Autscape: candidates tied to have ethical positions on exclusion

The annual British spectrumite gathering Autscape is in progress, at Tonbridge, England, and today it held its AGM there. It included an election with 4 candidates, for 2 new directors to join its board of 9.

Annual General Meetings are always matters of public record. So there can be nothing confidential about this.

This Autscape’s entire theme is inclusion! In the election, a question from the floor, fitting that theme perfectly, asked the candidates for their ethical boundaries towards rejection + exclusion. By having to answer that – IT FORCED THEM TO HAVE ETHICAL BOUNDARIES TOWARDS REJECTION + EXCLUSION !!

So to act on fixing in place the boundaries extracted, by putting out notice of them.

The question did not force their answers to be perfectly what matches the values of this site: and certainly it is not welcome to the values of Autistic Groups Fairness Watch that the winners included Fergus Murray, a co-founder of the AMASE group recently in our attention. NB The latter statement will be deleted instantly if AMASE makes the response asked for in the page on itself, admitting that there was no hostility to it in the action described against promotions of Autistic Pride Day.

Murray was the only candidate not to agree that, as an ethical priority, personal rejection + exclusion are always wrong. The other 3 all did, thankfully including the other winner Jeremy McDonaugh, reelected. So Murray is restrained by that, and cartainly Autscape at present has a good inclusion ethic: “We are all equally entitled to be here”. But he is also restrained by his own answer.

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He was only able to cite one instance in favour of rejectability: he said that rejecting one person may result in including many others.

This ties him to that limit. Still without agreeing with him, still holding that his sick rejection-apologism is dangerous and needs stopping, this is progress in that. It is far better that he is tied to this than to nothing. Even if giving this answer instead of a worse one helped him to win, the question was right because it rightly achieved prevention of the worst outcome, which was if he won without any restraining on this subject at all. It keeps many vulnerable folks safe.

In any case that arises where he wants to side with rejecting someone, he is obliged to evidence that that person’s actions specifically have inflicted, or are inflicting, rejection + exclusion upon others.

Limited to that. No other circumstances at all.

for all Autscape’s ordinary participants
29 Aug 2018

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Anders Lee show

What a jerk to every spectrumite with a need !

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This comedian from the US who is on at the present Edinburgh festival, is billed as telling an autistic diagnosed person’s struggles. But his message turns out to be opposed to the label and no longer wanting to use it – and he regards it as just a label favoured for doctors in certain periods to give wantonly to kids with any type of fitting in troubles.
No explanation of how else he would have needs recognised and served. Above all, no explanation of how fitting in troubles should be dealt with. His show implies we should just be left to struggle and sink for the sake of not having a label. 
 
His show actually states that autism only exists as an arbitrary label given you by a doctor, and even neurodiversity only a label too. That flies in the face of all the physically real things about autism, the sensory issues, the stimming – he even likes hand flapping – the problem with fine motor skills – he even had that, the unequally powered eyes, the spectrumites affected by diet issues. HE IS NEGATING AND WRITING OFF OUR PHYSICAL REALITY, MISEDUCATING THE PUBLIC AGAINST IT WHICH WILL LEAD TO LESS MEETING OF NEEDS. 
 
SO WHERE ARE THE LOCAL NO–PLATFORMERS NOW? Their argument of medical impact, used in the recent no-platforming crisis over a vaccines talk, exists just as much just as logically, over Lee’s message.
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He follows the American comedians’ norm of having to obsess with sex, and with self-portraying as having easy access to it. Whether true or an act, that attitude leaves behind the autistic community and neither speaks for them nor gives coarse ribald society better attitudes towards spectrumites. At the same time contradictorily, he supports MeToo. This giving men an impossible mixed message.
He seems to take school and college troubles as just being routine that everyone gets through them, so would have this seen no dfferently autistic v NT. Obviously offensively oblivious to the nature of the worst troubles. His fault overall is that he clearly self- portrays as a tough survivor, and has the attitude as if everyone can be. Obliviously to the cases where not, this feeds in to his position against labels. Though one quick line of his message against labels refers to wanting to make society care more for everyone, he says nothing on how to make that happen, after his show’s message, opposing the niche care that happens already within our label, influences towards LESS care and LESS fairness.
Takes this attitude from an angle of assuming that we can all cope averagely normally with all parts of daily life. Influences towards regressing society into going by that assumption and without any distinguishing of autistics and NTs, hence without meeting any formally identified autistic needs! and leaving us expected to try to belong successfully in NT society!
 
How thoughtless careless and uncaring.
 
Maurice Frank
20 Aug 2018
Right of reply: see his reply posted below –

“Dummy” is something I’ve been working on for almost a year now, and it is changing and evolving every day. I may have not been clear enough about this in the show you saw, but subsequent versions have included the very important caveat that I do not begrudge anyone for identifying as Autistic. I absolutely accept that the diagnosis can be helpful in giving people access to resources they would not receive otherwise. This is especially true in countries like the UK where healthcare is treated as a human right. These things, however, do not make Autism a real, “physical” condition. As you well know, it is diagnosed by examining a person’s behavior and not any physical aspect of their brain. Maybe you can provide a succinct explanation (I have yet to find one) as to what essential quality makes some people “Autistic” and others “Neurotypical.”

If you haven’t, I would highly recommend reading Edith Sheffer’s book “Asperger’s Children.” You are right to be defensive of the gains institutional medicine has made on behalf of people with neurological issues. But one can do that while still being open about the history of the spectrum: the awful things people labeled as “Autistic” have been subjected to and the fact that the diagnosis is rooted in eugenics.

I don’t agree that it is necessarily the artist’s job to give the audience a program or solution to a problem they pose. That being said, I do actually have one in this show, and it’s one that I’ve spoken with others who have seen “Dummy” at length. I believe that we could one day live in a world that is designed to accommodate all learning styles and forms of sensory processing. In a world like that, diagnoses like “Autism” would be unnecessary. I fully acknowledge that we do not live in that world yet.

Most of this I can chock up to different interpretation, but there are a few points here that blatantly misrepresent what I say in the show. The claim that I portray myself as having “easy access” to sex is just plain false. Maybe your issues with other parts of the show made it hard to listen carefully or, to be blunt, maybe you heard what you wanted to hear. But I, in fact, state the precise opposite about my romantic life. I have no idea what about that passage you find “contradictory” and would be curious to hear more.

I also strongly object to the accusation that I portray myself as a “tough survivor” and think everyone can have the same opportunities I did. I’m very honest about the help I was given and that many people in my situation are not so lucky. I think this is really the heart of our disagreement. “Dummy” is not a show about “overcoming” anything. It’s about accepting yourself, stims and all.