The Huffington Post is running a really fantastic series of articles this week on asexuality, and the thought-out, respectful, and in-depth reporting is a welcome surprise. Reading some of the articles, particularly the ones on relationships and ‘corrective rape,’ made my breath catch in my throat.
Earlier today, Facebook friends and the group page for Asexuality Awareness Week alerted me to the fact that a Fox News segment spent four minutes discussing asexuality. My heart plummeted after the words, “Fox News.”
I’m not surprised. I’m hurt, frustrated, embarrassed, angry, and sad, but not surprised. After all, the reason I stopped watching House in the first place was that it was so predictable, it made me feel clairvoyant. Sure enough, the ‘asexual couple’ episode was exactly what I expected it to be.
There has been some outrage in the asexual community over comments made by Doctor Who and Sherlock producer, Steven Moffat, once considered an ace champion.
The end of this momentous week really deserves a thoughtful, well-crafted reflection post, but I spent most of the weekend trying to sew a TARDIS dress that I ended up half-crafting with blue and white duct tape, so I’m not really in the mood. My room is seeking funds from FEMA, I haven’t worked on my book in weeks, and I’m still unemployed – but I’d happily work on Asexual Awareness Week again next year.
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.”