Guest post: The take-over by the Gendurr Brigade

Originally a comment by Cluecat on An unwelcome queering of disability.

This has been a serious problem in many of the “Autistic Communities” for some time.

Previously, the primary division was between the “Autism Warrior Parents” wanting everything set up to serve them, and the “Actually Autistic” groupings pointing out that autistic children will grow up to be autistic adults, who need a certain amount of representation and support that is focused on adult support needs rather than only young children – not “one or the other”, but both.

These groups did not get on. It was disturbingly common for a certain type of parent to behave as though everyone else was a naughty five-year-old and should just do what the parents told them to do, and stop kicking off about adults making decisions, because we’re too defective, the Normies know best. This included the various quack cures, and attempts to discredit the experience of the adults, since the Warrior Parents always knew best. As a result, a number of groupings split off to focus on various things.

Then there was the whole “Shiny Aspie” thing, where the association was with the brilliant “genius” type (always male) who was just so brilliant he didn’t have time for all that boring, trivial “social stuff”. He was just so special, and didn’t have any major support needs, so all that could be ignored. This is the variant that lots of people wanted to “identify” with – the Outcast Genius, with the few “cool points” that geeks could ever get.

This always ignored those who needed more support, who were never going to be Shiny Genius-types, who still have value but it’s never recognised. The ones who are always left behind by trendy Identitays, because “eww! Who wants to be like that?”

So many of us resent being held up as the Shiny Aspie type, because even when we can just-about function in the Normie world (at a considerable cost), it’s still a disability. Yes, it’s part of why I’m good at what I do, for example, but it still affects everything. There’s a price, and it can be quite high. Some of us don’t really see a big difference between ourselves, and our siblings elsewhere on the Spectrum. We know that it could have been us needing that additional support – it’s more about luck than anything we’ve done, and we try to fight for the recognition of those support needs, because it’s not acceptable to leave our siblings behind. They matter.

The take-over by the Gendurr Brigade is perhaps unsurprising. If there’s any group totally ill-equipped to fight off a coup by a bunch of Cluster-B nightmares and their supporting nitwits, it’s Autistics. We just can’t deal with them. Combine that with the literal, black-and-white thinking that many are prone to, and the idea of someone promising that we no longer have to be stuck on the outside looking in. That we, too, could be heroes, even if just for one day. That we could be the in-group this time, the special ones, the Chosen Ones. Not everyone will be seduced by this – some of us understand that we’re really different and can’t be magically “fixed”, so we accept reality – but many will. Some will do anything to no longer feel broken and defective. To be cool, just once.

The sheer cruelty of promising that everything will be fixed if we just do what these people are saying is beyond belief. All these interlopers wanted the “cool points” of the Shiny Aspie Genius, or the social lassitude to make “mistakes” in conversations, to have people leaping to their defence if they’re rude or cruel to others – “He can’t help it, he’s Autistic!” in those horribly righteous tones, and to re-establish “No Debate” as apparent attacks on Autistic people.

(Note that nobody will ever say “She can’t help it, she’s Autistic” about actual females. That leeway is only ever reserved for males. The one time it might be said is when the dude is wearing a dress.)

The takeover is complete. Those of us who understand reality are systematically hounded out of what were once “our” communities, those who are looking for help and support for their loved ones (such as the example above) are ignored at best, attacked at worst. There is no community left for us.

The Gendurr Monster has swallowed everything.

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