Sunday, February 21, 2016

Inspiration Porn and Tone Policing - my day so far.

I am a follower of an Asperger's Awareness group on facebook run by a young man with Asperger's. He often takes questions from parents and other adults who do NOT have autism, and share them on his page so we can all help answer the queries from our perspective. He also has parents there who generally are kind and thankful to have our input.

Yesterday the page owner posted a comment from a school nurse who said she had a group of students in year 10 who she was going to talk to about autism and asked if there was anything that we autistic people would like those students to know or understand. My reply is below.. unfortunately so is the reply from a woman who doesn't get it. Her reply is what has me so angry right now. (Transcript of both are at the bottom of the post)

[Transcript is at the bottom of the post]



So. I was asked if there was anything that I, a person with ASD, would like this nurse to teach her year 10 kids and I explained please explain to them that othering exists and is bad, and that inspiration porn is bad, and here's why.

And this lady comments to tone police me, talk over me, and trivialize everything I had to say as well as the perspective from which I am answering.

Her authority in this comes not from being autistic like me. Not from having an autistic child. Not from marrying an autistic spouse. Not from being a special needs teacher. Not from being a therapist.

Her authority comes from having a sister who has two children who both have Asperger's.

Did the original poster ASK For input from people who know someone who have kids who have Asperger's? No.

Did I ask this person to read my response and critique it? No.

So WHY did they feel the need to single ME and ONLY ME out from the long list of commenters and tell me to CALM DOWN!!!!!!!!!!! and tell me I have a CHIP ON MY SHOULDER (what does that even mean in this context? Doesn't that mean she assumes that the things in my post happened to me and I"m still pissed off about it? Because I assure you that I've never been a girl with down's syndrome who was nominated for prom queen. I wish I had been but I wasn't. Instead of prom I went to the Battle of the Bands with my boyfriend who played Bass in one of the competing bands. And it was awesome. But a prom might be a neat thing to add to my list of experiences as well, though the one formal I did attend was boring enough to last a lifetime to be honest.)

Anyway. The link to the original question and my comment is here - https://www.facebook.com/AspergerSyndromeAwareness/?target_post=928197437296057 - if anyone wants to add their own two cents.

I did not appreciate being tone policed and hollered at and talked down to. Thanks for any support of my position you lovely people might be willing and able to add. <3

Transcript of question, my response, and the tone-policing mean-spirited person's reply to me:

QUESTION:
"I am a secondary school nurse and our year 10 students have said that they would like to know more about Autism. Is there anything that you or your friends would like them to know? We will be having a discussion in class Monday and I will be sharing some of the information that you have put up on your page"


MY RESPONSE:
"That they have to stop thinking that they're a group of kids wanting to learn about a different, other group of kids. That "othering" is a thing, a bad thing. That inspiration porn is BAD. That if you write an article about someone with a disability, you need to ask yourself "if that was me, would I be SO proud to read this article about myself and want to show everyone? Or would it humiliate me and make me feel like everyone is patronizing me?" and that if you're writing an article about, say, a girl with Down's Syndrome being nominated for prom queen, you damn well better write a story about every single other girl who was nominated too or else you're producing inspiration porn and have already failed at diversity and kindness. Don't single out disabled people to USE to make yourself feel like a hero.. in fact don't USE PEOPLE at ALL."

THAT MEAN LADY'S TONE POLICING RESPONSE TO ME SEEKING TO BELITTLE AND SHUT ME DOWN:
"
CALM DOWN!!!!! Only with knowledge can we understand our many differences. You seem to have a large chip on your shoulder and YOU need to RESPECT the way others choose to learn. I have a niece and nephew , both who have Asperger's and my sister would be the first to encourage anyone to gain some understanding in whichever way is offered to them. How can that demean anyone with a disability? You are overthinking!"

Link back to original discussion: https://www.facebook.com/AspergerSyndromeAwareness/?target_post=928197437296057

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