Monday, September 15, 2014

How dare I? How dare you not?

When a parent kills an autistic child, it's so predictable. People come out of the woodwork to defend the killer, demand we walk in her shoes, to stomp their feet and demand of me "how dare you judge?"


How dare you not?

Who are you to decide that a child's life is so not worth living that killing them is a good thing? How dare you cheer on abuse and murder? How dare you support execution of someone for the crime of having a disability? How do you live with yourself?

Judging someone for rocketing past the fuzzy zone and straight into "that is just awful" territory is easy. It should be reflex, easy as a blink or a sneeze. Our (well, my. USian) culture has a big taboo, though, against this evolutionarily advantageous reflex, and it blames the Bible.

Here's the thing though. That "judge not lest ye be judged" thing that people like to throw out? It doesn't say "do not evaluate things". It doesn't say "thou shalt not come to conclusions and announce them". It says "you will be held to the same standards you hold others to".

"Don't kill your kid" is a pretty low standard. I have no doubt in my mind that I can life the rest of my days without committing, or even considering, infanticide. I'm a bit terrified, though, of all the parents who feel this is too stringent a standard, who are eager to make clear that maybe they will kill their kid, they're just not sure that "no killing" is a fair expectation.

In a world where "not murdering your child" is a standard many people are unwilling to commit to live by,  a world where unrepentant murderers have cheering squads, no young or dependent person is safe. I fear for the children of people screaming "don't judge". When you shout at, harass, threaten me for holding folks to this very minimals standards, you are saying you don't think you can meet it (or can't be assed to try, speaking of scary). This doesn't make me the problematic person in the scenario.

"Don't kill people" is a standard that should be effortless. People who can't or won't meet it should be judged, swiftly and harshly. It should be as easy as a blink. It is as easy as a blink. If you can't be sure you can meet this standard, that's your deficit. I will continue to easily, effortlessly judge people who kill their children and dependents, because evaluating "that is not an acceptable action" is the right thing to do.

Edit: pic added for pinners. Not related to content of post. It's from magnetic resonance angiography.

side view of the blood vessels in my brain


mamaforhim said...

Great stuff! may I suggest changing the color of the font to something like white or yellow? The black on purple was a little strange on my eyes.

simplegiftsgalleries said...

"But whoever causes harm to one of these little ones, it would be better if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were drowned in the depths of the sea."

Now that's a poke in the eye, in'nt?

Vered S said...

Dear Radical Neurodivergence Speaking,

My name is Vered Seidmann and I am conducting a study on Autism and the Social Media. I am a PhD student at the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information Studies (WKWSCI), in Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. I study the voice and the presence of autism as reflected in social media. The direct voice of autistic people is under-explored and I find it extremely important to listen to the unique voice of autistic people. I was wondering if I can be in touch with you for more detailed explanation.
If you are willing, I would be very grateful to be in touch with you directly via e-mail and send you more detailed information. My e-mail address is: .

Thank you,
Vered Seidmann

Corinn said...

Part of the problem, I think, is that while the killer parents are (presumably) neurotypical, the kids aren't--and if said kids are really severely disabled, most people don't have enough of a frame of reference to really put themselves in the child's shoes (presuming, of course, many people even try...).

Do you know if there are any books or websites to help with that--? Like, a short narrative from the POV of a child with issues that include extremely limited communication skills? I'd love to read one; I'm autistic too, but as the type that sometimes can't stop talking, my frame of reference on this topic is limited.

And if there isn't anything like that out there... then it's time someone wrote one.