When is it ever a “wrong place wrong time” to voice my objection to being insulted?
If I am dealt an insult couched in the form of a compliment just because of my race, nobody in their right mind would tell me to just celebrate the compliment and not point out that I feel insulted – to quote, “wrong place wrong time, just saying.” If someone used derogatory terminology to ‘praise’ a person with Down Syndrome for having achieved a level of ‘normality,’ e.g. “not so retarded,” most people would be up in arms at the use of the derogatory term. Yet, when I protest against an insult to my autistic embodiment, on a forum meant for autistic people no less, I am shot down as a wet blanket because I ought to be celebrating achievement instead of pointing out the ironic fact that the ‘celebratory’ comment contained an insulting term.
The most disheartening aspect of this was not the comment made by that person telling me to basically suck it up, but what caused me some personal pain was that the ignorant comment was supported (FB-liked) by the admin of the autism group, who are people I thought and trusted would know better, having shared so much of my journey in my research and quest for Beingness.
Herein lies the insidiousness of prevalent functional labels. It divides people into the ‘high’ and ‘low’ categories using a completely false system of measurement, it throws dust in the eyes of those who are supposedly being ‘acclaimed’ (as ‘high functioning’) such that they do not even know they are being put down by the very tenets of the terminology itself, and it denies the autistic community our intrinsic Beingness.
I am too distraught to elaborate. I also know I have much better things to focus on – more pleasant and expedient. So here are two articles that manage to speak far more eloquently than I am able to do at this moment. I urge you to peruse them.
More problems with functioning labels. By Amy Sequenzia on Ollibean.
What is the difference between high functioning and low functioning autism? By Romana Tate on the AWN website.
Surely, there are better ways to celebrate achievement in autism than using insulting and divisive functional labels. There are better words to use when handing out accolades. Why celebrate using insulting language? The tragic part of it? People with Asperger’s tend to favour functional labels, because they think it sets them apart from the ‘low-functioning autistics,’ without understanding that these paradigms are ruinous to their own intrinsic identities. Not unlike a Chinese person feeling very proud to be called “almost European”!
It is not uncommon for humanity to shoot those in the frontline bringing good news, especially if the good news is too new to their subjugated understanding. The autistic community is as eclectic as any other human community. I understand that. And I am not requiring the world to bow down at my feet. I have to maintain focus on my quest, do my best, and keep on keeping on.
In the words of a famous historical person, probably autistic too, “Those who have ears, let them hear” – and those who do not? “Shake the dust off your feet” and move on. Good advice, though there is still that mental processing to get through in the best way that my own autistic brain is able to do. I am not that ‘high functioning’ at all, and I am proud NOT to be.
**Note** When I first began on my journey of Beingness, I employed functional labels, I accepted the arbitrary false paradigms imposed by the neurotypical measurements of my autism, because I did not have any better tools at the time. As my research has evolved and developed, so has my affirmation of Self, and my delight at discovering the wonders of my Parallel Embodiment. My own use of language has thus changed accordingly.