Yesterday, I wrote about how real advocates correct their negative behaviors when they are corrected by others. How, when you are an advocate (or want to believe yourself to be an advocate), you apologize and try to learn from what’s going on. What mistake did you make? How can you make it better?
What you don’t do is get into a fight with the advocate who is trying to help educate you on the harm you’re doing.
If you’re not on Autistic Twitter, you might not know that Autistic advocate Amethyst Shaber, a fantastic advocate, found out that they were referenced in a book called To Siri With Love. It’s published by HarperCollins, a major publisher, and written by Judith Newman, mother to an Autistic and standard variety “my life sucks because my kid has autism” variety.
The author called Amethyst (who prefers they/them pronouns, and tells you so outright) a girl, and misconstrued Amethyst’s identity, using what the author believed would be a flattering description, but was actually quite condescending. At no point does the author reach out to Amethyst, but she (the author) uses Amethyst’s work in the book and twists it so it’s not quite right. In this way, the author apparently thinks that she herself is being helpful, but in reality, when the author presented Amethyst’s work in that way, Newman was not. Amethyst looks into it and is concerned about the use of Autism Speaks as a reference in the book as well.
Amethyst objected, the author said “sorry” and she’d update it “in the next edition.”
The author was condescending.
Amethyst and other advocates actually start looking into the book and find passages that are eugenicist in nature including the author’s desire to have power of attorney over her son so she can get him sterilized when he comes of age.
Autistic Twitter explodes.
The standard trolls come out of the woodwork to defend this book and the author, not understanding what she’s actually did and why it’s so morally repugnant.
The author keeps saying snarky things, condescending things.
SHE WILL NOT GET INTO HER LANE NOR WILL SHE APOLOGIZE, SINCERELY, AND WORK TO MAKE AMENDS.
Check out #BoycottToSiri for the details.
Oh, and this goes without saying, DO NOT BUY THIS BOOK. The author and publisher ought not to profit when they were given a chance to do the right thing, and chose, instead, to show what kinds of negative people are involved with this book.