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.



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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