Something that frustrates me a lot, is how asexual characters in the media all seem to fall into certain stereotypes – they’re usually very cold, logical and uncaring. Not only is this offensive in the same way that it is always offensive for a whole community of people to be grouped together in a certain way, but the implications are really quite distressing.
Any asexual character in a piece of fiction is generally going to be quite inhuman in some ways – why is this? I guess it’s because writers see sexuality as an integral part of the human experience and do not see asexuality as a valid identity. Because to be asexual, in the eyes of a lot of people, is to be inhuman. It’s not normal. It’s weird. That’s why you never ever have a regular person on a TV show or in a movie who is asexual.
So much of the way people view life and the world around them is in terms of sex and romantic relationships and very few stop to consider that these are not the goals and desires of everybody. People can’t understand that not everybody strives for that and what people can’t understand, they fear, which is why asexual characters are often portrayed as these negative stereotypes. And how does this make asexual people feel? Well, if the media depicts asexuality in a certain way, then people will expect it to be a certain way which will cause asexuals to feel like outcasts. People will become afraid of being open about their asexuality, for fear of being ostracised.
Even things like progressive websites which allow users to select their sexuality for profiles will very rarely offer an option for asexuality. You see people all over the internet complaining that it is a meaningless label used by “special snowflakes” who feel the need to be different, invalidating that identity even further. Meanwhile, the media continues to portray asexuals as uncaring and emotionless people – showing that the average person seems to have an unhealthy mental connections between emotions and affection with sexual desire (when really they can be entirely divorced.)
It’s just something which I find especially frustrating which I felt was worth writing about to help more people be conscious of. I’d also like to add that, while it does frustrate me to see these stereotypes used so regularly, I am still pleased that asexual characters are at least present.