Has anyone noticed that the “regular” size of women in Hollywood is double zero? Not even zero anymore. Even a size 2 is now fat in Hollywood. Unless, of course, you’re one of the very few women in the media who’s actually obese. I could call out most of these women by name and count them on one finger. Kathy Kinney, Chrissy Metz, and Melissa McCarthy are the only ones I know of. But I’m not here to judge them, or the super-small waifs who usually grace the screen that there’s almost nothing left of.
It’s mostly the directors’ fault. Twiggy would look fat next to these women, and Twiggy is an admitted anorexic. I mean, what do they use to judge women’s bodies – a broomstick?
Of course, maybe it’s the sexist environment that contributed the #MeToo movement that cause the love of women with eating disorders. Maybe they want the women to be abuseable. And a woman who is obsessed with how she looks to men is definitely abuseable.
What can I say about the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.? How he championed nonviolence? How his struggles for the black people and others spurs my own civil rights struggle? (Yes, as an autistic, and a woman, I struggle for love, acceptance and civil rights.) Yes, I can say a lot about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. And his legacy, but I feel that others can do it much better than I can. So I will let them.
As I see it, the State of the Autistic is, well, poor. We have a long way to go. Let’s start with the obvious:
- The average life expectancy of the autistic person is 54 years old, even though autism should not affect life expectancy directly. (By contrast, neurotypical lifespan are roughly 80 years in the USA.)
- With other diagnoses, such as epilepsy, life expectancy lowers to 39, even though autism should not directly affect life expectancy. (Again, life expectancy is roughly 80 years for most neurotypical people.)
- Many of these people are murdered and raped by their caregiving families.
- Autistic voices are routinely ignored, just as much, if not more, than female voices.
- Almost every autistic woman I know has been raped, molested and/or abused, myself included.
- Almost everyone I know with autism has either no job or a low-paying job.
- I myself am on disability payments to live and take care of my mother with.
This is a bleak picture which I do not see changing, because nobody will listen to autistic adults. Autistic adults are often treated like they do not exist, even by parents of autistic children. If they can, they are expected to be neurotypical. If not, they are locked away in institutions. How is this fair to autistic people?
It’s almost 2018. While people are looking back, I’m looking forward.I’d rather look forward. It’s a shame that I have very little good to look back on. Congress and the President care little about non-millionaire people. There’s crippling debt. There’s crippling racism. My family will not get back together in the near future. And Judith Newman and Donald Trump put their fingers in their ears and scream “LA LA LA LA LA….” when hearing autistic people, because they do not agree with them.
My main question is: When did willful ignorance become a virtue?
After a day of rest, I have enough energy to talk about how I dealt with Christmas.
I don’t really have any more tips, other than know your autistic relative.
Christmas Eve was basically spending an evening at my cousin’s place for food, family and fun. The funny thing is, it was almost entirely about vegetable casseroles, almost all of which I like very much. Off topic, it’s funny how I have come to like vegetables as an adult, even after thinking I would never like them as a child. Somehow, trying new things and culinary adventure came to include veggies in adulthood. Sometimes, one just needs to bite the bullet and try it. There’s no shortcuts to that one. We also got games, good family talking and even some quiet times, too. It was great. I was disappointed in one factor, though; I wanted to talk to the parents of an autistic relative of mine. He’s a young boy, but I would like to have a talk with his parents, you know, to provide some perspective. But they were not there. I was not exactly going to grill them or provide lectures, but it helps when you’re not alone in a family, as I have so often felt.
Christmas Day was a little different. We invited a couple who had just gotten together, but the man in the two was a friend, so it was alright. Much of the food was on my shoulders, but it was very easy. We had Prime Rib, steamed vegetables, rice pilaf, rolls and a salad, plus cheesecake for dessert. It’s not easy to screw up Prime Rib. Twenty minutes at a high temperature and then 25 minutes per pound. It was done within three hours, resting included. That was the hardest part of the meal. I mean, rice pilaf is very easy from the boxes, and I’ve done rolls many times for Thanksgiving. So, easy meal, good food, good friends, and an overall nice time. It started to get very cold when the day was done, so we had to get them home early. We had a nice time, with blocks of quiet book ending the day. Could not have asked for more.
Just a few notes while watching “The Good Doctors” on ABC’s 20/20. I thought my perspective was needed in the conversation.
-I’m watching a special about doctors with disabilities. I’m watching to see how they are treated. Will they be sad sacks, inspiration porn, or real people? So far, it seems to be the third.
-I want people with disabilities to be treated as real people. Trouble is, people cannot see past the ends of their noses to see that the disabled are real people.
-They’re talking about “The Good Doctor” and his mind palace, if you will.
-My mother consults me on matters of autistic processing and information handling.
-I wonder: who is Freddie Highmore consulting on autistic portrayal?
-He’s convinced there is a Shaun Murphy out in the world somewhere, with his particular levels of social and informational processing.
-Now they’re talking about the improvisational side of “The Good Doctor.” They’re bringing in the doctors on the slopes of Mt. Everest.
-They’re showing the improvisation of keeping IV fluids warm using body heat. Also, they take the patient down by local Sherpas to get him to a helicopter. (The air is too thin on Everest to support aircraft.)
-Now they are exploring the role of tragedy in the show.
-An investment banker’s sister loses her leg in a subway accident. She kept her knee, though. The banker became a doctor as a result.
-Overall, a good show. No real inspiration porn, no objects of pity, no tragedies.
CW: Swearing References
There was a sketch on “Robot Chicken” some years ago depicting the various FCC dodges on the Battlestar Galactica remake. It was made pretty obvious that the characters were swearing their guts out with alternative swear words, but the punchline was the FCC censor’s reaction: “What the [BEEP] were they talking about?” Yeah, it’s funny. It also made me feel for the FCC censor. I’ll tell you why.
It took me until late in middle school to understand most idioms. Idioms, for those who don’t know, are general sayings that mean something else. For an autistic, that can be confusing. It’s just about as confusing as the dialogue on the new Battlestar Galactica. But the teacher of my advanced English class decided to teach us about idioms – and the explanations of popular idioms at the time. I struggle with the idioms of the younger generations, but once somebody tells me what they’re talking about, I can understand, and even better, use it well. Take, for example, “riding dirty.” There’s a song which uses this idiom over and over, but never tells you what it means. It means having drugs in the car. I don’t know if they use it anymore, but it’s an example. Yes, I’m showing my age, but at least I try to understand younger adults and what they’re saying.
I’m not complaining about something random for no reason. I’m saying that an autistic person can get something as confusing as idioms, if you take the time to teach them.