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"Aspie" and "autistic" are not funny insults. A polite request.

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posted on May, 25 2016 @ 06:32 AM
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With the information age has come exposure to a wide array of subjects and conditions that previously only mental health professionals and patients were acquainted with. One thing that has "gone mainstream" in recent years is the existence of autistic spectrum disorder, often commonly known as Asperger's (though that terminology is probably going to be seen as antiquated soon.)

Unfortunately, exposure to information does not necessarily bring with it context or nuance, and I've seen the rapid rise of "autistic" and "aspie" as trollish insults thrown around online at a disquieting rate lately.

Now, yes... I know. I know. Everyone has the right to say anything they want, and I'm not disabusing anyone of that right. Nor is it lost on me that to be online requires having something of a thick skin. Fair enough. But if it's everyone's prerogative to say what they want - which it is - then surely it's likewise also my prerogative to humbly, respectfully request that people at least consider some restraint before 1) using something that to us is not a funny cliche but rather our very lives, as a pejorative, and 2) reinforcing vicious stereotypes about those of us who already feel alienated and even dehumanized at times as it is in our daily lives.

We get it. Sometimes we can be obsessive, "weird," "eccentric," etc. if we're on the autistic spectrum. But, that being the case... we don't all live up to those stereotypes either, and even if we do... does it really help to have it thrown in our faces repeatedly every day online because it's become the new troll culture's go to insult?

There are far more important issues in the world, and it's not the end of the world obviously. It just gets under your skin after a while. Just putting it out there. Do as you will.

Peace.




posted on May, 25 2016 @ 06:44 AM
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a reply to: AceWombat04

I can respect where you are coming from.

It would be nice if everybody in the world was respectful, tolerant, empathetic and non-judgemental towards others. But the reality is that many people (and especially the "personas" they hide behind online) are the opposite of those things.

Nevertheless, browsing the internet does require a thick skin as you mentioned. There are many topics I used to find "offensive" and "inappropriate" until I discovered something: you cannot really regulate how people speak and behave (in the practical sense), you can only regulate your own reaction.

You can choose to take offence, or you can choose to deny the effect the offender is expecting of you. The choice is yours.



posted on May, 25 2016 @ 06:51 AM
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a reply to: AceWombat04

I've never seen anyone here called autistic in a derogatory manner.

So I don't know why you're ranting at us.

I think it would make more sense to address the people that are actually doing it. The only place I've seen that is 4chan.
I would recommend starting a thread on /b/ and bringing it up there.



posted on May, 25 2016 @ 06:54 AM
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Literally never seen Aspie or autistic used here as a derogatory term so I think we're good.

Nothing beats a good scolding for something that one has never done!



posted on May, 25 2016 @ 07:01 AM
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Indeed not funny !! I've aperger and it's about the same as saying 'n-word'!



posted on May, 25 2016 @ 07:11 AM
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I'm sorry. I thought this being the rant forum meant it was the place here designated to get unadorned feelings off my chest. Not that it had to relate directly to the userbase of ATS which is actually one of the most polite and well moderated communities online, as I've said many times. My mistake? As stated, this was a polite request and a rant. Not an indictment of ATS. Apologies if it was interpreted in that manner.

I'm sorry you guys don't ever see it, but it's hardly limited to 4chan. It's everywhere. Reddit, Steam, Yahoo, Tumblr, the comment sections of news articles on every site I visit (and I visit a lot of them from across the spectrum,) even very rarely here on ATS, yes. After a while, when it happens like ten days in a row, it does begin to grate. This is the rant section, so forgive me for feeling entitled to... you know... RANT.

I really hate being online sometimes these days. Everything is a battle. Everyone is a hard ass. I'll show myself out.

Peace.



posted on May, 25 2016 @ 07:17 AM
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a reply to: AceWombat04

Rant all you want.

It's the rant forum. Not the back rubs and safe place forum.

ETA - that being said, any username with wombat in it is good in my book. The only better one would be combatwombat. Just sayin.
edit on 25-5-2016 by Shamrock6 because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 25 2016 @ 07:20 AM
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a reply to: AceWombat04

Well said. I haven't seen it used here on ATS, but there's no harm in reminding people. "Retard" is another one that is uncool, and has been for years and years now.

Mental health issues and facts are often dissed here, though - I am sick to death of hearing how "psychology is bullsh!t pseudoscience" coming from people who have no freaking idea what they're talking about. Psychology, mental illness, mental health, and behavioral sciences are very important - perhaps the most important thing humans need to focus on, in my opinion.

Mocking it, and mocking those who are practitioners and invested years learning about it is unbecoming for a site like ATS.
Good thread, Ace. Star and Flag.

Yours truly,
BuzzyWigs (a mental health professional)



posted on May, 25 2016 @ 07:22 AM
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Don't identify as an aspie.

Problem solved.



posted on May, 25 2016 @ 07:24 AM
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i thought aspie was a term of endearment that people with the condition came up with to make it sound more cutesy



posted on May, 25 2016 @ 07:49 AM
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originally posted by: Shamrock6
Literally never seen Aspie or autistic used here as a derogatory term so I think we're good.

Nothing beats a good scolding for something that one has never done!


you're in law enforcement you should be used to it by now.



posted on May, 25 2016 @ 07:51 AM
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originally posted by: eisegesis
Don't identify as an aspie.

Problem solved.


That's not the issue. The issue is people throwing it around as a generic pejorative directed at people who aren't, because it's taken on a meme-like cliche status.


originally posted by: BuzzyWigs
a reply to: AceWombat04

Well said. I haven't seen it used here on ATS, but there's no harm in reminding people. "Retard" is another one that is uncool, and has been for years and years now.

Mental health issues and facts are often dissed here, though - I am sick to death of hearing how "psychology is bullsh!t pseudoscience" coming from people who have no freaking idea what they're talking about. Psychology, mental illness, mental health, and behavioral sciences are very important - perhaps the most important thing humans need to focus on, in my opinion.

Mocking it, and mocking those who are practitioners and invested years learning about it is unbecoming for a site like ATS.
Good thread, Ace. Star and Flag.

Yours truly,
BuzzyWigs (a mental health professional)



Yes. And the real danger I see there frankly, is that by invalidating mental illness as a thing that exists, it empowers a strong blame the victim attitude. It allows people to say, "Well it's all in your head, get over it. And by the way, if you can't, that's your own fault and your own weakness."

This burgeoning, "Don't engage in victim-hood" paradigm, wherein even people's right to recognize that someone did them harm is stripped away (often BY the victimizers!) is really scary and damaging imo.
edit on 5/25/2016 by AceWombat04 because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 25 2016 @ 07:56 AM
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a reply to: AceWombat04

And those people who do that probably don't even know what it means.

answering edit:
Exactly.

For example some of the replies herein - "safe place and back rubs" being equivalent to "you're a pussy". It's so rude.
edit on 5/25/2016 by BuzzyWigs because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 25 2016 @ 08:43 AM
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a reply to: AceWombat04

Very well said and reasoned OP. I wasn't even aware people had taken to using the terms as pejoratives (likely because ATS comments are the only comments/social media postings I read, aside from sports tweets.) My guess -people finally stopped saying "retard", and in their minds, replacing it with "aspie", etc., is an adequate replacement for the usage they're seeking.

I also believe that just having a "thick skin" isn't exactly a solution, more of a 'shut up and take it' method of dealing with it. Being bombarded with demoralizing attacks on a major component of what defines a person must be difficult. No, we can't stop anyone from saying whatever they want, but raising awareness and helping others understand the ignorance of such use of these words is how we, as a society, have drastically reduced the pejorative use of negative-perception terms for the mentally challenged, minority races, etc.

A sports radio show in my area was recently discussing how they used to use Homer Simpson's "gay", and a "retard(ed)" from their soundboard in response to things said, either by themselves or callers, and that now, just a couple years on from ceasing to do so, they're shocked they used to do it and just thought of it as funny, not hurtful/ignorant. In other words, raising awareness and calling attention to this is a noble cause, as most people who use such terms simply aren't thinking about the dark side to doing so - and many/most will tend to stop once they come to the realization.



posted on May, 25 2016 @ 08:58 AM
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The internet is not going to be your "safe place". Tell people to stop calling me fat, it hurts me so when some jackass on the internet calls me fat.



posted on May, 25 2016 @ 09:07 AM
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a reply to: AceWombat04


That's not the issue. The issue is people throwing it around as a generic pejorative directed at people who aren't, because it's taken on a meme-like cliche status.

In my opinion, memes are stupid and used to mask one's lack of intelligence or wittiness when trying to make a point or be funny. They've become obsessive and most of the time, ridiculously dumb. Cowards hide behind them because they can't express themselves constructively and not having to say it to someones face lets people say what isn't worth saying.


We get it. Sometimes we can be obsessive, "weird," "eccentric," etc. if we're on the autistic spectrum.

Screw the autistic spectrum. Consider yourself unique and make the best of your "gift". It's a stupid medical term used to "diagnose" people who can't seem to integrate with the rest of society. Consider that a blessing. The more labels we invent to blanket "abnormal and inefficient" behavior, the more we compound the "somethings wrong with me" depressive mentality that leaves people reaching reaching for a fix.

I think these stupid labels and memes are only insulting and dangerous to those who believe words are...actually harmful. Is thin skin a symptom of Asperger's? I've said in the past and stick to the idea that the insulted are most responsible for the effect idiots have on them.

You can't make stupid go away, but seeing them for what they really are should dispel any truth behind their creations. I guess I'm weird and just look at life differently. I take no medication and refuse to fly around on some fluffy cloud of acceptance in a world of rounded off edges.

Thanks for entertaining my brashness.


edit on 25-5-2016 by eisegesis because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 25 2016 @ 09:43 AM
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originally posted by: BuzzyWigs
For example some of the replies herein - "safe place and back rubs" being equivalent to "you're a pussy". It's so rude.


Now now...I think you know the context of that comment:

originally posted by: Shamrock6
Rant all you want.

It's the rant forum. Not the back rubs and safe place forum.


Shamrock was pointing out that you can rant all that you want, but you're not immune to disagreement just because it's the rant forum. This is an accurate statement, and not rude at all, IMO.

I have a son with Asperger's, and I agree with many people on this thread that I have yet to see the terms "Aspie" or "Autistic" used in a derogatory way on ATS. Sure, that doesn't mean that it doesn't happen, but if it's not happening here with regular consistency in high volume, I understand why people are questioning this particular rant on this particular site, as it was phrased in a way to imply that the problem is on ATS.

I think the OP was well written and overly PC and polite (odd for a "rant"), but it just seems out of place on a site that doesn't have the problem...maybe the OP should have just been slightly more clear that he was speaking about (mainly) other sites, and it wouldn't have been an issue.

But in any event, I just chock the use of such words as a derogatory statement as a reflection of the lack of intelligence on the user's part, as it really does take low intelligence to choose that as a way to demean someone.



posted on May, 25 2016 @ 10:02 AM
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a reply to: dogstar23

Thanks. It is indeed interesting how attitudes and opinions shift over time. Unfortunately, we are currently seeing a huge backlash against the apparently anathema premise that maybe it's a nice thing for people to be civil to one another. Go figure.


originally posted by: imsoconfused
The internet is not going to be your "safe place". Tell people to stop calling me fat, it hurts me so when some jackass on the internet calls me fat.


Nowhere on Earth is a "safe place," and if you're a human being living on this planet, it is naturally presumed that nowhere is "safe." No one is asking anyone to render it "safe." "Safe space," like SJW, "victim-hood," and other buzzwords, have just become something people who want to engage in blaming the victim throw out these days to justify it, in my experience.

I'm not asking to be coddled. I'm saying if people's argument is that we - those with non typical neurologies and/or mental illnesses - are supposed to be solely responsible for our own feelings about others' words and actions, then it's also fair game for us to humbly ask those people to take responsibility for said words and actions too, and to politely request that they consider exercising some restraint and consideration. They don't have to. No one is holding a gun to their heads. It's a polite request from someone who at times, dearly longs for it to happen.

a reply to: eisegesis

While in principle I completely agree with you... and ultimately we are all simply unique individuals... it's not always a "gift" when you're emotionally and functionally paralyzed because of stimuli overload, due to your brain being hard-wired that way. There's wiggle for adaptation of course. But the degree to which one can achieve that, say, through CBT or other techniques (or, if you're not a fan of the psychiatric paradigm, let's instead just call it mindfulness and self-knowledge,) varies widely from person to person with equal individuality.

So while there are some benefits to being "the way I am," my particular manifestation of these issues is not a pleasant one. I essentially have to be sedated to one degree or another just to function, and even then, being "out and about" is never going to be something that happens except in fits and starts for me. Which is fine... except when it isn't.

Now, I'm not saying my "plight" is any more dire than anyone else's - nor, especially, that it's as bad as many other things some on this planet endure. I'm just saying... some awareness and decorum is always appreciated. Not mandatory! Appreciated. And, sometimes, needed in order to be okay. Is it everyone's responsibility to help me be okay? NO. As I said, people may do as they will. I'm just bringing to light the effects that can have. In theory, yes: it's MY responsibility to deal with MY feelings about people's words and actions. In practice though, let's just be real: it's unnecessary for people to be mean. And they too have responsibility for that choice. That's only fair imho.

The thing is, people like to imagine the mind is a magical entity distinct from the brain. And to the extent that consciousness could be thought of as emergent behavior, I guess in a sense one can effectively argue that it is. It's sort of a ghost in the machine on that level. But at the same time, the mind is also just the brain. And the brain can be diseased or, if you don't like thinking of it in that way (which I can understand - I don't like thinking of my very nature as a disease either!) can be morphologically and neurologically "unique" in a particular way which is, very much outside the control of the individual in question, not pleasant... to say the least.

If it were, say, multiple sclerosis, people would recognize it as a physiological fact of life, and would not tell people to "grow a thick skin" and "will themselves" to "deal with it." Because it's physical. It's meat. It's ion channels. Well, so is neurology. Which means, so is the mind. Which means, so are emotions and cognition and how we process and respond to stimuli. Amelioration and modulation are possible. Total control, depending on the person, isn't necessarily.

Put another way: mental illness and cognitive disorders are the only PHYSICAL medical conditions that the patients get BLAMED for having. Or, if you don't want to call them disorders (which, again I understand,) the only "ways of being" that people get blamed for... except of course for sexuality and/or gender identity. Which might be why I so heavily sympathize with the LGBT community, even though I do NOT want to conflate the two or what they face with one another. Very very different things. But in principle, I do have an understandable soft spot for those who are born a certain way, getting crapped on for it.

Peace.



posted on May, 25 2016 @ 10:15 AM
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a reply to: eisegesis

It's a medical diagnosis, not a lifestyle choice.

How is my non-verbal autistic son supposed to not have autism? He doesn't "identify" as it and it isn't simply a "label" we wanted him to have. It's a mysterious brain/body disorder that requires 24/7/365 care.

Perhaps I've misunderstood you, but believe me, if it was a simple matter of choosing not to have all the classical challenges and symptoms of autism, you think he wouldn't?

?

A B



posted on May, 25 2016 @ 10:24 AM
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originally posted by: watchitburn
a reply to: AceWombat04

I think it would make more sense to address the people that are actually doing it. The only place I've seen that is 4chan.
I would recommend starting a thread on /b/ and bringing it up there.


About making a 4chan thread about it...not sure on that one really.

On topic: I personally haven't seen it used as an insult on these boards either. I am fairly certain it would be deleted quickly if it were reported.

OP the truth really is, sadly, in your own statement:


Now, yes... I know. I know. Everyone has the right to say anything they want, and I'm not disabusing anyone of that right. Nor is it lost on me that to be online requires having something of a thick skin. Fair enough.





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