Saturday, 16 February 2013
Problems in the social justice movement:
And there are many of them, from the feminist tendency to racism, transphobia, and disabilism to the Gay advocates tendency to be Biphobic, sexist, and paternalistic.
But right now I'm going to blog about problems with the actual acceptance of disabled people especially autistic people in it.
To be frank, many Allistic social justice groups and so-called safe spaces only support autistic people so long as we meet the following criteria.
1. Our autism must be mild enough to be almost invisible. In short, you must pass as NT to get treated well in many spaces.
2. We must get everything on their time table and not ours. Not getting a badly explained idea that doesn't make any sense is a bad thing in social justice and is proof that you're a bigot rather than just a confused struggling autistic.
3. We must be content to sit back and let them speak for us. I know no end of so-called advocates who crow about the time they were all "inclusive" and shit in support of a disabled person who didn't have the power to assert their need for inclusion, but the minute we are in a situation where the power differential isn't so great as to render us speechless? The same people seemingly take no end of delight in lecturing us on being "scary" because we objected to horrible behaviour.
A good example would be the "not bigot" who didn't see an issue with me getting death threats but told me I was horrible and scary because I loudly objected to said death threats, because she thought I might also criticise her at some point. Because being criticised is totally worse than death threats.
They prefer us passive, basically.
4. Our autism must not impinge on the conversation at all if it is not centered around us, even if it's a discussion of say racism in which people are throwing around disabilist slurs that hurt us, asking for them to stop that shit is impinging and racist automatically.
5. We must accept that we do not "understand" the allistic people if we criticise them for saying shitty bigoted things about autism, but if they criticise us, then they are always right and there is no room for an alternative view even if they're judging us by NT Allistic standards not as the autistic people we are.
6. We can either be strong or not strong. If someone attacks us and we defend ourselves, we're assumed to be able to cope with abuse and thus nothing will be done about the attacker, even if their actions are explicitly against the rules. We are also assumed to not need any support, even if we say we do need it.
If we are deemed not strong, then we must remain in the "pity spot" as I call it, we cannot show strength at other times, that is a betrayal of our "agreement" to be the "pitiful one".
7. Because social justice spaces are often built on the same social hierarchy as NT allistic spaces are outside of safe spaces. We must accept that even in the safe space we remain the weird kid in the corner everyone picks on, because we're often not popular read social butterfly enough to be anything else.
8. We must accept the voices of allistic NT "advocates" even though they supplant and silence us. Anything less than "sharing" our platform, and by "sharing" I mean getting shoved off it by someone else is deemed "uninclusive".
9. We must sit down and shut up when allistic "allies" are talking about us. We aren't included unless we're acceptable.
10. We absolutely must not bring up our autism when talking about struggles within social justice. Don't get a concept? You're a bigot! Don't get it because of some unspoken assumption? Accept the bigot label and don't mention autism, because then you're not just a bigot, you're a "person hiding behind your label" who "hurts REAL autistic people".
This is why we need our own spaces and why our voices flourish when in them and wither in allistic dominated "safe space" social justice spaces.