Saturday, August 11, 2007

Quirkyalone: A Manifesto for Uncompromomising Romantics

Book, By Sasha Cagen, 2004.

The premise of this book-- that women don't have to be in romantic relationships in order to be happy and complete-- is one that I wholeheartedly agree with. It's progressive, definitely feminist, and much-needed. And although Cagen is keen to point out that Quirkyalones VERY MUCH DO enjoy sex with the right people, asexuals can potentially find much to relate to. Indeed, the stigma our society tends to place on single people-- especially women-- transcends sexual orientation. And for fighting back against those who would tether us to relationships we don't want, we need all the help we can get. Thanks, quirkyalones.
But it's easy to fall into quirkyalone envy. They have their own manifesto, online quiz, parties, and even a international quirkyalone day. Unlike asexuals, I doubt that quirkyalones get asked: "Oh, so you're quirkyalone? Were you raped as a child?" And somehow, having to "come out" as quirkyalone just sounds ridiculous.
Which is its other problem. Although QA (as Cagen abbreviates it) is talked about as a community and a lifestyle, I'm not jumping at the chance to label myself as a quirkyalone (and not only because I only scored as "somewhat quirkyalone" on the quiz). It just sounds...odd. A little too cute, a bit eldrich. "Quirkyalone Pride" has no ring to it. But dedicated QAs (and there are quite a few profiled in the book) might say this is just sour grapes. After all, their estimated 5% of the population could beat up my one percent.
Which brings me to a tiny, but very interesting parts of the book: a little pie chart dividing the ages of a sample of QAs. The headline is "it's not just a phase", and the most represented age group is 26-47. And intriguingly enough, when Anthony Bogaert studied asexuals, he also found them to be older than the general population, squashing the notion that we'd somehow 'grow out of it'. I don't know what this means, except for the fact that people like to tell other people that they'll grow out of things. This phenomenon probably also merits a study. I'm only kind of kidding.
But until then, keep those standards high, ladies.


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