False Dichotomies

This thing has been bugging me for a little while now, and I think I’ve finally figured out what it is.

When I have expressed my lack of appreciation (to put it mildly) for pointless, and sometimes harmful, awareness campaigns like Drawtism and SilentSelfie, I’ve been accused of doing nothing because I won’t participate in those campaigns. When I expressed my disapproval for Aspect’s current fundraising tactics, it’s been suggested that I volunteer my time to help them create a better campaign.

Here’s the thing: I don’t participate in awareness campaigns because they are pointless and can be harmful. I won’t volunteer my time to help Aspect create a better campaign because I don’t agree with what their fundraising is actually for.

But, does that mean I’m doing nothing? No. I am doing things. I am volunteering my time in order to contribute towards things that will hopefully have a real and positive impact on the lives of Autistic people (and not just their families).

Why the false dichotomy? Why do people believe that if you’re not hopping on the awareness bandwagon, you’re not contributing towards change? Has awareness become the dominant narrative to such a degree that anything other than full-blown commitment to awareness raising rubbish means that you’re doing nothing?

Those aren’t rhetorical questions, by the way, I really would like to know. If you have a theory, please feel free to enlighten me on my Facebook page.