From the Bottomless Abyss of Inane Assumptions: Autistic Men are Pedophiles

Relax. He's just looking at regular porn.

Relax. He’s just looking at regular porn.

First, we were retarded, then we’re geniuses, then we were atheists, now we’re pedophiles. Okaaay…

While this blog was on hiatus, this article came out in the Daily Beast – written by Eustacia Cutler, the mother of autism superstar Temple Grandin – that claims a link between autism and child pornography consumption. I would expect the mother of Temple Grandin out of all people to know better than to publish something so insidious and offensive toward her own daughter’s kind. Then again, Temple Grandin is secretly pushing forward an ableist agenda so it’s not completely out of character, I suppose.

Anyway, let’s see what Ms. Cutler has to say. Here’s how she starts:

“A young male adult with autism took his computer in for repairs. The repair shop found child pornography on his hard drive and turned him in to the police. In court he was adjudicated a “predator”—a legal label he will wear for life. A label that will bar him from any job that involves children, and from any “assisted living” home for an adult such as himself.”

So…… ONE autistic man watches child porn. I’d believe it if it were speculated that some autistic men watch child porn but only because some neurotypical men watch child porn too.

Also:

“However, its significance points to a major lack: we don’t yet understand the social neurology of autism, nor its link to the role of supportive parental guidance.”

So if we don’t understand the “social neurology of autism,” then what business have you trying to draw up a link between autism and pedophilia??

Next, she makes a point about auties and their relationship with computers:

“The other big help—one that many teachers use—is the computer. Computers and ASDs think alike: both substitute memory and logic for social spontaneity. As my daughter Temple has explained it: ‘When I need a solution to the moment, I take out my memory videos and find the one that fits the best.’”

I hear this comparison between auties and computers a lot but I think that it’s a cop-out. A dangerous one at that. If you roll with the computer metaphor too much, you’ll get some wildly inaccurate and even offensive conclusions about autistic people. Since she uses an inaccurate metaphor and starts taking it literally, I think that it’s safe to assume at this point that whatever conclusion she comes to will be a load of malarkey.

“Along with struggling with social spontaneity, ASDs [ASD’s? We’re ‘disorders’ now?] also have trouble with context, i.e. the relationship of one object to another, of one situation to another. So does a computer. A computer cannot distinguish the relevant difference between a misspelled e-mail address and bringing a gun through airport security. Nor can a computer deal with random. At best it carries a program that imitates random. Ditto those on the autism spectrum.”

Here’s another trait of the computer: computers don’t have sexual urges, pedophilia-related or not. If she’s going to continue using this metaphor, then logic dictates that she’ll have to assume that either autistic people are asexual or computers are pedophiles. And no, ‘autistic people are pedophiles’ is not an option in the structure of this metaphor-based argument. And yet she forces it and drags on.

Wasn’t she supposed to be talking about autism and pedophilia? We’re halfway through the article and, aside from an offhanded and unhelpful anecdote, she still hasn’t said anything about autism and pedophilia, let alone sexuality. If you’re going to make an offensive assumption about us, at least stick to the point!

Let’s just scroll down past the fluff and get to the part where she actually says something about the topic that I thought she was going to discuss.

“For example, toilet training: a process that isn’t so difficult for a father…”

“…search the internet and you’ll find it. It’ll be kind of like the toilet only more exciting…”

“It’s the ‘anything you want’ that makes the trouble.”

“Though now equipped with a full-grown body and full-grown sexual drive, many ASD males are stuck emotionally at a prepubescent age. They look like grown men, but inside they’re only 10 years old. They don’t want adults to show them how sex is done; they want 10-year-olds to show them.”

So, that’s the climax of the argument: that we’re pedophiles because we have the emotional intelligence of a 10-year-old and therefore need 10-year-olds to open us up sexually.

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“To quote autism psychologist and researcher Gary Mesibov: ‘We often find that young men with ASD are functioning intellectually at average, or even above-average levels. However, their social and interpersonal level is that of a 10- or 11-year-old … I think this explains why their social-sexual preferences are to observe girls at this age, just as typical 10- or 11-year-old boys prefer interacting, flirting, and thinking about sexual relationships with 10- or 11-year-old girls.’”

Also, what the fuck:

“In other words, where is the father who should be guiding him?”

That line just oozes the same antiquated attitudes of those against gay marriage. Like “you make terrible life choices because you never had a good male role model” or something along those lines. Besides, didn’t she say the following earlier?:

“However, its significance points to a major lack: we don’t yet understand the social neurology of autism, nor its link to the role of supportive parental guidance.”

Let me repeat that:

“…we don’t yet understand the social neurology of autism, nor its link to the role of supportive parental guidance.

I understand that it’s my responsibility to take my opponent’s argument seriously when analyzing it but I believe her constant self-contradiction and occasional moralizing should explain why that’s an impossibility.

Thankfully, this article was  welcomed by a huge shitstorm on the Internet. There’s also a petition going around created by the Autistic Self Advocacy Network to get the editor to apologize for publishing this crap in the first place. Click here and sign it.

[Source: The Daily Beast]

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One thought on “From the Bottomless Abyss of Inane Assumptions: Autistic Men are Pedophiles

  1. The whole idea behind this (predatory) attack is that the writer seeks to increase her social standing by putting someone – namely, us – beneath her feet.

    Social gamesmanship is, ***at best*** a *zero-sum* game: you do better by making someone else seem WORSE.

    How ***Predatory***. How intoxicated with power. (Orwell, 1984).

    How Normal.

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