The original purpose of this blog was to respond to representations of asexuals in the media. As you've noticed, these are so few and far between that I've had to branch out to other topics. But with ABC's recent coverage of AVEN's DSM (that's the big book with the psychological disorders) project, I seem to have reached critical mass, mentally speaking. I feel like I can really start to identify trends in the way that we're presented. I'm about to lump a lot of things together, however, there are exceptions. The most notable ones to me are Bitch Magazine's article "Do Not Want", the KPFA radio story, and the Guardian's article from Paul's perspective.
First of all, in most media we're really presented as "other" and outside the mainstream. There's little done to help the readers identify with us. Harvey Milk was very wise when he declared that gay people were your family, friends, and neighbors. He knew that gay people would be "othered". Milk and his compatriots took to the streets to show solidarity, but also to demonstrate how many gay people there really were. And that's another thing about the articles-- they make it seem like we're an extremely small group, when in fact, 1% of the world's population is an enormous group. There's always mention of AVEN, but little thought is given to the power and implications of this community. And asexuals actually interacting off-line? That must really be an urban legend.
To me, the most annoying feature is that there is always, always at least one hater*. What they're saying doesn't even have to make sense, but it apparently has to be included anyway. So few people know about asexuality to begin with, so where did these haters come from? I would guess that they're not very informed about asexuality, if at all. Most people spend about zero time thinking about asexuality, so how much do these "experts" really know? They seem to be operating on rumor rather than fact. I know that dissenting views make a good story. But you don't look at the wedding announcements and then see quotes from people who claim the wedding didn't actually happen. Asexuality, like I've said before, isn't an issue with two sides because it isn't an issue. The way we're treated might be an issue, but our orientation itself is not.
*[Sidenote: Let me define exactly where in the ABC article hating takes place. An professor who doesn't seem to have any prior information on asexuality says: "Given that I believe our sexuality is a great emotional and physical asset, it is hard for me to think asexuality is appropriate to declassify [as a dysfunction]". But what she misses is the fact that asexuality isn't classified in the first place! Hypoactive sexual desire disorder is classified. Way to ignorantly mislead people and imply that we're emotionally and physically deficient. But! Cake for Lori Brotto!]