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Life at the Corner of Ableism and Sexism

Wasabi Horseradish is not a Pea!

Six or seven years ago I had a little disagreement with my significant other and a familial male of mine. The contested information was that Wasabi is a Pea. Which it is not. Wasabi is a type of horseradish that grows in Japan. Most of the Wasabi in the US is regular horseradish dyed green with food coloring. My SO sided with the other male when the other male doubled down on his statement. I dropped the subject and shut my mouth because that is what I am supposed to do. Right? Don’t question men and look pretty.

As a female assigned female at birth I have learned by trial and error that women aren’t to correct men. If women are right and men are wrong we aren’t to point it out. When men make a mistake because they didn’t listen to the woman’s advice we are to tell them they were right anyway. Men lead, we follow. It’s a tale as old as time. However, when it comes to Autism in the eyes of the world it decreases your credibility despite evidence to the contrary. When you have a vagina, it’s worse.

Many people on the Spectrum have an average to genius IQ including the women. However the way our brains process information and auditory delays lead people to believe our perceived “slowness” is equivalent to having lower intelligence. You include the fact that I’m short, cute and curvy in the mix and we have a cocktail that is disastrous. 

I know things because I have the same hunger for knowledge that men on the spectrum do. I knew the information on Wasabi was wrong because I had read about the rarity of Wasabi that naturally grows along the rivers and streams in Japan. (Fun Fact: Most people in the US have never eaten actual Wasabi!) I’m a Sushi lover and if I love something I will research the everloving heck out of it! But that didn’t matter. Instead of hearing me out I was shut down. This is a pretty normal thing for me to experience. I hate it.

I feel for my Aspie Sister’s and how we have valuable information to share with the World yet we are marginalized by society. First and foremost because we are female. Second because we present information in the common Autistic format. Straightforward and factual. Which then makes us seem like a disagreeable female. Which is heart breaking and it needs to stop. 

While I would like to say I have a revolutionary plan to change the World once and for all, I do not. The best advice for the World is to assume egalitarian ideals across the board. The old adage of not judging a book by it’s cover comes to mind. A pretty face can have an equally intelligent brain. Slowness might not be a sign of lack of intelligence but the work of a mind that has so much information in it that it might take longer to produce an answer. Like a computer with a full memory. The two together can be a deadly cocktail or a wonderful resource. Ultimately it’s not up to women or Autistics to decide. It’s something the World has to embrace. I hope they choose wisely.