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Stupid article on asexuality: apparently we all have mental health issues and don't exist anyway?
batgirl grimace
muffinbitch wrote in asexuality
UUURGH.
Entirely stupid, offensive and horribly biased article on asexuality has been posted to The Age newspaper here: http://www.theage.com.au/lifestyle/life/family-relationships-and-sex/asexuality-dont-be-too-hasty-with-labels-20140623-zsicx.html

The author has gone on to epically miss the point when people point out the problems with the article in the comments too - nevertheless, I do urge anyone who would like to to comment there to try and make this woman see sense, and perhaps she might get over her prejudices enough to see what damage this sort of identity erasure can cause. I doubt it, but maybe if enough people weigh in she might reconsider her horribly close-minded stance. You never know!

I'm going to comment there myself later, once I get over my urge to just shout in pure rage and can form articulate sentences again. It's so depressing that this sort of shit still gets written.

Urgh, how uninformed and so very 1914.

"I am perfectly happy for anybody to identify as asexual or live an asexual life. The main reason I wrote this article was to suggest to young people who may not be that sure, to “explore why you believe you are asexual first”"

I wonder whether this person would tell young people labeling themselves as gay/bi/poly to do the same. No, I guess, that'd be fine, because that's a real sexuality, although all that bi and poly might be something people imagine too. Or maybe it's because you need to be a sexual therapist to know everything, even more and better than scientists (sentence might contain sarcasm).

But what do I know. I'm 50, twice married, former chairperson of our national BDSM association. I have no idea what I'm talking about when I label myself asexual and 'believe' it to be so. I'm too young to know what I'm saying. It might be all the time I used on that sex&relationships helpline that fried my young and impressible brain.

Christ. I'm so angry I can't even be bothered to reply to that ignorant... person, because I'm not sure I can do it in a polite and coherent manner.

I think I'm as angry on behalf of 'young people' (whatever that means) as I am on behalf of the asexual comm; that woman has no idea how offensive and biased she is. How she got that old and still come off as utterly ignorant and clueless is beyond me. I don't think I know any young people that hopelessly lost in their own 'I know better'.

YES. EXACTLY!

I kind of wish you would just copy and paste this whole comment to the comments section there, because you put it so well!

Still too mad to form a coherent response myself, but I really want to challenge this absolute stupidity. Especially because so asexuality is so little known or talked about, that I'm sure this article will be a lot of people's first exposure to the concept. Now, isn't that a super depressing thought? :(

And she has now closed comments. What an utter coward.

She sounds exactly like the (female) doctor who, in the 70s put me on the Pill and told me to go out and 'try sex'. I did. I wasn't impressed.

I'm amused by the idea that one must have sexual fantasies to masturbate - it's like saying you must be hungry to want to eat (when sometimes you just fancy a bar of chocolate).

I like how, completely aside from everything else anti-ace about this article, she throws out this:

"...they want asexuality to be recognised as the fourth sexual orientation."

Fourth? Really? Anybody who spends enough time studying and talking about sexuality and sexual orientations to call themselves a "sexual health therapist" should know that sexuality is NOT divided into neat little boxes in an either/or situation. Hell, we've known that since Kinsey, at the very least. This woman is a shame to the international community of sex therapists, and a shame to The Age.

The comments, for a change, are remarkably refreshing.

"Should lesbians or gay men 'explore all possibilities' before they decide they're homosexual? Maybe hets should explore whether or not they might be gay or lesbian? It seems there's a relentless push to get people to have sex and that if they don't they're somehow not normal or just need to 'find themselves'. Sexual autonomy and empowerment also includes the choice NOT to have sex. What gives anyone the right to question another person's preferences or to go around telling people they might be wrong about their sexuality, or lack thereof. Leave people alone to figure it out for themselves."

I saw this last week and didn't feel interested in replying--making journalism out of "MAYBE UR WRONG U KNO" is so incredibly uninformed and borderline trollish that I couldn't even bother to wade in. It's really awesome, though, that the comments have gems. Because honestly, sometimes it's someone being this bigoted that makes other people wake up and realize this philosophy is fundamentally flawed. It's the same thing behind why I use the most egregious comments in my videos; if I used the comments people make when they couch offensive questions in polite or biased language, people seem to think I'm being intolerant if I don't entertain their crap, but if I show an example of someone asking the question in a blatantly hostile, offensive way, they'll listen to my explanation of why this concept is gross (and so would be any argument built on this foundation). So maybe it takes someone really bigoted and an article poorly written/argued for some people to see this philosophy for what it is.

I'd like to point out that, when I went over to the article just a few minutes ago, that the comments are now closed. Gee, I wonder why? It couldn't possibly be because there are very, very few comments saying "Well done, pseudo-science expert! Please have all the accolades in the world!" and the multiple comments saying "Step back, bitch, and do some real research."

In addition to everything everyone else said, I was a bit "amused" that the point of the article was pretty much - "don't label yourself with an orientation" - "go look for a MENTAL HEALTH label to explain you instead."

summary: "it's a disease, not an identity!"

Yes, but more specifically - disease label good, identity label bad.

(Mind you, there are perfectly good and useful things that can come from a diagnostic label, also. But the idea that people who are fine with being asexual should instead label themselves with a disorder?)

This was pretty much my thought upon reading the drivel contained in that article; just what we need... yet another diatribe about how people who don't experience sexual attraction must be abnormal and/or sick in some way.

Aaaand the moment somebody criticises her she starts bawling about her freeze peach. Because that's a totally one-way street and doesn't cover anybody who wants to tell her she's talking offensive rubbish and to express disappointment that the article was published. Right.

Those who bawl and shout about their freeze peach the loudest are usually the ones who understand the concept the least because:

freeze peach ≠ freedom from the consequences of abusing that right

Silver definitely needs to be schooled on that fact.

Since comments are now closed, people might consider writing to the editor instead. LJ marked my comment with the link as spam, so try Googling contact the editor the age and click on the submit a comment link.

[Sorry for the double-post, I thought my original comment had become visible.]

Well I don't even feel like reading something like that. I'm still having trouble finding the right identity as it is to have someone come and say I'm broken. I have issues, yes, but there has never been a doubt in my mind as soon I found out asexuality exists that I am asexual.
Luckily, (and no I haven't told anyone straight out I am asexual), but there have been a few people around me that at least have heard about asexuality and even though I haven't dug deeper into their opinions about it, they don't seem hostile to the idea. So I think that it might not be widely spoken about, but that doesn't necessarily mean that people don't know about it.

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