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Coming to terms with asexuality

A Thought****

Men (and many women) are endlessly attracted to women/others who are ‘unavailable’. But what does ‘unavailable’ mean? For most people this means ‘taken’ or otherwise not single, meaning you are dating someone else. However if you are already with someone you are in dating-mode; you might not be interested in anyone else however. BUT the ultimate ‘unavailable is not the one who is ‘no interested’, it is the one who is ‘not interested because they are not interested’. This circular logic seemed pointless to me for years, but I’ve come to understand now that this reason is much more powerful than initially assumed (by me).

This becomes a sui generis challenge to some people. This is particularly the case for people who identify as ace. This makes people (often via implicit bias, not thinking they are causing harm) want to knock you back into what they deem social conformity. You are put in your place. And that place is a rigid gender binary where cishetero normativity reigns supreme. Particularly for ‘dating’. Further, this is a binary where in which the socially accepted institution of marriage is an ‘aim’ to strive for, for everyone.

This is the same prejudice gay people experience. However in my circle of friends and family gay relationships are widely accepted and I take this as my starting point (because I can’t not). I realize now that the reason why homosexuality is embraced by these people is in large part because they can knock the people down [or raise them up, all accordingly] into the same socially accepted dating paradigm. The gendered hetero binary of man/woman is displaced in favor of cisman+cisman or ciswoman+ciswoman. That is the scope of the acceptance, which is also unacceptable.

However none of this limited embrace applies to aces. They do not strive for this institution (and thus indirectly: institutional acceptance) in the same way because some (yours truly included) do not desire it. This makes them worthy of being cast off, but more so dismissed: “No it’s just a phase!” “When you meet the right man/woman you’ll change your mind!” etc. (Mind you I have gone through almost 30 years of life with identical comments directed at me about having children something I have also never desired and rejected since old enough to be cognizant of my lack of such desire.) There is wide ignorance in this area, and as a newly identifying ace I am only just starting to become aware of these dynamics around me.

Like I said, I have very socially liberal friends and family. However, I still have not come out to most of them because I already know what the response will be (even though almost everyone already knows that I have no desire to date, marry or have children) and I prefer that level of violence coming from strangers rather than people I care about. It is also something to be said about the social self-righteousness of liberals. They may be more accepting than conservatives on some issues, but they also think that this makes them automatically enlightened on other issues and they are wrong but unwilling to address themselves.

I am lucky enough to have been isolated enough in my young life to be comfortable with myself from my early 20s and on wards. All the different bad self-confidence issues of my earlier years was rooted in self-hatred for not fitting into the oppressive social modes set out by the White cishet patriarchy. And I still struggle with that today. However, being able to live relatively alone (I am harassed daily but I know other women who are harassed to a much bigger degree) has made me realize that the more accepting I am of my differences from White cishet patriarchy, the happier I will ever be and continue to become.

****My best friend inspired this. He identified as cishet for 30 years but was never interested in dating anyone. Thus giving new nuance to the label ‘unavailable’. He was never uncomfortable with himself despite the constant cries of OMG why aren’t you conforming. Despite being a social conservative capitalist, he has never once questioned other people’s “difference”, including me and TWoC, perhaps because he understood himself what a burden it can be to live outside of these rigid norms. I am grateful that I can grow as a person and know that how ever I come out on the other end, at least this one person will accept me. ❤

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Many people think that because Ted Cruz was a good law student or a good lawyer he is therefore smart, smart at everything he does. They are wrong. Being a good law student does not mean that you are a smart parent, for example. Or a smart driver, or a smart eater. Or a smart senator. Law school performance is a predictor of nothing–including your potential ability as a lawyer. And there are many high functioning lawyers who are absolutely terrible at everything else they do.

Lawrence O’Donnell via NBC News

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All politics are local

It’s the eve of (eve before?) the federal elections here in Australia, and it is dawning on me that I may have to live in a country with a misogynist head of state for another two years. This doesn’t sit well with me, but it one of many reasons that I am upset (a simple list of the Liberal Party’s stances on all issues will do that to you if you are me). In Norway it also seems like we are headed for a conservative/libertarian government. I mean for Gods’ sake, suddenly Norway and Australia will be more aligned with the Rs in the US?

But those are issues that are neither here nor there. It won’t change Australia or Norway fundamentally, even if I am strongly opposed to it. What I am upset about is the blatant (or shall we use Justice Brennan’s words in XL Petroleum v Caltex Oil and say ‘contumelious’) disregard for their fellow human beings’ plight and suffering. I am tired of being enraged, I am becoming depressed. (Though all the “pro-life” hypocrites who will fight to the death to end abortions but give zero fucks about war and refugees can fuck off. They do not care about life. They care about sex.)

Syria? Civil war? 100 000+ people dead and a possible international intervention?

Oh the response is “how will this affect President Obama and the Democrats in the midterms?”, “why does Putin and Obama hate each other?” which of course leads to similar intellectually lazy attempts at making “cold war” metaphors; ”how much is it going to cost?”, “why should I the taxpayer pay for Muslims who don’t get along!!! BOO I’m the only person who pays taxes ever!” and “that is really sad that people are dying, but there is nothing anyone can do”.

 Refugees and asylum seekers in Australia?

Create a strawman to make the artificial case that any discontent felt in the minds of voters can be redirected towards people who are fleeing their homes and their countries! “Why is it OUR job to take care of the boat people?”, “too many of the asylum seekers are Muslim, ew”, “because we have to take of the boat people everything is too expensive in Australia”. I’m getting really fucking sick of hearing the term ‘boat people’, period. I suggest a tax on the usage of the term. It would fix budget deficits instantly! Maybe within less than a day. Here is a good rebuke of the racist wedge issue: [Al Jazeera] (and the comment section is an excellent example of the latent and aforementioned blatant racism.) What bothers me perhaps most of all is the completely disingenuous nature both candidates for PM has taken on this issue, allowing it to poison the collective mind of the electorate while knowing full well the actual numbers.

Refugees from Syria?

In Norway the reactions have been either “what ev” or the old [and by now way too] trite response of “why do WE have to take care of Muslims, pooo life is so hard for us Norwegians who have to care for Muslims who are despots and don’t speak our language and blah blah blah”. Yes, it actually starts to sound like blah blah blah after a while.

To quote Jon Stewart this week (he was addressing the neo-con architects of the Iraq War who are all over the news this week complaining about how the intervention in Syria is not happening fast or big enough, but it still applies):

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I am sure there are many out there who are not acting like privileged, entitled assholes with zero compassion for their fellow human beings just because those people are not of the same nationality as them, but with these, let’s face it, racist parties gaining control in my country of origin and residence, as well as the loud voices in the media and social media complaining and whining with complete disregard for the difficult situation facing these people. I am led to believe the momentum is going the wrong way. I weep for humanity, but mostly for the innocent people cowering in their homes or displaced, fearing death, torture, bombs or just for their loved ones.

Aside
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Since this blog was created intentionally at the height of my exam studying period and then abandoned during the vacation, it makes sense that I would come back to it again now that I have another set of exams looming.

One of the things that annoys me the most about the Edward Snowden debate is how a lot of allegedly professional and experienced journalists resort to Cold War lingo when referring to Russia. Another thing is the glee with which a lot of commentators seem to take in the fact that Mr Snowden will not be spending time in an “authoritarian” country, and how this fact of Russia somehow invalidates any claims he ever made of transparency or idealism. Lastly, he is not a ‘traitor’ per US law, even if people might “feel” like he is, but the term should not be thrown around like it is. There is a reason why the DoJ did not charge him with this crime – because he does not fit it. It is a crime defined by the US Constitution (very rare), that says you have to be aiding the enemy of a state that US Congress has declared war with. No “terrorism” is not a state and does not qualify here. So he is not a traitor. And the language that employs that he is is false, and undermines, I think, the legitimacy of his opposition. Learn your facts.

But what ever, the merits of that is more a personal grudge of mine with career “commentators” than anything. What truly bothers me is how, now that he has been granted asylum, the process of obtaining asylum and the status of refugees in general is now referred to in idiotic, ignorant and often hateful ways.

Some thoughts:

1. Refugees seldom get to cherry pick their country of refuge. Any fact of what country they end up in, should not be used against them or their claims. (This is something that infuriates me here in Australia as well, when asshole politicians make willfully ignorant and racist umbrella claims about refugees who risk their fucking lives to come here by boat.) A person fleeing civil war in Syria who runs across the border, literally, to Jordan wasn’t exactly researching the travel agency situation and then acting accordingly. Obviously the same conditions didn’t exactly apply to Mr Snowden, but there were certainly circumstances that limited his choices. My only point is that their country of destination should not be held against them.

2. Refugee status does not negate or cancel out the political activities you engaged in in your home country before fleeing. This is true for Ed Snowden and it is true for Syrian dissidents of Assad etc, just to list two very different examples.

3. Privilege drips from your salivating mouth when you spew hateful bullshit about refugees as ‘takers’ and bemoan the dent their presence will make in your welfare country’s budget. If you bother to at least look into budget allocation (for instance in the case of racist, refugee hating Australia) your presumptions will be immediately debunked. The scapegoating of refugees in rich countries pisses me off, especially when most of the “arguments” have no basis in reality.

Anyway, seems like I’m right back to where I was last semester, bitching about how criminal law is not for me. I am surprised by this. I would have thought that I would find it to be an interesting area of law. I find law to be such a restrictive, narrow and technical field of academia. It’s very stifling and not very intellectually stimulating. I miss more concrete analysis of both i) philosophical foundations, and ii) power dynamics in society in general. That’s why I’m so surprised about my dislike of the study of criminal law, which is a much more overtly political area of law, than commercial law which I SOMEHOW PREFER??? I don’t love that either though, but beggars can’t be choosers. (Even spoiled lawyers in the making doing 100k degrees because they can. Ahem.)