|Too autistic to know what you’re talking about.||Not autistic enough to know what you’re talking about.|
The interesting thing here is that if you actually go back through what has been said to dismiss the viewpoints of autistic people, you’ll see these things being used simultanenously. You’ll see that a person will use back-handed compliments about a person’s ‘intelligence’ and ‘verbal skills’ to distance that person in people’s minds from the stereotype of autistic people, may even question openly whether the person is autistic, and then at the very same time will say that the person engages in black and white thinking, lacks empathy, and clearly has no compassion. This of course happened to Michelle Dawson recently, but it’s been going on for a very long time, as has my desire to document it in a list in this format.
Another very interesting thing about these list is the way that the apparent meaning behind the rhetoric changes depending on which side is being used. If a person is argued to be too autistic to understand what is going on, the implication is that autistic people cannot understand what is going on at all, and therefore always need non-autistic people to make the decisions about us. If a person is argued to be not autistic enough to understand what is going on, the implication is that only someone more autistic would be qualified to speak on the matter (in which case, the non-autistic person has even fewer qualifications themselves).
These implications actually oppose each other, but they serve their purpose. Their purpose is not to illuminate anything useful about the people they are being used on. Their purpose is instead to be a fancy way of shutting autistic people up. Since many people, particularly people unfamiliar with autistic people, are swayed by arguments like this, it becomes a handy way to defend anything that autistic people oppose in large numbers. Simply declare us, one way or the other, unfit to comment, and go on saying whatever you were saying to begin with. The whole point seems to be to push us out of the way.
Of course, non-autistic people are not the only ones to use this kind of rhetoric. There are plenty of autistic people who do so as well, but that takes on a slightly different form, and I think I’ve written a fair bit about that already.