Presentation Title

I’m a queer asexual, but it’s not my asexuality per se that makes me queer’: Neoliberal Antinormativity in Asexuality Visibility and Education Network Online Forums

Presenter Name

David Peterson

Presenter Title/Affiliation

University of Nebraska, Omaha

Start Date

21-5-2021 3:45 PM

Event Name

Panel discussion

Panel Number

9

Panel Chair Name

William Leap

Zoom URL to Join

https://ciis.zoom.us/j/99085517274

Zoom Meeting ID

990 8551 7274

Abstract

This presentation uses queer critical discourse analysis to explore various discourses surrounding asexuality, (anti)normativity, and queer belonging drawn from online forums associated with the Asexuality Visibility and Education Network (AVEN). The emerging body of scholarship on asexual identity and online community formation focuses on how people who self-identify as asexual or as falling within the asexual/aromantic spectrum (ace/aro spec) use a discourse of sexual non-normativity to argue for inclusion within the LGBTQ+ community. Ace theorists argue that studying asexuality allows us to “Focus[] on individual orientations and preferences as well as [to] recognize the temporal nature of our identity constructions, mark[ing] a radical shift in constructions of identity [that] allow for a system in which everyone is encouraged to assert their own identities regardless of dominant cultural trends” (87). But my initial findings suggest that the notion that asexuality enables identity politics to run athwart “dominant cultural trends” of sexual normativity (whether heterosexual, homosexual, or asexual) is problematic, particularly when dealing with discourses related to self-described cisgendered asexuals who have hetero-romantic preferences (‘cishets’). This particular community’s claims to nonnormativity and hence queer belonging draw on (as thematically demonstrated by the quote in my title) a dehistoricized and depoliticized discourse of normative resistance. As I theorize based on my preliminary data analysis, this new discourse represents a further reterritorialization of the language of sexual citizenship along neoliberal lines, aligning well with Lisa Duggan’s reading of neoliberal homonormativity as representing “a politics that does not contest dominant heteronormative assumptions and institutions, but upholds and sustains them, while promising the possibility of a demobilized gay constituency and privatized, depoliticized gay culture anchored in domesticity and consumption” (2003: 50).

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
May 21st, 3:45 PM May 21st, 4:15 PM

I’m a queer asexual, but it’s not my asexuality per se that makes me queer’: Neoliberal Antinormativity in Asexuality Visibility and Education Network Online Forums

This presentation uses queer critical discourse analysis to explore various discourses surrounding asexuality, (anti)normativity, and queer belonging drawn from online forums associated with the Asexuality Visibility and Education Network (AVEN). The emerging body of scholarship on asexual identity and online community formation focuses on how people who self-identify as asexual or as falling within the asexual/aromantic spectrum (ace/aro spec) use a discourse of sexual non-normativity to argue for inclusion within the LGBTQ+ community. Ace theorists argue that studying asexuality allows us to “Focus[] on individual orientations and preferences as well as [to] recognize the temporal nature of our identity constructions, mark[ing] a radical shift in constructions of identity [that] allow for a system in which everyone is encouraged to assert their own identities regardless of dominant cultural trends” (87). But my initial findings suggest that the notion that asexuality enables identity politics to run athwart “dominant cultural trends” of sexual normativity (whether heterosexual, homosexual, or asexual) is problematic, particularly when dealing with discourses related to self-described cisgendered asexuals who have hetero-romantic preferences (‘cishets’). This particular community’s claims to nonnormativity and hence queer belonging draw on (as thematically demonstrated by the quote in my title) a dehistoricized and depoliticized discourse of normative resistance. As I theorize based on my preliminary data analysis, this new discourse represents a further reterritorialization of the language of sexual citizenship along neoliberal lines, aligning well with Lisa Duggan’s reading of neoliberal homonormativity as representing “a politics that does not contest dominant heteronormative assumptions and institutions, but upholds and sustains them, while promising the possibility of a demobilized gay constituency and privatized, depoliticized gay culture anchored in domesticity and consumption” (2003: 50).

https://digitalcommons.ciis.edu/lavlang/2021/friday/34