Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Social justice barrier mode activate.

Superficially many social justice communities appear to be for the rights of disabled people, right up until those people are autistic.

Barriers in social justice if you have autism are numerous, here are a few.

1. Most social justice stuff is written by neurotypical people for neurotypical people.

It contains all those delightful unspoken/unwritten and generally unexplained assumptions that so frustrate the average autistic in my experience. It operates assuming the reader is neurotypical. I find sometimes this means I have no idea what the person is on about, and I get a lot of the stuff others don't. To some of the others and to me before I learned through a lot of fucking up? You are writing in a language we don't have a dictionary for.

This barrier is chronically ignored, and downplayed by a largely NT social justice crowd.

2. The default assumption and working behaviour is that everyone is NT or that NT behaviour should be expected of them even if they're not.

I'm not kidding. I've been told so many times to "stop using your autism as a shield" by so-called social justice advocates who think not getting whatever concept they're not explaining is somehow being a bad person.

I can count on one hand with fingers to spare, the amount of times my difference has been taken into account, I've lost count of how many times I've dealt with "You should become NT right now! you're just not trying hard enough!11!!!1". For a movement that is supposed to be all about barrier dismantlement, that's one people like to ignore.

It's also privileged fucking behaviour.

3. Many "bad" reactions on the learning curve? To be blunt, are widely found in autistic people.

I've seen so many people go into one at an autistic person who doesn't understand or who has been misunderstood trying to explain themselves to a social justice advocate who just jumped all over their ass screaming and shouting about something.

Basically explaining yourself is treated like you just said "I'm an asshole". Even when people know you are autistic.

The reality is that as a result of living in a world where the majority of people operate on unspoken assumptions and go ballistic if you operate on different ones or fail to respond in the "right" way to their social manipulation? Many Autistics as a result do end up with a "explaining themselves in the hope someone gets it" reflexive action.

Also when every fucking person going is criticising everything you do, ie you breath too loud, because you're just different to them, and when people claiming to be for social justice act just like the ablist assholes, it's a bit hard to separate out "This is an incorrect harmful belief" from "warblegarble, you're a horrid fucking person because you're different to me, and I hate everything you do as a result" which is the constant background radiation of the lives of many of my compatriots.

If you're going to behave exactly like the ablist assholes, why would you expect to be treated any different? You're just another obnoxious person shouting at us for something you've never bothered to explain and which we cannot access.

4. The ends justify the means.

One of the biggest issues I have with social justice groups is their tendency to foster a "Anything I do is okay if it is in the name of social justice".

I fucking missed the memo that "We shouldn't have to be "nice" to be treated like human beings" translated into "We should have the right to be assholes to anyone we deem as part of the problem", this is especially infuriating when many of the people jumping up and down screaming at people are straight, white, cis-gendered, middle class and generally privileged as fuck.

To be honest, I feel unsafe that a movement that is supposedly about the rights of people like me has it seems no issue with some ablist fucking able bodied person screaming at autistic people for being autistic.

5. Explanations? Not only aren't designed for autistic people, they're often aggressively inaccessible and people often actively refuse to work with us.

See the whole "Assholery in the name of social justice is acceptable".

Seriously, if I'm asking you a question about an oppression I don't get? It's not because I expect you to educate me, it's because I need an accessible explanation, in a movement full of inaccessible explanations.

It isn't your job to educate me, but it is not your right to assume that the explanations given as adequate when they clearly are not and to fucking blame me and others for needing accessibility. Don't want to provide accessibility? Then give us some fucking consideration for the fact that we're working with a system not designed for our needs.

Or do you expect people who use a wheelchair to get up steps and then complain they're being too slow if they crawl up it?

6. NT social behaviour is often demanded within social justice spaces and the penalties for failing are extremely punitive.

Needless to say if we tend to flounder in normal society, floundering socially in social justice spaces is like dumping two tonnes of blood into shark infested waters and jumping in after it. It gets you ripped to pieces and people never forget either, even if you're know as autistic and go on to become a major campaigner, you will always be "that asshole" for the one time you didn't act NT or didn't get something that was shittily explained.

7. You are expected to be constantly on the ball 24/7 if your social standing and skills are not 100%.

I'm autistic, I have different "functional" levels, something I might get tomorrow, might baffle me today. Another day brain fog and pain may result in a crabby response that is deemed unacceptable.

Social justice groups often expect 100% perfection, all the time and right away from many autistics. Anything less? Well you basically get treated like you're running around lynching minorities.

Would it be nice if we got it right all the time? Yes. It would.

However, everyone fucks up, and we often don't have the "people like us" social NT privilege that NT people get to their fuck ups. If I and an NT person say the same fucking stupid thing, them because they didn't think and me because I'm having an autistic day and just not getting it, the NT person is much more likely to get a nice explanation, I'm much more likely to get screamed like I just murdered and ate 100 babies for breakfast.

Even if I twig, apologise and don't repeat it? I will forever be treated like an asshole by groups simply because I'm often disliked or not popular due to not having the social skills of others. Meanwhile privileged NT might go do the same shit later, but because NT people like NT people, their fuck up will be probably be forgiven and forgotten even if it took them six months to get why it's a fuck up and to stop fucking up in that way.

8. Social justice spaces tend to end up as tight knit groups of friends.

Autism as you may well know, tends to impact social skills. Needless to say, I often get rejected by whole groups because I hurt the feelings of one person. This is of course typically after a good dozen or so have trampled mine without consequences because they're integrated members of the group already.

As you can see some days I look at social justice and see a fortress designed to keep people like me out and which often puts privileged people on the rampants with the boiling oil which they tip over people for anything deemed bad behaviour, including just being autistic.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

The race card:

Yes, we've all heard the tired old saw that comes out everytime PoC object to racism "You're just playing the race card".

Do I think we have a responsibility to recognise, acknowledge and be aware that racism is a big issue? Absolutely.

At the same time, just because something happens to a non-white person doesn't mean it involves racism. Currently many people are complaining about Gary Mckinnon's reprieve on the ground of mental health reasons because another person Talha Ahsan who also has Asperger's is being extradited.


Autistic doesn't mean alike, yes, some of us cannot deal with the massive upheaval such a thing would cause, then again most autistic people don't allegedly hack the pentagon computers to find proof of little green men or allegedly run groups that support terrorist activity.

Your armchair opinion of "Well if one can't be, then he's the same and can't be" is damaging to efforts to get us treated as individuals. If Talha Ahsan would be endangered by extradition? That's a call for experts to make.


Just because Talha Ahsan is Muslim doesn't mean his case is exactly like Gary Mckinnon's only with non-white skin. It is entirely possible for two cases to have two outcomes because of many and varied reasons. One of those may be racism, we should question it, but trying to erase differences is not questioning.

 The two cases are entirely different apart from a few things like autism, both male, both wanted by the US. They should be judged on their own merits, not stuck together with the bad glue of assumptions and their differences ignored.

Am I glad Gary isn't going to be extradited? Absolutely. Do I think if Talha Ahsan is likely to face the same issues, his extradition should be reconsidered? Absolutely. I still however find much of the behaviour going on to be irresponsible and harmful to autistic people as a whole.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Inconsistent attitudes towards ablism in social justice spaces:

We it seems can all agree on sexist statements being a bad thing, the use of "Nigger" being a bad thing. (Except in reclaimatory ways by PoC)

But when it comes to disabilist or ablist language people flip the fucking hell out over being asked not to use it. Please note I am going to draw comparisons to racist terms here, not because I think they're comparable, they are different oppressions, but to highlight the completely different reactions and expectations there often are to requests not to use stigmatising and offensive language in safe spaces depending on the minority affected by it.

If a poster on most feminist websites came out with "Nigger", there would be nobody defending and excusing them. It would be considered a ban worth offense, but use ablist slurs and watch the apologetics begin, up to and including the use of social justice tools to silence and shut down people who like PoC and feminists want a safe space as well.

Apparently only Women and People of color are allowed safe spaces in feminist or indeed in many so-called social justice groups. Got a disability? You don't have a right to enjoy the same rights as your peers in a safe space because of it.


A feminist blogger who likes to use and defend ablist slurs on feministe. FYI for the unaware, feministe explicitly bans ablist slurs and ablist language in it's rules, not that you'd think it from all the times it's been allowed by mods, defended by most of the commentors. Evidence:
Ablist views have even been aired by the mod in some of her posts such as the time she argued that it was okay to question women on GF diets because "they might have an eating disorder", because it totally isn't sexist as fuck to question women about their eating and to assume that a specialist diet = ED, and it totally isn't ablist as fuck to claim that people eating GF as a "fad diet" is a legitimate concern that trumps every woman's right to fucking privacy, and then to defend it when celiac posters and other poster who have GF diets for medical reasons explain that they'd rather she didn't fucking encourage people to continue their habits of being inappropriately fucking nosy about what we eat and why we eat it. For the curious.

Needless to say Feministe has a history of being full of ablist fucking people and allowing ablism. I thought I'd highlight one of the fails and go through and explain what total fucking bollocks the defending arguments for why Ablism is okay are.

Here Tori asks a guest blogger not to use idiot an ablist term. If he'd used "Nigger" or similar slurs relating to racism or sexism, that post wouldn't have been posted. If somehow it had gotten past the censors like that? He would have been expected to change it. No ifs, buts or maybes about it.

But when it's an ablist term? Roll out the defending.

Straight off Diane leaps to defend the use of the slur: Basically saying that the objecting person is a dumbass. Could you imagine if the response on a feminist site to a poster complaining about racist or sexist language was "you're a dumbass"? The net would ring with outrage, but since it's disabilism in this case, it's apparently okay.

Back comes the guest blogger with defensiveness:

Argument 1: Omg don't we know it has other meanings?

Yes, it does. But other meanings don't magically erase that the word is part of an inbuilt belief system about disability, any more than the reclaiming of derogatory words by minority groups changes that when a privileged person uses it? It's still fucking derogatory.

The overriding meaning behind many disability related slurs is disability stigma and bigotry. A few other uses doesn't really change that the root of these words is disabilism.

Argument 2: Omg but everyone uses it!

Just because a word was widely used and accepted doesn't mean it has to remain so, there are words that were not offensive or demeaning to a minority group from only 50 years ago that most people wouldn't have even heard of. Words go out of fashion like many things do, when was the last time you saw someone drinking Mercury like they did quite a while back? I'd guess never since it's bloody toxic. 50 years ago lead was in a lot of things, then we figured out it hurts people. 100 years ago Uranium was a common component in watch dials to make them glow in the dark, I highly doubt you are wearing one with uranium paint today.

Argument 3: How do you function if this offends you!1!!!!!

This argument assumes that we are obliged to spend 24/7 educating people. It's bullshit because like any minority group we pick and choose our battles, sometimes we speak up, and sometimes we don't have the energy or the patience to deal with yet another round of bawling from ablist people.

Nobody would think to ask a person of color on feministe how they function and talk to people if the word "Nigger" offends them. 

Argument 4: Omg you'll drive people away from your cause if you point out that their language is problematic.

To be blunt, if I have to turn a blind eye to the ugly shit you say for you to be my ally? You not only suck as an ally, you suck as a decent human being. Allies don't feed this shit and decent people don't demand an exception from being asked not to do things in return for saying they're our allies.

Nobody fucking complains that it's the fault of people of color if a white person won't listen because he or she still wants to use terms like "wog" or "nigger", because we recognise that people of color shouldn't be required to tolerate racist terms to have their voice heard.

Not to mention taking that comment as a whole it's incredibly fucking patronising for a privileged person to lecture a minority on "you're tackling your oppression wrong by asking people not to say shitty things because they might not listen if they have to stop that". Nobody would tolerate that shit said to a woman and/or a person of color on many feminist sites, yet it's often considered fucking fine to say to it to disabled people.

Diane returns with:

Argument 5: But if we change it, then we're encouraging them.

Cos heaven fucking forbid we encourage people to speak up and ask for a safe space, heaven fucking forbid we make an effort to consider the feelings and oppressions of disabled people when in a safe space.

We might actually encourage people to think they have rights and god only knows where that would stop!11!! Extreme sarcasm btw.

This is a shitty fucking argument, nobody would consider it okay to argue that not using "spic" as a slur was encouraging Hispanic people to expect it not to be used as a slur, so why use it about disabled people and our slurs?

Then Florence chimes in with:

Argument 6: I'm disabled and I don't find it offensive.

Well hoofuckingray for you. Your disability =/= the right to decide if other disabled people can find it offensive. Nobody cares if you don't find it offensive, the point is the rest of us do.

Argument 7: Intent is magic.

You are not harry fucking potter okay?

Genderbitch wrote a far more rocking rebuttal to this crap:

I don't care if you're a fucking lost angel who has no mean intentions, you can still say hurtful and harmful shit even if you don't intend it. You wouldn't argue that you didn't intend to step on someone's toe if you did so, you'd apologize and look where you were putting your feet in future, what you say is not magically exempt from the same rule of intent doesn't stop you from hurting someone.

Argument 8. Calling this crap out is power and privilege.

Admittedly, I used to believe this crap, but I was wrong. It's a boneheaded belief.

A: A minority person cannot have privilege in an area they are a minority. B: Asking someone not to do it is not the same as forcing someone.

C: Asking people not to say shitty fucking things that add to the oppression of a minority group is in no fucking way comparable to reaping a systematic benefit from society because of you are white/able bodied/a man/rich/cis-gendered/heterosexual.

Diane comes back with:

Argument 9: Omg but we need negative hurtful words! We can't talk without them.

The English language has some 600,000 words. No more than perhaps about a hundred or so feed directly into the oppression of people. If words were rice grains, I doubt being a hundred or so rice grains short of  600,000 would cause someone's immediate starvation.

In short, if you make this argument, you either speak English so poorly that you have a limited vocabulary or you're just too damn lazy to find alternatives.

The language is evolving, why not make up new words? Or just get them from other languages, it's not like it's anything new for the English language to "acquire" terms from other languages, we've been doing that for centuries for fucks sake. In the last ten or so years we pinched schadenfreude from German because English doesn't have an equivalent term.

I find it hilarious that Diane also argues that people asking David not to use ablist slurs are "unable to accept the evolution of language" since her argument here is that language can't change because she won't have words.

Diane is back with:

Argument 10: If you say someone said something ablist, that's the same as calling them a bigot.

Contrary to popular opinion, I and everyone else do not spend our lives calling people bigots, asking someone not to use a slur =/= calling them a bigot. You can say shitty things without actually intending to be bigoted, you can say them without being overtly bigoted towards others.

In fact overt bigotry is less of an issue that social accepted and inbuilt bigoted beliefs are. It's easy to call the guy being explicitly racially hateful a racist, but it's harder to deal with the vast majority of people who hold and reinforce harmful beliefs about minorities but who insist that they aren't part of the problem because they don't go around being overtly hateful.

You might not be a bigot, but if you say something bigoted, asking you to stop using the word in a safe space is not the same as going "omg I hate u I wisH you deaded you hatefull bigod!111!".

This is a red herring argument, used to derail and force the people asking for positive change to stop and to assure everyone that we didn't call so and so a bigot and we don't think he's a bigot, we'd just like him to stop using the slur. An assurance that will never be accepted because to do so would mean people like Diane giving up this red herring argument.

Diane comes back later with:

Again a hark back to argument 3 and partially argument 11: Omg you're oversensitive, you're the problem.

This argument is a straight out belittle. It basically paints the objecting party as being unreasonable, it's also pretty fucking ablist, because it assumes that anyone who has an issue with triggers is inherently unable to function in society because they have an issue while basically absolving everyone else of the responsibility to not fucking trigger people in safe spaces.

Youmei comes out with:

Argument 12: omg nobody uses it as a derogatory term for a minority anymore.

It's only been about 20 years, less in some places since the term in question was being used as a medical term. It is in fact still widely used colloquially to refer to people with cognitive impairments.

Florence comes back with:

Argument 13: You're being unreasonable.

Here it takes the form of calling people out as condescending and ridiculous for being upset about a word. This argument is basically a form of "There's no problem at all, you're just being unreasonable and making a big fuss", it's belittling and offensive. It's all about the other party being pissy because us unreasonable disabled people ruined all the fun by objecting to such language.

Argument 14: But we always end up talking about this, it's not fair to us to have to put up with your complaints.

This argument basically argues that the problem is it being brought up rather than the fact that if it has to keep being brought up? It's because people keep fucking doing this shit. No more ablist language? No requests for it to cease. No defense of ablist language? No complaints about said defense.

In short the ones keeping the problem alive are those who fucking persist in using and defending ablist bullshit. Bonus assholery is had in the put down of complaints about this language as being complaints about a "piddly problem", could you imagine if someone said that to a PoC who asked someone not to use the N word?

Argument 15: Waaaaaah you're trying to control and manipulate us.

When everyone else asks for slurs about their gender, class, sexuality, race or anything else to not be used, that's social justice. But when a disabled people does it? It's manipulation. This is a common gaslighting tactic used on disabled people, I've been subject to it as an autistic person, when NT people use tactics to get me to behave in ways that please them? That's therapy. When I ask them to please not do something because it bothers me? That's manipulation.

Apparently asking people not to use slurs and explaining why they're harmful is maladjusted shitty rude behaviour.

Argument 16: Omg you're trying to keep language from growing and evolving.

This is a ridiculous fucking argument coming from people who are basically arguing against certain terms going out of acceptable use like many others. If anyone wants to keep language and social involvement static it's actually them.

Argument 17: omg you're abusing us.

This is a really fucking shitty argument to use against people who are asking you not to abuse them. How is it abuse to ask you not to use a term? Nobody is going to show up at your house and kneecap you if you keep using it. The argument is a form of abuse, it's an emotional manipulation technique used to force someone on the defensive.

Florence again:

Argument 18: It's your responsibility to protect yourself in a safe space.

Let me make this fucking clear, feministe? Is supposed to be a safe space. Visitors should not be fucking obliged to assume it's just as fucking bigoted as the rest of the world if they happen to be disabled.

Argument 19: It's off topic to complain about ablist words here.

How the fuck is it off topic to complain about social justice issues on a site about social justice? Is it off topic to talk about women's issues on a PoC site? Is it off topic to talk about WoC issues on a feminist site? Fuck no. Same thing applies to ablist comments that affect women being talked about on a feminist site!


Argument 20: It's derailing to protest my refusal to listen.

Let's make this fucking clear, if people didn't use ablist terms, nobody would fucking object. If people didn't defend and excuse ablist terms, nobody would object. If there is a derail, it exists because David and co decided to be assholes.

Argument 21: Using alleged feminist allies who support you as backup for why you aren't being shitty.

Just because someone agrees with you? Doesn't make them right, and secondly, there's something fucking gross about a MAN arguing on a feminist site that lots of women agree with him so there's not a problem.

Argument 4 also rears it's ugly head again.

Sarah J comments:

Argument 22: You're belittling my thoughts as a disabled person by complaining about something I don't think is a problem.

This is partially a resurgence of 6 but it deserves it's own category because Sarah went the extra step of calling the complaints of others "so-called" and "arrogant" while complaining that they shouldn't say it's offensive because it's "telling her what she can find offensive".

Hypocrisy in action.

Lascaramouche just has to let everyone know:

Argument 23: You're going too far.

As if asking for ablist language to not be used is somehow a jump right off the end of a slipper slope. Again we come to the notion that ASKING for people not to do something many members of a minority find hurtful is somehow fucking unreasonable and completely unacceptable! In a fucking safe space?!

Kelsey chimes in with:

Argument 24: Don't you have bigger problems?!

Yeah, because somehow little things like the use of slurs in a fucking safe space isn't a problem. This is another belittlement argument.

David comes back with:

Argument 25: But other words are MORE offensive.

Typically when people use this argument, they mean other words without a history or a connection to social marginalisation. Because asshole is far 'more' offensive than ablist slurs, but we still use that so ablist slurs should be okay, when really it's like comparing oranges to apples.

Argument 26: You don't speak for all of your group!

This is as ridiculous as complaining to a person of color that they can't object to you using the term "Nigger" because they are not the spokesperson for every single person of color ever.

People shouldn't have to parade every single disabled person ever through and have them say "I agree with them" for you to accept that some people do find it offensive and to be a considerate person.

Not to mention the thoroughly nauseating way he used a woman to oppress other women, or him accusing women of being "manipulative" on a feminist site. David, you fucking fail so hard even the fail sites are jealous.

Back to argument 4 again as well, as if a man has the right to tell women what is "healthy for feminism".

There are others, but going through the thread has exhausted me, none of these arguments would be acceptable in response to issues with sexism, racism, classism, heterosexism, transaphobia, homophobia, or any other bigotry in a safe space, yet they are all it seems acceptable in response to people having issues with ablism in safe spaces.

Feministe and similar sites are basically wastebins of this shitty kind of behaviour.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Honesty is not an excuse to hurt others:

Hello there to all my readers,

What's my post on? Well, as an Autistic, people often say that I'm blunt. I can be brutally honest, and yes, I can be hurtful without realising that what I said would be hurtful. However, being honest is not mutually exclusive with being nice. I may not bother lying to you about my opinion, but I won't say something I know be tactlessly cruel and I do listen if told I've hurt someone instead just of getting bent out of shape, I may disagree, but I do listen, and sometimes that shifts my position a lot over time, I am not the same person I was just a couple of years ago, I have grown a lot during that time, mostly because when people called me on the shitty hurtful things I said, I listened and thought a lot about them.

Sometimes people say when I explain my difficulties that I just want a license to be an "asshole". Nothing could be further from the truth, I just want folks to remember that I don't get what may seem obvious to them, and often just require an explanation not being treated like I'm being deliberately clueless to hurt people. I also want them to respect that I look at the world in a completely different way so won't make the connections they will, and for them to understand that and to listen carefully to me in turn to understand me.

Fact is, I hate being told I've upset someone, because I feel bad for being that asshole. Even if they're clearly being a drama queen, I feel bad for possibly hurting them. A little me-centric I admit, but the point is just because I'm often blunt doesn't mean I'm an asshole by default. I do try not to be after all. Also it brings up the issue that people often manipulate me by crying victimhood.

Odd thing is, I've come across plenty of neurotypical people who really do use "I'm being honest/speaking my mind" as a reason for why they shouldn't be responsible for what they say.

Seriously, there is no requirement of being "honest" and "speaking your mind" that turns you into someone who doesn't even consider other people have feelings, emotions, difference viewpoints and might genuinely find your "honesty" to be upsetting.

Also even if you are being "honest" and "speaking your mind", it doesn't mean that what you say can't be ignorant, ill informed, hurtful, bigoted or otherwise harmful to others.

I find too many people who trumpet "freedom of speech" really mean "I want the freedom to say things without being challenged or having it pointed out that I'm saying harmful things". Freedom of speech does not mean "freedom from being responsible for the intentional or unintentional impact of what you say".

Also you don't get to demand control of how others feel, think or see what you said, because you don't like how they responded to it. If you want freedom of speech, you also have to grant freedom to others to have their own thoughts, feelings and responses without trying to censor them by calling their responses inappropriate if you don't want to be responsible for the impact what you said had.

Your intentions are not magical and do not control what happens and how other people react once what you said leaves your mouth/is posted online. You can do harm even if you do not intend to do so.

How is it that an autistic gets this when some Neurotypicals do not?

Saturday, 6 October 2012

The myth of the "good person" being good.

Do you like to read books? I do, I love to read books. In books most of the time the characters are either good or bad, if they're bad they do bad things, if they're good they do good things. They always know that they're good/bad and goodness is always rewarded, while being bad is always punished somehow.

That's books though. In reality? It isn't so clear cut. In reality, most people think they're good people, whether they are or not depends on how they behave.

There are three type of people in the word in terms of behaviour. The majority, people like me and most others are neutral, we have the capacity for bad and good. Those of us who are aware of this make a choice as to which action we will take and we accept the reality that we aren't always good while recognising that we can be bad.

People like me score highly on self awareness, and we're entirely capable of balancing our own needs against those of others. We have a great capacity for knowingly doing good or evil as a result. This is why I always say I am not a good person, I am a person with the capacity for good or evil because I am not always good and not always bad.

There's a smaller group of people who I would consider to be good people. Most of whom probably cannot comprehend of being deliberately mean because they don't have a mean bone in their body. Most of them wouldn't describe themselves as good people because they just are who they are.

And then there's definite bad people. Again, some of them know they're bad and revel in it. They're not so bad, at least they're honest even if they do bad things to people.

But the worst of the bad people? The worst are "good people". The kind of bad people who are so sure they're actually good people that they wreak havoc any time they do something harmful to another person. They often are so invested in the idea that they are a good person and thus can only do good that they could stab you by accident and the likely result of your complaining about it would be for them to cut your throat to silence your "lies" about them, then claim they didn't do anything to them even if they were caught standing over your body. That's how seriously delusional such people are, they frequently don't just do bad, they do evil, all the time blithely convinced that they're practically sainted.

I hate dealing with "good people", it's like dealing with particularly malicious children, they go around ripping into people, and throwing tantrums every time even a glimpse of the havoc and harm they cause to others is seen by them. Everyone else is evil unless they're telling the "good person" how good they are or supporting the "good person's" personal grudge against someone who dared to find the "good person's" actions harmful.

They are incredibly dangerous, they're often devoid of ethics, emotionally manipulative, experts in the art of crocodile tears, and willing to do anything to protect their delusion of being good people. Nobody can wreak so much havoc as someone who thinks they can only do good and who is willing to sacrifice as many people as it takes to keep that belief intact.

Anytime someone tells me that they are a good person, I tend to be wary of them, the worst evil is often done with the best of intentions and a belief that one is a good person. The type of "good people" I'm talking about are typically pillars of the community, they may spend a lot of time in church praying openly, how "good" and "devout" they are is often what you'll hear about them, but if you take the time to sit and watch how they treat others, it often becomes clear that they are not actually very good people. They're often petty, malicious, self serving, gossipy, outright spiteful, and yet still believe they are good people and also convince others they are good people.

Friday, 5 October 2012

What I wish NT people would learn before interacting with me:

Some of these may apply to other autistics, some may not, we're all different, there is no standard autistic, just as there is no standard neurotypical person. But before you interact with someone like me, here are a few things you need to know:

A: NO, you most likely do not perfectly understand those who are autistic in terms of emotions and what we're thinking, you probably think you do because you are used to being surrounded by neurotypical people who are like you and so are easy to read and therefore you assume you have universal empathy. The biggest issues I have are with people who think they "get" me, when in fact, they might as well be claiming to "get" Russian while not speaking a lick of it because they speak English and English is related to Russian. Usually people who think they "understand" have the least chance of actually being so much as minimally aware of my basic humanity never mind anything more complicated like how my mind actually works.

It's easy to get people who are like you, it's even easier to assume you get people who are not like you when in fact you can't because you're too busy believing you do to actually do so.

Seriously, even I don't always get all autistics and I have observed that often Neurotypicals don't always get each other, yet still people who have about as much insight into my mindset as a fish does of mars think that they actually do have insight and will blindly plow ahead based on that belief then get pissed, when they're corrected.

B: First things first, if you truly want to understand with someone with an autistic mind, well to understand requires listening, the number one mistake people make is not to listen and to just assume they understood. I have had so many people grab the wrong end of the stick because they assumed they understand everyone, didn't listen past the first couple of words and then they proceed to do the conversational equivalent of anally reaming themselves with said stick because they won't actually do what is needed to talk to and to understand someone like me and then they blame me for the fact that they basically epically fucked their ability to be able to sit comfortably through their own actions.

C. Learn that any criticism is not personal hate of you. It's not unusual when in a group of people like myself, that deep and long conversations take place about an item, including pointing out the bad bits. It's like talking about the weather for someone like me. I don't hate the weather when I say I don't enjoy overcast days, equally well I don't hate you just because I honestly tell you what I think about something that may be near and dear to your heart.

There is no more emotional context attached to my critique, than there is to me saying "the door is blue". It's a statement of fact for me. Neurotypical people often get in a right snit and decide people like me are hateful because one of us has said something like "I do not like green" when it's the NT person's favourite color. If I hated everything I criticised, I'd be exhausted.

D. As an autistic I am complete mindblind to a number of things, these include subtext, emotional manipulation, and similar subtle things. I'm also face blind, I might be good friends with them, and yet walk straight past them in the street. That is what it is like for me in conversations, I might entirely miss a subtext implication you make unless I'm very familiar with the implication and recognise it, equally well I cannot add subtext to what I say because I am blind to it and there's no real way to learn to use it, therefore if you try to read what is literally not there, you'll end up with what typically is a reflection of you, not anything from me. Please for a love of everything, remember this.

I cannot stress this enough. Trying to read subtext in a subtext blind person's writing is like taking a braille letter from a blind person and claiming you can read non-braille words by joining the dots up to make distorted english letters. It doesn't work, you just end up pissed off, I end up rather frustrated with you, and everyone's unhappy.

E. If you are nasty to me, know that interacting with you can trigger flashbacks to the earlier nastiness for me, complete with all the emotions, it's literally like it's happening again to me. This is involuntary, if you feel miffed that I haven't forgotten you calling me a nasty name a month ago, and feel I should have gotten over it, even though you never apologised, remember that for me sometimes when I deal with you, it's as if every nasty thing you have done is happening again for me.

It's the way my mind works, I might forget whatever shitty thing someone did for months or years, then I hear their voice and am deluged in the original event, it makes it very hard to forget especially when there are lot of incidents when people have been outright nasty to me over a period of time.

On the flipside, I also have good flashbacks, so if you've since apologised to me, or behaved cordially towards me to the point where I've had more good experiences than bad relating to you, I will remember that as well, and feel warm towards you all over again even if we're arguing at the time. In short, how you behave towards me has a major impact on me when interacting with you even months and years later.

F. I will give you an honest answer even if you don't want one. I cannot pick up on the "lie to me" cues and to be honest, I'm a lousy liar so I don't bother lying, plus I have issues with lying due to having a chronic liar in the family, it makes me anxious so don't ask me to lie for you.

Do not ask a question unless you're willing to accept an answer you may not like, or appreciate. I am not a sounding board, and to be honest, I care more about liking myself then about fooling all of you to like me by being something I'm not.

G. Again, do not expect me to read your mind. I may grasp your mindset better than you can grasp mine, just due to exposure to so many neurotypical people. But I am still not a mind reader, add in the blindness that comes with Autism and if you expect me to pick up on subtle cues, I will disappoint you.

H. Don't be afraid to interrupt me or to physically walk away if you tire of the conversation. I will not consider this rudeness. Equally well be aware that if I do this, I am not trying to be rude, I am probably overloaded with information and need a break.

I. I have autism and a mental illness. However this does not mean everything I do is a symptom of having them. Especially when you've just said something horribly bigoted or done something abusive towards me and I object.

This kind of thinking usually goes hand in hand with people in power deciding that our complaints can't have validity because we're "crazy" or "aggressive and lashing out because we're autistic and frustrated", it has resulted in a lot of abuse of people like me when we have been deemed too crazy or aggressive to know we're being abused even when if the same thing was done to a "normal" person it would be considered abuse. If everything people do that we don't like was a function of their neurology, being an asshole would be considered a major symptom of being "normal" to be blunt.

If I find your comments inappropriate or hurtful, it is typically not because I'm crazy, unreasonable or too autistic to understand, it's typically because you said something that was inappropriate or hurtful.

That's the basics.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Intent and why it is not magical,

I'm autistic and people often accuse me of being unaware of the feelings of others, but if you want real honest to god sheer ignorance of the feelings of anyone. Point out to an ignorant privileged person that they said something hurtful/bigoted/harmful to a minority and watch the shitty asshole mental gymnastics begin:

First: Intention.

Intention is not magic, just because you don't intend what you say to be hurtful, bigoted or harmful doesn't magically make you not hurtful, bigoted or harmful.

Because you don't get to control the emotions of everyone who hears whatever shitty thing you said and once you put your words out there, you can't control the impact they have no matter what you intended. When you say something horrible and argue that it isn't horrible because you didn't intend it to be? You are behaving like a spoilt pouting child. Only a child responds to harming another with a demand that the world cater to only your viewpoint and treat your viewpoint like the only one with value and reality, especially when you're privileged and said something bigoted to a minority said bigoted thing impacts.

I don't care if your intentions are so pure that angels would weep. I care about the harm your words do and good intentions are not a guarantee of being completely not harmful.

If your intentions were honestly *that* good? You'd be aghast at having cause unintentional harm rather than denying and defending it. When you go into full on defend and deny mode, I know your only intention is to look good, not to be good. I know you're more concerned with defending yourself than with not doing harm.

Secondly: Experience,

If you do not have a direct experience with the oppression you just reinforced by saying horrible things?

You are not in any position whatsoever to assert that a minority person you just harmed doesn't know what the fuck they're talking about, especially when your only experience is as a *privileged* person experience privilege in that realm.

There is a world of difference looking in from a position of privilege and having a direct experience with oppression. When you belittle our experience by claiming we don't knowour own oppression and exert your privilege, you are not being a good person, you're being an asshole.

Thirdly: Being an asshole,

If you still insist on doing the first two shitty types of behaviour? Don't follow up with the third and shittiest of the denial trifecta, the assertion that a person's minority status makes them unstable, inappropriate or otherwise sub-normal for objecting to whatever shitty fucking thing you said.

Mentally ill people and/or disabled people do not need to see their specialist or to have their carer come and "get them under control" because they challenged you over some shitty bigoted thing you said. A PoC is not "pulling the race card" because they called you on saying shitty racist things. A woman is not "hysterical" because she didn't find your rape joke funny.

If you do any of these three ways to be an asshole after you've said shitty stuff, go fuck yourself, if you do all three, go sodomize yourself with a sandpaper dildo soaked in ghost peppers until you are no longer a complete fucking tool.