Ignorant Masses!

For discussion of general issues pertaining to asexuality.
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ily
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Ignorant Masses!

Postby ily » Mon May 12, 2008 6:51 pm

Hi...I'm bringing up an issue that I've never heard discussed, and I'd really like some input on it.
In short, the ignorant masses really bother me to the point of distraction. When someone makes a false statement about asexuality, even if I don't know the person, it upsets me. For as long as I can remember, I've been extremely overwhelmed with all the ignorance, intolerance, and injustice in the world. I'm excessively empathetic, which could be good in some situations, but I'm also very sensitive (to my ongoing frustration) to what people think about me. Even if someone's not talking about ME, I tend to take all statements about asexuality personally. Educating all these ignorant people seems like an overwhelming, if not impossible, task. I know there will be bigots everywhere, no matter what, but the fact that they are out there, not just for asexuality but for every group, disturbs me greatly and makes me paranoid. Sadly, there's no level of self-security that you have to have to be "made" asexual (or any queer person).
People say things to me like, "the world needs people like you! People like you make the world a better place!" Yes, okay, but at what personal cost? It might kind of sound like I have some mental issues (other people are in my braaaiiin! :drool: ) and I probably do, but I can't be the only person who struggles with this, and I think it might be a reason why people are afraid to come out as asexual. These "ignorant masses" can be extremely hard to tune out if you're not secure in yourself, and sometimes even if you are.
I've said enough now...y'all?

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Olivier
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Re: Ignorant Masses!

Postby Olivier » Mon May 12, 2008 7:33 pm

I'm very secure in my self-image, so I don't take any of those things personally, but it still does astound me how some people are so untroubled people are with their ignorance.

I don't get treated with ignorance sexually, being straight, but the one thing that does bug me a bit comes from my role as an active father to my kids. Not so much around where I live (rural, hippy, artistic, liberal, practical) but more when we visit my in-laws (urban, rich, conservative, snobbish - not my in-laws, but their suburb :)) I get a truly strange reaction to taking my kids for a swing at the park without my wife. What is an unfamiliar, unaccompanied man doing in a kids playground? Is he a paedophile? When it's totally clear that I'm there with my own kids, one of whom has only just started walking and is near me pretty much at all times. And the thing that gets these people really suspicious? I'll often start a conversation! 8| Where I live it would be rude not to, but apparently it's normal in this part of Sydney for parents to stand next to each other watching their kids and not say a word to each other. Especially if one is (gasp!) a MAN. My wife still gets the silent treatment, but not the suspicious looks. What are these people on?

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ily
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Re: Ignorant Masses!

Postby ily » Mon May 12, 2008 7:44 pm

Obviously, it astounds me too, Olivier. 8| I question everything, and I find it hard to understand people who won't do that. In America, I think most moms would be thrilled to see a dad with his kids at the park. They'd find it sweet, you know? What an odd playground... :think:

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Olivier
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Re: Ignorant Masses!

Postby Olivier » Mon May 12, 2008 8:29 pm

ily wrote:Obviously, it astounds me too, Olivier. 8| I question everything, and I find it hard to understand people who won't do that. In America, I think most moms would be thrilled to see a dad with his kids at the park. They'd find it sweet, you know? What an odd playground... :think:

Australia generally is so laid back and liberal, that I think that just makes this little island of intolerance stand out more starkly. Even at that one playground it's fine as long as my wife and I are there together. Somehow that makes it normal enough to put them at their ease, because they're only comfortable with people who are their idea of normal (and I get the feeling that includes race, religion, and no doubt sexual orientation, too) - "people like us". I actually think the thing that marks me most as an outsider is not just my gender, but that I'm the only one there not wearing designer clothes :roll: Next time we visit, I'll break out the Ralph Lauren Polo and see if it makes a difference :lol:

I don't get this obsession with conformity at all. But maybe that's because a whole world where everyone was exactly like me is too scary for me to contemplate ;)

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Emmarainbow
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Re: Ignorant Masses!

Postby Emmarainbow » Tue May 13, 2008 8:23 am

It does frustrate me a great deal... I remember writing the huge myths and msconceptions page for my leaflet, and recalling how mqny of those I'vr been accused of... every one!

I try and be amused by it, but of course I can't manage it every time.

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ily
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Re: Ignorant Masses!

Postby ily » Tue May 13, 2008 11:11 am

Thanks Emma...I try to work hard on visibility, but at the same time, I don't want to overwhelm myself with the idea that I can somehow reach *everyone*. It makes me feel better when individuals go "hey, I learned something!" but sometimes I wonder how much of an impact I can really make. I know it does make some impact, but like you said, I still get very frustrated at times.

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Shockwave
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Re: Ignorant Masses!

Postby Shockwave » Tue May 13, 2008 6:20 pm

My first Sociology teacher used to get annoyed when he was out with his children and people would comment that he was "babysitting" them. Up until he told us about that in class I had been guilty of thinking that way myself.