champions of social equality

Image Text Reads: You're not actually for equality when you would deny Autistic people the right to--or belittle Autistic people for speaking in favor of their own existence.

Image Text Reads: You’re not actually for equality when you would deny Autistic people the right to–or belittle Autistic people for speaking in favor of their own existence.

Written by Beth Ryan

It is pretty trendy to call yourself a champion of equality.  But here’s the thing folks.  Being a champion of equality?  It means just a smidgen more than being for marriage equality.  Being a champion of equality?  It means just a titch  more than being for gender equality.  Ahem, The Femisit Breeder.

I am NO expert on equality and all that it implies.  Because I am limited both by my own privilege and by my relative inexperience.  But I do know enough to shut up and listen when people of a marginalized group tell me that I should check my privilege, that I am being a bigot/racist/sexist/ableist/whateverist.  I don’t keep talking… unless it is to ask questions.  No, not the kind of questions that aren’t really questions but jabs.  The kind of questions that help me take baby steps towards understanding.

So when a self-proclaimed feminist makes a statement like this one:

I’ve legitimately seen it all now: Apparently I’ve attracted a whole subgroup of folks who think that we shouldn’t be trying to prevent/treat/cure Autism because it’s not a disability, it’s just like being “gay or dark skinned” and if you want to prevent/treat/cure it, then you’re discriminating against the ASD community. 
*Sigh* Congratulations Internet, you’ve jumped the advocacy shark.
–Gina Crosley-Corcoran (The Feminist Breeder)

My jaw hits the floor.  And then I read this from the same person:

I agree it’s totally up to the individual whether they want to be treated, and high functioning folks probably don’t feel they’re missing out on anything. But think about low functioning kids – those kids who’ll never be able to lead a normal life – how can we seriously say that it’s wrong to try to prevent that kind of disability? Being unable to care for oneself is not a “variation of normal” or any other such nonsense. It’s a disability. Of course these people should be treated with care and compassion, but it is not something we should be trying to promote. I find it wildly irresponsible that this so called “neuro-diversity” movement is trying discredit autism prevention and treatment measures as “discriminatory.” If there was a way to prevent depression and anxiety, you better believe I’d support that.

And now I am PISSED.  Because I know that she is referring to people like my daughter. People like Amy Sequenzia, Henry Frost, Amanda Baggs, and Emma.  And I am also damn near certain that she has never actually spoken to any of these “low functioning” people.  Because she obviously doesn’t understand that someone can be far from typical and still happy.  Still a valuable human being.  She obviously doesn’t get that the ability to perform personal care doesn’t guarantee or negate quality of life.

So Ms. Crosley-Corcoran, and the too many people like her, are not actually championing social equality They are championing….well… THEMSELVES.  These people don’t actually give a rat’s ass about ACTUAL social justice.  No.  They are trying to disguise their personal endeavors to acquire power and privilege.

Actually, Ms. Crosley-Corcoran doesn’t really even understand what privilege means.  What the mother?  Huh?

I’ve noticed the same, and I think those folks oughta check their privilege. To be so high functioning that you can see it as a gift is a privilege that so many in the ASD community do not possess. My best friend’s child has ASD and his care consumes her life.

Do you remember when Paris Hilton participated in the “Vote or Die” campaign?  And then it was revealed that she had never actually voted.  Or even registered to do so?  This is all sorts of shades of that.  It is hip to be pro-equality.  Even when you don’t have any idea what that means.  Even when you are clearly and unabashedly NOT for equality.

Social equality.  It is not just a thing that the goofy celebs and wannabe celebs are doing for kicks.  It actually means something.

If you are for it, it means that you believe that ALL people are entitled to the same rights under the law.  ALL people should have equal access to civil rights, to healthcare, to education, etc.  When you exclude a population of people  by claiming that preventing them from existing is acceptable…  you’re DEFINITELY not even close to being for social equality.  You’re just another self-serving douchebag trying to grab yourself some power.

Please check out: Divergent: when disability and feminism collide

6 thoughts on “champions of social equality

  1. Feminists are messing up feminism. 😦 (Says an autistic feminist.) My view is that the only people who should be talking about if they want to be cured is autistic people themselves. In most cases people don’t want to be cured (even if possible) and just want to be valued for who they are.

  2. This is maddening. Thank you for addressing it. I know I am one of the autistic adults out there who she would write off as “high-functioning” and the idea that I should “check my privledge?” Excuse me? Last time I checked, I was the disabled one. I’m privileged in a million different ways, and a million more I haven’t even learned to recognize yet. I know that. I’m lucky to have many resources to handle challenges that I face as an autistic person. I’m privledged enough to have a supportive home environment. To have the financial resources to seem therapy when necessary. To accommodate an incredibly particular diet because of sensory problems. To be able to sign the papers myself every time I need another medical leave from grad school. To be able to know that I need three white boards and two online to-do lists and three phone apps to make sure I brush my teeth and eat at least two meals a day (took me 25 years to perfect the system). Yep…I’m privledged. I won’t argue that. And I STILL have the necessary perspective to see that equality is an across the board type thing. The kind of thing that everyone deserves, and that everyone gets to claim for THEMSELVES, not for the people they deem worthy.

  3. i get your blog, i have aspergers all so M.E, rather than people go on about a cure .they should talk about the every day effects_, i am married 13 yeas we have 2,boys and 2,girl. i take part in a lot lot research from a lot universities..if you would like too e.mail me chat please do.if you would like to ask me any thing please do.we live in cambridgeshire .England

    my e.mail mkentdad12@outlook.com

    mark_______________________________ > Date: Sat, 8 Feb 2014 17:07:20 +0000 > To: mkentdad12@outlook.com >

  4. Hell, I don’t think she’s talked much to any of the so-called “high-functioning” folk, either, if she thinks it just feels like a gift all the time and we never feel like we’re missing out on anything.

    Like, what…no.

    To be autistic is to have your needs and abilities be seriously at odds with what is expected or taken for granted by the vast majority of our society. It has steep costs even when we have relatively conventional self-care/independent living abilities. That doesn’t make the only obvious solution to *eliminate us from the future of humanity.*

    And the privilege that I have indeed checked is that I really don’t think it’s right for me to say “Well, people like me should have the right to exist and be respected for all parts of who I am, but people like those ‘low-functioning’ autistics don’t; we should obviously prevent people like them from existing.”

    THAT is what would make me as callous and selfish as she would believe us to be.

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