Some people take problem with lithromantic as it comes from stone butch terminology, which is appropriated from the lesbian community. I’m not making any definitive statements about the issue currently as I haven’t seen any actual lesbian-identified people speaking out about this, and most commentary I have seen comes from people outside the lesbian community saying it’s appropriation. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not appropriation. I’m not making any definitive statements about it either way at the moment, but since it’s still a debatable issue, it might be best to avoid the term and use akoiromantic instead.
I don’t know much about this as I don’t identify as either akoi/lithromantic or lesbian, so it might be better to ask someone who actually does come from these communities.
Hey! Stone femme (yes, it’s a thing) lithromantic queer woman here. I’ve been tracing this issue for a while, and I agree that most of the people saying it’s appropriation aren’t actually lesbian or stone identified. Meanwhile, the creator of the term (who does identify as stone/lithsexual) has explicitly said that it’s not appropriation, and I and my homoromantic asexual QPP agree. In fact, I would argue that not calling it lithromantic is erasure. The conversation plays out in my head like this:
Stone liths: Hey! We just came up with this cool new term that some of you might identify with too: ‘lithromantic’. It’s an analogy from the stone community and the experience of wanting to engage with your partner, but being more interested in their pleasure than in them reciprocating. So lithromantic is therefore when you want a relationship or have romantic feelings, but don’t want those feelings reciprocated.
Non-lesbian aros: *shifts uncomfortably* Ohh… well, umm, we like the idea but… we don’t want to appropriate your experience.
Stone liths: *blinks* you’re… not? We’re sharing it with you. For free. Indefinitely. Because we’re part of the aro community and think this term will help you. That’s like, the opposite of appropriation.
Non-lesbian aros: Well, I think we’ll keep the concept, but we don’t want to take your lesbian word, so you can keep that. Bye! [Exit]
Stone liths: … #lesbianerasure
Basically, what I’m trying to say that by not calling it lith, it erases the history that the explanation of this experience comes from lesbian/stone activism. Ironically, by calling something appropriation that really, really isn’t because queer woman and stone people specifically intended it for sharing, the history of that sharing is erased. There are ‘actual lesbians’ (as many posts put it) who use this term and think it’s okay for you to use this term if you identify with it (and I’m obviously not saying you can’t use akoiromantic or another proposed term, although personally I think etymologically lith makes so much more sense specifically because it retains the link with stoneness). In other words, the concept that lith/akoiromantic indicates would not have been articulated when it was if not for lesbians and stone people and them relating their experiences to aromanticism, and I think it’s important to recognize that by retaining the words that we gave it.
Thanks for your post. I’m not gonna comment on this as because I said, I’m not the authority and feel out of my league as someone who doesn’t identify as lesbian, stone, or akoi/lithromantic, but I want to signal boost what you said as a counterpoint. I do think it’s a but suspicious that the only people I have seen criticizing the term lithromantic are not lesbians.
okay so it seems there’s been some confusion/misinformation with regards to the lithromantic vs akoiromantic issue. from what i’d personally looked into, it seemed best to err on the side of caution of avoiding lithromantic, but since stone butch/femmes have spoken in opposition to that, the term is apparently open for use by people who aren’t just women attracted to other women. i suppose whether or not you personally wish to use lithromantic or akoiromantic is up to you, but i’m sharing this to boost the voices of those most important to this topic
^ actually up there is a good description of why I’m uncomfortable with how eager tumblr community is to call out appropriation, cultural or otherwise. There are definite problems (war bonnets), then there are questionable areas where there’s an active discussion within the culture itself on whether it should be shared with others (bindis as far as I understand) and then there’s just “don’t touch others’ stuff and keep to your own culture” xenophobic bullshit like making other cultures’ national food.
It’s appropriation when it’s disrespect, bringing “down to earth” something that was intended to be sacred (WAR FUCKING BONNETS).
It’s appropriation when it’s misuse, refusing/failing to understand proper context (kimonos as far as I know)
It’s appropriation when it’s erasure of original authorship, just claiming it as your own and ignoring that it’s actually come from somewhere else and they deserve credit for it, not those who thought to take it to their own culture (Saami culture in Frozen, “there are no PoC there” my ass)
When you just take it and use it the way it was intended to be used, the same way people from that culture/subculture use it and expect others to use it, it’s just. proper usage? multiculturalism? normal?