Mysticus Insanus Leaves AVEN over BoD Post.

Mysticus Insanus

So, the AVEN Board of Directors issued a post “clarifying” AVENs position on “core values” and the reactions have been divisive to say the least.

Here is the original post.

A message about AVEN's values

In light of recent discussions, and the recent rise in divisive discourse and policies in many countries, the AVEN Board of Directors would like to post this as a reminder of AVEN’s values, and of their importance to our community.

AVEN has always striven to be an inclusive and respectful platform for our community, allies, and visitors. Being inclusive, to us, means creating a platform where people are free to explore their identities, to self-determine and to be respected while doing so. Exploring our identities can take time, it can sometimes involve mistakes, changes of heart, feeling “broken” or “lost”, and it is important that our community steps in for support and friendship during all of this.

In particular, as far as discussions on AVEN go, it is for each person to decide what sexual, romantic or gender identity fits them (if any). We are here to support each other, to offer facts, encouragement and any other relevant information, which may help people make sense of themselves, but in the end no one has the right to label anyone else.

We are aware that there have been many discussions regarding the topic of the definitions of asexuality. AVEN uses a “lack of sexual attraction” definition as default, but there is no requirement every member has to agree with this. There are different views on this even within the AVEN staff as well as the larger member-base, and that’s fine. However, when it comes to labelling individuals, a line is drawn. It is our duty as an organization to strongly discourage the assignment of sexual, romantic or gender-identity by any means other than self-identification.

We would also like to emphasise that AVEN is intended to be a safe and welcoming area for trans and non-binary people: trans people make up a large and significant part of the ace community, and are also important allies. It is fine to ask respectful questions about trans issues, but deliberate misgendering and disrespecting someone’s gender identity is not acceptable on AVEN under any circumstances.

These core values are decided at a board level, not by the admod team, and cannot in fact be changed by the latter; the board is grateful to volunteer staff members serving AVEN for their work in upholding these values – which isn’t to say there is no room for improvement. It is important and expected that any prospective future team member will be equally vigilant in upholding them, and will continue to support the right of people to identify as they choose in regards to their sexual orientation and their gender identity, and to be respected no matter their background and beliefs.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to email david@asexuality.org, or cole@asexuality.org, or michael.j.dore@gmail.com, or PM one of us.

The AVEN Board of Directors
(AVENguy, Coleslaw, ithaca, Kelly and michaeld)

Now one could be forgiven for just finding this utterly uncontroversial, but it does have it’s detractors; notably long-time AVEN contributor Mysticus Insanus. Mysticus has been an AVEN member since 2012, and has 8300+ posts to their name, and is someone whose comments have been described as “thoughtful, and very valuable”.  Despite this the BoD’s announcement appears to be the final straw for Mysticus Insanus.

Mysticus Writes
Okay, I guess it’s time to make it formal and conclusive then. I will request a permanent suspension of my account, because I cannot in good conscience remain member of a site espousing and enforcing such values, values which I find deeply ideologically misguided and actively harmful to the asexual community as a whole, and actively undermining stated goal of visibility and education in particular.

I hereby say no to AVEN. It is no longer a site that I, as a person who values honesty and logic, want to be associated with. People who want a mere social site can go to Twitter, Facebook, or wherever. This is not what I signed up for here. It is, however, what I will permanently sign out over. You folks have lost your way, and will have to continue without me. I do not and will not stand for what you stand for.

I’ll have my account deactivated on March 31. (Sending an admin PM right after posting this.) Anyone who wishes to stay in contact, please PM me before that date.

Bye, folks. Was fun being here while this site still served a purpose I could agree with.

Confused? Well, fortunately AVENs God of putting thoughts in to words, ” ℃å℞t☉☧hℹĿẹ• ” really sums up some of the issues.

℃å℞t☉☧hℹĿẹ• Says..

People like myself aren’t trying to label someone else’s sexual orientation, but attempting (in the face of massive opposition lol) to accurately define an extreme minority orientation in the hopes it will eventually be taken seriously by the vast majority of the population.

Do people think homosexuality would now be taken seriously if gay rights activists from back in the day walked around with signs saying “gay is whatever you want it to be!” “gay is how every individual defines it!” “gay is when a man only desires sex with women. That’s how I define it and that’s okay!” … and that was really their only official stance when it comes to defining their sexual orientation? That was all they were really allowed to say without risking being banned from activism meetings and support groups where they met to discuss their sexual orientation? “I understand I can’t define homosexuality for anyone else.. for me it means that as a man, I only desire sex with women. The gay label really fits me because I like to wear pink shirts and I get shit from hetero guys for that, so yeah I’m gay” .. 

We aren’t trying to define others. We are trying to define asexuality in the hopes of having the world take it seriously, because (for asexuals, and their sexual partners, and for unidentified asexuals who have never heard of asexuality) asexuality can be extremely, extremely painful.. Asexuals are often left feeling broken, confused, like freaks, and utterly alone. Not desiring sex in a world where most people desire it, especially in relationships, can be really, really difficult for asexuals. Then you get someone saying “well I love sex and I’m asexual lol, asexual is anything you want it to be” that totally undermines the suffering asexuals experience and kind of makes it pointless for them to even bother labelling themselves. They’ll say to a sexual person “well, a relationship wouldn’t work for us because I’m asexual, I have no desire for sexual intimacy” and that sexual will laugh and say “well there are heaps of asexuals who love sex, have you visited tumblr? There must be something else wrong with you but you’re not asexual” or “oooh you’re one of those special snowflakes lol, you’ll want sex eventually believe me” (that’s the one I see the most often when asexuality is brought up in forums with predominantly sexual commenters.. by now most of them have seen tumblr ace videos trying to explain the “ace spectrum” which includes almost every way a sexual person can be and somehow thinks they’re all asexual – I’ve seen lots of asexual spectrum lists like that on AVEN too.. stemming from a massive misunderstanding of normal sexuality, pretty much)

So yeah. We’re not trying to define what others are. We are trying to define what asexuality is. There is a difference though many seem to have a hard time recognising that difference.

Homosexuality is when a man only desires sex with women.

Heterosexuality is when a woman only desires sex with other women.

Bisexuality is when someone doesn’t desire sex with anyone regardless of gender.

Asexuality is when someone desires sex with anyone regardless of gender.

That’s about the way things stand on AVEN.

There are other issues dealt with too on this thread. Whatever your feelings it’s well worth a read. You can read the thread HERE.

1 Comment on "Mysticus Insanus Leaves AVEN over BoD Post."

  1. So, I’m important enough for a headline? I’m flattered. ^^

    As I write this, the thread in question has just been reopened after a 48-hour cooldown because the “definition debate was bringing it off topic”.

    I can’t for the life of me see how the (as of this thread, confirmed as intentional) lack of support of a solid, clear definition of asexuality by and on AVEN isn’t right at the core of this topic… but, eh.

    A separate thread has been created for definition discussion, OP by Tal Shi’ar, who locked the original thread for cooldown – of course, the first question I already posted in that new one is whether there’s even a point to it. If no policy/definition change can ever come from it, it’s little more than throwing dissenters a bone – “you’re free to discuss, little ones, we folks up here know it won’t change anything”. *sigh*

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