Feedback Wanted: Issues Aces Face

Back in 2016, I created two quick slides listing common ace issues for a general asexuality 101 presentation at Creating Change:

At the time, the main issues I highlighted were:

  • Rejection, Denial, or belittlement of ace identities and experiences
  • Limited research data
  • Difficulty accessing competent healthcare
  • Limited public awareness
  • Lack of community resources
  • Lack of good representation and role models
  • Lack of good models for nonsexual or nonromantic relationship
  • Sexual harassment and sexual assault
  • Pressure to be more sexual/sexually active
  • Intersectional issues (heterosexism, cissexism, racism, ableism, etc.)

Now, I’m hoping to re-use these slides to make some more general stock presentations, as well as individual handouts (which would also include additional text). But before I do that, I wanted to get feedback from other community members on how you feel about this current list:

  • Is there anything that seems to be missing?
  • Is there anything that you think could be grouped together under a broader heading?
  • Is there anything that seems oddly specific or oddly irrelevant compared to the other items?
  • Is there anything that you think would be better called something else?

I am looking to keep the total list to no more than 10-12 (fewer is better) for brevity’s sake – this is meant to be a brief overview, not a deep dive, which is when I am trying to group together similar issues when possible. The original slides came with additional verbal explanations of each item, and any handouts would have some explanatory text added, so the general “name” of each issue can be fairly vague (ex. “lack of community resources” includes things like a lack of offline groups, lack of historical documentation, lack of experienced leaders, lack of assets like money, physical spaces,  and print resources, etc.).

As an example, some feedback that I have gotten already includes a suggestion to include something about the pressure to be an “unassailable ace” and stand in for the whole community, and to consider combining pressure to be more sexually active with sexual assault and sexual harassment.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts you have to offer!

(also, if you have thoughts on specific sub-issues that you think are most important to  mention in any verbal explanations or additional explanatory text, feel free to mention those as well – I’m not quite at that stage yet but I can definitely file away any comments for future reference)


About Sennkestra

I'm an aromantic asexual and a bit of an [a]sexuality nerd, recently graduated from UC Berkeley with a BA in linguistics. When I'm not reading stuff on the internet I like to cook fancy food, watch anime, and make costumes and other arts and crafts projects.
This entry was posted in Asexual Activism, Awareness Outreach and Education, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Feedback Wanted: Issues Aces Face

  1. Soni says:

    Kinky aces?

  2. Coyote says:

    I’m not sure where this fits among “access to healthcare” and “sexual coercion,” but “pathologization/medicalization” is something I think warrants naming — what with all the drug and DSM controversies and such.

    • Sennkestra says:

      Ooh, that’s a really good point – I’ll probably add that into “difficulty accessing competent healthcare” for something like “pathologization / difficulty accessing competent healthcare”, since I think it’s a bit more tied into the medical complex than it is to sexual assault and sexual coercion specifically (though the former definitely can lead to the later)

      • queenieofaces says:

        Pathologization can lead to sexual coercion in therapy–if, for example, you have a therapist who insists that you need to have sex to get “better.” (Some PTSD treatments will explicitly set having sex as an end goal, so.)

  3. demiandproud says:

    Socialization with other aces? I mean, aside from awareness and info on specific issues, I think what I most want is just contact, both to have peers and, at some point, relationships… we’re a small mostly online community, so I think that’d make itself really felt in the long term.

  4. Pingback: Linkspam: January 27th, 2017 | The Asexual Agenda

  5. meg says:

    dehumanization? the idea that sexual attraction is part of what makes us human and that aces must be lacking is a big one for me.

  6. ettinacat says:

    Are you interested in aro issues too? Because lack of recognition (social and legal) of QPRs and passionate friendships is a big issue for aros.

    • Sennkestra says:

      This particular presentation is focused on asexuality, but since a big chunk of aces are also aro that’s definitely something I want to include – this is a great suggestion! I’m thinking that maybe change “lack of good models for nonromantic/nonsexual relationships” to something more expanded like “lack of models and refusal to acknowledge nonromantic/nonsexual relationships” might cover that?

  7. M Hill says:

    Finances. No one ever talks about the financial burden. For aces who remain unmarried, we will literally be paying upwards of thousands to perhaps even millions more in taxes. Averaging out to three or four times more than our married peers. And yet we don’t talk about it.

  8. Sennkestra says:

    Thanks for the suggestion! That’s definitely something I should add that doesn’t really fall neatly under the other categories (end-of-life / retirement planning is another thing that ties into finances that heavily affects single and ace people).

    Although, I would like to note that the thing about single people paying that much more in taxes isn’t necessarily true – while marriage is a tax benefit for some couples, for other couples it actually means that they will have to pay more in taxes compared to equivalent unmarried or single people; and the difference is definitely more like 10% rather than 300%.

    (You’re probably thinking of the overall financial burden of being single as opposed to married, which can be substantial – but things like healthcare, housing, and retirement costs tend to make a bigger impact on that difference than tax savings. In addition, some of those resource-sharing benefits are available outside marriage as well for those who choose to pursue nontraditional relationships or lifestyles, though some are easier than others (for an example, a single person can easily access housing-sharing benefits by getting roommates, but sharing health insurance plans is unlikely without marriage or at least a committed “significant other” type relationship and a generous state/provider, and shared social security benefits are basically impossible without being married).

    I actually have a post on the tax thing specifically scheduled for tomorrow morning, so this is an especially timely comment :)

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