Dear Random Person I’ve never seen before

Dear Random Person I’ve never seen before,

Firstly, I would like to apologise for not responding to your comment on another page before now. It was brought to my attention at the time you mentioned my page name, but I made a conscious decision to focus solely on the A-Z collaborative blog series during the month of April.

But, since you did mention my page name, I’m going to assume you wanted some sort of response?

Your comment said:

“It’s all well and good for the bullshit fairy and her counterpart the unboxed brain to wave around their ableist wand from their high horses without regards but will argue till they are out of breath about autism mum. I say people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones and up until the point in time that they can prove they are without fault they should be as openly accepting as they demand that everyone else of their requirements.”

Unfortunately, since you commented, the post on which that comment appeared seems to have been deleted (I guess it never happened, right?) so I can’t respond to you there. But since you mentioned my page name and I have a page and this blog, I guess I can respond to you here.

Before I start with my questions, a word on my ‘tone’: Please understand that I’m not angry. I’m genuinely confused about why you brought my name into something I had nothing to do with, so when reading this, please don’t read it in the tone of just another angry Autistic person, read it in a snarky-I-can’t-really-believe-any-of-this tone.

I have some questions for you about your comment:

What does that combination of words mean?

This is my main question because, seriously, what does your comment mean? There are so many metaphors in there that I can’t really decipher what it is that you mean, but I get the feeling that I have upset you in some way and I would love to understand what it is that you think I have done.

What did you mean when you said I was the counterpart of The Bullshit Fairy?

According to the Oxford Dictionary, counterpart means

“A person or thing that corresponds to or has the same function as another person or thing in a different place or situation.”

To clarify, are you saying that The Bullshit Fairy and I have the same function? If so, what do you believe that function to be?

From our side, both The Bullshit Fairy and I would like to see Autistic people achieve equality so I don’t have much of a problem with someone saying that I’m her counterpart although it was news to both of us.

We didn’t realise that we were counterparts. With this new information, we shall try to coordinate our efforts a bit more.

What is an ableist wand?

Again, referring to the Oxford Dictionary, ableist is the adjective of ableism which means

“Discrimination in favour of able-bodied people”

So, I’m wondering about this ableist wand that we apparently wave around.

Is the wand itself ableist? Does the wand discriminate against disabled people in favour of abled people? How does that work?

Does it remove ableism from society? Because if it does, I would love to have one because that sounds way easier than the way I’ve been going about it.

Is it because you see Autistic people as fae-like and have bought into the changeling myths that have historically been used to other us? Because, for the record, I took a quiz to find out which mythical creature I am and I’m not fae. I’m actually a minotaur.

Why do we share a wand? Why don’t we each have our own? Do you know how difficult the logistics of sharing a wand would be given that we live almost 4,000 km away from each other? What happens if The Bullshit Fairy needs the wand and I have it? How would I get it to her.

Really, the wand is the thing that I’ve thought the most about because it makes the least amount of sense to me.

When you said high horses, what did you mean?

Are the horses high because they’re tall? Are they high because they’re stoned due to drug use?

I would like to thank you for giving us each a horse though – couriering one high horse back and forth between the two of us would be really difficult given that we live so far apart from each other.

If I have a high horse, I really would like to be able to find it so that’s why I need to know what it looks like. I would hate for my high horse to be wandering the plains all alone without me.

A few people have suggested that a Pegasus is a horse which flies so that must be what a high horse looks like. Do you have any tips on how to catch a Pegasus or should I just ask my “counterpart” how she did it?

But, wait… were you referring to the saying “on one’s high horse” and trying to say that we’re arrogant or pompous?

I have serious concerns with people claiming that those of us who are demanding for Autistic people to be granted the same human rights as other people are arrogant. I think that telling us that we’re arrogant to believe that we deserve equality might even be quite an arrogant thing to do.

When did I say anything about autism mums?

I’ve searched my blog using the term “autism mum” and I found nothing, so I searched “autism mom” and I found some results! In this post, I even addressed the notion that parents of autistic children can call themselves “autism moms”:

“Firstly, parents need to stop co-opting their child’s identity. It’s gross. You might be the parent of an autistic child. You might be an autistic parent. You might be both. Heck, if you want to insist on person-first language, you can even be the parent of a child with autism, although there are plenty of reasons why many of us prefer identity-first language. But, you are not an autism mom.”

Is that what I did to upset you? By telling you that you need to stop co-opting your child’s identity?

Honestly, I can’t stop anyone from calling themselves whatever they would like to call themselves. I can tell you why I disagree with it, and my thinking is similar to many of my autistic friends, but the choice is yours as to whether you want to listen to the adults that share your child’s neurotype.

In the second post from those search results, “autism mom” was used in the description of one of the memes, so that wasn’t me saying anything about people using that term.

For good measure, I also searched my site for “autism parent” and I got eight hits, but out of those eight, the two that I have linked to above were also included in the search results for “autism mom”, so that’s a total of eight posts on a blog of well over 100 posts.

I’m not sure how you would measure whether someone is arguing “till they are out of breath” (which, to me, feels a bit like an ableist phrase), but I feel fairly certain that that doesn’t qualify.

When have I said that I’m without fault?

I’ve never once said that I believe myself to be free of fault. If anything, I have had to work damn hard to overcome the prejudices that were socialised into me. We live in societies which are characterised by various intersections of inequality, and while I am a member of various oppressed groups, I am also a member of other privileged groups, and I have and continue to benefit from the privilege that membership of those groups affords me. It’s an ongoing process and one that I still work at. I’m far from perfect.

I can’t even with your comment about the glass houses. I live in an apartment with big windows but it is built with bricks and mortar, not glass. That would be the literal interpretation. My non-literal response when using the definition “you shouldn’t criticize others when you have similar faults of your own” would be: What exactly is it that you think I’ve criticized you about?

Is it the “autism mum” thing again? Because I never called myself an autism parent even when I was in the midst of other people who co-opt their children’s identities, so that can’t be it, but I must have done something.

What is it that you think I have done to you?

I have a fairly good memory for names that I’ve read and yours is completely, absolutely unfamiliar to me. I have no idea what I did to upset you, but I’m going to assume that it was something, so because I have literally never encountered you before, I would love to open up a dialogue with you and figure out what it is that you believe I have done to you.

When I was looking at your Facebook profile to try and fathom who it was that had made that comment about me, I noticed two things:

  1. Your mobile number is publicly visible (I would definitely suggest checking on your privacy settings).
  2. You like my page. Why? Why would you like something that you seems to upset you?

I would also like to re-emphasise that I had absolutely no involvement with anything to do with the post on which you made that comment. At the time, I was involved in my own huge pile of personal stuff, and I was busy planning the A-Z series. I really had nothing to do with any of it until you mentioned my page name.

If you would be interested in actually contacting me rather than talking about me, please feel free to do so. I’m way more approachable than you seem to think I am, but I do prefer that you contact me directly rather than assembling a combination of random words and meaningless metaphors on Facebook in order to complain about me where I can see it.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Regards,

Cas

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1 thought on “Dear Random Person I’ve never seen before”

  1. Wow, I must say that I feel a little guilty for enjoying your response so much. Clearly this woman was hurt and angry and I don’t take any pleasure in that. I know sometimes it is hard to appreciate another point of view when it is drastically different from your own; but maybe next time she will wait until she has calmed down enough to express her thoughts in a more constructive manner.

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