Why is appearance and style fair game to severe criticism? If you look at a Picasso painting and maybe the art style isn’t for you, would you call it “stupid” and think Picasso should have never expressed himself? No, because that would be ignorant. But when someone looks a certain way, they can be hated and pressured constantly to change, even though to them that expression truly reflects who they are. And folks think that it shouldn’t matter to that individual, to knock down their self-expression, and that they should just change if they don’t like how they’re treated. But this isn’t so — expression has a deep meaning. It’s a big part of identity. It’s one thing to not like something for yourself, but it can be bigoted to not like it on someone else, especially if you make a big soul-crushing stink about it and don’t appreciate that it can very well be a part of someone’s identity, particularly if they tell you it is. It ruins one’s self-esteem, especially if the individual is alternative– an IDENTITY that is connected to divergent flamboyant physical self-expression. Have some respect and empathy. It’s a matter of what’s right and wrong. Autistics also may look very different from the mainstream standards based on our interests and what makes us comfortable. Don’t deny us our right to self-expression, and yes, judging us is cruel to the utmost degree. It’s just as bad as any other form of prejudice that exists. Just as hate speech makes it difficult to feel free and safe, the attacks on Alternative self-expression through appearance make it difficult for that expression to exist for the same reasons.
I can’t believe that TIME magazine would have articles like this. “Normalizing” Autistic brains? Basically, they treat caring more about ideas and objects than other humans as a BAD thing that should change. Like our brains are broken or working improperly rather than just different.
This is distressing for me. It’s not even mentioning the typical nonsense about Autistics being violent or smearing poo or having seizures. It’s now showing that simple difference in preferences and focus are a bad thing. Not being the same as the majority is a bad thing. Being intelligent and tinkering with objects, focusing on entertaining ideas rather than socializing, is a bad thing.
Autism Acceptance is something direly needed. Neurodiversity is important. These biased Allistics (Neurotypicals) are trying to make us be like them. This is incredibly dangerous and we need to fight back in any way we can.
It’s like we don’t even have many of the Liberals, Leftists, Progressives, what-have-you, on our side. Psychiatry and bad science are defended by them rigorously.
We have to fight this on our own and not be defeated. We need to do what we can for ourselves and forget about NTs and their “society.” We need to live our own lives. We can’t give up hope and internalize the oppression because we are separate from NTs and we don’t have to live our lives in the context of how they view us. We can live on our own terms.
We can fight when we need to, for Autistic children and for when clashes with NTs are inevitable. Though we have to live our own lives without fear. We have to be strong.
Let’s celebrate Autistic Pride Day, or even Autistic Pride/Autism Acceptance Month. Let’s enjoy ourselves, love ourselves, and care about the here and now, as we were intended to. Let’s stim, care about our objects and ideas, and just be happy.