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