Asexual Activism

de Lappe, Joseph (2016). Asexual Activism. In: Naples, Nancy; Hoogland, Renee C.; Wickramasinghe, Maithree and Wong, Wai Ching Angela eds. The Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Gender and Sexuality Studies. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/9781118663219.wbegss663

Abstract

Asexual activism is associated with the increasing public visibility of asexual identities and orientation. Although it is linked to older sexual and gender social movements, such as the various LGBT+ movements, there are key differences. Asexual activism has been facilitated by the Internet; the proliferation of asexual‐orientated blogs, websites, and digital online communities such as AVEN (The Asexual Visibility and Education Network) have enabled its rapid progression. It can therefore also be labeled a digital social movement that impacts upon its character and aims. Like many sexual and gender social movements, asexual activism has a contentious strand, a lifestyle strand, and an identity strand. Each of these involves different repertoires of action and engagement. However, they can be characterized by a common desire to promote the visibility of asexual identities and orientations within and without the asexual community, to safeguard their citizenship and rights. They can also be characterized by a desire to challenge the sexual imperative (the tacit assumption that to lead a healthy life one must lead a sexually active life).

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