But we are Assailable

This post is for this month’s Carnival of Aces hosted by Queenie at Concept Awesome. This month’s topic is the unassailable asexual.

This is a myth of course. If you spend enough time looking around you will find people that will find a way to attack someone of an asexual identity on even the slimmest grounds, sometimes just outright irrational denial.

However the idea of the unassailable asexual does have appeal. On an individual level it works with our insecurities and desire to be accepted and not challenged over our identity. To present yourself asexuality in such a way that nobody can attack your identity. The obvious backlash to this is what if you don’t see yourself as unassailable, are you not asexual? Should you be doubting yourself?

This is an issue that extends into the asexual community and activism. The unassailable asexual ideal is to present asexuality as a legitimate identity that cannot be attacked. The Gold Star asexual is an excellent example of this; a person that has characteristics that make their asexuality, and thus asexuality in general, “impossible” to deny. Of course even gold star asexual’s are not unassailable. This desire to present asexuality this way though stems from those individual reasons though, an insecurity and need for acceptance.

However these the community and the individual create a clash between the two. The unassailable presentation that the community does can result in the omission or erasure as part of the cost. This can then reflect back on some individuals who don’t meet the presentation and increase their insecurities or feeling of discrimination. This can then help to fuel internal community conflict between asexuals. At its extreme this can result in conflict and misunderstanding between groups of asexuals with different experiences.

The consequences of these internals conflicts can result in pressure being applied to those doing activism and presenting asexuality to a wider audience. As they can become a target of this conflict, due to an error or failure to take a particular group into account. The bigger concern here can be that the desire to achieve this can scare off people making presentations for fear of making the error, or worse they won’t ask for feedback.

Many of these issues can be overcome by acknowledging and embracing the fact that we are assailable and that it is the differences within the community that make us assailable. By embracing this we can become unassailable as a community and individuals.

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