Jump to content

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

mmaaxx

The (appropriated?) Asexual Triangle

Recommended Posts

mmaaxx

Hello, I would just like to open up a dialogue about the ace triangle popularized by AVEN. Sorry if this has already been gone over or it I'm not posting in the right forum. I really don't want to step on any toes here, but I do think this is something which ought to be addressed.

As the title suggests, I have some concerns about the triangle being an appropriation of the pink triangle associated with the gay community.

I'm not sure if this is common knowledge, but their triangle was first seen as a badge of shame for gay men in concentration camps in Nazi Germany.

It is quite the empowering statement for the gay rights movement to take that symbol back, and it makes me uncomfortable to see it displayed so predominantly throughout AVEN.

While I see our community as facing many challenges, this was something that we can't claim as part of our history. I feel it is out of place to put ourselves in the same camp, literally, as these people, intentionally or not.

I understand the logic behind the original design; asexuality, like homosexuality, is another expression of human sexuality, and I especially like how the gradient within the triangle illustrates a spectrum rather than a binary. I appreciate the visibility and meaning this symbol has had throughout the community, but again worry about what it means for us to use it.

Perhaps an alternative would be a black circle (representing the ring) with the grandiant inside of it?

I hope to hear some other opinions on this and all my respect.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Faelights

I thought the triangle was supposed to refer to the Kinsey Scale. =P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kisa the Kit Kat

I thought the triangle was supposed to refer to the Kinsey Scale. =P

Agreed. I think the triangle is fine

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Faelights

There's an entry about it in the AVEN wiki. I'm trying to find the threads pertaining to how the triangle got adopted in the first place, but I'm having trouble locating them at the moment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jillianimal

I see where mattress is coming from.

I thought the triangle was supposed to refer to the Kinsey Scale. =P

Originally but how often is it really associated with the Kinsey study? How much is it really explaining? How much does it look like they gay triangle?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Rivan Vox

Straights are 'squares'

Queers are 'circles'

Aces get to be 'triangles' :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sennkestra

There's an entry about it in the AVEN wiki. I'm trying to find the threads pertaining to how the triangle got adopted in the first place, but I'm having trouble locating them at the moment.

Well, I remember this whole debate went down on tumblr a while back , and as some one in this tumblr post here, (which has some interesting commentary, btw) pointed out, the AVEN triangle has historically not been derived from the pink trinagle - it's actually from the kinsey scale model, as described in theinformation post about it from AVEN in 2002 - right after it was created (page retrieved through the internet wayback machine).

It's been pretty much acknowledged by now that it's not very good as a model of sexuality, but as was pointed in the tumblr post above, it's something that has become a significant part of AVEN (and also asexual) history and culture. And I don't think it's going to go away anytime soon, although I think it has become less prominent in light of the development of the flag.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Faelights

There's an entry about it in the AVEN wiki. I'm trying to find the threads pertaining to how the triangle got adopted in the first place, but I'm having trouble locating them at the moment.

Well, I remember this whole debate went down on tumblr a while back , and as some one in this tumblr post here, (which has some interesting commentary, btw) pointed out, the AVEN triangle has historically not been derived from the pink trinagle - it's actually from the kinsey scale model, as described in theinformation post about it from AVEN in 2002 - right after it was created (page retrieved through the internet wayback machine).

It's been pretty much acknowledged by now that it's not very good as a model of sexuality, but as was pointed in the tumblr post above, it's something that has become a significant part of AVEN (and also asexual) history and culture. And I don't think it's going to go away anytime soon, although I think it has become less prominent in light of the development of the flag.

Thank you, Clea!!! :cake:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Batman's Ace

So, wait, if somebody else already claimed a primary shape, it's off-limits to us? I like rainbows--and have no objection to Lisa Frank, NyanCat, and sexual minority groups using the colors. There are lots of logos and symbols and such that use triangles. I'm a member of an academic honorary that uses triangles and purple, and I've never been confused or even bothered by the similarities to AVEN.

It's a basic shape. And it's not nearly the same color. I don't see a problem with this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
hexaquark

I think all of this needs background. I’m going to linkspam this, and this post is probably quite redundant for those of you who have been following this on Tumblr. This is how I understand it:

David Jay can up with the AVEN triangle as a model of the Kinsey scale when he was the only asexual he knew, and later recognized that it was flawed as a model as early as 2002 (binarism and neglects gendered attraction), considered replacing it, but a few people were attached to it and no one came up with anything else. That being said, from what I can tell, he saw the parallels between that and the pink triangle from the beginning (he was involved with the LGBTQ), and was quite positive about this aspect, because he saw asexuality as a queer sexual orientation. If you want to go way back, there are posts in Haven for the Human Amoeba related to this.

Now homosexuality and the Holocaust... Gay men were specifically targeted, they were labelled with the pink triangle, some were sterilized, they suffered or were killed in unspeakable ways, some were re-arrested by authorities AFTER liberation at the end of the war, kept on sex offender lists, and their suffering was ignored for many many years due to the homophobia in society at large along with the illegality of homosexuality. Those labelled with the pink triangle were down at the bottom of the heap in concentration camps, hated by both the Nazis and other inmates. The pink triangle was later reclaimed as a symbol of gay pride, but remains controversial to some members of the LGBTQ.

You may think that a triangle is just a triangle, and yes, on a basic level it is just a basic shape, but for many people, that symbol is serious, painful, and emotionally-charged, and I really don't have the words to express it strongly enough… Rainbows don’t have quite the same history of suffering that the pink triangle carries. Yes, you will see triangles in logos and traffic signs, but in AVEN's case this is more about context and respect.

There has been a lot on Tumblr about this. A lot of angry stuff too. And I believe there are quite a few people, including ace people, who aren’t okay with the AVEN triangle, even if they know the Kinsey origin.

And there are always going to be people who are not going to look into the origin, or who know about the origin and say Jay was lying. Is this helpful to the perception of the ace community?

Asexuality has other symbols. Do we need one that is both based on a model that is acknowledged as problematic and that makes some people understandably upset? The AVEN triangle has not been on the main page for almost three years, does AVEN really need it at all? Is it worth it?

In fact, what has the AVEN triangle done for you lately?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Faelights

Thank you for the "linkspam", Hexaquark. <3 Linkspams

To be honest, I did remember that some people had seen the similarity between the AVEN triangle and the pink triangle. But I am just of the opinion that it was originally based on the Kinsey.

And furthermore, I don't feel a particular attachment to the AVEN triangular symbol. At the same time, it HAS already been used in visibility efforts, so I'm not sure how well-recognized it is already. Frankly, it feels like DJ should be part of this conversation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
hexaquark

But I am just of the opinion that it was originally based on the Kinsey.

And furthermore, I don't feel a particular attachment to the AVEN triangular symbol. At the same time, it HAS already been used in visibility efforts, so I'm not sure how well-recognized it is already. Frankly, it feels like DJ should be part of this conversation.

I agree with you, and though I don't think the AVEN symbol is well known enough that not using it would have much impact on visibility, I can't know for sure.

I know also that there are probably some people who have been here a while who may be quite attached to it, and I know that not everyone likes the newer symbols. I just find it depressing when people sweepingly dismiss my orientation and my community as homophobic because of a logo. Which does happen. There is some bad rhetoric going on right now about it, but I personally feel uncomfortable with the triangle.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tanwen

There isn't any copyright on the symbol, it's been around for a few thousand (or more) years. So we can't have symbol A because group X use it, can't use symbol B because group Y claim it...why is it only now has it been decided we can't use the triangle...we've been doing so for almost 10 years now and there haven't been any complaints.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5_♦♣

I never understood what the big deal is, it's just history repeating itself. After all, the cross predates Christianity and the swastika was originally used in Indian religions as a symbol of good luck, long before the NAZIs came along and adopted it as a symbol of Aryan pride. And that's just two examples of symbols later being adopted by other groups.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
hexaquark

I never understood what the big deal is, it's just history repeating itself. After all, the cross predates Christianity and the swastika was originally used in Indian religions as a symbol of good luck, long before the NAZIs came along and adopted it as a symbol of Aryan pride. And that's just two examples of symbols later being adopted by other groups.

Well, I’m not sure that anyone previously using the swastika really appreciated the Nazis taking and corrupting that symbol, so I don’t think that is the best defence. Just because the Nazis did something… does not mean we should do it too.

But I personally still don’t think it is about that, because I don’t believe it is a matter of appropriation, but of not being appropriate. However, outside of AVEN, it is and will continue to be perceived as being both inappropriate and appropriation, so it is something to take into consideration.

There isn't any copyright on the symbol, it's been around for a few thousand (or more) years. So we can't have symbol A because group X use it, can't use symbol B because group Y claim it...why is it only now has it been decided we can't use the triangle...we've been doing so for almost 10 years now and there haven't been any complaints.

The problem isn’t one of copyright or “ownership” but of sensitivity. It isn’t that we can’t have it, it is whether we should have it. Put it this way, there are people in the community are striving to create outreach to the LGBTQ, or are part of the LGBTQ, it follows that we of all people should be respectful of that history and culture. If it wasn’t the case, if asexuality was not a sexual minority and had nothing to do with the LGBTQ, maybe I could see it. But I don’t think we can really have that cake and eat it too. If you want respect, you have to give it also.

I will idly speculate that there haven’t been many complaints for the past decade because (a) not very many people were aware of both AVEN and the triangle’s history and (b) not everyone who has issues with AVEN or the asexual community is going to bother to speak about them on AVEN. And not everyone likes to speak out.

Really I’m trying to be the messenger, I know I won’t use the triangle, but I wouldn’t actually stop anyone who does (nor could I). However, I’ve seen what people think of us based on this particular thing, and it isn’t flattering. On the Demi-Grace thread I linked, someone mentioned that AVEN would only consider changing this if someone popular on these boards were to push for it. I’m not that person, I just wanted to share what some people outside AVEN have been saying.

More than anything, I think that AVENites need to be aware of what people outside AVEN are thinking about AVEN. And the hard truth is that some people think AVENites are out of touch or, in this case, out of line.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest member25959

In fact, what has the AVEN triangle done for you lately?

It makes an awesome Furry symbol.

Asexual_Furry_Symbol_v1_by_asexual_deviants.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
sinisterporpoise

I've never much cared for the upside down triangle. I don't view it as an Asexual symbol, I view it mostly as a symbol of AVEN. My discomfort starts with someone comparing it to a diseased vagina a long time ago.

This is something that needs to be discussed, but not in not very often visited subforum. It should be out in the open.

Symbols, like words, have power. AVEN should realize it is seen as the voice of the Asexual community. The perception differs from the reality. It's actions will attract the most attention. The triangle symbol can be seen as one area where it is insensitive, especially given the pink triangle's historical usage.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5_♦♣

Symbols, like words, have power. AVEN should realize it is seen as the voice of the Asexual community. The perception differs from the reality. It's actions will attract the most attention. The triangle symbol can be seen as one area where it is insensitive, especially given the pink triangle's historical usage.

:rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes: Sorry, but I just can't help but roll my eyes whenever someone mentions 'words have power'. Uh no, words have no inherent power on their own, they only have power when you give them power. Same with symbols, after all when you really think about it, a symbol is essentially, a shape.

And in case you didn't notice, the triangle is black, gray and white, not pink!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
sinisterporpoise

I think if you think a little bit farther you'll see that there's a flaw in your argument. It is precisely because we attach meaning to words that they have power. The same is true with symbols.

But this needs to be taken out of this forum and taken to a venue where as many people as possible an chip in. I think many people may see the symbol as set even if it is problematic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5_♦♣

Reread what I wrote. As I said, words only have power if you give them power. They're inherently meaningless and powerful on their own. As, on their own, they're just a combination of letters thrown together. Same with symbols, on their own, they're essentially just shapes. It's only when someone attaches a meaning to a symbol does it become more than just a shape. Basically, you're arguing the same thing I am.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Saolin

I thought the gay community took the pink triangle and turned it upside-down to make it a positive symbol? Sort of like what the Nazi party did with the Buddhist sysmbol, but they turned it and it became negative.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest member25959

Well true, the symbol did originate from AVEN, but I still consider it a symbol of asexuality.

I mean, if it were some symbol that was quite literally made up on the spot, purely for usage as banner icon for AVEN, then sure, we should think about adopting a more thought-out, newer symbol that has an actual meaning behind it.

But, that's the point here...........the asexual triangle DOES have a meaning behind it, it's not just a banner icon. As others have said, it's based off of the Kinsey scale. It is rather established now, it would be kind of ridiculous to adopt a newer symbol to replace the triangle (God forbid, we'd end up choosing something with a goddamn cake on it).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
hexaquark

Reread what I wrote. As I said, words only have power if you give them power. They're inherently meaningless and powerful on their own. As, on their own, they're just a combination of letters thrown together. Same with symbols, on their own, they're essentially just shapes. It's only when someone attaches a meaning to a symbol does it become more than just a shape. Basically, you're arguing the same thing I am.

And I am arguing that the meaning attached to the pink triangle is undeniably very powerful for the gay pride movement. It is not just a triangle in that context, and to people who died while labelled with that triangle, to people who lived in fear at that time, to people who live in fear today, to the people who reclaimed the triangle, it is a big deal.

I thought the gay community took the pink triangle and turned it upside-down to make it a positive symbol? Sort of like what the Nazi party did with the Buddhist sysmbol, but they turned it and it became negative.

It's sometimes displayed this way, but from what I've seen, more often than not it isn’t.

But, that's the point here...........the asexual triangle DOES have a meaning behind it, it's not just a banner icon. As others have said, it's based off of the Kinsey scale. It is rather established now, it would be kind of ridiculous to adopt a newer symbol to replace the triangle (God forbid, we'd end up choosing something with a goddamn cake on it).

I’m not suggesting that AVEN adopt cake or the ace of hearts/spades or anything else as a logo. I don’t think anyone really wants AVEN to have cake as a logo; it would be difficult to take seriously, cake being a "for fun" symbol and all. I’m simply questioning the productivity of a logo that demonstrates to people we might want to ally with that we are not at all sensitive to their history.

Pointing it out again, but AVEN has not had the triangle directly on the main page for almost three years, and (somewhat ironically) has had the cake icon for the same duration, next to the link to the forum. Has this changed the quality of AVEN for the worse?

The last San Francisco Pride march seems to have a conspicuous lack of AVEN triangles. Did that detract from this visibility?

Well true, the symbol did originate from AVEN, but I still consider it a symbol of asexuality.

And this is actually part of the problem, you may view it as a symbol of asexuality, other people both on and off AVEN may view it as a symbol of asexuality, but there are aces who don’t. They view it as a symbol of AVEN, and they don’t appreciate accusations of appropriation that occur because their asexuality associates them with the AVEN triangle, when they don’t even consider it to be their symbol.

Even David Jay has said he views it as a symbol of AVEN, not a symbol of asexuality.

With all that, and the fact that a lot of people, including aces, think that it actually is from the pink triangle, and that it is appropriation, I question the usefulness and appropriateness of the AVEN triangle.

The triangle is part of asexual history - I’m not going to deny that - but nothing is set in stone. I also think it is somewhat unfortunate that it evolved over time to be more of an equilateral triangle, which even more closely resembles the pink triangle, but I’m not sure if this happened for aesthetic reasons or because people thought it shared origins with the pink triangle. However, even back when it was not an equilateral triangle, people thought it originated from the pink triangle.

triangletime.png

The gradient is the part of the triangle that I do appreciate… and Arca, for what it is worth I think the gradient fits in your furry symbol too?

arcanine.png:unsure:

These weren’t rhetorical questions by the way, I legitimately want to know:

Does the AVEN triangle help the perception of the ace community? How?

Does AVEN need the AVEN triangle? Why?

Taken together, is the AVEN triangle worth the confusion and strife that is encountered with some people in LGBTQ contexts?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Violet_Loves_Iliona
With all that, and the fact that a lot of people, including aces, think that it actually is from the pink triangle, and that it is appropriation, I question the usefulness and appropriateness of the AVEN triangle.

The triangle is part of asexual history - I’m not going to deny that - but nothing is set in stone. I also think it is somewhat unfortunate that it evolved over time to be more of an equilateral triangle, which even more closely resembles the pink triangle, but I’m not sure if this happened for aesthetic reasons or because people thought it shared origins with the pink triangle. However, even back when it was not an equilateral triangle, people thought it originated from the pink triangle.

There have been many interesting points made on this thread and I've enjoyed hearing from others' points of view, but what has really surprised me here is that nobody has at any point pointed out that the gay/glbt rainbow flag is an appropriation of the civil rights rainbow flag, the ony variation being the removal of light blue/acqua colour band (light blue was included at first, but removed fairly early on). So, to be quite blunt, I think this blows any gay territorialiam or political correctness right out of the water.

The question that remains is, is the white-black trangle a meaningful symbol in which we asexuals have a legitimate interest? Personally, I say yes, both for historic reasons and emotional investment in this symbol, as well as because in my experience I feel it is still the most potent and meaningful symbol of asexuality other than the colour purple (the flag is close to that, and cake, though held affectionately by many of us, isn't seriously an Asexual symbol we use when engaging in Asexual visibility with non-Asexuals).

Indeed, I'm not really a fan of the current Asexual flag, as I find the colour scheme too depressing, and I had hoped that it might be changed for a flag consisting of an "Aven purple" (ie. dark purple) background, with the graduated Aven triangle at its centre. Thus, the overwhelming colour being purple, symbolising our community and, incidentally, being very beautiful, with the AVEN tringle at its centre symbolising our asexuality.

Violet

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...