On ‘not seeming’ autistic

The not so funny thing about categories is that the law of the excluded middle makes you take sides. You start out by naming something in order to understand someone better, in a certain respect. The label then takes on its own reality and in trying to explain it, it will become necessary to subsume people under it. This is done on their behalf, because they can’t possibly want to be that way. Except that we can and will wind up wanting to do it our way. At that point we take your label and proceed to own it by challenging what you make of it. “We’re not insane,” we’ll say, “you are for calling us that.”

All that is natural and unavoidable but it is also decidedly unhelpful as two sides have so been created. Positions get fortified. War symbols are created. One side carries the flag of the poor children (and their poor parents) who can’t speak for themselves. The other side that of the adults who cannot stop speaking for themselves (and their poor sisters). And then mayhem: you’re either for or against autism. I’m not so much interested here in the merit of one side or the other (but this is a  clue: I can’t stop speaking for myself ;-). What  I’m interested in is how all of this literally affects autistic people, because it does. It does in a big way.

On ‘not seeming’ autistic

No, We Won’t Calm Down – Tone Policing Is Just Another Way to Protect Privilege

Have you ever tone policed someone in a conversation on oppression? Tone policing focuses on the emotion behind a message rather than the message itself – and you might think you’re helping by making the conversation more “comfortable.”

But in this comic, Robot Hugs makes a great point about how tone policing protects privilege – and silences people who are hurting. This is no way to get justice, and this breakdown will help you understand exactly why.

No, We Won’t Calm Down – Tone Policing Is Just Another Way to Protect Privilege

4 Ways to Push Back Against Your Privilege

I’ve often said that it’s not enough to acknowledge your privilege. And, in fact, that acknowledging it is often little more than a chance to pat yourself on the back for being so “aware.” What I find is that most of the time when people acknowledge their privilege, they feel really special about it, really important, really glad that something so significant just happened, and then they just go ahead and do whatever they wanted to do anyway, privilege firmly in place. The truth is that acknowledging your privilege means a whole lot of nothing much if you don’t do anything to actively push back against it.

4 Ways to Push Back Against Your Privilege

Privilege 101: A Quick and Dirty Guide

Society grants privilege to people because of certain aspects of their identity. Aspects of a person’s identity can include race, class, gender, sexual orientation, language, geographical location, ability, and religion, to name a few.

But big concepts like privilege are so much more than their basic definitions! For many, this definition on its own raises more questions than it answers. So here are a few things about privilege that everyone should know.

Privilege 101: A Quick and Dirty Guide