A while ago I came across something in a thread on AVEN that made me think about something that affects many asexuals, including me. Revulsion.
Just about anyone gets it. Most of us are put off by bad smells, or the sight of death, but in this case the cause is simply language. What interested me so much about this was the degree to which someone was upset, and the motivation that one can imagine someone to have because of one’s revulsion.
In this case I have interviewed and talked to in some detail all the people who were involved in the original post, and as only one side wants to go on the record here, I am going to keep the whole thing as anonymous as possible. But to say I have done my homework on this issue is to belittle the work I have put in.
It all started with a post on AVEN where one user complained about the use of affectionate language. I admit I mocked this to start with, but then I really wanted to know what it was all about. I was even contacted by someone who had not even commented on the post with examples of what was meant.. I have since conferred with the person who raised the original concern to find out if I was now on the right track, and I found out that indeed I was.
I have personally been accused of something that is similar. I do tend to compliment people, and I like to use the word “Dear” a lot, as well as other kind words. It seems these are now getting people in to trouble. Well not yet officially, but when people start talking about people’s motivations and getting it so wrong, one can see the anger in the air that some people feel. Equally those who have made such comments have the same anger back to those who interpret things incorrectly. Intent is something so rarely perceived correctly by one’s detractors.
Talking to all the people involved reminded me of something that I know I am as guilty of as anyone else, and that is wrongly ascribing motive to things that we find upsetting, or distasteful. I mean how wrong can someone be to ascribe self-promotion to someone just expressing affection? I myself have been accused of wishing harm when just making a point.
I think we as asexuals – many of us who for example find pornography repulsive, something that the rest of the world finds so entertaining and stimulating – might be obliged to stop for a moment and realise that it is us that is different from society, and that we are as different from one another as we are from those who are “sexual”. While some of us are repulsed by the language of love and affection.
While I feel for those who dislike affection in any situation, I also think asexual forums would be a very sad place if no one expressed their feelings. I don’t have an answer to this problem, I do though have a request, and that is that everyone tries to understand how another person feels, and realise the folly in ascribing motivation to people whom we do not know, or understand. After all, I am never going to stop calling people “Dear,” some people will not stop telling others that they love them, and others will not stop being annoyed by such things.
The amusing part to all this is how cloak and dagger talking to people ended up becoming. I mean this is just me trying to find out what was being talked about, and the opinions of those affected.
People are so scared now on AVEN of breaking rules that they insisted talking off site. NO I am not joking here, I am not making this up. People are scared of the ‘Anti vigilante modding’ rule, and the rules about defamatory posts that they would not talk to me on AVEN.
I do not want to mock or belittle those who find things distasteful, because I think understanding their point of view is actually VERY important, and I want to sincerely thank those that came forward and talked to me. But the fact these people feel it is something that they cannot discuss on AVEN indicated there is a bigger problem, and that is the freedom to communicate.
I don’t think that those who show emotions should be curtailed. I also don’t think that finding those displays of emotions distasteful wrong in any way. But I think it is something that people should feel open to discuss in public, and people be given the right to reply…