Tuesday, April 5, 2016


Yesterday I got into a slap-fight with someone on YouTube, as I am sometimes wont to do.

It was a little confusing at first because the video he was commenting on is called "Shit People Say to Asexuals." It's a collaborative video I put together with fifteen other aces with us repeating the ignorant stuff that's been said to us about our orientation, in the tradition of Franchesca Ramsey's "Shit White Girls Say...to Black Girls." (This "Shit [group] says to [other group]" video style was a trend a few years back. We contributed.) Anyway, sometimes it's hard to tell if the ignorant comments people leave on this video are actual ignorant comments or if it's people repeating what's been said to them.

So at first, I interpreted this fellow's comment as the friendly kind. Since it was kind of too ridiculous to be real. (So I thought.)

James Gray:
I'd say "you're not asexual, as you cannot reproduce on your own". Then give them a science book.

I mean, that "sorry, that's for plants" comment is actually IN THE VIDEO. And science books that discuss asexuality as an orientation actually agree with us. It's laughable that anyone claims we're talking about reproduction, so I thought he knew that and responded in kind.

"You're not tall, you're not a drink size at Starbucks, words only have one meaning and if you try to squeeze in more it's ~too confusing~"
Yes! Give them a science book! And also remind them how words inside and outside scientific contexts tend to be completely different and not confusing at all for people who are honestly processing context! 
But then he did this.

James Gray:
I know! SJWs hijacked the word "asexual" and changed the definition to "not having sexual feelings or drives". I'm sorry, not having a sex drive isn't a gender. They did the same thing to the word "organic"(not in terms of a gender). 

Red alert.

Someone who is VERY confused about what asexuality even is thinks I'm on his side.


So I replied:

I think you interpreted my message backwards. Asexual people aren't claiming their orientation as their gender. Asexual people's definition of asexual is not confusing, and the definition you're claiming is ours is not accurate. You do not actually think humans are claiming to be able to reproduce asexually when they tell you they are asexual, so "WELL THERE IS ONLY THE REPRODUCTION DEFINITION" is a flagrantly ignorant statement since there have been dozens of scientific studies and research projects that have centered on or included asexuality. Sexuality professionals do not seem to be having a hard time with this. Those who don't understand it or believe it is new or baffling because they haven't bothered to do any actual research really don't belong framing it as something it isn't. Nobody who actually processed what we're saying about ourselves would confuse it with a gender.

He probably had a similar "red alert" moment when he realized he was talking to what he would refer to as an "SJW." Which is a dismissive term people like this use to label "social justice warriors" as hysterical and unreasonable. He wrote this, in which he hilariously quoted asexuality.org at me to prove his point and inadvertently invalidated himself:

James Gray:
http://www.asexuality.org/home/ definition - An asexual person is a person who does not experience sexual attraction. I have discussed this with many people, and many SJWs consider asexual as a gender. It's now one of the 58 different genders recognized by Google. I agree, it's not a gender - it's a hormonal imbalance. And "sexuality professionals" are mostly women that majored in Women's Studies in college. They wasted their time for the degree, so they had to come up with something else for impressionable college students to feed into so they can earn a paycheck.

Well this is nice. He doesn't seem to realize that AVEN says asexuality is a completely different thing from what he was claiming it was; he puts words in the mouths of people he doesn't agree with so they'll be framed as ridiculous (oh honey, I don't know any "SJWs" who consider "asexual" a gender, sorry); and he throws in a heaping helping of "lol women getting degrees in fake things have to scramble to make up fake careers too."

Now. I'm not sharing this conversation just to blow off steam (though there's that, too); I'll go ahead and tell you how this ends. 

This man eventually wanted to stop arguing with me and commented that he was glad we could have a cordial debate.

I think we have a different definition of cordial.

Contrary to popular belief, you are not being polite just because you did not explicitly call your "debate" opponent an insulting name and did not use any foul language.

With the above statement, this man grinningly invalidated woman-centered studies and implied that they do not have any practical application in the real world, and yet he thinks speaking to a woman that way is "cordial." He also lied baldly about what opponents of his beliefs say, did his best to paste a definition to prove me wrong (even though he unwittingly proved HIMSELF wrong in the process), and made a sneering comment about genders that are recognized by Google.

I replied as follows:

Adorable. You wrote "they changed the definition to a person who doesn't have sexual feelings or drives!" and then when I said you used the wrong definition, you copy-pasted . . . a different definition. If you don't understand how those two things are not synonymous and you don't realize you just proved yourself wrong, you probably need to read what you're writing more closely before you use it to tell people they don't know what they are talking about.

It's also no skin off anyone's back if you refuse to listen to the people you're laughing at. Like, no, nobody who is actually discussing this rationally is claiming "asexual" is a gender (you may be confusing it with agender while scrambling to mock them?), but as you're depending on weak logical fallacies like hyperbole and misrepresentation to make your distressingly confused point, we can all see what's really going on here. It's why people with an authentic desire to understand stuff like sexuality will listen and learn, and why people who have never cared because it's not about themselves will cover their ears and laugh.

You do your thing, bro. The rest of us will be over here amused at the way people demand scientific correctness but won't actually read scientific studies that prove them wrong, and how consistently said people tend to use the term "SJW" unironically.

Believing he's landed me in a gotcha situation, he throws this down:

James Gray:
Please explain the difference between "doesn't have sexual feelings or drives" and "does not experience sexual attraction". I cut and pasted the 2nd definition from the asexual website I linked - I figured you couldn't debate their definition. There was a period in my life where due to medication I lost my sex drive - I didn't then claim I had a new sexual orientation, I knew it was the medicine. People thinking they can flip-flop from male to female and back need medication and intense therapy. You definitely do not represent "the rest of us".

It's odd that he thinks it's self-evident that "doesn't have sexual feelings or drives" and "does not experience sexual attraction" are the same thing. I mean, it's one thing if you don't understand the difference, but if you don't, it's important to figure it out before you go laughing at people for acting like there's a difference.

Asexual people use a collection of definitions, some more than others, and some don't feel that certain definitions apply. They also don't coercively assign other people sexual orientations if they are, say, experiencing side effects from medication; it's not like the Asexual Brigade knocks on your door and says you have no choice but to identify as asexual now if your sex drive disappears.

His obsession with the gender stuff is kind of worrying, too. My video touched only ever so slightly on gender--when one contributor's "shit people say" comment was "if you're not sure about your gender, you can't be sure about your sexual orientation!" It's very common for people with a pet peeve to come onto videos like mine and assume it makes sense to just fire their hate balls at the entire lump of stuff they don't believe in, though. I've had people on other videos realize I'm a feminist and immediately start throwing bricks over GamerGate, as if I have something to do with that automatically if I'm a feminist. They don't seem to realize that many feminists don't care about video games, and these anti-feminists only know about it because games are their thing. But these folks are often very self-centered and don't realize how small their little world is.

I answered James's sneering comment about needing me to explain the difference, though I was tempted to tell him he was welcome to the wisdom of Google (since he's so knowledgeable about all the genders found there).

There are people who desire sex but don't find anyone sexy. Those people have sexual feelings but don't experience sexual attraction. They're one type of asexual person.

It's okay if you don't understand it or want to conflate everything about orientation with behavior or are primarily having this conversation to make people who aren't you look unworthy of your respect. And I mean "it's okay" in that if you do that, we know where you're coming from and can choose not to listen to you in the same way you've already chosen not to listen to us.

And whether a person who is experiencing medical side effects chooses to use a certain word is of no concern to me; my default is listening to how people describe themselves and respecting it. The level of investment some people have in telling other people their experiences aren't real or shouldn't have names is kind of baffling to me. You do you; you call yourself what you think is appropriate to call yourself; I'll leave you alone and not come onto any media you make to tell you I want you to change how you discuss your own issues. You really should not concern yourself so intensely with how people who aren't you experience their orientation.
But of course James Gray here is a savior of objective truth and reason, and he must become an Internet-comment-slinging gladiator to preserve the reality he knows. (Social Justice Warriors, however, are fake activists because they just whine behind their keyboards on tumblr dot com.)

James Gray:
Just trying to prevent the spread of nonsense that can be treated with psychotherapy/medication. Again, you can believe whatever you want about yourself. But expecting society to conform to your psychosis is an unrealistic expectation. Cultures do not advance catering to the supposedly oppressed. I don't respect people that make up things in their minds to try to win sympathy. I respect a person's individual thought processes as being their own, but again, the world doesn't need to change for you. You need to adapt to the world.

And here's the thing. Again, he thinks this is respectful dialogue.

He thinks this is a debate.

In a conversation where he's referred to my orientation as nonsense, as medically treatable, as psychosis, as unrealistic expectation, as supposedly oppressed, as unworthy of respect, and as a ploy to win sympathy. He. Thinks. He. Is. Cordial.

They believe these are polite conversations because they do not think it's a big deal to invalidate other human beings on this level. Nothing has the power to unseat these privileged people's sense of identity; they are already understood to be authentically experiencing their reality, and they can choose to harass and pester and condescend to and frustrate people who aren't like them because they simply want to. The "nonsense" of people they don't grok makes them itch enough that they must go into their spaces and say "No, this is not real; you are sick or you are wrong about yourself, and though it changes absolutely nothing about my life if you believe me, I need you to hear this message."

It's a choice for them. A hobby, even. To go telling people they don't "believe in" that their reality is not reality.

And they don't think that's cruel. Or criminally insensitive. Or even impolite.

The world affords people like this the freedom to strike as they will, and even though people like me have the stability and experience to not be affected by it, it's just galling to me to watch how casually this man tells people how imperative it is that they get help and stop being how they are, and how this society still raises him to believe this is perfectly courteous behavior. He is welcome and free to intrude and drop ignorance on anyone at any time, without walking away feeling that he has caused pain or done anything outside his rights. That's what's important here: that people who believe inconvenient or unusual things about themselves be pressured to spend money, time, and energy on accessing mental health services to fix themselves, so people like this man will not have to be so annoyed by those damn SJWs and their 58 genders.

It's funny how often they say we claim to be oppressed, but they think upending our world view and forcing us into therapy is REALLY important.

So here's me, angling from the "establishment" perspective because I figured he would be more likely to take professionals' word for it than he would be to accept lived experience:

And if you'd like to look at the accepted "bible" of what constitutes a mental disorder, you will find asexuality listed twice in there pointing out that it is NOT a mental disorder and that people treating clients should take care to avoid applying this diagnosis to asexual people.
If you refuse to stop being intellectually dishonest and acknowledge that people with more research experience than you have looked into this and sided with US, there's nothing I can do about it. But it should clue you in pretty hard when the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders that mental health professionals are supposed to use to diagnose people is telling you you're wrong.
The laughable stuff about "making things up to win sympathy" and "expecting society to conform to your psychosis is an unrealistic expectation" is kinda amusing though. You can invent motivation for us all you like if it makes you, personally, feel validated, but it's not mentally unsound for people to expect the world at large to realize that there's a name for this orientation and to be basically respectful to their fellow human beings. It's simply a word that describes a pattern that people throughout history have always exhibited, and people shouldn't be so bent out of shape over aggressively assigning those people a disorder.
But hey, homosexuality used to be considered a disorder too, and their attempts to spread awareness and increase compassion has resulted in social change. You would have told them twenty years ago that they had a mental disorder for expecting society to change for them, but here we are. Though considering the way you opened with sneering, snotty commentary, I won't assume you're not also a homophobe, because people who talk like that often are.

Bringing up homophobia is always a crapshoot in conversations like this. In my experience, people who talk like this are almost always bigots. Some people like to say stuff like "you wouldn't say that to a black person!" or "you wouldn't say that to a gay person!" but . . . like, yeah, they usually would. Comparing the two situations almost always leads to people making it clear that they do actually believe gay people are unnatural because they can't reproduce (lol, oh really?) or has them pointing out that they do believe black people "still" whining about racism are what is causing the racism. (Wowwww.) But in this case. . . .

James Gray:
homosexuality occurs naturally in other species - it's an anomaly, but it does happen - believing you're gender fluid or a demigirl does not.

And note he's on the nonbinary gender hate wagon again instead of discussing the topic of the video.

I exposed his ridiculous hypocrisy.

You should ask yourself honestly why telling people they're wrong about themselves is so important to you. For real. People just get so emotional about other people using descriptions they don't like, don't understand, or haven't personally experienced. So you don't believe in their experience--okay? Animals can't tell you anything about how they experience gender, and considering there are actually animals that physically change sex or have more than two sexes, I think comparing us to other animals as a gotcha for what can happen in our species is both ignorant and irrelevant.

And this is where he decided to quit.

James Gray:
At this point, I'd like to respectfully end our debate. I don't think we'll see eye-to-eye on this topic. I thank you for being cordial, and I hope I was the same(not in ideology, but in manners). I wish you the best.

You do not wish me the best, James Gray. You said it yourself.

You wish me shamed into therapy through enough people telling me something's wrong with me. You wish me disrespected and gaslighted. You pretend it's about me getting help I "need," but let's not kid ourselves; you're not actually concerned about our happiness. You wish me to stop talking to other people like myself to tell them they're okay the way they are, because you think we aren't. You wish genderqueer members of my social circle would stop bothering you with these inconvenient requests for basic respect. People being this different from you has caused you to approach us on purpose with your arms loaded with the weight of the status quo, and you choose to drop it on us in apparent ignorance that the world is already doing that without your help. 

You choose to do this; you do it with intent; you seek us out to say it; and you know that your life does not change if we are hurt by it. You'd like us to be hurt by it so we'll "realize" we're broken and go fix ourselves. And you think that's the "good" result here. You risk nothing, you stand to lose nothing, and you truly have no idea what it's like to have skin in this game. You don't know about the messages I get from suicidal people, terrified people, lonely people, people who have been abused--people who were finally able to start healing when someone like me told them there are multiple ways to be fulfilled and okay in this world. While believing they were broken, sick, or confused often led to medical abuse, more unhappiness, anxiety and depression, and failed relationships. 

Knowing you're asexual is an important piece of the puzzle when negotiating your life, because then you can learn what you can reasonably expect to feel toward others and what alternate routes to intimacy you can be satisfied by. People who sneer at us to get help and take medicine don't seem to realize that has not historically worked for the many many many members of our community who were irrevocably hurt by it before they knew there was a name for their feelings.

People like James Gray don't acknowledge that this is our reality--I mean, why listen to a bunch of SJWs with Women's Studies degrees who believe in 58 Google genders?--and there is something quite insidious about people like him who seek us out and delight in twisting the knives they see sticking out of us. Not a big problem when you can blame the resulting deaths on us being dramatic and wanting attention.

There is nothing cordial about conversations like this, though it's at least nice that he abandoned the dialogue without claiming my supposed emotional investment had driven him away. (That's what people like him usually do--they assign the other person "anger" or "overemotional responses" to cast themselves as rational and make their opponent think they themselves have become incapable of continuing. It's disgusting.) These kinds of conversations could almost always be worse. But this was not a polite, balanced discussion between people who can just agree to disagree.

His ~opinion~? It's violence.

I'm the one who looks at the scars.


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