Some Topics From a Chat Outside of Class.
On Friday I went to the Comp Sci majors tea and a few people from our class were there (Natasha, Marwa, and aaclh). We got to talking about our papers and came up with a few things that I found really interesting.
In class we’ve spent a lot of time talking about labels, especially the negative connotations associated with them. Aaclh mentioned how not everything has a name. At first I wanted to argue with her about this, but she’s right, there are concepts that do not have names. For example, (leading back to my own paper) there is no recognized name for an asexual relationship. Which got me thinking about labeling as a way to form legitimacy. Labeling something is like saying “This concept is worth talking about, it is important enough to have a name.” Aaclh acknowledged that she thinks it works both ways. She talked about how labeling something also creates concepts that are harmful. For example, she said that creating the word homosexual, also made it possible to create the concept of homophobia. Personally, I don’t think I agree with this. Just because something doesn’t have a name doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist (i.e. an asexual relationship).
In our conversation, my classmates also helped me dig deeper into my own paper topic and by the end of our conversation I realized a lot of important concepts I didn’t address. I think the reason AVEN was/is so successful in the media is because David Jay, is a seemingly completely “normal” guy in every respect except one: he considers himself to be asexual. If a woman was the face of asexuality however, I think the media would have taunted and poked fun at her. They would have claimed she was just frigid and cold, a man-hater. But because Jay is a young, reasonably attractive man, being asexual has more legitimacy. As one of the authors of the articles I read said:
“Jay is no Calvin Klein model, but he’s not unattractive either; in fact, he’s kind of got the air of a young JFK Junior, tall slender, with warm dark eyes, and the mouth of a Greek god I can imagine the young girls dying to kiss. He’s living proof that it is absolutely wrong to assume asexuals shun sex simply because they can’t get any” (Westphal).
A woman never would have been viewed in this light.