Autistic Women and The Courageous Act Of Being Not Okay

Queerly Autistic

As women, we are taught from a very young age that we have to be okay.

We are taught that we must shoulder the emotional burden of okayness, or face the wrath of societal judgement – ‘bitchy’, ‘waspish’, ‘nagging’or, that worst of all condemnations ‘overemotional and irrational’. We smile around the words, I’m fine, hoping that by twitching the right muscles we can fool the world and, maybe, ourselves as well.

As autistic women, the burden of okayness becomes even heavier.

Many of us have lived our lives desperately trying to cling to a semblance of neurotypicality, pushing down on what we really feel and how we are naturally compelled to act. We have learnt to wear a mask of ‘not autistic’ – forcing a smile, forcing socialisation, forcing everything else to bubble away below the surface facade of coping and quiet hands and culturally acceptable normality.

We are women…

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Author: yarnandpencil

I'm a Christian on the autistic spectrum blogging about life and my art/craft practice.

2 thoughts on “Autistic Women and The Courageous Act Of Being Not Okay”

  1. I think this feeling reaches a great deal more people than society is willing to admit. Male and Female. Autistic and non-autistic. It’s a shame that it is hard to find a safe space to “be real”. I wonder what sort of world it would be if everyone came clean at once? How would people react and behave, individually, personally and towards each other? I wonder how many people might choose en masse to change their situations for something better or easier? I wonder if it would affect the whole structure of our social worlds and how?

    It is true that when people have a complaint about something or a moment of vulnerability, it is used against them. This happens to both men and women. When men accuse women of being ‘weak’ or ‘hysterical’ when they are just being ‘human’ (we are not robots) I wonder whether they are the men who are so uncomfortable with admitting their own vulnerability or dealing with their own feelings that their own frustrations get externalised as an attack on someone else.

    Liked by 2 people

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