Monday, April 4, 2011

Dan Savage Can Suck It

I've written this twice today, so it becomes a blog post. :) The first part of the conversation was this: PRISM threw out the idea of having Dan Savage as our keynote speaker for our Queer celebration next year. I dislike that idea, primarily because of this, from his column, published in February. "NSNA" is the person who wrote to him.

"With all the minimally sexuals out there making normally sexuals miserable, NSNA, it should be obvious to all regular readers that there’s not exactly a shortage of people who aren’t interested in sex. With that being the case, why would you even contemplate inflicting yourself on a normally sexual person? Why not go find another minimally sexual person? You’ll be doing your minimally sexual self a favor, you’ll be doing your future minimally sexual partner a favor, and you’ll be doing all normally sexual persons everywhere a favor by removing two minimals—you and your future partner—from the dating pool."
This hurts my feelings. I will be pissed if PRISM has him come speak. Slim chance, I hope, but I will be pissed. The response was, is this so wrong? Shouldn't people be compatible? They could. There's nothing wrong with wanting that, but that doesn't have to be the be-all-end-all of every relationship.

Here was my response:
For one thing, he doesn't take into account the idea that people could be happy making compromises. I've sifted through some of the other things he's written about asexuals as part of this conversation PRISM is having, and without exception he's sarcastic and dismissive. His schtick is being an abrasive jerk and that's okay because nobody's making me read his column, but I don't want that for our keynote, because respect for everybody needs to be the default for speakers we bring to campus.
As for the problems I have with his ideas: He explicitly says that it is cruel for an asexual to even think about being in a relationship with a sexual. In response to another letter from somebody who is making that kind of relationship work, he does say that if that works for them, then okay, but he starts his response with "I think your boyfriend must be either a fool or a fag." He explicitly says he doesn't believe that the boyfriend could be happy with an asexual- that it's just impossible.
"Why would you even think of inflicting yourself on a sexual person." The wording here really sucks, because it makes everything I feel wrong and mean. If I even think about liking a sexual boy, I'm doing a bad thing. And removing myself from the dating pool would be doing everyone a favor- meaning then they won't have to deal with me. I won't be around to "fool" them because they assume that I'm straight. I never tell people I'm straight. I'm not fooling anyone- they assume and they're wrong. But in this paragraph, it's all my fault. What he's writing here blames asexuals for wanting to be loved and finding a dating pool consisting almost entirely of sexual people. What other choice do I have? If I knew any asexual boys, maybe I could be interested in them, but I don't. And everything he writes here blames me for that and tells me I'd be doing everyone a favor if I spent the rest of my life alone. {End of my response}

This has left me having one of those evenings where I'm almost having to convince myself that there's nothing wrong with me, and that's hard. Even a friend who's always been a good ally in the past, and who still is, can't see a problem with what's being written here.
It makes me feel alone- if even my allies think he's right, maybe he is, I think to myself. Even allies wouldn't be able to bring themselves to love somebody like me, and in theory don't they already? Don't they, or do they not really understand? What if I had them all wrong?
I'm so, so glad that I'm not the only asexual person in PRISM when we're having this debate. For some reason, this hurts worse than anything, maybe because my allies are haivng problems seeing why I'm upset- I'm not getting any of the support that I believed I could expect from these people. That hurts as much as the crap Dan Savage is spewing up there. I feel let down by them, and it makes me question whether I can rely on them when it's really tough, when push comes to shove- like it's doing now. When I ask them to choose between believeing the validity of my feelings and believing the validity of Dan Savage's arguments, what if they choose him?

This conversation is far from over, and I haven't heard from everybody who was in the meeting tonight where this was discussed. The reactions may be totally different when we have a chance to really get into this matter next week.


  1. I hate hearing you have to go through that ): It should be obvious to anyone, asexual or not, that Savage is a creep. If you can't convince them on the acephobic front, he's said some pretty misogynistic things, transphobic things, and even biphobic things.

    Tiger Beatdown has a pretty good summation of his douchebaggery here:

  2. Geez. I read that article and... wow. Douchebag indeed.

    Also, to be fair to the group, I got the impression most of them didn't know about this. We're actually going to sit down and have this conversation probably next week and they've always been so good to me (us) in the past, I think there's definitely hope that they'll get what's wrong with this guy. Most of them seemed really surprised to hear that he'd said acephobic things.
    So I hope.