Saturday, September 13, 2008

Us vs. Them

There is an interesting phenomenon that first came to my attention while I was studying Deaf culture in college. It seems the members of minority groups tend to develop an us vs. them attitude about the role their group plays in the larger world. They spend a lot of time complaining about their treatment at the hands of people who are not members of their little category.

I have also noticed this happening in the Asexual community and, as time passes and the community grows larger and larger, this seems to be getting worse. Far too often I come across posts on the forum at that are demeaning to people who are sexual (that's our word for people who aren't asexual). They talk about how sexuals are constantly horny and looking for sex or making lewd comments and telling dirty jokes, as if there is nothing that happens in their day that isn't about their next potential roll in the hay. Even though it only shows up on your computer screen you can almost hear the slime and cooties dripping off the word "sexual" as the say it. The sad part is some of them actually believe what they are saying.

To be fair, it is true that a lot of people do not understand asexuality and their minds reject the concept when they first hear of it. There are even some people who actively try to discredit it, saying that every healthy adult human experiences sexual attraction to someone or something. However, this by no means makes all sexual people the dunces that some aces try to make them out to be. There are a lot of very decent and classy people out there who do not share our point of view. In fact, I would go so far as to say most of them at least try to accept that it is the way we feel even if they don't understand how we can not feel a need for sex.

Fortunately, there seems to be a cure for such hypocrisy among aces. As we spend more and more time with each other and talk about how we feel and share our experiences with each other we become increasingly comfortable with who we are. As our comfort with ourselves and our identity grows we begin to tear down the walls we have built up in our minds that stand between us and the rest of the world. Eventually we reach the point where we can be as compassionate and understanding toward them as so many of them are toward us.

So, when you young'uns first come to the board full anger toward what you see as an over-sexualized world and you see us old folk shake our heads or even reprimand you for making disparaging remarks about sex or sexual people it isn't because we've lost touch with what's going on out there, we've just grown out of feeling offended by it.

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