I’m afraid I’ve stopped using Tumblr, and deleted my main blog…this one, I think (I’m not totally sure what I want), will remain up, but I will no longer post.
Anne Corwin in response to some wanker (honestly if someone left a comment saying “get over yourself!” on a post like this I would delete their comment and ban them for personal attacks. seriously, what a jerk.)
(if someone wrote a letter in response to one of my zines along those lines, it would be ruthlessly and publicly mocked.)
— Kassiane S. in “Skepticism’s Ableism Problem”
— Cal Montgomery about horizontal ableism in Harry Potter and the Allure of Separatism
Some general rules, of which there are many exceptions:
-Respected media outlets: Although theoretically respected media outlets such as major newspapers, news shows, etc. should be respectful, accurate, and thorough, this is very rarely the case when it comes to autism. Any journalistic standards these outlets may otherwise adhere to are sure to be thrown out the window when the subject is autism. When you see a serious, well-respected media outlet running a story about autism, it’s probably best to brace oneself.
-Fluffy media outlets: One might expect that representations from fluffy media outlets that no one takes seriously (i.e. entertainment media, non-news magazines, etc.) would be even worse. Surprisingly, however, that is not always the case. Several non-serious media outlets done surprisingly good and respectful work. MTV’s “True Life: I Have Autism” was a respectful piece focusing on three young autistic men. Recently, Marie Claire ran a good piece on autistic artist Katie Miller, with a strong neurodiversity bent. There are other examples, too. So, while this isn’t a universal rule, “news” outlets which are generally worthless may sometimes present better portrayals of autistic people than the “real” journalists. Who knew?
-Independent media outlets (including online): A total wildcard. Representations may range from thoughtful and pro-neurodiversity to typical dehumanizing “about us without us” b.s. to anti-vaccine pseudoscience. And everything in between.
In building his case, Singer makes many assertions that he does not support, because they can not be supported.
Singer writes as if impairment itself guarantees that people with disabilities will have fewer opportunities in life. He ignores the fact that many of the barriers people with disabilities face every day are created and sustained by the very society he claims should be allowed to kill them.
He leads readers to believe that if some medical professionals judge the lives of people with disabilities as not worth living, that is indicative of how people with disabilities judge their own lives. In fact, study after study has shown that medical “experts” routinely underestimate the quality of life reported by people with disabilities.
But Singer does not include people with disabilities in the discussion of the quality of their lives. He assumes that non-disabled academics and professionals are better qualified to discuss what it is like to have a disability than disabled people themselves.
Singer suggests that decisions about who is a “person” can be made objectively and with little doubt, by doctors. In fact, doctors routinely underestimate the capacity of people who are judged to be mentally disabled.
In short, a lot of Singer’s “logic” is smoke and mirrors. It has no more basis in fact than the eugenic models of racial superiority and inferiority that were widely held and respected in the first decades of this century."
— Kay Olson in this comment