Safety

posted October 3rd, 2015, 2:01 am


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October 11th, 2014, 3:27 am

GreenKrog

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Good job Lexi. You made your sister's lack of breasts public knowledge. So much for just joking.

Aspergers is.. just read the wiki. Anyways, what Lexi just said is not at all correct and a terrible stereotype. I think this is the second time I've brought up autistic people, and I kind of feel bad about it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asperger_syndrome

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October 3rd, 2015, 2:31 am

Yan Mouson

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Finally created an account! I'm the Anon who's been commenting for a while. Not my real name, just so you know, but I'll let you figure out what it means.

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That's not really nice of Lexi to say, considering that Erica probably does have Asperger's or some other Autism spectrum disorder. It might be something she doesn't like people to point out.

I mean, I can't speak for other people, but it's definitely something I don't like to be told. I have a PDD-NOS* and whenever someone brings it up in response to one of my odd behaviors, it kind of feels like they're telling me that my personality is a disease.

Symptoms of a psychological disorder aren't like symptoms of a physical illness. When you cough or puke, you know it's because you're ill. When you act in weird ways because of a mental illness or psychological disorder, you don't even realize it. To you, it's just part of who you are, and being told that who you are is wrong and that you should work to overcome your own personality is quite maddening, at least to me.

*Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified AKA what they diagnose you with when you're on the Autism spectrum but don't have either Autism or Asperger's so they have no idea what to call it.

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October 3rd, 2015, 4:46 pm

GreenKrog

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@Yan Mouson: There is a Yan Mouson on facebook, and all the pics are of Anon (the hacker group). It is also clearly an anagram. Subtle. ;)

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Nothing Lexi says these days is very nice. And I'm pretty sure Lexi just goes by what she watched on an episode of House or something. I'm not sure Erica actually does have any level of Autism or if she simply sucks at socializing. Hard to tell the difference with smart introverts.

I think the feeling some people have about their autism is the same as some people feel about being trans. For example, I have been placed 'somewhere' on the spectrum, since I never make eye contact and can't be in a room of more than 5 people without getting really difficult. But, like being trans, I have decided to own it. Yes, it is a part of me, and yes, if you have questions I will try to educate you. Then I will stop being 'the trans chick' and just be 'Human being who also happens to be trans'.

In the case presented above, where Lexi is calling out Erica on her lack of social graces, is it not somewhat appropriate to call people out? Certainly not in that way, mind you. But saying 'hey, asking a person how they can be related based on skin colour is pretty uncool. There was a better way to ask that' seems the lesser evil, right? Except Erica decided to shortcut right to the core concept. Is it antisocial, or is it what we all want to say but we have been trained to be PC and not say? If you agree with the concept that it is what we would all like to ask but don't, and Erica does, then ask yourself - isn't Lexi taking the stance that mentioning someones autism is roughly the same as them asking how Lexi is black and Annie is white?

Just some food for thought. I don't think there is a right answer, or even a right-er answer. More like.. everyone will see it differently, and nobody is wrong in how they feel about it.

Thanks for registering and liking the page btw :)

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October 4th, 2015, 12:54 am

Yan Mouson

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@GreenKrog: Well, I'm not the Yan Mouson on Facebook. I have no idea who that is, but clearly I was not the only one to think of this clever anagram. What a bummer. I am also in no way afiliated with the hacker group Anonymous, just so we're clear.

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I of course cannot diagnose Erica with any form of Autism, as I am not qualified for that. What I can say, however, is that she obviously exhibits traits typically associated with ASD. The thing about Autism is that it's not a binary value, it's more like a scale where they determine you're autistic when you pass a certain threshold. I was diagnosed with PDD-NOS because I was a few points short of Asperger's, yet still clearly way more autistic than the average person. Point is, I'd say Erica is higher on that scale than most people, although I can't say if it's by enough to be actually diagnosed as autistic.

To be honest, I kind of had a feeling you were somewhere on the spectrum. Obviously, I don't know you personally enough to make that claim without it sounding ridiculous, and even if I did, I wouldn't say it because as I mentioned before, being told that would make me uncomfortable as hell, so I'm definitely not going to tell others I think they're autistic. Still, something in the way your comic portrays certain characters, especially Annie, and some stuff you said in your commentaries kind of gave off that vibe.

Getting back on topic, the reason I don't like when people bring up that I'm autistic isn't that I'm ashamed of it, that I don't like the reminder. It's all about intent. I don't like the implication behind someone pointing out that the way I behave correlates with Autism symptoms. I don't like the implication behind someone telling me that I need to overcome those symptoms in order to be more normal. I don't like it because, as I said earlier, it amounts to telling me that my personality, the way I think, is a disease. That somehow, there's a "real" me hidden underneath everything that I consider to be me. It's like telling me "Everything about you is all wrong. Just ditch all of it and start being someone else." In my opinion, that's kind of the worst insult you can tell someone.

If someone asks me if I'm autistic, or wants to know more about it, then yeah, I'll own it and tell them everything they want to know. It's when someone implies that there's something wrong with being autistic that I can't stand it, and that's pretty much exactly what Lexi did there. Like you said, there is something deeply illogical with PC culture. We invented words to define things, and then we suddenly decided that those words shouldn't be used anymore. We go out of our way to use the most roundabout, convoluted way to say stuff for fear of offending people, yet we're still saying the exact same thing, just in a much longer, much less clear way that I'd argue is plain stupid.

So no, I don't think people should avoid talking about Autism or Asperger's directly. I don't think Lexi was wrong to ask Erica if she had Asperger's, and I don't think she was wrong to do it by using the word "Asperger's". What she said that was wrong was everything that followed that sentence. "Who asks things like that? Go away, I don't feel like dealing with you right now!" is insanely insulting, no matter how you look at it. Conversely, I don't think Erica's question was insulting at all. Sure, she didn't use the PC terms, but it makes sense that she was curious about that, and she asked her question directly using very clear terms. I'd argue that's in fact the most logical way to say what she wanted to say.

The difference between Erica and Lexi's behavior is intent. Nothing Erica said implied being black is wrong, or that Lexi and Annie calling themselves sisters without being biologically related is wrong. She simply asked a question. Conversely, Lexi made it very clear that having Asperger's was something she considered wrong, and that she didn't want to talk to Erica because of it.

Sorry about the huge wall of text, by the way. You just happened to touch on one of the few subjects that I have a shitload of stuff to say about. I will warn you that this may happen again, should Wildflowers ever happen to for some reason reference the plot of Breaking Bad, or the symbolism behind Silent Hill 2.

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