A refutation / some empowerment & hope

“You had to make a light hearted post into a debate.” 

A self-proclaimed Sensitive And Intelligent Person, and the mother of an autistic teen, has responded to my disproving her illogical, stereotyping erasure of asexuals with this and the censoring of my objections. Debates are more than one point each long, and I posted for a second time only to answer an unrelated question that she asked me. Of course, she doesn’t let that get in the way of a good excuse to censor what she doesn’t like hearing.

“My point was that you didn’t need to put down something that was meant for entertainment”. 

I don’t need to do anything not directly related to my survival, so what this really says is that I shouldn’t ever “put down” something that was meant for entertainment. Even if it erases my existence from public awareness and denies my lived experience while insulting me to boot. No, if it was meant for entertainment, because intent and the special pleading fallacy are magic, I can’t criticise it. This is invalid as well as absurd because I could just tell her my deconstruction was meant for entertainment.

“Why put yourself out there like that unless you want attention?” 

Oh, the classic “attention” method of attack. You know, reader, I associate attention with my first experience of non-consentual suffocation. I was about 6, and it didn’t get better from there. I’d like that to be evidence enough, but it never seems to be, so I can’t actually disprove this. You see, it doesn’t have any proof.  It’s an unfounded, insulting assumption, an implication that I’m so worthless that there’s no reason to defend myself but attention seeking, and an ad hominem fallacy, but it can’t be disproved just like you can’t disprove the idea that an invisible, ethereal teapot hovers silently near you at this very moment, because neither of these ideas have any evidence whatsoever. 

The first message ends, pressured to reply, I respond with chopped-down versions of what I posted here. I’d like to note that throughout the exchange, my responses were as polite as I can be, unlike my responses here.

“There are other ways to gain attention in a productive manner”

Second message begins. Without any evidence, the derail attempt forges on, continuing to frame my entire objection to an insulting, erasory stereotype as an attempt to gain attention, and attempting to refocus the discussion on armchair psychoanalysis of my percieved issues, thereby putting me on the defensive and letting her off the hook.

“without attempting to put a light hearted discussion down.” 

Not content with merely portraying me as an attention-seeking jackass who ruined a nice thing with hir rude objections to being erased, stereotyped and insulted, she not only suggests that I ruined her wonderful light-hearted erasure session deliberately, but attempts to place it in the discussion as a taken-for-granted fact to curtail any objection. Not only is there no proof for this, but there’s proof directly against it, because there was no percievable sign of the discussion being “light hearted” anywhere. I don’t know if there would have been for an allistic persyn, but I’m not one, and the arguer knew it.

This amounts to yet another personal attack without proof in an attempt to weasel out of having to answer for one’s actions or think about them. 

“I, of all people, understand what it is like to have a social disability, my child is the same way”.

No. 

No, you don’t. 

You don’t, you really don’t.  

Later on, she will happily abuse the privilege of this fact, but even now, I know it. She is neurotypical. She has a disabled child. That does not make anyone equal an actual disabled person’s knowledge. You wouldn’t claim that you, of all people, know what being a soldier is like if your child was away fighting for a lot of their life, would you? You wouldn’t claim that you, of all people, know what being abused is like because your child has been abused, would you? 

No. But parents of socially disabled kids commonly seem to think that they know social disability better than anyone, because they can observe the physical actions affected by social disability. Tell me, parents who think themselves experts, can you view your child’s mind? Because that’s where the magic happens. That’s where I knew that I was a hateful, worthless thing after my attempt to kindly correct my cheerful mother resulted in her breaking down in tears. That’s where I remember my first experience of non-consentual suffocation whenever someone stands behind me. That’s where I remember that it didn’t get better after that experience. Oh, no. 

That’s where the scars to outdo my striped, damaged and battered body are, that’s where I remember every last “attention seeking”, every last “I know what having a social disability is like”, and what they did, the great and awful things they did, the small, eternal things they did, the things they did that just will. Not. Be. Forgotten. But you don’t remember, do you? No, you’re a Sensitive And Intelligent Person, and you know what having a social disability is like as much as anyone, so god forbid your abled ass could be obliged to listen to someone like me.

Hell, you don’t just know what *a* social disability is like, you know what *my* social disability is like! Why, it’s exactly the same as your child’s, and you know this because your vaunted expertise has scanned just enough information relating to about three of my autistic traits that what you haven’t ignored when it suits your point could probably be engraved on your left thumbnail. From this, you’ve concluded that I’m exactly like the only other autistic you’ve met, because you don’t know anything else about autistics. 

What a fucking surprise.

“However, I encourage him to address his issues in a positive manner”

But what is a positive manner? Cheerful and twee? As little harm as possible? Good for him? Self blaming? We might never know, but for the fact you’re contrasting this with my manner. So, what’s my manner? Well, I talk. I talk in the natural tone that I can’t change. I provide a logical basis for my problem and an explanation of what my problem is, why it is a problem and in what ways it could be resolved, and I try to be aware of things that might impede the other person in fixing my problem.

I don’t repress that natural, harmless autistic behavior that I get a choice to repress (not much of it) which calms me as opposed to stressing me more. I express what few emotions I occasionally have, unless it would involve harming other people or property, and that also helps my stress. 

So, it would seem that a positive manner is a manner that fucks up my headspace to pander to privileged assumptions.

“that does not bring people down” 

You know what brings everyone down? Criticism. Nobody likes it. It naturally makes us feel bad, and many of us fear it. And you know what you do when your issue is someone elses’ fault? You know what you imply? What they percieve? Criticism.

“or affect their opinions of him in a negative manner”.
 
You know what affected your opinion of me in a negative manner? Being talked to like you’re wrong by a trans, teenage autistic, namely me, when you are wrong. You know what affects the opinion of everyone who cares about tone in a negative fucking manner? Being asked to do anything, not do something, change anything, for the sake of an autistic. 

Their voice is never too loud, the sunlight from the window is never too bright, (that didn’t hurt, you pansy, learn to deal with it, it’s just like how I don’t like something far less bad, but I get over this triflingly minor thing and truck right the fuck on, so shut up, I can see your bottom lip trembling) and you are always whining. Do you know about that, miss understands-autism-as-much-as-anyone? 

Do you? Because I know about that. I know about that in shades of meltdowns, rage and blood and pain and a piece of heavy, hard wood smashing into the side of my head that I didn’t even feel. Would you say you’ve learned about that? Do you constantly fear another lesson on that?

“This will help him in the future when he attempts to gain employment” 

Unless he’s not capable of learning this, in which case he’ll hate himself even more than you’d expect. No, excuse me, I forget that there are people ignorant of the depths of such things. It would make him hate himself even more than I would expect. Or how about if he can’t gain employment? 

You haven’t allowed for that possibility, even with something as paltry as your phrasing, have you? “Oh, but he’s High Functioning!”, you might cry. As might my mother, who has an earnest dream of seeing me become independent and all that bullshit that she’ll never fulfill. 

“and interactions with his peers.” 

By what definition of peers is the first thing that comes to mind “ableist, ignorant people who put horrific pressure on you to imitate neurotypicals in a highly draining manner and hide your actual personality”? Furthermore, if it will indeed help one interact with such people, why hasn’t it helped me any? 

“my deletion of our conversation was not a reflection on my sensitivity” 

Given that you deleted it because of your utter deficiency in any kind of sensitivity whatsoever regarding any aspect of my social disability, which is clearly detailed in my profile for all to see, yes, it is.

“or the possibility of me “erasing” you” (Note, I explained what erasing means) 

Yes, it is. The problem with your goddamn “everyone is sexual” routine is that it erases the idea that someone might not be sexual from the public consciousness. The problem with your goddamn “censor objections to your assertion that everyone is sexual” routine is that it erases the idea that someone might not be sexual from the public consciousness. 

To further elaborate, they both do the exact same fucking thing. Therefore it does fucking well reflect.

“However, the discussion in open forum was not going anywhere”

Because you had no argument, I was right, and you didn’t want to admit it. Every conversation that has ended is by definition not going anywhere, I don’t see you rushing around deleting every one of those. 

“If attention is what you want darling” 

No, it goddamn fairy-crap well isn’t. I’ve repeatedly stated this, and you are refusing to listen because it doesn’t fit your ignorant notions about why people who resemble your son in any respect whatsoever do anything at all.

It’s pointless and irritating. It’s going nowhere, one might say, so censor it and send me the empty space. Can it. Take it on a long walk off a short pier. Get rid of it, feed it into a trash compactor, put it in your basement as a relic of ancient ageism for the enlightened future! Do what you want with it, but get it away from me and keep it there, because it bores me even harder than it did the last thousand times and it’s still just as wrong. 

Furthermore, I am not your “darling” or indeed anyone’s “darling”.

“I am sorry I offended you” 

(Reminder: In the conversation, I was perfectly polite up until now)

I have about four to five emotions. Offense is not on the list.

“That was not my intention” 

That would be why you blatantly attempted to patronize me with the “darling”, yes? Emphasis on attempted.

“I was hoping to discuss this privately as adults. I see that is not possible as you are a very sensitive person”. 

Holy covert ageist insult, Batman! 

Let’s riffle through the mechanics of this. She uses ageism to position “as adults” as something innately desirable and/or superior to the implied alternative, both here and later. Then, she declares that me proving her wrong makes me so “sensitive” that discussing this as “adults”, adults being framed as better and more desirable both by this and by later messages, is not possible.

In other words, she’s covertly accusing me of being so oversensitive that a reasonable conversation with me is impossible and that I’m disqualified from a superior class of human beings as she sees it. Because I emotionlessly, politely proved her wrong. 

To give context to the next line, my reply to all this involved telling her to spare me the usage of my tone as an excuse to avoid confronting the failure of her own arguments. It was the first time I went from perfectly polite, which she didn’t appreciate, to visibly & mildly irritated.

“Look, you are about 2 years older than my son.” 

This, if you cannot tell, is the point where she stops even bothering to hide her ageism.

“I am not going to indulge a child’s rants and tempertantrums” 

But that’s the goddamn thing, isn’t it? I’m not ranting, and I’m not angry. I’m emotionless now, I was emotionless when I had the conversation. This began because you tone-policed me based on incorrect, allistic assumptions, and now you’re trying to get out of the fact you’re wrong with more of the same. Your allistic assumptions about my tone and emotions are still incorrect, and you’re still wrong. 

All you’re demonstrating is that you’ll scrabble for any tool, no matter how pathetic, unethical or desperate, that you can use to avoid confronting the fact that you make mistakes, no matter how blatant it is. That is considered, by people inclined to such ageism, incredibly childish, and so you’re now a hypocrite too.

“because he or she feels they need to be heard. I don’t take it from my son, I won’t take it from a child on the internet. I was willing to talk to you until you became insulting.”

Address her if one cannot meet her fucked allistic standards of tone, and the very attempt renders you in a “temper tantrum”, and you then only “feel that you need to be heard”, thereby absolving our abusive mother here of any responsibility whatsoever to take the role usually set out as adult and mature by ageist doctrine like this and be the percieved better person by putting up with the tone. 

In other words, your concern is invalid if she doesn’t like the tone it comes in, no matter what. The invoker of this worthless ageist bullshit gains free license to privilege their emotions over reality, and anyone they have power over who cannot pander to their arrogant, entitled feelings is probably going to make the elegant and ugly refutation of a mental breakdown at best. 

I’ve made that refutation too many times. 

“As I would tell my son, you need to think about how you address other people” 

You know, the first thing that came to mind when I read this is how I try not to let my voice tremble when I’m forced to talk to my brother, in case it annoys him and makes him suddenly shout in that way that instantly makes me spasm with terror and shake for half an hour or so afterwards. Repeat to me how you understand what it’s like to be socially disabled, would you? 

“and respect their views” 

Your views don’t deserve respect.

Your views didn’t give me any respect from when I starved myself for three days so that someone with the same opinions as you would listen to me for a few minutes, to when I spent a decade wondering why I felt like I was made of the crumbling ashes of everything that used to be good about me because someone with the same opinions as you at the time gave birth to me.

Your views are wrong. 

Your views gave me an ugly complexion from scars and a painful awareness of everything I do, and in return they took the expectation of being allowed basic, human dignity. Your views make you a terrible, abusive parent, and your views have ensured that typing this refutation with frantic hands and truth that I didn’t have to censor was a tremendously empowering act.

Shit on your views. I never use outright negatives, I’ve been trained not to, but I use them now on your views, invoking them like some thundering voice of prophecy from a book, so powerful and terrifying do they seem to me. Your views are bad, your views are wrong, and your views are terrible. These are words locked inside for years upon years, and in that time they’ve been proven right again and again. 

The respect I might have for your views goes to all the people they’ve killed and wounded, and it’s not enough, will never be enough, to heal even myself. But the day views like yours become the cracked and shameful relics of a bygone age, something in me will be fixed, something will heal, some unthinkable mechanism will snap into place and begin working.

And that day is coming. It’s coming like the ocean flood beneath the lunar sway, on reason and logic and the painful, fierce, determined effort of the oppressed and the formerly complicit, to place your views before the judgement of the future  and have them found wanting.  

It’s coming with the inexorable force of logic and reason, and it’s coming with the tidal pull of empathy. It’s coming with everything but the transparent scrabble for an excuse, the sneer of blatant egotism, and the refusal to admit when it is wrong. It’s coming without your tools, because it is the side of right, and it is going to win.

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About chassisbird

Chassisbird is autistic, trans, a survivor of abuse, possibly gray-asexual, queer, polyromantic and very into D/s. It uses it/hir pronouns, tends towards apathy and would like to resemble a spider much more closely.
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2 Responses to A refutation / some empowerment & hope

  1. Lee says:

    – ur insight and articulate words have touched my heart- thankyou 🙂

  2. Marl says:

    This… thank you. Struggling to verbalise… feelings too strong… this is hope. Thank you. (Yes, almost a year late, bad english, don’t care. This is wonderful.)

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