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

Friday, September 21, 2012

On "Political Correctness"

I don't like that word. See, politicians are not always politically correct, but they still get listened to as correct. Also, politically suggests that this has to do with politics... and no, it really has to do with reality and not dehumanizing people and not stereotyping people and not using words that have such a history of oppression behind them that you are likely to trigger PTSD in some members of the marginalized population being described when you use them. That's not being political. It's being a decent human being, which in the political environment of this country today, just might be the exact opposite.
I am a big supporter of the idea of calling people what they want to be called, and of not oppressing people, and of not dehumanizing people. Those are all important things. And that's what political correctness is supposed to be about. And most of the criticisms of it are privileged people saying that free speech trumps those things, which I don't think is a particularly valid criticism.
That doesn't mean I like it as it stands- what is and is not politically correct seems to have a tendency to be defined by what privileged groups think the right thing to call marginalized groups is, and then silencing members of marginalized groups who disagree. Like the whole person-first vs. identity first issue in the autistic community, we see people who are not autistic telling people who are autistic that they are referring to themselves the wrong way under the guise of political correctness. That's not being what politically correct is supposed to be. If anything, it is nearly the opposite again.
And of course, that's what happens when political correctness is considered a good thing. When a marginalized group tells you what they prefer to be called, however, their request is instead derided as "too PC." So we have two conflicting definitions of what PC is depending on the situation- it is simultaneously a reason to use the words that privileged people want to use because those words are politically correct and a reason not to use the (somehow also) politically correct words that marginalized groups actually want because political correctness is too limiting. If I didn't know better, I would ask if this were 1984, because this reeks of doublethink.
Between the use of political correctness as defined by privileged people and the fact that the name is rather misleading in this political climate, I'd say that it is not the term we really want. It's been corrupted too much. So no, I do not support political correctness as it stands today. I support treating people like human beings and not using marginalized groups as insults. Which means that what I support seems to be acting like a decent human being.

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