“Do you think its strange That there’s a way Of how you look and how you act and how you think Pretend they’re not the same as you.” All My Best Friends Are Metalheads, Less Than Jake I’m dreading next month. A profound dread that surrounds every April. Next month is what most of the […]
I get it. I am a white woman. In that, I am privileged, to a degree. I am also autistic, but I did not receive the controversial Applied Behavior Analysis therapy, nor did I get other types of “therapy” such as restraint and seclusion. I am also fat. Let’s face it. I am 4’ 11” and a size 20. There are some things which give me a certain amount of privilege, plus a very loving and accepting mother, and a father who loved me the way he could. Now, with all of this going for me, why do I care about the person with skin darker than mine, the person in the wheelchair’s dignity, the fellow autistic who was abused? There are a myriad of reasons why. I am compelled to be concerned about my fellow man and woman, and understand why they might have a degree of mistrust toward me. I get that. As I explore these reasons and troubling, unfair and often untrue stereotypes about this type of person or that type of person, I also get my eyes opened to some pretty stupid and cruel treatment of others by people I am familiar with. For instance, one of my friends a couple of years ago got offended by another woman talking about her and her race as “you people” negatively. I’m not sure if that other woman’s eyes are opened yet, but my eyes definitely are.
It is wrong, and visually comical, to try and set a type of people into a narrow box of behavior. Let me give you an example from my own life. A stereotype of autism is that we are all skinny white men who are proficient in math and cannot grasp intangible subjects, like love and fashion. I have only met one person who could wholly fit the stereotype, and he was not autistic. Besides, my family taught me how to love, and What Not To Wear demystified fashion for me. Let me also tell you something: I am not a skinny man. Have you been reading this? If so, I applaud you. We have a saying among the autistic community: If you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism. I swear, other people think we have a hive behavior or a hive mind or something. We do not all react to everything the same way.
We all are members of different cultures and families; we all, however, have one thing to set us in common: We all have human hearts. We cannot live without our hearts. We have an innate sense of right and wrong as well. Our differences are so many, yet there are so many things we have in common. Besides, those in power love to point out the differences of the oppressed to keep them fighting each other, so they can stay in power. I’ll wax on that another time. Let’s come together among our commonalities so we can help each other and do what’s right. That is why I care about others who are different from me, because those differences are minor in comparison to the fact that we all have human hearts.
I guess my autism makes me less of a worthy woman in the average feminist’s eyes. I mean, one of the primary arguments of abortion is for women to abort their disabled children. The stereotype is that disabled people are all need, and no contribution. Of course, Helen Keller was both deaf and blind, but she spoke just fine. Should we have gone back in time and killed baby Helen Keller? Nobody could have known if she was able to verbally speak at age 7, when she was just learning to sign. When I hear about people with disabilities being aborted, I get so angry, because I believe life is just as precious, no matter what it brings. Perhaps disabilities, in most eyes, means you are less of a person. It’s the whole “strikes against humanity” thing I keep talking about. Do you not realize there is a painter out there who only painted with his left foot – and he was truly talented? Also, a composer wrote symphonies only for the left hand to play? What terrible things are often discounted and ignored simply because their creator was disabled.
And what about sexuality? My mother keeps telling me that I do not need a man to survive in this world. At some level, I wonder if it’s because it’s feminist-egalitarian thinking, or if it is because of my autism. Even though there are countless types of sexualities out there, with just as many people, I on some level feel I am denied this. I mean, I have a regular, vibrant sexuality waiting under this for a husband to discover. But nobody wants to marry me, or even admit they are attracted to me, once they find out I am autistic. It’s often an argument to discourage suitors that my enemies use. Is disability really so bad?
Also, there is the basic argument of killing people with disabilities, before or after they are even born. Yes, I am including abortion in my talk of killing people. It’s your choice whether to go through with it, unless you live in, like, Texas or something, but it’s often encouraged in cases of, say, Down Syndrome or other genetic conditions. Also, once they find out which genes cause autism, don’t you think they will encourage abortions in those cases, especially with Autism Speaks cure mongers encouraging them? As I see it, my life is in danger! People like me are in danger! There are so many women being aborted and killed, with the blessing of feminists everywhere, all because they are disabled! So many daughters and sisters getting the ax because some parent could not handle it, and people are siding with the murderers! I hope they are ready to answer to God for siding with murderers. Believe what you will about God, but to even the unbelieving, know this: it is the dead who are keeping score, whose blood cries out from the ground for justice.
I hope I have opened your mind to the possibility of considering a disabled woman as much of a woman as an abled woman. That was my hope. To me, I am fighting for my life.
The above headline is quite predictable, in my viewpoint. The trouble is, this is the nation which gave birth to modern democracy, in which everybody has a say in their political process – at least since 1975, when most people above 18 have been given “permission” to participate in the process. I have always cherished my right to vote, no matter how hard a person has had to fight and wait for it. Why don’t people use their right to vote? I believe there is a real set of reasons people are disillusioned and disenfranchised – they think their vote does not make a difference. However, there are some reasons why a woman like me might not want to participate in the process:
Most political ads tell you who to vote against, but who am I supposed to vote for? There are usually more than two people running for the office. For instance, I cannot remember the name of the Republican running for Attorney General of Kentucky, but I certainly know about Andy Beshear, the Democrat. (I may even vote for Andy Beshear if I don’t get someone telling me who the Republican candidate is – just to set the haters off!)
Both sides, left AND right, can get to downright screaming and mudslinging. I mean, let’s take the Kentucky Governor’s race. Do I vote for Matt Bevin, a pathological liar, or Jack Conway, Obama’s nasty little minion? I think South Park got the dilemma right when one of their kids refused to vote because the choice was between a Douchebag and a Turd Sandwich.
Nobody wants to talk to me, the independent. Currently, I am a registered Republican, but I am not a pure Republican – maybe it’s because I am a woman, or an autistic? Who knows? Most of the ads and speeches are used to “energize the base” to vote and cancel out the other guys, but who is wanting to try and change minds? I would like to hear a speech or see an ad based on that.
So, which would you like to choose for a leader: A douchebag or a turd sandwich? I think the system, as it is currently, is designed to disillusion and disenfranchise the regular voter, even more so than things like, say, society and Jim Crow laws did in the South. I currently used examples running around in Kentucky, but feel free to apply your own disillusioning political race.
I just saw a news interview from my local Autism Society (of the Bluegrass) for their Autism Walk. I’m not involved with the Autism Society as much as my mother used to be…but I believe their hearts are in the right place. My mother and I did not have a good initial meeting with them, but I would like to be more involved, because I realize they have the best of intentions for people like me. Here is why:
- When the newscaster said “eradicate” autism, it was not further discussed. That is a viewpoint I respect.
- The leaders involved seem to push supports and involvement in society.
- They mentioned there is still very little true information out there on autism, since autism is still very unknown (except by us autistic adults and children).
- They did not mention the debates on causes.