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Saturday, November 2nd, 2013 07:23 am
I got into an argument on tumblr with someone about aromanticism and I don't feel like engaging with them any more but they are SO INFURIATING I feel the need to rant.

Note: I am not aromantic myself, I apologise if I misstep. You guys have enough crap to deal with.

So! I came across a post on my tumblr dash which I was pretty sure implied that there is no right way to be aromantic (it also implied some nasty stuff about asexuals, but no obvious reply to that jumped out at me). I rebutted it and got a grumpy reply with little substance which I rebutted more thoroughly, ending with the question "IS there any form of aromanticism you’re ok with?"

I got no reply, but she's made two posts which answer me: one saying all aromantic people are deluded or evil and another implying a lot of them are rapists and abusers wtf.

And I just....WHAT. NO. ACK.

I know a bunch of aromantic (or sort-of-aromantic) people, and they have shown no signs of being self hating or abusive. Quite the reverse!

They're happy with who they are and where they're at (on average for their age and situation etc, obviously the usual self doubts apply), and simply avoid romantic relationships. It's not a fear of committment, I know romantic people who are much more afraid of committment and stick to short exciting romantic infatuations. It's not sociopathy since they're as caring as anyone else to their friends and family and very careful not to give romantic people false expectations. It's not a youthful phase since off the top of my head they're all at least in their late twenties and if anything even more ceertain of their orientation than when they were younger (and seem to have as good a grasp of what romantic relationships entail as anyone else) It's no more selfish than being straight/gay/not into that one guy: "I like you but not that way" is not a sentiment exclusive to aromantic people, and at least this way you know it's nothing personal.

Also while I'm sure sexual aromantic guys exist, all the aromantic people I know (off the top of my head) are women or non binary gendered and either asexual or grey asexual. This idea that they're all creepy sexual predators who blame their orientation is just bizarre. Especially since in my experience abusers exagerate their romantic feelings to justify their abuse!

Given the long long history of men mistreating the women they feel romantic towards I can't see why it at all follows that aromantic heterosexual men are The Worst. I mean I'm sure some of them are sexist creeps because all groups of men contain sexist creeps, but as long as they're honest about their orientation how are they any worse than anyone else who wants friends with benefits? If two aromantic sexual people have sex in a forest, is anyone oppressed?

Asides from all that, god I hate people prefacing hurtful bigoted remarks with stuff like "this may cause a shitstorm". The danger is not getting a "shitstorm" (and if polite disagreement from me count as one you have lived a very sheltered life), the danger is being hurtful and bigoted.

Guh!

Ok I feel better now. Phew.
Saturday, November 2nd, 2013 02:51 am (UTC)
Well, uh, hi! Aromantic heterosexual/heteroflexible almost-30-year-old female, here!

Yeah, seriously, I don't want to hang out with her, either? She thinks I'm either secretly romantically interested in my sexual partners (hint: I AM NOT) or sociopathically using them or comfortable with sexually assaulting them (then why do I keep having all these movie marathons with my friends-with-benefits and spending time with them without having sex with them? Oh yes because they are my FRIENDS with benefits!) ... I, well, wow, I don't know what to say about that, except feeling pretty good that I got off tumblr, where a certain type of buzzword-one-upsmanship seems to have replaced nuanced discussion.

For the record, if I had to explain what it feels like to be an aromantic sexual? I really enjoy sex. I really like my friends. I like making my friends happy, and I like sharing activities with them. I like doing mutually pleasurable things! I also get sexually attracted to people and like having sex with them. And yes, I enjoy cuddling, and hanging out, and going out to dinner.

I do NOT enjoy:
- Staring into someone's eyes, but I think that's true of a lot of people?
- Dating. By which I mean "going out with another person to establish a romantic connection."
- Having someone be romantically interested in me. I mean, maybe in the future? But right now it inspires a kind of "Um, okay, that's nice, I don't feel the same way" thought when I think it about... anyone.

I have been romantic/had romantic attractions in the past. Believe me when I say I know what it feels like. I haven't had a romantic attraction for nearly ten years now, so I adopted aromantic as part of my (descriptive) identity to let people know I'm probably not going to have one any time soon.

Maybe that will change, I'm open to change, but I'm not interested in letting internet buzzword-winners devalue my self-identity by telling me I'm a rapist or a sociopath. I treat all my sexual partners with care because they're my friends. Or at least people who are trusting me enough to be intimate with me. That doesn't require a romantic attraction to them.

*hands* Thanks for responding to her, though it doesn't seem to have done any good.
Saturday, November 2nd, 2013 03:09 am (UTC)
SHORTER ME: Sure, I'm sexual but not romantic, but I have STANDARDS. ;)
Saturday, November 2nd, 2013 08:35 am (UTC)
I especially enjoyed that part where she says asexuals are self-oppressing themselves because they're too dumb to work through their problems with rape culture.

Oh, and I'm aromantic too, so I suppose I'm self-oppressing with an extra dose of being a lying, creepy predator. Makes me feel so much more interesting and ~dangerous than I actually am :D

Anyway, it was heroic of you to rebut it to begin with, seeing as it didn't look like they'd be up for a honest debate.
Edited (typo) 2013-11-02 08:36 am (UTC)
Saturday, November 2nd, 2013 07:44 pm (UTC)
I'm just sort of sitting flapping at this post. I've come across people labeling ace people, romantic or aromantic various things like repressed, in denial, afraid of commitment ext but these accusations are just horrible. And then for those that are sexual but aromantic....what a horrible set of accusations for them too. That they will be rapists?! NO. NOT OKAY. There is nothing wrong with enjoying sex and not wanting a relationship. The startling thing is, that is rather common in mainstream media and is not portrayed always as a bad thing and yet people still hold this opinion. What worries me is how many people are liking this person's post and agreeing with them. I mean, I just don't know where to start with them. Thank you for tackling it.
Sunday, November 3rd, 2013 11:16 pm (UTC)
Was there ever a point in tumblr-time when "internalised [x]" didn't almost always translate to "I know more about your identity than you do and also you are awful"? So tired of people breaking out the buzzwords to give their bigoted rants a flavour of legitimacy.