Autism and Feminism

Views from the Margins

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The ‘Extreme Male’ Privilege Problem

All of this means that an autist can expect to get acquainted early on with many of the problems faced by marginalised people everywhere. On the other hand, we can sometimes lack insight into other people’s perspectives, particularly the neurotypical people we tend to be surrounded by. The imaginative leap required to understand where female neurotypicals are coming from is not an easy one even for women on the spectrum, let alone men, boys and the rest of us. Part of feminism is not just growing aware of the ways that social relations disadvantage women, but actively working to change them. That’s a challenge!

Pros and Cons of Obliviousness

There are advantages to a level of insensitivity to the expectations of others and the undertones of social interactions, when it comes to just getting on with things. Sometimes, as I’ve said, this doesn’t work out so well for other people; but it’s not always bad to tune out the crap that other people expect from you. If you’re pursuing goals that society has tried to tell you are out of your reach, you may be well-served by a built-in disregard for widely held ideas. There’s a freedom in coming to terms with the realisation you’ll never be what many people want you to be. Why would you want to be anyway, right? This probably helps explain the prevalence of autists defying gender norms — both in terms of non-binary and trans gender identities, and in terms of women determinedly pursuing careers in male-dominated professions.



Educator, etc. | | @MxOolong

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