I have written about being like mutant before here, and in a sense we are, although not every autistic would want to be identified like this. Judith Newman in her book has referred to her autistic child like that (chapter 8 when her husband talks about superlice and uses the word mutant and she changes the subject like “Talking about mutants, what about our son?” (not an exact quote)), so why can’t we?
This article was prompted by this article, shared by Eve Reiland on twitter. That bill would do 2 things: out every single autistic so cops can become aware of them and 2 make the cops aware of them.
It’s like mutant registration in the x-men comics and movies.
Remember when you first disclosed your diagnose to someone outside of your family? How you got the “oh, I’m sorry”? This is heartbreaking. As if you just told them you were going to die, instead of telling them your brain worked just slightly different. Remember when you disclosed at work? Or during an interview, only to be dismissed as “you don’t look autistic” or “Sorry, we have had bad experiences with other autistics. This is why we can’t hire you?”
What will such a list do? Will they make it electronical? How will they know we are near? Will we have to wear some kind of chip? A badge? (Remember those used during the nazi period?) What would such a law do, instead of helping autistics? It could lead to abuse. Yes, perhaps only the government will know, but would you want something that personal automatically disclosed to every law enformcement officer in your country? I get that we now already need to register ourselves as handicapped and that that could also lead to abuse if some group like the nazi’s ever came into power.
The second one I want to talk about is cures. I don’t know how it is in the comics, but in the movies we see the cure culture very blatantly. We see the iceman’s mother ask him “have you tried not being a mutant?” which implies that it is a choice, or a disease. We see Angels wings being cut off. In the whole series we see attempts at curing mutants.
But why? Why is curing something like us or like those mutants necessary? Why can’t people accept differences in people? Do they want to make us all the same?
And this is why Charles Xavier stops Magneto in the first x-men movie for making everybody a mutant. Making everybody a mutant isn’t the solution either. We don’t need mass-genocide of the allistics either, we just need understanding and acceptance. We don’t need these faux-solutions to address the real problem.
We don’t need cures for autism, cures for the comorbids that make the life of an autistic unbearable is necessary, but a different way of thinking, of seeing the world isn’t harmful. It makes human existence diverse and richer. There once was a time when homosexuality was seen as a disorder was well, now it is widely accepted (not universally yet sadly enough, but we are getting there, I think).