Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Do as I say, not at I do.

One thing that has always driven me quite up the wall about Neurotypicals is that they'll often do one thing and say another.

A recent example was someone who said something horribly bigoted about mentally ill people, then defended it with "It's my opinion" and defended her "right" to have an offensive opinion because apparently explaining just why what she said was offensive is violating her right to freedom of speech or something. Last time I checked, freedom of speech was not a freedom to say anything you like unchallenged, especially when you say offensive things.

Today? She's busy trumpeting about "Just because you have an opinion, doesn't mean you should post it" and "Can and should are two different things" and railing against someone else who said something she disagreed with in public.

I don't really understand how someone can claim to be for one thing and then act in the exact opposite way.

Same thing happens all too often when NTs interact with people like me, it's okay for them to do X, but if an autistic person does it? X is bad and a sign of Autism/being a bad person. I get so tired of having the following conversations:

Them: *says something stigmatising or offensive about a group I belong to.
Me: Would you mind not saying that kind of thing. It's offensive because of *insert reasonable reason* and I'd rather you didn't say that about people like me.
Them: You're bullying me!
Me: I feel that you are trying to silence me by that declaration.
Them: How dare you decide my intentions, that's rude and mean! You're definitely bullying me.
Me: I said that was my perception of what you were doing, and you actually just decided my intentions twice. So why are you allowed to decide mine but I'm not allowed to say how I feel about how you're acting towards me?
Them: Bully! Waaaah, you're mean!

I've had so many variations of this conversation over the years, they all end the same way, I'm the "bad person" and poor widdle asshole NT ends up coddled by all the NTs because how dare an Autistic disagree with what an NT said. There's also "I know you're autistic so how dare you think you're right and talk as though you are" usually after the person has ignored my proof and the fact that they haven't shown any at all and despite this is insisting they're right because they said so. Apparently having confidence in your argument is a bad thing if you're Autistic and makes you a bad and mean person.

Other annoying conversations include:

Them: *talking about a concept that requires an innate interpersonal understanding*
Me: Wait, I'm autistic, could you please explain how X +Y = Z, I don't understand.
Them: OMFG you're using your autism as an excuse!1!!1
Me: No, I'm just explaining that I have difficulties understanding certain concepts, so I'd like you to explain how X + Y = Z so I can follow the conversation.
Them: OMG you're lazy and using your autism as an excuse.


Them: You did a bad/wrong thing by disagreeing with X.
Me: I'm autistic, could you explain how disagreeing with them is bad? I don't understand why it would be so.
Them: *doesn't explain, loses their shit at me*
Me: Wait, I don't understand, could you explain what it is you're accusing me of and why?
Them: *still losing their shit, ignores the question, accuses me of being hateful/arrogant/insert derogatory term here*
Me: Could you slow down and please explain this, this and this to me. I do not understand how you came to X conclusion?
Them: omg! why won't you meet me halfway!
Me: Why won't you explain anything or answer any of the questions I've asked so I can understand your viewpoint?
Them: omg! You're not meeting me halfway, this argument is all your fault.
Me: ...

Or they'll try to pick a fight with me for weeks by being aggressive and snappish towards me. Then accuse me of being the mean, aggressive one.

One thing I've learned over the years is that it is apparently okay for someone to be as contradictory, aggressive and nasty as they like if they're NT and popular. I've had NT people bully me only for it to be shrugged off with "so and so is under stress", "it's her opinion" from others, but if anyone thinks I'm being "mean" or "Bad", that's it, I am mean and bad, no arguments allowed even if I've just been attacked for no reason whatsoever.

Saturday, 28 July 2012

On being an ally:

As someone who believes in social justice, I believe I also have a responsibility to question and to point out some of the issues I see in social justice circles as well.

The problem with ally is that it's an often self bestowed title and not everyone who takes up the title actually is interested in being an ally. An ally is typically someone who is privileged in an area, say a able bodied person who supports the fight to make places accessible.

Being an ally is about supporting the fight for equal rights for everyone in areas where you are generally privileged. It's about supporting our voices, it's accepting a responsibility to educate those of your privileged group when you can. It's about supporting not supplanting.

What it is not:

It is not about talking over our voices. If nobody can hear the minority for all the allies, then you are doing it wrong.
It is not the right to police the voices speaking up. I should not have prove to you I am autistic before you will allow me to speak on my behalf.
It is not the right to hijack our fight or to bully others in the name of being an ally for your own amusement. Also, it is not the right to hijack our anger, as frustrated as you may get trying to educate people? You don't have to put up with the reality of the bigotry we face, learn some patience.
It is not the right to deny rights or voices to people of our group who you decide aren't part of it, or you dislike, or who you think should be an exception. I have seen people declare themselves allies to survivors, talk about how important it is to believe survivors, then proceed to belittle and attack someone who apparently was "lying" just because the so-called allies didn't like them. Support all of it, or don't call yourself an ally.
It is not about getting a "cookie".
It is not about being seen as a "good person".

If you do any of the what it is not list? You are no ally to me or to anything other than your ego. That behaviour is toxic.


I'm EightEights.

Why EightEights? Well I'm an autistic and the number eight has always been interesting in my opinion. I used to enjoy counting the letters in eight letter words as a teen. Two is a nice number as well.

What I blog about? Social justice, Autism, being a disabled person in a word that does not accept my neurology, or physiology. I am physically disabled, mentally ill, autistic and learning disabled. This is basically my little place on the web to talk about social justice, my hopes, my dreams, societies lack of accommodation for people like me.