04 March, 2011

Asher made this post about microaggressions, it was really good. I want to make a post like it someday when I can remember to write things down.

One thing I was thinking about was--well, obviously I basically can't go anywhere without hearing or reading the r-word, and "psychotic" is really thrown around to mean evil as well. But the words Asperger's and autistic have also reached, though not the same level, a level of use as an insult. For example a few months ago I read this book where the author kept using the word "autistically" to describe the behavior of an unlikable character. And you can't really go anywhere without running into the following awesome usage (this is from a blog post about the movie trope of Manic Pixie Dream Girls):

More so, sometimes they are outright uninterested in making conversation. I mean, he’s obviously busy FILLING OUT SOME FORMS. But much like Asberger’s patients, some Quirky Girls fail to understand social cues, and force themselves into association with the movie’s hero without any delicacy or grace.

I didn't comment on the post, even though it was at Feministing which I guess should try not to be total assholes re: minority groups. I just felt embarrassed. If you can't even spell a disability, then should you really be making reference to it? And what's with the word "patients?" Do you think all people with disabilities just spend their entire lives being studied/treated by doctors? (I guess I could give her the benefit of the doubt and imagine she means "the patients of Hans Asperger," but if she was that educated she'd probably be able to spell it.)

Yeah so I do feel stupid every time I see this stuff--stupid for being affected. It's so little and it's just a pop culture blog or whatever.

Did I post about this time I was cashiering and this girl decided she didn't like the reusable container program and proclaimed in the most whingey voice, "That's just...RETARDED!" I guess I must have looked pretty shaken because she said, "Oh, not you," and hurried off. I wanted to say, "Oh, fuck yes, me. Good observation skills."

eta: I just decided to go comment on the Feministing post; I made this comment saying I have ASD and I have problems with her "Asberger's" reference. And the second I sent it I was like, "shit! People are going to read this and think I don't understand jokes and I take everything too literally because I have ASD. I should have just said I was disabled, or I should have said I have a friend who has ASD--now no one will listen to me. If anyone answers, I'll have to come up with a response that makes me come off like I'm really sensitive to other people's feelings and I have a good sense of humor."

I just thought that was funny.


  1. I'm going to reinforce something you probably already know: don't worry about being dismissed for being autistic and not getting the joke there. Not because it won't happen, but because you can't win. Calling people on their shit gets you branded "humorless" regardless of what you are.

    That there's a stereotype that we're humorless for being autistic just gives them another thing to hurt us with. Worrying about it isn't going to help, since just calling them out makes you "humorless".

  2. "Worrying about it isn't going to help, since just calling them out makes you "humorless"."

    This is a really good point, and tends to happen a lot to feminists as well. Because we "can't take a joke."