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      [The following post was sent to members of a subscription email list on which inflammatory distinctions between individuals on the autistic continuum (Autistic Cousins or AC) and  neurotypical people were being made.  While notices such as  this may be common to other lists, this list is almost exclusively comprised of autistic spectrum adults.  Understanding and applying conventions of politeness is a special challenge for individuals with high functioning autism or Asperger Syndrome.  Cyberspace often lets us overlook the impact of our posts on a wider readership.]




     I join with the list owner in pleading with everyone who has been on the AC/Differences thread with a vengeance to stop.  Just because we are AC we have no special license to treat others in the same way we are treated.


     It doesn't surprise me that many of us have chosen not to marry or have significant adult relationships.  We simply don't "get it." "It" are  some basic social rules. To be proud of that fact does us little good. Merely acknowledging that some of us perseverate and ruminate  ad nauseum is one thing. To continue doing it in this "semi-public" forum through disrespectful and insensitive language is entirely  something else.


     We live in society.  We have formed a sub-culture here. We are like family. In this subculture as in others it is often difficult to  determine the boundary between "inside" and "outside" behavior.  This is especially troublesome when "others" are invited to join us because their spouses are on the spectrum and they are not.  They come here to understand, not to receive abuse.


     Every society has its rules.  Each society has rules governing basic discourse.  We violate a cardinal one when we disrespect others as  individuals or use stereotypic characterizations of "outsiders" in our assertions of AC differentness.


     The recent level of intolerance isn't what I expected when I subscribed.  It is the main reason I have declined to participate since having joined.


     I don't think people who sneak the topic back into discussion following imprecations to cease are clever. Those persisting with the topic after being asked to stop merely demonstrate how "clever" they are in being rude.  We were asked to stop because continued discussion of this thread in a certain manner made many people very uncomfortable. 


     In order to earn respect, one has to show it. For those indulging themselves on this topic, that respect has yet to be earned.



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