Welcome to the September Carnival of Aces. To quote The Asexual Agenda:
“A Carnival of Aces is a monthly blogging carnival centered on asexual[ity] and the asexual spectrum (gray-As, demisexuals, etc.). Anyone can participate, but responses should deal with asexuality or the asexual spectrum, and they should relate to the month’s theme… Responses should postdate the call for submissions. Alternate forms of media besides blogs are also welcome as long as they deal with the prompt.”
For more information, check out the Carnival of Aces masterpost.
Who are your people? What groups do you belong to? What communities are you a part of? In other words, who are you talking about when you say “we”?
This month’s topic was inspired by the movie The Member of the Wedding (1952), which I reviewed last month. (Besides the 1952 movie there’s also a novel, a play, and two other film adaptations, but this is the version I’m familiar with.) In it, twelve-year-old white girl Frankie Addams gives the following speech:
“The trouble with me is that for a long time I have been just an ‘I’ person. All people belong to a ‘we’ except me. When Bernice says ‘we’, she means her church and lodge and coloured people. Soldiers can say ‘we’ and mean the Army. Till this afternoon, I didn’t have a ‘we’.”
Like many adolescents, Frankie feels disconnected from the world and longs to belong to a group. The group she chooses she describes as “the ‘we’ of me”. Many of us are familiar with this kind of alienation. Many of us also feel at least some kind of group identification. But that identification can work very differently for different people.
This month, I’d like to hear about how you identify (or don’t identify) with different groups. You can approach this topic any way you like, but here ae some specific prompts to think about:
- When you hear an identity or a group mentioned, which ones make you think, “Hey, that’s me!” and which one’s don’t. Who are your “us”s and who are your “them”s.
- What personal relationships do you commonly use the word “we” about? Your family? Friends? Partners? Peers? Colleagues? What does it mean to you when you use the word “we” for one of these relationships?
- Do you feel the word “we” comes easily to you, or do you feel uncomfortable using it?
- What are your feelings towards the asexual community? Do you see the asexual community as one of your “we”s? Why or why not?
- How does the asexual community rank among your other communities? Are some of your “we”s more important to you than the asexual community? If so, why?
- How does it feel to be a member of one of your “we” groups within the asexual community? Conversely, how does it feel to be an ace person within one of your “we” groups?
- Do you identify with a sub-set of the asexual community, such as your local meet-up group, the aro-ace community, or the Tumblr community?
- Do you ever feel hostility from one of your “we” groups towards another? How does this make you feel? How do you deal with it?
- Frankie mentions that her housekeeper uses “we” when talking about black people, but Frankie doesn’t seem to think of white people as a “we” for her. What is the relationship between being marginalised and having a sense of group identification? What is the relationship between privilege and group identification? To what extent is this identification experienced as positive or negative? To what extent is it illusory?
- Why do some people not have a sense of group identification? To what extent is this lack of identification experienced as positive or negative? To what extent is it illusory?
- Is there anything wrong with being “just an ‘I’ person”?
- Have you ever felt let down or rejected by one of your “we”s? How does it feel to identify with a group you don’t feel good about? How does it feel to identify with a group that doesn’t want you?
- What is it like to lose a “we”?
To participate in the Carnival, write a blog post or create another form of content and put it on line. All content should be publicly accessible. Then, comment on this post or send me a message through this blog’s “Contact” form with your name and a link to your submission. If you don’t have a platform to publish on, send me the text of your post and I can publish it as a guest post as long as it’s not offensive.
The deadline for submissions is the end of September. I will publish the round-up of posts on October 2.