Sunday, November 10, 2013

Autistic Feminist Affirms Her Intrinsic Value In the Face of Dehumanization

In general, I hate identity politics.

I hate feminism.

I hate a lot of autism advocacy. There are genuine concerns regarding autistic individuals and their welfare. But I find a lot of the identity politics is self-pitying and focused on how unfair it is that the 99% of people who don't have autism run the world based their neurotypical mindset.

But on occasion, you find a post where left-wing and right-wing themes come together nicely.

This is the blogpost of an autistic feminist and stay-at-home mom who cannot work.

Now she seems perfectly articulate. But autistic people can have trouble processing speech, social cues, sensory input, etc so that work is very onerous.

But she feels pressured to work.


My childhood was infused with a popular feminist theme. I was taught that a Real Woman is financially independent. She doesn’t need a man be it a husband or larger entity (The Man) to support her basic needs or the needs of her offspring. A Real Woman knows children are an accessory to a career, not something one builds a life around. I regularly heard the words “housewife” and “brood mare” used interchangeably. I am loathe to believe this is real feminism, because empowerment that exists on the denigration and neglect of other’s needs empowers no one.

Growing up, I was also told over and over again my worth was tied to doing Great Things. That lesser people lived ordinary lives, and that for me to live an ordinary life would be tantamount to complete failure. In order to be a worthy human, I needed to be financially independent while actively improving society. Nothing less would do.

I completely relate, because I grew up with similar ideas.

But autism isn't her only problem. In the comment she says:

I have a spinal issue. For now, I have intermittent loss of use and feeling in my limbs, but I may eventually be quadriplegic.
This lady has a heavy burden. She tried to apply for disability but she says:
Every worker I spoke to asked the same question: if you are too disabled to work, how can you be a fit mother? I was told, repeatedly and in no uncertain terms that if I submitted an SSI application, a Child Protective Services investigation would be in my future. That is not a risk I could take. My children need me. I know this as much as I know anything. I am the best possible mother on earth for those particular children. That is not negated by my sometimes inability to speak, or walk, or work.

So she's of no use to to the work-a-day world. No good as a mother to the bureaucracy.

Given her inability to "produce":

There is a dollar figure attached to my right to exist. Do not tell me it is not there. That is a lie. I see it every time I look in the mirror as if tattooed on my forehead. There exists a ledger; a balance sheet of what I contribute and what I take.

Intangibles count for nothing.

Joy counts for nothing.


Intangibles count for nothing. Her joy counts for nothing.

She counts for nothing to the Culture of Death.

So this woman is reduced to asserting her intrinsic value as a human being.

She shouldn't have to do this, but she's reduced to this.

Because we've lost this idea that human beings are valuable in and of themselves.

What would happen to this lady if euthanasia were legalized?

If she were hospitalized, she would be taking up bed space. She's not doing "great things". She's not especially "useful" to her kids and maybe even a danger to them (according to the government).

Do you think her life will be as cherished as someone who does Great Things and is an able-bodied neurotypical mom?

Make no mistake that our acceptance of euthanasia is the product of our conception of what human life is, its meaning and its value. When human life is no longer an absolute, people become disposable.