Jump to content
Chihiro

Why AVEN is not educating staff members on Asexuality?

Recommended Posts

Chihiro

So, during all the invalidation debates, it became apparent that there may be some staff members who are saying exactly the opposite of what 'asexuality' is. As AVEN representative, how is it helpful if the staff members are themselves misunderstanding AVEN's definition of asexuality? I am not talking about secondary labels like sex positive, favorable, greysexual, etc (which are part of ace umbrella, apparently. Lets ignore these secondary labels). I am talking about primary label, this simple definition, the core of asexuality-

 

Quote

An asexual person does not experience sexual attraction – they are not drawn to people sexually and do not desire to act upon attraction to others in a sexual way.

Source: https://www.asexuality.org/?q=overview.html

 

I have seen staff members say "asexuals desire sex" or "asexuals seek sex for pleasure" or something along those lines. Whats the point in educating the whole world about asexuality, when you can't even train staff members and educate them about this? Why is this not part of Admod training? How is it possible that staff members are completely clueless about what asexuality is?

 

Is there any plans to retrain existing staff members so that they don't spread false information about this community? Not just giving them definition, but to actually explain to them and help them understand.... the same things that is written in the source I quoted.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Knight of Cydonia

Yeah... a couple weeks ago a staff member said you can be ace while still seeking out and desiring sex for pleasure.

 

Reading that from a staff member, especially amidst the concerns that asexuality is being taken less seriously, was pretty disappointing.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Janus DarkFox

From observations, I’d say my style is that I’d have to keep a totally open ended a roach to education.  I can only say and point towards AVENs own resources and that’s it.

 

Everyones identity is their own, and I’d have to respect that in a way that don’t put too many words or ideas into vulnerable questioning persons.  Every identity is personal and differs to each person and differs on every local and wider culture and psychosocial even neurological difference.

 

I do this time to time as a member, mods I don’t see are there to identity gate keep, they’re there to moderate their forums.  PT has also achieved great strides in education, least not forget the work the project team has done in educating and recognising Asexuality to begin with to educate the wider world for the last 15 years or more now.

 

I really can’t dictate Asexuality or even Sexuality to another member or give a list of ifs, probables or maybes, not my style and I’d feel uncomfortable giving a member labels, in the same manner that a member or mod would list a probables, ifs or maybes onto me even if I where questioning and asking for it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mother Bread

Who is AVEN and who do you think does the training? We're volunteers giving up our time to moderate a forum. The BoD made a statement about invalidation which is in line with its previous statement 2 years ago. That isn't going to change. If you don't want tp be civil to other members and follow this rule, warnings and eventual bannings will happen. That is the situation and no amount of threads is going to change that.

  • Like 9

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
crazy ace

giphy.gif&f=1&nofb=1

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DarkGloomSquid

I honest to Lucifer do not understand what you are saying. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Roon
3 minutes ago, SpiderSquid said:

I honest to Lucifer do not understand what you are saying. 

its petty forum drama

 

best to ignore it

 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DarkGloomSquid
38 minutes ago, pook said:

its petty forum drama

 

best to ignore it

 

Thank you : ) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Philip027
Quote

Who is AVEN and who do you think does the training?

Wow.  That's very problematic if you're implying what you sound like you're implying.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
crazy ace

@Philip027

What are they implying?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Philip027

That no one actually gives/does any sort of training on what asexuality is for an asexuality website that is generally regarded as the foremost such website/authority on the subject.

 

It's no bloody wonder things have gotten so tits up around here.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Roon

this just in: publicly elected volunteers on a small internet forum don't all have their doctorates in human sexuality

 

Screen_Shot_2018-10-25_at_11.02.15_AM.pn

  • Like 14

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Philip027
Quote

this just in: publicly elected volunteers on a small internet forum don't all have their doctorates in human sexuality

I wasn't asking for or expecting that, and you know it.  Don't be disingenuous.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Roon
1 minute ago, Philip027 said:

I wasn't asking for or expecting that, and you know it.  Don't be disingenuous.

masters degree then?

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Puck

The short answer: AVEN forum staff aren’t elected to educate, they are elected to moderate.

 

The long winded response: AVEN’s invalidation policy is meant to keep in line with its belief that the aspects of asexuality should always be free to explore and that people can be in this community while holding different beliefs. Therefore, staff members are allowed to hold different beliefs just like members are allowed to, especially the admods as their job isn’t meant to provide education, rather just oversee that members abide by TOS.

 

I’m with you, I agree that’d I’d rather see education be the strongest pillar in this community. But the BoD believes strongly in the concept of diverse opinions so I don’t believe this forum will put focus on a homogeneous support of any definition.

 

The staff members who are focused on asexuality education are actually the Project Team (that’s people like Snao and myself). We don’t deal with any forum stuff, as in the work to keep the forum running. We keep up social media, the front page of this site, the Q&A emails, research requests, and media requests.

  • Like 19

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Una Salus Victus

Image result for jesus popcorn gif

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Philip027
Quote

The long winded response: AVEN’s invalidation policy is meant to keep in line with its belief that the aspects of asexuality should always be free to explore and that people can be in this community while holding different beliefs.

"Beliefs"?  I thought we were talking about a sexual orientation, not a goddamn religion or something.

 

I can "belief" all I want that an apple is actually an orange, but that doesn't make it true in the slightest nor make it a viewpoint inherently deserving of respect.

 

Quote

especially the admods as their job isn’t meant to provide education, rather just oversee that members abide by TOS.

Unfortunate.  I feel that anyone who's going to hold any sort of authoritative/"overseer" position in any sort of organization should be willing and able to uphold the tenets of said organization -- particularly the ones that are specified right in said organization's name -- but maybe that's too outlandish of an expectation nowadays? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Puck
21 minutes ago, Philip027 said:

"Beliefs"?  I thought we were talking about a sexual orientation, not a goddamn religion or something.

 

I can "belief" all I want that an apple is actually an orange, but that doesn't make it true in the slightest nor make it a viewpoint inherently deserving of respect.

All organizations have beliefs, AVEN having beliefs in it's approach to eduction/community/so forth isn't unique. AVEN isn't asexuality, AVEN is an organization about asexuality. So you are right, asexuality isn't a belief. But AVEN's approaches to educating about it (as well or poorly as the site does it) can be called beliefs.

 

As I've said before and I believe you agree with, I don't agree with that particular belief AVEN has. But I do know the BoD holds onto it tight.

 

23 minutes ago, Philip027 said:

Unfortunate.  I feel that anyone who's going to hold any sort of authoritative/"overseer" position in any sort of organization should be willing and able to uphold the tenets of said organization -- particularly the ones that are specified right in said organization's name -- but maybe that's too outlandish of an expectation nowadays? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I agree with you, a united front is key in truly moving forward as an organization. I often imagine how much good AVEN could do for asexuality if AVEN solidified an easily understood definition and focused most it's energies on creating resources and supportive atmospheres with that definition in mind. But that's not going to happen, so the best we can do is work within the bounds laid down for us.

 

However, the positive is that what this means is that the admods/other staff that don't agree with this particular tenet are still allowed to be in staff and push for better education even if they always run up against this wall. Which means even if we aren't necessarily moving forward, we aren't necessarily always moving back.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
AceMissBehaving
34 minutes ago, Philip027 said:

"Beliefs"?  I thought we were talking about a sexual orientation, not a goddamn religion or something.

 

I can "belief" all I want that an apple is actually an orange, but that doesn't make it true in the slightest nor make it a viewpoint inherently deserving of respect.

 

Unfortunate.  I feel that anyone who's going to hold any sort of authoritative/"overseer" position in any sort of organization should be willing and able to uphold the tenets of said organization -- particularly the ones that are specified right in said organization's name -- but maybe that's too outlandish of an expectation nowadays? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

The way I look at the invalidation policy is kind of like this, some people realize pretty easily and quickly they are asexual and it’s a clean obvious conclusion. For some as you can see it’s not that obvious at first, there’s a lot to untangle, a lot of sorting through feelings and motivation before coming to the conclusion. That’s how you get folks like myself who make it into their 30’s before finally figuring it out. A lot of these people might sound straight up sexual at first because the snippet of their brain first presented here is just that, a small insight to a confused stranger.
 

On top of this there are layers of language and terms we all know and take for granted, that new folks don’t know yet, people might not have the words yet to express what they are trying to say. Kind of like how Todd’s “I think I’m nothing” quote from Bojac was one of the realest moments I ever saw depicted on a TV show.
 

These are just some reasons a person might sound pretty sexual, but actually not be at all. If folks go “Your not asexual” that person might just be “cool, must be something else then“ and go away wandering for another bunch of years confused and struggling. 
 

We for the most part can’t know the deal for a lot of these people, and the policy protects for that.

 

Now yes, obviously there are certain edge cases, and we all know what I’m referring to right now on that front, and this policy seems to protect those people too, and it does. But it’s like the legal case Louboutin made for trying to trademark is signature red soles on shoes when people were using the soles to rip him off. In the end he wasn’t able to because of the legal president that trademark would set, even though his claims were 100% valid and the judge agreed with him. If the rules were changed for this one obvious and just case, it would open a can of worms for other people to use less reasonably.

 

 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Philip027

The problem is, there's kind of a big fucking difference between people who don't know anything but actually want to learn more, and the people who don't know anything but are convinced that they do + get defensive and argumentative when anyone tries to point that out (and because of the stance AVEN is taking, these people will always win regardless of how wrong they are).

 

Quote

These are just some reasons a person might sound pretty sexual, but actually not be at all. If folks go “Your not asexual” that person might just be “cool, must be something else then“ and go away wandering for another bunch of years confused and struggling. 

There's a lot of what I would call very "sexual" asexual people here; in fact it is the reason why when I first discovered this place I still felt alienated and like I hadn't actually found people who were like me at all, and to some extent I still occasionally feel that way.  But none of that changes the fact that so long as they do not actively intrinsically desire/pursue sex with someone, they still fit the established definition of asexuality and have every right to call themselves as such, regardless of whatever they might seem like otherwise.

 

Likewise, someone who DOES have this intrinsic desire (and readily admits to such on the forum) not knowing what sort of identity they could have if it's not asexuality and then having to take another "bunch of years" trying to figure out what they actually are is 1) not AVEN's problem to solve, and 2) tough beans.  Introspection isn't easy for everyone.  People go through their whole lives learning about themselves.  It can be confusing.  It can be a struggle.  That is life.  I don't think it should be up to AVEN to blindly accept anything anyone says as the truth just because they're afraid to make some people reconsider their identities.  That's actually harmful for asexuality visibility and education.

 

But as we're seeing right here, AVEN isn't really about visibility and education.  It's about "beliefs" and placating as many people as possible no matter how many categorically wrong ideas and viewpoints result from doing so.

 

I can only assume AVEN has the moniker it does because "ABN" doesn't roll off the tongue quite as well.

 

Quote

But it’s like the legal case Louboutin made for trying to

trademark is signature red soles on shoes when people were using the soles to rip him off. In the end he wasn’t able to because of the legal president that trademark would set, even though his claims were 100% valid and the judge agreed with him.

No clue what this is about, sorry.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

Ok so when I see these arguments, they strike me as a misunderstanding of one's place.

 

No one here, nor AVEN as a whole, owns "asexuality". Definitions, that kinda thing, that comes from actual professionals who study these things and publish in the proper, peer reviewed journals. Nothing that happens here has any effect whatsoever on what asexuality is. The absolute most that aven can do is set a definition for the website. Which sounds absolutely insane if you take a step back and imagine yourself as a PhD who is studying orientation. 

 

These AVEN arguments remind me of when I have to look up a law. I do a ton of copyright and trademark law, so I often find myself reading thru photography forums. I see the exact same kind of arguments on there about copyright that I see here about definitions. And when I see those copyright arguments, it's like one huge facepalm. Guess what. It doesn't matter if TinkerToy33 convinces everyone on his forum that fair use is invalid. It just doesn't matter. A very good argument could be made that fair use is invalid... You can make a logical argument, you can get your entire forum to agree with you. But guess what. THAT'S NOT THE LAW ANYWAY. 

 

Same here. AVEN is one little spot in a big world of asexual resources and discussions. All we can do here is to decide whether to be open or closed. Welcoming or exclusive. We have no ability to actually define asexuality in any truly meaningful way, and that's OK. It's just not the role of forum users to do that. 🤷‍♀️

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Philip027

Considering that just about every single piece of media and news I've ever seen covering asexuality (that wasn't complete shit) specifically cites AVEN as a resource, I feel like its importance is being undersold just a wee bit there.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Serran
17 minutes ago, Skullery Maid said:

Ok so when I see these arguments, they strike me as a misunderstanding of one's place.

 

No one here, nor AVEN as a whole, owns "asexuality". Definitions, that kinda thing, that comes from actual professionals who study these things and publish in the proper, peer reviewed journals. Nothing that happens here has any effect whatsoever on what asexuality is. The absolute most that aven can do is set a definition for the website. Which sounds absolutely insane if you take a step back and imagine yourself as a PhD who is studying orientation. 

 

These AVEN arguments remind me of when I have to look up a law. I do a ton of copyright and trademark law, so I often find myself reading thru photography forums. I see the exact same kind of arguments on there about copyright that I see here about definitions. And when I see those copyright arguments, it's like one huge facepalm. Guess what. It doesn't matter if TinkerToy33 convinces everyone on his forum that fair use is invalid. It just doesn't matter. A very good argument could be made that fair use is invalid... You can make a logical argument, you can call people idiots who don't agree, you can get your entire forum to agree with you. But guess what. THAT'S NOT THE LAW ANYWAY. 

 

Same here. AVEN is one little spot in a big world of asexual resources and discussions. All we can do here is to decide whether to be open or closed. Welcoming or exclusive. We have no ability to actually define asexuality in any truly meaningful way, and that's OK. It's just not the role of forum users to do that. 🤷‍♀️

As users. Yeah no one has authority.

 

As the #1 resource quoted in every news article, TV interview etc for education on asexuality and "learn more"... AVEN does kind of socially define asexuality. Especially since the research is newish and researchers are taking self-identified asexuals rather than any sort of qualifiers required. Even the DSM-V uses self-identify as the thing for diagnosing conditions that asexuality excludes people from. And AVEN had a lot to do with the DSM-V clause. 

 

So. Agree and disagree. AVEN is a huge blip since it's the main resource given to the world. And the official BoD stance being asexual is anyone who says they are kinda does mean that is the socially accepted definition. Even if one day researchers say it's something else... the world at large isn't reading Bogaert and Brotos books. They are being sent here to "learn more about asexuality" after reading about it in the news. 

 

And we all know once an idea takes hold in popular culture and society as a whole, researchers releasing a contradictory opinion isn't likely to sway public opinion easily. 

 

 

But that being said... BoD is firm and not changing so all the threads are pointless. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

I think you're overestimating AVEN's influence on people not on AVEN. Which, in the grand scheme of things, is a significant proportion. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
1 minute ago, Skullery Maid said:

I think you're overestimating AVEN's influence on people not on AVEN. Which, in the grand scheme of things, is a significant proportion. 

To add to this, it would be the number of people on the AVEN forum - which is an even smaller amount. Most people directed to AVEN from media are most likely not going to go beyond the front page resources.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Serran
1 minute ago, Skullery Maid said:

I think you're overestimating AVEN's influence on people not on AVEN. Which, in the grand scheme of things, is a significant proportion. 

I am more being realistic about the influence of The View, 60 minutes, Vice, Dan Savage and every other media outlet that sends their fans to AVEN if they want more info. If AVEN was just a website, no big deal. But, it isn't. It's the thing people see banners of at Pride. It's the thing Dan Savage read that made him think all aces were out to trap sexuals in sexless marriages with lies (he read forums of people suggesting don't tell). So. Is kinda a big deal what the BoD says. Not the users. But the official stance is what every media outlet will use. 

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Puck
10 minutes ago, Skullery Maid said:

Ok so when I see these arguments, they strike me as a misunderstanding of one's place.

 

No one here, nor AVEN as a whole, owns "asexuality". Definitions, that kinda thing, that comes from actual professionals who study these things and publish in the proper, peer reviewed journals. Nothing that happens here has any effect whatsoever on what asexuality is. The absolute most that aven can do is set a definition for the website. Which sounds absolutely insane if you take a step back and imagine yourself as a PhD who is studying orientation. 

 

These AVEN arguments remind me of when I have to look up a law. I do a ton of copyright and trademark law, so I often find myself reading thru photography forums. I see the exact same kind of arguments on there about copyright that I see here about definitions. And when I see those copyright arguments, it's like one huge facepalm. Guess what. It doesn't matter if TinkerToy33 convinces everyone on his forum that fair use is invalid. It just doesn't matter. A very good argument could be made that fair use is invalid... You can make a logical argument, you can call people idiots who don't agree, you can get your entire forum to agree with you. But guess what. THAT'S NOT THE LAW ANYWAY. 

 

Same here. AVEN is one little spot in a big world of asexual resources and discussions. All we can do here is to decide whether to be open or closed. Welcoming or exclusive. We have no ability to actually define asexuality in any truly meaningful way, and that's OK. It's just not the role of forum users to do that. 🤷‍♀️

Ok, I have never heard this perspective and I find this fascinating.

 

Mods, feel free to make this a new thread, I'm blatantly gonna side track.

 

Here's something I'm not so sure on tho: Researchers do seem to take the definition from our site/from the mouths of asexuals. Anthony Bogaert, who seems to be the most prolific asexual researchers, points to AVEN and the experiences of AVENites constantly in his book Understanding Asexuality. He even explains that he mostly studies people who define themselves as asexuals (and thus, alights with AVEN's take on asexuality) rather than holds a specific definition and goes from there. So does Julie Decker (who admittedly isn't a researcher so much as she was attempting to punish a book about the social phenomenon that is asexuality). Those are the two top book authors on asexuality, both relied heavily on AVEN.

 

As a PT member, I see research come through on a constant basis. They pull from our site people to research, information, and so forth. Anyone on the site who gets approved can join the RAB (research approval board) and decide what research gets approved and why.

 

Also, research seems to follow social progress a lot more than the other way around. Wasn't there a lot of research showing homosexuals were pedophiles until more and more social force moved towards newer understandings? Not saying anyone is calling asexuals pedos, just saying research follows social understandings more than we'd like at times.

 

I don't think there is actually an authority on any orientation, unlike there would be for laws. I actually think most researchers have to define their bounds of what asexuality is before going into their research because asexuality can mean so many things. That isn't unique to asexuality, a lot of headlines will post things like "Millennials aren't getting married!" but then you read the articles and they actually mean people born in 1990-1994 are less likely to be married by the time they are 24, but that's not the complete range of 'Millennial' nor does it mean they won't get married later. It's just a title to grab people.

 

Here are a few places I've pulled asexuality definitions: Merriam-Webster claims it's "not having sexual feelings toward others : not experiencing sexual desire or attraction" (and gives a quote from AVEN in it's official definition). Wikipedia says it's "Asexuality is the lack of sexual attraction to others, or low or absent interest in or desire for sexual activity. It may be considered a sexual orientation or the lack thereof" (AVEN is mentioned throughout, including in the main blurb about it).

 

So, even if these forums themselves aren't changing things, researchers pull people from these forums to learn about asexually. Thus, when the site doesn't attempt to move forward with some kinds of homogenous understanding of something as basic as a definition, we get unclear definitions echoed out and see different resources and research quoting different things and confusion all around.

 

In sum: Copyright seems to be a set law, asexuality seems to be more like a bill hoping to become a law and AVEN isn't helping it get there any faster.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
7 minutes ago, Puck said:

In sum: Copyright seems to be a set law, asexuality seems to be more like a bill hoping to become a law and AVEN isn't helping it get there any faster.

Ok, I'll sort of agree with this. With the exception that if AVEN really had the influence that people say it does, this wouldn't be a discussion. It obviously doesn't. I've run into a number of asexuals IRL who have never heard of AVEN. 

 

To be crystal clear... I am strongly in favor of discussion, and the PT work. But to act like anyone who wanders onto aven with different words or verbiage is stupid or is ruining asexuality... that's where I have a huge issue. These things you're talking about... they won't suddenly vanish if people on the boards are nicer. Bottom line. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Puck
2 minutes ago, Skullery Maid said:

Ok, I'll sort of agree with this. With the exception that if AVEN really had the influence that people say it does, this wouldn't be a discussion. It obviously doesn't. I've run into a number of asexuals IRL who have never heard of AVEN. 

To be clear on my part: I don't think AVEN is the end all be all of all asexuality. But it is the biggest organization and when I joined staff I really hopped to be able to turn that power into being able to push for better research, resources, and understanding. You are right, these forum discussions do little and AVEN doesn't have while influence. But if it was a little more organized, it could. And if it could, I would want the best information and education to be what it supports.

 

So yes, it's not everything. But it could be doing a lot better. It could be a loud voice spreading support and education. But instead it's a forum having circular debates. And that's currently the best thing asexuality has and that's sad to me.

 

5 minutes ago, Skullery Maid said:

These things you're talking about... they won't suddenly vanish if people on the boards are nicer. Bottom line. 

Would you mind expanding on this? I'm not understanding it right now and it's probably my fault as I've been primed by one too many definition debates and AVEN drama debates to be able to take it at face value :P That's a me problem, not you.

 

Do you mean that if we stopped "invalidating" each other, these things wouldn't change? Or do you mean if AVEN attempted to uniformly educate, things wouldn't change? Or do you mean a third thing I'm not picking up on?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...