That Tumblr Mobile™ feel when you open the app after having it closed for a while and you catch a glimpse of a really good post, and you sigh internally because you just know it’s about to be whisked away into the abyss never to be found again as your dashboard automatically refreshes
I met a couple Australians this weekend and they introduced me to what is possibly the greatest phrase in the English language. Apparently, a common response to a wide variety of questions is “I’m not here to fuck spiders”. It means “I’m already doing that” or “Obviously, yeah”. So like, example usage:At the bar with a friend.
Friend: do you want to get a beer?
Me: well, I’m not here to fuck spiders.
I’m actually a somewhat notable blogger in the aro sphere, but because I’m also an otherkin, I don’t necessarily feel comfortable talking about this completely there, as the person I’m known as.
I’ve noticed that there are a lot of people who doubt that aromantics are actually queer, and even some who doubt that we face oppression. And I think in part that’s because we don’t have a slur to point to. I mean, we experience things that are just as bad, if not worse, as the things that queer allosexuals face, but we don’t really have a slur to point to.
And that’s where my idea comes in. I believe that because, once we’re found out to be aromantic, people usually call us robots or imply that we don’t have feelings, we actually do have a slur to point to.
ARObots. That’s basically what they’re calling us. And because I firmly believe that slurs should be reclaimed, and only by those affected by the slur(queer), I think we should all start to reclaim this slur.
People who want to believe that they’re “allies” to the aro community should take heed: Don’t you dare fucking use the word arobot. (Unless you’re a robotkin, which I think is a whole different set of oppressions, and also if you are, we should be friends! Hi!).
To the aro community: in order to make people see that we’re in fact oppressed, I think it’s important that we make it clear that arobot is a slur, and something we’re reclaiming. No one else, (save robotkin) should be allowed to use this term to hurt us. We’re reclaiming it, and people who use it are actively participating in the oppression that keeps us marginalized. They are arophobic.
Basically: Here’s a slur that applies to us, and that people have been throwing around and claiming isn’t a slur, and here’s us reclaiming it and making it clear that anyone who calls us this, who isn’t aro, is in fact an oppressor and has to check their alloromantic privilege.
At 11 o’clock at night, you moved across the train car to sit far too close to two girls about half your age so you could interrupt our conversation to tell us how pretty we are. We said thank you, have a good night, and went back to our conversation.
You interrupted us a second time to say that you didn’t want to bother us, but we needed to hear it, how pretty we are. We said cool, thanks, have a good night, and went back to our conversation.
You interrupted us a third time to say you wouldn’t say anything else, you didn’t want to bother us, you just had to let us know. We said have a good night, and went back to our conversation.
This seemed to perplex you. You came all that way across a train car to bestow upon us this life altering knowledge - the fact we were pretty - and all you got was a polite thank you? You grumbled about gratitude, about how you better not end up on facebook, were we putting you on facebook? Why was my friend looking at her phone? Was she putting you on facebook? All you’d done was tell us we were pretty.
At this point, my friend says, “Sir, we’re trying to have a conversation. Please don’t be disrespectful.”
This was when you got angry. Disrespectful? YOU? For taking the time out of your day to tell us we were pretty? Did we know we were pretty?
“Yes, we knew,” says my friend.
Well, that was the last straw. How dare we know we were pretty! Sure, you were allowed to tell us we were pretty, but we weren’t allowed to think it independently, without your permission! And if we had somehow already known - perhaps some other strange man had informed us earlier in the day - we certainly weren’t allowed to SAY it! Where did we get off, having confidence in ourselves? You wanted us to know we were pretty, sure, but only as a reward for good behavior. We were pretty when you gifted it upon us with your words, and not a moment before! You raged for a minute about how horrible we were for saying we thought we were pretty, how awful we turned out to be.
I took a page out of your book and interrupted you. “Sir, you said you wouldn’t say anything else, and then you kept talking,” I said. “You complimented us, we said thank you, and we don’t owe you anything else. It’s late, you’re a stranger, and I don’t want to talk to you. We’ve tried to disengage multiple times but you keep bothering us.”
At this point, our train pulled into the next stop. My friend suggested we leave, so we got up and went to the door.
Seeing your last chance, you lashed out with the killing blow. “I was wrong!” you shouted at us as we left, “You’re ugly! You’re both REALLY UGLY!”
Fortunately, since our worth as human beings is in no way dependent upon how physically attractive you find us, my friend and I were unharmed and continued on with our night. She walked home; I switched to the next train car and sat down.
So, strange man, I know you’re confused. I don’t know if you’ll think about anything I said to you, but I hope you do learn this: when you give someone something - a gift, a compliment, whatever - with stringent stipulations about how they respond to it, you are not giving anything. You are setting a trap. It is not as nice as you think it is.
But you’ll be happy to know that when I sat down in the next car, a strange man several seats over called, “Hey, pretty girl. Nice guitar. How was your concert?”
“Thanks. Good,” I said, then looked away and put on my headphones, the universal sign for ‘I’d like to be left alone.’