The artist for the above image is @Kayas_Kosmos.
A peculiar prompt
Would “most allistic accepted” be a better way of putting this?
Fame is a very weird construct. It tends to imply that one person is worth more than another person, and that’s a concept I do not agree with. I mean there are people who are successful Autistic people – but again what measure are we using here ? One that is based on hierarchy. Many who are famous now have done awful things, and gotten away with it – so why would I want a measure that doesn’t account for this?
Some leading CEOs might be Autistic, but they do not care for equity – and this I cannot abide personally.
My view on fame can be summed up here by Marcus Aurelius in Meditations:
Consider the lives led once by others, long ago, the lives to be led by others after you, the lives led even now, in foreign lands. How many people don’t even know your name. How many will soon have forgotten it. How many offer you praise now—and tomorrow, perhaps, contempt. That to be remembered is worthless. Like fame. Like everything.Marcus Aurelius – Meditations
I hope you can see the paradox in one of the most famous Stoic philosophers in history detesting the concept of fame. His wisdom was indeed based on his interactions with many of his teachers who were not famous, they made no place in history books – but they were “famous” to him. Fame often excludes the team around that person – the people who helped them attain it. It’s by definition a measure of exclusion – and no one is famous without those who adore them.
I think my aversion to fame comes out of the harm that ‘famous’ scientists have done to me over the years – those who still fail to account for their errors – it gives a hubris that I dislike in people. I never want to be excessively proud or externally motivated again – because it’s done so much damage. I’ll accept compliments from strangers and sometimes I need them. But I have also learned to accept that I need to discount compliments from others, as much as I need to discount criticism from those who wish me harm.
I have to be self centred – but not in the way people expect – I care about others implicitly, my life is lived based on contributing back to the community.
The most important Autistics to me currently are the ones who are advancing Autistic science – the ones who are actively trying to dismantle ableism and get to the truth of Autism. There are a lot to name here – and I know in a few cases these people absolutely abhor being named for recognition.
Fame also means as well that we are perpetuating ableism – I can guarantee you that most of the famous Autistics you can think of have been profoundly accepted and had privilege that others have not. There are a number of people who I think are Autistic who are famous – but armchair diagnosis has the potential to be extremely harmful and is highly unethical.
Paradoxically I think some of these people might struggle less if they knew and benefit from being told. But the first principle in any situation should be “First do no harm…”
Being famous, and being a person of good morals are two very different things – I tend to always prefer those who fall in the second category – regardless of their status.
Daily blog challenge
I will be writing every day on being Autistic for April using this list of prompts:
Alt-Text Format with links to other blogs – Autistic Acceptance Month – 30 Days of Acceptance and appreciation:
- Day 1 – Introduction
- Day 2 – What I love about being Autistic is…
- Day 3 – My diagnosis/discovery story
- Day 4 – Reactions to “coming out
- Day 5 – Special Interests
- Day 6 – Supports and Appreciation
- Day 7 – The Autistic Community
- Day 8 – Favorite Autistic Blog
- Day 9 – Favourite Autistic-owned Business
- Day 10 – Sensory Life
- Day 11 – Stims
- Day 12 – Favorite Autism-charity
- Day 13 – Family
- Day 14 – Routine
- Day 15 – Everyone should know…
- Day 16 – Work/School
- Day 17 – Accommodations
- Day 18 – Someday…
- Day 19 – I hate it when…
- Day 20 – Communication
- Day 21 – One thing other people don’t understand
- Day 22 – Dispel a myth
- Day 23 – Can’t live without…
- Day 24 – Political Issue
- Day 25 – Symbols!
- Day 26 – Favorite Autism book
- Day 27 – Identity Language
- Day 28 – Dealing with meltdowns
- Day 29 – Famous Autistics
- Day 30 – Acceptance means…