We’re Women with Autism – Not Mystical Imps, Sprites or Fairies….. Get it right.

Artwork by Devushka
Artwork by Devushka
Sorry to disappoint all of those who wish to believe that Women with Autism are made out of some kind of unique fairy dust that endows all of us with “special talents” or “super powers”, because we are not magical beings.

We are Women Wired Differently…. not Women Wired Magically.

Please stop confusing our different skill sets, ie, our tendency to focus on the finer details of life that often make us more likely to pick up on the inconsistencies that are usually hidden within the bigger picture that people present to us, with being the equivalent of having a “super power”, “gift”, “unearned talent” or whatever else some would like to call it.

The truth is, that for us, our intense focus on fine details, whilst it may have started out as a fascination, has also become a survival mechanism.

Our intense focus is not magical. It’s practical. It’s what we do when we can’t “read” a person’s level of sincerity simply by looking into their eyes, listening for and recognizing the tonality in their voice or knowing automatically whether or not a smile is authentic at a glance.

Yes we may see the world in ways that others do not, but it’s still the same world and we’re still viewing it with eyes that are made up of all of the same biological matter as everyone else’s eyes are.

Yes at times it may seem as if we see more, but that’s not because we’re psychic beings floating about in fairy dust, it’s simply because we look harder and longer at the simplest of gestures, in order to decipher and makes sense of them for ourselves.

When we feel an emotion, we often feel it deeply but that’s not because we’re “super empaths” or somehow magically connected to the pain of another, it’s because we feel in fine detail too.

Yes we have a degree of empathy for others that may run deeper than most, but that’s not because we’re psychic, it’s because we’re focused.

Just as we focus visually and intellectually on the finer points that others may have missed, we can also focus our feelings on the finer points of emotions that others may have by passed.

We feel all of our emotions often simultaneously specifically because we live our lives without the benefit of having the filters that other people apply to their thoughts, their feelings, even their ways of seeing.

Which is why we can become so overwhelmed by our emotions that it makes it difficult for us to talk about or even explain them.

The depth of our feelings does not make us magical beings simply because we can feel that which we cannot explain.

It in no way means that we are magical beings. It simply means that we are unfiltered beings.

We’re not made up of different stuff or fairy dust at all. We just don’t have a way of filtering out the world around us the way that other people do.

I know that some would like to believe that this state of affairs somehow also makes us “purer beings”…. but does it?

Does it really?

And isn’t the idea of “purity” also linked to “innocence”, which is also linked to “children”…. as in the “innocence of a child”…….

Just think about it. We’re not magical, we’re not pure and we’re not children. We’re Women who take in and understand the world differently simply because we see it differently.

Do we really want the realities of our lives as Autistic Women being overlooked and marginalized simply because we’re being linked to the infantile ideals and imagery that being viewed as either ‘supernatural’ or ‘overtly innocent beings’, brings along with it?


24 thoughts on “We’re Women with Autism – Not Mystical Imps, Sprites or Fairies….. Get it right.

  1. Well said! I quite like the odd fairy picture here and there, but really that does NOT in any way reflect who I am. And they’re just too frequently used as images for autistic/Asperger women. I stomp all over your darn fairy dust with my great big can’t-keep-quiet mouth and boots.

  2. I do believe the view that we are innocent, wise beings held together by fairy dust is insurmountable. We have to understand that the people who view us like that are seeing through their own eyes. They are reacting to us in the way they see the world. Their abilities to interpret what they see when they see us is limited. We are not at a loss to gain respect. We are able to hold our own without faulting the neurotypicals.

  3. Reblogged this on Merely Quirky and commented:
    This is one of the things I’ve been criticized for, yet another interest I am “wrong” for not being interested in. I’ve always figured the super-power metaphor spoke to the comic book obsessed, which I am not.

  4. You are absolutely my favorite, most insightful blogger. As a woman Aspie who is familiar with the subject you addressed ( I am often viewed as the mascot), I understand them and you. The world’s view of me never slowed me down. I am the author of 48 stained glass pattern books with worldwide distribution. We need to fight the real enemy. The real enemy is the parents and supporters of the “autism can be cured. The “they will outgrow it” crowd. We are smart, and we need to stay focused;

  5. Reblogged this on Sonnolenta… A Neurodivergent Journey and commented:
    I enjoyed this post from Seventhvoice a lot!

    I’m not a fan of the “Autistic female as superhero” meme, as if autistic traits are some sort of glorious super powers. While I’m grateful for the alternative perspective my neurology brings, I don’t like the notion of being infantilized or treated like a little girl. This inevitably happens if I tell someone I am on the Autism spectrum. The idea of magical wiring, fairy powers or super powers, doesn’t help…it just contributes to the overall lack of acceptance. It’s almost as bad as people who believe Autism is a mental illness, or that if you are publicly out about being Autistic, then you’re by default using it as an excuse. Unless you know me personally and work alongside me in my daily day-to-day functions, you have no right to judge the impact and level of my disability… or to compare me to a fairy, or treat me like I’m six years old.

  6. When I was 17, a slightly older peer whom I respected compared me to Jesus. It blew my mind, threatened to undo me with grandiosity, which my low self-esteem allowed me to resist. Some people call me Pollyanna and say that I wear rose-colored glasses, which is insulting because I have been through and transcended much hardship in my life. Some people regard me as a buzz-kill because I do not like to engage in out-of-control behaviors, and they assume I am judgmental as a result. This post really helped me to understand something about myself I had never understood before. Many thanks.

  7. All I want to be is a human woman. There are things “mystical beings” cannot do that human women can-like be in a relationship, have sex, think for ourselves, manage our own lives. This gets me better than I can actually say.

  8. I sometimes say that autism is my superpower, but just in a joking way. I don’t believe autism is a superpower, though it would be nice if it were. I don’t believe I’m a manic pixie dream girl. I don’t believe I’m the next stage of evolution. I don’t believe I’m magically gifted or have some supernatural empathic powers. I don’t believe in “Indigo children.” I’m just an autistic female human being.

  9. I take quite the opposite view, but then I have always seen myself and my aspie daughter and autistic grand daughter as being magical and filled with mystique… and when we see ourselves as such, it actually helps us to better deal with comments that a lot of non understanding people will make…

  10. When I had originally commented and was seeing the world through my usually quite cheerful eyes, I was short sighted. Time for continuing education again which includes a short story discussion group, and I will be seeing the teacher who not only commented on my odd way of seeing things, my lack of worldliness, and the fact that my opinion was wrong (I later looked it up) and found that Doestoevsky had interpreted the story exactly as I had, she stretched her arm out on the desk and put her head on it, as though i were a fool. Then when another student, prefaced with, “Mari has a different opinion, and she IS nice… The teacher said “We don’t care about any of that.” I have printed a copy of this blog for her, because she has so little respect for me, that she would not listen to me. So thank you. Thank you for this blog entry that I originally did not appreciate enough

  11. I understand most of what you have written and love the images and points. However, I do find many people with ASD pure in some ways. Pure in the sense of not absorbing a lot of the mainstream world. Not latching onto stereotypes, the popular way, and such. I do think each person has magic and pureness inside them in some form. And people with ASD do have a type of innocence, depending on which word you use, I suppose. As we are often victim to predators, cons, manipulation.

  12. When you broaden your focus you may find that for younger girls the fairy stuff is an allegory, for special powers, which Aspies have. The latest ASD management strategies very much focus on talents and competencies. Also aspie girls can be tomboys and still enjoy dressing up in a tutu, as a cat, a bee or an animal, role play is something they do well.

    Many talented girls, either neuro-typical or neuro-diverse, produce the 3D characters call Animie, and as far as I am aware, some of the illustrations are done by girls on the ASD spectrum, which I think is nice.

  13. I have to disagree I Do see myself as a magical person. I find it a position of strength and @JetBlack I Also have big stompy boots. Being magical does not make me weak

  14. The whole ‘ethereal woman with aspergers syndrome’ thing is like the autism eqivalent of the whole ‘manic pixy dream girl’ depiction of female mental illness. And isn’t much better.

    It’s turning the condition, and our experiences of it, in to something pretty and romantic and mythologicalised, which isn’t just unrealistic, but really isn’t helpful either. And not to mention fairly patronizing and infantalizing to boot.

  15. I tend to think the opposite. But I am interested to read all of your perspectives as well. I love to think of myself as different and magical in the way I see the world. I don’t ever want to be typical or ‘normal’ in my thinking. Aspergers gives me a sense that most people don’t seem to have, and they point out to me that they find my outlook refreshing. I used to think everything was wrong with me, but I have come to learn that everything is right, I am just the way I am meant to be.

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