Feminist Aspie

Change: It happens. (TW: A brief reference to rape)

on January 11, 2013

“It’s sad, but it’s a fact of life.”

“It happens, there’s nothing you can do about it.”

“The world’s never going to just change, you have to accept it.”

This train of thought seems to be a recurring theme encountered in virtually all forms of discrimination. The general consensus is that society can’t be changed, and if it doesn’t like you, the onus is on you to conform – and if that isn’t possible, tough.

Let’s think about this for a second. A “society” is formed by its people. A society IS its people. It’s you. It’s me. It’s everyone we know. In years to come, it will be our children. In short, if you’re participating in society, you have a say (albeit a very minor one) in society. Together, those little pieces of power soon add up.

Change happens, and it happens more quickly than you would think. Evidently, discrimination is still rife across the world, but think about how the rights of women, ethnic minorities and the LGBT* community have improved over the last 50 years. Change HAS happened. And it can happen again. It isn’t likely to happen overnight, but it can happen nevertheless.

In the meantime, the often well-meaning people who tell others that they “have to put up with it” (even if there’s a “sadly” or “unfortunately” in there somewhere) are part of the problem. Imagine if everybody thought like that. The status quo wouldn’t change, because there wouldn’t be anybody to change it.

While I’m on the subject, discrimination is never the victim’s fault. Assuming that discrimination has to be “put up with” and instead trying to change those who suffer it is not okay. Don’t tell women not to go out alone to avoid being raped; instead, tell rapists not to rape. Don’t tell a homosexual couple not to act as a couple in public to avoid homophobia; instead, speak out against homophobia. If an autistic person’s stim is harmless but leads to bullying, don’t stop the stim; stop the bullying. (I know it’s a rather obscure example to use, especially next to sexism and homophobia, but it’s there for a reason). Don’t tell anyone to stop being themselves to avoid discrimination and/or isolation; instead, act to end discrimination so that everyone can be themselves.

The alternative is victim-blaming, and that’s just wrong.


8 responses to “Change: It happens. (TW: A brief reference to rape)

  1. You speak the truth! Well said.

    While reading, my brain began playing “The Way It Is” by Tupac Shakur. I thought you should know.

  2. autisticook says:

    “You’re asking people to do something for you. It’s an imposition, even if it’s a small one. The world doesn’t give a fuck about us.”

    This in response to me asking why this person was taking meds to help with anxiety and concentration span instead of asking for accommodations at work. I’m not saying one or the other is preferable, the answer was telling though.

    • Yeah, I see what you mean :/

      • autisticook says:

        It’s what we’re up against. It helps to know how privileged people explain away the whole idea of being accommodating and inclusive because why should they? PRIVILEGE HAS NO NEEDS.

      • autisticook says:

        Whereas accommodating me means that all they have to do is let me take some sort of dopamine stabiliser and not expect me to do office politics. That’s all I need to make a shitload of money and pay a shitload of taxes.

    • Alana says:

      I’m so afraid of asking people for help because they might say no (and because it usually requires talking to them) and then that would BE THE END OF THE WORLD (a bit of catastrophizing, there), so usually I will just muddle through my problems and confusion and noise and hopefully make it all work out even if it makes it 300% more difficult for me than it would otherwise.

      (And almost always people have said SURE and done a tiny little thing and made my life so much easier the few times it got so bad I needed to ask for it, but I still can barely ever, ever, ever bring myself to ask).

      • autisticook says:

        For me it’s often because I wait until the last possible moment to ask for help. Part of that is fear of rejection, I think, and part is because I actually do prefer doing things alone. But when it gets to the point where I NEED to ask for help, a rejection would be devastating because I’m already on the point of drowning and might not have the energy or ability to ask someone else.

        So yes, I am doing it to myself by not asking for help sooner. But the fear of rejection is real at that point because the consequences are so far-stretching.

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