Monday, February 11, 2013

Who's afraid of whom, now?

So apparently people are "afraid of me".

I might tell them uncomfortable truths, and that terrifies them to their very bones.

Never mind that people like them regularly kill people like me (and get away with it) (and write themselves as the victims of their own crimes). Never mind that people like them abuse people like me (and get away with it). Never mind that a person like them knifed me int he arm when I was 19 (and got away with it). Never mind that people like me are viewed as burdens and tragedies that happen to our families. Never mind that people like me are at astonishingly high risk of poverty, homelessness, and violence, and that the prejudice of people like them keeps it that way.

Never mind that my life literally is at risk every time I speak out, and frequently when I don't, because people like them allow being like me to be a capital crime. They don't care to see that this will hurt their children, so long as they get the martyr points now.

They're afraid I might not be nice to them.

I cannot even imagine living a life where getting snarked at by a teensy disabled blogger even pings my fear-dar. Cannot. Imagine. I am too busy dealing with the death threats (from people like them) and attending vigils for people like me (who were killed by people like them) to even wrap my head around it.

They're afraid I'll be sarcastic at them. I'm afraid they'll kill me. So why is only their fear seen as valid?


Anonymous said...

Same reason as why men's fear of women laughing at them is considered equivalent to women's fear of being assaulted?

Jim said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

How does someone who doesn't know you, and who's experience with people who made them feel bad also included physical violence, know that "people like you" should be considered safe. Are all small people safe? autistic people safe? bloggers safe? women safe? people who have suffered violence themselves safe? people who say they are safe safe? Outside of actually getting to know you how does anyone know whether your readers after having someone identified as a terrible person here wouldn't be as inclined to act on it violently as one of the people not like you. If I don't know you, and you are surrounded by people to be afraid of, how do I pick you as the safe one, after knowing you don't care how I feel.

Elizabeth J. (Ibby) Grace said...

Meliora, are you saying you are afraid of Neurodivergent K primarily because you are afraid of her friends? I am sorry people hurt you in the past. This is a terrible thing. Also it doesn't seem to relate to this same question to me, and so I don't understand why you believe it is likely that K is scary and she is "surrounded by people to be afraid of." I am her friend, also Autistic, and a sort of tame professor, mother of twins. Turning the question around, how does someone who doesn't know us come to the conclusion that we are people to be afraid of, people who should be automatically considered unsafe?

Alyssa said...

How is K surrounded by people to be afraid of? Unless you mean K is surrounded by parents who do that kind of thing and you need to figure out which is the disabled person who is afraid of being killed and which is the parent who is afraid of being snarked at.

Unknown said...

I meant surrounded as in, shares the internet with. Not her friends, or even necessarily those she is afraid of. Just strangers out there. But I probably shouldn't have mentioned anything because the fear I am talking about is not afraid she will come to my house and hurt me fear like I imagine she and the people she is writing about are feeling, but rather, wouldn't want to voluntarily encounter her in the real world fear. Because in my experience angry people are unpredictable.

Unknown said...

I really shouldn't have posted, as I am not involved with the issue or communities involved. Just she says, why should only other people's fear be legitimate. I do not disagree, her fear is. But the post suggests that theirs isn't. I can relate to being afraid of someone online who is mad at me. So that is where I am coming from. Sorry to obfuscate the point being made.

Anonymous said...

K is angry and unpredictable and prone to lashing out?

That's not anything like the K I know.

And, ultimately, I can't think of any time an autistic activist has assaulted a random allistic parent of an autistic child on the street. Parental abuse, parents swapping tips on how to abuse their kids, and so on? that happens far more frequently.

Neurodivergent K said...

So, you're saying, it's more legit that they're afraid I will snark at them than it is that I'm afraid they'll kill me?

*looks at knife scar on right tricep*

alright then. Good to know where I stand on the humanity scale.

Sai Kit Lo said...

You are obviously intelligent. Very intelligent.

I am on the ADHD and Aspergers spectrum. Of course my parents had a lot to do with that as they had been abusing me.

It was not as severe as what you experienced. However, I can see the damages of my brain proportional to their abuses.

I believe you can look at most human beings and trace their appearance, intelligent, cognitive abilities to their upbringing by caretakers.

Abuses can decrease cognitive abilities, including social intelligence.

I used to have a lot of problem socially, but as I experienced more quiet times (luckily, time when I was able to have parents' absence and do what I want with my own time), and slowly move toward a more nourishing social environment, I slowly but gradually improved social intelligence.

To this day I still have a poker face though. My face is foreign to me.

Brain is neuroplastical and there are more and more books and experts who become more and more known to the world on this field.

It is a fact that your environment and social connection are almost the number one factor that determines your brain and body health.

To this day I still deal with the damages my family had done me. I am a age 31, strong and good looking man, but even in recent years still get victimized by family. Still have a lot of work to do socially, although I have come to be known as one of the funniest and kindest person people have ever met, according to many people who have met me.

Sai Kit Lo said...

My conclusion is, your autism does make me feel like it came from abuses, not by birth.

I believe you can improve the wiring of your brain if you
get a more nourishing environment, which is hard as in our cases there are often depressions, anti-social symptoms, low cognitive abilities, learning disabilities, poverty, bullies, and all the negatives that follow an autistic/ADHD or whatever you call your brain damage due to reasons such as abuses, or heavy metal posioning, or vaccinations.

Neurodivergent K said...

I don't recall talking about autism causation in this post. I recall talking about fear, as in who is afraid of whom and how fucking ridiculous it is that people are pretending that their fear of being snarked at is remotely equal to my fear of being killed or stabbed (again).

@Jim, that'd mean a whole lot more if certain circumstances were substantially different. Namely if I was minus one scar and you were minus some bully friends.

Unknown said...

Right: folks are fearing the potential negative consequences of a meeting, without regard for the fact that one group's bad consequences (serious bodily injury/death) are hella worse than the other group's (appearing foolish in front of others).

Depressingly commonplace, though incorrect.

tal9000 is spot-on in the first comment.


Brenda Rothman (Mama Be Good) said...

Jim, your comment is so inappropriate - especially in this context. Didn't K just get through saying that she's actually been threatened? That someone's actually attacked her? Why would you make light of that?

Elizabeth J. (Ibby) Grace said...

So this is where privilege becomes a thing that is hard to see through. I am guessing Jim thought that would be funny because he cannot easily imagine fearing for his life. Meanwhile, I can easily imagine it, and the first time I read it, my eyes glided over it, thinking, oh good, Jim likes K. And when I unpack that, I suppose there was a sense of relief. Some of Jim's friends probably do not like K because they do not even like me, and I don't say half of what I am thinking. But if he promises not to kill her, can he stop them from harming her? Does he want to? It was meant as a joke... but you see it can only feel like a joke to a person who has never been attacked for being. My social training has been to keep my head down when I get the knotted gut-feeling such scary jokes engender, but nowadays, it is known to be better to bring things into the light, because it is almost invariable that the joke-maker had no idea how scary it sounded. This is my guess. It is impossible to have certain kinds of ideas come to you naturally without having had certain kinds of experiences, or else listening deeply to people who have had them. This is why standpoint epistemology is critically important, and it is not about "You hate me, you discounted my voice as a person who isn't you!" but so much more than that. We need you to hear us, so that we may feel safe in our ability to survive. We must keep trying. We have to do this. We ask you to keep trying to listen, and not to retreat into concepts such as not liking our tone or thinking we are doing reverse prejudice or things like that. Please just hear us and help others to do the same.

Anonymous said...

I wish I were more eloquent today, but a high fever is kind of getting in the way of that. I wish I were more eloquent because I am nearly wordless at what I'm seeing here.

Someone wrote (and I totally believe her because my own life experiences and observations have been similar enough) that she fears e violence that is perpetrated on Autistic people on a regular basis and what kind of response does she get?

One person makes a joke . . . A JOKE!!! . . . out of it. A joke that sounds a bit ominous, at that.

Another person derails the entire point by questioning the author's diagnosis, a sadly common way to try to make Autistic activists shut up.

sSomeone else makes a "people like you" slam that says all the author's friend -- or perhaps all Autistic people? The commenter was not clear -- are scary and potentially dangerous. In the process, this commenter played "blame the victim" by insinuating that all the violence and threats against the author are her own fault for associating with the wrong sort of people.

I am sitting here hoping this is all some fever hallucination, because this is too crazy and disturbing to be real.

ratherunique said...

You know you are doing something right not when you are showered by praise from the masses, but when people show up to silence, invalidate, derail and misdirect the conversation with pure nonsense.

To answer your question. Most people of privilege are going to defend the status quo that maintains that privilege, and fear the loss of it. People are also aware of the moral and logical fallacies they subscribe to in order to defend that status quo from you. They are afraid of the guilt and shame they suppress.

I appreciate your blog and thoughts. Please continue your hard and good work.

Brenda Rothman (Mama Be Good) said...

I think we should add a translation for that sentence, so that people will understand what it means.

"I for one promise never to kill you. I like you."

Here are some translations:
I won't kill you because I like you. If for some reason that you cannot control or define, I might not like you anymore. And then I will kill you.

It is okay for someone to kill you if they don't like you.

Other people will kill you if they don't like you.

You have to please me so I won't kill you.

For a population that has been abused, neglected, isolated, tortured, and killed - this is what that sentence means. When you treat it as a joke, you show complete unawareness of what it means to live in this NT world as an autistic person.

Jim said...

Oh my god!!!


I SOOOOOOOO apologize for the thoughtlessness with which I cast out an attempt at humor, K.

Our past facebook conversations have been casual and humorous and I was just continuing in that context. My comment was INTENDED to defuse the tension of having a parent commenting on a blog post about violent parents who kill their children by making the only statement that I could touch...that I wouldn't kill you. It seemed to me so obvious and so straightforward and so...I don't know...It was just stupid and careless and creepy as shit when evaluated through the comments of the folks who have split it open and examined it.

SO SO sorry. Wow. I love your honesty. I love your take no prisoners attitude. I love your unapologetic stance and your passion. I don't always love being lumped in with "all the other murdering parents"...but I ignore it because I USUALLY get it.

Wow. Just complete failure AGAIN on my part to think something through.

Please know that in my stupid stupid head...I was expecting you to figuratively roll your eyes at me and tell me to shut up and go back to my fruit eating.

Wow. SO. SO. SO. Sorry.

Jim said...

PS, I'm deleting my comment. I'm so embarrassed and ashamed of it I do NOT want it sitting there as a "lesson to others who might want to learn from the moron"


I'm really really sorry.

Neurodivergent K said...

Yeah no I think you should leave it. It's a perfect example of the privileged bullshit I'm talking about.

Always talking about.

If I'm expected to be a learning experience all the damn time, maybe it's your turn today. Just a thought.

Jim said...

That went so horribly wrong.

Jim said...

Sorry, K, I deleted it before you requested I keep it up. I'm not sure if you can retrieve it from deletion...I tried and cannot.

Dixie Redmond said...

Kassiane - I'm not afraid of you. Some ideas and words expressed in posts and by commenters when followed through to the end bring up concerns for me at times. I can respectfully say, "Nope, I don't agree with that point" although I probably won't very often.

When I visit your page, I expect strong language. I expect to read sarcasm. I expect to be uncomfortable. I don't always have the energy to experience that. Or the words to engage appropriately. But I do read. I do not always agree with your words or the words of commenters. Sometimes there are ideas which are hard to read. That's my issue. I tuck things away and consider them while I am juggling the stuff of life.

Anonymous said...

Gee, I feel so safe in a country that has thanked my grandfather for his service during the previous century's darkest days by funding university experiments to selectively abort my kind. I feel so safe in a world where a woman who will not take no for an answer regarding her ambitions to run the whole show is thanking the people who sell my genocide for their work with me.

Are they kidding? No, really, that is a serious question, whoever said "people like you" should be considered safe. Are you joking?

I am one of the people that you think you should be afraid of, whoever you think you are. I am the Leon Kowalski/Roy Batty type. Whilst people out there try to put a pretty "we rock, we flap" (hey, I have clashed with an autistic soldier, so on behalf of him, no we do not) face on us, I revel in telling people I am not going out without a fight. But before K cuts me off, I want to tell you and those who "think" like you something about the "fear" you think you have of us.

You have brought this on entirely yourselves.