“I’m quite surprised with the commentary about color-swapped flags being problematic, since nowadays I don’t see any complaints directed at them. I’ve always heard the aro flag that just replaced purple with green was “made by someone problematic”, so I’m glad you brought that post to light (there’s also the issue of that being the most popular androsexual flag), but… I don’t think you need to worry much :p
(re: this post)
…honestly, what surprises (and embarrasses) me is the fact that i even forgot about how problematic those flag designs are because, reflecting back on it now, i remember color-swapped flags being part of a larger issue that eventually became at least somewhat prominently discussed on Tumblr?
that larger issue being the nature of the relationship between the asexual and aromantic communities, a topic that i hardly see discussed at all these days.
which is why i feel like the lack of complaints (re: the linked grayro & demiro flags in particular) that you see on Tumblr these days is largely due to much of ace Tumblr diverting its time / energy / focus / etc away from issues within the ace community in order to deal with the [at times deafening] whitenoise that has been issues that originate outside of the ace community (ie. ‘ace discourse’)…
anyway, i’m just annoyed with myself more than anything, but thanks. 🙂
I hope you don’t mind me adding on to your reply and going on a tangent, but I’ll delete it if you do mind.
But yeah the whole lack of discussion inside the ace community at least on tumblr I think has really stunted our growth as a community. We can’t talk about aspec topics without being dragged into discourse and we can’t properly develop things in our community without those things being slandered before we’ve gotten a chance to flesh them out.
We can’t criticize our own community because exclusionists will use that to derail our posts to make a point about how bad aces are. Not to mention many aces are adverse to criticism of our community because we’ve associated it with the discourse and are so worn down by it that we can only consume positive aspec posts in order to preserve of mental health.
In the past few years we’ve made almost no progress in raising the visibility of aspec experiences.
I still see the same arguments against the validity of qprs and people explaining them over an over as I did three years ago on here and I honestly think the discourse has stifled us.
In fact I think our viability has even decreased. When I first got a tumblr I would see informational graphs and comics about asexuality but those died down and discourse began and now a large portion of the exclusionist crowd has such a warped, uneducated idea of what asexuality is (saying aces don’t want to fuck, don’t have a sex drive, or implying our orientation is a set of behaviors, etc)
(by the way I haven’t been involved in the ace community for long so feel free to correct me, this is just what it looks like to me)
i agree with what you’ve said here… to a point.
as noted in the OP, it has also been my experience that dialogue within the ace community about things specific to the ace community has slowed– particularly on Tumblr. it’s also my experience that internal criticism of the ace community by aces themselves often gets manipulated by exclusionists for their own benefit. this isn’t a particularly new occurrence, but it does seem to be much more prevalent now, unfortunately. i also agree that many aces have grown averse to any and all criticism of the ace community because any and all criticism automatically gets seen as ‘discourse’– even if it’s fellow aces themselves doing the criticizing.
i don’t agree that “we can only consume positive aspec posts in order to preserve of mental health” because although unintended, (to me) that seems to imply something negative or pitiable about those who are only consuming (or creating) positivity posts to preserve their mental health and i take issue with that. i also disagree because that statement ignores those of us who are actively doing other things– and let there be no mistake, there are many of us who are.
i don’t agree that there has been no progress in raising awareness of asexuality (awareness of aromanticism being another matter entirely). perhaps you don’t see it, but there has been a lot of progress, in my humble opinion. please remember that the state of things on Tumblr should not be used as the basis of general statements about the state of things in general because awareness of asexuality and progress in general extends well beyond whatever is happening on Tumblr.
the ace community itself and whatever happens in or outside of it extends well beyond Tumblr.
i assure you that progress is being made both on and off Tumblr, even if not as quickly as one would like or as quickly as in the past– particularly on Tumblr. there will always be problematic people arguing the same problematic things over and over regardless of people’s efforts to persuade them otherwise. detractors will always be especially loud, but don’t let that obscure the fact that there are still people whose stance has changed thanks to people’s efforts.
more importantly, however, is the fact that the continued existence of problematic people saying the same old problematic things is not and should not be how one gauges progress.
regarding our “viability” having decreased, as you put it… ain’t got the time or energy to unpack my feelings about that…
tl;dr response aside, i really do appreciate you sharing your feelings and observations. even if i don’t agree with all of it myself, i’m sure you’re not alone.