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.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

A 15th Explanation

Trigger Warning: References to abuse, murder, dehumanization

Someone decided to inspire "STOP TELLING ME HOW TO IDENTIFY MYSELF" post number fifteen!
I got this comment on my
Ignoring the fact that you have autism doesn't make it not so. Person first language is important because it reduces dehumanization (which has led to abuse and misunderstanding of many disorders). You are selfish and short sighted/ignorant for setting back that cause. One reason you people have such a hard time is that you don't understand other viewpoints. The world doesn't revolve around you. 
Can we go through all the fail here for a moment?
Ignoring the fact that you have autism doesn't make it not so. 
Why hello, I believe you are a strawman. I might be wrong about which fallacy is going on here, but considering that "Ignoring that fact that I'm autistic doesn't make it not so" is something I would say (actually, I think I've said it,) it's not that good an introduction for saying I'm totally wrong about things. When I say it,  I then go on to point out that ignoring/denying the fact that I'm autistic leads to all kinds of bad things. So I don't entirely know what the point of that sentence is. I'm not denying my neurology when I say I'm Autistic...
Person first language is important because it reduces dehumanization (which has led to abuse and misunderstanding of many disorders).
Person first language was important in its original historical reason, which is pretty much the reason that you gave. It still is important for many people. See also, why when I run into people who prefer to be called people with insert disability here, I do it And yeah, it's a lot better than, say, calling your clients ableist slurs. Which is what it was often meant to replace, by the way.
However.
There are dehumanization of disability things that happen with "person with thing" too. Some of them are actually based on "person with." People can assume that you could be a person without insert disability here just as easily, and then abuse for the purpose of making you be so. That's bad. It goes with "hi I see this disability as so incompatible with humanity that we need to remind ourselves constantly that you are human."
It goes with "your disability isn't that important to who you are, if it went away you wouldn't be much different." That's not going to go well with a pervasive developmental disability.
And how about this? If you all spent the time dealing with issues we face like our murderers getting sympathy instead of taking a swing at a small piece of self-determination called deciding for myself what I want to be called? Maybe there would be less dehumanization and abuse?
Yes, I went there. Letting a person decide what they want to be called is part of self-determination. I know that's one of the words folks like to at least say they care about.
You are selfish and short sighted/ignorant for setting back that cause.
Ah, the ad hominem. Inaccurate. I'm not ignorant. I know the history. Times change. Languages change. A lot of places have corrupted person-first language in ways that are actually problematic and maybe you should look at those ways before calling me ignorant. When words, causes get corrupted, appropriated? You can try to take it back, or you can find a different tack that hasn't been corrupted yet. "With autism" often ends with abuse in the name of making us become without autism.
If and when autistic gets taken over by people who give it bad meanings? Yeah, if I don't think we're in a position to take it back, I might move again. I don't think they're going to any time soon, though, because right now we've got a pretty good hold on "it means this is a significant part of who I am and I won't let you ignore that." Which is actually kind of the opposite of ignoring the fact that I'm autistic?
One reason you people have such a hard time is that you don't understand other viewpoints.
More going after my personal traits instead of my ideas, and also wrong. I can understand viewpoints other than mine just fine. I've never tried to talk a person with autism who prefers person with autism into using "autistic." Know why? Because I understand that they have a different viewpoint, that they have different experiences, and that the language they prefer can be affected by that. So I go with their preference. Seriously, I would think my most recent post about language (until now) would illustrate that I'm totally OK with person-first for people who prefer it, which means I understand that some people do, which means I understand a viewpoint which is not my own, which means this statement is wrong
It's also likely based on Theory of Mind, which is a problematic basis for several reasons. One is that neurotypical folk have trouble figuring out the viewpoints of people significantly unlike them too! Which, um, yeah, autistic/allistic is a divide where it's going to be hard. Since allistic folks tend not to need to figure out autistic folk, they get to say we're unknowable, not make an effort, and blame their lack of understanding on our differences. The fact that we have some trouble figuring them out, too? Is because we can't understand others viewpoints, or that others have viewpoints: Theory of Mind.
The world doesn't revolve around you. 
Hm. Not sure where I said it did. Pretty sure it revolves around the sun (is a miasma of incandescent plasma.) [They Might Be Giants. I needed something nice in the pile of fail.]
But seriously, not news. I'm well aware that the world is made to support white [I am that] able-bodied [and that] cis [I pass for it] straight [I pass for it] neurotypical [nope] men [nope.] However, my blog does order itself to my wishes. 

7 comments:

  1. PILE OF FAIL. I can't believe how calmly you constantly reply to these people. I mean outwardly calmly. This is not a ragey post. Despite the PILE OF FAIL.

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  2. Phrases like "you don't understand other viewpoints" always make me feel so unsafe, because I know that, no matter what autistic people say, non-autistic people will usually discredit us by saying stuff like this (I'm presuming this person is non-autistic, given that they used the phrase "you people" in reference to autistics).

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  3. Holy crap.
    Why do people who disagree like this always turn it into a personal attack?
    Well done, as always.

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  4. Any time someone includes personal attacks (like you are ignorant) in an argument? The argument deserves to be ignored. If they can't make a point without attacking the person, well, then, move along, person who can't form an argument. But I LOVE the MIASMA line!!!

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  5. "It goes with "hi I see this disability as so incompatible with humanity that we need to remind ourselves constantly that you are human."" So true.
    I LOVE They Might Be Giants.

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  6. To the person who left the quoted comment: Ignoring the fact that our identities are Autistic doesn't make them not so. Your insistence on person first language over and above our wishes is insulting because it causes dehumanization (which leads to abuse and misunderstanding based on us being thought to be too incompetent to be able to express our desires accurately). You are selfish and short sighted/ignorant for setting back our cause. One reason you people give Autistic people such a hard time is that you don't understand non-Neurotypical viewpoints. The world has never been home to just you.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Dear Alyssa,
    Thank you for sharing this. As a mom of a beautiful Autistic 5-year-old girl, the insight you share helps me understand and appreciate everything about her. Please never stop blogging!

    ReplyDelete

I reserve the right to delete comments for personal attacks, derailing, dangerous comparisons, bigotry, and generally not wanting my blog to be a platform for certain things.