A Very Short Manifesto

No time to do much today, but this needed to be said.

I’ve been getting told lately that I need an “attitude adjustment.” As if I were a second grader. That the problem I have is that I’m “hostile” and I “need to be nicer.”

You want to know why I’m “hostile”?

  • I’m “hostile” and “angry” because the team behind a blog called “A Year in the life of Autism” (who is Autism? Does zie pay rent?) tried to start a campaign called the “Silent Selfie” (google it, they’re not getting hits from me) where allistic paaaarents took pictures with their hands over their mouths to signify that autistic people have no voice. When in reality, the only time our community doesn’t have a voice is when people like these assholes censor it! And then, instead of apologizing and listening to autistic people on how to do better, they – as all good martyr mommas do – doubled down and said “well, we didn’t mean to offend” instead of actually listening to us. The Facebook thread is one for the ages, including multiple people telling us to “grow up” and “get over it” instead of opening a fucking ear. It’s endemic of how we are always treated, and I will not take it lying down any longer.
  • I’m “hostile and angry” because my best friend in the world, my almost-sister, has a chronic illness, that she has had since age 14, and nobody has done anything to fix it. It’s a “woman’s disease,” chronically under-researched, chronically under-treated, and misunderstood. It causes severe chronic pain, fatigue, and the works, but on days it gets so bad she has to go to the ER, she gets treated like a drug-seeker, shamed and ignored. Apparently it’s fine to make people suffer if they’re female and aren’t any use as, or have no interest in being, a baby incubator. I’m angry because chronic pain preys on your mental health, and sometimes the pain and rage and frustration can’t be contained, and because I’d rather cut off a limb than watch her suffer more. (NB: She has given me permission to talk about it in general terms, so I’m not violating her privacy by discussing it.)
  • I’m “hostile and angry” because our neighbor keeps bad-mouthing us to our landlady, giving vague and inchoate complaints about how our cat box smells but not giving details. We may get evicted because of this.
  • I’m “hostile and angry” because I worked my ass off in school, got sterling grades, went to a great university, went to law school, and no one will fucking hire me. I’m brilliant, not to toot my own horn, but I don’t interview well and I don’t have much patience for fake networking bullshit, but I need a roof over my head. It’s not fair.
  • I’m “hostile and angry” because Donald fucking Trump is the Republican front runner and frankly, I’m afraid.
  • I’m “hostile and angry” because my mother has cancer and even though it’s a somewhat treatable kind, I’m terrified because she’s my mama and she needs to be okay.

Unless you can fix any of those things, you don’t get to tell me to be nicer. You do not get to take my anger. I have a goddamn right to it. It’s all that keeps me going some days. Without it I’d probably have done something harmful to myself a long time ago.


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