Tag Archives: respect

Stereotypical

25 Jan

I stopped watching House a long time ago for various reasons. But since I’m on Tumblr to be involved with the ace community there, it would’ve been hard for me not to hear about the other night’s episode.

Spoilers beyond this point and warning for ace stereotypes and medicalization of asexuality

Here’s a summary of the episode from an AVEN user. There was an eye-rolling-looking emoticon at the end but I can’t copy the animation and don’t know how to type it out. Also if you click the link, you have to click “Show” to show the spoiler text in the comment.

A lady with a bladder infection attracts the attention of House, who tries to prove that she and her husband aren’t really asexual. Watson stops him, so House investigates the husband, who turns out to have a tumor causing his lack of libido. Treating it, which is necessary for him to live, but make him sexual. The wife ends up revealing that she lied about her asexuality because she likes sex (Because all asexuals are repulsed).

I’m amused at the Watson/Wilson mixup but I will also say — I don’t care that Wilson said House was wrong at the beginning of the episode. The final impression left about asexuality isn’t going to be a couple of minutes at the beginning of the episode, it’s going to be how the episode wraps up. The conclusions that the brilliant Dr. House reaches about asexuality. That’s what people will take away. When House disproved the asexual characters, he also disproved Wilson.

There are so, so many things wrong here. The writer of the episode responded to criticism on Twitter. But that doesn’t really make it better.

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What’s Important

20 Jul

During my last semester of undergrad, my roommate had the habit of bringing five or six people over to our room and having very loud conversations about … stuff. Eventually she stopped that because I kept getting annoyed and asking them to move somewhere else so I didn’t have to step over people to get to my printer or books (i.e. literally two feet to the left in our suite’s private living room).

There was one particular person who was over all the time who had a wide array of offensive opinions — and who I found out later, even my roommate didn’t actually like. Since she lived in our suite, though, it was kind of hard to get rid of her. Most of the time I just tried to ignore her. Especially since she rarely talked to me. But it’s hard, when someone is sitting three feet from you on the other side of our room, to ignore everything they’re saying.

Warning for questioning the validity of relationships, specifically relationships without sex.

One of the times that made me the most uncomfortable was when there were, again, five or six people in the room besides me. A couple of people were on the bed, someone had my roommate’s chair, and everybody else was on the floor. (Our room was literally too small to pull an extra chair in there.) One of these people was a guy, I’ll call him Guy. The person who liked to talk, I’ll call Speaker.

Speaker was waxing lyrical about Guy’s long-distance romantic relationship. From what I gathered, Guy was not very close friends with Speaker. Not, then, someone who would confide in her and ask her advice. He had just been talking about his girlfriend when Speaker had to jut in and tell him how she didn’t think this person was really his girlfriend.

Basically her speech boiled down to (with interjections from Guy along the way):

“I know you’ve met offline and then she had to go off to school. But all you’re doing now is writing, talking on video, and talking on the phone. You aren’t touching! You aren’t having sex! It’s not a real relationship. You can’t expect me to treat you like you have a real girlfriend. You can’t have a real relationship if you’re not touching or having sex. That’s just being friends. I can’t believe you’re satisfied with that.”

I’m pretty sure Guy is straight, not asexual, but he was understandably upset. He kept trying to talk to her about how he felt about his girlfriend, and she was just ignoring him. And I was sitting in the corner seething and feeling dizzy and sick and a little scared of Speaker.

This is an assumption that everybody who isn’t in a “normal” romantic relationship has to face. If you’re not having sex, it’s less genuine. Speaker even worked off the assumption that distance and the inability to touch (in any way) dissolved a romantic relationship. I wonder whether a certain type of sex would also be considered necessary for a “real” romantic relationship.

This assumption is also just one of the reasons that I feel like ace continuum people could really contribute to the overall discussion about relationships, and I don’t just mean romantic relationships. While the ace romantic perspective could make people reassess what they count as “real” romantic relationships, I think the aromantic/demiromantic/grey-romantic and just overall ace continuum perspective could make people reassess what kinds of relationships they allow to be counted as important.

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I like graphic design

11 Mar

In the last five minutes of clearing out my Google Reader, I have actually forgotten where I got linked to this, but this is a cool poster from what appears to be the UC Davis LGBT resource center.

It’s kind of huge, so I put it under a cut (with a link to the source, and an image description). But it’s a poster talking about transphobic language and explaining why it’s transphobic, and I just like the idea of this sitting around and people getting exposed to the topic without having to bother a trans person or maybe before they even meet or realize they’ve met a trans person.

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