Equally as important as celebrating asexual heroes is having real-life reflections on the screen or page. Time Lords and wizards are all well and good, but they can too easily be dismissed as ‘unrealistic,’ because they don’t actually exist in our world where everyone wants sex all of the time. That doesn’t help ordinary human beings who are looking for validation, and reassurance that feeling otherwise is still okay.
The second Ace Answers podcast is now available. This episode tackles the topics of misconceptions, challenges faced by asexuals, and asexual representations in the media. I’m working on finding the best way to upload and share these podcasts, so hopefully they can be streamed at some point. I received a number of great responses, but I would still love to hear from a larger sample of the community.
Depictions of asexuality seem to be more common in Great Britain than the United States, possibly reflecting real life demographics. One of the more famous English ace examples in fiction would be the titular character from television’s Doctor Who. The Doctor is a man who has shied away from sexual encounters over the course of his 900-plus years. Granted, he’s a time-traveling alien whose biology has not been fully explored, but he’s also shown to be a brilliant, passionate, deeply feeling individual, rather than some emotionless automaton, so in terms of role models, the asexual community could do a lot worse.
For Asexual Awareness Week 2011, I joined the planning committee (more on that in an article to be published this week on the blog LGBTPOV.) All the members had their own projects, and I decided that I wanted to give people in the community the chance to answer questions that no one was really asking. Given that we are often overlooked, ignored, or invisible, I wanted to offer the wider world an opportunity to hear from real, live asexuals, in their own voices.
Back in the days when Lucy was still coming up with hare-brained schemes to get into Ricky’s shows, it was considered scandalous to show a married couple sharing the same bed on TV. In modern culture, with thinly-disguised soft-core porn making up a large percentage of HBO and Showtime programming, eyebrows are far more likely to go up at depictions of adults who demonstrate little to no interest in sex, and unfortunately for those who find sex as appealing as licking drywall, popular culture has sent a clear message: “Sex is normal – you are not.”
My dog Pilot woke me up early this morning, so I found myself watching The Fairly Oddparents (don’t judge, that cartoon is awesome), and during the commercial break, I noticed a few alarming marketing trends. Alarming because they were all too familiar; the advertisements aimed at children today play to shockingly out-dated gender stereotypes.
Am I the only person disturbed by the final message of the Steve Carell/Ryan Gosling film Crazy, Stupid, Love? There were parts of the movie I liked, and the big twist (which I won’t spoil) segued into the funniest scene of the whole thing, but the movie ended on a sour note for me.
Tonight, after I get off work, I’ll be driving down to Irvine to wait in line for a midnight showing of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II. There was a time when I didn’t think Hollywood would make all seven books into films, certainly not with the same set of actors. Looking at the pictures of the main characters then and now has been a bit of a shock – I feel old. Which is what happens when you start young. I began reading the books in 1999, but it was really two years after that that Harry Potter changed my life. How many people can say that about Twilight with a straight face?
I’m not particularly worried about zombies, and I don’t put a lot of thought into a possible alien invasion. When the end comes, I believe it will be one of our own making – I’m talking robots. And last weekend, I saw where the apocalypse will begin:
The Chicago Museum of Science and Industry.
Bin Laden’s dead, and the world – as of 10:30 this morning – is pretty much the same. I think that’s a shame. Not that I expected Bin Laden’s death to solve all the world’s (or even the country’s) problems; honestly, I hadn’t given him much thought in the last couple years. I had that luxury.