Daily Archives: August 19, 2006

Double standards.


Has anyone noticed something?

When people in general do something destructive, and that thing is considered a normal part of what “people” (defined as, NT, dominant culture, etc, although of course other people might do these things too) do, then people spend a lot of time and effort researching and justifying why this thing exists. For instance:

Gossip is the human equivalent of ‘social grooming’ among primates, which has been shown to stimulate production of endorphins, relieving stress and boosting the immune system. Two-thirds of all human conversation is gossip, because this ‘vocal grooming’ is essential to our social, psychological and physical well-being.

(From Evolution, Alienation, and Gossip.)

Yet when other people (including autistic people) do something that may not even be all that destructive, may serve a purpose, etc, it’s considered a symptom.  And when we do (or even are imagined to do) something destructive, it’s considered twice as bad as anything destructive that non-autistic people generally do.

Case in point:  Violence.

Violence is close to universal among humans, I don’t care what designation they’ve got.  When autistic people (or any of a number of other people) do something violent (or even just something perceived as violent), people see it as utterly horrible, “for no reason”, and a sign of something about all autistic (etc) people. When non-autistic people do things that are far more violent, often towards autistic people (for instance, school bullying, murder, etc) out come the explanations of why these sorts of things make sense in the scheme of things, or the ways in which autistic people are asking for it.

So let me get this straight.

When we do something violent (or perceived as violent), it’s because we’re doing something wrong (even if there was genuine provocation, self-defense, etc).  And when other people do something even more violent to us, it’s because we are something wrong (our very existence is provocative and needing defending against, or something…).