Autism as a Sexuality?
The lights are dimmed, Start It Up by Swizz Beatz and Kanye is blaring from the speaker at the HITT studio I frequent. On the Woodway treadmill is where I let my mind wander while I count down the racking seconds until I am freed from a cursed hill sprint. I start thinking about the internet and how just about any thing or any person on the internet can be made a caricature and like any person or thing on the internet it can then be sexualized and possibly even commodified.
I have noticed a trend on social media, where there seem to be an abundance of adult women professing to be autists. Most people are using their online presence as a marketing tool, doesn’t everyone kind of think with just one tweet or clever reply to a tweet they too could be Grimes and snag a genius tech oligarch ? The best way to do market research online is to content farm other peoples profiles and try to duplicate the contrivance or attributes that draw the most fanfare.
Does the internet of things change the connotation of things? There is a plethora of women on TikTok and other apps displaying their quirky, self professed autism while dressed provocatively and I cant help by wonder if it is appropriation to try to appear more innocent or worse to excuse perpetual bad behavior? When things are presented in a sexual, caricaturized way online that can also change the connotation. When the connotation associated with something is changed and becomes ubiquitous people will struggle to separate one meaning from the other or the commodified caricature replaces the existent precedent.
In no way am I insinuating that female autism isn’t real…of course it is. But, there is incentive to designating oneself as an autist as it seems to garner fanfare from men and of course women online. Does it cue innocence or an appealing awkwardness, the lonely, shy girl? IDK…It seems with the internet of things and the ever pressing demand to market oneself by any means necessary that just about any thing can and will be objectified and consumer-ized….