we’re predicting a sherlock later this evening

L: I only like Sherlock because of the reactions of the people around him?
L: I’m sort of meh about HIM.
7: Yeah like. I like him in that… I empathize with how he sort of fails to relate to people. To an extent. And he’s an ass, and I always want to just full out be a fivey asshole.
7: But it’s that more than him.
L: He’s kind of more like. I dunno. Weather.
L: I can like the weather, or find it metaphorically or atmospherically suiting, but I kind of just can’t. Care about weather so much as I’d care about the people getting drenched.

Plato and Patriarchy and Romance Novels


Indeed, it does clarify that end bit— it is a matter of degree. I think we’re agreeing in circles now, which is fun but not terribly productive.

However, I do want to extend an apology. I’m very sorry if I accidentally misgendered and/or hurt your feelings! That certainly wasn’t my intent, so I figure I should apologize just in case.

In regards to the PlatonicLifePartner deal, I’ve always considered the criteria as: “Are your parents convinced you’re dating?”
If the answer is yes, progress to the next question:
“ARE you dating?” If yes, then it’s not platonic. If no, then it’s got potential for a PLP.

As for queerplatonic, I’m just not sure that I agree with the concept of close/intimate friendships ‘queering’ anything. I mean, having intimate friendships with a person wherein you feel so comfortable you call them while you’re bathing, or write smut or whatever with them (either in an rp or a writing project or a whatever the hell)… that’s not particularly queer, is it?
I mean, if it’s two queer people then maybe it is, but I don’t know that the sheer nature of the relationship makes it any queerer.

I guess I’m just… hesitant to say that two cis hetero girls who bitch about how their boyfriend can’t find the clit with both hands and a GPS are in any way ‘queering’ the notion of friendship.
But go figure!

No worries, you didn’t really offend/hurt me; it just ended up being kind of awkward for me to respond to, heh. (I’m agender, for the record, and I dislike using the term “woman” to apply to myself for that reason.) Thank you for the apology, though, I appreciate the concern. 🙂

So first off, I think I should say that I’m really not arguing for using “queerplatonic” at all, which I may be misreading you, but it seems you think I am? I thought I’d made myself more clear, but perhaps I didn’t: I find that “queerplatonic” is a term that, were there no baggage attached to it, would most closely evoke a match to the type of relationship I’m attempting to describe. But it does have that baggage, and I agree that given the usage of “queer” in society as both a slur and an identity, it’s inappropriate to use “queerplatonic” in many cases. If a queer-identified person feels it suits, I’m not going to argue they shouldn’t, but I don’t feel like it’s a term I can use at all, and so I’m not going to.

What I’m trying to get at, though, is that there are areas in-between, and that’s what I want a term for (and I suspect what people were originally trying to coin a term for, but I could be wrong there). Anecdotally, but several ace people I know end up with relationships where they can’t talk about them, either because they’re not romantic/sexual relationships like would be assumed but something more than even close, intimate friendship, or just that it’s frustrating when “close, intimate friendship” is the end of the line for you, that is THE most important relationship in your life, but all the current terminology and societal push says friendship is/should be secondary, and you just want a term that implies that this friendship is your most important relationship, hands down, the way saying someone is your “significant other” implies, while acknowledging it is still a friendship first and foremost. (Which is another reason PLP really doesn’t work as a general, given it really doesn’t have the same implication of “above all others,” in my experience.) Also, I’ve personally had relationships that when people asked “ARE you dating?” (if we were being honest) the answers we gave were, “I don’t know, sort of,” because neither “yes” nor “no” made much sense, so your qualification is still kind of iffy for me.

So yes, I’ve had close friendships that I’ve been comfortable enough in or intimate enough with to talk about TMI topics or otherwise break “taboo,” and I wouldn’t be including them in the category of relationships I’m referring to, since for myself, it’s not my “end of line” relationship, which is what, in my mind, “queerplatonic” would be a useful term to use to distinguish as differing from close friendship. And again, don’t think it’s a good term, because yeah, I don’t think it’s actually “queering” the friendship at all, but all I really meant to say was that it really is a different thing, sometimes, and I would really like if there was a term or set of terms that made these distinctions without stepping on anyone else.

Plato and Patriarchy and Romance Novels




As for the bias—ha, no worries, it takes all kinds to make a party, right?
I mean, I’m a gold star lesbian (for what it’s worth, which is, approximately, nothing), which you’d think would make me pretty queer—but it’s not a label I claim for myself because it does have a concrete meaning to it these days. The queer subculture =/= the gay subculture (gay being the colloquial, in that I am a *gay* woman). I find that I’m not really… what the queer community prefers. I’m an outspoken femme, but I’m not into subverting gender roles or radical action; I’m a moderate who hopes to get married one day, ideally whilst wearing lipstick and alarmingly high heels.
So, despite the fact that I fit the base-line criteria for ‘queer’ in that I do love me some taco, I don’t really fit in the culture and thus am hesitant.
But that’s just me and YMMV. I just always figured that assuming that anything not-straight = queer was reductionist and sort of… watering down a very distinct and vibrant culture.

And I agree with you—women who adhere to traditional notions of femininity do tend to be viewed more as passive/receptive sex objects. I feel like a LOT of violence directed towards both hetero-romantic asexual ladies and femme lesbians/queers is less to do with the orientation (though certainly that plays a major role) and more to do with the fact that we’re subverting the very meaning of what it means to be ‘woman’ in a patriarchal society.
An aggressor isn’t going to care if a woman’s a demi/ace/homo/purplepolkadotbananacremepie-sexual. All he’s going to see is that here’s this bird who has absolutely no desire to have him and hey, wait a minute, where does she get off on thinking that she gets to pick?
I’ve said it before and I’ve said it again: butches and masculine-presenting women get read as “challenge!” and feminine presenting women get read as “lol you’re not REAAAALLY [x]”. I’d spoken about it from a lesbian perspective, but I think it works fairly well for the ace spectrum as well.
It might not be that it’s asexuality that’s pissing these guys off, it’s the fact that they’re being ostensibly rejected (and even in a relationship, a sense of rejection can manifest itself in unpleasant and unexpected ways).
But then again, I’m not asexual, so I can’t speak from that perspective.

It sounds like a shitty, shitty hand to be dealt, certainly.

As for the Life Partners bit, you raise a valid point. Not all relationships are going to last forever. However, just because some relationships are transient doesn’t mean that the term doesn’t fit at the time; for example, do you not call your spouse the love of your life just because statistically speaking you have a 50% chance of divorcing them?
My opinion on the matter (and again, this is my opinion, not gospel, so take from it what you will) is that if the term fits at the time, it should be used. It’s the nature of emotional bonds to wax and wane.
Though I do see your point.
At least personally, I always saw the PLP as sort of filling the gap between friendship <—> relationship, wherein it was a bit more intense than your average friendship (which doesn’t necessarily imply a SEXUAL bond, only a deeper level of intimacy), but not an active relationship.
For example, my best friend M and I are far closer than your average friendship. We’re both lesbians (though she pronounces the word as qw-eer), share a wide variety of mutual interests and for all intents and purposes would probably suit each other fairly well in a more sexual sphere. Both sets of parents are convinced we’re dating, basically.
HOWEVER, that having been said, we’re Platonic Life Partners, because we both realize that we’re each other’s ‘Person’ (Gray’s Anatomy reference for the win), but that we have no desire to sleep with each other. That doesn’t mean we won’t co-author some frankly alarmingly explicit smut together; it also doesn’t mean that I haven’t called her post-coitally with my (then) girlfriend in bed beside me to tease her about something that popped into mind (it happened, and it was hilarious).
So for me, even if that relationship were to end tomorrow and we were never to speak to each other again for some horrible reason, I would still consider her a Platonic Life Partner—because that is the closest way to describe it.
Hopefully that makes sense. I know anecdotal evidence =/- FACTS!, but that’s sort of the attitude I’ve always taken to it.

(And the more I think of it, the term Platonic (with its meaning of ostentibly agape love between two same-sex individuals (albiet with a somewhat sketchy age disparity!)) could work fairly well as a substitute for queer. Go figure.)

Anyways, I hope that wasn’t too much tangent-t whargharbl. I’m afraid my brain isn’t quite at peak form, I’m running on two hours of sleep and about a litre of Rock Star.

Haha, nice to meet you. I think we pretty much are agreeing in the first segment? (Although. I’m not actually a woman, despite presenting as feminine, heh.) So I’m going to kind of slide over that piece for now.

So the problem I was trying to get at about “life partners” is that I have never found that term to be suiting, even when I am in the relationships that… were I anyone else, maybe I would have considered such, but I’m me, so I didn’t. So… you’re right, I do think if the term fits at the time of, it can be used, the problem is that it didn’t fit then, and definitely doesn’t now.

It’s kind of like. Most people have a stage where they just start dating, and they start out “seeing someone” or “having a date” and graduate to calling that person their boyfriend/girlfriend, and gradually get to a point where they feel like “significant other”/“life partner”/“mate”/other terms is more appropriate because they’re more “serious” then (at least, this is the impression I get). I never got to the point where the more serious term with implications of (assumed) longevity would have made sense– I’m looking for something that can replace “we’re still on a trial basis, and I’m feeling pretty strongly about them, but not really sure where this is going yet,” more or less.

I mean, I do have at least one friend that I would consider to basically fit “platonic life partner” (though both of us are hilariously like, “but we wouldn’t,” ahah), and that relationship is completely different from any of the others I’m referring to. Which is not necessarily more close (or less), but it’s definitely qualitatively different, so “platonic life partner” just doesn’t work for me for those other situations. Hopefully this clarifies a little?

Plato and Patriarchy and Romance Novels


(Snipped for brevity and sanity cause whoah)


You are most welcome! I really like bouncing ideas around on the internet, at least so long as it doesn’t end up escalating into massive drama mode where everyone’s too invested in winning the argument to actually think about the other sides of it.

Hope you had a good yesterday, too. Mine was more fun than I expected: it turned into Shameless Campy Femme Day, which involved Bollywood films and chocolate and icecream. And then comparing Bollywood cliches with Restoration/Victorian romance novels because isn’t it interesting how much of the cliched romance tropes involve needing your partner to be suitable for marriage and accepted in a new community? Yeah, I should switch off feminist media critic mode more of the time. Or spend longer hunting for queer stuff in media.

Yeah, good point about celibacy. And I guess Platonic Life Partner is a pretty good term for that in terms of how the word platonic is used nowadays. I wouldn’t wanna use it myself, because the kind of platonic relationships the Greeks were all about were sexual, they were just about choosing to fuck pubescent boys and idealise them instead of women. Because pederasty was spiritual and good for you, but you’d only want to sleep with your wife so you could have kids who looked like you! (this link and also Wikipedia explain how the model worked better or at least less flippantly than me, if this is news to you and you care.)

but then again, being a cynic, I wonder if a casual abuse of the power dynamic isn’t more prevalent in het relationships, simply because of the potential for power disparities?

…By cynic, do you mean feminist? Yeah, that is exactly what I believe. I think asexual het women are really likely to trip up on all the underlying cultural assumptions and power dynamics in their relationships, especially stuff about sexual consent, because the normative relationship structure isn’t really built to have nice constructive kinds of communication about sex that don’t work on the assumption that both partners want it. Have you seen the things A Radical Transfeminist wrote about how education about sexual consent works? She points out that it all hinges on how it’s meant to be okay to just say ‘no’ to sex but how in the real world that comes with consequences, and isn’t how we’d refuse an acquaintance in any other request for any other kind of friendly interaction:

I’d like you to remember the last time you found it difficult to give an explicit “no” to somebody in a non-sexual context. Maybe they asked you to do them a favour, or to join them for a drink. Did you speak up and say, outright, “No”? Did you apologise for your “no”? Did you qualify it and say, “Oh, I’m sorry, I can’t make it today“?

I reckon that kind of stuff must really screw over lots of heteroromantic women. Maybe some dudes, too, but I bet not nearly as many and not nearly as badly. Fucking patriarchy, if only it didn’t do so much fucking so much of the time…

It’s always fun, presuming that you don’t turn it into a sort of virtual pissing match wherein OMGSERIUSBIZNESS or whatever.
Frankly, most of the time I can’t be arsed to argue; it really does take extenuating circumstances to get me to snerk at someone. If there was an Anti-Confrontation Octopus meme, it’d be my face on the colour-wheel, for sure.

Nooo, feminist critique of media is awesome and a tonne of fun. I actually got to critique Moulin Rouge! for an essay (which was mostly just a shameless excuse to watch Moulin Rouge! over and over because really why the hell not). But I did get to code Nini as a woman-of-colour (a Basque Spaniard, by my estimation) and posit that she was basically the distaff counterpart to Satine’s Virginal Hooker trope, which actually got me a pretty good grade. Go figure. I think I spent most of that essay sort of blowing smoke, as it were.
But yeah—I’ll confess to a bit of a secret love for really, really trashy Harlequin novels; it’s always fascinating to sort of examine them from an academic perspective and see what sort of messages they espouse. Some of them can be surprisingly feminist. (“The Spymaster’s Lady”, for example, has a very accomplished female hero who basically runs circles around the male lead.) Not to mention, if you like more mainstream stuff, Nora Roberts’ later works tend to feature powerful kick-ass female characters.
One even features a female hero who leads a team of Zulies, which is basically the nickname for firefighters who specialize in PARACHUTING INTO FOREST FIRES.
The male hero? Some dude she’s -training-.

Happy Valentine’s Day, basically. Today is Cheap Chocolate Day, soooo… even better!

In other news!:
I agree completely that Platonic in the classical sense has a bit of an.. interesting history, especially in regards to what we would now consider a ‘queer’ sexuality. (Of course, asking an ancient Athenian if they were gay would probably get you laughed at, but go figure).
However, in the modern usage of Platonic, it does sort of fit—I’ve also heard the term described as ‘Heterosexual Life Partners’, but I prefer Platonic for the obvious reasons.
That being said, I think that the audience who would pick up the classical history of ‘Platonic’ is pretty slim; I mean, the common vernacular of the word does tend to mean a sort of…agape friendship?
There’s a word that could be used.
If we look at the types of love according to the Greeks, we can divide it into three:
Agape: the love commonly felt for spouses and family
Philia: generally denotes brotherhood, friendship and non-sexual love (somewhat more fraught with meaning these days, since the most common usage tends to be associated with paraphilias, and that’s a bit not good for our purposes)
Eros: sexual love and/or carnal desires

So, if you wanted to get really technical, you could say that someone was your Philic Life Partner, or even your Agape? Which okay, brings to mind unfortunate goatse mental images, but Agape Life Partner has some potential. “Oh, I’mma hang out at my ALP’s”.

As for calling myself a feminist, it’s an identity that I’m a bit hesitant to accept for myself—there’s so many schisms in feminism that I feel a lot of it is bogged down in issues of politics, and since my politics are all over the map, I don’t know that I’d fit in any one place. So it’s something I’ve always been hesitant about claiming— if my ideals fit with feminist ones, then excellent, but it’s not something I go out of my way to identify as.
Navel gazing aside, I do believe that asexual het women are at something of a disadvantage, because as you say: it’s pretty much the party line that women aren’t really taught to utilize their own sexual agency. I mean, it’s a pretty common message: “If a man asks nice, you say yes”. Women’s sexual availability is sort of the cornerstone of the patriarchy, and that can really mess with an asexual, for pretty obvious reasons.
The link you gave me raises a very good point. I don’t know if it’s because of conditioning or just a Canadianism, but I apologize for everything. Saying no is an actual challenge, and I can imagine that it’d be risky for someone who is already on the disadvantaged end of a skewed power dynamic.
But I am also hesitant to say that asexual women suffer from this—-I’m hesitant. I want to give credit where credit is due, and this focus on ‘women always victims’ sort of sounds a bit Dworkin to me. (Also, I’m not asexual, so I’m a bit leery of arguing for/against any perspective. I’d lose my mind if someone purported to speak for ‘lesbians’ en masse.)

I’m finding all this discussion to be pretty fascinating. Personal bias disclosure: I generally identify as ace, though not as queer, even though I’m not hetero-romantic. Partly it’s that even though I do sometimes say I’m biromantic/panromantic, I’m not entirely sure if those are the best terms for me to use (the short form is that I definitely do not identify as straight, for many reasons, but it’s difficult to explain without getting into a lot of detail, so I’ll just leave it as that for now), and I’ve never been part of the queer community in any significant way anyway.

So, disclosure aside, I do think a lot about whether or not the privileges I do or don’t have ever come from being asexual over simply being femme. Usually it seems pretty clear-cut to me that it’s primarily being perceived as female that is what makes me disprivileged in situations. When I’m out with a man, wondering if he’s taking my enjoyment of our conversation the wrong way, it’s not because I’m worried he won’t respect my rights as an asexual to leave me alone if I say no, it’s that I’m worried he would see me as female-presenting, with all the disprivileges that presentation comes with.

Thing is, I don’t think anyone really targets asexuals specifically because they’re vulnerable, even though we are, because it’s not what’s visible. There’s definitely an element of pressure to have sex in a relationship, whether you are male/female/other in a straight/gay/queer/otherwise relationship, that says if you don’t do this, you’re not doing the relationship right. It’s assumed, you’re in a relationship, if not now, at least at some point you will be having sex, because sex is normal, and sex is supposedly what you do if you want to be the closest to another person that you can be. And this is a disadvantage to aces, especially those that can’t do compromises on sex, because telling someone upfront you’re not interested and never will be tends to have unpleasant consequences.

But in general, if one person tells another person they’re not interested in sex, the other person will think, “Well not now,” and if they tell that person, “No, not ever,” that person either doesn’t believe them, forces it, or gives up on the relationship. It is especially common with women, because of the way they’re sexualized and objectified, but happens to men, too, and it’s certainly not something that happens only to asexuals. Probably happens more frequently to aces, but it’s not surprising since if your frequency of being not-interested is higher, the rate of incidences where someone refuses to acknowledge your disinterest goes up? Which is different from being targeted for being disinterested alone. Correlation, not causation.

As a side note, while I was writing this up and tangenting off in other directions that I didn’t feel like merited posting in full, I ran into a reason why “platonic life partner” is a terrible term: they are not always life partners. I was pseudo-dating a guy for three years, my relationship with whom I would be more inclined to consider “queerplatonic” since it was clearly more than friendship, but not a romantic/sexual relationship the way anyone else would define one, but at no point were we at a stage I would consider we were constant enough that “life partners” would have been appropriate, especially given I no longer speak to him since we pseudo-broke-up and he’s since (real-)dated other women from what I’ve heard. But that said, I still don’t like “queerplatonic” either. I just can’t say “platonic life partner” is a good substitute when I’ve had a number of relationships that could fall under what the former is defining but not the latter. (Or vice versa, since I can think of a couple “platonic life partners” that don’t fall in my category for people I’ve had the more complicated relationships with.)

Fuck Yeah Chinese Myths!: Tu Er Shen (兔兒神)

Fuck Yeah Chinese Myths!: Tu Er Shen (兔兒神)






Die NachtHexen

Ночные ведьмы

for those not in the know, night witches were russian lady bombers who bombed the shit out of german lines in WW2. Thing is though, they had the oldest, noisiest, crappest planes in the entire world. The engines used to conk out halfway through their missions, so they had to climb out on the wings mid flight to restart the props. to stop germans from hearing them coming and starting up their anti aircraft guns, they’d climb up to a certain height, coast down to german positions, drop their bombs, restart their engines in midair, and get the fuck out of dodge.

their leader flew over 200 missions and was never captured.