While claims such as:
‘Women with Autism are harder to diagnose than men’
‘Women with Autism ‘Mask’ their symptoms and men do not’,
continue to exist, and as long as one gender continues to be diagnosed less than the other,
then, Yes, as far as I’m concerned, when it comes to Autism, gender still matters.
A person with Autism’s gender is still, quite clearly, being applied first and foremost, as the optimal qualifier for either validating or denying not only their Autism….
But also the ways in which they are expected to experience, display and define their Autism.
To me, as a woman, the use of gender as a qualifier for the existence of Autism, has made all of the difference.
So you’ll have to excuse me if I choose not to allow the inevitable, accompanying, gender specific notions of how, as a woman, I’m expected to define and experience my Autism, to over ride my own lived truths.
I will not bend myself in two, simply just to fit into some new, neatly categorized, version of what I should now be.
I am now, as I have always been, simply me.
Not a category.