Constructions of Asexual Identity in China: Intersections of Class, Gender, Region of Residence, and Asexuality

Day Wong, Xu Guo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In this study, asexuality is transcended beyond the spectrum of desire when defined against other identities that offer power, resources, networks, advantages, and disadvantages. Drawing on the insights of intersectional feminism, we use an intersectional lens to examine how Chinese assigned-female-at-birth asexuals in different socioeconomic standings understand and give meanings to asexual identity when they navigate marriage and reproductive norms, and other hegemonic representations and relations. The paper presents three constructions of asexual identity that are derived from different intersectional locations: asexuality as the pinnacle of evolutionary success; a globalized discourse of asexual pride; and indifference to asexual identity. We find that socioeconomic status at the individual and community levels contributes to a sense of asexual pride, albeit in different manners, thus legitimizing an otherwise unaccepted identity. Nevertheless, there are individuals who cannot find pride in their asexual identity. Instead of merely attributing this to oppression, an intersectional approach points to other positionings that enable personal agency. In doing so, we can facilitate a more inclusive and accurate portrayal of globalized asexualities. We also propose that the interplays between resistance and hegemony and inclusion and exclusion are elucidated when asexuality is analyzed through the interactions of social identities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-99
Number of pages25
JournalFeminist Formations
Volume32
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020

User-Defined Keywords

  • Asexual
  • China
  • class
  • gender
  • globalization
  • identity
  • intersectionality
  • sexualities

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