I started this blog so recently, I had planned not to put up anything political. I want this to be a crafty space largely. But then I made a fabric banner that has statements I wish weren’t political. I wish that saying “Asexual is not broken” and “Women’s Rights are Human Rights” (the phrase I plan to add to the back of my banner) wasn’t a political statement. But they are. And its fine with me if you skip this post. I’ll never know. But I hope if you are feeling a little uncomfortable or angry right now, with me, with my choice to march, with my sexuality, with the fact that by me marching, me making this banner, you may feel that I am rejecting the political process, that you read on. That you hear my words, my view. You don’t have to accept it. But listen. Listen as you ask me to listen to you. Listen as I hope to continue working on listening to you. We are a democracy and when the people of a democracy, when the politicians of a democracy stop listening, we have failed.
Why a Fabric Banner?
I had a friend ask me why I wanted to make a fabric banner. Something that took so much more work than just making a sign out of posterboard. I had to think about that for a moment. It was a lot more work. It was more expensive. It is a more “valuable” item to carry at a rally, which is generally not the goal. But after thinking about it, I knew why.
- I wanted to take the time to make and reflect on the words I chose. To strengthen myself for the act of protest I was about to do. To prepare myself to answer the inevitable questions of WTF is your…flag? To cry the tears of hurt and anger and guilt in advance, so that I might cry less later.
- To tell myself this is only the beginning. That this will not be the last protest, the last time I carry this banner, these words. That the job will not be done tomorrow. To promise myself that I would not let either the privilege I am fortunate to possess or my own fears/sadness/depression stop me from continuing to speak up. My fabric banner will hopefully survive to be used at more marches, more rallies, and if I find myself unable to attend rallies, friends can take it with them.
- I wanted anyone who saw my banner to see the time and thought that I put into it. To know that this isn’t a whim of mine. These are my beliefs. These are words that I stand by. Words that I feel are not revolutionary, but simply true.
For those of you reading who may not have heard the term asexual before, to be asexual means not experiencing sexual attraction. Asexuals may or may not be interested in a romantic relationship with a partner. Just like sexual individuals, Asexuals can be any gender, sex, personality, race, socioeconomic class, etc. If you are interested in learning more, I recommend AVEN and Asexual Agenda. AVEN has a lot of great resources for both aces and those who wish to learn more any reason. Asexual Agenda is a great place to read a variety of posts relevant to the ace community. They run a monthly blog Carnival with various topics that I often find to be really interesting.
As someone who is asexual, if it comes up, it is generally my job as the token ace to explain it. This post is about a lot more than the definition of asexuality and I’d ask that rather than asking me questions about asexuality, you take a look at the links I’ve provided first. If you still have questions then, feel free to reach out to me.
Why I March
I march because as an asexual individual, the highly sexualized way women were discussed, appraised, and judged solely in the light of their gender, as sexual objects in the course of the election was incredibly offensive. As a woman it was offensive. As an ace, as someone who has spent her life bombarded by the conflicting ideals of womanhood and never feeling that I fit in, the reduction of me to sex appeal, to an attractiveness score, to a womb, I was offended. I was scared. I was angry.
I march because I am more than the sum of my parts. I will not be reduced to my female body. My body carries my mind and soul.
I march because women are more than their bodies, even as we are so often bound by them.
I march because I believe in Planned Parenthood’s daily work to support women’s health is vital work.
I march because I am a member of majorities and we have a job to support, ally and represent. I am white, raised in an upper-class household, Christian, largely able-bodied, well-educated, possess a stable job and am married to someone with a stable job.
I march because I am a member of minority groups. I am a grey asexual. I am a woman married to another woman. I am a woman. I have a long-standing fight with my brain.
I march for my mother, a general surgeon who got into med school by pretending she was a ditz, so that the college would think she would drop out, thereby letting them meet their quota for women in the incoming class.
I march for our earth.
I march because I believe in equality for all people, of all races, of all genders/sexes, of all orientations, of all religions, of all classes.
I march because I believe that that equality will lead to stronger communities and a greater United States.
I march for my friends who are incapable for whatever reason to march today.
I march for black people who have given up hope that white people would join them.
I march for immigrants who play a vital role in our country.
I march for LGBTQIA+ individuals who are afraid.
I march because every time someone says LGBT, they’re leaving me out.
I march for my ace community, so that when an ace is at a march or watching the news, they might see my banner, our flag, probably the only one there, and they know that they are not alone.
I march because I feel alone. And that is the scariest thing. But I am not alone. Others across the country are marching. Others across the country are speaking.
I march because it is my right to march. My right to protest. My right to speak.
I march because I will not be silent.
I march because I am angry. Because I am disappointed. Because I can’t sleep at night.
I march for women’s healthcare. For all Americans. Because all Americans deserve healthcare that is affordable, safe, and accessible.
I march because I am Christian and I believe that Jesus meant his message of love for everyone, not the people we can determine are deserving enough, straight enough, white enough, stay in the right boxes enough. That when he helped the poor or sick, he didn’t stop and ask if they planned to pray to God or if they had ever received public assistance.
I march because I believe in peaceful protest.
I march because the man who is now my president has publicly said and promised horrible things and I have no guarantee he will not follow through on them. I don’t have the luxury of deciding he will mysteriously do only the campaign promises I like and forget the ones I don’t. Let him hear my voice. Let him hear our voices. I do not reject that he is now my president. That is fact. I wish it wasn’t, but there it is. Now that he is my president, he must listen to all of us.
Since the election, I’ve been listening to Soldiers by Otherwise a lot. The lyric that sticks in my head, that I play the song for over and over is:
“We stand shoulder to shoulder
You can’t erase us
You’ll just have to face us”
And that is why I march. By myself, I am potentially powerless. By uniting with others, I have the ability to make great change. I will not be erased. I will not allow others to be erased. I will not be silent.