As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I’ve got some links for you of excellent reviews by other autistic adults (pretty sure all of the ones I’ve got are by autistics, but there might be a couple of allistic responses in there as well) about the reasons why we need to boycott “To Siri With Love” by Judith Newman.
But first, I want to express just how disappointed I am – and why – at Ms. Newman’s recent claim that To Siri was not meant for an autistic audience. I know I mentioned this yesterday in my list of grievances about it, but I want to reiterate today as a separate thing.
Any books about autism, no matter who they are written by, have an effect on autistics – in a lot of cases, because they affect the way autistics are treated by the readers of the book and, in a number of cases, by society at large. We may not be the ones targetted as readers, but because of the effect those books have, our opinions, needs, and desires about them need to be taken into account.
No author of a book about autism – or anyone else discussing that book – has the right to say that it has nothing to do with autistics. No one. By definition, a book about autism involves us.
You want to read a book written by an allistic parent about their autistic child? May I recommend Iris Grace by Arabella Carter-Johnson? (Also see my post BBC Video Article: Cat Helps 6 Year Old Autistic.) The author doesn’t try to hide the challenges that can come from raising an autistic child, but neither does she shy away from the joys that can come from the same. And she is respectful of both her daughter and the autistic community, which is always good to see in a book about autism.
Now, on to the links. (Please note that they’re not in any particular order, save how they’re saved in my Evernote.)
Dear Judith Newman, I’m Writing This For You Because You Didn’t Write For Me by crippledscholar: This post (as you may guess) focuses on the issue I was mentioning above, about To Siri “not being written for autistics”. It also goes a bit into the problematic aspects of the book, and points out the “fauxpology” (fake apology) and the fact that one can’t just retract what one says in a book like this.
An Autistic Parent’s Reaction to To Siri: Impact > Intent by Cuil Press: This review (by an autistic parent who has autistic kids, like Kaelan Rhywiol, from yesterday’s post) focuses mostly on the results of the issue mentioned above. The focus is on, as the title implies, the impact of the book (which is fairly negative for autistics) being greater than the intent (whatever that was).
An Actually Autistic Review of “To Siri With Love” by Ryan Boran: Like the previous post, this is written by an autistic parent of autistic kids. This post also contains a number of links in it, as well as the text of various tweets and messages about the matter.
book analysis: To Siri With Love by Judith Newman by talesbytheunexpected: Like Kaelan Rhywiol’s review I recommended yesterday, this is a chapter by chapter analysis of issues with the book, except that it’s in one blog post as opposed to being on Storify via Twitter. Note that the commentary eases off with Chapter 13 not because there’s less wrong with it, but because the writer of this post was losing spoons.
An Autistic’s Thoughts on To Siri, With Love by Judith Newman by writeabledreams: This post goes into some details and quotes from the book, but is mostly an encouragement piece to other autistics. Nonetheless hard-hitting with the pointing out of the problems with what’s quoted.
An Open Letter to Harper Collins About TO SIRI WITH LOVE by Susie Rodarme: This post is a letter to the publisher, explaining why the autistic community is calling for a boycott of the book. She points out the damage the book is doing, how being published by Harper Collins lent the book a weight of legitimacy, and how badly it’s affecting the #ActuallyAutistic population.
Why I Believe that ‘To Siri With Love’ by Judith Newman is a Book That Does Incredible Damage To the Autistic Community by Kaelan Rhywiol: The name of the writer of this post probably looks familiar – that’s because it was their Twitter reviews I posted yesterday. The Twitter review set on Storify is mentioned, but this post goes into greater detail about the harm the writer believes this is doing.
Why We Must #BoycottToSiri: An Open Letter to Judith Newman by autistichoya: A letter speaking about the damage that the book does and rebutting claims about autistics in the book, by well known autistic advocate autistichoya.
Why To Siri With Love is a Wrecking Ball of a Book by Maxwell Sparrow/Unstrange Mind: Hosted on Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism, a very serious review that disengages Judith Newman the person from the book that she wrote. Some things to think about. Essentially: Evil book, not bad person.
Reaction to #BoycottToSiri: Free Speech, Idiots, and No Good Answers by crossovercreativechaos: A review of the reactions to To Siri and why those reactions are so scary, as well as supporting the need for free speech and some things that we can do to deal with the situation. Links back to this post and my previous one.
BadassActivist Collected Posts/Timeline by Eve Reiland (BadassActivist): BadassActivist has collected a large number of posts (from Twitter, YouTube, blogs, etc.) about the controversary; here is the list.
So. There we go.
Now, I won’t be writing any more blog posts about #BoycottToSiri (though I might still chime in on Twitter occasionally) unless the situation changes drastically. If I do, I have the bad feeling that I’m going to end up burning out on my advocacy for a while, very quickly.
Next post will be on anxiety attacks. (Guess what I had to deal with today?)