e anomaly

There’s this weird phenomenon with FE where you have people who played FE games before Awakening and Fates and they’re kind of split. You have elitists and you have people who are welcoming and still “with it”

then you have the people who started with Awakening and Fates and they like the style of the new games or got interested in the old games or w/e

but the anomaly is with the elitists who got into the series with Awakening/Fates that are objectively worse than the long time fan elitists. I like to call these “self loathing newcomers”. Usually huge weeaboos

Aside from the inspiration porn of autistic people being inherently exploitative, it’s also extremely dehumanizing. There are two observable archetypes of autistic people commonly represented in media, fictional or not:

  • Something to pity or fear (always melting down, nonverbal, too incapacitated to mock. Occasionally has a “redeeming quality”)
  • Something to admire (Savant or dysfunctional genius, who is inept in many areas but has a similarly redeeming skill in their area of expertise)

A small sect of real autistic people are represented because they are most attractive to the public eye and most profitable to producers: It inspires pity and fear for autism, or it inspires awe. People like to feel sorry for us and they like to admire us, but nobody likes to see us outside of those contexts.

Inspiration porn focused around a savant skill, to me, has always carried a message of “This person is sadly autistic, but wait until you see what they can do!”

i.e. “You are an anomaly, but you are skilled, and that puts your worth on par with that of a neurotypical person.”

This caused me to believe that I had to force myself to complete excellency lest I be worthless and perpetuating a harmful idea of autistic people; the idea that we are incapable and irredeemable. This is an idea that I have internalized and am still struggling to overcome – “I must put up the most appealing image possible, because the way allistics see me will affect their image of all of us.” 

This idea of “Too incapacitated to mock” or “Highly skilled and therefore worthwhile” causes any autistic people stuck in the metaphorical middle to be ostracized, invalidated, and often abused. 

“You don’t seem autistic” is a worthless phrase. I do seem autistic. I exhibit symptoms all the time, but the extreme vision of autism perpetuated by the media and public attitude leads to a disappointing binary: You are a good autistic or you are a bad autistic. There is only one archetype for each of these autistics.

I do seem autistic and I do act autistic – I do not act like what you think autism is.

Inspiration porn and pity stories reduce us to only the most visible and dramatic traits. It is not the same as true representation; it is dehumanizing, voyeuristic to our struggles and successes, and enables the mistreatment of autistic people who do not fit this falsified idea.

It is demoralizing when we are not properly represented and are only archetyped into a few categories. The idea that I must sort myself into a category of autism has hurt me more than allistics in my life can imagine; I have talked myself into suicide over being unable to maintain an image I believed to be palatable to neurotypicals. I have prioritized the way others view me over my own health and ultimately my own life.

There is a need for nuanced and genuine autistic stories, not stories cut and pasted together to formulate the most profitable and attractive thing. The growing sense of community among autistic (and generally NDD) people is heartening for this reason. However, whether or not we can find support in each other, allistics still view us in the same way, and that is a problem.