One of the things that turned me into a "bad Autistic" was constantly being asked about my bodily functions by strangers. That's rude. Don't do that. Another thing that turned me into a bad Autistic? The reaction of parents-it's pretty much always parents demanding a 25 year poop diary-when I say that's rude, inappropriate, and invasive. Apparently it's disrespectful to tell them that it's rude, inappropriate, and disrespectful. Apparently I should "just not answer". But it's not that simple.
Let's talk about why.
Like many Autistic people, I learned to language via scripts. I also learned that you answer an adult's questions, because the consequences for not doing so really very much suck.
There is no script for "that is none of your business; I cannot believe you are asking me this question. This is rude. What the hell is wrong with you??" apart from what I just said. That works on equal footing. Sometimes. Ish. Some of us were taught the "none of your business" script. Most of us have learned that it doesn't work, because of the other thing we learned:
You answer an adult's questions-no matter what. And we are not treated as adults. Autism is infantilized in society, and Autistics are treated as children. We are taught, over and over and over, that we are the child in the interaction, and the invasive questioner-that they can and will punish us, just as an adult punishes a child, if we do not answer their question-no matter how inappropriate.
That is the power dynamic here. Parents run roughshod all over Autistics' boundaries-and they tend to feel totally ok doing so, because boundaries are a privilege for adults (this is not an attitude I am ok with, but society is totally down with it), and we are not really real adults.
So we have a really shitty choice: we answer your invasive, asshole questions, and have our boundaries thoughtlessly violated again and again, or we defend our boundaries & our dignity, and we're the high royalty of Asshatland for demanding to be treated with a bit of respect.
And the thing that's really baffling here is that parents (who are far and away the most common askers of "oh my god what made you think that is ok??" questions) don't see a problem with this dynamic. They feel entitled to stomp all over our boundaries at will. What are adult Autistics here for if not to talk all about our first sexual experiences & how we coped with puberty? If you don't want to be asked that question than just stay off the internet or away from anything having to do with autism (ok, Jerry Lewis...). They see nothing wrong with this invasive behavior-until you do it to them.
I've turned it around on them before. The indignation is a sight to see. Apparently I have appalling social skills because I saw fit to reciprocate the questioning. It's only fair game in one direction-because of power. Because the NT parent is the "adult" perceiving me as a child at best, as a walking encyclopedia of autism at not-much-worse (a child is percieved as a posession in this society. So is an object. Oh boy! Such choices!)
Parents. You are not entitled to know anything about me. I do not believe for a second that you'd ask a stranger on an airplane if they get the shits when they eat salicylates (or expect them to know what salicylates are for that matter). Someone tried to blow smoke up my ass about talking about shit with strangers this morning and I do not appreciate it (oh right, I'm Autistic so they can lie to me with impunity...just like a child...and they can get all indignant when I don't believe them...just like if a child doesn't). I do not believe for a second you say "excuse me, miss, could you tell me about your first menstrual period? I have a daughter about to hit that age & I need more perspectives" on the bus. I don't. I don't. I don't.
It is just as inappropriate to assume that we want to answer your questions as that the lady on the train does. We have not been given the tools to say 'no'. We have been taught that our boundaries don't matter.
So have some fucking respect and stop jumping on them. Be aware of the power imbalance, be aware that we were taught that we have to answer all the questions, & instead of insisting that we don't have to answer (and then throwing a hissy the one time you come across someone who can defend their boundaries) just don't ask without asking if it's ok first.
Be aware. It's not that hard.