[Linux-aus] [LACTTE] Victim Impact Statement

Russell Coker russell at coker.com.au
Mon Nov 4 20:50:53 EST 2013

On Mon, 4 Nov 2013, Luke Martinez <me at luke.asia> wrote:
> Davids' basic argument was that women are capable, and they shouldn't need
> special treatment, but everyone saw that as an opportunity to shame him and
> attack him, comparing him to a person with an Mental Illness, Guess what?
> There are people in Technology with Aspergers and Autism, so not only did
> you insult him, you dehumanized those people too.

There is nothing wrong with being an Aspie.  I've made no secret of my 
diagnosis (see the first category of my main blog).  Therefore to some extent 
I can speak for people on the Autism Spectrum unlike people who claim to be 
neuro-typical (that means you Luke).


I don't consider Autism to be a "Mental Illness".  According to Wikipedia 
Autism is a "developmental disorder" and the "Mental Illness" page redirects 
to "Mental disorder", so according to a strict literal reading of Wikipedia 
you could call it a "Mental Illness".  But anyone who does such a literal 
reading of Wikipedia is probably an Aspie.  ;)

By the common usage of the term "mental illness" the vast majority of people 
on the Autism Spectrum won't count as mentally ill.  Most such people would 
probably prefer not to be described as mentally ill.


There is also some disagreement among mental health professionals as to 
whether the term "mental illness" should be used in association with Autism.

The issue of whether Autism counts as a disability or a difference is 
controversial within the Aspie community.  I don't consider myself to be 
disabled and I personally believe that we should respect people's wishes as to 
whether they are described as disabled.  So if someone told me that they 
considered themself to be disabled due to being Autistic I wouldn't argue with 

It has to be noted that the only Australian legislation that protects people 
on the Autism Spectrum against discrimination is the Disabilities Act 1992 
(according to the last time I did a web search for legislation).  But it's not 
uncommon for legislation to not be an exact match for the way society works, 
so I don't think it's inconsistent for someone to identify as not being 
disabled but to use the Disabilities Act as protection against discrimination.

> Congratulations Russell. You dehumanized someone for the sake of a few
> brownie points with the Politically Correct Group.

I don't believe that I dehumanised anyone.  In general I think that any time 
someone makes a statement equivalent to "that person seems a lot like me" it's 
not going to be any great criticism.  But if we are to talk about 
dehumanisation then it's something that you clearly did to people with mental 

Finally I've written my share of stupid messages about social issues in the 
past.  So it's not as if I'm criticising David for doing things that I haven't 
done.  I am in fact suggesting that he is making mistakes similar to ones I 
made and that he should learn some of the things I learned.

My Main Blog         http://etbe.coker.com.au/
My Documents Blog    http://doc.coker.com.au/

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