When I watch The Big Bang Theory, I side with Sheldon anytime the characters are in a conflict. To most people, Sheldon is the weird, eccentric annoying one who doesn’t know how to behave properly, while the rest of the characters are comparatively normal. To me, Sheldon is the normal one, and the other characters (aside from Amy) are just fascists trying to impose their neurotypical social convention on him. It’s all about the framing.
As someone with Asperger’s Syndrome, the condition Sheldon is implied to have, I think it is about time that Aspies and autistics have a right to their own narrative, instead of constantly being told what they are by “normal” people who don’t share their experiences. The predominant narrative around autism at the moment is that it is a “disorder” that must be “cured.” Mainstream autism movements are typically focused on treatment of the condition, and led almost exclusively by neurotypicals, with little to no involvement from actual autistics.
You may have heard of the neurodiversity movement, which promotes the idea that all human brain types exist on an infinite neurological spectrum and no type is inherently superior or inferior to another. This blog will attempt to present a viewpoint that is one step more radical than neurodiversity. It will look at the world from an autistic lens and be critical of neurotypical culture. It will analyze the values of societies, and why they lead to certain personality types being valued more than others. It will take a critical look at the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM, and the countless different things it decides to label “disorders.”
In this blog, I will ask (hopefully) paradigm-shifting philosophical questions, such as: Is autism the disorder or is neurotypicality the disorder? Is the Aspie wrong for not behaving according to social convention or is the neurotypical wrong for having a nonsensical social convention? Is disorder objective or is it a product of societal expectation?
I will also look more broadly at the issue of why it is easy for certain types of social movements to take off and become huge, but not certain others. It is largely the interests of the hegemony that determine which types of change are acceptable and which might be threatening to existing power structures. Therefore in addition to autism, I will look at other “unpopular” movements such as disability and mental illness in general, the (largely hypothetical) work ethic revolution, and perhaps some polygamy rights or atheism or something.
That about sums it up. Oh, I forgot to introduce myself. My name is Samyog Pokhrel-Willett, and I am an English, Nepali and American origin masters student studying social justice and human rights at Prescott College, Arizona, USA. I am an Aquarius. I also believe astrology is complete pseudoscience so I have no idea why I bothered to mention that. I also hate introducing myself so I have no idea why I am doing that. Just read the blog!