Making Your Community & Activism More Inclusive

This page is meant to be a collection of resources for…

  • People who are part of the asexual community who are trying to become more actively inclusive and sensitive to ace survivors among them
  • People who are part of other activist communities (like MOGAI, feminist, anti-racist, disability, etc.) or survivor support groups who are interested in making their communities more inclusive and supportive to ace people
  • People who are doing presentations, outreach, or other kinds of activism about asexuality

Below you will find a collection of links, printable resources, and posts from our blog geared towards making safer spaces for ace survivors in any kind of community where we may be found—and since we are incredibly diverse, and sexual violence and abuse are entirely too common, it is very possible that your community could have (or once have had) some ace survivors that might feel alienated. Please do not assume that just because you don’t know of any ace survivors in your community, they must not be there. Most of us do not disclose our trauma to very many people (especially since it is frequently used against us to say that we can’t “really” be asexual), and many of us choose not to come out as asexual in communities that don’t explicitly include asexuals.

This page is a work-in-progress, and we welcome suggestions and submissions.

Printable Resources

Articles

Ace Survivors as Rhetorical Devices (part four): Avoiding Using Ace Survivors Rhetorically

This series can be read on The Asexual Agenda, Resources for Ace Survivors, and Concept Awesome.

Trigger warnings: discussion of sexual violence, including corrective rape and CSA, although nothing specific; policing of survivors’ reactions to sexual violence. If you think this needs more warnings, let me know, and I’ll be happy to add them.

In the last two posts I’ve outlined two of the major ways in which ace survivors are used as rhetorical devices–by using them to win political arguments and by creating a monolithic narrative of The Way Sexual Violence Happens to Aces. If you’ve read this far, you might be worrying about whether you’ve done either of these things in your own writing. You might be wondering how to avoid using aces as rhetorical devices while still writing forceful, argumentative pieces. This part is for you.

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Ace Survivors as Rhetorical Devices (part three): The One True Narrative of Sexual Violence Against Aces

This series can be read on The Asexual Agenda, Resources for Ace Survivors, and Concept Awesome.

Trigger warnings: Discussion of sexual violence, including corrective rape and CSA; manipulation of survivors and their stories for political means; victim-blaming; erasure of sexual violence narratives that cannot be used for narrow political purposes; suicide mention; racism; implication that all allosexual people are rapists. As always, if you feel that I should add more warnings, feel free to drop me a line and I’ll be happy to add them.

In the last post of this series I discussed the way ace survivors are used to win political arguments. In this post I’m going to discuss the way bloggers construct The One True Narrative of The Way Sexual Violence Happens to Aces. This can take several forms.  First, the author may assume that all ace survivors fit into a particular narrative of sexual violence (usually corrective rape by an allosexual romantic partner). Second, the author may acknowledge that sexual violence against aces may happen in multiple ways, but may highlight one way as more important or “real” than the rest. (This frequently involves fabricating statistics regarding asexuality and sexual violence.)

Let’s take a look at some examples:

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Ace Survivors as Rhetorical Devices (part two): Using Ace Survivors to Win Political Arguments

This series can be read on The Asexual Agenda, Resources for Ace Survivors, and Concept Awesome.

Trigger warnings: mentions of sexual violence, including corrective and coercive rape; manipulation of survivors and their stories for political means; statements implying that all allosexual people are rapists; victim-blaming survivors of coercive rape; pretty nasty discourse about non-aromantic people; anti-LGBTQ sentiment. If you think this needs additional warnings, just drop me a line and I’ll be happy to add them.

If you’ve seen a post about ace survivors, there’s a very good chance it was in the context of ace survivors being proof that asexuals are oppressed. In fact, ace survivors are often used as trump cards to win political arguments on everything from the oppression of asexuals to the oppression of sex-averse aces to the necessity of separating asexuality from LGBT movements. This sort of rhetoric is a huge issue for ace survivors, as it treats us not as complex individuals whose needs and desires matter to the community but as pawns to be used or discarded at the whim of the author.

Let’s take a closer look at an example of this sort of rhetoric:

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Responsible Sharing: When to Avoid Linking a Survivor’s Story

It’s important not to speak over survivors. Sometimes people speak of “protecting” ace survivors but then don’t listen to what we actually have to say. We are the experts, and we have been the ones to create nearly all resources currently available for other survivors. If you want to help us, then it is a good idea to link to things we’ve already written. But sharing links to our posts can also be inappropriate or dangerous, exposing us only to further harm. It’s important to take care with what you share and where you share it.

If you can remember these three rules, you should be able to figure out whether linking to a post made by a survivor is appropriate—and if not, please just ask permission!

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Ace Survivors as Rhetorical Devices (part one): Introduction

This series can be read on The Asexual Agenda, Resources for Ace Survivors, and Concept Awesome.

What’s the deal with this series?

This series is about the way ace survivors are used as rhetorical devices in ace communities. I’ve already finished writing the series as of this posting–it’s 4 parts, and I’ll be posting a new part every 2 weeks until it’s complete. This first post is just an introduction to explain what the deal with this series is. In part 2 I discuss the use of ace survivors to win political arguments, in part 3 I discuss the creation of the One True Narrative of Sexual Violence Against Aces by ignoring or erasing the experiences of ace survivors who don’t fit the author’s political agenda, and in part 4 I offer suggestions for bloggers and activists who want to write/talk about ace survivors in a sensitive, non-exploitative manner.

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Asexuality Basics for Health Professionals Printable Info Sheet

A resource for those who:

  • Need to come out to their therapists about asexuality, but aren’t up for fielding 101 questions
  • Want their doctors to understand asexuality to avoid misdiagnosis, bad assumptions, or awkward questions
  • Simply want to do activism to promote better understanding of asexuality and competent treatment of ace people

You can print this page out and give it to your therapist, doctor, etc. to give them information about asexuality and recommendations for how to treat asexual clients/patients on the spot. This sheet will also direct them to other resources that they can use to educate themselves.

Download it here:

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Here goes everything

I discovered the Wikipedia page for asexuality in January of 2008. By September of the same year, I had PTSD. These two facts are not unrelated.

The story is sickeningly cliche, to be honest. Young Queenie discovers asexuality a month and a half into her first romantic relationship. When she comes out to her boyfriend, he tells her, “You’re not asexual; we just haven’t tried the right things yet.” Young Queenie doesn’t have enough knowledge or self-confidence to stand her ground. Boyfriend pushes at her boundaries, seeing how far he can overstep them before Queenie freaks out and throws him off her or…

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Disingenuous, Shallow “Support”

Ah, yes. Facebook Activism. Because sharing something on Facebook for others to automatically click “like” without even reading is clearly the most effective way to promote real engagement with anti-violence work, and genuine support to survivors.

The idea that a brand is all that’s needed to get others to care, rather than something that is just there for others to adopt in order to look like they care, is so incredibly vile to me.

Why? Because it’s exactly the sort of thing that makes it easier for abusers to gaslight their victims.

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Challenges faced by asexual spectrum survivors of sexual violence (part 3)

This series focuses on awful things people say to asexual spectrum survivors, sometimes out of spite, sometimes out of concern, and sometimes out of ignorance. Each section has a quote (or collection of related quotes) followed by a “translation” of the quote (or a distillation of the essence of the argument, if you will) and then commentary on why this is an awful thing to say.

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