Thursday, December 1, 2011

Defending Your Children

I usually don't get into arguments with people when I use social media. I try very hard to not fight with people on twitter. Brilliant-computer-sis warned me when I started on social media that it was not a good idea to engage with nasty people. There are too many who are mean and are able to hack into your computer, find out who you are and make your life miserable. Better, she told me, that if someone is not nice, evil, troll-like just block them, ignore them and move on. I have generally followed her advice.

Heck I even have stopped visiting blogs where the blog owners do not moderate their comment section. Bloggers I believe have a duty to oversee the temperature of their blog. To allow others to insult or intimidate or dehumanize or bully other commentors just to get more traffic is reprehensible. These type of blogs are not worth your time, even if you agree with their beliefs and ideas. These bloggers who perpetuate nastiness are classless and have no business being given the honor of your time and effort.

Anyway, in contradiction to my own rules, I did get into a bit of a tiff today on twitter. An individual (not going to name here ever) who I had stopped following a year ago contacted me through another profile today. Trying to pretend that he did not know why we argued. You see I had been tweeting with others who did not like him very much. Now what was my beef with this person? Well a subject near and dear to my heart...the civil rights of my children. The right of my autistic children to be respected and be thought of as human beings.

The individual in question had tweeted that the fact that society can ignore antisemitism is "societal autism." Well the hackles came up. The hair on the back of my neck gained a life of their own at that moment. Two issues near and dear to my heart; respect for autistics and fighting antisemitism all in one line. But not in the way I ever thought it was going to happen. Always thought the idea of fighting for respect as a human being for one issue meant that you would see all people as human beings. Fighting for your own humanity does not mean you get to pick and choose whom you decide to respect and give the title "person." (Ironically I saw someone else on another political blog, which 'stands against" antisemitism too, use the term "societal autism" as well and called them out on it. They never responded and never changed their post.)

I told him he was dehumanizing people with autism and especially my children. He owed the autism community an apology. He said that he had a nephew that was autistic so he could not be anti-autistic people. I then said that's like saying just because someone has a Jewish BFF or a Jewish spouse they can then claim they can't be antisemitic. (I used that analogy because he claims to be fighting antisemitism too.) Well he then told me I was disgusting and blocked me.

No great loss. I knew I had hit a nerve, but as you can tell I never forgot who he was or what happened. (It's that memory of mine that can annoy hubby so much...hehehe) So the other day when I was tweeting with these "tweinds" on my political profile, they were discussing him. Seems I am not the only one he has had issues with. It's that old saying if someone is a schmuck to one person they are generally a schmuck to others. I told them what had happened a year ago.

Interestingly, through another account he tried to contact me to tell me these political "twiends" were evil. Unfortunately one of the "twiends" retweeted what I said and directed it at him. Didn't know that that was going to happen. Now I learned a lesson, and need to remember to DM more often in such situations. OK in reality I also didn't really mind that others would know what he had said and done either. (My bad.)

Anyway, I did remind him that he owed the autism community an apology. I reminded him that he dehumanized autistic people by what he said. He of course got all insulted and became abusive, which I also lambasted him for.  I told him in no uncertain terms that I remembered he used that term, "societal autism" to describe ignorant people.

I then told the resurfaced tweeter that autistic people are brilliant, empathetic, honest and wonderful. That autistic people were way beyond him. That he should get lost. Then I did block the schmuck. Afterwards I went to my autism profile and tweeted about it.

I have to say I am still a little hyper about what happened. Yes it did happen on my political profile so I hope alot of people were actually watching and seeing what I wrote. I hope some of those actually paid attention and learned something. Words do matter and teaching others that autistic people are human beings and entitled to respect is very very very important.

Meanwhile after I tweeted about this interaction @RaisingASDKids, @theblondeview did a Google search for the term. You can see it HERE. The number of entries is terribly disturbing. Here is part of the definition-Using word to mean "lack of" "clueless" "void" etc in phrase "Societal Autism."

You know whenever you think the autism community makes strides in the world-at-large, something always hits you right in the jaw to show just how far we as a society really have to go. What I found most disturbing is that the links were mostly for people who considered themselves intellectuals. They were students or professors or writers. These are people that would never write anything deemed racist, misogynistic, or not politically correct, yet they feel no shame in using this term.

I think it s time for a new campaign. We will never allow the use of the "R" word in our home and as annoyed as I am at Glee they did do something good with that PSA against the "R" word. Maybe to make up for Sugar they can make a PSA and start a campaign to rid the use of this insulting phrase about people who have autism. Not sure it will happen anytime soon though.



At least in the meantime we as a community can be aware of its use and hold society to a standard. Just another arena where we need to demand respect for our loved ones and even for ourselves.

Everyday is definitely a different adventure lately and it doesn't always have to do with the boys. Good lord I need a vacation...


Until next time,


Elise