Monday, January 28, 2013

On making people uncomfortable

A lot of the feedback I get is that the things I write make people uncomfortable. And to that, I say good. Mission accomplished.

If I am talking about bad, oppressive things allistics do and it makes you all squirmy because you see yourself in  my words? Good. Excellent. If you do bad things, things that hurt people (not feelings. People. There's a difference) then yeah, I do want you to feel bad. People feel guilt and other icky feelings so they'll stop doing shitty things. So if you feel guilty because my posts are about you, good. I want that. Objective achieved.

And if it makes you uncomfortable because I throw into your consciousness things you'd rather ignore-how we are treated, how we are shoved into the cracks, how our maltreatment and abuse is accepted and even celebrated-good. No one should be complacent. Your discomfort ain't nuthin compared to what we live with. People always say they let it happen because they didn't know-now that excuse is gone. Now you can do something-or you have your mind reminding you that you should. Silence is assent, and now that you know about things you know what your silence is condoning.

Speaking truth  matters far more to me than the comfort of the majority. People like me are being abused and killed by people who claim to love us. People who claim to be advocates "for autism" are just as bad as middle school bullies, but with twice as much practice. I don't care if you don't like me. I care that this stops. And making y'all uncomfortable, shaking your world, is how to make change happen. So squirm away. I will stop making you uncomfortable when there is no more injustice to fight against or when there is no more breath in my body and not before.


Kerima said...

Having been told that I was not sensitive enough to other parents, that my son might be happy all the time and high functioning (ignorance on their part) and being told to be quiet and allow things really began to get on my nerves. So I think I want to say that you make me feel that I am not wrong saying what I say and doing what I do. I'm not trying to be popular. I'm trying to do what is right. Your voice on this is influencing me to get back in there as soon as I am well enough. You deserve people to stand with you. Take care

SlugHead said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SlugHead said...

Speaking as someone on the spectrum, (diagnosed about 3 months before my 14th birthday, just turned 28 this month) I've been sharing a lot of your articles with my mother, who has helped me out a lot, but who has also unwittingly said and done things that are degrading. The phrase she almost always says in reaction to what you've written is, "I had no idea." Thankfully when I was in high-school, we had the head of the special-needs department on my side, and he understood that the "you're not trying hard enough" line was bull, and he was not afraid to confront teachers who tried to use that line, and call them out on their ableism. I only wish, that more of us on the spectrum were so lucky.
(i chose my nickname during a period of severe low self-esteem)

Unknown said...

Privilege-havers wanting to remain ignorant about their privilege?

Pretty routine. (Goodness knows I wasn't comfortable learning about mine.) Doesn't make putting up with them any easier though. Good job keepin' on.