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

Sunday, August 3, 2014

One Reading Suggestion

I don't know how many of you actually read through that whole list of things I either cited or made notecards for about the erasure of queer autistic people, and that was so long ago that you probably wouldn't remember if you had... but there is one person where I cited seven of her articles. Those were part of a series called Double Rainbow, and I really, really suggest reading the series. For once, I'd even say read the comments- most of the commenters are Autistic people who get it, so far as I can tell. There are some exceptions, one of whom I cited as contributing to the erasure of Queer Autistic people, but mostly it was good.

Anyways. Heads up for a quote from that bad comment, because I'm handing over the notecard I got out of it.
Java Junkie claims that “Your critique of this fact makes me wonder if you realized you were reading a book about autism instead of gender identity.” despite the blog series being specifically devoted to the intersection of autism, gender, and sexuality, and argues that “Sexual identity is much to complex of an issue (ESPECIALLY for autistics) to address it more in depth than they did in a book that's meant as a general overview.” In doing so, she says that Queer Autistic people are too complex to address.
The fact in question is that parent guides were really bad on the subject of gender. They told parents to make their daughters do gender normative stuff. [Shaving legs and pits for girls was on this list.] Which, I understand that this is socially expected, and I can totally understand explaining to folks that it is (now try to explain why it's expected, good luck coming up with anything other than sexist nonsense because you can't.) What's not OK is making someone do it. We have the same right to knowingly go against norms everyone else does, even if/when a little extra checking in to make sure it's knowingly sounds like a good idea.

It's not that much more complex to say "Make sure kid understands what's expected and that if they don't do it some folks will use that as an excuse to be terrible, then let them chose." It's especially not that much more complex once you get into the question of "How would I make kid do the thing, anyways?" We think it's more complex because there's assumptions that "Tell kid what to do" and "Do socially expected things" are simpler, in this case the socially expected things being gender conformity, but... it's really not? The perceived simplicity is artificial, since attempting to keep up with gender norms is actually really complicated.

Anyways, assuming that "wants to write about a thing" leads to "actually writes about a thing" (meh, see the month long absence when I tried to convince myself the next thing I would write about would really be Li Jinsheng,) I will eventually talk about some other sources I cited in my paper that I think are good to read. Also, the paper is now a chapter in Criptiques. 

1 comment:

  1. Efforts to force me to be as female as possible were ... let's just say intense, when I was a child. The only label I had then was retard, not autism. It was expected that I would not naturally conform to (female) gender norms and that this was therefore a critical part of my "education". I suspect it amounts to the same in the end, regardless of the label. The whole idea of making disabled kids look as normal as possible, no matter the cost to the child...

    Some people also seem to think that all autistic females feel like I do about gender expression, that this is actually normal autistic female experience when it is absolutely nothing of the sort. I have heard of autistic females who actually do like the whole shaved legs - makeup - girly dresses type of stuff. And have heard of autistic females who aren't feminine like that, who like masculine clothes and dislike makeup. Both types autistic, like me. Both types actually female, unlike me. I don't think autism causes gender nonconformity, it just seems to make people more likely to present themselves truthfully.

    Anyway. All that to say it is so strange to me just how weird and intense people can get about gender expression.


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