Thank God for Autism

I very often feel very thankful that I’m excluded from these weird social codes that seem to loom very large for many people:

Men and women face different pressures when it comes to communicating and performing confidence. Women must be humble and self-effacing (“Oh, me? I’m nothing special.”)

I’m extremely happy I heard this for the first time at the age when it is too old to start doing the fake self-effacement thing.

Here is more:

Women who are “too” confident (which often means women with a reasonable, healthy level of confidence) are disliked much more than men who are “too” confident (which is more likely to mean men who are truly unpleasantly full of themselves).

I’m definitely one of the “too confident” group. And maybe people do hate me for that, who knows? The great thing is that I live in a bubble where I’m convinced that everybody finds me amazing all of the time. It isn’t like I’m capable of noticing or caring what people really think.

With beauty specifically, women end up in a weird double bind. Women must be beautiful, but they must not be confident. So they must play up their beauty while denying having done so and while claiming outwardly that they’re not actually beautiful.

All I can feel for people who participate in this insanity is profound compassion. I wish somebody had told them that the routine described in the quote is extremely obnoxious.

I’ll have my autism instead of this miserable way of being any time.

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7 comments on “Thank God for Autism

  1. The passive voice truly is wonderful in the way it allows the writer to list all these expectations women must conform to without saying exactly who is expecting it of them. When I first came into contact with the English-language feminist blogosphere, I kept wondering if the reason I didn’t have the same insecurities as these women did was the autism I suspected I had. I’m pretty sure now it was being raised by women with no anxiety about their roles in society.

    • “When I first came into contact with the English-language feminist blogosphere, I kept wondering if the reason I didn’t have the same insecurities as these women did was the autism I suspected I had. I’m pretty sure now it was being raised by women with no anxiety about their roles in society.”

      – Exactly! As I keep reading such posts, I keep wondering where people find all these societal expectations that seem to loom so large in their lives. I live in the same society, meet the same kind of people, have the experience of living in very different areas of the country, etc. and never encounter any societal opposition to my way of being. It is sad that instead of analyzing their personal trajectories and dealing with the issue of insecurity once and for all so many people pretend that they are being politically active and hide from what really bothers them.

  2. That’s the beauty of being so damn literal. If some random person is frowning I’m just as likely to think it’s about something in their head as it is with anything I’ve done. I mean, I’ve cackled at things that were just in my head, and poor neurotypicals think it’s about them because they happen to be in the vicinity.

    I’m terrible at being emotional mood lighting, though. Don’t expect me to interpret that twitch on your face and adjust my face accordingly if you know to speak, because it will just fly over my head.

  3. The gall to call that blog ‘Brute Reason’, wow. I remember you linking to her blog before. I’ve never seen anyone more wrapped up in their identity as a ‘depressive’. It was tiresome. That and the inane ‘this society expects us women/depressives to do X’ arguments.

  4. I must mention here that it was you gave me this terrific insight about not needing to see every issue in terms of gender.

    I don’t remember the title but the post was about someone talking about how women are expected to be timid and face negative consequences in the workplace, etc. The insight was to look at it as some *people* being more shy and timid than others. I thought that was brilliant.

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