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Asexual exclusionism (often shortened to ace exclusionism) is a trendy new form of bullying dedicated to pretending to care about the LGBT cause by kicking out those horrible cringey aceys (asexuals) from those spaces. It began to be popular around 2013, the same time as the rise of TERFs and people who insist "queer is a slur!" Ace exclusionism is a manifestation of acephobia (discrimination and negative attitudes toward asexuals).
While ace exclusionists often focus their hatred on asexuals, aromantic people are often targeted too (who may also be asexual).
Bullying and threats
“”hey ace kids! stop scrolling! you deserve to get hit by a bus
|—Tumblr user killaces But remember, this is definitely not bullying!|
Asexual exclusionists aren't above vicious bullying. A few tools in their box include suicide baiting, voicing violent fantasies, rape wishes, posting graphic content in positivity tags (never mind the existence of minors), and more. They've also discussed ensuring that aces stay in the closet and in the dark.
Denial and bargaining
They'll also deny the fact that asexuals are actually oppressed. Asexual people face dehumanization, sexual harassment, and discrimination if they dare to come out. They're at risk for conversion therapy and even "corrective rape". Asexual respondents to the British government's 2017 LGBT survey were significantly less likely to be employed.
Asexual people have a rich history. Yet according to ace exclusionists, they are only closeted cishet incels who want a piece of the victimhood pie and steal attention from those who are oppressed enough like the rest of the community.
Here are a few common anti-ace arguments.
|Calling non-asexual people "alloromantic" is lumping us in with our straight oppressors!||Calling anyone LGBT is also lumping LGBT people of color, women, disabled people, etc. with their oppressors. It's almost like there are multiple axes of oppression.|
|Suggesting that children can be asexual is predatory!||Teens have sexualities, and acknowledging this won't kill us. You know what harms mental health? Marginalizing and dehumanizing ace teens by teaching them that everyone must have sexual urges or there's something "wrong" with them. Most ace teens grow up feeling broken and alienated from their communities, just like many other LGBTQ+ people have. Perhaps you'd like to do something about the exclusionists putting gore and graphic sexual content in the ace tag and telling asexual kids to kill themselves? Vicious words to aces are far more destructive to kids, as well as potentially turning them away from the community that can be a valuable source of validation, experience, and sense of belonging, which is supposed to be a paramount goal of the LGBT+ community.|
|Aces just want to be oppressed.||Who in their right mind wants to be oppressed? This common argument from bigots invalidates and downplays real harms that people have experienced. Why do aces go through these lengths detailing their experiences, creating safe and open communities to listen, and expressing their need for acceptance and belonging? They're trying to reduce stigma and oppression (particularly the pushback that comes when minority groups start becoming more organized and visible).|
|LGBT organizations only acknowledge them because they feel threatened!||Asexual people are a minority in the community. This argument hugely neglects the efforts of the organizations to include aces because they want to promote a positive atmosphere of validation, understanding, comfort, love, and acceptance. Trying to destroy this is a serious disservice.|
|Asexuals dating non-asexual people is inherently abusive!||This argument seems to claim that asexuals deny their lovers sex and therefore, it is inherently abusive. Typical of exclusionary bigotry, this is a huge misunderstanding of asexuality and healthy relationships. Sex is an optional part of dating, and some asexuals do actually choose to have sex. And if someone doesn't consent to sex, that's not abusive; they have a right to say no. If two people in a relationships have different needs or wants, they can try communication. Ace exclusionists should be well aware of basic relationshipping before they start disparaging aces in their ignorant hatred and calling a class of people inherently abusive, besides which non-asexual people seemingly never get called abuser and victim for only having “platonic” or non-sexual relationships.|
A few of their many, many problems
Many people have pointed out that ace exclusionism is a lot like TERF rhetoric, and that many people who start as ace exclusionists become TERFs as well. Ace exclusionism normalizes TERF ideas and brings them into the popular lexicon.
“”you guys get REAL fuckin nervous when i highlight that the majority of your jeering about aces' perceived awkwardness, missed social cues, infantilization/dehumanization, or "unfuckability"/"cringey-ness" are repackaged ableism, especially considering that a good percentage of the ace community is also autistic
|—Metapianycist on Tumblr|
Many of the bullying tactics used against asexuals are the same things used against autistic people.
Of course, ace exclusionists flip it around and claim that asexuals, actually, are the ones hurting autistics (Which again, speak over Autistic Asexuals). Ace exclusionists have tried to say that asexuals are somehow harming autistic people. When asexuals use "a-spec" to describe the asexual and aromantic spectrum, exclusionists claim that "a-spec" is a word for the autism spectrum. (It isn't. Autistic people have said that it isn't. But exclusionists are too busy "defending" autistics from the evil aceys to pay attention or care.)
- Biphobia -- another phenomenon where sexual minorities exclude other sexual minorities for being too "normal".
- Trans-exclusionary radical feminism
- A roundup of some horrifying anti-asexual posts
- Another roundup of horrifying anti-asexual posts
- Google image results for "cute dog photos" in case you made the unfortunate decision to read through those roundups
- Tumblr user sabertoothwalrus found a correlation between TERFs, ace exclusionists, and hatred of queer people
- Google trends timeline of "is queer a slur", "are asexuals lgbt" and "trans exclusionary radical feminism"
- Parmenter, Joshua Glenn. The Culture of Sexuality: Identification, Conceptualization, and Acculturation Processes Within Sexual Minority and Heterosexual Cultures, p. 96. Utah State University, August 2018.
- Tumblr post on ace discourse destroying the community
- Tumblr post by killaces
- Tumblr user fucking-deactivated encouraging asexual minors to kill themselves
- Tumblr user moe-amethyst talking about the desire to murder asexuals
- Tumblr post showing suicide baiting and rape wishes directed at asexuals
- Screenshot of a Tumblr post about deleting asexuality from Wikipedia
- Tweet with screenshot alleging FBI contact. Apparently federal crimes count as "starting drama" for a fun hobby.
- Gordon Hodson Ph.D. Prejudice Against "Group X" (Asexuals), Psychology Today (September 1st, 2012).
- Elizabeth F. Emens. Compulsory Sexuality, Stanford Law Review (February 2014). Also available via The Free Library.
- Queer But Not Deemed Queer Enough – The Battle For Asexual Inclusion
- Battling Asexual Discrimination, Sexual Violence And ‘Corrective’ Rape - Huffington Post
- Discrimination In Education And The Workplace: How The Marginalization Of Asexuality Occurs At School And Work, An Academic Look At Asexual Oppression, via Carrd.
- National LGBT Survey 2017 Data Viewer, Government Equalities Office.
- Tumblr post discussing how aphobes and biphobes are similar
- See the Wikipedia article on Timeline of asexual history.
- The Tumblr bloggers building a canon of asexual history
- Tumblr post on the agency of asexual women of color
- A Tumblr post on ace exclusionism being a gateway ideology for TERFs
- A Tumblr post showing ace exclusionists who became TERFs
- Tumblr post on how a-spec is NOT about autism, and autistics would really appreciate it if exclusionists would stop
- Tumblr post with many screenshots of autistics saying that a-spec is not a word about autism