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Frustrated as hell with all the damn bickering

August 17, 2008

Okay, this is mostly not my business, what others argue about in the autistic community, since it so far has had nothing to do with me directly. But I’ve noticed examples of argument on a couple of autism lists I’m on. I wonder why things have to get taken so personally. You’re attacking me, I don’t like the way you’re running your life, you’re ignoring real threats, blah blah blah.

Yes it’s true, I’m completely ignorant of the various situations in which said arguments are taking place. That’s why I’m only venting out my frustrations on my OWN blog, and not on anyone else’s.

In the interest of not seeming to point out anyone in particular, we have chosen not to link to any examples of arguing. We know jack about the situations to begin with (how they started), and we feel that judging any of the situations would be rather crass, meddlesome, and devolving to the level of pointless arguing when we don’t know anything to begin with.

We DO want to say we’re frustrated with the situation of bickering, and we feel that it is hurtful to the greater cause of self-advocacy. Maybe people see the “self” in self-advocacy as literally meaning “oneself” and not a generic autistic self. I know that’s a poor term for it, as every autistic person is unique, but what I am trying to get at here is that advocacy should be a larger cause than one’s own self-interest and self-perceptions of what autism means to them, what should and should not be done, etcetera. Autistic advocacy should be a collaborative effort; one in which every person is free to address his/her/xyr concerns, give ideas, and debate without getting into “this person is attacking me because I think x and xe thinks y.” And seriously, not everything is an attack. Remember, autism entails a difficulty to communicate with nuanced language (sometimes) and a tendency for some people to be blunt or come out as seeming harsh without intention. One should not always assume that a response in the negative means that the person gave a bad idea, or the other thought the first had bad intentions, or did something deliberately against xyr.

Chill out, people. This isn’t just about you, or me, or any other individual for that matter. This is about defending our civil rights as disabled people. Arguing with one another isn’t going to help our cause.

And I’m talking to all of us just as much as I’m talking to all of you autistic advocates out there. If you’re not bickering, then good for you, and keep it up. It’s really not worth our time.

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