Autistic Hedgehog

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PLEASE SIGNAL BOOST: Warning about Disabled Skepchicks Blog and Call for Help

feministrocker:

autistichedgehog:

sherlocksflataffect:

autistichedgehog:

merinnan:

autistichedgehog:

Hedgehogs, I need your help. Or maybe it’s more accurate to say that we need our help.

A few days ago, my husband brought to my attention that the popular skeptic blog Skepchick was planning a sister site for disabled people. This was apparently due to a kerfuffle (and from what I can tell, not the first one) over ableist language being used on the site. Excited at the prospect, I applied. Only the find out that the very first conversation in the comments went like this, verbatim:

Nancy: 

Hi Sara – what about a parent of one (or more) disabled/autistic children. Can they apply?

Thanks!

Nancy

Sarah: Hi Nancy! That’s a good question– I’d say apply & we’ll figure it out from there. :)

I’m sure I don’t have to explain to any one of you why this bothered me. But I spoke up, pointing out that autistics absolutely do not care to have parents speaking for us and even linking to the blog for Autistics Speaking Day. 

That post sat in the moderation queue for three days. When it finally appeared, no one responded to it. Not even Sarah, who is supposed to be running this site. I wrote another post, pointing out further why this lack of response was so upsetting. Aside from being accused of things I have not done and still having my concerns completely ignored, still I have not been properly responded to by the person who is supposed to be running the damn blog. Nothing. Not a word. As if my feelings and the feelings of autistics just don’t matter. I have, as you might imagine, withdrawn my application, because who wants to work with someone who doesn’t care enough about your feelings to respond to you?

So this blog is two things. First, it’s a warning. If this blog ever goes live, I caution you all to stay away from it. They haven’t even begun yet and already they’re showing oodles of ignorance when it comes to people with developmental and cognitive abilities and an utter lack of caring for our concerns. It very likely will not be a remotely safe or welcoming place.

The other thing is a call for help. Despite doing things like linking to Autistics Speaking Day, I’m being accused of speaking for all autistics, as if there aren’t actuallyhuge amounts of us who have very real issues with parents speaking for us. So I’m asking you, if you have the spoons, to please go there and tell them exactly how you feel about the idea:

http://skepchick.org/2014/02/disabled-write-for-us/

This warning and call for help is for every and any person with a cognitive or developmental disability, not just autistics. These people believe they have so much right to disagree with us that they can just ignore what we say.

Well, I’m tired of being ignored. I’m tired of being treated like I’m so little of a human being that my opinions don’t matter at all. Skepchick is a big enough site to do so much harm to our cause, and I refuse to sit here and let them do it.

I can’t tell you how much pain I’m in right now. I want to crawl in a hole and never stop crying. I want to sit on an island and watch the world burn. I can barely see for the tears. I’m scared, because I’m little and they’re big, and part of me knows I can’t win. But I can’t not fight, either. This blog has become too important to me. It’s helped me so much, and I know it’s helped other people. I can’t sit in silence while people who are not disabled like we are presume to make decisions for us. 

Because that’s happening every day and it’s hurting so many people. Even when I’m silent, even when I can’t cope, I watch. I see the things all of you talk about, the way you’re treated, how you fight and fight and people won’t listen and this…this was a chance for the truth to be heard, from our own mouths and our own fingers, and they don’t care. So I have to speak. I have to speak for all of us who have been abused, who have been killed. I have to speak because if I don’t, there’s no way to stop this cycle.

Help me tell them to stop the cycle. Please, I’m begging you, help me tell them that solidarity is not just for neurotypical people. That we are done letting other people speak for us. Please.

Despite being a long-term intermittant lurker on Skepchick, I never made an account to comment because, honestly, commenting on blogs I’m not 100% comfortable on freaks me out. And Skepchick, sadly, is one that I’m not 100% comfortable on exactly because of their history of massive fails on disability issues, particularly DD issues.

It looks like Skepchick is now being added to my ‘unsafe blogs to visit’ list. After reading through the comments thread, I’m honestly sick to my stomach at the blatant neuro-ableism, gaslighting, disrespect, unchecked privilege, willful ignorance, and dismissivenes displayed by Skepchick bloggers and commenters (particularly Sarah and Will) towards autistic people. 

To those of you with the spoons to keep trying to get through to these people, I wish you all the best and will be silently cheering you on. Sadly, given what I’ve seen displayed in that comments thread and Skepchick’s previous history, I can’t say that I’m confident about your chances (but I’m still your silent cheer squad!)

And in closing: neurotypical privilege is being allowed and encouraged to speak over neuroatypical people despite a policy of ‘outsiders’ not being allowed to speak for minorities that they’re not part of.

No kidding. I don’t blame you for not wanting to get involved. The Almighty herself has shown up to tell me how “awful” and “ignorant” I am, for “assuming” they would treat developmentally disabled people poorly. Except that’s exactly what they were and are doing, so there you have it. 

Like people are straight up telling me they have a history of this behavior and I’ve seen nothing to indicate that isn’t true, and have been in fact treated horribly, and then I get treated even more horribly.

Rebecca Watson, ladies and gentlemen. The fucking anti-developmental disabilities Richard Dawkins. The universe loves her irony a bit too much, methinks. 

Oh hey so I was the person who initially called out their ableism. Which was really really bad, as was their able tears all over the place reaction. It wasn’t a “kerfuffle”. It was SKEPCHICK DONE FUCKED UP.

I wrote a thing about it, but it’s fairly vague bc I am still so triggered.

http://timetolisten.blogspot.com/2014/02/skepticisms-ableism-problem-again.html

But yeah, they’re looking for their Token Disabled Friend. And they’re being just horrendous and any self respecting disabled person would not want anything to do with it, it’d be being a token.

I just…my jaw is on the floor right now. Are you seriously telling me that it was an autistic person who called them out in the first place and that their “solution” to the problem…involved ignoring and gaslighting another autistic person? For reals? I mean, clearly it did, but holy shit, the cognitive dissonance is staggering right now.

I am so sorry you went through that. So, so sorry. I know from my own experience just how vicious and abusive they are, and it is awful, and I’m not surprised you’re still triggered. I’ve cried to the point of dehydration today.

People, you should read sherlocksflatafflect’s post there, definitely. Because holy shit, holy shit.

Meanwhile, Rebecca Watson is being a bully who refuses to allow any comments that don’t agree with her. 

Is this the same Skepchick who was part of the whole Elevatorgate kerfuffle? I really felt for her when people were taking her simple statement out of context and making her out to be some raving banshee! The fact that this lady turns out to be a neurotypicalistic asstwit is very disheartening, indeed!

That would be her, yes. She and everyone working for her site are apparently neurotypicalistic asstwits, since they chased their one openly autistic writer off the site for standing up for our community over this. 

Hi, do you have a link to anything about the guy getting booted off skepchicks following the whole majorly problamatic ableism issue? I've gone from not knowing about this site to being obsessed with the issue (I'm not sure is obsessed is the right word, horrified is probably better). I realise that you may not be directly connected but you are the only person I follow who is posting stuff around this.

ischemgeek:

autistichedgehog:

ischemgeek:

neuroatypically-speaking:

goldenheartedrose:

ischemgeek:

goldenheartedrose:

I don’t, I’m sorry.  

K (sherlocksflataffect) probably knows more.

Hi,

I don’t know you but I do know the writer in question. I told him about your request, and he gave me permission to link you to his FB page address, which includes his announcement of Skepchick booting him. 

And in case your browser hates hyperlinks, here’s the address for copy-paste: https://www.facebook.com/kit.partin.54

hope that helps

Ooh more information. Thanks!

Was he an actual contributor? Did they boot an actually autistic contributor? I no longer use Facebook or have an account (because I don’t want my family using it to reach me), so I can’t see the actual announcement. 

Kit was a writer for Teen Skepchick.

And, yes, he’s actually autistic.

And he was the only writer there brave enough on the blog network to explicitly call out the higher ups on their toxic ableism and abusive tactics back in February. For which they gaslighted him to the point that it aggravated his depression and induced a several-days-long meltdown. And also pretty much made fun of him for having a meltdown and ageismed at him (he’s a teenager).

And then the disability post went live and the autistic parent bloggers thing happened, and Kit spoke up in support of me and autistichedgehog and voiced the concerns of the autistic community in the comment thread, and they booted him.

And there’s even more stuff he confided privately that was jaw-droppingly ableist to me, but AFAIK, he hasn’t disclosed it publically and has something in the works on that front so I’ll let him decide when & how to disclose that part of it. This is just the stuff he’s made public via FB or what else have you.

But, yes, they actually booted an actually autistic writer for conveying the concerns of the autistic community and for calling out ableism. On a supposed social justice blog network. In a supposed anti-ableism project. 

I’m just gonna leave that at that because it really says more than I ever could.

I can’t even words right now. I’m just like o.o except for when I’m like D:

To bend over backwards to be more fair to them than they deserve… They didn’t do all the gaslighting and the One True Oppressioning (wherein one of them said that the people objecting to the toxic ableism weren’t experiencing “real oppression”) in the February ‘splosion. But they sure as hell didn’t do anything whatsoever to reign it in or call out the Oppression Olympics and possibly wink-and-nod encouraged it.

So, uh, yeah.

…that actually makes them sound worse, not better. Hey, they weren’t the only ones being giant ableist douchebags, they also sat back and let other people have a go too.

I suppose on the bright side, at least they know how to share?

(That last remark was me being facetious. Just to clarify.)

Hi, do you have a link to anything about the guy getting booted off skepchicks following the whole majorly problamatic ableism issue? I've gone from not knowing about this site to being obsessed with the issue (I'm not sure is obsessed is the right word, horrified is probably better). I realise that you may not be directly connected but you are the only person I follow who is posting stuff around this.

ischemgeek:

neuroatypically-speaking:

goldenheartedrose:

ischemgeek:

goldenheartedrose:

I don’t, I’m sorry.  

K (sherlocksflataffect) probably knows more.

Hi,

I don’t know you but I do know the writer in question. I told him about your request, and he gave me permission to link you to his FB page address, which includes his announcement of Skepchick booting him. 

And in case your browser hates hyperlinks, here’s the address for copy-paste: https://www.facebook.com/kit.partin.54

hope that helps

Ooh more information. Thanks!

Was he an actual contributor? Did they boot an actually autistic contributor? I no longer use Facebook or have an account (because I don’t want my family using it to reach me), so I can’t see the actual announcement. 

Kit was a writer for Teen Skepchick.

And, yes, he’s actually autistic.

And he was the only writer there brave enough on the blog network to explicitly call out the higher ups on their toxic ableism and abusive tactics back in February. For which they gaslighted him to the point that it aggravated his depression and induced a several-days-long meltdown. And also pretty much made fun of him for having a meltdown and ageismed at him (he’s a teenager).

And then the disability post went live and the autistic parent bloggers thing happened, and Kit spoke up in support of me and autistichedgehog and voiced the concerns of the autistic community in the comment thread, and they booted him.

And there’s even more stuff he confided privately that was jaw-droppingly ableist to me, but AFAIK, he hasn’t disclosed it publically and has something in the works on that front so I’ll let him decide when & how to disclose that part of it. This is just the stuff he’s made public via FB or what else have you.

But, yes, they actually booted an actually autistic writer for conveying the concerns of the autistic community and for calling out ableism. On a supposed social justice blog network. In a supposed anti-ableism project. 

I’m just gonna leave that at that because it really says more than I ever could.

I can’t even words right now. I’m just like o.o except for when I’m like D:

PLEASE SIGNAL BOOST: Warning about Disabled Skepchicks Blog and Call for Help

sherlocksflataffect:

autistichedgehog:

sherlocksflataffect:

autistichedgehog:

merinnan:

autistichedgehog:

Hedgehogs, I need your help. Or maybe it’s more accurate to say that we need our help.

A few days ago, my husband brought to my attention that the popular skeptic blog Skepchick was planning a sister site for disabled people. This…

OH BREAKING NEWS.

The ONE openly Autistic contributor to any of the Skepchick sites, the ONE person who had any connections to actual disability activists?

They just booted him for “undermining” (read as: stating concerns FROM THE COMMUNITY) this project. And apparently for sharing private conversations, though they have a weird definition of private.

This is not ok. Just so we know.

Gosh, this sounds so familiar. It’s almost like that time  Richard Dawkins got Rebecca Watson tossed out of speaking at the Reason Rally because he’s a giant privileged bully who refuses to admit he was wrong. 

I woke up dizzy this morning and it’s not going away, so this is all I really have the spoons to say on the moment. But I’m not done. I won’t be silenced.

I mean really. I’m ”beyond the pale” for suggesting they don’t care about ableism? Ha! I’m not the one censoring and booting actual disabled people trying to speak for themselves.

 Double dare you to email this or similar comparison to her. *hi I am so over them can you tell?*

Pssh, email, nothing. I’m planning an open letter. It’ll take some doing to put together and it will be seriously triggering, but my husband has promised to support me through it. She might be able to silence me on her blog, but she can’t silence me on mine.

PLEASE SIGNAL BOOST: Warning about Disabled Skepchicks Blog and Call for Help

sherlocksflataffect:

autistichedgehog:

merinnan:

autistichedgehog:

Hedgehogs, I need your help. Or maybe it’s more accurate to say that we need our help.

A few days ago, my husband brought to my attention that the popular skeptic blog Skepchick was planning a sister site for disabled people. This…

OH BREAKING NEWS.

The ONE openly Autistic contributor to any of the Skepchick sites, the ONE person who had any connections to actual disability activists?

They just booted him for “undermining” (read as: stating concerns FROM THE COMMUNITY) this project. And apparently for sharing private conversations, though they have a weird definition of private.

This is not ok. Just so we know.

Gosh, this sounds so familiar. It’s almost like that time  Richard Dawkins got Rebecca Watson tossed out of speaking at the Reason Rally because he’s a giant privileged bully who refuses to admit he was wrong. 

I woke up dizzy this morning and it’s not going away, so this is all I really have the spoons to say on the moment. But I’m not done. I won’t be silenced.

I mean really. I’m ”beyond the pale” for suggesting they don’t care about ableism? Ha! I’m not the one censoring and booting actual disabled people trying to speak for themselves.

Mar 8

PLEASE SIGNAL BOOST: Warning about Disabled Skepchicks Blog and Call for Help

ischemgeek:

sherlocksflataffect:

autistichedgehog:

merinnan:

autistichedgehog:

Hedgehogs, I need your help. Or maybe it’s more accurate to say that we need our help.

A few days ago, my husband brought to my attention that the popular skeptic blog Skepchick was planning a sister site…

On the upside, Will finally came out with some cognitively-accessible language answers: No, parent bloggers will not be a thing. I had to resist the urge to write “Was that so fucking hard?!” I did write “this is how you do cognitively-accessible language for me”

I’m not keen on how Will is lumping autistichedgehog and her husband together as a single entity in posts, though, and I might’ve monologed a bit on why the posts were not cognitively accessible to me. Posting while atopy flare and sick and headachy = monolog filter not operational. Whatever, I think they needed a rundown of why, no, our concerns had not been answered until someone came out with an explicit answer.

Also: snarling at autistic people for having trouble with subtext and implication? Not on. Don’t tell me to “re-read” ad infinitum, clarify.

Also, yes, I am PO’d. So PO’d I made a tumblr while migraine auraing and asthma flaring and assorted other histamine fun times-ing. When adrenaline leaves, I will crash hard and probably need a pillow fort day. My posts in the thread are very academic b/c that’s kind of my defense mechanism when I feel threatened/anxious/angry. More nervous/threatened/angry I feel in an unsafe space, more distant/obtuse my language gets. Frankly, I’m surprised I didn’t start breaking out the hexa- and heptasyllabic words in my vocabulary.

Ye-ah, way, way too little, and way too fucking late.

Chemgeek, this was not you having a cognitive problem. You didn’t read anything wrong at all. The specific question that was asked was literally if parents of disabled/autistic children could apply. And the answer given was literally that they could and would be taken under consideration. 

Sarah tried to make up some bull about “what if a sixteen-year-old who can’t write well wants to apply”, but that was bull. She was not talking about any form of assisted communication, even if that’s what she’s trying to claim now. At no point did she or any other Skepchick staff member say “Parents can help their children apply but cannot apply themselves.” Again, the question the answered was not “Can parents of disabled/autistic children help their children apply?” it was “Can parents of disabled/autistic children apply?”

They said yes to that. And when people protested and explained why they had a problem with this, they made no attempt to engage. There was not anything to remotely demonstrate that it was a misunderstanding that needed to be cleared up. In fact, it was largely ignored, until they decided to attack me. 

Then suddenly I was being told I was “repeatedly demanding an answer” when in fact at that point I had posted what, once? With a polite suggestion to look at the Autistics Speaking Day blog to see why their stance on this matter was problematic. Rebecca Watson herself showed up to call me awful and ignorant and reactionary and a few other things, too, before straight up censoring me and my husband.

In a sense, Will’s clarification now is just more of the same gaslighting that was already occurring. He’s trying to make it look like that’s what they were saying all along, but it most emphatically was not, because they never once said it. And in point of fact, he and more than one person claimed they weren’t responding because of some bullshit about “not wanting to disagree with marginalized people because it might marginalize them further.” But if they didn’t think it was okay to allow parents to blog on behalf of their children, why the word disagree? I said “Parents should not be allowed to apply.” They said “We’re not responding because blah blah blah disagreeing with marginalized people.” 

They said they disagree with me about parents not being allowed to apply. Never did they say parents wouldn’t be allowed to blog on their children’s behalf. And any child applying with their parent’s assistance would be applying for themselves. Thus the parent would not be applying. So if Sarah had said “Parents can help their children apply but not apply for themselves” that would be one thing. But that’s not what she said, that’s not what any of them said, and no matter how they try to claim it, that’s not what their subtext and implications said, either.

I write for a living. I am damn good at subtext and implications, especially when it comes to allistic people, because it’s the only way to protect myself from them. Chemgeek, do not let them convince you that you were the one who misunderstood, because you understood just fine. Right now they’re trying to cover their asses. Just like they’re claiming it was all a “little kerfuffle” over the word st*pid when the evidence shows it wasn’t, they’re trying to minimize what happened here. They’re trying to make it look like they weren’t horribly abusive and viciously ableist to disabled people.

But they were.They are 100% in the wrong here and you misunderstood nothing. It’s all there in black and white, and they’ve damned themselves with what they’ve said as much as with that they didn’t. They think that now they’ve bothered to answer, after all the abuse they heaped on me, that they did the right thing and get to have ally cookies now. But they sure as fuck aren’t getting them from me.

Mar 7

PLEASE SIGNAL BOOST: Warning about Disabled Skepchicks Blog and Call for Help

sherlocksflataffect:

autistichedgehog:

merinnan:

autistichedgehog:

Hedgehogs, I need your help. Or maybe it’s more accurate to say that we need our help.

A few days ago, my husband brought to my attention that the popular skeptic blog Skepchick was planning a sister site for disabled people. This was apparently due to a kerfuffle (and from what I can tell, not the first one) over ableist language being used on the site. Excited at the prospect, I applied. Only the find out that the very first conversation in the comments went like this, verbatim:

Nancy: 

Hi Sara – what about a parent of one (or more) disabled/autistic children. Can they apply?

Thanks!

Nancy

Sarah: Hi Nancy! That’s a good question– I’d say apply & we’ll figure it out from there. :)

I’m sure I don’t have to explain to any one of you why this bothered me. But I spoke up, pointing out that autistics absolutely do not care to have parents speaking for us and even linking to the blog for Autistics Speaking Day. 

That post sat in the moderation queue for three days. When it finally appeared, no one responded to it. Not even Sarah, who is supposed to be running this site. I wrote another post, pointing out further why this lack of response was so upsetting. Aside from being accused of things I have not done and still having my concerns completely ignored, still I have not been properly responded to by the person who is supposed to be running the damn blog. Nothing. Not a word. As if my feelings and the feelings of autistics just don’t matter. I have, as you might imagine, withdrawn my application, because who wants to work with someone who doesn’t care enough about your feelings to respond to you?

So this blog is two things. First, it’s a warning. If this blog ever goes live, I caution you all to stay away from it. They haven’t even begun yet and already they’re showing oodles of ignorance when it comes to people with developmental and cognitive abilities and an utter lack of caring for our concerns. It very likely will not be a remotely safe or welcoming place.

The other thing is a call for help. Despite doing things like linking to Autistics Speaking Day, I’m being accused of speaking for all autistics, as if there aren’t actuallyhuge amounts of us who have very real issues with parents speaking for us. So I’m asking you, if you have the spoons, to please go there and tell them exactly how you feel about the idea:

http://skepchick.org/2014/02/disabled-write-for-us/

This warning and call for help is for every and any person with a cognitive or developmental disability, not just autistics. These people believe they have so much right to disagree with us that they can just ignore what we say.

Well, I’m tired of being ignored. I’m tired of being treated like I’m so little of a human being that my opinions don’t matter at all. Skepchick is a big enough site to do so much harm to our cause, and I refuse to sit here and let them do it.

I can’t tell you how much pain I’m in right now. I want to crawl in a hole and never stop crying. I want to sit on an island and watch the world burn. I can barely see for the tears. I’m scared, because I’m little and they’re big, and part of me knows I can’t win. But I can’t not fight, either. This blog has become too important to me. It’s helped me so much, and I know it’s helped other people. I can’t sit in silence while people who are not disabled like we are presume to make decisions for us. 

Because that’s happening every day and it’s hurting so many people. Even when I’m silent, even when I can’t cope, I watch. I see the things all of you talk about, the way you’re treated, how you fight and fight and people won’t listen and this…this was a chance for the truth to be heard, from our own mouths and our own fingers, and they don’t care. So I have to speak. I have to speak for all of us who have been abused, who have been killed. I have to speak because if I don’t, there’s no way to stop this cycle.

Help me tell them to stop the cycle. Please, I’m begging you, help me tell them that solidarity is not just for neurotypical people. That we are done letting other people speak for us. Please.

Despite being a long-term intermittant lurker on Skepchick, I never made an account to comment because, honestly, commenting on blogs I’m not 100% comfortable on freaks me out. And Skepchick, sadly, is one that I’m not 100% comfortable on exactly because of their history of massive fails on disability issues, particularly DD issues.

It looks like Skepchick is now being added to my ‘unsafe blogs to visit’ list. After reading through the comments thread, I’m honestly sick to my stomach at the blatant neuro-ableism, gaslighting, disrespect, unchecked privilege, willful ignorance, and dismissivenes displayed by Skepchick bloggers and commenters (particularly Sarah and Will) towards autistic people. 

To those of you with the spoons to keep trying to get through to these people, I wish you all the best and will be silently cheering you on. Sadly, given what I’ve seen displayed in that comments thread and Skepchick’s previous history, I can’t say that I’m confident about your chances (but I’m still your silent cheer squad!)

And in closing: neurotypical privilege is being allowed and encouraged to speak over neuroatypical people despite a policy of ‘outsiders’ not being allowed to speak for minorities that they’re not part of.

No kidding. I don’t blame you for not wanting to get involved. The Almighty herself has shown up to tell me how “awful” and “ignorant” I am, for “assuming” they would treat developmentally disabled people poorly. Except that’s exactly what they were and are doing, so there you have it. 

Like people are straight up telling me they have a history of this behavior and I’ve seen nothing to indicate that isn’t true, and have been in fact treated horribly, and then I get treated even more horribly.

Rebecca Watson, ladies and gentlemen. The fucking anti-developmental disabilities Richard Dawkins. The universe loves her irony a bit too much, methinks. 

Oh hey so I was the person who initially called out their ableism. Which was really really bad, as was their able tears all over the place reaction. It wasn’t a “kerfuffle”. It was SKEPCHICK DONE FUCKED UP.

I wrote a thing about it, but it’s fairly vague bc I am still so triggered.

http://timetolisten.blogspot.com/2014/02/skepticisms-ableism-problem-again.html

But yeah, they’re looking for their Token Disabled Friend. And they’re being just horrendous and any self respecting disabled person would not want anything to do with it, it’d be being a token.

I just…my jaw is on the floor right now. Are you seriously telling me that it was an autistic person who called them out in the first place and that their “solution” to the problem…involved ignoring and gaslighting another autistic person? For reals? I mean, clearly it did, but holy shit, the cognitive dissonance is staggering right now.

I am so sorry you went through that. So, so sorry. I know from my own experience just how vicious and abusive they are, and it is awful, and I’m not surprised you’re still triggered. I’ve cried to the point of dehydration today.

People, you should read sherlocksflatafflect’s post there, definitely. Because holy shit, holy shit.

Meanwhile, Rebecca Watson is being a bully who refuses to allow any comments that don’t agree with her. 

Mar 7

PLEASE SIGNAL BOOST: Warning about Disabled Skepchicks Blog and Call for Help

merinnan:

autistichedgehog:

Hedgehogs, I need your help. Or maybe it’s more accurate to say that we need our help.

A few days ago, my husband brought to my attention that the popular skeptic blog Skepchick was planning a sister site for disabled people. This was apparently due to a kerfuffle (and from what I can tell, not the first one) over ableist language being used on the site. Excited at the prospect, I applied. Only the find out that the very first conversation in the comments went like this, verbatim:

Nancy: 

Hi Sara – what about a parent of one (or more) disabled/autistic children. Can they apply?

Thanks!

Nancy

Sarah: Hi Nancy! That’s a good question– I’d say apply & we’ll figure it out from there. :)

I’m sure I don’t have to explain to any one of you why this bothered me. But I spoke up, pointing out that autistics absolutely do not care to have parents speaking for us and even linking to the blog for Autistics Speaking Day. 

That post sat in the moderation queue for three days. When it finally appeared, no one responded to it. Not even Sarah, who is supposed to be running this site. I wrote another post, pointing out further why this lack of response was so upsetting. Aside from being accused of things I have not done and still having my concerns completely ignored, still I have not been properly responded to by the person who is supposed to be running the damn blog. Nothing. Not a word. As if my feelings and the feelings of autistics just don’t matter. I have, as you might imagine, withdrawn my application, because who wants to work with someone who doesn’t care enough about your feelings to respond to you?

So this blog is two things. First, it’s a warning. If this blog ever goes live, I caution you all to stay away from it. They haven’t even begun yet and already they’re showing oodles of ignorance when it comes to people with developmental and cognitive abilities and an utter lack of caring for our concerns. It very likely will not be a remotely safe or welcoming place.

The other thing is a call for help. Despite doing things like linking to Autistics Speaking Day, I’m being accused of speaking for all autistics, as if there aren’t actuallyhuge amounts of us who have very real issues with parents speaking for us. So I’m asking you, if you have the spoons, to please go there and tell them exactly how you feel about the idea:

http://skepchick.org/2014/02/disabled-write-for-us/

This warning and call for help is for every and any person with a cognitive or developmental disability, not just autistics. These people believe they have so much right to disagree with us that they can just ignore what we say.

Well, I’m tired of being ignored. I’m tired of being treated like I’m so little of a human being that my opinions don’t matter at all. Skepchick is a big enough site to do so much harm to our cause, and I refuse to sit here and let them do it.

I can’t tell you how much pain I’m in right now. I want to crawl in a hole and never stop crying. I want to sit on an island and watch the world burn. I can barely see for the tears. I’m scared, because I’m little and they’re big, and part of me knows I can’t win. But I can’t not fight, either. This blog has become too important to me. It’s helped me so much, and I know it’s helped other people. I can’t sit in silence while people who are not disabled like we are presume to make decisions for us. 

Because that’s happening every day and it’s hurting so many people. Even when I’m silent, even when I can’t cope, I watch. I see the things all of you talk about, the way you’re treated, how you fight and fight and people won’t listen and this…this was a chance for the truth to be heard, from our own mouths and our own fingers, and they don’t care. So I have to speak. I have to speak for all of us who have been abused, who have been killed. I have to speak because if I don’t, there’s no way to stop this cycle.

Help me tell them to stop the cycle. Please, I’m begging you, help me tell them that solidarity is not just for neurotypical people. That we are done letting other people speak for us. Please.

Despite being a long-term intermittant lurker on Skepchick, I never made an account to comment because, honestly, commenting on blogs I’m not 100% comfortable on freaks me out. And Skepchick, sadly, is one that I’m not 100% comfortable on exactly because of their history of massive fails on disability issues, particularly DD issues.

It looks like Skepchick is now being added to my ‘unsafe blogs to visit’ list. After reading through the comments thread, I’m honestly sick to my stomach at the blatant neuro-ableism, gaslighting, disrespect, unchecked privilege, willful ignorance, and dismissivenes displayed by Skepchick bloggers and commenters (particularly Sarah and Will) towards autistic people. 

To those of you with the spoons to keep trying to get through to these people, I wish you all the best and will be silently cheering you on. Sadly, given what I’ve seen displayed in that comments thread and Skepchick’s previous history, I can’t say that I’m confident about your chances (but I’m still your silent cheer squad!)

And in closing: neurotypical privilege is being allowed and encouraged to speak over neuroatypical people despite a policy of ‘outsiders’ not being allowed to speak for minorities that they’re not part of.

No kidding. I don’t blame you for not wanting to get involved. The Almighty herself has shown up to tell me how “awful” and “ignorant” I am, for “assuming” they would treat developmentally disabled people poorly. Except that’s exactly what they were and are doing, so there you have it. 

Like people are straight up telling me they have a history of this behavior and I’ve seen nothing to indicate that isn’t true, and have been in fact treated horribly, and then I get treated even more horribly.

Rebecca Watson, ladies and gentlemen. The fucking anti-developmental disabilities Richard Dawkins. The universe loves her irony a bit too much, methinks. 

Mar 7

I’m curious—as much as getting parents of autistic children to write in lieu of actually autistic people, they haven’t actually done anything wrong yet (they said to apply/think about it). I agree that disabled people need to get a voice in media, but wouldn’t it be good to ask people to apply to become a blogger, rather than just shut down the idea entirely? (sorry if I misunderstood your post)

——————-

The blog is meant to be for and written by people with disabilities, and right in the FAQ they say that people without disabilities shouldn’t apply. Then the very first thing they do is turn around and agree to consider people without disabilities, in spite of myself (someone with the disability in question) and several others pointing out that we’re not comfortable with that. 

I explained in my own response why I didn’t think parents should be considered, and linked to the blog for Autistics Speaking Day to show that we can and do speak for ourselves just fine. That was never acknowledged. Not at all. By anyone. 

And if you read the comments, other people point out that this is not the first issue the site has had with regards to cognitive and developmental disabilities. I’ve seen mention that people speaking out against ableist language were simply dismissed as trolls, in fact. That’s not exactly a good track record, and the fact that no one will acknowledge concerns about this just makes it worse.

As well, they have a parenting blog already. If parents of autistics/disabled children have something to say, there is already a place for that. This was supposed to be a blog for disabled people, a place for us. To say people who aren’t disabled weren’t allowed, then immediately turn around and start considered exceptions, is not cool. Especially since it speaks of the sort of ignorance that people tend to have about autistics, that we can’t speak for ourselves. There are enough of us who can and do, who might be willing to apply, that there’s just no need for parents to even be a consideration at all. 

Mar 7

PLEASE SIGNAL BOOST: Warning about Disabled Skepchicks Blog and Call for Help

Hedgehogs, I need your help. Or maybe it’s more accurate to say that we need our help.

A few days ago, my husband brought to my attention that the popular skeptic blog Skepchick was planning a sister site for disabled people. This was apparently due to a kerfuffle (and from what I can tell, not the first one) over ableist language being used on the site. Excited at the prospect, I applied. Only the find out that the very first conversation in the comments went like this, verbatim:

Nancy: 

Hi Sara – what about a parent of one (or more) disabled/autistic children. Can they apply?

Thanks!

Nancy

Sarah: Hi Nancy! That’s a good question– I’d say apply & we’ll figure it out from there. :)

I’m sure I don’t have to explain to any one of you why this bothered me. But I spoke up, pointing out that autistics absolutely do not care to have parents speaking for us and even linking to the blog for Autistics Speaking Day. 

That post sat in the moderation queue for three days. When it finally appeared, no one responded to it. Not even Sarah, who is supposed to be running this site. I wrote another post, pointing out further why this lack of response was so upsetting. Aside from being accused of things I have not done and still having my concerns completely ignored, still I have not been properly responded to by the person who is supposed to be running the damn blog. Nothing. Not a word. As if my feelings and the feelings of autistics just don’t matter. I have, as you might imagine, withdrawn my application, because who wants to work with someone who doesn’t care enough about your feelings to respond to you?

So this blog is two things. First, it’s a warning. If this blog ever goes live, I caution you all to stay away from it. They haven’t even begun yet and already they’re showing oodles of ignorance when it comes to people with developmental and cognitive abilities and an utter lack of caring for our concerns. It very likely will not be a remotely safe or welcoming place.

The other thing is a call for help. Despite doing things like linking to Autistics Speaking Day, I’m being accused of speaking for all autistics, as if there aren’t actuallyhuge amounts of us who have very real issues with parents speaking for us. So I’m asking you, if you have the spoons, to please go there and tell them exactly how you feel about the idea:

http://skepchick.org/2014/02/disabled-write-for-us/

This warning and call for help is for every and any person with a cognitive or developmental disability, not just autistics. These people believe they have so much right to disagree with us that they can just ignore what we say.

Well, I’m tired of being ignored. I’m tired of being treated like I’m so little of a human being that my opinions don’t matter at all. Skepchick is a big enough site to do so much harm to our cause, and I refuse to sit here and let them do it.

I can’t tell you how much pain I’m in right now. I want to crawl in a hole and never stop crying. I want to sit on an island and watch the world burn. I can barely see for the tears. I’m scared, because I’m little and they’re big, and part of me knows I can’t win. But I can’t not fight, either. This blog has become too important to me. It’s helped me so much, and I know it’s helped other people. I can’t sit in silence while people who are not disabled like we are presume to make decisions for us. 

Because that’s happening every day and it’s hurting so many people. Even when I’m silent, even when I can’t cope, I watch. I see the things all of you talk about, the way you’re treated, how you fight and fight and people won’t listen and this…this was a chance for the truth to be heard, from our own mouths and our own fingers, and they don’t care. So I have to speak. I have to speak for all of us who have been abused, who have been killed. I have to speak because if I don’t, there’s no way to stop this cycle.

Help me tell them to stop the cycle. Please, I’m begging you, help me tell them that solidarity is not just for neurotypical people. That we are done letting other people speak for us. Please.