On autistics and the hurtful fuckery of anti-vaxxers:
No one should have to see themselves used as a boogeyman in an evidence-free conspiracy theory that leads to increasingly frequent public health scares. But I’m hard-pressed to think of a population less equipped to handle being dragged into such an absurd and dangerous mess than autistic people. And yet here we are.
Imagine that you have a neurodevelopmental disability that gives you some challenges with social skills and possibly the occasional rigid adherence to things like truth and fairness. Chances are good that you’ve been explicitly and implicitly told that you are pedantic, rude, blunt and not considerate enough of others’ points of views for your whole life.
Now picture this: You are told that people are dying because spoiled rich assholes are afraid to vaccinate their kids because a discredited former doctor—who either buys children’s blood at birthday parties or at least thinks it’s appropriate to joke about buying kids’ blood for research purposes—told them that the autism fairy will visit their kids if they get them vaccinated. Because, well, when it comes down to it, they’d much rather risk having a dead child than offspring who are anything like you.
Now imagine trying to employ all of those social skills that might not come naturally to you in order to fake some semblance of politeness and tolerance in the face of that incredibly wrong and hurtful fuckery.