Take this blogger here. She writes about seeing a child in a restaurant engaging in SIBs and how the child's parents ultimately had to leave because the child was so upset. She seems to take pride in the fact that she, the writer, identified the child as autistic, but she also is so upset by what she's seen that she cries a lot. A lot. And calls herself "scary hormonal Boob Nazi" because she's not on birth control any more.
I'd hazard that an absence of hormonal regulation is not the only issue here. When autism parent, longtime blogger, community autism activist, editor of and contributor to Can I Sit with You and the Thinking Person's Guide to Autism, and BlogHer contributing editor Shannon Rosa made a suggestion about what the Boob Nazi and her commenters might be able to do in future, similar situations, the Boob Nazi did not take kindly to it, informing Shannon that as a newbie to the blog, she, Shannon, might not be aware that the Boob Nazi Herself is a Speech Therapist. But it gets better.
Shannon posted again, a useful link about understanding autism via an interview with Phil Schwarz. Why? Because a comment on Boob Nazi's post refers to disability or difference as being related to original sin (!), and well...because knowledge is power. This kind of thing that happened in the restaurant isn't about people tolerating what was happening. It's about people accepting what was happening.
And this was a great moment, given the comments, to expand understanding. Many commenters are wholly compassionate, many seem to get it. But it's shocking, frankly, to read comments about "original sin" and other sin-related garbage and to realize that sometimes, people like that are staring at our children, thinking about God's punishment imposed through them. Through our kids.
What was Boob Nazi's response to Shannon's comments? Why, it was to say the following: "Thank you for the links, but I've had classes in autism before. Please don't leave me any more comments." (BF and italics mine.)
She's had classes in autism before. And somehow, that trumps anything that an autism parent or an autistic person might have to offer in terms of perspective about her experience. Her classes in autism trump the voice of years of 24-7 experience with autism. That's all she needs, people, as a therapist, as a woman and Boob Nazi who weeps at SIBs in a Disney restaurant, as a person. Wouldn't that be great if say, I could take a few classes in neurotypicality and come away with, like, a totally deep understanding of it? Woohoo!
Then, I read her comment caveats. She has "two rules: 1) Don't give me unsolicited advice. 2) Don't link to your own blog in the comments. Both just annoy me like no other."
Mind officially closed.
I think we could just drop the Nazi from her self-imposed epithet. It's not required for the purposes of accuracy. The bottom line is this: Why just cry? Why not open your ears and eyes to effective ways of response?
ETA: She's removed comments and added in, as Liz Ditz notes in the comments to this post, a "snarky" intro that includes the following: "I just don't like unsolicited advice, especially from strangers on the internet (sic)." I'll just let the fact that this comes from someone who calls herself The Boob Nazi and who blogs publicly...just sink in.