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MC's picture

I have mentioned and explained once in class and in one of my web events that I am asexual aromantic, which is one reason why I have mixed feelings about My Gender Workbook. The author in many instances assumes that the audience identifies as a sexual being, and her wording often gives the impression that sexuality and gender while not the same thing, are deeply dependent on each other. And while society's impression of your gender is often connected to their impression of your sexuality, as is the language they use, self-identification of gender does not always hinge on sexuality. I still identify overall as cisfemale, even though because of societal expectations and connotations I do not feel I have access to many of the words describing cisfemales. The word woman is deeply connected to being a sexual and/or reproductive being; menstruation and the construct of losing one's virginity and engaging in sexual or romantic relations is a sign of growing up, of a girl becoming a woman. And while I have the reproductive capacities of a woman, I have no intention of using them, and the idea of being sexually or romantically involved with others bothers me to my very core. As such I will retain my "virginity" (I have no time to explain how upsetting I find that word to be), my innocence, my chastity, which keeps me in the position of a girl, which I still cannot belong to because I am an adult (also because girls are expected to grow up into women). Does that make me an adult girl? I'd rather not be. I honestly feel a greater connection to the terms "daughter" and "sister" than I do to any permutation of woman I can think of, partly because they make no assumptions about the sexual and romantic status of the individual in question, but also because they emphasise that I still have entirely legitimate and viable relationships outside of those expected of me by society. I am still female, however, regardless of my asexuality. The fact that I do not have a "type of person I regularly fall for", or that I cannot fall in love with a person no matter who they are does not change my gender. Perhaps it affects how society thinks of my gender, but considering that this book is encouraging transgressing societal boundries and politely but firmly flipping the bird to society, I don't think that horribly matters in this conversation.

So yeah that was kind of upsetting and made the book significantly less enjoyable to me.

I've also noticed that people seem to be asking a lot of questions about asexuality in the gender terms list. Also of interest is that most of us did not stick to just gender(ed) words, but heavily included terms of sexuality as well. 

For a quick, easy, well-written intro to what asexuality and some of what that might entail means, have a link.

Another reminder: I identify as asexual aromantic, which for me personally means I am sexually and romantically attracted to absolutely nothing. It's great. Clearly all of these statements about me are true (anyone who knows me can testify that I attract unicorns), as provided by everyone's favorite tumblr, Facts About Queers. I love this tumblr so much.


S. Yaeger's picture

Thank you for taking the time

Thank you for taking the time to write all this out, and to direct us to the links you posted.