Taher Shah had been the butt of the Pakistani and Indian internet’s jokes for his music videos ever since his 2013 release of Eye to Eye. When I first discovered and started showing people Eye to Eye, I will admit it was for reasons related to mockery. Observing people’s reactions to him after his Angel video, as well as a specific aspect of the discomfort of the allistic during Eye to Eye, have brought me around to completely un-ironically thinking he actually is a beautiful and special person with a lot to teach.
It’s all too easy to blame the world’s problems on those who are considered to have inferior social skills. Nerds and geeks are often stereotyped as being dorks, and, more often than not, for good reason. Many of us who were intellectuals, scientifically-inclined, bookish, obsessive about our hobbies, and/or just different from others were stigmatized and isolated from our peers in childhood and adolescence. It stands to reason that many of us would be late bloomers and perhaps not as well-versed in social norms as others.
Stereotypes of people who fall on the autism spectrum include many of the “dorky” tendencies that are ascribed to neurotypical nerds and geeks: an inability to pick up on social cues and an assumed lack of empathy. Whether conflating a lack of social skills with being on the autism spectrum or not, the argument generally leads to a shrug and a “too bad they can’t get it, ignore the poor things.” Continue reading “Asperger’s Doesn’t Make You an Asshole”