I subscribe to Google alerts on asexuality and aromanticism, mostly as a way of finding the best articles to highlight in The Asexual Agenda linkspam. Recently I found two hostile articles from alt right sources. Such articles are rare; once I compiled statistics on the all the alerts from one month, and found that 2 out of 132 articles were hostile. But I still highlight these articles to showcase conservative anti-ace “tropes”.
Knowing what this is, it’s 100% okay to skip this one. I don’t post this on The Asexual Agenda because it’s too feelsbad for a lot of people.
The first article is in Breitbart. In my entire time tracking Google alerts, I think this is the third one I’ve ever gotten from Breitbart. The first was just gawking at some graduate student’s dissertation; the second was outright woo. This article is titled “Video: Disney Producer Boasts About Exploring ‘Gay Advanced’ and ‘Gay 101’ Content”–I’ll put the link in the comment section.
For some context, Florida recently passed that “Don’t Say Gay” bill, and Disney–a major employer in Florida–got tangled up in it. Disney went back and forth on their opposition to it. That leads to conservative news sources crawling over Disney stuff to find ways to attack them.
This Breitbart article is about a leaked internal Disney talk, relating to Disney’s “Reimagine Tomorrow” project. It’s an excerpt of a talk from Latoya Raveneau, the executive producer of upcoming “The Proud Family” reboot. She said she’s biromantic asexual, and says she wishes she could talk more about “advanced” topics like how non-monolithic the LGBTQ+ community is. This is all entirely reasonable content for a DEI talk, but Breitbart insinuates that Disney is trying to make the kids gay. Breitbart presumably highlighted the asexual comment because they believe this is inherently mockworthy.
The second article is in PJ Media, titled “Patriarchy Alert! ‘International Asexuality Day’ Is an Attempt to Erase Female Sexuality”. As you can see from the title, the author uses some feminist words, but it’s firmly in TERF territory. I’m on record arguing that we should recognize TERFs as feminist because we ought to recognize and rebuke problems internal to the feminist movement; but if this article is representative, my thesis was wrong. It’s not really recognizably feminist in any way, it’s all just “protect our daughters from the trans”.
The PJ Media article starts out by talking about International Asexuality Day, a minor event that began in 2021. I don’t believe the author actually knows anything about IAD, they’re just going off of a single tweet they saw, which included an infographic. IMO the infographic is merely okay–my standards are high–but it triggered the conservatives so I can’t complain.
The article’s primary narrative is that
the LGBTQWTF squad is attempting, once again, to groom your daughters into their cult through pathologizing normal female sexuality.
The article complains that the definition of asexuality “means nothing and everything”. The author expresses incredulity about the possibility of having high libido but no sexual desire, and in the very next sentence declares that everyone is like that. Based on a misunderstanding of the infographic, it complains of placing romantic attraction under the LGBTQ umbrella. And when confronted with the idea of sex-repulsed aces, says “the sexuality cult freaks have definitely repulsed me with their idea of sex.”
Yeah, so the infographic is offering an inclusive definition because in practice the asexual spectrum follows a family resemblance model, and we don’t really want to declare the asexual identity out of bounds to anyone who might find it useful. Some asexuals may be interested in having sex; however, such people still have a something going on that causes asexuality to resonate with them. Asexuality can resonate with different people for different reasons, you know? But this is a difficult concept even for some people in ace communities so I’m sure it goes right over the head of US conservatives.
According to the article, people identify with asexuality because,
Your child will be showered with attention and praise the minute they “come out” anywhere on the rainbow spectrum.
[…] once she gets into it, the real grooming begins and the next thing she knows, the “asexual” straight girl is told she’s really a boy and the path to medicalization [of normal female sexuality] begins.
From there it heads straight into TERF tropes. It describes a “frank talk” with her teenage daughter about grooming, says that lesbians are under attack by “girl dick”, cites a detransitioner on twitter. And lest you think the defensiveness of lesbians was anything other than disingenuous, it reiterates that our daughters are “simply normal, straight females with normal feelings.”
That’s all thoroughly absurd and repulsive, but it’s about what I expect from US conservatives. The connection between ace-antagonism and TERFism has long been observed. And in contrast to arguments within certain LGBT spaces over the inclusion of asexuality, conservatives never hesitate to group us with the rest of the alphabet. They basically see asexuality as a queer perversion of their own conservative value of disgust for sex-positive expression.