we do discourage determining someone’s identity, even when they’re asking, there is more scope for latitude in the interpretation of the policy in such cases. We would expect anyone who inadvertently steps over the line here to get a clarifying note from admods, with more serious action only reserved for cases where it becomes a repeated issue.

 

I need more information about this policy.

 

The teams are working on resources, including further Q&As, that may help address some of the marginal cases where it may not be clear exactly what is allowed on AVEN. However in the meantime, feel free to ask any specific questions either here or in Site Comments.

 

How can I help?

 

Just as important, if not more so, than prohibiting invalidating behaviours is building a positive, supportive culture. Everyone can play a part in this. If you have specific ideas about how to make AVEN a more accepting and supportive environment in respect of the above points, we’ll gratefully receive them. Please make a post on AVEN, PM one of us or email info@asexuality.org.

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PanFicto.
19 minutes ago, michaeld said:

What about the definition?

 

AVEN uses the lack of sexual attraction as its basic definition of asexuality. Some also associate asexuality with the intrinsic lack of desire for partnered sex. However the definition is not the issue we are addressing. Not everyone has to agree with the definition of asexuality that AVEN uses. You are welcome to use your own definition, as long as it’s not used to invalidate anyone else’s identity.

It's tricky though, because often the moment we start discussing said definition people who love sex start claiming they're being invalidated, no matter how often we reiterate that we are discussing the definition, and not them personally.

 

 

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PanFicto.
3 hours ago, michaeld said:

Aren’t you really defining asexuality as “asexuality is whatever anyone wants it to be”?

 

No.

Also I do have to say, this really is the model here on AVEN and it's disingenuous to so boldly claim otherwise. Yes it's harmful to asexual visibility (and the community as a whole) to have the attitude that asexuality is a magical, unique identity that can be defined whatever way anyone wants to define it (love sex? asexual. never want sex? asexual. couldn't be happy without sex? asexual. can't be happy with sex? asexual? indefinable feeling towards certain others but no desire to have sex with them, ever? definitely not asexual? No indefinable feeling towards others but definitely wants sex with them? asexual. You get the idea) but if that's the way the people in charge here at AVEN have decided that's how they want the world to view asexuality, then that's within their power regardless of how that definition makes asexuality look to the rest of the world.

 

But to claim that's not what you're trying to do here really won't achieve anything. Why not just be honest and say 'we want asexuality to be defined differently by every single individual based on their own personal feelings about what asexuality is'? Because if that isn't the case, then you've rendered literally every other thing you've said here invalid because someone may come along saying 'I adore sex with men, can't get enough of it. But I'm ace because I only screw men I respect' and we'll all just have to nod along and say 'yep, that's one way of the endless ways to define asexuality'..Meaning actually the goal really is to have asexuality defined as whatever anyone wants it to be.. lol.

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MichaelTannock

@Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?) I think the idea here is to give someone a definition of Asexuality so that they can figure out if they're more or less likely to be Asexual, instead of telling people that they are or are not Asexual, as the latter would invalidate them.

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ithaca

Thank you @michaeld for this wonderful post. It is sad to hear that people coming to AVEN for support have been feeling invalidated and have lacked the support they were seeking. Having spent many years on AVEN, and a certain time off AVEN too now, I'd like to encourage the members who are so fiery and determined in keeping discussions going on and on about the definition of asexuality to kindly take a step back and reflect on the whole thing. I've found that taking some time off and a step back helped me a lot with perspective, and things that seemed SO CRUCIAL didn't seem as crucial after some time spent dealing with other daily things for a bit, and the wider world. I wish everyone, definition-fiery members or not, would keep in their hearts and minds that the most important thing is to be kind to each other, and to support each other. Anything that comes in the way of this should be considered secondary, in an ideal world. 

 

NB Please don't take this as an attack toward the people involved in definition debates. I really couldn't care less how many debates there are and how long they go on for, really. I hope this message comes across as a message of encouragement to be kind and think of the big picture, instead of an attack toward anyone.

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Skycaptain

@michaeld thank you for making this statement

 

@Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?), the idea is that everyone knows the BoD interpretation, so, hopefully, from now on, People won't contravene ToS because of ambiguity 

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Guest
1 hour ago, michaeld said:

The AVEN Board of Directors would like to reiterate our commitment to building a positive and supportive environment on AVEN, where people are free to explore their identities without judgement or invalidation. Our full position on this matter was posted a couple of years ago:

https://www.asexuality.org/en/topic/152709-a-message-about-avens-values/

 

We have become aware that the rules disallowing invalidation have become lax in their application in recent months, perhaps longer. As a result some people, especially those new to the community, have been facing judgement or invalidation concerning their sexual orientation. As a board, we would like to make it unambiguously clear that this situation must not and will not continue.

So much for the faint hope the change in "having become lax" was due to y'all growing a bit wiser since then. 🙄

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Philip027
Quote

Aren’t you really defining asexuality as “asexuality is whatever anyone wants it to be”?

 

No.

giphy.gif
 

Quote

I'd like to encourage the members who are so fiery and determined in keeping discussions going on and on about the definition of asexuality to kindly take a step back and reflect on the whole thing. I've found that taking some time off and a step back helped me a lot with perspective, and things that seemed SO CRUCIAL didn't seem as crucial after some time spent dealing with other daily things for a bit, and the wider world.

I'm sorry; are you trying to invalidate our opinions by suggesting that there's Bigger Problems out there and that we just haven't realized it yet because we don't go out enough, or something?

 

 

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daveb
1 hour ago, ithaca said:

Thank you @michaeld for this wonderful post. It is sad to hear that people coming to AVEN for support have been feeling invalidated and have lacked the support they were seeking. Having spent many years on AVEN, and a certain time off AVEN too now, I'd like to encourage the members who are so fiery and determined in keeping discussions going on and on about the definition of asexuality to kindly take a step back and reflect on the whole thing. I've found that taking some time off and a step back helped me a lot with perspective, and things that seemed SO CRUCIAL didn't seem as crucial after some time spent dealing with other daily things for a bit, and the wider world. I wish everyone, definition-fiery members or not, would keep in their hearts and minds that the most important thing is to be kind to each other, and to support each other. Anything that comes in the way of this should be considered secondary, in an ideal world. 

 

NB Please don't take this as an attack toward the people involved in definition debates. I really couldn't care less how many debates there are and how long they go on for, really. I hope this message comes across as a message of encouragement to be kind and think of the big picture, instead of an attack toward anyone.

Too bad I can only click "like" once. Thank you for this post! :D 

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MichaelTannock
45 minutes ago, Philip027 said:
Quote

Aren’t you really defining asexuality as “asexuality is whatever anyone wants it to be”?

 

No.

giphy.gif

You can provide a definition of Asexuality without invalidating people, so why would that be the same as having a nebulous definition?

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Philip027
Quote

You can provide a definition of Asexuality without invalidating people,

You'd think so, but that hasn't stopped some people here from feeling "invalidated" by other people having done so (and subsequently raising a stink about it, if this thread is anything to go by)

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LightningRose

One thing that concerns me, and I don't yet know if/how the new wording will address this, is the validation aspect, which isn't always positive. More and more I've seen new members asking, either directly or indirectly, for other members to label them or confirm their identity, as well as instances of members responding with "Yes, you are xyz." or "It sounds like you're xyz." If members are not allowed to tell others what they aren't, they shouldn't be allowed to tell others what they are either, because both negate the individual deciding for themself. The main reason I find this concerning is we do get a lot of teens and young people coming in here who are already trying to form their sense of identity and where they fit in to the world, in addition to navigating sexuality, and I see a danger of particularly impressionable ones relying on external validation like a crutch. How are they going to know how to identify when the people telling them what they are aren't there anymore, or when they receive contradictory information?

 

The reality is, in a forum setting, there is constant ambiguity. An OP written by someone who sounds pretty asexual could be a raging nymphomaniac in real life. As long as they don't violate the ToS, who would ever know? All we can do online is either a) give them the benefit of the doubt, or b) assume they're lying or not telling the whole truth. Without physical/verbal context, it's impossible to prove or disprove who is what.

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SithApprentice

Person A: "Am I asexual?" 

AVENite: "Yes! That's exactly what the definition says and how we feel!"

 

Person B: "Am I asexual?"

AVENite 1: "The definition of asexuality is ABC."

AVENite 2: "No, the definition of asexuality is CBA."

AVENite 3: "Actually, it's BAC."

AVENite 4: "If you look into the FAQ, it's ACB."

Edited by SithGirl
changed for more accurate example
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Firefly8
1 minute ago, SithGirl said:

AVENite: "...........the definition of asexuality is~"

Avenites don't even agree on what the definition of asexuality is in the first place. It would be more like, "AVEN's definition of asexuality is~."

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SithApprentice
Just now, Firefly8 said:

Avenites don't even agree on what the definition of asexuality is in the first place. It would be more like, "AVEN's definition of asexuality is~."

Only if you agree with AVEN's definition that is. You could get several members giving contradictory statements. Maybe I'll edit it to adjust for that. 

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Firefly8
9 minutes ago, SithGirl said:

Person B: "Am I asexual?"

AVENite 1: "The definition of asexuality is ABC."

AVENite 2: "No, the definition of asexuality is CBA."

AVENite 3: "Actually, it's BAC."

AVENite 4: "If you look into the FAQ, it's ACB."

AVENite 5: "AVENites 2 and 3 invalidated my ACB123 orientation!! MODS!"

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MichaelTannock
53 minutes ago, Philip027 said:
Quote

You can provide a definition of Asexuality without invalidating people,

You'd think so, but that hasn't stopped some people here from feeling "invalidated" by other people having done so (and subsequently raising a stink about it, if this thread is anything to go by)

 

2 minutes ago, Firefly8 said:
19 minutes ago, SithGirl said:

Person B: "Am I asexual?"

AVENite 1: "The definition of asexuality is ABC."

AVENite 2: "No, the definition of asexuality is CBA."

AVENite 3: "Actually, it's BAC."

AVENite 4: "If you look into the FAQ, it's ACB."

AVENite 5: "AVENites 2 and 3 invalidated my ACB123 orientation!! MODS!"

 

So that's what this is about.

 

Feeling invalidated and being invalidated are two different things, and Admods take that into account.

If someone is reported for invalidation, we look at the report to see if it has merit, rather than automatically agree with the reporter without even checking.

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MichaelTannock
48 minutes ago, GhostGoesToWail said:

One thing that concerns me, and I don't yet know if/how the new wording will address this, is the validation aspect, which isn't always positive. More and more I've seen new members asking, either directly or indirectly, for other members to label them or confirm their identity, as well as instances of members responding with "Yes, you are xyz." or "It sounds like you're xyz." If members are not allowed to tell others what they aren't, they shouldn't be allowed to tell others what they are either, because both negate the individual deciding for themself. The main reason I find this concerning is we do get a lot of teens and young people coming in here who are already trying to form their sense of identity and where they fit in to the world, in addition to navigating sexuality, and I see a danger of particularly impressionable ones relying on external validation like a crutch. How are they going to know how to identify when the people telling them what they are aren't there anymore, or when they receive contradictory information?

 

The reality is, in a forum setting, there is constant ambiguity. An OP written by someone who sounds pretty asexual could be a raging nymphomaniac in real life. As long as they don't violate the ToS, who would ever know? All we can do online is either a) give them the benefit of the doubt, or b) assume they're lying or not telling the whole truth. Without physical/verbal context, it's impossible to prove or disprove who is what.

I always approach that by saying "You could be X and Y" and then giving definitions.
That isn't me directly telling them what they are, but giving a suggestion of what they could be.

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SithApprentice

I'm reminded of the consent problem. About "No means no," vs. "Yes means yes." Except, we're not allowed to say "No." 

The problem with the consent problem is that silence shouldn't be taken as permission to engage in the proposed activity. "Do you want tea?" "...." "Okay, then you probably don't."

But it can be taken as silent acknowledgement. There's the problem of silent opposition not being opposition at all. If 90% of Americans hate Trump, but never say anything about it, he's still president. If the KKK decide to attack non-white citizens in the streets, just watching and saying nothing is giving them permission through lack of objection. 

 

To explain what I mean in terms of asexuality, and something Pan Ficto hinted at earlier, here's an example:

Spoiler

Newbie: "I love my boyfriend, and we have sex all the time, every day in fact! But I only want to do it about every other day, and that makes him sad. He said maybe I'm asexual! Am I?"

Member: "... I'm not allowed to say if you aren't, but here's the definition."

Newbie: "Oh, so because I don't think my boyfriend is very hot, I'm asexual?"

Member: "...... I'm not allowed to say no, but it doesn't fit my definition."

Newbie: "Well, I found this one that says I'm asexual, so I'm going to call myself asexual now! I feel so much better about myself! I'm going to come out to all my friends and spread the word about asexuality!"

 

These are extreme examples, yes, but it's why I don't like the policy of disallowing invalidation. We're a welcoming community and allow for asexuals and non-asexuals alike. We can talk about weird stuff like colored goats or which breakfast pastries are the best. I don't see how simply saying "No, you're not asexual" prevents our community from being welcoming and supportive.

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Guest
24 minutes ago, SithGirl said:

.I don't see how simply saying "No, you're not asexual" prevents our community from being welcoming and supportive.

I get where you're coming from, but I often see these situations devolve into almost an angry mob crucifying a new person for daring to say something they perceive as wrong. I see people say that this policy means that AVEN fails at education, but I think chasing off anyone who says anything wrong about asexuality is a bigger failure of education.

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gray-a girl
26 minutes ago, SithGirl said:

I'm reminded of the consent problem. About "No means no," vs. "Yes means yes." Except, we're not allowed to say "No." 

The problem with the consent problem is that silence shouldn't be taken as permission to engage in the proposed activity. "Do you want tea?" "...." "Okay, then you probably don't."

But it can be taken as silent acknowledgement. There's the problem of silent opposition not being opposition at all. If 90% of Americans hate Trump, but never say anything about it, he's still president. If the KKK decide to attack non-white citizens in the streets, just watching and saying nothing is giving them permission through lack of objection. 

 

To explain what I mean in terms of asexuality, and something Pan Ficto hinted at earlier, here's an example:

  Reveal hidden contents

Newbie: "I love my boyfriend, and we have sex all the time, every day in fact! But I only want to do it about every other day, and that makes him sad. He said maybe I'm asexual! Am I?"

Member: "... I'm not allowed to say if you aren't, but here's the definition."

Newbie: "Oh, so because I don't think my boyfriend is very hot, I'm asexual?"

Member: "...... I'm not allowed to say no, but it doesn't fit my definition."

Newbie: "Well, I found this one that says I'm asexual, so I'm going to call myself asexual now! I feel so much better about myself! I'm going to come out to all my friends and spread the word about asexuality!"

 

These are extreme examples, yes, but it's why I don't like the policy of disallowing invalidation. We're a welcoming community and allow for asexuals and non-asexuals alike. We can talk about weird stuff like colored goats or which breakfast pastries are the best. I don't see how simply saying "No, you're not asexual" prevents our community from being welcoming and supportive.

Because if someone strongly identifies as asexual, if they even fit asexuality according to AVENs definition, then someone telling them that they are not, IS NOT WELCOMING. Full stop.

 

I have talked to so many sex favorable asexuals who have left AVEN because they do not feel welcome. They do not feel welcome to be themselves or to identify as they identify. I have not felt welcomed here. I have not felt welcome to be myself or to identify as identify, even though how I identify fits within AvENs definition of asexual.

 

 The hostility that is received by us is incredible. So many people want to tell us how we feel and who we are because we don’t fit their idea of what asexuality should be.

 

News for you. There are many types of people in this world and not everyone is going to fit in your little box.

 

Its quite possible that there are a number of people on here who I would not classify as asexual at all. And there are some that I am positive are asexual but have been brainwashed by people to think otherwise. (It makes me wonder if they are so sexual why have they come to AVEN in the first place? If they are so sexual why do they feel like they have so much in common with people in the community?)

 

However I have the respect and decency to not tell anyone how to identify. The most I have ever said was “people who experience this and this” are not really asexual. But I have never pointed people out and specifically told them what their orientation is. That’s not my decision. I don’t know them, or how they feel. It’s not my place to tell someone else what their orientation is. It’s nobodies place to do that but the person themselves.

 

Constantly invalidating people, specifically telling them “you are sexual” even though people like me have very good reason to identify as we do, is NOT welcoming.

 

I would say without a doubt AVEN has not been a welcoming community. The number of people who have felt they had to leave this site only proves that.

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SithApprentice
14 minutes ago, Road said:

I get where you're coming from, but I often see these situations devolve into almost an angry mob crucifying a new person for daring to say something they perceive as wrong

I think the focus should be on the angry mob and the crucifying, then, rather than the "No" response. 

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SithApprentice
4 minutes ago, gray-a girl said:

I would say without a doubt AVEN has not been a welcoming community. The number of people who have felt they had to leave this site only proves that.

You mean like all the sexuals who have to tolerate the "I want to have sex with my boyfriend, but I'm not sexual" stuff? 

How about the asexual people who feel the open-door policy regarding the definition of asexuality is delegitimizing? 

 

I'm done with you. I've agreed to disagree on your other thread and I'm not going to continue it over here. We disagree. Stop taking it personally. 

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SithApprentice

If any mods want to discuss my opinions on this, they can PM me, but I'm out. I disagree, I've tried to explain why I disagree, and we're just going to have to live with that. 

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Guest

Shouldn’t a moderator step in if a thread becomes an angry mob though?

 

If someone joins the forum and announces the sky is green, then - after 15 different conversations with people sensibly explaining that it isn’t - still says the sky is green, what are they adding apart from mis-information?

 

I don’t really see the point of dancing round someone who inadvertently (or oft deliberately) defines asexuality as something it isn’t. If this was a forum dedicated to any other topic in the world then sure, ignore the issue, but I mean Asexuality & Education are in the name. If members cannot correct someone, or ‘guide them to the definition’ if you’d like to refrain from the word correct, it’s a bit silly.

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MichaelTannock
3 minutes ago, Gotye said:

Shouldn’t a moderator step in if a thread becomes an angry mob though?

 

If someone joins the forum and announces the sky is green, then - after 15 different conversations with people sensibly explaining that it isn’t - still says the sky is green, what are they adding apart from mis-information?

 

I don’t really see the point of dancing round someone who inadvertently (or oft deliberately) defines asexuality as something it isn’t. If this was a forum dedicated to any other topic in the world then sure, ignore the issue, but I mean Asexuality & Education are in the name. If members cannot correct someone, or ‘guide them to the definition’ if you’d like to refrain from the word correct, it’s a bit silly.

There's a way to do it without invalidating.

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Guest
19 minutes ago, Gotye said:

Shouldn’t a moderator step in if a thread becomes an angry mob though?

 

If someone joins the forum and announces the sky is green, then - after 15 different conversations with people sensibly explaining that it isn’t - still says the sky is green, what are they adding apart from mis-information?

 

I don’t really see the point of dancing round someone who inadvertently (or oft deliberately) defines asexuality as something it isn’t. If this was a forum dedicated to any other topic in the world then sure, ignore the issue, but I mean Asexuality & Education are in the name. If members cannot correct someone, or ‘guide them to the definition’ if you’d like to refrain from the word correct, it’s a bit silly.

What I see as an angry mob - others will see as effective education. The point of this thread is to establish AVEN's position on this so everyone is on the same page going forward as to what the expected behaviour is going to be.

 

Sexuality is also quite a bit more complex than the colour of the sky. I don't believe - and I could be wrong - science has given us a definitive definition of what exactly asexuality is. And if psychologists can't give a definitive answer, then I don't think random people on the internet should be either.

 

I also think it's possible to guide someone - to share experiences and ask questions to help them better understand themselves - without telling them what they are or aren't. If you approach the problem with tact and empathy, I doubt you'll end up in much trouble.

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Philip027
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I see people say that this policy means that AVEN fails at education,

Yeah, it kinda does

 

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but I think chasing off anyone who says anything wrong about asexuality is a bigger failure of education.

1) "chasing off" is a bit disingenuous, don't you think?  Unless it's the case of an obvious troll or something, nobody "chases off" anyone here on this forum without the chaser getting told off by everyone else.  We usually say over and over that anyone is welcome here on AVEN, even if they're not asexual

2) Education requires that sometimes, people are wrong.  Do you think schools giving out As to everyone like they're candy even when they're not deserved because they're afraid to offend anyone would be a "success" of the education system?

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Firefly8

Is affirming sexuals as asexual not invalidating to asexuals?

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Philip027
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Is affirming sexuals as asexual not invalidating to asexuals?

It absolutely is, which is why this whole "policy" has gotten pretty farcical at this point.

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