I recently heard that Maggie Gyllenhaal, who is 37, was told she was too old to play a love interest to a 55-year-old man. What is wrong with Hollywood? Do they still ignore more than half the population? I mean, I AM 37. If the gorgeous Maggie Gyllenhaal has seen her last f***able day, as Amy Schumer so eloquently put it, what hope do I have of landing a man who won’t beat me? This is seriously stupid, Hollywood. I mean, are they next going to pair the late Jack Palance with the as-yet-unborn Cumberbaby? (That’s Benedict Cumberbatch’s child, in case you’re wondering.) I mean, how much is Hollywood still run by dirty old men? Do they want to date sperm now? That won’t do anything for you, you bunch of dirty old bums. No wonder I scream and cry at the plight of Hollywood actresses. There is so much hatred and fear of women in Hollywood, it freaks me out. I mean, personally, I have never had a last desirable day as much as a first desirable day, but I feel like the protesters in Ferguson right now. Do women need to stand on the street corners and “Occupy Hollywood” in order to be heard? Maybe I am just an ugly woman wanting to feel love, but don’t us undesirables need love too? Aren’t we human as well? Why does a woman’s age or weight still diminish her humanity?
Today is/was the Primary Vote for several offices in Kentucky, including voting for governor. I heard on the news that there would only be a 10% turnout to the polls. Honestly, that sickens me. I tend to believe the real action happens in the primaries, where political parties choose who they are going to send as their candidate to the General Election polls. Why not get into the Primary vote? If you’re not affiliated with any party, I understand. If you are, though, I suggest you get your butt to the Primary polls. What if there is somebody you really want to get into office? Would you not want to do your best to get them there? Of course, I doubt many of you who are reading this have this passion. For you, I suggest getting some quick research done on the candidates’ issues positions before you head out to the polls. I know there are also international readers, so I say get involved in your voting wherever you can. For those who are still not getting a passion, I say only this: Government by voting, or not voting, is known as “government by consent.” Come on, Republicans! Come on, Democrats! Why not get yourself involved in something that affects almost every aspect of your lives? Get to the polls!
I have been making myself absolutely miserable because I have been thinking I need a man. As in, I need someone to take care of me. Don’t get me wrong, people are shocked that I have autism because I have been taking care of myself and my mother for almost ten years. It’s just that, having someone to take care of me is not a necessity, because I am being taken care of already-by many sources.
There is an intersectional stereotype that a person with a disability and a woman both need to be taken care of, because they cannot take care of themselves. For many with autism, this is true-but not with me. I held down a job for six years out of sheer spite that people think I could not. I have run a house, cooked, cleaned, straightened out financially, and helped care for my mother. Granted, I may not have a job nowadays, but I can get one if I needed to. (Hopefully, that is coming.) The point is, I have done this without a man for nearly a decade. I certainly don’t need one now. Even with a disability, and even as a woman, I am holding things together. I am even taking care of myself as well.
I also have a source of love and care I believe in. For those of you who do not know, I accepted Jesus Christ as my savior as a child, and I still believe. I may not act it, but if I am to believe in an all-knowing, all-loving creator of the universe, won’t He love me? And if He loves me, won’t He take care of me? If my beliefs are correct, I have no need to fear anything.
If I don’t need anyone to take care of me, what is it worth to make myself miserable because I am not attached at the hip with someone? Nothing.
Autism Positivity? That was a new one for me. Sometimes, I myself need to step back from the battles I fight and see what I have gained. Certainly, most people say I have gained nothing and lost everything because I am autistic. However, I can see some gains I have made. Here are a few:
1) Perspective: There is a beautiful world out there that other people cannot see. I wish I could explain it to you, but I experience things differently. This is a part of who I am. Also, when I reveal I am autistic, most people’s stereotypical viewpoints of autism are broken, and broken soundly as I continue to contribute to their experience. I like to break down walls wherever I go.
2) Compassion: I gain more and more of this as I see the world through the eyes of an outsider. These days, everyone can be an outsider, because of so much discrimination, but with autism, the world is especially unkind to me. I have trouble making friends, and keeping friends, so I will treasure anyone who stays around me. I treasure my mother for this very reason.
3) Knowledge: My special interests have helped me gain knowledge on a wide variety of subjects. Maybe because I am a girl I have had interests closer to neurotypical people, but I have always gained something from a Special Interest. Here are a few:
Rainbow Brite (but mostly Indigo): I have gained tolerance, love, and an appreciation of theater from this one.
Sailor Moon: This is where many of my stereotypes of female power have been broken.
Some Fairy Tales: I have learned to love books and research through this one.
4) Jerk Detection: I have learned who really loves me, and who is just there to exploit me, by how well they tolerate my stimming. For instance, my sisters, who robbed and exploited me for a money source, hated my stims. Those who really love me, however, can either tolerate them, or perhaps help me figure out why I am stimming.
So, being autistic, I can love myself in a way that is unique for me.
I hate it when people say “we don’t really mean YOU” because it only means “Uh-oh. We’ve hurt someone and we have to backpedal.”
People I know will talk at length about how ridiculous and over-sensitive and overly angry they think feminists are, or social justice activists more generally, and often expressly refer to specific views I share or groups I’m a part of, but, “well, obviously we don’t mean you.” They don’t mean me because I’m not confrontational, I’m not argumentative, I stay quiet and let everything slide because direct confrontation is something I really struggle with. They don’t mean me, even though if I spoke my mind more often, they’d know they do mean me.
They don’t mean you, yet, they just want to check you’ll laugh along and keep the part of you they clearly do mean out of their sight.
They don’t mean you as a disabled person either. Certainly, when misogynist and/or ableist trolls came after the NUS Women’s Conference for using BSL applause to accommodate various…
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As a child, my mother would have me order what I wanted at McDonald’s or other places – no matter how long it took. Many people would get their panties in a bunch if they knew I had autism, like I was some moron who could not order her own food. I could order my own food, it just took me a little longer. A less inspired, less educated woman would have simply ordered for me, but my mother somehow knew I needed the practice of expressing my needs, wants and opinions. The world obviously did not end because I took longer to order the food. I hope other mothers of those with autism realize that those who are able to speak get them to practice using their words. (For those who use other means to communicate, give the child as many opportunities to practice.) I digress a little bit, but the handling of me taking more time to order could have been an example of benevolent ableism.
Benevolent ableism is simply the belief and practice system that looks like help, but is really a form of discrimination. A good example of this, autism-wise, is speaking for the autistic like they are not in the room when the autistic is asked a question – especially if the person is standing next to you! Temple Grandin (for those who do not know, an advocate for the autistic) often tells people who answer for the autistic to stop. “But the person does not want to speak!” you say. How is that true? They are not you! You are not their voice-they have a voice of their own. It is pulling out a chair for someone in a wheelchair who did not ask. It is taking over a person’s financial business when they are perfectly capable of running their own financial business. (I handle my own financial business better than anyone else who has handled mine, thank you.) This attitude that because I have a different way of looking and experiencing things makes me a complete moron unable to take care of myself, or even learn, is wrong. I run a full cleaning schedule and take care of my dog, as well as my mother. Even with her diminished ability to stand and walk for long periods, she is capable of taking care of herself as well. I cover for what she cannot do, but she is certainly not a complete invalid like people have been taught to believe.
I guess the whole point of this is, see us as we are: human beings. Our disabilities should not diminish our humanity in your eyes. I mean, you think you see a person, but are you only seeing, for example, the wheelchair? There is no reason to think a disability, visible or otherwise, is some monster out to get your life. It can be seen differently, you know.
First, let me congratulate the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge for their new arrival, a little girl. At this time, we still do not know her name, but that will be coming. She is so sweet it hurts.
Today was the running of the Kentucky Derby, “The most exciting two minutes in sports.” In Kentucky, it is a big deal, where pre-parties can be planned for two weeks, as well as all day. There are also Derby parties everywhere. My mother and I went to one of these in Lexington. We betted on horses for prizes, ate and had a good time. I wore my Derby Hat, a pink one with a large crown and bow.
Only in Kentucky would a two-minute race inspire a full day of partying and fashion parades. That’s what they say…but that is not the whole story. The truth is, horse racing was once considered a rough, low-class sport, unfit for the delicate sensibilities of women and children. (Interesting concept. How delicate am I supposed to be, again?) Anyway, the grandson of Meriwether Lewis traveled to England, where the Epsom Derby had been run since 1780, where racing was a grand society affair. Mr. Lewis then traveled to Paris for more inspiration. This gave him the idea to talk with high society ladies about having a picnic at the newly constructed racing facilities, soon to become Churchill Downs. The ladies agreed, and they brought their large society hats and their fancy clothes to the racetrack, where they can still be seen today in its current form, the bigger the better.
About Yellow and Pink…They were the colors of the three horses who finished in the top three. Yellow was around a LOT at Churchill Downs this year, as was pink. I picked Dortmund and American Pharaoh to win, either one…and American Pharaoh won. I actually picked American Pharaoh since he was the experts’ favorite, and the favorites tend to do very well in the Derby. Here is how the Derby went: American Pharaoh had green and yellow as his colors. The second place winner, High Flyer, had a jockey with a pink silk riding him, and the third, Dortmund, had a pink blanket on him. So, it was a yellow and pink Derby Day. I had a lot of fun this year, and hope to have more fun in the future.