A useful link

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When Allies Fail

Something I would add is that when these sorts of things come up for any group of people (autistic people are far from the only ones, there is much culture and class-based stuff in there as well) whose normal way of interacting has been considered by those with power to lack “proper” social skills… when we get angry at people who perpetuate some form or another of prejudice or oppression is NOT the time to start lecturing us on how our social skills are atrocious and we need to calm down and be polite before anyone can listen to us. That is just adding a whole new layer of fail on top of whatever the original one was, and trapping us into a situation where we need to communicate in the same way those in power do before those in power will listen. (Which is false anyway. When we do manage to communicate in that manner we are usually ignored. Which means the insistence that we all communicate in that one way is just another way of not listening. Which is why it pisses me off so much when I see so-called allies demanding perfect decorum from those they are supposedly allied to. It’s really just another twist-and-turn of power play and will doubtless just cause a feeling of impotent rage in anyone it’s applied to.)

Still working on the cat posts. And right now lying back to back with a cat in yet another mode of cuddling.

About Mel Baggs

Hufflepuff. Came from the redwoods. Crochet or otherwise create constantly and compulsively. Write poetry and paint when I can. Physically and cognitively disabled. Anything you hear in the media or gossip is likely to be oversimplified at best and wildly inaccurate at worst, the only way to get to know me is to actually know me. I'm not really part of any online faction or another, even ones that claim me as a member. The thing in the world most important to me is having love and compassion for other people, although I don't always measure up to my own standards there by a longshot. And individual specific actions and situations and contexts matter a lot more to me than broadly-spoken abstract words and ideas about a topic. My father died a couple years ago and that has changed my life a lot in ways that are still evolving, but I wear a lot of his clothes and hats every day since he died and have shown no sign of stopping soon.

5 responses »

  1. I think that if somebody does that, it demonstrates that they do not see us as people but as something lesser. And that it’s no use trying to talk to them, because they look down on us.

    Looking forward to those kitty blog posts. >.>b

  2. “…trapping us into a situation where we need to communicate in the same way those in power do before those in power will listen. (Which is false anyway…”

    This reminds me of a quote by Audre Lorde (I’m pretty sure it’s Audre Lorde, anyway–hopefully someone will correct me if I’m wrong): “The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house”.

    Thank you for this post, and thanks for the link.

    Littlewolf

  3. Thank you for this link. I found that I could actually relate to it quite a bit, considering that we’ve had situations in which we’ve run into privileged ‘allies’ who got upset that we were angry about some sort of privilege-fail that they committed, or that we criticised their so-called ‘ally’ behaviour. I think a lot of people call themselves ‘allies’ because they pity marginalised groups. They don’t necessarily respect them; they just pity them, and that comes out in their reactions. When people stand up and assert their personhood and criticise their behaviour, that rejects their pity, and the ‘allies’ grow defensive.

  4. Whenever I got bullied in high school, and told the moderater I had in Special Ed, she would say they didn’t mean it, I didn’t understand because I didn’t get social skills.

    After enough times of this, I figured “Well I guess she wants me to become like my bullies.” as well as seeing since she wouldn’t defend me from them, I’d have to defend myself against them.

    It is a huge fail, cause it’s telling that person their perspective of the situation is worthless, because it can be accounted for by their disability or diagnoses.

    I don’t know how someone is supposed to learn about proper social interaction, in an environment where people are allowed to harass and bully them, with no regard to the situation. It makes me think of school shootings, maybe the reason those students resorted to that, is because the school told them time and time again they don’t understand, part of social interaction is being cruel to others.

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