Many of my autistic friends have been talking about this lately and I have a lot of thoughts about it, so here they are.
Yes, fighting within the Autistic community seems to be happening a lot.
Autistic people are not a monolith. We are a wide variety of different people. We all want an easier life, but that’s probably the only thing we can agree on.
Another thing to consider is that nearly all autistic people are carrying the effects of some kind of trauma and that affects the way we communicate. We’re more likely to be hurt by blunt comments, and we’re also more likely to lash out if we feel under attack. This means that debates about sensitive subjects can be difficult. It easy to say things like “walk away if you are getting upset” but when you’re emotional or having a meltdown, we all know that doing these things is not always easy.
We might not always agree on whether or not functioning labels are bad, whether IFL or PFL is better, or any number of other things. I’m not going to suggest we should just put aside our differences and try to all get along. We are humans, and it’s human nature to disagree on things.
But there are some things I will NOT stand for, things that are NOT a difference of opinion, and that’s bigotry and aggression. I have seen waaaaay too many comments that are racist, homophobic, transphobic and/or misogynistic in autistic groups. And yes, ableist comments too. I’ve also seen some prolonged and aggressive personal attacks and threats. The Autistic community is meant to be for ALL autistic people. Autistic safe spaces should be just that, and some of them at the moment just aren’t.
There’s no easy way to solve this so I got no words of wisdom. Let’s just try not to be arseholes to each other.