Title sounds fancy, but this is just me being done.
“I may be asexual but I’m not a robot!”
“I’m aromantic but I’m not a heartless monster!”
“Friendly reminder that disabled people are human too :)”
I get it. It’s important to rehumanize people who have been dehumanized — especially black people, other people of color, trans women, disabled folks, and Muslim people.
At the same time.
This is where I could pull out a bunch of jargon and philosophize. “Appeal to human authority” and “coercive humanization” and “humanity versus personhood.” I could probably investigate the usage of “human nonperson” to great effect.
But what I’m saying is, I don’t like this goalpost.
Not just from a semi-abstract moral position on nonhuman animal rights.
There are many folks who id as nonhuman, wholly or partially. For a myriad of reasons. Spirituality, religion, cultural beliefs; neurodiversity, disability, mental illness; reclamation, solidarity, kinship; any reason you can imagine and then some.
I know this sounds like an abstract, far-removed, immaterial linguistic nitpick. And I certainly know it isn’t a Priority like violence, homelessness.
But I am serious, and I do believe our framing perpetuates harm in very real material ways.
I believe identifying as nonhuman says something, is a reflection of already having been Othered, of finding oneself/ves outside of systems. A difference and perhaps difficulty, in communication, in sensory experience, in sense of self/ves.
Personhood, not humanity.
Some people are robots, or monsters, or animals.
And even if we weren’t – some people have the traits which are called those things, and distancing from those is respectability politics and probably ableist.
Besides, appeals to common humanity are usually derails.
And then we have the non-corporeal folks dealing with messages about bodies, physical plane, whoo. Exhausting. Body dysphoria is an intentionally broad category yet so rarely is it (allowed to be) expanded, lest all those cis otherkin horn in on human trans territory (lmao cis otherkin, like asexual men, are p mythical).
I’m just…here. Here’s some of my crazy. I’m a glitch and I should be able to disidentify with having a body, say I don’t really have one, tell people my limits around photos and discomfort around various positivity messages and self-help emphases on physicality / grounding / body-awareness.
Yes, this intersects with trauma and dissociation, and non-binary and dysphoria, and autistic and mental illness, and spirituality, and reclaiming hurt, and communicating about self experience and needs, and resistance to hurtful or unhelpful messages.
And also, so what! So what if I can point to reasons? It’s taken a long time to consolidate them, does that mean this was less valid before?
Personal assertion: I am (not) a robot. …Okay, yes, resist what people have put on you. Just be careful you’re not putting down others who are what you’re saying you aren’t.
Community assertion: aces are (not) human. …same as above and, also, literally false.
My favorite I saw lately went something like:
Not all aromantics are robots; I, however, am.
Anyway. This post brought to you by Marina and the Diamonds, Neon Genesis Evangelion, and Trans Day of Visibility.