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NCC1701
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14 May 2014, 11:26 am

Let me start off by saying that I am not sure how to best communicate all I want to say, so please bear with me. I should also say that I am trying my best to word this in a way that is not hateful, but I may have trouble with that. I would like to also give the disclaimer that what I say is not intended to describe the entire Aspergers community, but only a part of it that I have come to recognize. Most of what I am saying is based soley on my experience on Tumblr, which is one reason I am posting it here. I cannot speak too much about the WrongPlanet community, but I am curious as to if anyone on here has run into the type of things I am going to describe.

In therapy yesterday, we talked a bit about the online Aspergers community that I have discovered through means of different social media sites, this one included. I do not remember all that I said or how she responded, probably because it was too much to process during our session, but I have been trying to ruminate over what I can recall. I first became aware of the online Aspergers community through Tumblr, back in the late fall of last year. Initially, was really excited to discover that there were others like me talking about how Aspergers effects them. I was hopeful that the community would help me grow to better understand myself and others. However, what I have found has been disheartening and frustrating. As far as Tumblr is concerned, so many of the posts by many on the spectrum are just full of bitching at and about neurotypicals. I know that there are those neurotypicals out there who deserve to be called out because they are being hurtful. I do realize that the posts about them could be gereralizations about the neurotypical demographic, only intended for the neurotypicals that fall into the catagory of the type they are describing. The thing that bothers me is that, instead of just bringing attention to hurtful beliefs and words of some neurotypicals, the posts focus on bashing the neurotypical person completely. It is just as bad, if not worse, as the very type of behavior and words that they are speaking out against. They are themselves guilty of the very thing they are accusing the neurotypicals of doing. I read the posts tagged #actuallyautistic, #asd, #aspergers, etc., and I find a lot of superior attitudes and bitter hatred. I understand being upset with people in the neurotypical demographic, since many can be hurtful and insensative. But to make posts that bash the neurotypical brain completely, is a far cry from describing specific neurotypicals who have been and are being hurtful.

It is not just the constant bitching and hatred that gets to me. There is this huge superior attitude that seems to permeate the Aspergers community online. It is as if many are saying, whether implicitly or explicitly, that the person with Aspergers is above and better than everyone that is not on the spectrum. I completely understand that those on the spectrum have some pretty amazing skills and strengths (I really wish I could figure mine out), but the posession of those things do not make someone better than another person. There is a lot of talk about how the autistic brain is better than the neurotypical brain. But I think some forget, maybe purposfully, that a lot of us cannot read facial expression and/or body language, we have sensory issues, we have trouble communicating, we have meltdowns and/or shutdowns, we cannot handle change, etc. I do not believe the autistic brain is inferior or superior. It is different. It has its strengths and weaknesses just like the neurotypical brain does.

Put most simply: As much as I do not fit in with the neurotypical crowd and do not share a lot in common with them, I fit in even less within the Aspergers online community. I know there are exceptions to the type of people that I have come across, but it seems that most are pretentious, conceited, as*holes, and are full of themselves (more so on Tumblr than anywhere else).

My therapist has made the comment before that I would probably be a lot more comfortable around someone with Aspergers, but I keep telling her that I do not believe that to be the case if they are anything like those who I have come across online.



iammaz
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14 May 2014, 11:43 am

Probably not what you want to hear but "welcome to the human race".

Everyone wants to feel special, be better than anyone else etc.

It could also be a case of the hateful people you see are just more vocal than the majority of others. i.e. it is easy to have your attention drawn to that instead of what most people are doing.

Or you could be 100% right. Personally, i would just ignore / not reply / avoid the people whose attitude and/or opinions are so strongly against yours.

Just my 2c.



Quantum
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14 May 2014, 12:10 pm

I, frankly do agree with you NCC1701. Bashing a particular "group" (Yeah, humanity still sub-categorizing itself after all these years) is just wrong. And very irrational indeed. No one is better than the other, that's a matter of motivation and intellectual abilities and these has a correlation with the environment. So no one is the best, the word "best" is simply a illusive term that might as well not exist because the actual definition is not correct. How are you the best if there might be an intergalactic civilization 100x better than you?

I really wonder why we keep on doing this, are we even profiting by these kind of acts? No. Unless, of course, you're including personal gains that are connected to your emotions like feeling "special". Honestly, not generalizing here, but people assuming they are special should get out of that habit of thinking.

We're all matter right? Our average life expectancy is around 75-80 years. The universe is immense, yet possibly tiny. With this information being spread to everyone, that particular way of thinking would quickly be abolished.

I might have gone of topic :roll:



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14 May 2014, 12:19 pm

[EXCERPT:]

NCC1701 wrote:
The thing that bothers me is that, instead of just bringing attention to hurtful beliefs and words of some neurotypicals, the posts focus on bashing the neurotypical person completely. It is just as bad, if not worse, as the very type of behavior and words that they are speaking out against. They are themselves guilty of the very thing they are accusing the neurotypicals of doing. I read the posts tagged #actuallyautistic, #asd, #aspergers, etc., and I find a lot of superior attitudes and bitter hatred. I understand being upset with people in the neurotypical demographic, since many can be hurtful and insensative. But to make posts that bash the neurotypical brain completely, is a far cry from describing specific neurotypicals who have been and are being hurtful.


I really appreciate what you are saying here.
Further, I appreciate that you want to discuss it, despite that you seem to feel [I'm not sure so I'm kind of estimating] that you may in fact be ostracized for posting about it. I've noticed what you mention quite a bit.

I've actually noticed it in a lot of groups and demographics that tend to huddle together online, and do my best to not exhibit such behaviors. I'm human though, after all. I'm sure I do. I aim to not.

But I don't really buy that one demographic is superior or that one group as a whole acts a certain way across the board against another demographic or in a negative or hurtful way.

I mean if we want to make generalities here?
Humans mostly suck and just kind of try to plod through trying to NOT suck and NOT screw up and NOT be jerks and NOT piss other people off.

The success of these efforts vary from person to person with the amount of effort each of us puts forth.
I appreciate the amount of effort NCC has put forth here, as it appears to be above average.


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snufkin
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14 May 2014, 12:45 pm

I think there are many autistics that do think they're superior to NT's, and also a lot that don't.

I also think there is more "NT-bashing" than there should be.

Although I think a lot of it is actually miscommunication. Most of us have difficulties communicating, putting our thoughts into words etc. I think a lot of times when autistics say stuff like "NT's are the worst" or "NT's do this and that" they actually mean "A huge amount of the NT's I've encountered have treated me badly, misinterpreted my thoughts, actions, etc, in ways that I never would. This is frustrating, and I don't understand it.".

Some might even belive that makes them morally superior to those NT's, and in some cases they might even be right. Of course, sometimes they're not. In any case, being morally "superior" to another person doesn't make you better than them.

Also, even if one, twenty or a million NT's are actually complete idiots (not saying they are), this doesn't mean that all of them are.

I also don't think there are many autistics to belive that to be true, even amongst those who regularly give off that impression.

In most cases its just some poor person who's been stepped on all their life by a**hole NT's (i.e. the part of the NT population that actually are a**holes, however big/small that may be), and therefore feel a need to distance themselves from these people, for their own protection.

Person A makes person B feel like he/she is worthless.
Person B figures out that this is not true.
Person B might think that since it isn't true, the opposite must be true instead (i.e. that person A is the worthless one).
Later in life, person B learns to accept him/herself allowing him/her to grow out of this misconception.



Last edited by snufkin on 14 May 2014, 12:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ReverieMe
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14 May 2014, 12:46 pm

I've visited a number of online communities over the years, and not just in search of Asperger's understanding. Extreme views are common all around, but not helpful to me in the least because I want to cultivate peace, not vitriol and bitterness, in my life.

I recently joined a forum for introverts thinking there would be a strong focus on sharing interests, stories, community, and advice, but it's still small and most new members come in with dating or social life complaints and are then out the door.

So, I guess I know how you feel.



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14 May 2014, 1:00 pm

I think people bash others out of insecurity. And it is not just in the Spectrum vs. NT sense. I went to an African American university for awhile and there was a lot of that kind of sentiment towards Caucasian people as well. I also went to a predominantly Asian high school and there was a lot of that kind of sentiment towards Caucasians. When I was little I lived in places where people felt like that towards black people. People also have those same sentiments when it is rich vs, poor, dark skinned vs. light skinned and the lists can go on forever, It really is about the fact that the person doing the bashing is really insecure and that is the way he is able to feel better about himself. So it is a shame but you will encounter this behavior every where you go. All we can do is know that this is a ridiculous and hurtful way to feel about others and do our best not to do that ourselves. And I will be the first to admit that I have even been guilty of it before, not in the Aspie vs. NT sense but in other situations. So I really have to keep myself in check as well.


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MrGrumpy
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14 May 2014, 1:06 pm

For what it's worth, I really really wish I had been able to go through life with the ability to join in the pleasures that are available to neuro-typicals but off limits to the rest of us.

I have no opinion as to whether or not Aspies are better than NTs, but I sure know which I would rather have been.

I think that maybe some of the attacks on NT's are fuelled by a sense of frustration that some Auties feel at their own inability to conform.



Last edited by MrGrumpy on 14 May 2014, 1:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

skibum
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14 May 2014, 1:21 pm

No one group is better than another. Different maybe but not better.


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14 May 2014, 1:26 pm

iammaz wrote:
Everyone wants to feel special, be better than anyone else etc.


I'd say this is especially true on Tumblr, unfortunately. I have problems with similar instances online where people try to 'fight hate with hate'. It really gets to me as well, but I know that there's probably nothing I can do as any disagreement will likely be attacked with the argument that disagreeing with them is 'perpetuating' what they are fighting against.


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14 May 2014, 1:40 pm

NCC1701,
have never used tumblr before so havent a clue what goes on there but do agree to some level about the aspie elitism and prejudice, however it isnt just towards neurotypicals the elitism and prejudice is just as bad towards those of us who are LFA.

there isnt to much of an aspie elitist presence on WP,pride and attachment to their aspie identity shoudnt be confused with elitism.
perhaps its not to bad here because we are a wider presentation of the whole spectrum from classic autism to PDDNOS to BAP and not just aspergers, however there is a lot of ignorance spread on here torwards LFA and neurotypicality.


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14 May 2014, 1:58 pm

I read somewhere that Tumblr is dominated by a certain demographic ? young people, I believe ? so that could be a factor behind the atmosphere on that website.



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14 May 2014, 2:28 pm

ReverieMe wrote:
I've visited a number of online communities over the years, and not just in search of Asperger's understanding. Extreme views are common all around, but not helpful to me in the least because I want to cultivate peace, not vitriol and bitterness, in my life.

I recently joined a forum for introverts thinking there would be a strong focus on sharing interests, stories, community, and advice, but it's still small and most new members come in with dating or social life complaints and are then out the door.

So, I guess I know how you feel.
I just got the most hilarious mental image of "a forum for introverts!" Not that it's really that funny or strange or anything to make fun of or anything like that but something about that concept just makes me laugh, and like a a lot of things that make me laugh, I don't know why it makes me laugh but it does. And I sure needed a good laugh right now so I thank you.


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NCC1701
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14 May 2014, 2:43 pm

WOW! I regret that I cannot take time to respond to each of you individually, but to address you all collectively, I would like to say thank you!! I am so pleased to hear that I am not the only one who is aware of this issue. You have given me many good things to think about and consider as I come across more and more people online.

I was very hesitant to publish this post and share my ideas with everyone. Obviously, because I have seen so many hateful responses online, I could not help but fear that I would be the recipient of one of those. One of my biggest fears is to be addressed by numerous people who are angry with me. Words do not come easy for me when I am under verbal attack.

I really appreciate how respectful everyone has been in their replies. Like I said above, I am grateful for the many things you have given me to ruminate over.



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14 May 2014, 2:49 pm

I am really glad we could help you. Sometimes WP can be a little rough since we are all human but I do hope that you will always feel comfortable and welcomed and encouraged here. For the most part we are very supportive of each other. I am very glad this thread was a good experience for you. And if sometimes things get a little rough, that never lasts long here. The members here are really good people.


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14 May 2014, 5:26 pm

I agree with you. I mostly don't like how things like 'being an as*hole' are viewed mutually exclusive from AS but not from being NT by those people.


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