guardians_song (guardians_song) wrote,
guardians_song
guardians_song

Now Sporking: Sexual Privilege Checklist

[personal profile] harp recommended that I should tackle this thing. And boy, is it a bizarre doozy. Not that it doesn't have some valid points, but others... just creep me the hell out. (Hope this spork is about what was intended.)

Disclaimer: I am "sexual", which means I am not asexual. I am also not interested in shagging every person fitting my vague preferences that comes along. Oh noes!!! According to this list, I don't exist!!!

Yes, that's about the level of what we're about to encounter...

Sporked-text in regular font, my commentary in bold type.



I’m still on the fence about “Sexual Privilege” being a pressing issue,
Oh, goodie.
but I do think this sort of work is necessary to figuring out whether it is or isn’t, and even if it isn’t, we’re at least making clear part of what it means to be asexual day-to-day, so I’m helping. So as far as I can tell, these are all the bullet points that have been submitted thus far.
(Blog Owner) I elected not to edit out the batshit ones, because all things are equal and you are me and we are all together. Koo-ka-choo.
I left in all the duplicates and didn’t organize them, but I’m working on that next. I’ve thrown everything that I can think of that might overlap with heterosexual privilege into italics and I’ve stricken through some personal anecdotes and anything else that maybe doesn’t belong (including some obvious duplicates). I haven’t reworded anything, but I figure we have time to sort that out. I’ve introduced my own editorial comments in [brackets and italics].
(Blog Owner) Yes, I'm going to use italics for two different things. This is a brilliant scheme, y/y? :D
Hope this helps.

  • I can watch television or movies and be sure that sexual people are widely represented. [Even though it would then overlap with heterosexual privilege (though a difference in degree), this should probably be worded as “I can easily find television shows or movies where people with my sexual orientation are represented” or something similar.]
  • My sexuality is not assumed to be the result of a mental or physical handicap.
  • I can go shopping without facing overtly sexual advertisements that challenge my identity.
  • Ah... what? That isn't just "heterosexual" privilege. Depending upon the environment, that is also attracted-to-women privilege (I'm sorry, fanservice-providers, but scantily-clad well-endowed women do nothing for me as a heterosexual female], attracted-to-men privilege (I have heard complaints in fandom alone about the emphasis on gay male relationships and neglect of gay female relationships), attracted-to-certain-body-types privilege, attracted-to-Dark-Lords privilege...

    Okay, the last one was just to see if you were paying attention. Point being, if your identity is challenged by ads aimed at people that get turned on by different things than you do, you are going to get invalidated SOMEWHERE.

  • I am not asked to speak for all sexual people.
  • I can visit a doctor and not be asked judgmental questions about whether I am lying about my sexual activities. (Based on my personal experience, where all of my doctors have thought I was lying about not having sex because “all girls your age have sex”. Not sure if other aces have experienced this.)
  • ...That would be equally condescending and creepy if the patient had been heterosexual/bisexual/homosexual/pansexual/etc. and had not had sex.

    But, I mean, way to assume that sexuals WOULDN'T run into that problem with such a doctor, because all female sexuals that age DO have sex, amirite?

  • I am not viewed as prudish or frigid for my sexual behavior.
  • Again - what if you're sexual but not interested in having sex straightaway? Why is this list assuming the ONLY reason people would choose not to have sex is that they're asexual?
  • My sexual behavior is not immediately associated with religious choices. [perhaps, “My sexual orientation is not assumed to be the result of having made religious choices” because asexual people demonstrate a wide range of sexual behavior]
  • My sexual identity does not lead people to believe that I am an amoeba or capable of asexual reproduction.
  • ...*crying with laughter*
  • There has been a large body of credible research done regarding my sexual identity. [sexual orientation?]
  • "There has not been a large body of accepted-as-credible research attempting to stereotype my sexuality in terms of 'masculine' and 'feminine', attempting to associate my sexuality with mental illness and traumatic past events, and, in the case of bisexuality, attempting to deny my sexuality even exists" just didn't have the same ring to it.
  • If I choose to date, it is fairly easy to find people of my sexual orientation. [difference in degree on this one]
  • I am generally not asked to educate others on my sexuality or answer personal and uncomfortable questions regarding my sexual behavior. [although people tend to be more aware of other orientations now, ‘coming out’ usually entails some amount of educating and other LGBTQ individuals often have to answer invasive questions like “how do <people with your orientation> have sex? Doesn’t that require a penis and vagina?”..etc.]
  • Ha. I wish that were true. Let's just say I've heard that asexuals aren't the only ones getting harassed with unnerving and out-of-the-blue questions about their sexual behavior and history, all right?
  • If I have sex with a person, my sexual identity is not question[ed]. (Needs some reworking since a self-identified heterosexual who has sex with the same gender is questioned, and vice versa.) [Maybe something like “If I have sex, this is not seen as invalidating my sexual orientation.”]
  • Letting that pass with the amendment.
  • I am more easily accepted into communities based on sexual orientation, whether it is the LGBTQ or heterosexual community. [I’m just not sure about this one, it’s not terribly compelling and I don’t know of many communities where it would be easier to join as a heterosexual than an asexual person, and being able to join LGBTQ communities isn’t really “privilege” or else heterosexual people could throw it on a “gay privilege” list]
  • Why did you think it was a good idea to leave this one on?
  • I am able to go to a mental health professional without having my sexual behavior questioned as an illness.
  • You know, from here, I can hear non-heterosexual people in heavily socially-conservative areas, people living alternative BDSM-ish lifestyles, and generally people with non-socially-mainstream sexualities all chorusing, "O RLY."
  • My sexual orientation is not considered a disease in the DSM.
  • Really? Masochists and sadists might disagree.
  • I am more likely to find a partner whose sexuality is similar to mine. [Duplicate, the other one might be worded better]
  • After a certain age, I am assumed to have had sex, and this assumption does not challenge my identity. [Feels somewhat duplicate-ish]
  • After WHAT age?

    And of course, there's no reason that a sexual person could CHOOSE not to have sex, and feel uncomfortable with the assumption that they have had sex. Nope! ...WTF?

  • If you are polyamorous, you are not told that you cannot get the “full poly experience” due to your sexual attraction.
  • If you are not interested in a romantic relationship, you are not accused of being devoid of feeling or like a robot
  • Oh, really? Being sexual shields you from all accusations of "lacking humanity", "callousness", and "showing no emotion"? All people with blunted affect are asexuals, apparently. Asperger's people, schizophrenic people, etc., did you know you had no sex drive? Well, you do now.
  • People do not associate your sexual orientation with amoebas or (bizarrely) plants
  • *starts laughing hysterically again*
  • Any desire you have for children is not seen as invalidating your sexual orientation (even if you want to adopt)
  • ...What? I... what? I can see people being that stupid, but what does wanting children have to do with sex?
  • You are not told that your sexual orientation will change once you “meet the right person”.
  • This one ought to have been taken off for BLATANTLY being an example of het privilege, not sexual privilege. Wow.
  • If you are kinky, this is not seen as invalidating your sexual orientation
  • I may be misreading this, but generally, getting turned on by ANYTHING, even if it's a man going down Madison Avenue on a unicycle while clad only in a pair of Powerpuff Girls underwear and juggling live ducks, is a sign that you're not quite asexual...
  • If you have a non-binary gender (especially a neutral one) or do not have a gender, your sexual orientation is not seen as a side effect of that. [There is definitely some overlap here with some other orientation/gender combinations]
  • Yeah, you THINK?
  • Your sexuality is not used as a slur to degender people.
  • Perhaps you should get a different term, then? Because "asexual" CAN genuinely mean "without a [physical] sex", not just "nothing turns me on, kthx".
  • Your sexuality is not seen as a “symptom” of an oppressive upbringing
  • Yeah, as the italics point out, there are certain nasty claims about homosexuality being "caused" by abuse, etc...
  • If you have a disability, your sexuality is not seen as being caused by that disability
  • Your relationships are not invalidated because of your sexual attraction
  • *sigh* Why are these italicized entries on here? They're blatantly WRONG, in that non-heterosexual sexuals suffer from many of the same issues, and so they have no place on the "SEXUAL Privilege Checklist".
  • Any desire you feel for relationships is not seen as invalidating your sexual orientation
  • Again...
  • You do not have to explain your sexuality to romantic partners
  • ...Aaaand polyamorous people can just go take a hike? (It probably applies to people who are exploring their sexual orientation and dating partners outside their usual norm, too. Just saying.)
  • If you date someone of a different sexual orientation, you are not accused of being abusive [I saw a rewording suggested for this one somewhere else, I liked that better.]
  • Actually, if you date someone in whom you have no sexual interest in general, you're generally - if unjustly - accused of dishonesty/being abusive. Ever heard of "beards"?
  • If you are trans, your sexual orientation is not seen as a “symptom” of your being trans that will go away once you medically transition (which all trans people need to do, don’t ya know?)
  • *points to italics* Ahem. You noticed that this wasn't just a sexual/asexual thing, did you now?
  • If I am distressed about my sexual orientation, it is usually possible for me to find a therapist who is experienced in this area and won’t treat my sexuality as a problem to be fixed. [Duplicate, I think]
  • THIS ENTRY SHOULD BE ITALICIZED. And that could apply to SO many things other than asexuality. Including, you know, homosexuality...

    I can't believe I'm saying this, but - check your privilege!

  • In academic settings that deal with sexuality, I can be reasonably sure my orientation will be mentioned.
  • [Cannot speak to this. I prefer fandom settings. >_>]
  • If I’m having relationship troubles, I can often find a couples counselor who is familiar with my orientation and won’t treat it as a pathology, or me as the automatically guilty party. [Similar to the other one, but different in an important way]
  • Just pointing out - you could replace "orientation" by "neurological wiring" with ease. But I guess neuroatypical people are all asexual, or don't ever get discriminated against when outsiders are judging a he-said she-said [replace with pronouns of choice] situation involving a neurotypical person on one side and a neuroatypical person on the other.
  • If I’m heterosexual and read a novel or short story with sex or romance in it, there is a good chance my orientation will be represented. If I’m gay, lesbian, or bisexual, there is at least an entire niche publishing industry for me. [Maybe, to simplify: “I can, with relative ease, find novels or short stories including sex or romance where people with my sexual orientation are represented.” ]
  • I am not regarded as immature on the basis of my orientation alone.
  • In casual discussions of sexual orientation, my sexuality will often be mentioned.
  • Whatever else they’re seen or not seen as, my romantic relationships are regarded as just that: romantic relationships, not “merely” friendships.
  • Ehem. Really. Because it's not like people argue heavily about the platonic-or-romantic nature of even the relationships of heterosexual historical figures, and people have practically made a game out of trying to determine whether any given very strong same-sex friendship was platonic or romantic and/or sexual. I mean, for feck's sakes, the Biblical King David could claim this point about his, ah, friendship with Jonathan. And I don't think anyone of sound judgment would call King David asexual.
  • I’m not frequently witness to comments implying or explicitly stating that the kind of relationships I prefer are not romantic relationships at all. (Rewording needed, considering aromantic asexuals.) [Perhaps, “I am not subjected to frequent commentary suggesting that the kind of relationships I prefer are not valid, intimate, or valuable because they are not sexual and/or romantic”, but this still needs work]
  • And what if you're a romantic, sexual person who prefers friendships? Oh, wait, you don't exist, I suppose. Because romantics all sound like Cori Falls, sexuals start humping the inkjet printers if they go without "getting some" for too long, and romantic sexuals passionately declare their soulbonded love for inkjet printers in florid purple prose as they grind against them vigorously.

    And I apologize for that mental image.

  • Relationship advice assumes all relationships are or will be sexual, and thus does not exclude me on this basis.
  • ALL relationships?! Good gad, who the heck force-fed this poor soul the entire contents of weasley_cest ?!

    In more seriousness, that should read "romantic relationships", and good gad - why was that person only able to find relationship advice talking about sex? Did they mistake Dan Savage for Dear Abby or somesuch?

  • I’m not regularly pitied for my orientation itself, or told I’m missing out.
  • Yes, I admit this happens. However, I point out that people also comment that asexuals/people with low sex drives in general are lucky to be lacking that distraction...
  • Even before I figured out what my sexuality was, I was very probably aware of its existence.
  • Male bisexuality. Pansexuality. And probably some more obscure sexualities of which I'm not aware.

    Asexuality is NOT the only sexuality not known to/accepted by the general public, damnit.

    [We won't even get into the "And what if you knew about your orientation, but only as deepest depravity?" question that could apply to sadists [and, to a lesser but still significant extent, masochists]...]

  • If I’m questioning my sexual orientation, it is not enormously difficult to find reading material and other resources. [Duplicate?]
  • Define "difficult". Especially in relation to the amount of texts denying existence of said sexuality, acknowledging but demonizing said sexuality, etc.

    (I lack personal experience, being cisgendered and heterosexual, etc., but I'm not completely oblivious. I can [somewhat] observe the world around me.)

  • If I ask someone for advice, there’s a good chance they’ll at least mention my sexual orientation as a possibility. [Duplicate?]
  • If I’m heterosexual, my sexual orientation is accepted pretty much everywhere. If I’m gay, lesbian, or bisexual, I can move or visit places, whether cities or community centers, where I know I will often be accepted. (Possible rewording needed, considering biphobia.)[Admit overlap with Monosexual privilege, no rewording necessary?]
  • And if you're asexual, you could always join the clergy. :B *dodges rotten tomatoes*

    More seriously - OH, YES, ALL GAY PEOPLE HAVE THE CONNECTIONS AND RESOURCES TO ACCESS GAY-FRIENDLY SPACES AND/OR LEAVE GAY-UNFRIENDLY SPACES. YES, TOTALLY. IT'S NOT LIKE THEY MIGHT BE DEPENDENT UPON PEOPLE WHO MIGHT WITHDRAW ESSENTIAL SUPPORT FROM THEM/ACTIVELY ABUSE THEM/OUTRIGHT KILL THEM IF THEIR SEXUALITY BECAME KNOWN, NO.

    My. Gad.

    You want to talk about "privilege"? THAT is fucking PRIVILEGE.

  • Somewhere labelled a “safe space” will usually be safe for me. (Again, maybe rewording’s needed, given biphobia.)[Admit overlap with Monosexual privilege, no rewording necessary?]
  • Ever heard of intersectionality?

    Phrased less snidely - no, safe spaces are NOT necessarily safe if you have more than one thing to be concerned about. Just looking at some of the psychology blogs I've trawled - Let's say, hypothetically, Person A is both an abuse survivor and neuroatypical. Well, everything's peachy in Person A's abuse safe-space until someone brings up an abuser with similar neurology to Person A's, and then a whole horde of people jump in with 'OMG, those evil Asperger's people/BPDers/etc.! They [insert demonization here here], and [more demonization], and [insert "Excuse me, YOU are preaching about having "no empathy"?!" material here]. So much for Person A's "safe space", eh?

    Seriously, it's frightening how blinkered some of these points are. You think that can happen ONLY on the basis of your sexual orientation? REALLY?

  • My sexual orientation is not treated as something to be considered only after medical and psychological problems have been ruled out.
  • Excuse me, was I saying something about sadists and masochists? Nah, must have just been my imagination.
  • When I tell someone my orientation, I’m not advised to get my hormones checked.
  • I’m not accused of slut-shaming based on my orientation alone.
  • On the other hand, it's totally legit to accuse someone of slut-shaming just because they CHOOSE not to have sex or (without being asexual) place higher value on platonic bonding/non-sexual romantic bonding/etc. than sex, I assume.
  • If I want romantic relationships, I’m not expected to have sex with people I’m not sexually interested in.
  • That... should be italicized. Because that's not very far off from "If I want romantic relationships approved by my community [...]".
  • Calling my orientation a disorder or unnatural is increasingly seen as inappropriate in polite company. (This, again, may need some rewording, but I think we need *something* in here to reflect the fact that a good number of people will casually say things about asexuality that they wouldn’t dare even breathe about homosexuality.) [I think this is a fair point and fine as is, it’s a vocal minority that would still dare to say things like this about homosexuality, and while it’s still terrible and important to stop, the difference in degree is pretty staggering.]
  • Pray tell - how many people would recommend "curing" asexuality by murder, or suggest that all asexuals are going to be subjected to eternal torture by a loving God?

    There's a reason why that "vocal minority" IS STILL RATHER SIGNIFICANT to a lot of people.

    (And way to have a totally First-World-centric view on homophobia, utterly ignoring countries where homosexuality is punishable by DEATH! <3~ That's so very enlightened of you! Not to mention, of course, any OTHER subpopulations where that "vocal minority" dominates...)

  • Medical recommendations, on the assumption that everyone’s had sex by a certain age, do not contain fibs that result in me getting unneeded tests. (This needs rewording! While I know not every asexual is a virgin, by far, there are certainly more older virgins in the asexual spectrum than elsewhere. You know how a number of countries have recommendations that everyone with a cervix get a pap smear by age X? Turns out that’s only because they assume you’ve had some sexual contact by then, consenting or otherwise, and aren’t willing or able to tell your doctor about it. And I had to dig around in an academic medical article to find this.) [I’m a bit skeptical that this really constitutes “privilege” it’s pretty narrow in terms of what it covers and which asexuals it applies to and certainly less compelling than a lot of the other things on the list, and I’m not sure how to reword it, so I’m just gonna let this sit how it is.]
  • Because no sexual people ever remain virgins.

    Yeah, I think I've covered this idiocy several times.

  • I do not have to face assumptions that my sexuality is caused from a lack of self-esteem.
  • ...Because bisexual women are never accused of "doing it for attention", "doing it to make guys like them", and so on and so forth. Right.

    Look, there's "not doing the research", and then there's "this level of ignorance must be deliberate".

  • Upon coming out, I generally do not have to face questions about if and how I masturbate.
  • *snaps* Yes, sexual people NEVER get sexual harassment! NEVAAAAAR! And they NEVER have to face awkward questions about their sex lives! NEVER! Because all sexual people really want it and are hyper-eager to talk about sex at ANY opportunity!

    ...Anyway...

    As you might be able to tell, I think these random questions about masturbation and the like would be creepy if sprung upon ANYONE out of the blue. Your opinions may differ. I admit that I get uncomfortable when questioned about *any* personal matter in too much detail unless I've indicated previously that I don't mind discussing it. ...Moving on.

  • If I do masturbate, this is not grounds for somebody to doubt my orientation.
  • It is generally possible to find a support network for my particular sexual orientation. [differences in degree again]
  • *regarding the bracketed comment* You don't say.
  • My identification with a particular sexual orientation is not seen as a “slut-shaming” tactic, nor am I assumed to be anti-sexual.
  • Meanwhile, being sexual but being temporarily celibate by choice? Ah, screw you!
  • People do not immediately assume I will be sad and alone for my entire life because of my orientation.
  • If you are sexual, you know there are others like you out there without much effort. [Maybe “I know that other people with my orientation exist.” or “Without much effort, I have heard of people with my orientation before”, which would make it a duplicate of another bullet.]
  • If you enter into a romantic relationship, fall in love, how often you give in and have sex when you might not actually want to isn’t a big topic.
  • Actually, it is, because being coerced into sex against your will is called RAPE. And that is QUITE a big social justice topic, REGARDLESS of orientation.

    Good gad. What rock have these people been living under?!

  • When telling people your orientation you aren’t usually asked about if you masturbate and how often.
  • Uh, where's the "duplicate" note on this bullet point?
  • People have usually heard about your sexuality.
  • When you see forms asking for sexuality for diversity reasons you see something that represents you or is close to you in the options.
  • On finding out your sexuality, people don’t dismiss your opinions on sexHYPHEN!related subjects out of hand.
  • You know, if you're not fond of chocolate, people tend to disregard your opinions on the finest brands of chocolate. That's not because they're being achocoholic-phobic.
  • When telling someone your sexual orientation, you will not be asked if you have had sex in order to prove your orientation
  • ...WHAT THE ****?!

    I mean - uh - Actually, yes, I've heard many gay people are asked "Well, if you haven't had heterosexual sex, how do you know you don't like it?" That IS being asked if you've had a certain kind of sex in order to prove your orientation.

    ...Still, these hypothetical people are asking creepy questions...

    (Edward Cullen) How often do you sleep, Bella? Where do you sleep? Do you have any preference for sleeping near creaky windows? In general, do you sleep in any manner that might prevent your vampire stalker coming into your room and looming over you, sparkles chagrined, for the entire night long?

  • If you have or have had sex, you will not be told that it invalidates your sexual orientation
  • Well, actually. *points to above comment*
  • If you watch porn or masturbate, you will not be told that it invalidates your sexual orientation.
  • Your sexual orientation will not be seen as a choice that can chosen once a relationship has failed [Widespread cultural joke that says “Ugh, I’m done with men, I should just become a Lesbian” says that even if people ‘know better’ they still under there somewhere believe this to be true]
  • The italics are applied appropriately...

    But that should be "lesbian", not "Lesbian". I don't think any woman's ever claimed she's going to pack up and move to the Greek isle of Lesbos because she's sick of men. :P

  • If you are in a relationship, people will assume that you and your partner participate in sex and this will not invalidate your sexual orientation
  • People automatically assume people in a relationship have sex? Really?
  • You will not be asked if you are incapable of having sex just because of your sexual orientation
  • Uh, what? I don't doubt people can be that brainless, but... how's that supposed to work?
  • Most people will at least believe that my sexual orientation exists.
  • (Male Bisexuals) O RLY?
  • For women: Upon finding out about my sexual orientation, no one tells me “that just sounds like most women I know” in reference to the stereotype that women dislike sex and only grudgingly have sex with male partners.
  • Yeah, that's totally sexual privilege. It's not at all a result of sexism. EEYUP!
  • People don’t think my sexual orientation is a result of having “given up” on finding sexual / romantic partners.
  • Ahem. What was that "I'm giving up on men to travel to the isle of Lesbos" comment again?
  • “People don’t force my sexual orientation upon people with disabilities.”
  • That's a privilege?
  • “Knowing my sexual orientation does not lead people to assume I have a disability.”


...So, in summary:

*HEADKEYBOARD* 
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This entry is mirrored at http://guardians-song.dreamwidth.org/40403.html. Comment wherever you like. Just remind me to get off the internet and do my homework.
Tags: rant, spork
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