The cruelty of strangers

The cruelty of strangers

That feeling of paranoia

Any autism parent will tell you about the feeling of paranoia when out in public with their kids. The problem we all face is that autistic behaviour in kids often looks almost identical to naughty behaviour. So when our little treasures are being their autistic selves we feel the sting of the disapproving glares. Now all parents can relate to this feeling I’m sure. All kids act up in public from time to time, showing their parents up and I think most parents have seen those scathing looks from Mr and Mrs Joe public. Well this is kind of standard fare for every trip into the “real world” for an autism family.

So autism parents develop a pretty thick skin pretty fast. Rhino skin is one of the first special powers we tend to develop along with an extreme reserve of patience. These skills are essential to one’s mental survival along with booze and caffeine. Nevertheless, in our darker moments we worry about what strangers might think, how they might judge us as bad or weak parents. We fantasise about what we would say if we were to confront these judgemental anonymous antagonists of our paranoid imaginings. I have spent many a day dream rehearsing in my head the dressing down I would give to some random who dared to voice their criticism of me. I imagine how I would explain the autism parenting reality to them in such a way as to make them feel so wretchedly guilty for their ignorant assumptions that they would visibly wither and slither off under a rock, sobbing with heart felt grief for their own stupidity. I’m sure many autism parents have had similar fantasies of a righteously justified berating of some hapless member of Joe Public.

It is worth noting that these fantasies of giving someone a really good talking to are a self-indulgence that most people allow themselves. We all have internal dialogues from time to time about how we are really going tell someone what for. It’s perfectly natural but, as we shall see below, sometimes these little bits of narcissistic thought can spill out into reality with bad consequences. Sometimes, if indulged too much, we humans can believe our own bullshit and the fantasy becomes a reality in our own minds. This is the root cause of what I am really going to discuss below, but we will get to that in a bit.

For me these fantasies have remained just that, fantasies. Whilst I’m sure many of Joe public who have observed the Bean’s more, how shall we say, “energetic” displays of autistic behaviour have indeed judged me and my wife as being poor parents, none have ever said anything to our faces. Sure we have seen the looks but it’s never really come to a verbal confrontation were I have had to use my well-rehearsed arsenal of cutting diatribes putting my detractor firmly in their place.

On those rare occasions when I have felt the need to explain the Bean’s behaviour to a member of the public, all I have seen is sympathy and understanding. I have seen the look of disapproval on faces melt away to become one of concern and compassion. Far from the angry confrontations of my self-righteous fantasies all I have ever seen really is a willingness to help. This warms my heart greatly and restores my faith in humanity.

Indeed this compassion is mirrored by pretty much everyone I have dealt with. From shopkeepers, to teachers, to waiters, to swimming pool attendants. As soon as you mention the A word all seems to be forgiven and one no longer feels judged. So whilst there is certainly much work to do about autism awareness there does seem to be enough awareness that most people can empathise enough to know that it isn’t the fault of the parent and that seemingly naughty behaviour might not actually be any damming indictment of parental prowess.

So why the title of this post?

But, I hear you say, the title of this post is about the cruelty of strangers, so what gives? Well, there has been one exception to this almost universal dairy load of the milk of human kindness. Or, rather, there have been several exceptions but from one category of people. These people have treated me and other parents with cruelty and a total lack of compassion. I have been called; a bigot, evil, vile and pretty much every name under the sun. The people I am referring to are the Social Justice Warriors of the internet.

Now for those of you unfamiliar with the term Social Justice Warrior (SJW) allow me to explain. An SJW is someone who fights for social justice by blogging, commenting and debating on-line. They take up many causes; feminism, anti-racism, gay rights, disabled rights and of course autism rights. This may sound like a good thing. What’s not to like about all these “rights” movements? I would agree entirely these are all worthy movements but where the SJW sets themselves apart from normal decent activists in this area is the way they conduct themselves. And, more importantly, what their actions reveal about their true motivations.

Despite what they say, the SJW isn’t really in the business of trying to effect real change for whatever minority they purport to be supporting. All an SJW is really interested in is feeling morally superior to their fellow humans. What they have done is spent far too much time indulging in the narcissistic, “revenge” fantasies I discussed above. They have started to believe their own bullshit and now see oppression and bigotry everywhere they look. Indulging and acting out those fantasies becomes addictive particularly when it can be done so by sitting safely behind an internet connection without any risk of getting punched in the face. The anonymity of the internet makes everyone very brave it seems.

Offense is never given its always taken and boy do they know how to take

What we see from SJW’s is an uncanny ability to take offense at the slightest thing. The mental gymnastics that go on in working out just how they can be offended by some harmless looking statement would shame any overly prickly Muslim fundamentalist. The hissy fit of offense taken at drawings of Mohammed are nothing compared to the self-righteous frenzy SJW’s work themselves up into over the most innocuous of things. Anything can and is deemed offensive and they really don’t give a fuck whose feelings they trample over when they express their faux moral outrage.

Throughout my whole autism journey the only time I have truly been made to feel like shit by my fellow humans is when engaging with these fuckwits. They tend to lurk on various autism facebook groups and forums, eagerly waiting for someone to come along who says something that they can be offended about. Needless to say, the skilled amongst them can work out a way to be offended by pretty much anything so there is no shortage of meat for the grinder.  Once they have figured out how they can take umbrage they attack, often on mass. And it gets vicious believe me.

Some of them are autistic themselves (or at least they claim to be autistic) and use that fact as a shield to deflect any criticism. They say things like; “You need to shut the fuck up and listen to us autistic people” or “you need to check your ableist white male privilege and shut up”. Anyone who disagrees with anything they say is being “ableist” or “bigoted” and trust me they are well versed in the slippery arts of mental contortionism to justify any such charges with 101 nonsensical arguments. If a fellow autistic disagrees with them then, of course, they have “internalised ableism”. Basically they can never, ever be wrong about anything ever and anyone who says differently is painted as some kind of evil Nazi.

Now I have much sympathy for the plight of autistic people and the shit they face in life but being autistic does not excuse anyone from being a dick. I also feel the need to add that this seeming lack of compassion and empathy for others has absolutely nothing to do with being autistic. The myth that autistic people lack empathy is just that, it’s a myth. So the abhorrent behaviour of some autistic SJW’s is bugger all to do with them being autistic. Furthermore this SJW attitude is by no means exclusive to autism rights. Indeed it is far more prevalent in other “rights” movements indicating that this is phenomena much wider than autism or disability rights.

A dire prophecy of doom

Looking at how SJW’s affect other movements they supposedly support gives us some dire warnings about the future of the autism rights movement. They are perhaps most prevalent in feminism today. If there are any sensible old school feminists reading this, do yourselves a favour and spend a bit of time on some of Tumblr’s feminist blogs. You will see the phenomenon I describe above. It will, or should, make you cringe. Read some of this claptrap and understand why feminism is rapidly becoming a dirty word.

The very vocal antics of these narcissistic social justice warriors, hell bent of showing everyone just how morally superior they are to everyone else, is ruining feminism. This is a shame, because all the while the Tumblr feminists are fussing about sexism in computer games, banning porn and worrying about whether the latest Avengers film is a product of the patriarchy, in the real world women in many countries are actually being oppressed. The SJW’s have made third wave feminism become a parody of itself. If anyone remembers the Viz comic strip Millie Tant then this is basically what Tumblr feminists are like. Reality has caught up and overtaken parody.

millie

click on the image above for full size

So why do I care?

Well I care because I do not want to see the cause of autism rights become a joke in the same way that feminism is becoming. For women in the west the battle for equality is largely won already (despite what the professional victims of Tumblr will tell you). For autistic people the fight has barely even started. If the general public are exposed to the self-righteous, overly sensitive and often openly hostile bullshit of the SJW’s brigade then those people will be turned off from the autism rights movement. The danger then is that the movement will not be taken seriously.

The phenomenon of SJW’s thus threatens to weaken a movement that has yet to achieve many of its goals and this is a tragedy. More worryingly though I have seen on many occasions SJW’s alienate my fellow autism parents from the very cause they purport to support. Every time one of these morally superior halfwits attacks a parent for some imagined insult they immediately drive that parent away from the cause of autism rights. These parents will probably end up getting their support and information from other sources and these sources may not be the right ones.

The biggest autism charity in the US is one called Autism Speaks. It is run by parents and mainly caters to the needs of parents. They preach a message of curing and preventing autism. This is not a good message as it perpetuates the lie that autism is some kind of medical condition. But for all their faults Autism Speaks will treat parents with compassion and kindness. They have the wrong message but they deliver it in a way that is attractive and welcoming.

So every time I see some SJW autistic self-advocate or parent verbally abuse some other parent I cry inwardly because I see another parent driven towards Autism Speaks and their ilk where they will be welcomed with love and compassion. This is a lost opportunity to make a real difference to an autistic child. For every parent driven away to organisations like Autism Speaks there is an autistic child that will have to contend with a parent that thinks there is something “wrong” with being autistic. This being the case SJW’s are more damaging to a movement like autism rights than say feminism.

The antics in feminist blogosphere just means many people find modern feminism laughable. It means only 20% of women today in the UK identify as a feminist. It’s a shame, but because feminism has already won most of its major battles this damage to the image of feminism is not really a massive problem for women. But, as described above, this is not the case with the autism rights movement. The antics of SJW fanatics are harmful and damaging to the movement, to parents and above all to autistic people.

There is hope

But not all social justice movements are infested with these self-obsessed cretins. We can all take heart and learn from the gay rights movement. No one can dispute the success of this movement over the last 20 years or so. It has been phenomenally successful and all the while has remained largely calm, non-judgemental and, for this very reason, has brought main stream society round to its way of thinking. Sure we get some SJW types within the movement but they are very much in the side lines.

Most gay rights activists have understood, it seems, that if you want to get the public to change their minds about something the very worst thing you can do is insult and alienate them. Instead we have had a largely reasonable and rational debate over the last two decades with the only shrill, foaming at the mouth and hateful talk coming from the other side (mostly the religious right). The side of reason and calmness has won. This is what the autism rights movement needs to mirror. Let’s not become a laughing stock like modern feminism. Let’s learn from the astounding and rapid success of the gay rights movement. Let’s be cool, calm and win people over with the power of our arguments rather than trying to bludgeon them with the stick of self-righteous, overly PC clap trap.

Conclusions

So I guess the purpose of this essay is threefold Firstly, it is a warning to parents about the potential dangers lurking on the internet. If you spend any time on-line in the autism community you will run afoul of the SJW’s at some time. When they attack it can be really upsetting and this particularly stings if the person doing the attacking identifies themselves as being autistic. It causes one to doubt oneself and being told that you are a terrible parent is the last thing any autism parent needs. My advice is simply to ignore these people. You cannot argue with them because their position is not based on reason. No matter what you say your words will be twisted around and used against you. Just walk away.

Secondly this is a shout out to the autism rights movement to distance itself from the SJW’s amongst us. There are plenty of smart, compassionate and very active autism self-advocates, parents and carers out there. We are the people that will make a real difference to autistic people like my son. The SJW path can be seductive, as noted at the start of this essay. Those fantasies about righteously correcting those that wrong us are very tempting. This temptation to preach is all the more alluring when we have at our finger tips the opportunity to reach a global audience in complete anonymity. I have committed this sin myself, I confess, but I would urge anyone engaging in activism to try and remember one’s own humanity. Try to empathise with people that you disagree with and calmly show them another way of thinking. Shouting and getting angry really does not work.

Finally this is a vain attempt to reach the hearts of SJW’s themselves. I know that some of you mean well. I know you have convinced yourselves that you are doing good work. But really you are not. You are harming the causes you say you care about. It’s time for some honest introspection. When you berate some poor parent on-line what are you really motivated by? Are you really trying to change their mind? Are you really trying to convince others that your position is correct? Or is it really just an acting out of pent up frustrations like the imaginary conversations I have with those fictional mean spirited Joe Publics? The problem is that despite the miles of Ethernet cable that separate you from the people you are shouting at they are still real people with real feelings and most importantly real autistic kids who need help.

Coming to terms with an autism diagnosis for your kid is no easy thing. Transitioning from societies default position of “autism is bad” to a paradigm of “autism acceptance” is an even tougher step. Most parents, sadly, do not make that step, but with love, care, compassion and gentle persuasion many more will. So think before you shout. If not for the feelings of the parents then do so for their kids.

PS – SJW’s before you even type a reply I don’t give a flying fuck if you think I am “tone policing”* you. The truth is that I am and your tone needs to be policed, deal with it.

*For those not versed in SJW speak. “Tone Policing” is a term they use to dismiss anyone who calls them out on being rude and offensive to their victims. The argument is something like; “As a victimised minority, no one has a right to tell us not to be angry and not to use angry words.” Sorry SJW’s, but if your anger is damaging an important movement, if it is driving parents towards Autism Speaks and thus harming their kids then I do reserve the right to call you out on your bullshit.

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57 thoughts on “The cruelty of strangers

  1. This is, without a doubt, one of the best articles on the Social Justice Warriors that I’ve ever read. It explains why they do what they do, how they argue, and how their actions do negatively effect the movements they’ve anchored themselves in. I also love how you provided an alternative to being caustic and cruel, and discussed how it worked out. Best of all, you called out “tone policing.” It’s a stupid phrase used to cover up and defend awful behavior. Next time someone asks why I believe social justice warriors are a real issue, I’ll redirect them here.

    I’m terribly sorry that their behavior has crept in to your social spheres. It’s tough enough being a parent, and having a child with a disability makes it that much harder, as my family knows first hand. You’re a strong parent, and it makes me extremely happy to know that folks like you are taking a stand and doing their best to improve the situation. You’re awesome.

    • Thank you very much for your kind comments. I didn’t even know what “tone policing” was until a few months ago. Some SJW accused me of it and I had to look it up. I didn’t know calling someone out for being obnoxious was a “thing” with a name. The SJW’s are priceless sometimes. Anyway glad you liked the post.

      • I agree it’s a great post, I just wish you’d spent a little bit more on that last part. A big aspect of SJW tactics is to subtly shift and redefine words. Inventing new ones is a far lesser problem. For example, “harassment”, and “stalking” are often used to demonize feedback and criticism. The SJW will insist they want to “have a tough conversation”, but expect everyone to listen and believe in their safe space. Particularly useful is the concept of a “motte and bailey doctrine”, which this post explains:

        http://slatestarcodex.com/2014/07/07/social-justice-and-words-words-words/

        • That was a very good article you linked to.

          I pondered whether to put in a lexicon of social justice at the end explaining all the various weird and wonderful doublethink I have learned over the last few months. I decided against for brevity and for the fact that it has been done before. But I agree the amount of words that have been “repurposed” is staggering.

          I like the motte and bailey doctrine, it sums up the whole nonsense of post modern “thought” very well. A good read on this subject is “How Mumbo Jumbo Took over the world” by Francis Wheen” it does not deal with social justice per se but rather how post modern thought managed to inject itself into almost every aspect of of the world with some horrible effects.

  2. This article is absolutely amazing. I live with a SJW (my teenage sister), and believe me, it gets even worse when they get outside. I’ve had my sister automatically call me every name under the sun for some minute thing I may have said. Calling her out on her bullshit only makes it worse. The article really helped me come to terms with these irrational people, and I thank you for it, especially when I have some aspects (or whatever you call it) on the autism spectrum, though I myself do not have autism. I guess if we ignore SJWs, they’ll go away. Thanks.

    • Yes that’s the worst things about SJW’s, they act like cornered animals when you call them out on their bullshit and try label you as racist and misogynistic. I’m mixed raced and I’ve been told by an SJW that I’m a racist and believe in white supremacy when I was talking about a poorly written article by a black female (one of the attack on gamers articles).

  3. Who are you and how did you summarize this so perfectly? You covered almost everything wrong with SJW’s in so few words.

    I am going to link people here every time the SJW topic arises. I really hope you are prepared for the attention you are sure to get from this, both good and bad.

  4. Really good article, your story is not something I’ve thought about or had explained before. Just on a side note when it comes to SJW’s, if they are anything like the ones you find on sites like tumblr they tend to “self diagnose”, as they believe they know themselves better than any professional with vast years of training and experience ever could.

    At the risk of sounding like a class A Dick, I honestly think most are fantasists who substitute reality for their own. That is why I found the first part of your article absolutely fascinating, as it seems to fit with their outlandish behaviour once dialed up to the extreme. Where as you describe fantasizing to be prepared for an unpleasant situation, If you think about someone who lives in extreme fantasy as a constant, It would explain the lack of ability to draw a line in the sand when reality is called upon.

    “So the abhorrent behaviour of some autistic SJW’s is bugger all to do with them being autistic.” I truly believe most of them aren’t, It’s just a tool and that will hurt the real cause, just like all the other wells that are getting poisoned by their behaviour. As someone who speaks about the rights of men and boys and is also an avid gamer, I have come across issues with this demographic on a large range of spectrum’s. I fear I’m talking way too much again, it’s a bad habit of mine 😉 So I’ll leave it here.

    I wish you and your family all the best, Take care and stay safe.

    • Many genuinely autistic people have made the comment to me that they despise the self “diagnosed” and doubt that many actually are autistic.

      For some my money is on narcissistic personality disorder (NPD)/ This could potentially be confused with autsim by an ammature certainly. Also the nature of NPD itself may lend the sufferer to misdiagnose in this way. There is a kind of “aspergers is cool” thing going on at the moment so and NPD sufferer may well want to identify as autistic as it feeds into their own desire to be superior and at the same time is a useful excuse for being a dick and an equally useful shield from criticism. It also allows the person to feel “oppressed” and so excuses their behavior further.

      NPD certainly fits with SJW behavior in general. Most genuine autistic people I know are fairly shy, reserved and hate drama. So I am not buying the bullshit of many of these self diagnosed and I’m certainly not interested in hearing about how to parent my kid from a self diagnosed non parent. I am very interested in hearing about autism from autistic people but if they are self diagnosed I simply have no way of knowing if the information they are giving me about their exepriences are reliable.

      • Wait…what? They’re self-diagnosing? Then they’re not autistic. They’re just crazy assholes on the internet bothering people.

        • Many maybe just that. I think there is a place for self diagnosis certainly for adults trying to make sense if their lives. BUT you don’t then get to preach to others, tell them about what it is like to be autistic and dispense advice to parents unless you do get officially diagnosed. Getting autism advice from someone who is self diagnosed is like getting legal advice from some random guy down the pub, they might be a hot shot lawyer giving you valuable advise or they may not have a fucking clue. Who knows?

      • You both hit on one of the key points with the more rabid of the SJW’s. The level of Narcicism that demands that reality must bend and conform to their feelings and desires. Not simply that they themselves may perceive reality differently than someone else, but that their perceptions must become the accepted true reality of all others people, irregardless of the actual real world and quantifiable truths. There is a sharp underlying current that reality can be altered to suit personal whim. That it can be changed on their (and only their) demand. I’ve long suspected that that desire for change and control of reality is what causes so many of them to seek to control certain industries who’s product is controlled fantasy’s. Video Games. Comics. Science Fiction. Etc. you’ll notice you don’t see huge SJW pushes into niches that don’t support this disconnect from true reality, at least not as much.

        • Offendedness. Doesn’t even have to be NPD. People were killed for not being the right kind of Christian a long time ago in Europe. People rejected the reality of diverse minds and thoughts. Held ideas above people. This is why the Enlightenment happened. What we see happening with SJW’s, I dare to say, may not, at the core, be the work of the narcissistic personality disordered or anything. Humanity has always wanted to treasure fantasy over reality, as we’ve seen with religion, etc, etc. So it’s probably mostly fueled by the forgetting of Enlightened rights, etc, etc.

  5. Great article, It really hit close to home as a parent of an autistic child. The key problem with SJW type’s is that they take a good cause (anti racism / gender equality / est…) and focus the energy away from a positive solution to controversy and drama.

    It’s a byproduct of narcissism in culture.

    • Absolutely. I think today we have a dangerous combination of narcissists who have access to a global audience at their finger tips from the comfort of their bedrooms with little chance of any negative consiquences.

  6. I just have to say you’re talking to a brick wall as far as tumblr.

    Tumblr is not the origin of these self-parodies, they pour onto tumblr after leaving their collegiate gender studies courses, taught by the movement’s “luminaries”, who believe in such gems as “rape culture”, “toxic masculiniity”, the summary execution of husbands by wives, and that 10 year old boys are the “real perpetrators” when female guards boink them. They then spread dubious “plus power” re-definitions of sexism with the intent of white-washing the hatred they express when they publish these views through university presses, which, ironically, mirrors the national socialists of old germany in proclaiming men “deserve” this sexism and exclusion from public discourse on policies that directly harm them because they’re “privileged”.

    • I think tumblr and the like become echo chambers where these ideas fester, mutate and grow more extreme. These places on the internet play a big role in how these movements and ideas evolve. I think the recent explosion of bullshit is much to do with places like tumblr. SJW bullshit has been around for a long time on university campuses the Viz cartoon I posted goes back to the early 90’s and parodies the phenomona then. But back then most kids graduated and then got on with their lives. Most had their radical views and then kind of mellowed later on when they acquired some common sense. Now though they continue to feed the beast on the internet and hell many of them can make a career out of their bullshit.

  7. Brilliant article. I don’t know much about autism, but the experiences you have described with SJWs resonate very well with my own. I don’t think ignoring them is going to make them go away though, they seem to get more power with each day. It’s good that you speak up against them, more people should be brave enough do that, even though you will be called everything from racist, sexist to misogynist, ableist and so on. So thank you for that.

    You also have an unfinished parenthesis in the paragraph right after the comic.

    • Thing is, they are actually becoming this big because people ignored them. We believed they would shut up and move on probably from the whole SJW culture, but when I look back 1 or 2 years back, they only grew bigger. And now we have this, they are getting into every aspect of our cultures and are slowly spreading their hate onto other people who otherwise wouldn’t act that way. It became a cult and thats the scariest part.

  8. Thanks for this, having to deal with SJW’s during the gamergate movement was one of the hardest things. I know how you feel. You’ve explained them so well.

  9. The sad fact of the SJW group (I hate calling them that it inflates their persecution complex) is that the main stream media completely defends them and will use any “-ism” or “-ist” against anyone trying to defend themselves ,from fox news to MSMBC they support these types just to lie and make money. I don’t see this ending anytime soon. Its like they were reading 1984 or brave new world and said that its great idea to set up society in those idea’s so that we can “end” racism or sexism, but just end up being just as racist, sexist, and hatefully aggressive themselves (but its ok they are white male and heterosexual even if they are not, just ad hominem that they are). This type of thinking is what that quote “He who fights monsters should worry about becoming one” is made for. In the end they are just creating more extremist enemies (who ARE racist and Sexist) then they are gaining allies, and like Pinocchio their straw-man is going to come alive and strangle them,but no one will hear them just like a boy who cried wolf. Their leaders will cash out and society will move on with-out them, in spite of them not because of them. As a young person in collage I am in terrible fear of being call-out for “wrong-think” just for joke or debate by these “Brown shirts”,but unlike the original brown shirts the new kind are doing it for a good cause their just using the worst way to bring it about it. Sad fact is I’m not a hateful person too yet I’m afraid.

  10. I’ve heard the the ‘sperg’ thrown around derisively by some of these very same ‘righteous’ people, and I do somewhat understand why. ‘Normal’ people might be inclined to nod along with what they know deep down to be utter bullshit if faced with enough social pressure (i.e. shaming). The autistic are largely immune to that, That makes them, whenever the opressed group of the day isn’t the Autistic themselves, a rather sizable thorn in the sides of these keyboard warriors.

    • Nailed it! It’s the same with geeks and nerds (with or without autism), particularly male geeks and nerds. Because they ignore the wider social hierarchy, and don’t play ball when it comes to the alpha-beta etc. structure. As well as being curious and questioning and pedantic, with a love of facts and logic, we all present a significant obstacle. So they dehumanise us (often invoking negative stereotypes of autism – because they only care about *that* when it suits).

  11. I just wanted to let you know, I’ve noticed the same thing. My mother was raped repeatedly as a child by a family member, and these sjw’s are doing a wonderful job of setting back rape awareness with their constant screeching.

    Title lX was supposed to help encourage victims to come forward, but it has overcompensated to the point of being ludicrous. Many young men have been expelled from colleges without any advocacy, or even the ability to adequately defend themselves. The system, as it is now, caries the presumption of guilt on the part of the accused and takes drastic actions that can have long reaching consequences as par for the course. When confronted by this information, the standard response from an SJW is to downplay the effect a false rape accusation can have, or even to go so far as to express doubt they happen at all.

    Another thing that comes up frequently (and that my mother thought was insane) is the belief that because something is illegal there is no need to make an effort to protect oneself. The sentiment,”Teach men not to rape” is just dumb. Men KNOW it’s not okay. But there are a few individuals who don’t care. They hold that they have no responsibility for their own safety, as though just because a pedestrian has the right of way they should NOT look both ways before crossing the street. My mother had a concealed weapons carry permit, a can of peperspray on her keychain, AND a braided cord on her keychain she could use to hold it and strike someone with. She never needed them, thank God, but she DID have them.

  12. Excellent article. SJWs are toxic.

    I have profound empathy for trans people, but SJWs gave me pause when they *viciously* attacked me for using the wrong word in *support* of trans people. I was told that my feelings needed to be hurt by the attack, because using the wrong word in support of trans people literally “murders” them.

    • Exactly. Early on in my autism journey I got attacked for using the wrong words. Later I got attacked by other SJW’s for using supposedly the correct words as defined by the first group. You simply can’t win. They actively want to be offended and use that as an excuse to be horrible to people.

      • That is exactly what happened to me. I had been told, by a prominent, and very angry, SJW, to use this specific term. This was one SJW that I was going to listen to, upon pain of being viciously attacked.

        So I listen to her. I use the word. And get viciously attacked by another SJW who defines the word differently. The great irony is, the second SJW told me to ‘think for myself’ and to ‘do some research on my own so that I know which words to use’. I told her that I was afraid to think for myself, as look at how she had just attacked me. That just made her angrier.

        The terms are *always* changing. What was considered acceptable a year ago is now classified as ‘hate speech’. You just can’t win. The abuse that I suffered was so horrible that I ended up quitting Disqus and stopped reading social justice blogs etc all together. It just left a bad taste in my mouth.

        What’s funny is, they never think about the targets of their attacks. They always tell people to ‘check their privilege’ but it never occurs to them that the person they are attacking might not be uber-privileged. What if their hateful words cause a depressive to self-harm? Don’t they give a crap about that? No, to them, anyone who uses the wrong word, even innocently, is a despicable ‘shitlord’ who deserves the abuse.

        BTW, you might find this post to be interesting:

        https://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2015/06/23/what-do-we-do-about-neurodiversity/

        I was thinking of pasting a link to your blog post there, because it’s really good.

        • That shifting of goalposts is some classic abusive behaviour, made worse by not being one person being inconsistent, but by a whole group of hateful people full of appropriated anger.

          If they have identified you as someone as sympathetic to their cause, and with more social power than them (whether that’s accurate or not), as a group they will do everything they can to keep you treading on eggshells, keep you worrying about appeasing them and saying the right thing, to *stop* you thinking for yourself.

          Because if you start thinking for yourself you most likely will be thinking “the wrong way” and will stop being a useful banner carrier for their cause.

  13. Thanks for sharing your perspective.

    Ultimately, SJW’s need to learn that “It’s not about being right, it’s about being effective”. As it stands, those who identify themselves as a SJW are largely ineffective in bringing about change in the various causes they purport to get behind. Even worse, as you mention, they are largely counter-productive in their efforts. They focus too much on proving their point, their righteousness, that they forget about (or are unaware of) how to bring about meaningful change.

    However, for every particle there is an anti-particle, someone wanting to fight fire with fire. I encourage those who engage SJWs not to do so in a way which adds fuel to the fire, or creates more SJWs. 90% of the time, it is best just to acknowledge what they have said, ignore it, and move on. I would venture to say that most SJW do not have a malicious goals, only a misguided and ineffective way of going about accomplishing those goals. Realizing that is the job of the SJW through deep introspection, not us.

  14. The summary of this article goes like this: “Waaah someone called me out on some stupid bullshit I posted about autism and it hurt my fee fee’s!”

    First of all, no social justice movement ever won by “being nice” (see: MLK, the freedom riders, first wave feminism, pretty much every successful movement in the west.) people get mad becaus that’s the only way anything ever gets done in terms of social justice.

    Second, if feminism is seen as a joke, why are there more feminists now than ever before?

    Third, I don’t know you personally; I assume you’re a good parent because of everything you’ve said in your blog post. But if someone screamed at you “shut up and listen to autistic people about how they want to be treated,” and you went to autism speaks, then you have far bigger problems than someone on the internet yelling at you. Any parent that goes to that organization because they were nice without looking at their message has no sympathy from me.

    In short: someone was mean to you on the internet (without actively threatening to kill you with doxxing & whatnot), and you decided that all SJW’S are the real problem, and not your backwards logic.

    • I debate abortion a lot. I “get mad”

      Getting mad is fine.

      Over the top abuse, that which is dished out by the SJWs, often on allies, is NOT fine and NOT effective. It just turns people off the whole movement when they are viciously attacked over imaginary slights.

      • Again, history has shown that “over the top abuse” ( whatever you would define as abuse is a mystery, but it doesn’t matter in this case) has been shown to be very effective.

        I don’t know what kind of boogeymen you’ve made SJW’S out to be, but it’s not based in logic, and again, based on someone hurting your feelings.

        You’re using a lot of general words without actually listing any examples.

        • Telling people to “go die in a fire”

          That they deserve to have a dead porcupine shoved up their rear ends.

          That kind of thing.

          And as an ally, being told that you are a “fake” and an “asshole” for simply using a term that one SJW disagrees with is what I consider over the top
          And if you dare try to explain that you meant no harm, you are told that you are a worthless “shitlord” since “intent isnt magic” and that only “assholes” try to defend themselves from attack. That good allies “shut up and listen” at all times.

          I view the above as excessive. And it isn’t effective. I now viscerally associate the trans movement with vicious assholes, even though I know that most are not. But the “activists” who are doing all of the talking are making it seem that way.

          I want to support people, but I am afraid to even speak, as I will probably get told to die in a fire for innocently using the wrong term.

        • I don’t know what kind of boogeymen you’ve made SJW’S out to be, but it’s not based in logic, and again, based on someone hurting your feelings.

          Hurting the feelings of erstwhile allies is not effective. No, it does *not* bring more people over to your side. It just creates rifts.

          I once saw a young woman, a neophyte SJW herself, suffer hurt after being called a ‘hateful bigot’ after she disagreed that chromosomal sex was a ‘social construct’. Yeah. She was accused of bigotry and hate for innocently explaining that sexual dimorphism is *not* a social construct like gender.

          But fuck her right? How dare her feelings be hurt. And abusing people and calling them names for disagreeing will surely help, right?

    • Strange summary of the article there, assuming whatever bean’s dad said was the bullshit not the response, without any evidence either way… -Oh, oh, are we reading between the lines here?! Let me do some too!

      Summary of James’ comment goes like this: “Beandad’s article comes dangerously close to exposing some of my own damaging behaviours, so I’ll attempt to blindly character assassinate him.”

      First off. No, people fighting for justice got mad because they were fighting something to genuinely be mad about. Not because getting mad gets things done, because it doesn’t, determination, maneuvering and opening dialogues does. That’s why you credited MLK before Malcom X for American civil rights progression. That’s why Ghandi was the one to secure Indian independence, not the violent uprisings before. “Getting mad” wasn’t their tool, it was just a side effect of having actual life-shaping grievances, ones they actually cared about enough to tamp down on that anger when it didn’t serve a purpose.

      But you? You don’t have any of the real tools for change, no sense of actual justice. You’re just mad for show because you want some of the recognition they received but you can’t live up to those giants in any way but the easiest and least significant. I’m not remotely convinced you even care about the things you’re supposedly mad about, you get mad first then go around searching for an excuse because when you don’t people just kick you out for being an asshole.

      Wanna know something worth getting mad about? Affluent, self-centered hatemongers who latch on to the weakest and most vulnerable of society and hoover up all the empathy that should be going to the actual victims so they can puff themselves up with attention and self-righteous indignation until their angry, self-destructive dysfunctions cause them to implode and drag those same vulnerable people down with them. People typically of great monetary worth but little personal worth who are so convinced their latter should equal the former that they have no qualms about destroying the efforts of the downtrodden just for the chance to convince some poor unwitting sap who genuinely cares about the disadvantaged that you’re (-oh, sorry! I mean hypothetical “they’re”) not despicable for once. Oh, that’s something to make your blood boil (and write huge run-on sentences to boot). You should use that next time you get an inexplicable hate-on and need an excuse to use it. It’s a lot more popular than the old go-to’s you’ve been using for so long, and we all know that’s all you really want now: Superficial popular approval.

      So why am I giving you tips for how to extend your lifelong narcissistic social vampirism here? Well, it’d be hypocritical of me to “get mad” without having another tool for change wouldn’t it? And it’s time to appeal to who you really are. Move on. You’ve used up all the free-pass-to-be-an-ass gas in the social justice causes, that tank’s almost empty and people are gonna start calling you the asshole you really are when the outrage engine finally sputters out. Find another vehicle for your hate spewing powertrips. Seriously, SJW hate is the next big thing, get in their early and you can build your biggest following of clueless sycophants yet. I mean I’d rather you didn’t have to be horrible to people on a regular basis but if you really can’t stop, please, just wear someone else’s mask from now on. Because if you have to hurt someone, at least don’t hurt people and causes with more than enough shit to deal with already. It’s already going to take years for these causes to grow back, but they can’t grow back at all whilst the locusts are still swarming the fields.

      So yeah, I’m mad, but that’s a side effect. The important part is offering you an out before your whole charade goes down in spectacular flames, even though I’d like to see your comeuppance hit you full in the face for the harm you’ve already done, because the sooner you stop the better.

      (Yes, I’m aware this is also very much the kind of angry tirade described in the main post. But, well bean’s dad already tried the nice approach and got the “says stupid bullshit about autism” accusation, so I figured a different tactic might be worth trying. And my own experience with SJWs has shown they -love- a half-cocked tirade based on the presumption of guilt, I’m just trying to work with my audience here.)

    • @James.

      #1 If you consider your self anything but an internet troll don’t start conversations with:”“Waaah someone called me out on some stupid bullshit I posted about autism and it hurt my fee fee’s!”

      #2 All of your arguments are very weak, any have little substance. Lets have a look at them:

      **Point #1**

      “First of all, no social justice movement ever won by “being nice” (see: MLK, the freedom riders, first wave feminism, pretty much every successful movement in the west.) people get mad because that’s the only way anything ever gets done in terms of social justice. ”

      There is a difference between getting mad and using that energy toward positive change, (like MLK did) and getting mad and taking that anger out with internet slacktivism.

      ** Point #2**

      “Second, if feminism is seen as a joke, why are there more feminists now than ever before?”

      Feminism is in its deepest decline since the start of the movement, currently about 1/5th of Americans identity with the movement compared to the 60’s and 70’s where it was close to 80%.

      This is largely because of SJW using the movement for their own agenda’s at the expense of women’s rights.

      ** Point #3 **

      “Again, history has shown that “over the top abuse” ( whatever you would define as abuse is a mystery, but it doesn’t matter in this case) has been shown to be very effective.”

      When has history shown this, and the statement its self is worded very strange.

    • Hello James. Sorry for the late reply but I’m in the UK so had my evening daddy duties to attend to. Saw your comments and see that others have already address it most. So got a couple of things to add.

      Firstly. You are partly correct. Part of this does indeed come from my feelings being hurt. Being told you are are terrible parent and a child abuser is something that kinda grates. How would you feel? Now sure its the interweb and one should shrug this off as just idiots trolling but the problem with this is that it isn’t just idiots trolling, these are people involved heavily in the autism rights movement. So its not just a case of some teenage dickhead sitting at home calling people names for a laugh. If that were just the case believe me I really could not give a flying fuck. I’ve been arguing on various issue online for 15 years or so. Believe me I really don’t care about the trolls.

      Secondly there are things about the autism patenting situation that make this “name calling” and criticsiing “stupid bullshit about autism” particularly dangerous. The thing about us autism parents, particularly the newbies is that we are paranoid wrecks. We are full of self doubt, worry and we are emotionally vulnerable. The reasons for this state of angst are fairly obvious but I will explain anyway.

      Almost all of start off with the idea that autism is a big bad terrible thing. This is the default position of society (this is far from my position now but this is were we start). So when this “big bad terrible thing” happens to your young child its hurts. I don’t know if you are a parent James, if not perhaps you can’t fully understand the pain this might cause but any parent reading will empathise regardless of whether they have a kid with special needs or not. When autism “happens” you have just been told that the thing you love most in the world, the little child that you are totally responsible for HAS a horrible condition that is going to cause them pain, misery and suffering and there is nothing you can do about it. (again I do not now think autism is a bad thing but this is were I was at the start).All autism parents cry at this stage. I don’t care how tough the person is they all feel the tears. I did. Lots.

      Now add to this the fact that no one can tell you exactly what to do. With many childhood conditions there are treatment programs and a generally accepted way of sorting things out as best one can. With autism there is no such plan. Its so varied that no one can really guide you in a definite way. One needs to read and read and read and go to meetings and consult with endless professionals and gather all this info, much of it conflicting, and the somehow work out which applies it to the child you have. You get a lot of it wrong to begin with. Its trail and error sometimes. You fuck up, you fail, you dust yourself off and try again and eventually you get it right.

      Most of the normal parenting advice just goes out the window with an autistic child. Naughty step? Forget it does not work. Getting cross and raising ones voice? Thats just funny to my son. Bribery? Nah not unless it happens right now this instant. No “oh you can have some sweets later if you are a good boy”, later is a concept that my son does not do. A lot of behaviour you simply have to learn to live with. And all the while people are judging you. You seem like a terrible parent with this feral unruely brat of a child. And so that paranoia sinks in. You doubt yourself every day.

      Parenting in general is a paranoia fest. We all worry about whether we are doing it right. But with an autistic child this natural parental worry is amplified hugely. None of the advice you get from other parents seems to work on your child. So you feel like shit parents. You see the others in your peer group swanning off the park with thier well behaved kids in tow and you wonder what you are doing wrong. This is particularly true pre diagnosis but the paranoia continues after it believe me.

      So I hope that paints a good enough picture of where we autism parents come from. Now think what would be the very worst thing you could say to someone in that state? What words would cut the deepest? What would cause the most damage? If you really wanted to hurt them what would you say? If you wanted to twist the knife so that they were really upset how would you do this? Imagine they were someone you despised and all you really wanted to do was punish them but only had words at your disposal. Suppose you knew their paranoias and fears because you knew a bit about autism. Which words would you choose?
      Might the words
      “You are a terrible parent”
      “this is all your fault”
      “You are abusinig your child” be a pretty good choice?

      And that is what these SJW do. I have seen it happen many times not just to me. Its callous and it is calculated. No one who knows anything about autism or parenting or even human nature in general is so emotionally illiterate to not know that these are very worst things to say to a vulnerable fellow human. Now if they were just teenage trolls being “funny” I would not care but they are not. They infest message places were vulnerable parents are seeking help and many claim to be authorities on autism. And this makes them dangerous.

      Hope that helps you understand a bit better. I’m sure you have the human compassion and empathy to understand what I have said. Please read this carefully and try to supress the urge to react, lash back and “be right” for a moment. Ponder what I have said. Perhaps put your self in the shoes of a confused, paranoid, sleep deprive parent sick with worry and desperate for answers. Empathise, understand and perhaps you will realise that you are defending the bad guys here. I have great faith in human nature, I know you probably have the capacity for this empathy and can learn. Good luck and message me if you ever have any questions about autism.

  15. Thank you for your article, its nice to see a stand against these narcissists that proclaim to hold moral superiority for no apparent reason other than to bully others whilst getting admiration from outsiders.

    The phenomenon of these SJW’s has been born out of upbringing by which they are told they can do anything, whilst being presented with the reality in which hard work is the only indicator of doing anything worthy of respect. SJW attachment to particular marginalised groups allows them to bypass hard work, in favor of proclaiming to be the voice of a particular group. online respect seems to be a commodity to these people and the way in which it is collected appears to be through ‘being offended’ and standing up to ‘power structures’.

    The infiltration of SJW’s has occurred in womens rights, gay rights, trans rights, autism awareness, journalistic ethics, wall street protests, race discrimination activism as well as imposing themselves on small communities. After attaching themselves, they spew inflammatory remarks at people who they ‘feel’ are not living up to the standard set by them. They then call their opponents anti-(insert group) in effect silencing opponents freedom of speech.

    SJWs sense of criticism immunity arises by exploiting human empathy which is often shown towards groups in need of assistance. When an opponent criticises or does not conform to an SJW’s opinion, they claim that the oppositions actions against the SJW are equivalent to hating group they claim to represent. This clearly is false to anyone actually aligned with compassion and understanding.

    These people are predators and undermine the advancement of humanity by preying on those that need help the most. I hope the community will see your post. and begin to question the motives of these intruders, instead of believing what these bullies have to say to us.

    http://www.reddit.com/r/KotakuInAction/comments/3awmaw/father_of_autistic_son_writes_about_how_sjws/

  16. Your assessment of the whole sorry state of affairs is spot on!

    From my experience, the social activism community started out innocuously. Very open and welcoming and caring to everyone. Then within the last few years, it started to get dominated by the type of people you describe, or well respected members of the community were shown to be that type on person and weren’t called on their behaviour. It was ignored and they kept their influence.

    It feels like rights communities are being co-opted by people that can’t get by under the current social power structure, or who have managed to but have noticed a change in the tide of public opinion (thanks to the good work of, per your example, gay rights, older feminism etc.). These people so desperately want to be on top, and they don’t care who they have to step on to get there.

    SJWs do not give a rat’s about autism rights, or the people that are on the spectrum. SJWs will use them, like they use the rest of the marginalised, as a stick to beat people with to feel morally superior, and as (again, like you say) a shield to deflect criticism when called on their disgusting behaviour.

    The latter has led to people gathering under the hashtag on twitter, #NotYourShield. It is a sister tag to another relating to a scandal in geek journalism, but after reading your post, I wonder if it could be broadened to help others speak out against the same behaviour that is destroying their own communities?

    Thank you for speaking out 🙂

  17. I’m autistic, and to me there’s no such thing as autism parenting. It’s just regular parenting to me. If it feels like I’m holding you to impossible standards, then feel free to blame my parents for being so awesome.

    • I have two sons one is autistic the other is NT. They have very different needs and require very different parenting styles. What works for one does not work for the other and visa versa. NT parenting comes naturally to NT parents because NT’s ujnderstand each other better. I have had to learn how my eldest son thinks because it is somewhat alien to me. This is what I mean by autism parenting.

      OF course the art to this is to parent both my sons well but to not let the difference in our parenting methods cause any resentment in either of them. The true measure of success in this endeavour would be if my sons turn round one day and tell me that “There is no such thing as autism parenting, there is just parenting”. Your parents are indeed awesome.

  18. As an Autistic adult who was diagnosed during early childhood, I happen to largely agree. I am very active when it comes to Autism and I try to always present the facts in a way conducive to actually learning something. I well know that the quickest way to shut a person down is to make them feel defensive. No one learns anything if you immediately make them closed to the idea by being passive-aggressive or worse, actually aggressive.

    The problem isn’t the internet, really. It is important to get the message out there. It is important to have a medium such as the internet that lets us speak without being interrupted — or that lets some of us speak at all (many who are nonverbal are quite verbose with a keyboard).

    I get where they are coming from, I’ve had a million conversations about Autism and vaccines and ABA and I know how misinformation about Autism and its treatment can feel like a personal attack on you as a human being. Yet I often read things and frown because, OP is right, behaving that way will have the exact opposite effect we’re all striving for.

    That all said, I’d like to also shed a little insight as to why this behavior is so prevalent, because I feel we all sometimes fail to imagine other people as complexly as we should. Particularly online where you don’t have to see them. It’s easy to dismiss someone as a SJW (or opposite of that, whatever that is) without considering anything other than text on a screen, especially if they are being rude to you.

    Misunderstandings are frequent because neither party will ever truly understand the other. It can be especially frustrating to an Autistic person who knows exactly what they are trying to say, only to find the other person just doesn’t get it. The more they try to explain the more frustrating it gets, until the conversation degrades on both sides. “This always happens!” one or both sides thinks, and what started as a great learning opportunity devolves into an argument or an abrupt, usually rude end to the conversation.

    The above situation can be redeemed, but it takes a whole lot of patience. Patience people online usually have not bothered to invest in each other.

    Another common thing to see in this community is people treating others how they have been treated. I have a lot of sympathy for this, it is not uncommon for a parent or therapist to have a volatile reaction to an Autistic behavior they want ‘corrected’ so the child develops this skewed idea of how to get the appropriate response out of others. That doesn’t make the behavior right or excusable, but it is important to realize the reaction you are seeing may have, in actuality, little at all to do with you. So try not to let it drive you away.

    You must educate these people the same way we want them to educate us. Which, OP is doing here (kudos), and I hope others follow suit (on both sides).

    • P.S. Not saying there aren’t just true trolls being vile for their own sake. That certainly happens too, but I’d say a good number of people actually have their heart in the right place (on both sides).

    • I totally get that it must be incredibly frustrating for autistic people trying to explain again and again and again to us NT’s. Its not fair I know. I have great sympathy for this and can completely forgive a bit of rage particularly from the teenagers.

      Part of what I wanted to do with this piece was to council any autistic people feeling such rage to try and temper it because expressing it is almost always counterproductive. The rage may be entirely justfified but it never actually work when it comes to changing minds. And changing peoples minds and views about autism is what we all want. We need society to move from the current “autism is bad” paradigm to the “autism id just a difference” paradigm. This can only be achieved by a rational, sensible and level headed dialogue, which unfortunately, is the exact opposite of what SJW types engage in.

      I think many SJW probably do have their hearts in the right place but there is defintely and element that are in it for all the wrong reasons. It is this element that I really take umbrage at. The ones that have their hearts in the right place simply need educating on how to conduct effective activism rather than shouty feel good activism.

  19. Hello.
    A very well written and nicely put text. As a teacher, and frequently inofficial tutor to children on the spectrum (they seem to like me for some reason), I agree the last thing anyone needs is the ridiculousness of modern day feminism, queertheory (or should that be ‘queer theory’?) and/or narrative discourse theory. Calm, rational debate focussed on matter-of-fact issues and with publically available data will benefit society as a whole, while a mindset of revanchisticism or resentfulness only serves to further cement inequalities.

    As a side note on SJWs: I would argue that the root of the underlying mindset is due to the destructive mindset postmodernism and its offspring among academia creates. It also shares common patterns with Leninist interpretations of Marxist theory, in that only a nomenclature can correctly identify and interpret socioeconomic issues and therefore should possess the exclusive right of interpretation and be the self-appointed speakers for the oppressed. This, in my opinion, is also why the terminology is subject to frequent change: as definitions get more well-defined, it gets harder to hold on to the power of interpretative privilege. If one continuously updates and evolves one’s terminological arsenal, one can never be called out.

    Oh, and as a final note to my shameless addendum to your text: several of my students have explained that they learned to cope with changes in routines and schedules by amending the schedule to have change of said schedule as a part of it. Not just their physical representation, but also the way they think about scheduling.

    Sincerely,
    Rikard Höglund, some kind of teacher

  20. There seem to be common traits of these type of bloggers:

    1. a long, long list of all their privileges and oppressions.
    2. Virulent hatred for parents and relatives of autistic kids.
    3. A love of self-diagnosis and complete rage at anyone who doesn’t agree with their diagnosis.
    4. While they claim to speak for all autistics, there’s a tendency to minimize the reality of destructive behaviors.
    5. Fury at “inspiration porn” but refusal to believe that autistic people, like all people, can do illegal things, and can be arrested or shot if putting people in danger.
    6. Attacking critics with cries of racism, sexism, ableism, etc. They have no problem utilizing those behaviors themselves (“stupid NTs” “white people are all oppressors” “mansplaining”)but, for some reason, it’s OK when they do it.

    I unfollowed a lot of autism blogs on Tumblr because they were so toxic. Some are damn near cult-like – criticizing the blogger unleashes a wave of hate from their followers.

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