Notes of an Asexual Muslim

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Teeny tiny linkspam on asexuality and sex-aversion/sex-repulsion

queenieofaces:

In honor of this month’s Carnival of Aces, I give you a teeny tiny linkspam on sex-aversion/sex-repulsion!  None of these were written for this month’s Carnival (as far as I know), so if you’re interested in what people have been saying this month, you’ll just have to wait until Friday.  (Also, if you haven’t already, you should consider submitting something to the Carnival.  It’s cool and fun and a great way to motivate yourself to write something.)

Some definitions:

Terminology: sex aversion vs. sex repulsion from ace-muslim

Some definitions of sex-aversion/sex-repulsion from me

aceadmiral on What Aversive Means

Posts on sex-aversion/sex-repulsion and asexuality:

Fistfelt on Lying by Omission

ace-muslim on the way we represent the asexual community vs. demographics

Repulsion is not shaming by Siggy

More on repulsion vs. shaming

I am not your dirty secret (here on The Asexual Agenda) by me

Don’t yum my yuck, or being respectful of sex repulsed people is a pretty cool thing to do (here on The Asexual Agenda) by me

aceadmiral on Aversive Me

The Ace Theist differentiating the types of anxieties sex-favorable and sex-repulsed aces deal with

I Am Not Your Sex Cheerleader by Sciatrix

Sex isn’t always good (here on The Asexual Agenda) by me

Bonus posts on sex-normativity/compulsory sexuality in ace spaces:

beranyth on having spaces for “lack of sexual attraction” but not “lack of sexual activity”

beranyth on shutting down conversations about compulsory sexuality because “aces have sex!”

Your Sex-Normative Ideas Ain’t News by The Ace Theist

swankivy on sex-positivity and sex-normativity in ace communities

beranyth on pressuring aces into trying sex

"There are no laws against it. What rights are they fighting for?"

redbeardace:

[Cross-posted from “The Comment Section" on Asexuality Archive]

Examples:

  • It is NOT part of the LGBT community. No one is denying any rights to people who choose not to have sex.
  • If being gay is about political rights, then they don’t fit in because they are not fighting for any kinds of rights because they are not being denied any thing.
  • What right is denied to an Asexual person? Just name one, please.

Why these comments are a problem:

It implies that “fighting for rights” is the only reason people ever identify as gay or transgender or what have you.  That’s a preposterous assertion.  It’s my understanding that people tend to identify as gay because they’re gay, not because they enjoy political organization.  Beyond that, the this claim implies that once those rights are granted, there will no longer be a need for the LGBT community.  “Cancel the parade, everyone!  Say goodbye to the Castro and the Village!  Board up the gay bars! Tear down those rainbow flags!  We’ve got our rights now, so it’s all unnecessary!”

Fighting for legal rights isn’t the only reason to form a community.  Being around other people who understand how you feel so you don’t have to constantly explain yourself is one of the primary reasons.  We also are drawn to find a community because so many of us felt alone, like we were the only person who felt this way.  The larger our community is, the more visible we are, and the more visible we are, the more likely someone else will be able to grow up knowing that they’re asexual, instead of feeling lost and broken for years until they stumble across the word.

Also, despite the claim, there actually are legal issues that concern asexuality.  Discrimination is one of them.  There are people who will discriminate against anyone who is not heterosexual.  While there are laws against discrimination based on sexual orientation in many places, in some cases, those laws are written in such a way that they do not include asexuality.  For instance, RCW 49.60.040 in the State of Washington (where I live) defines “sexual orientation” as “heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality, and gender expression or identity.”  Asexuality is not included.  Under the letter of the law, asexuals could legally be fired for being asexual.  There’s a report of an asexual couple who could not adopt a child because they were asexual.  Asexuals with homoromantic leanings may run into the same prohibitions against marriage that homosexual people fight against.  And if asexuals do get married, there are sometimes “consummation laws” that require sexual intercourse for a marriage to be considered “valid”, and that may not be something an asexual person is willing to do.

How to respond:

  • Inform the person that the LGBT community is about more than just “fighting for rights”, or it would disappear after those rights were obtained.
  • Explain that “fighting for rights” is not the only reason people seek community, recognition, and acceptance.
  • Discuss legal issues that have or potentially could impact you as an asexual.

"No one has a problem with it."

redbeardace:

[Cross-posted from “The Comment Section" on Asexuality Archive]

Examples:

  • Tell me, besides being looked at strangely when you announce your asexuality, what is the big deal about it? Are you going to risk being kicked out of your home for coming out as asexual? The biggest hurdle for the asexual community to possibly have to overcome seems to be, “to finally not be thought of as slightly weird/closet gay in denial/hormonally challenged until the doctor dispels that idea.”
  • And by the way, most people don’t care one way or the other if you are asexual.
  • No one is persecuting asexuals.
  • No one has a problem with it!
  • NO ONE is denying asexuals any attention, respect, or rights.

Why these comments are a problem:

First of all, this class of comments is an attempt to trivialize who we are.  They’re saying “What you are isn’t important enough to have a problem with.  Asexuality is a nothing.  You’re a nobody.”  Attempts to sideline us are unfortunately common.

More importantly, most of the time, the people making these claims don’t bother to look at the problems that asexuals do face.  They’ll mock serious problems that some of us do face and they’ll throw out and shoot down strawman problems that we don’t even claim to face.  They simply shut us down and tune us out before we can even talk about the issues facing us.

What problems do we tend to encounter because of our asexuality?

  • Pathologizing of asexuality as a disorder.
  • A lack of societal awareness of asexuality, which frequently leads to ignorance and insults.
  • Relationship issues, particularly family relationships and romantic relationships.
  • Difficulty navigating a sex-driven world, in particular, the social expectations regarding sex.
  • Threats, coercion, sexual assault, rape (in particular “corrective” rape), and potentially even murder.

These are just some of the problems that some asexual people face.  There are countless others.  They are real.  They do happen.  Do not let anyone deny this.

How to respond:

  • Detail a number of cases where people definitely do have a problem with it.  (SwankIVY’s “Letters to an Asexual” series, Anagnori’s invalidation tree, “Ace Bingo Cards”, and the parade scene in (A)sexuality are good resources for this.)
  • Point out that there are a large number of negative or hurtful comments being posted to the article.
  • Talk about situations where people you’ve encountered have had a problem with asexuality, if you feel comfortable doing so.

Happy Eid Mubarak to All

Eid mubarak! May our fasts, prayers, and other acts of worship from this Ramadan be accepted by Allah. May He grant peace and justice in our world. A special shout-out to converts, queer Muslims (including asexual Muslims) and any Muslims who have no Muslim family on this holiday. May it be joyful and spiritually enriching for you.
Happy Eid Mubarak to All

Eid mubarak! May our fasts, prayers, and other acts of worship from this Ramadan be accepted by Allah. May He grant peace and justice in our world. A special shout-out to converts, queer Muslims (including asexual Muslims) and any Muslims who have no Muslim family on this holiday. May it be joyful and spiritually enriching for you.

thingsthatmakeyouacey:

thingsthatmakeyouacey:

bessibels:

Soooo this post and all the white aces commenting on it are wrong and also racist and here’s why:

First of all, how is it that white aces are all about diverse perspectives and multiple narratives when we’re co-opting WOC ideas to demand inclusivity from feminist and sex positive spaces, but as soon as POC perspectives start challenging mainstream narratives within our own community, all of a sudden anything that doesn’t fit the mold is irrelevant and off-topic? We’re a bunch of racist hypocrites, folks.

Second of all, here’s *my* takeaway from Alok Vaid-Menon’s piece, and it’s a point all us white aces have been failing to articulate or acknowledge:

If one of the goals of an asexual visibility movement is to make asexual identities accessible, then we need to address all of the barriers to that. Right now we’re addressing some of them, like stigma and lack of vocabulary and erasure. But we’re not addressing colonialism. We’re not addressing the fact that structurally, people who have been racially desexualized just do not have the same access to an asexual identity that white people do. That makes racism and decolonization central issues for us. If we’re not addressing them, we’re only helping white people and POC who are able to adopt white-compatible narratives. If we’re not addressing that, we’re a racially exclusive movement. *That’s* the point. *That’s* why it’s crucial to talk about colonialism and desexualization and lack of access to ace identities.

People are like “How is this relevant when the person doesn’t even identify as ace?” You don’t get it. It’s relevant because they can’t identify as ace in an empowering way, and no one in our community is talking about why.

It’s also crucial to discuss colonialism because desexualizing is an issue the “ace community” has the power to challenge. Ace PoC have an immense power to discuss how colonialism = co-opting and sexual enslavement of brown bodies, and to fight this structure through actual movements instead of just trying to be included - and white people can’t wrap their minds around letting us do that, or that they’re not gatekeepers to “let” things happen in the first place.

Did any of you - including ace-muslim - who reblogged from these popular blogs actually…click the links and see what the OP is discussing…or…?

I was extensively involved in a discussion in the comments on the post at The Asexual Agenda (which bessibels linked to) and explained my views at some length there. The comments thread is too long to copy over to Tumblr, and it wouldn’t do much good to post only my comments without the context of what I was replying to, so I do hope that people will click through and read if they are interested. The discussion at Tumblr seems to have gotten somewhat detached from the ongoing discussion in the comments at TAA.

"Aren’t there more important things to talk about?"

redbeardace:

[Cross-posted from “The Comment Section" on Asexuality Archive]

Examples:

  • Why do people have to “join” or “celebrate” any type of sexuality?  Just live your lives….aren’t there more important issues to be concerned with?
  • May I offer two solutions, if indeed the asexuals find themselves “harrassed” by us?  Mount Athos is one, and a Carmelite convent, another.  Let us work, in the meantime, on far more important rights.
  • Maybe if people stopped trying to shove it down other people’s throats with parades, rallies, blogs, bumper stickers, etc., we could all focus on more important things than who wants to have sex with whom. Or, in this case who doesn’t want to have sex with whom.

Why these comments are a problem:

People who say things like this are trying to make themselves the one true arbiter of what is worthy of discussion.  If you’re going to be allowed to talk about anything, you have to run it past them first.  If there’s something More Important™ to talk about, you don’t get to bring up what you want to talk about.  And because asexuality isn’t important to them, we have to shut up and go home.  This is simply another silencing tactic, designed to shut us down.

In many cases, these commenters will point to something More Important™ that needs to be discussed.  They make it seem like there’s a limited number of words that can be used, and that if you’re not talking about something More Important™, then you’re wasting those words.  They also make it seem like only one thing can be discussed at one time, and that everyone in the world must only discuss that one thing until it is resolved.  These claims are, of course, ridiculous.

By talking about asexuality, you are not making an implicit claim that it is the Most Important™ thing in the world.  You’re not restricting yourself and others to only ever talk about asexuality to the exclusion of anything else ever again.  You are simply saying that it is worth talking about, because it is worth talking about.

How to respond:

  • Talk about why talking about asexuality is important to you.
  • Remind them that the number of words is not finite.  Talking about one issue does not prevent another issue from being discussed or being considered important.
  • Remind them that just because something is not important to one person, that does not mean cannot possibly be important to anybody else.
  • Avoid comparisons or claims that say that asexuality is More Important™ than something else.

"Asexuals aren’t persecuted or oppressed or discriminated against!"

redbeardace:

[Cross-posted from “The Comment Section" on Asexuality Archive]

Examples:

  • People will continue being Special Snowflakes and claim to be an oppressed minority because it’s better than just being different, and continue to offend actual oppressed minorities.
  • Even if asexual is a sexual orientation, those who have it are not legally oppressed in any way.
  • and last time I checked asexuality is not actively being persecuted by society
  • There are no laws barring asexual people from marriage nor are churches blaming asexuals for hurricanes, shootings, etc.
  • Unless you go around wearing a sign saying you’re asexual, society doesn’t know and doesn’t care so you couldn’t possibly be discriminated against in any intentional way.
  • I see what you are saying, but nobody has ever killed someone for being asexual.

Why these comments are a problem:

Ohhh…  Where to begin with this…

First of all, it is exceedingly rare that someone who is asexual makes a claim of oppression or discrimination or persecution or whatever over some trivial matter.  If an asexual says that they were oppressed or discriminated against or persecuted because they were asexual, listen to them.  Because they probably were.

Next, in the vast majority of cases, the thing the person is commenting on never even remotely mentions oppression or persecution.  The commenter is pulling oppression out of thin air to use it as an attack.  It’s a strawman.  Simply saying “I am asexual and I exist” is not a claim of oppression.  Talking about your sexual orientation does not indicate that you think you’ve been persecuted for it.  Discussing a problem you’ve encountered in your life does not mean that you’re saying that you have it worse than everyone else.

Oddly, these people seem to believe that facing oppression and persecution is a necessary condition for having a minority sexual identity.  You apparently don’t get to join the club unless you, personally, experience daily oppression for who you are.  And they’ll often be very specific about what qualifies.  Often, being denied the right to marry comes up as the criteria.  Asexuals can’t be possibly be included because no one is preventing them from being married.  Right, so, what that means is that where I live, in the State of Washington, gays and lesbians also can’t be included, because we passed R74 a few years back, and the Winsdor case made the Feds recognize these marriages.  And does that mean that someone would be considered queer in some other states, but not queer in Washington, at least not after December 9th, 2012?  Over time, as laws change and as people become enlightened, such a definition will cover fewer and fewer people.

A number of these kinds of comments suggest that keeping quiet will let you pass and prevent oppression.  Are you asexual?  Just keep it to yourself and nothing will ever happen!  Well hey, that’s a great idea!  Let’s have everyone do that!  Hey, Sally, got a homophobic boss?  Well, just show up at the office party with a beard to throw him off the scent!  Hey, Joe, nervous about what people might think of your religion?  What’s the big deal, hide that prayer rug and no one will ever know!  Hey, Phil, live in a town full of racists?  That’s what thick white cake makeup is for!  …  Never mind that forcing someone to hide who they are out of fear is a form of oppression.

These comments usually ignore intersectionality of any kind.  It’s a blanket “Asexuals are not oppressed!  Asexuals have no relevant problems!”.  That means that if you’re a homoromantic ace or a trans ace or an asexual person of color, congratulations!  You will never experience any kind of oppression or discrimination or persecution of any kind, because your asexuality acts as an immunity idol.

It’s also just outright dismissive.  What these people are saying is, “I can’t think of any problems you might face off the top of my head, and you probably don’t have my problems, so I’m just going to yell at you for implying that you might have problems.”  Just because someone hasn’t heard of it happening, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

And when an asexual does try to bring up a problem that they actually have personally faced?  Well then, that doesn’t matter, because someone else has it worse.  You can’t talk about erasure, because there aren’t any laws against asexuality.  You can’t talk about having trouble with relationships, because you can’t get fired for being asexual.  You can’t talk about corrective rape, because you’ve never been killed for being asexual after walking out of a bar.  What they’re saying is that your problems aren’t important enough to talk about, because there are other, bigger problems out there.  Absolutely, all of those other issues are horrible, and it would be fantastic if we could find a way to solve them.  However, the fact that there are other problems out there, does not completely prohibit discussion and resolution of smaller problems.

“I’m sorry, you can’t deal with the leaky pipe that’s flooding your basement, because there’s a coal ash spill in North Carolina.” 

“I’m sorry, you can’t change your flat tire, because there’s a civil war in Syria.”

“I’m sorry, you can’t deal with that pebble in your shoe, because the inevitable heat death of the universe will eventually extinguish all possibility of life.”

That kind of thinking is ridiculous.  We’re not a one problem at a time kind of species.  There are enough of us to work on multiple problems at once, and it’s even possible for the same person to be working on more than one problem at the same time.  You have a right to talk about problems that you face, whatever they are, however big or small, simply because you face them, and you don’t have to go before some kind of Grand Unified Problem Importance Committee to justify it.

How to respond:

  • Detail the issues you’ve encountered, if you feel comfortable doing so.  First hand accounts can be very powerful.
  • Explain that your problems may not be the same problems as others, but that does not somehow make them less worthy of discussion.
  • Explain that something that may seem trivial to someone else is actually very important to you.
  • If you have encountered the exact scenario that they’re claiming “Never Happens To Asexuals”, call them on it.  Tell them exactly what happened to you.
  • First hand accounts or verifiable claims are better than hazy third person hearsay or gut feelings.  “This happened to me” or “Here’s a news story about this” are better than “I heard someone on AVEN once say” or “People on Tumblr think this”.
  • Avoid claims of oppression or “Having it worse”, even if you are oppressed or really do have it worse.  Nobody gets a medal in the Oppression Olympics.  Simply tell your story and let others hear what you have to say.
  • Remember that these claims are often made by trolls who’ll never concede.  You’re not in it to convince them.  You’re in it to show everyone else that what they’re saying is wrong.

Asexuality, Islam, and Queerness

lambishwolf:

ace-muslim:

I am asexual, aromantic, non-libidoist (no sex drive), and sex-repulsed. I have no attraction of any kind to men except rare instances of aesthetic attraction. I have never had a romantic or sexual relationship with a man, I do not want one, and I would not know how to navigate one. I am not willing or even able to have sex with a man and I do not believe I ever will be able. This is not something I can compromise on. This means that a romantic/sexual relationship with a man would be a site of oppression for me. Marriage is out of the question.

My religion includes teachings like, “Marriage is half the religion,” and “Marriage is part of my way and who goes away from my way is not of me.”

This is what it’s like being asexual and Muslim.

Marriage is not actually religiously obligatory in Islam. If you dig into enough detailed texts of jurisprudence, you’ll eventually find statements that it’s merely neutral and not even considered as recommended for people who do not experience desire. Marriage in Islam is understood largely as a way of regulating sexual desire and giving it a lawful outlet. If you don’t experience desire, you don’t have anything to regulate or need a lawful outlet for, thus the exhortation towards marriage is not really directed at you. Moreover, the “goes away from my way” saying was actually addressed to a married man who had turned away from his wife out of a misguided sense of piety. It was actually meant to say, “Your wife has a right on you, and it is part of the religion to give her her rights.” In another instance, the Prophet told a man who said he was unable to marry that it was OK to not marry and to follow a course of lifelong celibacy (the phrase translated as “castrate yourself” (!) could mean figuratively “live as a eunuch”) because God had written out that fate of inability for him (yes, I believe that God created me to be asexual).

In my searches, I also found this quote from an early mystic:

God has decreed neither marriage nor celibacy… But he has decreed integrity of heart, preservation of faith, a soul at peace, and the execution of commands needed for these… And if one’s healthful condition, integrity of heart, and peace of soul reside in celibacy, then that is better for him, since these are the things that are desired of marriage. If one can reach these without marriage, then celibacy causes no harm.

That’s talking to me right there. I could not find a healthful condition, integrity of heart, or peace of soul in marriage to a man. I take this quote as explaining the meaning of Quran 57:27, which says in part:

We [God] did not prescribe it [monasticism] for them except for seeking the good-pleasure of God.

I believe that through not subjecting myself to what would be a kind of psychic violence on me, but through pursuing a life of health, integrity and peace in celibacy, I am seeking the good-pleasure of God.

So, yes, there actually is a place for me as an asexual in Islam and I don’t need to fear that I’m somehow failing in my religion by not being able to marry.

But…

It took me years to find the handful of texts I’ve mentioned here, to find these interpretations. Many Muslims might not know about them or agree with the way I understand them. Even if they did, that’s an awful lot of explaining to do just to justify my being 40, single, and not planning to ever marry.

And then I have to explain that stuff in the first paragraph of this post. That, yes, it is possible for some people to innately have no interest whatsoever for sex. Even a lot of Western liberals seem to have trouble with that concept, judging from some of the reactions to asexuality. That I’m not just not interested in sex but that it would actually harm me mentally, emotionally, and spiritually to have to engage in it. That it’s because I am not straight, that God created some people to not be straight.

When your sexual orientation cuts you off from how your community or your society expects you to experience and express your sexuality, when you have to search for alternative interpretations and obscure texts to justify the existence of your sexual orientation and its validity within the religion, when you have to tell people that your sexual orientation is not “normal”, is not how they believe God created everybody to be, you’re queer.

I’m queer. As an asexual Muslim, I’m queer.

I’m still trying to figure out how to even have that conversation with anybody but LGBT Muslims, or if I ever will.

In the meantime, my not being married and not seeking marriage isolates me. Converts to Islam who don’t have a larger community they already belong to are often very marginalized in Muslim communities in America. Many can find a way in by marrying. But I can’t do that.

Being asexual and Muslim has often meant a profound loneliness and a silence about everything that made that loneliness. That’s a queer experience too, to be isolated and alone because of where your sexual orientation puts you, and to not be able to explain why.

And another thing is, strawberreli is pretty much the only other asexual Muslim I’ve come across even on Tumblr, except for a couple of blogs that have long since gone inactive. I’m glad I’m not the only one, but that’s really freaking lonely. I’m guessing that most of the other asexual Muslims (and yes, they exist and are out there) are like me, isolated and alone. Part of my motivation in finally writing this post is in case an asexual Muslim finds it and realizes they are not broken and not alone, not failing at the religion. There are a lot of answers I still don’t have, but I hope I can give someone that, at least.

That’s beautiful and so much like my experience and what I’ve come to understand! I’m so sorry you didn’t discover these texts earlier. I was blessed to be raised in a predominantly Muslim country, so even if our schools teach only the strictest Hanbali madhab’s interpretation of Islam, they still included that while marriage is very important and is part of the Prophet’s sunnah, his tradition, it is permissible and could even be liked/preferred mustahab for one to remain single if they lack a sex drive or are incapable of copulation for whatever reason (known in Arabic as al-‘ineen) because they would not be able to fulfill their spouse’s rights over them— so if the alternate is a marriage lacking in one of the most basic rights, it would be far better to remain single!

But even being taught that in our school books, it’s difficult when the culture itself, society in general, push the idea that anyone and everyone should marry and there is no true happiness without it, isn’t it?!

I’m so happy to meet another asexual Muslimah, you have no idea how much this means to me. ;^;

As-salaamu alaykum! Thanks so much for your kind words about the post. I think a lot of the issue is that as a convert, my access to fiqh is variable and not always consistent. As I’ve gradually learned more over the years, I’ve come to realize that some of the early things I learned were pieced together from different madhahib, weren’t complete, etc. I’m self-taught to a large degree, as classes aren’t always accessible (and were much less so when I converted 15 years ago; so much more is available online these days).

There are a few other asexual Muslimahs on Tumblr that I’ve come across; both elainexe and cantaraleigh have commented on my asexuality and Islam posts. I’m very excited too to find others like me.

punkswithcleankitchens:

ace-muslim:

Random asexual Muslim feminist selfie.

Saw this post was getting some really uncool and hateful comments so I cut them out. Show her some love?

Thank you for your kindness! Much appreciated.

punkswithcleankitchens:

ace-muslim:

Random asexual Muslim feminist selfie.

Saw this post was getting some really uncool and hateful comments so I cut them out. Show her some love?

Thank you for your kindness! Much appreciated.

themindislimitless:

thingsthatmakeyouacey:

bessibels:

Soooo this post and all the white aces commenting on it are wrong and also racist and here’s why:

First of all, how is it that white aces are all about diverse perspectives and multiple narratives when we’re co-opting WOC ideas to demand inclusivity from feminist and sex positive spaces, but as soon as POC perspectives start challenging mainstream narratives within our own community, all of a sudden anything that doesn’t fit the mold is irrelevant and off-topic? We’re a bunch of racist hypocrites, folks.

Second of all, here’s *my* takeaway from Alok Vaid-Menon’s piece, and it’s a point all us white aces have been failing to articulate or acknowledge:

If one of the goals of an asexual visibility movement is to make asexual identities accessible, then we need to address all of the barriers to that. Right now we’re addressing some of them, like stigma and lack of vocabulary and erasure. But we’re not addressing colonialism. We’re not addressing the fact that structurally, people who have been racially desexualized just do not have the same access to an asexual identity that white people do. That makes racism and decolonization central issues for us. If we’re not addressing them, we’re only helping white people and POC who are able to adopt white-compatible narratives. If we’re not addressing that, we’re a racially exclusive movement. *That’s* the point. *That’s* why it’s crucial to talk about colonialism and desexualization and lack of access to ace identities.

People are like “How is this relevant when the person doesn’t even identify as ace?” You don’t get it. It’s relevant because they can’t identify as ace in an empowering way, and no one in our community is talking about why.

It’s also crucial to discuss colonialism because desexualizing is an issue the “ace community” has the power to challenge. Ace PoC have an immense power to discuss how colonialism = co-opting and sexual enslavement of brown bodies, and to fight this structure through actual movements instead of just trying to be included - and white people can’t wrap their minds around letting us do that, or that they’re not gatekeepers to “let” things happen in the first place.

Dear Lord, that quoted piece pretty much sums up why I’m so reluctant to identify as asexual (especially as an Asian women who also wears a headscarf…double desexualization wrapped in “submissive object” for white stereotypes). And those comments. The comments are so frustrating.

One of the most frustrating parts is perhaps the comparison of racialized sexualization/desexualization with the conflagration of abuse/assault. They are not the same thing. Interactions with both these pieces can coexist together and have different effects (there’s brown asexual women who have been assaulted— I want to hear what they say though, to be honest). Race is visible and as intrinsic in daily interactions (not simply that of when “fucking” is brought up) for brown and black women that it shapes the very idea/thinking of sexuality to begin with. What does it mean to be asexual for a black women who is constantly hypersexualized, and how alienating is it to have her asexuality negated (sometimes even by the ace community) because she is constantly seen as “sexual”? How does it affect a brown/black woman who dons a headscarf and are coded desexualized and coded “asexual” regardless of how they feel about it, where conversations about sex are seen as out-of-the-norm, while simultaneously all brown/black women (even those who wear a headscarf) are coded a “freak in bed” (yay for stereotypes, amirite) and the dissuasion of talk of sex at—and I mean at, like at an object— them is written off as “modesty” instead of both a challenge of racialized sexism and a negation of their asexuality?

It goes on. East Asian women coded as submissive, like she said, Asian women’s coding as “submissive” and having it automatically coded “asexual” (even by people in the asexual community, because just because you are queer does not mean you are incapable of being racist), with communities having to establish that they have sexuality so many times over that it feels like a betrayal of community when an individual is asexual. These are challenges unique to brown/black communities, but they are inherently part of the course of asexuality politics that cannot be ignored.