(Image description: A screenshot of a youtube comment. The profile picture and screen name of the poster is blurred out. The comment reads: Autism Speaks was created for the ones who can’t speak for themselves and create awareness. 1in 68 is a high number, so yes do research to find out why. You have a great life, but for the ones who can’t speak for themselves and banging their heads, someone needs to help them. Why all the high functioning autistics have so much to say but don’t do anything for your fellow autistics. So please don’t bash .. cause someone needs to speak for the non verbal. Again it was not created for High functioning autistics. you guys do not need help. but the rest do.”)
I get questions about “allies” a lot, how to differentiate the allistic people who really do want to understand us and support us from the allistic people who think or say that they are helping us, but are really doing the opposite. This youtube comment is a good tool to illustrate some common red flags when it comes to false allies.
1. Any non-Autistic person who speaks or writes over the voices of Autistic people are probably not our allies. It’s not that the voices and support of our allistic allies isn’t appreciated— because we do appreciate our allies a lot! It’s that, when it comes to discussions about Autism, the voices of Autistic people should always be given priority and not spoken over, erased, or invalidated. And false allies tend to do just that.
2. When a person has heard the truth about how Autism Speaks hurts the Autistic community, but they then choose to continue to support Autism Speaks, that person is no friend to the Autistic community. They are a friend only to Autism Speaks and to themselves. A good ally will defend and support Autistic people, not Autism Speaks.
3. Be very wary of the use of these 1 in 88, 1 in 68, etc. numbers. They are most often used to generate fear and support for Autism Speaks’ goal of “awareness”. But what the Autistic community needs is understanding and acceptance, not Autism Speaks’ brand of fear mongering and “awareness”. These numbers are often followed by the use of the words epidemic or crisis— one of the biggest red flags.
4. Think of the use of functioning labels as a big bouquet of red flags being presented to you. For every allistic person who has not yet been educated on why functioning labels are harmful and shouldn’t be used, there is a false ally out there intentionally using functioning labels to dismiss the opinions and invalidate the experiences of Autistic people. And there really is no pleasing these false allies. Either you are too low-functioning to have an opinion on Autism, disability, social justice (and even your own life), or you’re too high-functioning and not really Autistic, which means that you don’t get a say in matter of Autism, disability, or social justice.
5. Finally, phrases like “someone needs to speak for the non-verbal” and “the ones who can’t speak for themselves” are the greatest red flag of them all. A true ally will understand that, while some Autistic people will never communicate via spoken language, every Autistic person has their own rich inner world of thoughts, feelings, opinions, and an inner voice. A good ally will know that, even if an Autistic person never speaks with their mouthparts, with the right accommodation and teaching there is a very good chance that their voice can be heard one day. But false allies spread the wrong idea that non-verbal Autistic people can’t and will never speak for themselves, and that they need allistic people to speak for them. This is an insidious and very harmful myth about non-verbal Autistic people.
If any of you have any examples of red flags to watch out for, or examples of false allies (especially those who cause more harm than good), feel free to reblog and add your thoughts. And, for those of you who prefer more positive and uplifting reads, I have a post on what makes a great ally in the works, so look out for that!
i make a comic about a serious thing really poorly!
but seriously, i see/hear these snide comments all over youtube/facebook, and i started making this! sorry if its a bit confusing >v<”
and my handwriting sucks too, but i hope the point gets across!
That was so beautiful
Myself having been introduced to comics at an early age, I can’t say I know exactly what new readers will enjoy. But I can do my best to suggest trades that I think are a great place to start.
ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN Vol. 1
I did enjoy USM pre-Miles (I love it more now), but I grew up with Amazing. So through the good & bad, I’ll always love that series. But USM gives new readers a fresh start with Peter Parker without messing with the canon established in the 616 Universe (that’s the main Marvel universe for newbies). It goes over Spidey’s origin, introduces his main cast and major story arcs, but with the Ultimate bent. So you can get the gist of Spider-Man without reading the over 60 years of story.
BATMAN: YEAR ONE
Batman by far has some of the best story arcs and one-shots in all of comics. But I think this classic by Frank Miller & David Mazzuccelli goes back to his roots and gives readers an expanded version of Batman’s formative years. "Who I am, how I came to be" definitely sums up this story perfectly and makes Bruce Wayne/Batman, Gotham City and especially Jim Gordon very accessible to comic book first-timers.
Y THE LAST MAN Vol. 1
So, for you newbies who aren’t really into superheroes, I suggest this great read. Before Brian K Vaughan was getting praised for another masterpiece, Saga. He was getting praise for Y The Last Man. It’s an apocalyptic story of, well, the last man. A lone survivor of a mystery event that has killed all the other males on Earth. It’s a great mystery, with great characters, great art by Pia Guerra and some genuine surprises.
I’m sure even non-comic book readers have heard of this series and deservedly so. It’s the best example of what the “graphic novel” medium can do, put comics on the same level as other fine works of art and literature. The other great thing about Watchmen is it’s a completely self contained story (no matter how much DC wants to prolong it) with a definite beginning and end and with back story expanded upon between issues. It focuses on brand new characters based on archetypes most people are aware of, so newbies can easily jump right in.
DAREDEVIL: BORN AGAIN
Another Miller & Mazzucchelli classic. This story does mention some Daredevil previous continuity, but it’s all explained. It also so clearly defines who Matt Murdock is without doing an origin story, so you won’t need to read any Daredevil comics before hand. But you should eventually. Plus, Kingpin is at his most villainous and is a well defined antagonist. It’s one of the greatest stories of what could happen if a supervillain learns the secret identity of a superhero. It’s a great read, it introduces some new characters, expands on others and has a really great Captain America cameo.
I was never a big Superman fan, in fact I was pretty anti-Superman for a while. But one day someone recommended this terrific story by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely and I finally understood the love for Superman. This is basically (SPOILER ALERT!!!!!) the final days of Superman and it really shows him at his finest. The story doesn’t really fill you in on a lot of Superman’s friends and foes who show up here, but it’s not integral to the story. It brings in the nostalgia of the Golden Age of Superman but has a very modern feel at the same time. It also has one of the greatest endings to a superhero one-shot ever.
So there you go, hope you enjoy some or all of those suggestions. Welcome to the world of comics and happy reading!
one of us is gonna have to change
|—||Silvermoon424 (via spectramancy)|
Never hang out with anyone who says “feminist” the same way Draco Malfoy says “mudblood”