- Category: A Negative
- Published on Wednesday, 02 May 2012 12:19
- Written by T. Henrik Anttonen
- Hits: 1827
(Publisher's Note: This article has been tampered with many times because of a misunderstanding where someone confused a personal statement with overall site policy. This article will remain published in its current form).
I guess it’s been a long time in the making, but it doesn’t mean that I’m not pretty devastated by it. After all, AVEN was my gateway into the fabulous Asexual community, as it’s probably been to an overwhelming majority of us. But enough is enough and I’m probably not the only one who feels the same way about it.
I’ve been a champion for an Aromantic forum on the site for several years, only to be shot down for it. First I was downright attacked by my notion of starting a subforum to go along with the Aromantic Musings and Rantings thread but as time went on, other people started to feel the same way and brought up the topic periodically as well. I started to feel that the general attitude towards the idea started to shift. I am a patient person and I felt that we were making slow progress towards the adoption of the idea. Therefore I took a step back and bided my time for several years.
I was still very committed to the site, visiting almost daily and writing for AVENues. I even joined the Project Team and spent a lot of time drafting policies and making technical advances to the Wiki. I gained access to the backroom forum and even though I was a little concerned by the budding elitism that the Admod team was displaying in their interactions with each other and the general population of the users, I wrote it off as something that inevitably happens in closed communities that hold influence. I cannot say that I was immune to some of it, I don’t think anyone is.
But I’ve finally had enough of the bureaucracy that has clearly started to serve itself rather than the community. And the recent activities around the question of an Aromantic forum have really been the thing that finally put me over the edge. Yes, I admit that I have a vested interest in it, being Aromantic myself, but I do honestly think that this is a symptom of a much bigger problem in the management of the site.
The community has spoken. The question of the Aromantic forum wouldn’t be brought up regularly unless there was a genuine need for it. And the fact that the Admod team has decided to ignore it is a clear statement that they’re no longer there to serve the community. They are clearly more concerned with the minutae of running the site and made up concerns rather than developing the site. And the Admod forum reflects that. I will respect the rules and won’t mention anything specific I witnessed during my time as a Project Team.
In the end maybe the worst thing is the way they go about putting down the Aromantics of the forum. The fact is that Aromantics have concerns and issues they have to deal with that are vastly different from the romantics. Sure, there are a heck of a lot of things we share, but eventually being Aromantic often results in a completely different lifestyle. Therefore there’s plenty that we’d like to discuss amongst ourselves. Sure, we can do it in the existing threads, but often our discussions are swamped by the majority of the community that is romantic. If not in the thread itself (although that tends to happen as well) then by simply having the threads buried under the onslaught of new (and often redundant) romantic and general threads. That’s why discussion boards have separate forums, for goodness sake! I really can’t see how the Admod team has managed to make this into a made up problem.
I’m pretty sure that they know that Aromantics need their own forum, but they’ve made it a point of authority to hold the line that they’ve carved on the subject. And you can easily see that in their reasoning to not create an Aromantic forum.
They say that they don’t want to have the boards overrun with dozens of subforums. Well, why do they have asinine and redundant forums like “Tea and Sympathy” and “World Pride 2012”, then?
They say they don’t want to fence off a portion of the community. How on Earth do you even come up with that? You have plenty of subforums for subgroups like the Gray forum, Gender forum and Older Asexuals forum. Are those folks fenced off in any way? No, I didn’t think so.
They say that we can go to the relationship forum since not having a relationship is discussion about relationships as well. Really, folks? Are you kidding me? Who in their right mind would go to a forum about relationships to talk about Aromanticism? That’s like saying that sexual forums are about Asexuality as well and therefore we don’t need AVEN to begin with.
And final insult to injury is the way that they think they can lessen their bias by throwing us completely unnecessary and insufficient bones like “The Aromantic Thread” and the newest inanity “The Aromantic Thread Index”. Aromanticism is way too colossal a subject to discuss in a single thread and since we can’t really have any meaningful discussions in it they can say that we wouldn’t have any traffic in the forum either.
I usually go with the assumption that these things happen because of nonsense instead of spite, but I can’t help but think that the Admod team has made a concerted effort to trump down the Aromantic portion of the community. Well, I’ve had it. I’m saying my goodbyes to AVEN and all of the recent insults that have gone with it.
The sad thing is that it leaves me with pretty much nothing. Sure, there are Aromantic discussion boards out there, but AVEN is like a black hole of the community. It is so humongous that it really sucks out all the air out of any other forums. It is a good thing in a sense because it really makes it possible for it to act as a community wide portal and there are a lot of benefits to that. But the downside is that if they decide to mismanage the community like they do, there’s nothing we can do about it. The fringe boards remain just that and there’s little hope of them gaining any traction.
Good thing then that the stated intentions in the announcement post were to link related forums like AroPlane to encourage outward growth of the community. AVEN as an asexuality 101 resource isn’t going to have the capacity to include all the subforums necessary to properly focus on building an aromantic community, AroPlane does because that is their sole focus. Really, it's "too colossal a subject" to discuss in a single subforum. Having an aromantic subforum on AVEN will only contribute to the problem you are describing here. DemiGrace went up at the same time as the Gray Area, and look how inactive DG has become.
Who in their right mind would go to a forum about relationships to talk about Aromanticism? That’s like saying that sexual forums are about Asexuality as well and therefore we don’t need AVEN to begin with.
Enough said. By the way, I'm romantic but I agree with you and it's definitely unfair since the community is supposed to be about ALL of us Asexy people, romantic and aromantic. :P
Oh, and also, I love the podcast, HENRIK FTW!!! ^_^