The Symbol for Aces

For discussion of general issues pertaining to asexuality.
Gingerbread
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The Symbol for Aces

Postby Gingerbread » Fri Apr 17, 2009 1:19 pm

Hey Aces,

I was stalking the livejournal community for asexuals earlier on and came across this interesting entry:

[url]
http://community.livejournal.com/asexuality/616397.html
[/url]

Like some of the commenters, I don't quite care for either of the symbols. I have no problem with the triangle's history, or rather, I don't know anything about it but I still think it's somewhat aesthetically challenged. I also don't like the heart - as one commenter pointed out, it being only half full can lead to all sort of nasty stuff. I'm thinking people must just start sniggering about us being "incomplete" and others might just go into the vein of "oh, you poor thing" again.

So I was wondering... why hasn't anyone made a symbol of... an ace?

If the gay community is proud to adopt the rainbow flag, why shouldn't the ace community come up with a kickass flag that incorporate the Ace?

Karl
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Re: The Symbol for Aces

Postby Karl » Fri Apr 17, 2009 3:32 pm

The triangle symbol was created as a very simple model of sexual orientation and attraction. I'm pretty sure it's all explained on AVEN somewhere... *looks* Okay, well... it used to be explained on AVEN but they've switched everything around now, so I can't find it.

Basically, sexual orientation is often explained as a one-dimensional spectrum - a line or axis, with heterosexual at one end and homosexual at the other. Bisexuality occupies the fuzzy area between the two. This one-dimensional spectrum is brought into the second dimension by the addition of a perpendicular axis to represent the level of sexual attraction. Instead of ending up with a square, the creator of the model (I believe it was David Jay) decided that those who experience little to no sexual attraction would care less about the sex or gender of the people they were non-sexually attracted to, so he had the model taper to a point at the bottom to represent this. The bottom portion of the triangle, representing the theoretical asexual area, is generally filled in with solid black or a gradient from white to black to highlight the region.

I know quite a few people have used the Ace symbol to represent asexuality on websites, T-shirts, etc. I personally don't use the slang term 'Ace', so it doesn't appeal to me so much.

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wintermute
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Re: The Symbol for Aces

Postby wintermute » Fri Apr 17, 2009 3:46 pm

I have to second the fact that I don't particularly use - or like - the slang term "ace" so it doesn't appeal to me in the slightest.
Cicero wrote:"Neither can embellishments of language be found without arrangement and expression of thoughts, nor can thoughts be made to shine without the light of language"

pretzelboy
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Re: The Symbol for Aces

Postby pretzelboy » Fri Apr 17, 2009 9:11 pm

If you look way back into asexy records and spend some time reading posts on Haven for the Human Amoeba, you'll find that there were a number of proposals for symbols for asexuality. Many of these are linked to on now defunct sites and I haven't bothered to check to see if these are available on webarchive other than original version of AVEN.

David Jay, in fact, was the person to come up with the triangle symbol. Other than himself, no one on Haven for the Human Amoeba seemed to like it, but he made the webpage, and it kind of stuck. Also, a number of people who joined after it was already up seemed to have taken a liking to it. Of the other symbols, the only one I can recall is that someone figured that since combinations of the Mars and Venus symbols were the basis for a number of sexual and gender minorities, asexuality should adopt the symbol for the sun. DJ didn't go for it, citing the fact that it looks like the Target symbol.

Asexuality: the history of a definition. It seems that a good deal of editorial work is needed on this one, but this gives a good outline of asexy history. I don't talk much about the symbols there (though I do explain the triangle). However, discussion of symbols was definitely interconnected with definitions of asexuality.

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Dargon
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Re: The Symbol for Aces

Postby Dargon » Fri Apr 17, 2009 9:52 pm

I'm a fan of the triangle, because it is simple, has meaning to it, and doesn't seem to be used by anything else.

The ace is used somewhat commonly, but I tend to not be a fan of the term since it is usually used in other contexts. And I find it a little cheesy.

clouded_perception
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Re: The Symbol for Aces

Postby clouded_perception » Sat Apr 18, 2009 8:54 am

I think the triangle is the most recongiseable and least confusing of the common symbols. I've also seen one guy with a tshirt with the triangle on it and the homosexual end marked -- I didn't have the courage to ask him where he found it (since I didn't know the guy).

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ily
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Re: The Symbol for Aces

Postby ily » Sun Apr 19, 2009 1:39 pm

Whoa, I never knew the male and female symbols were the Mars and Venus symbols! I like the Mercury symbol--it's cute. I think this is a good symbol for asexuality:
Image
I'm not a big fan of the triangle or heart either. When I posted about AVEN meetups on Craigslist, I used a picture of the triangle. Someone e-mailed me and said, "That's a pretty sexy triangle!" Sure, it was just one individual on Craigslist, but when the bottom part is completely filled in, I can see how it might resemble a representation of female genitalia.
I like "ace" just because it also means "cool" or "awesome" (depending on your location), so it seems like a positive thing to be associated with.

Gingerbread
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Re: The Symbol for Aces

Postby Gingerbread » Mon Apr 20, 2009 12:32 am

hey,
thanks for pointing out of the history of the triangle to me, people.

ily,

thank goodness you said it so I don't have to.

yes indeedy, that is why i do not like the triangle symbol. hmm, i guess until everyone can settle on something...

p.s.
i also like ace, it's a little bit like the brights, except that it actually has something meaning... the brights's namesake was created out of a good intention, but i just can't help thinking it's a little... weird to identify with a group that has a name like the shining clevers. anyway... ace is cool.

pretzelboy
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Re: The Symbol for Aces

Postby pretzelboy » Mon Apr 20, 2009 7:02 am

The theory underlying the triangle was something that David Jay came up with when he didn't really know about other asexuals. He made the theory, and posted in on the pre-asexuality.org version of AVEN. Also on that site, he requested that anyone who knew anything about asexuality contact him. In searching for stuff on asexualtiy, someone on Haven for the Human Amoeba found him and contacted him. That's how he first got connected to other asexuals in online discourse, eventually causing him to create the forums since a yahoo group was not a good form of communication for a large number of people.

In the discussions in the months following, the theory underlying the triangle was abandoned, but the symbol stuck. No one had come up with a symbol (or definition) that everyone agreed on, so the definition and symbol preferred by the guy who made the best webpage and did the best visibility work won. (Combined with the fact that no one else has come up with a better definition or better symbol that everyone, or even most people, can agree on.)

I didn't tell you about it, but... http://web.archive.org/web/20020401213022/djay.web.wesleyan.edu/Theory/asexuality.htm internet archive is a fantastic tool for the asexy historian. An early version of AVEN, complete with an explanation of the triangle model.

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wintermute
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Re: The Symbol for Aces

Postby wintermute » Mon Apr 20, 2009 11:06 am

ily wrote:Whoa, I never knew the male and female symbols were the Mars and Venus symbols! I like the Mercury symbol--it's cute. I think this is a good symbol for asexuality:
Image
I'm not a big fan of the triangle or heart either. When I posted about AVEN meetups on Craigslist, I used a picture of the triangle. Someone e-mailed me and said, "That's a pretty sexy triangle!" Sure, it was just one individual on Craigslist, but when the bottom part is completely filled in, I can see how it might resemble a representation of female genitalia.
I like "ace" just because it also means "cool" or "awesome" (depending on your location), so it seems like a positive thing to be associated with.


Hah - i was saying it looked like a graphic of ladyparts for ages on AVEN but nobody else could see it. Goddamn at least I'm not the only one.

also re: "the brights" I think there is nothing more obnoxious than naming yourself in a way that inherently insults everyone who doesn't share your belief.
Cicero wrote:"Neither can embellishments of language be found without arrangement and expression of thoughts, nor can thoughts be made to shine without the light of language"

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Noskcaj.Llahsram
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Re: The Symbol for Aces

Postby Noskcaj.Llahsram » Tue Apr 21, 2009 12:43 pm

ily wrote:Whoa, I never knew the male and female symbols were the Mars and Venus symbols! I like the Mercury symbol--it's cute.


Really, I found out about that long ago, it makes sense Mars (Greek equiv. Ares) and Venus (Greek equiv. Aphrodite) were seen as ideals for true Roman citizens, men to be great and brave soldiers, women to be beautify, a loyal lover, and able to protect the mans affairs in his absence. Other gods served as other ideals, Mercury (Greek equiv. Hermes) for servants and Apollo for rulers, those are the only other ones I know.

My favourite roman god is still Janus, god of doorways, gates, portals, and by extension and inference Timetravel, also one of the few major roman gods not to have a Greek counterpart.
What is love? Well, you know that feeling you get when you've been locked in a tiny dark space alone for a year? It's kind of the opposite of that.

clouded_perception
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Re: The Symbol for Aces

Postby clouded_perception » Fri Apr 24, 2009 9:13 am

wintermute wrote:also re: "the brights" I think there is nothing more obnoxious than naming yourself in a way that inherently insults everyone who doesn't share your belief.


As somebody who is a Bright in all but name, I agree. I hate the label. It's as obnoxious as hell.