A Putin Joke

Two Russian nouveau riches are talking.

“Did you manage to get tickets to Putin’s presidential inauguration?” one asks.

“I have a lifelong subscription,” his friend responds.


I just found this boring rant on last-name changes that I don’t want to address because the subject has been discussed at length on this blog. I just want to draw your attention to the following statement that I find quite scary:

Not only is it a testament to honor and tradition that modern women are adopting husbands’ surnames, it is also a wink and a nod to the notion that a woman’s identity inevitably becomes entangled with her husband’s.

When your identity becomes “entangled” with that of your husband (child, parent, sibling, friend, etc.), it’s time to seek urgent psychological help. You are heading not only for a collapse of the relationship but for a host of psychological problems and abusive behaviors.

The idea that your identity can be entangled with that of another human being makes it impossible for love to exist between the two of you. If you need to see another human being as some sort of your own body part, this means that you are incapable of granting them the right to be a valid individual in their own right. As Ayn Rand said, “In order to say “I love you” you first need to be able to say “I”.”

This “entanglement of identities” is nothing but an illusion, of course. It’s an illusion born of disrespect for both oneself and the other. It is based on the idea that a human being cannot be whole without supplementing one’s identity with that of one’s perfect complement, one’s “media naranja”, one’s “other half.” Incomplete people don’t have the capacity to love. They experience a neurotic need to use other people to prop themselves up instead of developing personally, psychologically and intellectually until these feelings of incompleteness subside.

If you are incapable of seeing your spouse (child, parent, sibling, friend, etc.) as a separate human being with his or her own desires, preferences, wishes, needs, goals and dreams, you will inevitably start pushing them to service your wishes, needs and goals at the expense of their own. This is where the abusive behaviors begin to appear. A spouse can always counteract the abuse by heading directly to a divorce lawyer. But an “entangled” child will find it much harder to get rid of an invasive parent.

P.S. I ask everybody to avoid discussing last-name changes in this thread. If you have a burning need to discuss the subject, you can always take it to the relevant thread.

Autism and Emotions

Since I’m on the subject of autism anyways, let me address one more topic. I was asked a while ago to blog about the difficulties that might arise between autistics and non-autistics in terms of processing emotions. Contrary to what many pseudo-specialists claim, autistics do have a very rich emotional range. However, we might come off as unemotional and distant because we process and express emotions in a different way from the NT (neurotypical) people.

Again, I want to repeat that everybody manifests differently and my experience might not resonate with many autistics.

Whenever I think about the emotional expressions of NT people, the word “manipulative” is the first that comes to mind. As an autistic, I tend to be very logical, reasonable and organized about everything, including my emotions. My husband knows that the best way to drive me to distraction (and into a huge panic attack) is by having unexplained mood swings. I do not believe in mood swings, to tell you the truth. I don’t think that anybody just becomes sad or happy or anything else for no discernible reason. It only seems like that happens because sometimes one is too lazy to analyze what put one in this particular mood. It’s this emotional sloppiness that I dislike about non-autistics. If you feel whatever it is you feel, you better have a good explanation of why you feel it and what you expect me to do in response.

And believe me, after I taught N. how to identify the sources of one’s moods, he became really good at it. This is why I don’t trust anybody who is “just moody” or “just hormonal.” I know that this is a manipulative strategy aimed at provoking a sense of vague guilt in me. And the perennially guilty people are the easiest to dominate.

So my suggestion is: let’s stop treating emotions as a tool of beating each other into submission. Let’s analyze and verbalize as much as possible.

Whenever I bring an emotion of mine to another person, I always accompany it with an explanation of what exactly it is I need from them. “I’m very sad because of this meeting at work. Please sit with me while I tell you once again what happened.” “I’m terrified about my class observation tomorrow. I need you to tell me that I’m a brilliant teacher for the next ten minutes.”