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Jackie Schuld Art Therapy Blog

Don’t Get So Upset: A Line that Doesn’t Work for This Autist

Roe v. Wade was overturned recently.

I was in shock. It felt like other times I heard indigestible news. Everything seemed to move like molasses. I can recount the moment in great detail, and I know I will remember it the rest of my life.

For this was a truly life-altering moment for our country and the people living in it.

I didn’t feel much at first, which is normal for traumatic news.

But as the days went on, I felt a slow burning rage. As life carried on, the everyday moments of unrecognized misogyny began to grate on me more and more.

My friend laughing about a story of revenge porn.

An accquaintance considering having her vagina tightened so it would feel better for men to have sex with her.

My family member finding it amusing when he belittled a female coworker who “deserved it.”

I’m sadly used to this level of patriarchy and misogyny. I think most women are.

I might have slightly more exposure to it at this time in my life, due to being a therapist. I hear countless stories of misogyny that women have faced, as well as internalized misogyny.

Then there’s the fact that I’m navigating the world of online dating, which provides hundreds of opportunities for brushing up misogynistic experiences and comments.

It always bothers me, but after Roe v Wade, it hit on a different level.

An angry porcupine
Watercolor illustration by Jackie Schuld, originally made for her book "Grief is a Mess"

It hit on a level of fury and exhaustion and frustration.

I thought of the poor woman who wants to undergo surgery for a tighter vagina. I don’t want to cast blame on her. It doesn’t belong there. It belongs on a society that teaches that sexuality is where a woman’s worth is derived. More specifically, how much a man likes and enjoys a woman.

I’m tired of the onus being on what women can do to fix all of this. Navigate all of this.

How about men start addressing their own behavior.

Just like white people addressing their racism. There are books for white people to examine their own racism.

For lets face it, we are all racist. It’s in our culture - so even if we’re not “intentionally” harboring “racist thoughts” - we are, and we’re acting in racist ways that are harmful.

I’d like to bring the same attention to misogyny. And for men to be the ones to start caring. To start wanting to make changes.

I’m tired of phrases like, “Think of your own daughter or mother.” Why do we have to plead that?

I’m tired of trying to get men to care.

And yet, when I search for resources, they are not out there.

And yet, I don’t have the skills to create such a thing.

I’m pissed. And yet it needs to be done.

As I’ve talked to friends about this, the overall message has been “don’t get so upset,” and “well what can we do.”

I think other people look at me and think my frustration is futile.


And this is part of the secret sauce to being autistic.

The fact that I care. The fact that I can’t let it go. It means I will get this shit done.

It means I will make change happen.

For it is upsetting.

It merits my rage.

It merits attention.

For if it doesn’t get that, it’ll just keep on going.


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