treatment of minorities

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Michael Smoker
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treatment of minorities

Postby Michael Smoker » Fri Feb 04, 2011 2:50 am

Some bright person once said that a community can be evaluated on the basis of how it treats its minorities. The asexual community has minoirities within it as well, and one measure of the community is how those minorities are treated by the majority of asexuals.

For one thing, men are a minority among asexuals. I haven't seen worse treatment of men among asexuals than in society in general, although that's hardly a compliment.

Also, non-feminists are a tiny minority among asexuals. Non-feminists tend to be subjected to vehement abuse as people in a position of privilege seek to protect their vested interests. Not that that's been much of an issue on Apositive, but it is within the asexual community in general, as it is in North America as a whole.

Third, cis-males and cis-females are a minority among asexuals as well. This is especially true of heterosexual cis-males, but of heterosexual cis-females as well. We are not particularly mistreated except insofar as our voices and concerns tend to be drowned out.

Fourth, ace-positive sexuals are a distinct minority. From what I can tell, they are generally treated well.

Anyone have anything to add?

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KAGU143
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Re: treatment of minorities

Postby KAGU143 » Fri Feb 04, 2011 7:24 am

I have observed much the same thing, although I'm not sure how much of it is related to asexuality, especially the prevalence of feminism, which does indeed seem to be the "politically correct" stance nowadays.
I do have some very strong suspicions about the gender differences among asexuals, and because I find it fascinating I want to toss out some of my ideas on this topic when I am able to devote more time to it. At the rate things are going, that may be a couple of weeks away - maybe longer.
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Re: treatment of minorities

Postby Dargon » Fri Feb 04, 2011 9:49 am

The treatment of males hasn't always been the case; I've noticed in the past AVEN has gone on more than a few very misandrist or misogynist bends.

That being said, non-liberals don't receive the happiest treatment on AVEN either.

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Re: treatment of minorities

Postby Siggy » Fri Feb 04, 2011 4:16 pm

Cis-gendered people make about 80% of AVEN, and numbers for the larger asexual community are probably similar.

Disabled people, especially those with autism spectrum disorder, have had problems in the community.

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Re: treatment of minorities

Postby Michael Smoker » Sat Feb 05, 2011 1:31 pm

Siggy,

I'll accept your statistics, but if that's the case, then the cis-gendered are largely a silent majority. I still think that our voices tend to get drowned out.

I had some very ugly run-ins with a hypercombative and fight-loving autistic person on Knights of the Shaded Triangle and am therefore not sympathetic to that subpopulation. It might be a case of the majority of autistic aces being very nice but only a few a**holes being vocal enough to be noticed.

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Re: treatment of minorities

Postby Dargon » Sat Feb 05, 2011 2:10 pm

The cis-gendered are likely quite silent because, as cis-gendered people, there is nothing out of the ordinary with regards to their gender. It is much akin to saying that neurotypical peoples are a minority on AVEN due to the large number of people speaking of their asperger's. It's not that they aren't there, it's that they often have little to add or relate to.

And on that topic, particularly with regards to asperger's, I've noticed the opposite of Siggy in my time at AVEN. To be honest, it did at a point reach a point where not having asperger's seemed to make one the odd one out. At risk of sounding quite politically incorrect, it was almost as though AVEN became the Asperger's Visibility and Education Network.

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Re: treatment of minorities

Postby Siggy » Sat Feb 05, 2011 5:39 pm

Michael Smoker wrote:Siggy,

I'll accept your statistics, but if that's the case, then the cis-gendered are largely a silent majority. I still think that our voices tend to get drowned out.

I had some very ugly run-ins with a hypercombative and fight-loving autistic person on Knights of the Shaded Triangle and am therefore not sympathetic to that subpopulation. It might be a case of the majority of autistic aces being very nice but only a few a**holes being vocal enough to be noticed.

I'm not exactly sure what you meant by a minority. Did you mean, groups that are fewer in number, ones that don't have much of a voice, ones that get very little discussion, or ones that are habitually silenced or opposed?

Cis people are certainly greater in number, and have a lot of voices. AFAIK, everyone in this thread is cis, for instance. Cis-gender itself gets very little discussion, but this because there is no need, not because we're being silenced or opposed.

As for autistic people, they are definitely a numerical minority, though a fairly big one. I say they get a lot of voices too, and autism gets a fair amount of discussion. They're also habitually opposed, though I take it that you believe that some of this opposition is justified?

Sciatrix is one of my favorite people, FYI.

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Re: treatment of minorities

Postby Michael Smoker » Sun Feb 06, 2011 6:51 am

Dargon wrote:And on that topic, particularly with regards to asperger's, I've noticed the opposite of Siggy in my time at AVEN. To be honest, it did at a point reach a point where not having asperger's seemed to make one the odd one out. At risk of sounding quite politically incorrect, it was almost as though AVEN became the Asperger's Visibility and Education Network.


There seem to be two kinds of AVEN member. The vast majority show up saying "Wow, it looks like I'm asexual!", and ask a couple of questions. Once the novelty of identifying as ace wears off, they disappear and are never seen again.

Then there are the very vocal minorities that have turned AVEN into the Autism Visibility Network, the Transgendered Visibility Network, the Gay and Bi Visibility Network, the Feminism Perpetuation Network, and, in short, everything except what the organization's name purports it to be. If you hang around AVEN and don't belong to one of the privileged blowhard minorities, you'll have a very tough time of it. (Which I gather that, as a social and political conservative, you did and perhaps still do.)

AVEN should be renamed as the Aces Stop By and Say Hi and the Usual Suspects Hijack Everything Organization (although that would make for a clumsy acronym).

Michael

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Re: treatment of minorities

Postby Michael Smoker » Sun Feb 06, 2011 6:59 am

Siggy wrote:I'm not exactly sure what you meant by a minority. Did you mean, groups that are fewer in number, ones that don't have much of a voice, ones that get very little discussion, or ones that are habitually silenced or opposed?


The word "minority" is defined as "fewer in number than 50% of the total population." Any other definition of "minority" is self-serving hype created by feminists when they realized, much to their embarrassment, that women are actually the majority at 53% of the world's population. "Oops," they thought, "we can no longer ride the coattails of minorities in order to keep acquiring personal power for ourselves at the expense of other women, so we'd better muddy up the meaning of the word 'minority.'" So, in order to perpetuate the existence of feminism as a movement after all the battles had been won, women had become socially dominant, and men had become second-class citizens, it was necessary to invent a new definition for "minority." And, since feminists control everything today, the invention of the new definition wasn't opposed.

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Re: treatment of minorities

Postby KAGU143 » Sun Feb 06, 2011 9:52 am

Awwww, come on Michael.
I think there's at least a third type of AVENite, maybe more. I've been there for over 7 years, so I don't think I can qualify as the first kind.
As for the second kind ... Well, I'm not gay, autistic, or transgendered. At least I don't think I am. By the broadest definition, I could be considered queer (since asexuals are not *precisely* straight) and when I took the test for Aspberger's I scored high, but not quite high enough to qualify as a full-blown Aspie. Gender issues ... well? I definitely don't want to be a man. I'm not too crazy about being female either, but that's the body I got so I will manage with it.
And I have mixed feelings about feminism. It is true that, on average, women still get paid less for doing the same work as a man, and I can't see anything about this ongoing situation that suggests any kind of social dominance.
In other areas I think that men are getting the short end of the stick, and that isn't fair either.

As a species, humans just don't seem to do a very good job when it comes to encouraging social equality. Everybody wants to feel better than somebody else, and the vast majority of us want to belong to a group that considers itself to be somehow superior to some other group. I call these groups "ists," and the characteristics that they focus on in order to identify and promote themselves "isms."
Off the top of my head, I can come up with quite a few of them: feminists, racists, conservatives (conservatism), liberals (liberalism), patriots (patriotism), humanists, deists, idealists, vegetarians (vegetarianism), environmentalists, nationalists and etc. I'm sure there are plenty more that I know about, but can't think of at the moment.

As far as I know, humans are the only species to appreciate the concept of "fairness" (although I think some of the other higher primates may come close) and, even with this ability, we still fail miserably when it comes to actually putting it into practice.

The more typical human position is "I will be fair to you, but you have to be fair to me first. Oh! And, by the way, I get to decide what fairness is."
I think that the driving force behind all of human history could be summed up in those few words.
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Re: treatment of minorities

Postby Siggy » Sun Feb 06, 2011 10:40 am

Michael Smoker wrote:Then there are the very vocal minorities that have turned AVEN into the Autism Visibility Network, the Transgendered Visibility Network, the Gay and Bi Visibility Network, the Feminism Perpetuation Network, and, in short, everything except what the organization's name purports it to be. If you hang around AVEN and don't belong to one of the privileged blowhard minorities, you'll have a very tough time of it. (Which I gather that, as a social and political conservative, you did and perhaps still do.)


If you think those are privileged groups, I would be interested to hear what privileges they have. Something like this list. I'm not trying to dismiss your concerns or anything, I genuinely want to hear it. It's easily possible for two groups to each have privileges over the other, so what privileges do minorities have on AVEN?

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Re: treatment of minorities

Postby apsaf » Sun Feb 06, 2011 12:21 pm

Michael Smoker wrote:Any other definition of "minority" is self-serving hype created by feminists when they realized, much to their embarrassment, that women are actually the majority at 53% of the world's population. "Oops," they thought, "we can no longer ride the coattails of minorities in order to keep acquiring personal power for ourselves at the expense of other women, so we'd better muddy up the meaning of the word 'minority.'" So, in order to perpetuate the existence of feminism as a movement after all the battles had been won, women had become socially dominant, and men had become second-class citizens, it was necessary to invent a new definition for "minority." And, since feminists control everything today, the invention of the new definition wasn't opposed.


As a woman and a feminist, I find this offensive. Where I live, I hear men complaining that now they need to fight for their rights while in fact, and in the legal system, women are still second-rate citizens. If I got married (hypothetically speaking cos I'd NEVER do that) I'm legally obliged to change my family name and the place of my registry to my husband's, my children would carry his name... and many more ridiculous laws (like not allowing me to open a bank account in my children's name while my husband and his brother can!) JUST because he's physically different??? I know a few feminist men who also find this very offensive because they consider their wives and sisters and mothers as full human beings who should be equally viewed by the eyes of the law and society. You make it seem like a competition and one of the sexes has to rule. I became a feminist because I've never understood the differences between people based on their gender and I don't behave based on that. Believe me it's shocking to grow up not caring about sex and gender to suddenly realize you have less rights (but the same obligations) as another citizen just because you have boobs!

Sorry for going off topic but couldn't not comment on this.

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Re: treatment of minorities

Postby Michael Smoker » Sun Feb 06, 2011 2:38 pm

KAGU143 wrote:As a species, humans just don't seem to do a very good job when it comes to encouraging social equality. Everybody wants to feel better than somebody else, and the vast majority of us want to belong to a group that considers itself to be somehow superior to some other group. I call these groups "ists," and the characteristics that they focus on in order to identify and promote themselves "isms."
Off the top of my head, I can come up with quite a few of them: feminists, racists, conservatives (conservatism), liberals (liberalism), patriots (patriotism), humanists, deists, idealists, vegetarians (vegetarianism), environmentalists, nationalists and etc. I'm sure there are plenty more that I know about, but can't think of at the moment.


I don't think the kind of one-upmanship tendency you describe is universal. It does have universal _roots_. As living beings we compete for resources with not only other people (including our own children) but with other animals, plants and even viruses. Since we are thinking beings, that competitiveness can surface in our minds as the desire to be better off than others we compete with. Many people, however, have transcended this aspect of their animality and chosen to have our minds rule our bodies rather than vice-versa. That's partly what Buddhism is all about, so there's even a whole religion partly devoted to the abnegation of the lowest-common-denominator principle. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that almost no one on earth is competitive once they've become enlightened. But history and the world are driven by those who intellectualize competition for resources in the way that you've described, and their success makes them seem more numerous than they actually are.

Thank you for inspiring me to refine my thoughts on certain things. I have long been a fan of that section in one of Nietzsche's books that discusses advantage and the seeking of advantage. For a similar length of time I have recognized that business acumen is just a refined intellectualized ability to seek advantage. But amoebas also seek advantage, so business acumen is the glorification of the lowest common denominator. Now I see that there is another common denominator that is even lower: the brute competition for resources, which, when intellectualized, leads directly to the "ism" phenomenon your post mentions. And it turns out that the "ist" population is rewarded even more lavishly by nature than businesspeople are because it's lower down on the scale of refinement and farther away from what makes us distinctly human.

Michael

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Re: treatment of minorities

Postby Michael Smoker » Sun Feb 06, 2011 2:45 pm

apsaf wrote:
Michael Smoker wrote:Any other definition of "minority" is self-serving hype created by feminists when they realized, much to their embarrassment, that women are actually the majority at 53% of the world's population. "Oops," they thought, "we can no longer ride the coattails of minorities in order to keep acquiring personal power for ourselves at the expense of other women, so we'd better muddy up the meaning of the word 'minority.'" So, in order to perpetuate the existence of feminism as a movement after all the battles had been won, women had become socially dominant, and men had become second-class citizens, it was necessary to invent a new definition for "minority." And, since feminists control everything today, the invention of the new definition wasn't opposed.


As a woman and a feminist, I find this offensive. Where I live, I hear men complaining that now they need to fight for their rights while in fact, and in the legal system, women are still second-rate citizens. If I got married (hypothetically speaking cos I'd NEVER do that) I'm legally obliged to change my family name and the place of my registry to my husband's, my children would carry his name... and many more ridiculous laws (like not allowing me to open a bank account in my children's name while my husband and his brother can!) JUST because he's physically different??? I know a few feminist men who also find this very offensive because they consider their wives and sisters and mothers as full human beings who should be equally viewed by the eyes of the law and society. You make it seem like a competition and one of the sexes has to rule. I became a feminist because I've never understood the differences between people based on their gender and I don't behave based on that. Believe me it's shocking to grow up not caring about sex and gender to suddenly realize you have less rights (but the same obligations) as another citizen just because you have boobs!

Sorry for going off topic but couldn't not comment on this.


If I recall correctly, you live in Lebanon. I live in a different part of the world, where _not_ having boobs makes you a second-class citizen. My post should have indicated that I was speaking about what goes on in the part of the world I live in and am familiar with, and I apologize for the fact that it didn't. But I will say that the _real_ feminists, that small star chamber of a few select women who control everything, has probably arranged for discrimination against other women to continue going on in parts of the world such as yours, because that's how they keep their hold on power. Those particular feminists don't give much of a damn about other women. In fact, they are intensely competitive with other women and have used men to hurt other women such as yourself for thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, of years. In calling yourself a feminist you are just playing into their hands and helping them keep a hold on absolute power. I wish I could suggest a better course of action, but if I knew of one I'd be _taking_ it myself.

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Re: treatment of minorities

Postby Siggy » Sun Feb 06, 2011 10:19 pm

I just thought of a new minority: conspiracy theorists!

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Re: treatment of minorities

Postby fridayoak » Mon Feb 07, 2011 7:36 am

Michael Smoker wrote:Siggy,

I had some very ugly run-ins with a hypercombative and fight-loving autistic person on Knights of the Shaded Triangle and am therefore not sympathetic to that subpopulation. It might be a case of the majority of autistic aces being very nice but only a few a**holes being vocal enough to be noticed.

Michael


I had similar run-ins with the same person on AVEN, so I share your views on that particular subject.

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Re: treatment of minorities

Postby Michael Smoker » Mon Feb 07, 2011 11:55 am

I have no objection to the presence of people who are what I'd call "ace-curious," meaning they've just discovered asexuality as a concept and want to find out more about it. This applies both to people who think they might be asexual and to confirmed sexuals with open minds. Two of the best members of AVEN forum are sexuals, and I never had a problem with either.

The transient population of asexuality forums has never particularly bothered me. I do have a problem with some confused individuals when their confusion (dare I say their borderline personality disorder) causes real harm to other people, which has happened. But in terms of dropping in to investigate asexuality and either finding out you're not asexual and losing interest quickly, or realizing that you don't have a need to discuss asexuality on an ongoing basis and similarly losing interest in a forum, that kind of thing shouldn't be an issue.

I do love the idea of an aromantics forum, as long as you don't have to be ANTI-romantic in order to fit in there. Anyone want to tell me more about this place?

Michael

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Re: treatment of minorities

Postby Michael Smoker » Tue Feb 08, 2011 1:55 pm

disjointed wrote:http://aromantics.forum-motion.net/

I hope that helps


Thank you very much. :) The forum looks pretty dead, but hopefully it will revitalize if the word spreads that it exists.

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Re: treatment of minorities

Postby Dargon » Wed Feb 09, 2011 9:59 am

disjointed wrote:I would say of all the asexual sites I belong to after aven..apositive is the busiest


You pop up at the A-sylum from time to time, and it's totally busier over there. Mind you, the topic is more often politics and other randomness, seldom asexuality.

None the less, those observations are quite true, but I would say when it comes to activity, AVEN is a rough metric to stack up to. There is a forum which gets many new members a day, where it can easily take a few hours to catch up on only a few boards worth of threads if you haven't been there in 24 hours. I've been to quite a few other forums which I would consider highly active, which were not nearly as large and busy as AVEN, forums where a new member may pop up every few days, where half an hour a day can keep you caught up on everything. A-positive isn't even that big, but I'm really not a fan of forums bigger than that.

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Re: treatment of minorities

Postby Michael Smoker » Wed Feb 09, 2011 12:50 pm

If I'm going to consider a forum reasonably busy, I'd like to see about 10 new posts a day. More than that is usually too much. Apositive reaches that threshold at the very busiest of times. I would like to see more regularly active members on here, but that requires a level of promotional activity that Nancy doesn't really have the free time for right now.

I do miss AVEN chat. On AVEN chat I met about 30 nice people who were great to talk to and I got along very well with, but the two or three idiots who didn't like me were more vocal and influential with the admin team than the majority were.

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Re: treatment of minorities

Postby fridayoak » Fri Feb 11, 2011 7:23 am

I find it a bit odd that the owners of the alternative asexual forums (here, the asylum, cakegasm etc) don't seem to advertise/publicise their own sites on AVEN much. Surely if you want more visitors it'd help to mention your site a bit more.

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Re: treatment of minorities

Postby Dargon » Fri Feb 11, 2011 7:48 pm

fridayoak wrote:I find it a bit odd that the owners of the alternative asexual forums (here, the asylum, cakegasm etc) don't seem to advertise/publicise their own sites on AVEN much. Surely if you want more visitors it'd help to mention your site a bit more.


Perhaps, but I question how much it would have to be posted. AVEN moves so fast now, that it would seem to require a post every couple of days to stay on the front page. Would it be worth the effort?

I know I speak only for myself with this one (and I am but a mere participant, not an owner), but what with having such a busy life outside the internets, I am not sure I personally could deal with such a large and rapid influx of new members.

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Re: treatment of minorities

Postby sinisterporpoise » Mon Feb 21, 2011 2:49 pm

The AVEN 101 thing is an interesting point. Where does a person go for more indepth information?

I think your other point is a little off the mark. Other than the Teens, who the curmudgeon in me secretly doubts are Asexual, I think most posters there on AVEN are sincere about their Asexuality.

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Re: treatment of minorities

Postby FalconEagle » Sun Apr 24, 2011 10:11 am

Michael Smoker wrote:Third, cis-males and cis-females are a minority among asexuals as well. This is especially true of heterosexual cis-males, but of heterosexual cis-females as well. We are not particularly mistreated except insofar as our voices and concerns tend to be drowned out.

Huh? How do you know this?