October 23, 2015

Not All Opinions Are Equal

In another form of tone policing lives the statement: we all need to come together, get along, and all opinions should be respected.

Actually no. All opinions do not need to be respected. Not all opinions are equal.

You might have the opinion that killing kittens on the weekend is totally acceptable. I am under absolutely no obligation to respect your opinion. Just as much as you have a right to kill kittens, I have a right to tell you I think you're wrong. I am under no obligation to "get along" with you just because we also both happen to like the colour red. I am under no obligation to respect the fact you do it in the privacy of your home. All I can do, is report it to law officials and let them decide, but other than that, I don't need to respect your actions.

Similarly, some opinions are just wrong. I do not have to respect opinions that don't make any scientific sense. I don't have to respect people who shove bleach up their kid's ass because they think it will cure autism. Actually, I think that's child abuse, so no, I will not respect that.

I'm not really sure where this idea of "respecting" opinions comes from. I can agree to disagree with you and move on, but I have no need or desire to respect you or your opinions. Of course, you are free to do the same with me.

When we're talking about a divided community, no, I will not unite with people I can't respect. Especially ones who do harm. I, quite frankly, don't want you on my team or trying to represent me. Because you don't. We have about as much in common as a snail and a car transmission.

When it comes to the autism community, the ones who get the biggest share of the voice pie are actually Autistic people. Then come allies. I don't have to listen to the input of allies, but allies should for sure listen to mine. It's not fair, you say? Well, life isn't fair, is it? I get to be in charge of my story and that narrative, and if you want to help, the best thing you can do is to listen and repeat it. That's it! Your job is complete!

You don't get to change the story or tell me to edit my tone or delivery of it. You also don't get to blame me for dividing the community because you hear something you don't like. Either you're an ally, you're or not. If you no longer agree with the story, you don't have to keep reading it or repeating it. And none of that is my fault. You're in charge of what you do and I'm in charge of what I do.

The autism community is not divided, you just don't happen to agree with some parts of it, but the vast majority of us agree on the major points and either you're with us, or you're not. 

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