Big Smoke

'cause it's hard to see from where I'm standin'

Asexual Awareness Week

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It is – or was – Asexual Awareness Week, where an estimated 1% of the population wishes to make themselves known as asexuals. That’s all well and good, but I’m somewhat confused about how to react to articles such as this which attempts to reconcile sexual minorities with “heteroromantic” behavior.

Now, it’s been my understanding that most relationships require some modicum of sexual compatibility to truly flourish, and indeed most divorces are due to such, so I don’t really have an answer for how to deal with an asexual person dealing with romantic thoughts, except that they’re really only compatible with other asexual people – which are understandably quite rare.

That issue aside, the more I think about it, I’m not entirely sure what the asexual movement is attempting to accomplish. I mean, there’s awareness – it’s right in the name – but beyond that, what is the great battle?

With gay rights activists, it’s because there’s legislation against sodomy and gay marriage. With feminism there’s the glass ceiling and the wage gap. With transgendered people there’s the right to surgery. With intersex people, there’s the right not to have surgery. For the latter two, there’s the right to be officially acknowledged as the gender to which they identify, which is indeed a policy issue.

There are all issues that require legislation of some form, either to combat discrimination or to undo laws which are discriminatory. What fight is there, then, for asexual people? I suppose it must be the right not to have to follow a normative sexual lifestyle. The only thing is, there’s no law saying you have to. Such a law would be unenforceable at any rate.

Perhaps it would be an anti-discrimination clause, but what wouldn’t be covered by the already extant feminist and gay rights movements? A non-sexually active teenager or college co-ed might be mistaken as frigid or homosexual, but if the right to say no is acknowledged and homosexuality isn’t a scarlet letter, is that so bad?

Perhaps it would be sex education, but most sex education is centered on the risks of sexually transmitted infections and unplanned pregnancy, which you can’t get if you never have sex. Moreover, most school sex ed programs don’t exactly go through the gamut of sexual identity largely because the various political movements themselves can’t exactly agree on just how many letters should be in the ever-increasingly unwieldy acronym that starts out LGBT and can extend all the way to LGBTQIAPK (that’s Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transsexual Questioning Intersex Asexual Polyamorous Kinky if you were wondering) which is a lot to unload on a middle or high school student even in the most liberal of districts.

Maybe I’m reading too much into this. Maybe no action is requested. Maybe it’s as simple as “we want to be seen.” Well, I see you. Hi there!

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