Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A disclaimer I am no longer making.

Every time an autistic person says anything, ever, we have to append a big disclaimer. The "This only applies to me and my situation and I know nothing about your autistic child/cousin/sibling/indentured servant so take it with a grain of salt". It possibly has to have a functioning label attached too, depending on how much what we're saying pisses off the listeners.

Yeah. I'm not making that disclaimer anymore.

Obviously I speak from my experience. I have no other experiences from which to speak. I know stuff my peers say, and I can incorporate that into a more detailed response, but that doesn't change that my experience is mine & that is where I am speaking from. Functioning labels are a steaming pile & only useful when allistics want autistic people to shush, so I'm committing myself more fully to abandoning them, too.

No one else is expected to make a disclaimer like that when talking their own lived experience (please correct me if I'm wrong; I've never had to append such a thing to any statement I've made about being a woman or biracial, but that doesn't mean no one has). But the Just My Situation disclaimer is yet another tool used to silence what we say, & I am not going to condone that action by helping bring it to be.

Just like everyone else, I talk from what I know. I speak honestly from what I know. The palatability of what I say has nothing to do with its global applicability, & it is disingenuous to make such a get out of guilt free card for people who may be doing or condoning things that are really awful by making that kind of loophole available.

So, since that whole thing should be understood-that K knows what K knows-I'm not saying it every time I talk anymore. My goal in speaking isn't to make people feel bad about themselves, or good about themselves either. It's to say what I feel needs saying. If it's useful in a way that makes you feel good, fabulous. If it makes you feel bad, look at why it makes you feel bad. Then take what utility you can from that.

The disclaimer get out of guilt free card is now offline.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I love this post and actually, it applies to us all, wherever or if we fall on the spectrum. I too pledge to no longer say, in my experience, because it implies that someone else may have the actual truth.
Thank you.