By Holly Ashe and Paula Wright*
We, and many other women, are concerned about their neurodiverse loved ones being falsely accused.
With the recent magnitude of sexual harassment claims being thrown about from every corner of the media, and ruined careers piling up like carcasses, often from unproven accusations, every man must now be questioning their own past behavior, fearing it will be misconstrued into some harrowing sexual predation that would affect every aspect of their life without evidence, a trial, or a jury.
The suicide of Welsh MP Karl Sargeant four days after such nebulous accusations unnamed women has been shamefully swept under the carpet as the #MeToo frenzy continues. Calls for an internal enquiry into the clearly deficient process he went through, where he was suspended from his job without knowing the details of the complaint, have been dropped. We can only hope Mr Sargeant and his family get the answers and the justice they deserve via the official coroner’s inquest. The tragedy of Karl Sargeant is the most extreme example of the incredible injustice many men –not forgetting their families- are going though as a result of this appalling witch hunt and trial by media.
All of us know people in our life—family members and friends—who are otherwise smart, witty, empathetic, but socially awkward, either for cultural or neurological reasons like autism spectrum disorders (ASD) or just as part of their personality. They struggle to read body language, situations or atmospheres, let alone female mind games. Men, who walk a tightrope of social acceptance already, now stepping into a world where feminists want men deemed as second-class citizens, to be distrusted and their social interactions scrutinized at every second.
It’s already difficult for ASD people to form social relationships to start with, as psychologist Kirsty Kerr states (pdf), and there are numerous traits of ASD that could impact on forming social and romantic relationships. When to initiate a first kiss on a date is a fraught endeavor even for neurotypicals; for the neurodiverse, its petrifying. The human tendency for reading false positives in others behaviors is a well-studied and robust finding. We are all, neurodiverse and neurotypical, vulnerable to misinterpreting another’s intentions. For those on the spectrum, falling foul of complex social etiquette is not a risk, it’s a guaranteed surety. Misunderstandings will happen which will land them in hot water, without an inkling of intention or awareness. Even though we are all at some point made to undergo equality and diversity training, to learn the considerations of people’s culture, religion, sexuality and disability, considerations of neurodiversity are never made aware. So, we treat people on the spectrum the same as neurotypical people, expecting them to transcend their difficulties in order to fit into an ever-narrowing realm of acceptable behavior.
Adults on the spectrum have already ran the gamut of school, an experience which leaves many scarred and only too happy to move on. They find solace after school by working in areas that are often technical and geeky. Fields in which feminists are now trying to invade with aims to change the “toxic” culture. Except it’s not toxic. People on the spectrum often self-isolate, despite them desperately wanting to have more intimacy. The constant humiliation and bitter lessons learned at school can make loneliness a more preferable and manageable trade off. For those who do not choose loneliness, those brave enough to learn social skills via trial and error, imagine the shattering of their already fragile confidence when they inevitably fall foul of a feminist trap.
People on the autism spectrum vary. There are those who experience an excess of empathy, sensitivity and are brimming with compassion and love, which people wrongly don’t associate with when they think of ASD. Those with high functioning autism do not have learning or cognitive difficulties but social difficulties. They very often have high IQ’s. But despite them looking “normal” on the outside, they are still vulnerable. Such people are already highly vulnerable to office politics and an attack like this because of an unproven story, and the woman not communicating properly, and being hyped up on fourth wave feminism, will destroy vulnerable lives.
Winking or flirting, things otherwise considered ‘banter’, can land one in life destroying savagery. Men are not protesting this madness, partly because it is their innate chivalry which stops them from arguing with women, a unique unequal advantage; or partly, they like most others, just want to avoid further trouble of being marked as sexist bigots. In light of that, it is the duty of women of principle to protect the men we care about, our relatives and loved ones, from this mindless, perverse, gender war. The documented evidence that feminism is not a movement for sexual and gender equality is overwhelming today. Feminism is a movement to dismantle “patriarchy”, a nebulous conspiracy theory which feminists (of both sexes and all genders) like to invoke when they are out of actual evidence. Campaigns like #MeToo, and extreme ideologies like those espoused by Everyday Sexism, are tools towards this dubious goal. The presumption of innocence is not a patriarchal tyranny, it is a fundamental liberal principle which we all need to fight to protect.
*About the Authors:
Holly Ashe: Holly is a London based fashion and culture writer, and a columnist for Bombs + Dollars. She was previously published in Vogue International as a fashion designer and a start-up business entrepreneur. Her previous fashion publications can be found here. You can follow her on Twitter @hollyroseashe.
Paula Wright: Paula is a researcher in evolutionary anthropology. She is the founder of Darwinian Gender Studies, an interdisciplinary research area which encompasses evidence based gender studies, anthropology, and psychology, among others. She has a special interest in female intra-sexual competition. Her articles have appeared in Psychology Today, The Telegraph, and Bombs + Dollars. Follow her on Twitter @SexyIsntSexist.
This article was published by Bombs and Dollars