Some people think that saying a person with autism is more respectful than an “autistic person”
That by saying this phrase they see a person with an add on
But autism is literally a list of deficits
How can with autism even mean ‘add on’
When autism is a way to take away our humanity? Our right to be treated as equals
A person with autism translates to ‘a person with deficits’ – a defective person
A person with a bad thing but let’s pretend the bad thing doesn’t matter and call them a person coz it might help us see them as a person, an equal.
‘Cept it doesn’t.
Whether we say with autism or Autistic there is still a distinction, an othering
But when I say Autistic I am reclaiming what I can from a sham of a model, a medicalised view of how I exist, a biased, oppressive idea that I am a person, but a person with a thing, a bad thing called autism
By saying I’m Autistic I laugh in the face as these deficits, these limited ways of seeing me, of understanding me- that somehow there is one type of person and then there are others who have add ons- things, terrible things that we’d not like to see as part of them but as unnatural add ons but we don’t define as add ons- we actually define as deficits
We say person with autism so we can remember defective normals are people
We use an add on to hide how we really see Autistics- as having minuses- minuses that make us less human
So what is all this talk about language anyway? A way to derail real conversations and instead of arguing about with autism and Autistic we should be talking about why, why , why why in the name of humanity have we decided it was a good idea to see some of us as fully human and others as humans with add ons which aren’t even add ons and are really, really , really criteria that try to further remove us from being human
So with autism means person with a thing that makes them less human but if we say with autism we can all pretend that we’re saying something nice while we other the f$*k out of fellow humans while pretending we don’t coz we pretend to see them as us with add ons but simultaneously see these ‘add ons’ as bad, search for causes and cures coz we see the ‘person’ bit we have already defined as not an Autistic person but a better person, a full, normal person and then if you’re Autistic you can’t be part of this normal full human gang- nope you are a normal full human with autism which translates as a normal full human who has a thing that makes you not normal and full human and so if we call you a person with autism then it’s easier for all. Coz Autistics are excluded from the normal in the beginning you see.
I mean we can’t mess with the definition of normal human, it’s way easier to say person and then person with xyz. Coz then we know what’s normal and acceptable and what’s not
Otherwise we might just have people and then we might … oooh what might we just do? We might see each other as equals. The medical model we use today is imbedded in ideas of ONE RIGHT WAY to be. So why? Why would anyone subscribe to that idea?
Aren’t we horrified by experiments from WW2? Aren’t we thinking we are so much better now?
But why do we have people and people with?
We could just have people
Where have these ideas come from?
And why do people think that any kind of othering is ‘respectful’?
None of it is
I say Autistic coz I’m not buying into these grotesque narratives from supremacists- Autistic = a ytpe of human already existing within what we consider “norm’. Person with autism= a person outside of the accepted norm with an add on thing which we don’t accept as part of already being human.
However I would much much much rather just be a person than an Autistic person
Please don’t take my need to correct history and ableist rhetoric as some sort of attempt to disrespect your ‘respectfulness’ .
Instead of arguing about what best to call us perhaps we should be asking why we’re having this conversation in the first place
We’re having the wrong conversations about language folx
“with autism” v “autistic”
The question should be why are Autistics not included in what we all perceive as “person”
Why do we have “persons” and “persons with….”
Surely we are all “persons”
But how do we define “person”
And that is the conversation we need to have , not which way do we refer to persons who are not real persons, how do we respectfully disrespect persons we don’t see as “persons”
Persons= human beings who live and exist in many many wonderful ways
And if we need add ons or qualifiers then we need to ask ourselves why
We need to ask “what for”
We need to ask why we have persons and other persons
Who is a person and who is the other person with whom I can’t identify
We are all human folx, not people of, people with… just people