World Autism Awareness Day and why its ok to let your activism hang out.

I want to talk about the microagressions occurring on and around WAAD and why as activists we have to persist even when there are those who want everything to be bright and shiny; because when people want everything to seem “positive” or for us to “move forward” what they are really saying is “I invalidate you and your experience”, “I don’t want your pain in my face”, “I erase your contribution from the story” or “my privileged experience is the only experience”

“Simply stated, microaggressions are brief exchanges that send denigrating messages to marginalised groups. Any group can be guilty of delivering microaggressions, but the most painful and harmful ones are likely to occur between those who hold power and those who are disempowered.” (Sue, 2007)

“In many cases, these hidden messages may invalidate the group¬†identity¬†or experiential reality of target persons, demean them on a personal or group level, communicate they are lesser human beings, suggest they do not belong with the majority group, threaten and intimidate, or relegate them to inferior status and treatment.” (Sue, 2010)

Some Microagressions seen or reported:

“What’s the difference – its all for a good cause right?”

“People will get confused if we have more than one message”

“I’m saying that the ugly bitterness that i hav[e] seen on social media does nothing for autism awareness or understanding.”

“well you look normal to me”

“You seem to act normal… you don’t act weird or anything… you look healthy… you seem smart.”

“Instead of spending your time trolling all these posting and spewing your hate and anger, start your own page and spew it there. Just because you oppose Autism Speaks doesn’t give you the right to ruin it for others.”

“Oh yes, but you’re so different to most people on the spectrum”.

“Why do you have to make such a big deal about it?”

“Just don’t make it too ‘political’ ok”

“Oh I heard somewhere that we’re all ‘on the spectrum’.”

high functioning, high functioning, high functioning

Tell me about some of the microaggressions you have seen or heard…


One Response to “World Autism Awareness Day and why its ok to let your activism hang out.”

  1. Geraldine Robertson says:

    Thank you, thank you. In the last few weeks I have been the recipient of most of those. Sometimes it is hard to keep going but this is a great reminder of why it is important to express your opinion regardless of suppression and oppression.

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