I have a question about someone who can't experience platonic love, do they not love their pets or their family? I'm really confused.
So I'm assuming what prompted this ask was this comic I just reblogged about being aplatonic and a loveless aro.
I think part of the disconnect can be that people define love and feel things internally differently. Something I hear a lot from both aplatonic people and loveless aros is that love is a very large feeling and what they're feeling may not feel like it lives up to that.
There's also an issue with society at large that love is vaguely defined and given very broad definitions. One person's definition of love may be defined differently by someone else, or may even feel differently internally. So to borrow the pet example, maybe one person may call how they feel towards their pet love and another may consider it more companionship, or more caring about them but not necessarily love.
We also tend to put a lot of emphasis on internal feelings, and even more dangerously sometimes attach morality to internal feelings. And it's really important to unlearn this. Morality is how we choose to act and how we treat others. You don't have to love your pet to take good care of it and some people who do love their pets still neglect them. Feelings on the other hand are often something outside of our control entirely.
If this is something you're still having trouble getting your head around though, I definitely recommend reading up more on it. AUREA has a good indepth article on the aplatonic label and the LGBTA WIki has good article on loveless aros. And that's a really good place to start. It can also just take time to unlearn societal assumptions on what is love and that the idea of love and what it feels like is universal since that's something we're taught from a really young age.
All the best, Anon!
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IT’S ACE WEEK!
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For Ace Week 2021, TAAAP is hosting a series of articles highlighting the experiences of often overlooked members of the ace community! Today we are starting with ace people of color - these images highlight some quotes from the article, which you can read in full here: https://taaap.org/2021/10/24/ace-week-21-bipoc-aces/
Thank you to all of our fantastic contributors for helping to make this happen!
[ID: 6 quotes from the linked article. “If aces of color seem hard to find, it’s because you’re either not looking or we have noticed your racism and intentionally do not want to be found by you.” - Maximus. “Racism, colorism, and ableism are common in queer spaces generally so I often find myself feeling incredibly anxious and nervous to join or seek out ace communities.” - Jesi. “We’re here to stay and we will keep being loud. We will pave the way and shield other BIPOC aces.” - Mik. “Share my and fellow BIPOC ace folk activist content, tip us for our labor, listen to us.” - Marshall. “[Non-Black asexuals’] asexuality does not absolve them of their complicity in the fetishization and dehumanization of Black people.” - Sherronda J. Brown. “We have different experiences and struggles depending on our race and culture and that our stories need to be heard. We need to be represented not just as aces, but as BIPOC aces.” - Ally Ravago. End ID.]
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For real tho, where are the rest of my romance-favourable but still loveless aros at?
The two main narratives I'm used to seeing are:
'Aros can still feel [other kinds] of love' from well meaning aros who are sick of their friendships, familial bonds and QPRs being treated as lesser than romantic relationships, as well as arospecs who are sick of their identities being ignored, erased or misinterpreted.
'Aros don't have to feel any kind of love/have a QPR' from well meaning loveless/aplatonic aros who are sick of people just replacing romance with QPRs on the amatonormativity pedestal.
I so rarely see people talk about the strangeness of being in the middle of these, and what it's like to enjoy romance/love while never actually feeling it.
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loveless aro culture is being frustrated when your criticism of the soulmate trope is met with "but soulmates can be platonic too"
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Demigirl culture is strawberry milkshakes
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Ace culture is amethysts.
3. Nice rock.
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October is LGBTQ+ History Month in the United States, so lets talk about ace and aro history!
For more on Carl Schlegal, look at https://nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/historian-unearths-evidence-one-america-s-earliest-gay-rights-activists-n1026921
For the full letter referenced in the fourth graphic, go to https://jstor.org/stable/community.28032141?seq=1#metadata_info_tab_contents
[ID: 4 images with the heading “LGBTQ+ History Month”. The first reads “Asexuality and aromanticism are not “new” or “internet” orientations, even if the communities were created more recently. Ace and aro people have existed throughout history, usually in queer spaces. Modern ace and aro communities were only able to find each other more recently, with the connections and reach provided by the internet. One of the first modern aspec communities, a Yahoo group called Haven for the Human Amoeba, was created in 2000.” The second image reads “Even when ace and aro people didn’t have their own communities, they often joined larger queer spaces or were seen as queer by others. Scientists studying sexuality have long found that some of their subjects didn’t experience sexual attraction, from Karl-Maria Kertbeny in 1869 to Magnus Hirschfeld in 1896 to Alfred Kinsey in 1948, and usually considered them queer. There have been many, many queer historical figures whose experiences seem like they would fit ace or aro labels even if those labels did not exist at the time. Because aro and ace people have non-normative experiences with romance and sex, they frequently looked for help or perspectives from queer people.”
The third image is on asexual history specifically, and has an ace flag. It reads “Asexuals were explicitly included in many queer movements and in speeches historically. For example, Carl Schlegal, one of the first gay activists in the United States, specifically mentioned asexuals when advocating for equal treatment under the law in a speech in 1907: “Let the same laws for all the intermediate stages of sexual life: the homosexuals, heterosexuals, bisexuals, asexuals, be legal as they are now in existence for the heterosexuals.”
The fourth image is on aromantic history specifically, and has an aro flag. It reads “It’s harder to find clear examples of aromanticism historically, simply because it was not common to explicitly make a distinction between different forms of attractionHowever, there are examples of people describing experiences that sound like aromanticism - one such example is from an Italian teenager writing into the lesbian magazine “Ain’t I a Woman?” in 1972: “I really don’t believe in love. The rightest and best form of love I have ever experienced with people, regardless of age and sex is a deep sincere mutual communication and understanding. Friendship.” End ID.]
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loveless aro culture is thinking about the people who say “but aros can still love” etc. and thinking “and what if i don’t want to? what then, huh?”
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piece of media: romantic love is what makes us whole... life is meaningless without it, we feel empty... it’s the most important thing in the world
me, an aromantic person:
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[ID: A man says “I’ve had enough of this dude“ while gesturing at a painting labelled “people acting like nonbinary people don’t exist”. End ID]
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[ID: The business handshake meme. A person on the left, labelled “deciding to come out today because it’s national coming out day”, shakes hands with a person on the right, labelled “deciding not to come out today because you don’t feel safe, comfortable, or ready to come out yet”. Their hands are labelled “being wonderful options for national coming out day”. End ID]
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The aro mood when you say that maybe every single aspect of love and romance isn’t perfect
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Happy International Lesbian Day!
[Description: Two images with striped backgrounds, white squares, and black text. The stripes on the first image are two shades of pink, and the stripes on the second image are two shades of orange. Both have the heading “Being Aspec and Lesbian”.
The first reads “Being aro and/or ace does not contradict being a lesbian! There are many ways to feel/form attraction, love, and/or companionship. Ace lesbians may particularly struggle with feeling like a contradiction, due to the over-sexualization of lesbians in modern capitalist society. It may be particularly hard for aspec lesbians to realize that they are lesbians, due to not feeling certain kinds of attraction for any gender and the social invalidation of intense feelings between women/women-aligned people. “
The second reads “Aro lesbians may feel negatively for seemingly fulfilling the “predatory lesbian” stereotype. (Note: They do not, because aromanticism is neither predatory nor threatening!) Identifying as lesbian + an aspec orientation does not mean that one is necessarily more important than the other. You do not need to pick sides! Whether you have known all your life, realized later in life, are currently questioning, etc, you deserve to safely and happily participate in LGBTQIA+ community!” End description.]
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[ID: At the top, text reads “People: *insinuate that being in a mediocre marriage/romantic relationship is still better than being single*”, and on the next line, “Me, an aro:”. Below is an image of a stern-looking man saying “Am I a joke to you?”. End ID]
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hot take maybe but i hate when people use afab/amab as shorthand for anything to do with someone's body, or thoughtlessly uses it as a replacement for gendered language.
like for example if you have a scientific study that says "we found women are at higher risk for xyz than men" you CANNOT just turn around and say "hey guys this study says afab people are at higher risk for xyz than amab people" because you DON'T KNOW!
like, did the study include trans participants? no? then it doesn't tell you SHIT ALL about how someone's assigned gender affects things, because it's not comparing afab people and amab people of various genders, it's comparing cis men and cis women.
oh, and even if it's a medical study you STILL can't jump to conclusions! "cis women are at higher risk for xyz" does not translate to "afab people are at higher risk for xyz" because there are afab and amab people with all sorts of bodies. for example, if cis women are at higher risk for whatever because of estrogen levels, a trans man on testosterone might have a risk level more comparable to cis men, and a trans woman on estrogen might have a risk level more comparable to cis women.
if the study doesn't conclude anything about WHY cis women were at higher risk, or you're not sure if trans participants were included, you might have to say something like "it is unclear how this applies to trans people."
TLDR if you want to replace gendered language with something more inclusive you HAVE to think about what it is you're actually talking about and what assumptions you're making.
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