Note For Anyone Writing About Me

Guide to Writing About Me

I am an Autistic person,not a person with autism. I am also not Aspergers. The diagnosis isn't even in the DSM anymore, and yes, I agree with the consolidation of all autistic spectrum stuff under one umbrella. I have other issues with the DSM.

I don't like Autism Speaks. I'm Disabled, not differently abled, and I am an Autistic activist. Self-advocate is true, but incomplete.

Citing My Posts

MLA: Hillary, Alyssa. "Post Title." Yes, That Too. Day Month Year of post. Web. Day Month Year of retrieval.

APA: Hillary, A. (Year Month Day of post.) Post Title. [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://yesthattoo.blogspot.com/post-specific-URL.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Violence Along Marginalization

Trigger Warning: Violence along privilege axis is THE MAIN DISCUSSION. Gender is the big one, disability also given specific mentions. Ableism.

This was finished about 10 minutes before deadline, and I was tired. Otherwise, the fact that neurodivergent folk are actually way more likely to be the victims would have gone in with citation, plus the "overall less likely to be the perpetrators" on what I think is the same citation. I'd have tossed in some examples of the dehumanization pattern in the last paragraph too. 

There are many factors promoting or excusing gendered violence, just as there are for violenced based on any marginalized identity. The same institutions which privilege one group allow them to get away with violence against the other groups, though the exact ways in which they do so may vary. As Kimmel mentions, it is those with “high-status” who typically get away with things, particularly gang-rape. In his article, discussing high school, it is the best of the athletes, who will never tell on a fellow bro. “Boys will be boys” is insulting to men, but it is used as an excuse (Kimmel,) and the threats going to the victims, not the perpetrators, only makes it harder to report these sorts of crimes and bring them to justice. Ableism helps hide many rapists with a popular theory that rapists are insane (Griffin) rather than seeking power over their victims. The theory also increases fear of those who truly do have mental differences, typically facing contradictory stereotypes of asexuality and of uncontrolled heterosexuality (Thompson et al.) The idea of domestic abuse being a “family matter” also protects many aggressors who engage in gendered violence, as judges and police have historically been unwilling to interfere (Lee and Shaw 505.) In this case, it is the idea of the family, particularly the family ruled by the man who can do as he wishes with the women and children, protecting abusers.
In order to prevent gendered violence, I think power dynamics need to change, and people need to recognize which power dynamics allow which acts of violence to happen. It is not the existence of gendered violence that is different between the USA and countries where we read about acid throwing or dowry violence, but the specific ways that gendered violence occurs (Lee and Shaw 507.) Right now, those who commit gendered violence (violence based on any privilege dynamic, really,) do so knowing that they are unlikely to face punishment. Kimmel argues that what needs to happen in the Stuebenville case is for those who committed acts deserving sanctions actually get those sanctions. I argue that this needs to happen consistently. When a boy pulls a girl's hair in kindergarten, he needs to hear that it's not OK. She shouldn't hear how this means he likes her.
I do not think it is as simple as “a society that allows violence towards women by objectifying them can more simply be violent towards other individuals.” I think that “all the oppressions reinforce each other” is closer to the real story, with many forms of oppression coming from one root source (Lorde 70) and oppression of other marginalized groups not actually helping anyone marginalized. It's all one pattern: make a group Other, then not-quite-human (monstrous, unfeeling, or just plain a passive object will all work here,) and finally OK to be violent towards because of whichever statement of not-quite-human was used.

Griffin, Susan. "Rape: The All-American Crime." 499-507.
Kimmel, Michael. "The 18,437 Perpetrators of Steubenville." Ms Magazine Blog. Http://msmagazine.com, 24 Jan. 2013. Web. 18 July 2013.
Lorde, Audre. "There Is No Hierarchy of Oppression." 2009. Women's Voices, Feminist Visions:
Classic and Contemporary Readings
. By Susan M. Shaw and Janet Lee. 5th ed. Boston:
McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 2011. 70. Print.
Shaw, Susan M., and Janet Lee. "Resisting Violence Against Women" 
Women's Voices, Feminist
Visions: Classic and Contemporary Readings
. 5th ed. Boston: McGraw-Hill Higher
Education, 2011. 503-524. Print.
Thompson, S. Anthony, Mary Bryson, and Suzanne De Castell. "Prospects for Identity Formation for Lesbian, Gay, or Bisexual Persons with Developmental Disabilities." International Journal of Disability, Development and Education 48.1 (2001): 53-65. Ilga-europe.org. Web. 30 Mar. 2013. [This is really a case of “here is a thing I know happens, and here's the first citation for it I can find.” I found the paper when doing research for my presentation on the erasure of Queer Autistic people at Debilitating Queerness, one of few that even touches on my main points from that.]
 

There are many factors promoting or excusing gendered violence, just as there are for violenced based on any marginalized identity. The same institutions which privilege one group allow them to get away with violence against the other groups, though the exact ways in which they do so may vary. As Kimmel mentions, it is those with “high-status” who typically get away with things, particularly gang-rape. In his article, discussing high school, it is the best of the athletes, who will never tell on a fellow bro. “Boys will be boys” is insulting to men, but it is used as an excuse (Kimmel,) and the threats going to the victims, not the perpetrators, only makes it harder to report these sorts of crimes and bring them to justice. Ableism helps hide many rapists with a popular theory that rapists are insane (Griffin) rather than seeking power over their victims. The theory also increases fear of those who truly do have mental differences, typically facing contradictory stereotypes of asexuality and of uncontrolled heterosexuality (Thompson et al.) The idea of domestic abuse being a “family matter” also protects many aggressors who engage in gendered violence, as judges and police have historically been unwilling to interfere (Lee and Shaw 505.) In this case, it is the idea of the family, particularly the family ruled by the man who can do as he wishes with the women and children, protecting abusers.
In order to prevent gendered violence, I think power dynamics need to change, and people need to recognize which power dynamics allow which acts of violence to happen. It is not the existence of gendered violence that is different between the USA and countries where we read about acid throwing or dowry violence, but the specific ways that gendered violence occurs (Lee and Shaw 507.) Right now, those who commit gendered violence (violence based on any privilege dynamic, really,) do so knowing that they are unlikely to face punishment. Kimmel argues that what needs to happen in the Stuebenville case is for those who committed acts deserving sanctions actually get those sanctions. I argue that this needs to happen consistently. When a boy pulls a girl's hair in kindergarten, he needs to hear that it's not OK. She shouldn't hear how this means he likes her.
I do not think it is as simple as “a society that allows violence towards women by objectifying them can more simply be violent towards other individuals.” I think that “all the oppressions reinforce each other” is closer to the real story, with many forms of oppression coming from one root source (Lorde 70) and oppression of other marginalized groups not actually helping anyone marginalized. It's all one pattern: make a group Other, then not-quite-human (monstrous, unfeeling, or just plain a passive object will all work here,) and finally OK to be violent towards because of whichever statement of not-quite-human was used.

Griffin, Susan. "Rape: The All-American Crime." 499-507.
Kimmel, Michael. "The 18,437 Perpetrators of Steubenville." Ms Magazine Blog. Http://msmagazine.com, 24 Jan. 2013. Web. 18 July 2013.
Lorde, Audre. "There Is No Hierarchy of Oppression." 2009. Women's Voices, Feminist Visions:
Classic and Contemporary Readings
. By Susan M. Shaw and Janet Lee. 5th ed. Boston:
McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 2011. 70. Print.
Shaw, Susan M., and Janet Lee. "Resisting Violence Against Women" 
Women's Voices, Feminist
Visions: Classic and Contemporary Readings
. 5th ed. Boston: McGraw-Hill Higher
Education, 2011. 503-524. Print.
Thompson, S. Anthony, Mary Bryson, and Suzanne De Castell. "Prospects for Identity Formation for Lesbian, Gay, or Bisexual Persons with Developmental Disabilities." International Journal of Disability, Development and Education 48.1 (2001): 53-65. Ilga-europe.org. Web. 30 Mar. 2013. [This is really a case of “here is a thing I know happens, and here's the first citation for it I can find.” I found the paper when doing research for my presentation on the erasure of Queer Autistic people at Debilitating Queerness, one of few that even touches on my main points from that.]

3 comments:

  1. This is really interesting in light of a story someone told me the other day. The someone is neurotypical, white, and cismale. He was telling me about police detectives who had come to his house to ask questions of his 8 year old daughter, about a man with what looked to be some mental health issues approaching some children when they were playing at the end of the street.

    My first reaction was, "Detectives? Did this guy break the law?" It has to be pretty awful for detectives to show up, right?

    Well, not quite so. Some things were iffy, like the man had waited with approaching the children until there were only two of them left, and had offered them candy and had asked them to come with him. Although the last one cannot be verified because only one of the children actually said he did. One thing that stood out to me was that the man wasn't local (as reported) so there was no mention of "going back to his house"... but also no mention of "getting in the car" to get the candy. This makes me think the "coming with him" was a later addition.

    Anyway. Those are the facts as I could determine them.

    But the language that was used was LURE AWAY. And who knows what would have happened. And when I tried to interpret the situation differently (maybe all he did was ask the boy if he wanted some candy and didn't know that was a bad thing for an adult male to say to a young boy) I got accused of not caring for the safety of the children.

    I still think it's ableism and violence against the mentally ill. Because the guy didn't do anything and there were no indications of him wanting to harm anyone. But he may be mentally disabled. So police get involved. The guy was locked up, by the way. To figure out what to do with him.

    I wish police would get involved as quickly when children mention actual sexual abuse from their grandfather.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. By the way, this was coming from someone whose sister has Down's Syndrome and whose son has been diagnosed with "autistic traits" (I didn't even know that was a thing. Maybe it's autism for scared people). So this is someone who should know that mentally disabled people sometimes behave in ways that may seem strange to neurotypical people. That doesn't mean they're guilty.

      Delete
  2. (You seem to have copy-pasted this entry twice.)

    "When a boy pulls a girl's hair in kindergarten, he needs to hear that it's not OK. She shouldn't hear how this means he likes her." That statement is dead-on. Thank you for writing this.

    ReplyDelete

I reserve the right to delete for personal attacks, derailing, dangerous comparisons, bigotry, and generally not wanting my blog to be a platform for certain things. As long as we stay within those ranges, discussion is AWESOME.