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Chihiro

Why AVEN is not educating staff members on Asexuality?

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pook

i am asexual as i am sexually attracted to repeating the same arguments over and over again for years

 

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Catserole
6 hours ago, michaeld said:

If we were to clamp down on the definition, we would have insisted everyone uses the lack of sexual attraction definition as that's been AVEN's official definition from founding. Is that what anyone wants?

I appreciate I'm still new to this site and have spent no small amount of time reading everyone's responses in these invalidation threads. 

 

But since you asked, yes that's what I'd want.

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Artear
6 hours ago, michaeld said:

If we were to clamp down on the definition, we would have insisted everyone uses the lack of sexual attraction definition as that's been AVEN's official definition from founding. Is that what anyone wants?

Yep, that sounds like it would be a reasonable solution. And how is that not already the case? Why even have an official definition for a word that people are supposed to, in AVEN's opinion, use and define however they like?

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Mackenzie Holiday
37 minutes ago, Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?) said:

but until staff start taking these concerns seriously

People may find that they'll make more progress if they extend this courtesy to the staff as well. My reading of this conversation so far is that some folks are focusing more on their preferred solution to their concerns than they are on the concerns themselves, so they're interpreting alternative solutions from staff as staff not paying attention to their concerns at all, when that doesn't seem to be the case (at least not to me). From the looks of it, the BoD seems to prefer a solution that address multiple issues at once over solutions that address just one, so it may be easier to negotiate if you try to recognize what those other concerns are and why they wouldn't be addressed by the prevailing solution being recommended here. Just my two cents. Obviously I'm not staff and they speak for themselves, but I would like to see this conversation make progress, and that won't happen if no one's trying to understand where the other side is coming from.

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Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?)
1 hour ago, Mackenzie Holiday said:

People may find that they'll make more progress if they extend this courtesy to the staff as well. My reading of this conversation so far is that some folks are focusing more on their preferred solution to their concerns than they are on the concerns themselves, so they're interpreting alternative solutions from staff as staff not paying attention to their concerns at all, when that doesn't seem to be the case (at least not to me). From the looks of it, the BoD seems to prefer a solution that address multiple issues at once over solutions that address just one, so it may be easier to negotiate if you try to recognize what those other concerns are and why they wouldn't be addressed by the prevailing solution being recommended here. Just my two cents. Obviously I'm not staff and they speak for themselves, but I would like to see this conversation make progress, and that won't happen if no one's trying to understand where the other side is coming from.

1) what we are doing is trying to explain a concept that keeps being misunderstood. That concept is: AVEN as a whole (including the staff) standing by AVENs defintion of asexuality, and actively encouraging education about it (because, you know, education is in the title of the website).

 

2) certain staff members keep coming up with reasons why this isn't possible, by saying things like "but what if someone wants sex but doesn't find people hot?" (which plenty of sexual people experience) and "but some people want kids, how exactly are you defining want?". Those are just two examples from the last page, of well over 50 examples of staff repeatedly misunderstanding what it being said from recent threads about this topic, and refusing to acknowledge concerns being voiced.

 

3) A staff member (who is always very vocal in these topics) then went and literally presented the one solution everyone is asking for (and have been asking for for years) like it's a new thing and said "but who would want that??" .. Proving that not one concern any of us have voiced in this thread (or many others) was even listened to, because not only is that what we've all been asking for, the recent 'concerns' poll proved it was a concern across much of this community. It's not just us. Many, many people in this community want the definition of asexuality promoted by AVEN in the FAQ to be the accepted, generally agreed upon definition, and for people to be allowed to educate about said definition (edit: and for certain staff to stop going around saying things that actively contradict it, as they are representatives of AVEN than any new members look up to and expect them to know what they're talking about). No more of this "asexuality is anything you want it to be"/"asexuals can desire sex just as much as anyone else and be unhappy without it" stuff.

 

4) Every time anyone suggests a solution or voices a concern regarding this topic, certain staff knock it down without really giving any valid solutions of their own. They prefer to just argue against points we make, usually based on a misunderstanding of what we actually said due to skimming. (Edit to clarify: the point being made is to suggest that maybe staff should be educated about asexuality by reading the FAQ, so as not to go around spreading misinformation as representatives of AVEN. Easy).

 

Again, what is the point of having a FAQ that defines asexuality if asexuality is apparently a word that has no meaning and no actual definition? That's the question being asked right now.

 

Also please note, there are certain staff members who are actually in total agreement with us but don't want to rock the boat. They do voice their opinions every now and then though and are just as baffled by some of this as everyone else here is, as has been shown very recently in this thread. There is a fundamental misunderstanding that is happening here regarding what is being asked for, and a refusal to even acknowledge the issues that arise from refusing to actually define asexuality on a website that claims to be about the education of asexuality (which yeah, is the ultimate irony).

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michaeld
5 hours ago, Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?) said:

Your whole explanation above just proved the point we are all trying to make. That sexuals aren't all appearance-driven horndogs who chase any tail that looks good.

Yes! I completely agree. Sexuals aren't all (or even mostly) appearance-driven horndogs. Absolutely 100% agreed. I'm glad I completely agree with the point you are all trying to make.

 

To address the other point flying around. We have never promoted a postmodern anything-goes definition of asexuality when doing education work. What I said was that people are free to use their own definition of asexuality on the forums. You'll notice in the ToS there is nothing that says you must use a particular definition of asexuality, and otherwise you'll be warned. Many people have different ideas on what asexuality is, from not wanting sex to lacking sexual attraction or desire to what have you. It's fine to push back and argue for other definitions. The definition isn't protected by the ToS - what is protected are people's sexual and romantic identities. All we are asking is that you respect how people identify, or if you prefer, not comment at all on other people's identities. That doesn't seem too much to ask.

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Anthracite_Impreza

It's become quite clear to me half the staff don't even know what the site's definition of ace actually is, because they keep trying to play gotchya's like "Well AVEN says it's all about attraction, so it's the sex-favourables who are right. The rest of you should be grateful we don't push the definition on you cos then you'd be invalidated". Like, scuse me? AVEN's definition of sexual attraction is "the desire to share sexuality with others", so... you're wrong. And you're the staff. And you're out there spreading the exact antithesis of AVEN's definition (which makes no bloody sense and is downright offensive to many sexuals, who are ~99% of the planet) into the world at large. That's a cock up of the highest magnitude for a "new" orientation trying to get taken seriously.

 

Who pays the price? The poor sods at the bottom who just want a place to feel at home, who feel out of place exactly because they don't want what "everyone else" wants. Those struggling to be taken seriously cos the public read this "it's whatever you want it to be" or "I'm ace cos I don't wanna bang anyone because of their looks" tripe, and either mock or shun. Those who want a relationship but are still pressured into sex cos "aces can desire sex too, so what's wrong with you?". It is completely UNFAIR, I'd be tempted to say IMMORAL, to continue down this path when so many in the community are being let down, told to "suck it up, the BoD have spoken". By refusing to promote ONE definition, by refusing to allow us to correct people on that one definition, you are letting the entirety of the asexual community down, and that speaks volumes.

 

And as has been proven time and time again, it all falls on deaf ears.

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daveb
3 hours ago, Mackenzie Holiday said:

People may find that they'll make more progress if they extend this courtesy to the staff as well. My reading of this conversation so far is that some folks are focusing more on their preferred solution to their concerns than they are on the concerns themselves, so they're interpreting alternative solutions from staff as staff not paying attention to their concerns at all, when that doesn't seem to be the case (at least not to me). From the looks of it, the BoD seems to prefer a solution that address multiple issues at once over solutions that address just one, so it may be easier to negotiate if you try to recognize what those other concerns are and why they wouldn't be addressed by the prevailing solution being recommended here. Just my two cents. Obviously I'm not staff and they speak for themselves, but I would like to see this conversation make progress, and that won't happen if no one's trying to understand where the other side is coming from.

Thank you for this post. You put it very well. 

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Sithgroundhog
22 hours ago, gisiebob said:

if you are saying that somebody MUST be invalidated, why not you?

While I understand the sentiment of people always wanting to kick others out of their box, it's just wrong. I recently changed my label from Ace to (grey?)ace because some definitions of asexuality place me in the grey area, and I'm fine with that. I'm in mental space right now where I'm figuring out if I'm in the grey area or not and don't particularly care if I'm ace or "effectively ace" since neither labels negatively affect my current situation.

 

But I still get upset when people don't understand what attraction and desire mean. I don't give a crap about people fitting in my label, I care about the label itself losing all meaning. 

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Sithgroundhog
5 hours ago, pook said:

i am asexual as i am sexually attracted to repeating the same arguments over and over again for years

 

You too?! 

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Sally
12 hours ago, michaeld said:

If we were to clamp down on the definition, we would have insisted everyone uses the lack of sexual attraction definition as that's been AVEN's official definition from founding. Is that what anyone wants?

 

1)  Who's "we"?   Are you using "we" as you, MichaelD, speaking as AVEN?  Sounds like it.

 

2)  AVEN also mentions the definition of not wanting sex with any other person.  

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Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?)
4 hours ago, michaeld said:

Yes! I completely agree. Sexuals aren't all (or even mostly) appearance-driven horndogs. Absolutely 100% agreed. I'm glad I completely agree with the point you are all trying to make.

 

 

Yes, we agree!! That's great!!! However you seem to have missed the rest of the point.

 

If you are well-aware that sexuality is very nuanced, and are aware that AVEN actually takes a pretty strong stance against anti-sexuality.. Do you not see that it's problematic if people are going around spreading false and offensive ideas about sexual people?

 

ie "I loooove sex, I'd be miserable without it. But I don't care about appearance like sexual people do, so I'm asexual". It must be very clear to you that this is very offensive to sexual people (and to aces who do care about appearance) and is clearly a case of someone taking a rather antisexual stance and basing their asexuality around that.

 

Don't you think in a case like this it's maybe important for a staff member to say "asexuality is a lack of desire to connect sexually with other people" or even just "it's a misconception that all sexual people seek sex based on appearance, or that they care about appearance at all, as many do not" as opposed to "yes that's definitely asexuality. Asexuals can desire sex just as much as everyone else!!"? (Which is the type of comment that caused @Chihiro to make this thread in the first place: staff giving answers to people that are contradictory to how AVEN actually defines asexuality)

 

Or do you think the part about anti-sexuality should maybe just be removed from the ToS if sexual negativity going to be encouraged like that? 

 

4 hours ago, michaeld said:

Many people have different ideas on what asexuality is, from not wanting sex to lacking sexual attraction or desire to what have you. It's fine to push back and argue for other definitions. The definition isn't protected by the ToS - what is protected are people's sexual and romantic identities.

The point being made isn't solely about how asexuals identify.

 

Someone can define asexuality however they want, however if that definition is blatantly incorrect exactly because of what you just agreed with me on (that sexuality is very nuanced) and is also displaying a clearly negative view of sexual people, is education not important in that case??

 

Not to invalidate their identity (they can call themselves a fluffy pink turtle for all anyone cares) but to allow them and others reading to know that staff on AVEN do not support inaccurate and offensive misunderstandings of actual sexuality, and to help others reading to understand that sexuality isn't just "seeing hot people and wanting to bang them". This in turn also helps educate about asexuality, so it's a win-win.

 

Don't you think that's important?

 

4 hours ago, michaeld said:

All we are asking is that you respect how people identify, or if you prefer, not comment at all on other people's identities. That doesn't seem too much to ask.

I will say again (as many have in these threads, time and time again) no one is asking that we be allowed to tell people they are not asexual. What we are asking is that staff take a stance to step in when someone has blatantly misunderstood how average sexual people function, and is basing their asexuality around that negative misconception (while using a definition of asexuality that is the opposite of AVENs in the process)

 

An example would be:

 

"Hi there. First I want to say that if the asexual identity feels right for you then that's great, no one is saying you can't use that label.

 

However I need to clarify that sexuality isn't solely about having a certain type of reaction to appearance. Sure some sexual people experience that, but certainly not all.

 

Sexual people have and desire sex for all kinds of reasons to varying degrees. Sexual people do have a desire for sexual intimacy that may cause them to seek sex out, but not all sexual people desire sex based on appearance. Some don't even care about appearance!!

 

Asexuality on the other hand, the way it is defined on AVEN, is a lack of desire to connect sexually with others. You can check out the FAQ if you'd like more information on that.

 

Some other identities you could check out are 'grey' and 'demisexual' but if you still feel asexuality is right for you then only you can make that decision"

 

That's really all anyone is asking, at the end of the day. No one wants anyone to actively personally invalidate other people.

 

We just want the E in AVEN to actually mean something, that's all 😕

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Chihiro
3 hours ago, michaeld said:

To address the other point flying around. We have never promoted a postmodern anything-goes definition of asexuality when doing education work. What I said was that people are free to use their own definition of asexuality on the forums. You'll notice in the ToS there is nothing that says you must use a particular definition of asexuality, and otherwise you'll be warned. Many people have different ideas on what asexuality is, from not wanting sex to lacking sexual attraction or desire to what have you. It's fine to push back and argue for other definitions. The definition isn't protected by the ToS - what is protected are people's sexual and romantic identities. All we are asking is that you respect how people identify, or if you prefer, not comment at all on other people's identities. That doesn't seem too much to ask.

This doesn't answer the purpose of the thread. Why aren't the staff being educated about asexuality? Why are the staff members ignorant about asexuality? (Leave the invalidation debate aside.....).

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gisiebob
1 hour ago, Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?) said:

"Hi there. First I want to say that if the asexual identity feels right for you then that's great, no one is saying you can't use that label.

 

However I need to clarify that sexuality isn't solely about having a certain type of reaction to appearance. Sure some sexual people experience that, but certainly not all.

 

Sexual people have and desire sex for all kinds of reasons to varying degrees. Sexual people do have a desire for sexual intimacy that may cause them to seek sex out, but not all sexual people desire sex based on appearance. Some don't even care about appearance!!

 

Asexuality on the other hand, the way it is defined on AVEN, is a lack of desire to connect sexually with others. You can check out the FAQ if you'd like more information on that.

 

Some other identities you could check out are 'grey' and 'demisexual' but if you still feel asexuality is right for you then only you can make that decision"

this is patently not what you have been asking for. I mean going off of this example post it's perfectly acceptable to claim to be asexual because you are not attracted to others' appearances.

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Serran
7 hours ago, gisiebob said:

this is patently not what you have been asking for. I mean going off of this example post it's perfectly acceptable to claim to be asexual because you are not attracted to others' appearances.

It is, if you read her posts. She says time and again she isn't trying to label anyone. She also says in her replies to people "you can identify as whatever you want". 

 

But, she doesn't want staff just going "oh yeah you are totes ace don't listen to anyone" and leaving it at that. Or, going into the threads going "aces can love sex too, it's OK. People would invalidate me too cause I enjoy sex"..  cause that is reinforcing that asexual is anything. Instead of giving the definition, explaining and then allowing the person the choice to figure it out on their own. 

 

Granted, I think Pan goes a little forceful in her replies to some people. But, she's not argued for labeling anyone. Just for the definition of asexual to be static and reinforced based on FAQ and Wiki AVEN wrote. 

 

Also, @michaeld - isnt the very article from DJ you linked an education effort to the outside world from AVEN? Given he created AVEN, so he is the face of it and it is about AVEN? So, you don't use DJs stance given in the article "Anyone who used the word “asexual” to describe themselves was just as asexual as anyone else. " in the other education efforts is what you are saying? Because, I can think of a few things from the social media AVEN account that backed up this "anyone who IDs as ace is ace" thing, as well as other education / introduction to ace interviews in the media from DJ. It is AVENs choice to take that stance or not, but saying you do not when off forums feels a bit disingenuous. You may not when working with researchers like Brotto, because I don't think she would be into the idea of it being a "tool anyone can use", but the media stuff is still education to the world... that's how a lot of people will be introduced to it and it has been said there (you linked one yourself) at least a few times. 

 

As for finding people hot or not, I have always felt odd one out for that too. People try to show me models or porn or invite me to strip clubs and just... no. But, I still ID as sexual cause there is one person in the world I feel a pull (attraction) to engage with sexually, my wife, due to our very close bond.

 I always felt odd one out with aces too, cause so many like porn and gush over a cute celebrity. I've been looking into the research on lacking that hotness attraction that makes things like porn unappealing to people (some will know why I have been researching it) and researchers put the number at around 25% in some studies for people like us that don't experience that visual pull. It's an interesting thing especially for how it ends up playing out in relationship dynamics (cause someone who is visually into a million other people can upset someone who doesn't experience that). 

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natsume

AVEN has volunteers but no leadership.  AVEN has no clear direction and no consensus on whether there should be a direction.  Do the math.

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Serran
4 hours ago, natsume said:

AVEN has volunteers but no leadership.  AVEN has no clear direction and no consensus on whether there should be a direction.  Do the math.

The BoD is the leadership. They run the site, handle the legal matters, member safety, money and overall have veto power on anything the volunteers do. 

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Catserole
9 hours ago, Serran said:

The BoD is the leadership. They run the site, handle the legal matters, member safety, money and overall have veto power on anything the volunteers do. 

Perhaps I'm looking in the wrong place, but I can't find any information on the composition of this 'BoD'.

 

And considering the influence they have on the running of this site, and by extension how asexuality is viewed all over the world (since AVEN is the only resource I've ever really seen referenced), that seems a bit odd.

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Serran
5 minutes ago, Catserole said:

Perhaps I'm looking in the wrong place, but I can't find any information on the composition of this 'BoD'.

 

And considering the influence they have on the running of this site, and by extension how asexuality is viewed all over the world (since AVEN is the only resource I've ever really seen referenced), that seems a bit odd.

 

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FaerieFate
On 11/17/2019 at 3:46 PM, Catserole said:

Perhaps I'm looking in the wrong place, but I can't find any information on the composition of this 'BoD'.

 

And considering the influence they have on the running of this site, and by extension how asexuality is viewed all over the world (since AVEN is the only resource I've ever really seen referenced), that seems a bit odd.

BOD is 10/10 super cool. :) They run the fundraisers that pay for AVEN, pay the bills, keep the sight up and running, deal with the legal matters, and (in this case) assure that admods uphold AVEN's values. In this case, the values being instated is "No one is allowed to label you." A lot of members as of late have been labeling others or telling them what they can and cannot identify as and not gotten into trouble for it. That's not in line with AVEN's values, and therefore BOD had to step in and remind everyone of that (including admods).

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Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?)
On 11/20/2019 at 9:20 AM, FaerieFate said:

A lot of members as of late have been labeling others or telling them what they can and cannot identify as and not gotten into trouble for i

Haven't seen it happening except in isolated cases, hence why so many people are annoyed by this constant reiteration that all these nasty people have been breaking ToS and getting away with it.

 

And I know that every time I've slipped up and done it (haven't done it recently) I've been nudged or warned. Heck, I even got a warn for saying that I think sexual fluidity is rare in a thread where someone was saying they think their wife might have sexual fluidity.

 

I'd love to know who has been getting away with directly labelling other members or telling them what they can and can not identify as. Because unless you're instantly hiding their comments (but also not disciplining them???) then it just hasn't been as prevalent as you and certain others are making out like it is, and plenty of members are still getting disciplined for getting too aggressive in definition discussions.

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Anthracite_Impreza
55 minutes ago, Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?) said:

Heck, I even got a warn for saying that I think sexual fluidity is rare in a thread where someone was saying they think their wife might have sexual fluidity.

That's bollocks; how is that a warnable offence? No seriously staff members, how is it? I mean I know I'm missing context here but I thought giving our opinion in a polite manner (and I'm sure it was polite, Pan rarely loses their composure) was fine. We're allowed to say "I think you might (not) be X and here's why"? I've said stuff like that loads of times and never got so much as a nudge.

 

If people are getting punished for this then we need to know, cos that's bang out of order. If someone's singling Pan out for it, that's fucking bullying.

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Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?)
1 hour ago, Anthracite_Impreza said:

That's bollocks; how is that a warnable offence? No seriously staff members, how is it? I mean I know I'm missing context here but I thought giving our opinion in a polite manner (and I'm sure it was polite, Pan rarely loses their composure) was fine. We're allowed to say "I think you might (not) be X and here's why"? I've said stuff like that loads of times and never got so much as a nudge.

 

If people are getting punished for this then we need to know, cos that's bang out of order. If someone's singling Pan out for it, that's fucking bullying.

I'm getting my kids in bed at the moment, but if I remember later I'll send you a copy (edit: in PM) of the warn and the original post so this doesn't go off topic. It was a while ago (can't remember how long) but a couple of ex mods said it was ridiculous and told me to appeal. I didn't win the appeal Y_Y I think the admods just got a bit trigger happy for a while there, lol.

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FaerieFate
2 minutes ago, Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?) said:

I'm getting my kids in bed at the moment, but if I remember later I'll send you a copy (edit: in PM) of the warn and the original post so this doesn't go off topic. It was a while ago (can't remember how long) but a couple of ex mods said it was ridiculous and told me to appeal. I didn't win the appeal Y_Y I think the admods just got a bit trigger happy for a while there, lol.

Technical difficulties, so I can't address concerns about this specific warning, but you are right in one thing. You haven't slipped up recently. It's been years since the incidents you've mentioned. That's not recent.

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Una Salus Victus
1 hour ago, Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?) said:

I'm getting my kids in bed at the moment, but if I remember later I'll send you a copy (edit: in PM) of the warn and the original post so this doesn't go off topic. It was a while ago (can't remember how long) but a couple of ex mods said it was ridiculous and told me to appeal. I didn't win the appeal Y_Y I think the admods just got a bit trigger happy for a while there, lol.

I dunno if you remember this nudge of mine, but Arsenic butter :P

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