Why the final blow to feminism will be autism

Feminism celebrates women who choose paths typical to men over women who choose paths typical to women. The problem with this approach is that in the last ten years researchers have found that women who think like men are not neurotypical women; these women have Aspergers

Normal girls are not great at math. We have known since the 1980s that boys who have very strong math skills usually have Aspergers. Today we know that very strong math skills are also a predictor of Aspergers in girls.

People are scared to say to girls, You’re good at math, come get tested for Aspergers. We know girls with Aspergers are good at activities boys prefer. So all girls who are good at boy activities should be tested. A huge percentage of those girls will have Aspergers.

Gender dysphoria in girls is related to Aspergers. The transgender/non-binary/genderqueer population has a huge overlap with the Asperger population, especially those sex assigned female. And people born female are twice as likely to be referred to gender-identity clinics. This overlap is particularly problematic because reasoning skills required to sort through gender identity are deficient or delayed in people with Aspergers.

But people are scared to say, If you think you’re transgender get tested for Aspergers. It’s not PC. And people don’t want to suggest that someone with gender dysphoria might have an extreme male brain from Aspergers rather than a gender identity issue.

Feminist ideals are too restrictive for women. The reason 90% of girls who have Aspergers are undiagnosed is that people can’t bear to accept the research. The media doesn’t report findings. Health care professionals don’t act on the findings. What is most distasteful is that research about girls with Aspergers feels like the opposite of feminism. But actually, our obsession with feminism is leading to a healthcare crisis for women. The result of being PC about diagnosing girls with Aspergers is they are not diagnosed until middle age. And by then, 66% have contemplated suicide.

A departure from feminism will improve the lives of all women. We will be able to accept scientific findings and act on them. Girls will be diagnosed with Aspergers as early as boys are. Nearly all women diagnosed with Aspergers in middle age say their lives would have been much less difficult if they had known as a child.

Women will stop feeling pressure to define themselves in terms of male milestones and achievements, and it will be fine to acknowledge that women don’t like to compete at work the way men do. And a departure from feminism will allow women to talk openly about how we have never really stopped wanting a male breadwinner.

Healthcare professionals should provide more leadership. Right now if boys have brains that look like obsessive, super-smart boy brains, we test them for Aspergers. But if girls have brains that look like obsessive, super-smart boy brains, we don’t test the girls. That is messed up. Women are dying while we are trying to be PC about how we identify Aspergers.

The medical community has a history of glossing over gender differences. A heart attack in a woman does not look like a heart attack in a man, but it took doctors decades to act on this knowledge. Aspergers in a woman does not look like Aspergers in a man. We know this right now. We need to act on it now.

There are women dying. They are dying of suicide. They are dying of loneliness. They are dying from society’s need to celebrate women who succeed like men do. Women are dying because this is an uncomfortable topic. So let’s get talking now.

85 replies
  1. Jen Green
    Jen Green says:

    This is a mischaracterization of feminism which undercuts some deeper concerns that you seem to have which are founded and important. Feminism is about acknowledging bias (including, but not limited to, gender related bias and discrimination) and counteracting it in order to enhance equal access and opportunities for everyone. Feminists do not want women to act more like men or to be judged by traditional male-centered metrics of success. They want to release the expectations and prejudice that women *are* a certain way and that men are another certain way, in order to allow every individual the ability to make the choices they wish for their lives (including what would be considered traditional gender roles if they want!) The benefit to this is that the imaginary white cis het male stops being the prototype, and the diversity and nuance of humans is celebrated. This also would address problems in the medical field based on research that treats everyone like a white cis het male, as you point out. But feminism isn’t the boogey man your post makes it out to be.

    • Penelope Trunk
      Penelope Trunk says:

      Oh blah. You are right. The title is not good. I am sure that there are far-reaching implications for the idea that gender is so central to autism in women. I have been thinking for a while about what those implications will be.

      As a career coach, I hear an unusually large number of women wishing they were achieving huge things in their careers. And I spend a lot of time explaining to women that high achievement at work requires a single-minded focus. So really the only women achieving huge things in their careers are women who don’t want families and women with Aspergers. (The two links in this post about women and work explain this research very well).

      So work is set up for men and women with Aspergers, but we point to the women with Aspergers who succeed with the men and we say to neurotypical girls “Look at her! You can succeed at work!” But it’s a lie. Neurotypical women do not have big success at work because work is set up for the obsessive, hyper-focused male brain.

      So what would the world be like if we told everyone in first grade to separate themselves by how their brain works? Then we could stop torturing neurotypical girls by telling them if they do well in school they will do well at work. Because there is no correlation. And if you tell girls for 18 years that they are in school so they do well at work, then they feel like failures when they don’t want to keep focusing on work.

      What would life for neurotypical girls be like if we stopped telling them to go to school to succeed at work? I think it would be revolutionary. And I think we’d go back to the 1950s. But it would be different because women are more respected now, and there’s the Internet so life isn’t so boring, and we don’t need to send kids to school. So women would be home with kids figuring out a way to create a fulfilling life that was not hyper-focused and not being subservient to men. It would be the dawning of a new age.

      But first we have to admit that neurotypical women don’t want to work like men do so there are not company jobs for women. Women need to do something else for the long-term.

      There. I didn’t write that in the post because I hadn’t thought it through clearly enough. And still, I think it’s not clear enough in my head for a post. But I guess I’m stuck on it, which is why I gave the post probably a bad title.

      Hm. Maybe I’m too stuck in workplace scenarios and I should think more in terms of non-binary gender scenarios. I don’t know. It’s hard to get my head around, frankly. Jen, thank you for encouraging me to try.


      • Jennifer
        Jennifer says:

        The problem is that there isn’t more flexibility in work situations. I’m a SAHM who dearly misses my career, but this was the choice to make life less hectic for everyone in the family. Most people don’t want to be the CEO with the long hours and single focus required for that. Still, many mothers would love to continue working at their chosen careers in some capacity. If more employers offered work-from-home, part-time or job-sharing situations or onsite daycare, this would be a less difficult and stressful option. However, I’m assuming that most don’t because attracting and employing mothers, who will automatically put career second, doesn’t interest them. You’re assuming that most women want to be SAHMs, when many are making this choice mainly because employers don’t accommodate them. Going back to the days when women had no choice is not the answer; if all women were happy with that there would never have been a feminist movement at all.

        • Penelope Trunk
          Penelope Trunk says:

          I know for sure that what women would like is an interesting job they can do while they raise kids. But we don’t have those in the US. The reason we don’t have those is because the US tax code allows people to amass endless piles of money so people are incentivized to work long hours. If the US Government taxed people who made a lot of money (whatever that number is) then people would not bother working very long hours. And then people who take care of kids could get interesting jobs.

          This is an economic problem. If you think the tax code should change so we don’t encourage people to work long hours then vote for Bernie. He’s the only candidate who is promising to make this change.


          • jessica
            jessica says:

            I don’t think taxes have discouraged people from becoming ultra successful. There are many work arounds.

            The uber wealthy use off shore accounts anyway and already own most worldwide resources.

            If we are talking the creation of new money to enhance female opportunity, it will be different jobs that do not yet exist. Europe has solved this with coffers of government cash and a shared community system. But, even then, those women and families still greatly struggle financially.

          • Penelope Trunk
            Penelope Trunk says:

            I think you misunderstood. Taxes have encouraged people to work long hours in the US. Because taxes ENCOURAGE people to amass wealth.

            In other countries (France, Findland) there is no point in working long hours because the tax rates get too high to make working worth it.


          • Alan Rae
            Alan Rae says:

            You could always try and run your own business. You can use the market to run your life on your own terms as well as using it to make a killing,

            Of course me and the wife started on that 40 years ago and times may be tougher now. On the other hand the daugher is now running it and while she;s quite tom boyish in her approach to life she certainly lacks the geekiness of the mother fwiw.

          • Jennifer
            Jennifer says:

            I think most people would rather have a good work/life balance than piles of money. It’s only the top guys making that, anyway, the majority of us know we won’t be millionaires no matter how many hours we work. People in the US work long hours because our workplace culture demands it. If you need flexible or shorter hours, the options aren’t plentiful for interesting, “real” career-type jobs. But, there was a time that workers didn’t get weekends, holidays, or sick days either. Things improve over time, but slowly. What would cause the culture to change? From the employers’ current point of view, there is always a young childless person or a man to hire, instead of a mom who needs special hours. So, things may not improve until fathers are more equal partners in childcare, and companies have trouble attracting good prospects when offering standard 8:30 – 5:30 workdays. But shouldering more of the childcare burden requires shorter hours at work…which families can’t afford when the man is the breadwinner. I agree with the poster below; the issue contains multiple chicken/egg scenarios.

          • Dana
            Dana says:

            This isn’t true. I have a great job that allows me to raise my kids the way I want. My company has thousands of employees with similar home offices and flexibility (men, women, parents and not). I also have a strong circle of female friends with similar arrangements. And Not just sales jobs- marketing, engineering, tech writing, bioscience, etc. We all make between $150k-$300k annually. It’s a cop out when you say it isn’t possible.

          • Penelope Trunk
            Penelope Trunk says:

            Dana, I think the operative phrase here is “the way I want”. I don’t think most people in your income bracket want to raise kids the way you want to. Most people in your income bracket do not want to have the person making $150K – $300K also raising the children.

            Oh. Wait. I just realized. I AM THE PERSON you’re talking about. I make $150K – $300K annually and I raise my kids, AND IT IS A SHIT SHOW! My kids are ALWAYS with kids who have a stay-at-home parent. And it’s so easy to see how much calmer those peoples’ lives are. And my kids are always one step behind because I can’t stay on top of everything. And I am overwhelmed. And, I hate to admit this, but for the first time in my life, I am overweight. Because it’s getting harder and harder as the kids get older and the opportunities become more important.

            The world is completely divided between families with a stay-at-home parents and families without that. The advantage is huge and it shows up everywhere. I think I am one of the few people who is a single, working parent living in the world of stay-at-home parents. I can tell you, from my vantage point, that your kids do not get access to the kids who have the most calm, focused and supported childhoods. Your kids do not get to be around the kids who are most reliably confident.

            The kids who have a stay-at-home parent who is home because they are attending to the children have an advantage I could never, ever give my kids. And neither could you. It’s just that I notice the difference and I care, and you don’t. Maybe you can’t see the difference until you have lived among both groups.


          • Dana
            Dana says:

            @Penelope (sorry I couldn’t figure out how to reply under your reply)

            You are making a lot of assumptions about “the way I want to raise my kids.” I want to raise my kids with lots of love and family time. I want them to seek opportunities but not feel pressure to be over scheduled. I want to take them to see the world but put myself in a position where I am not saving for my old age while I do it. It’s a balance between their needs, helping them shine and making sure I am being responsible about the future.

            Maybe it is because I live in a small town, but that isn’t our experience at all. I work from home, so I get my kids on the bus every morning and get them off the bus every afternoon. Once my kids got a little older (they are 15, 12, 8), I could let them stay home in the summer and do their own thing while I worked. I have some flexibility in my schedule, so I’d make some time for lunch and fun things when I could, and I could usually carve out drive time if they need a lift to sports camp or whatever. We often had friends over for the day

            My husband works for the state and makes a good, professional salary. He has generally regular hours from 8-4PM and can take time off to handle a sick day or doctors appointment if I am unavailable. I do travel a bit. My husband can usually handle it, but if my retired parents are available, they’ll come hang out for a few days. My kids do a few extra curricular activities that they love, but we cut out all of the extra ones that felt like we were just “checking the box.” We have a sit down, family dinner 3-4 nights a week. Sometimes it is just chicken nuggets and mac and cheese, sure, but we can make it work.

            I remember reading a post year ago where you talked about one of the options for professional women was to “quit but stay.” To some degree, that is what I have done. I haven’t “quit”, but I leveraged my years of “leaning in” to find a position that is interesting enough without the pressure to cut throat upwardly mobile. Am I throwing every ounce of potential energy into my job? Of course not, but I don’t have to. I have found something where I can exceed performance expectations without being a workaholic. Will I ever be a VP? Doubtful, but neither will most of the men in my same position. Also, I don’t care. When my kids grow up, I can decide to make a move or just keep finding a similar niche. Do I have times of deadlines and pressure where things get hairy? Sure, and I have a spouse, parent and village of close friends that pitch-in- and I do the same for them when they need it.

            I’m not trying to be sanctimonious here. You were a HUGE inspiration for the work that I did getting myself to the position that I am in now. I read Brazen Careerist maybe 10 (?) years ago. It inspired me to not settle. To find something that worked not only the career I want but for the life I want. I turned jobs down, refused to take anything that didn’t offer a home office, did some shitty freelancing for awhile, etc. You had a great post awhile back about finding someone who has a lifestyle that looks interesting to you, not a job that seems interesting. For example, if you want to be home on weekends, consider being a dermatologist rather than an ER doctor. I use that advice ALL THE TIME with the kids in my 4-H club. I’m all for purpose and passion, but show me how I can still drive the Tech Club carpool and take everyone to Wawa for hoagies afterwards.

            Granted, I don’t homeschool and I know that you feel that if I was really doing right by my kids, I would. That is a point we will have to disagree on.

            Per the Aspergers conversation, I am an engineer by education (I don’t practice anymore, I work for a software company), but I am not a natural math person. I chose engineering because it seemed like a job where I could make a good living without being on call all night or tied to one employer. I am also not particularly hard driving as you describe, and I am extremely social. I don’t “love” my work, but I find a thread of joy most days.

            In your time in Wisconsin, did you ever meet anyone aside from yourself who was taking advantage of the rural lifestyle but working remotely for a corporation? Do you interview professional women aside from the ones you read about in the Technorati media channels or who call you for coaching? I’d love to talk more. I am absolutely not a unicorn, like I said there are thousands of men and women at my company with similar arrangements- and I know many more in tech, biotech, pharma, more.

            I worry about you lately. Your thoughts in the article are heartfelt, and I am all for more mental health screening and taking Aspergers for girls more seriously. Are you OK?

          • Penelope Trunk
            Penelope Trunk says:

            @Dana thank you so much for taking the time to respond again. I really appreciate that you went into so much detail about how your family works. It is SO IMPORTANT for us to share details with each other. We don’t know what works and what doesn’t unless we all share real information.

            So, for everyone who is thinking about what could work for them, here’s what I get from Dana’s comment:

            Both parents work and their careers are sort of in a holding pattern; they are fine
            They live in a small town
            Their kids take a bus to and from school
            Their kids are involved in local, after school activities
            In order to make this work, there are grandparents that chip in sometimes. (Important: Couples who have a grandparent helping are more likely to stay married.)
            To me, this picture looks like the kids and both parents compromise, but no one compromises a lot more than anyone else.

            In my family, I am the one doing most of the compromising. I chose that. (I hate writing this, but in the spirit of giving useful details, I do wonder if I would have been more like Dana if I had not had such a terrible childhood. I think I am compensating a lot for my own childhood — doing everything in my power to make my kids’ experience much better than mine.)

            I think what I learned from living in a small town is that I don’t have a huge preference for what my kids do, but whatever they choose, I want them to work really hard at it. I probably value commitment and focus a little too much,. But what I realized living on the farm is that the only thing you can get great at on a farm is farming. And my kids didn’t want to do that.

            This discussion with Dana makes me think that an integral part of career planning is kid planning. Like, how do you imagine raising your kids? And it’s so difficult to plan because by the time we are 30 we know so much about career and so little about raising children.

            I have no grand idea to set forth here. Just that I learned a lot from talking with you, Dana. Thank you.


          • Dana (DP)
            Dana (DP) says:

            @Penelope sure thing, any time.

            I want to be sure that I am not pretending life is perfect. It can be tough, but I don’t imagine it being less tough if I didn’t work. It would just be tough in different ways. (Also thanks for putting up with my shite grammar and typos)

            You’ve accurately captured the general idea of why things work for us. Have you ever read Brian Caplan’s work? Forgive me if you’ve mentioned it in the past and I missed it. The data he presents about parenting and education has influenced our thinking a lot and really helped us relax. I admire your commitment to your kids’ passions and your investment in their interests. In our house, if an activity is not a “hell yes”, it’s a no.

            Here are some of our non-negotiables:

            1. Marriage: the hardest work I do on a daily basis is staying married. I am not joking but I don’t mean that it’s miserable work. Sharing my life and decisions with another person can be excruciating and I am sure he feels the same way. We’ve been married for 20 years, we have a great time together, we do really like each other. We both agree that we cannot raise the kids the way we want to raise them if we aren’t together. It’s not just about money but about family structure and team work. Maybe this is so hard sometimes because we don’t truly “need” each other from a financial perspective. I tend to believe that marriage is just hard, period, and staying together is a daily choice. Talk to me in ten years :)

            2. Moving: We’ll never move. 18 years ago we chose to a small town in a rural county. I had a job offer in the nearby beach resorts doing engineering and he got a job with the state DOT (we are both civil engineers). Geographically, it’s a great place. We’re about 30 mins from the Atlantic Ocean. We’re 2 hours from DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and we have a nice commuter airport nearby. Once you get out of the immediate resort area, it is very affordable and property taxes very low. There are no private schools, really, so we don’t have the temptation to spend $20K per kid on tuition. We both make the same as we would in a more expensive place (like a Philly more expensive place not a San Fran expensive place), so we use the extra money to travel with the kids, fund educational pursuits like sleepaway camp, etc. and generally keep our life low stress. We’ve been able to save a lot, and when we moved out of our starter house 10 years ago we kept it as a rental. We were finally able to build our “dream house” last year, it’s a 25 acre hobby farm. (We are definitely not legit farmers, just poke around with some ponies.) My husband makes less than I do but has better benefits and retirement, so we decided years ago that I would find ways to work from a home office. If I ever lost my job, it’s not a big deal. It would suck for awhile, some things would have to change, but we have savings and some buffer because of our low cost of living. My husband is at the top of his org chart in our district, if he sought a promotion, he’d have to commute an hour instead of 10 minutes. He also likes the work of his current job better than a higher management position, so he’s happy where he is. I could maybe take a management job from my home office, but to really climb the ladder, I’d have to go to Denver, SF or Boston, and I don’t want to. Quality of life and raising our kids in this small town take priority.

            I read Lean In maybe 7ish years ago, and it did inspire me. I didn’t take it as “go work your face off at all costs.” I took it as- lean into what really matters to you and don’t sell yourself short. People often deprive themselves of experience they could leverage for negotiating an even better, more flexible position because they think it might be hard. I switched from a marketing job at my company to a sales job after reading lean in because I realized that I was holding back not because it actually would be too hard on my family but because I thought it _might_ be too hard on my family. What did I have to lose? Try it, see how it goes, get the experience and leverage it. It was fine for family logistics (you have often said nobody cares how much vacation you take as long as you hit your quota), and more importantly, my success in that job raised my salary baseline and gave me customer business experience that I was able to leverage to get my current job which is even more flexible.

            Anyway. I’ve written a novel here. I’ve been interested in the dynamics of working women, mothers, parents, kids, education, etc. forever, which is why I have been a long time reader and fan. Now that I am in my 40s and have a chunk of time to look back on, it’s interesting to reflect.

        • Kris
          Kris says:

          One of the most important lessons my mom taught me was to never be completely financially dependent on a partner. So many other successful women I talk to cited the same lecture from their mothers. So there’s this middle ground between not being forced into traditional corporate careers and equipping women with the means to care for themselves and others financially if needed.

          And I wonder if there were more women in leadership, if our organizations wouldn’t shift to be more welcoming to those who seek alternative working arrangements. Which creates a chicken/egg challenge.

          • Penelope Trunk
            Penelope Trunk says:

            First, no one is financially independent once they have kids, because no one can simultaneously raise children and earn money to support children. You absolutely have to have help. In a marriage with children, the spouses are dependent on each other, regardless of who is making money. It’s very short-sighted to think that if you have money you have independence. Money doesn’t stay home with a sick child on a day when you can’t miss work.

            Also, I am not sure it’s a workplace issue that there are not alternative working arrangements. I think it’s an economic issue. The US is the only developed country where you can become a millionaire and not get taxed to high heavens. This means people in the US are incentivized to work very long hours to earn a lot of money. So there is always a person who will work long hours for a job that affords the opportunity. If you want to work alternative hours you will never be as appealing a candidate as someone who devotes their life to work.

            If you want things to change, don’t sit around waiting for the workplace to miraculously transform itself. There is no incentive to transform from within. The transformation will take place when the tax code in this country stops incentivizing people to work extremely long hours. When everyone is working a 5-7 hour day then everyone can work and take care of children.

            If that’s what you want, vote for Bernie in the Democratic primary. He is the only candidate saying he will make that change.


        • MKB
          MKB says:

          It’s not about working or not working. It’s that women want to work differently than men. And need to. Being divorced or widowed underlines how much Penelope’s analysis is accurate. If you’re a single mom, for any reason, you need a flexible work place. If you don’t have kids, you can focus on your career over every other aspect of your life if you want to. If you have Asperger’s and kids and are a single parent, but want to focus on your career, well then you’re screwed.

        • Penelope Trunk
          Penelope Trunk says:

          According to the Bureau of Labor all but 2% of college-educated mothers remarry quickly. So the way they earn a living is not a trend but rather a stop-gap measure for a temporary situation.


          • Shannon
            Shannon says:

            How was quickly defined in Bureau of Labor statistics? Within how many years of divorce? Just wondering because I find that stat really interesting!

      • Audrey G.
        Audrey G. says:

        I’m sorry– hm? Women can only be successful in the workplace if they have the mind of a man or if they have Aspergers? I don’t think I can agree with that statement. Quite frankly, it’s borderline hypocritical to claim that the ideals of feminism are too restricting when jumping to the conclusion that women who are more masculine and insinuating that they have Aspergers. Jumping the gun and being eager to place a label on them is not very feminist to tell you the truth. But that’s just how I view it, to each their own.

      • Jen
        Jen says:

        Thanks for that, Penelope. I think you are struggling with what a lot of people struggle with, which is how our understanding of the gender binary (and non-binary) is evolving and how to juggle where it can be helpful, and where it is clearly outdated and/or overly restrictive.

        I keep reading your posts because I agree with some of what you say about what women value and how they work best, and certainly agree that there are exceptions to this (neurodivergent and autistic women and nonbinary people among these exceptions). I am not sure you give enough weight to socialisation of gender and the increased recognition of emotional and social intelligences and how that interacts with gender identity, traditional gender roles, and the future of work and families. There are also many places where I think you present things as causative rather than correllative without sufficient evidence. I think your insights about how people in the context of relationships prefer traditional roles / scripts because they are predictable and accepted is really useful, and also resonates with workplaces and management, especially to the extent that workplaces are controlled by hierarchies and an older generation who is slow to respond to changing norms around gender, work styles, expectations for work and family, etc. Being a predictable kind of worker is an advantage because then the “script” for how to manage (or not manage) those personalities already exists. I hope more people who are willing to go off-script stay in the workforce long enough to become the managers they wish they had, and create workplaces that are more diverse, dynamic and responsive.

      • kris
        kris says:

        Work is not set up for people with Aspergers / autism. Autistic people can struggle a lot with work: the sensory challenges of working in an office- phones ringing, interruptions, fluorescent lights, noisy colleagues, lack of greenery; communication difficulties: being expected to make small talk, understanding neurotypical communication. Also, many of us have executive functioning difficulties. Sleep difficulties are also common, which can make it difficult to turn up to work the same time each day. We can need more down time to recharge than is available with full time work.
        The above issues do apply to people who would have been diagnosed with aspergers when that was still a diagnosis.

        Also, many autistic people with low support needs (i.e. Aspergers) don’t excel in maths. I hated maths. At school, I did all arts and history and languages subjects as soon as I could drop maths. And some autistics have dyscalculia. Some excel in art, music, languages. Many care strongly for the natural world. Many are strongly into social justice.

  2. Timothy Wright
    Timothy Wright says:


    Thank you for this, I have someone very close to me whom I think might have Autistic tendencies or has Autism and if I bring this up they shut me out. No idea how to even help my friend get help online if she were interested in finding out if she is Autistic. I live in the UK, where Autism in girls is NOT acknowledge at all.

    Blessings to you and enjoy your blog posts.


    • Penelope Trunk
      Penelope Trunk says:

      It’s surprising that you say Autism in girls is not acknowledged in the UK. Because the center of all research on Aspergers and girls is Oxford University’s Autism Research Center. Lots of links in this post are to papers written by people who are there. I guess the media is not covering this research anywhere.


      • Tim Wright
        Tim Wright says:

        I should have been clear in my statement. If you go to your GP (Doctor) and share your concern that your daughter has Aspergers, they usually say, she’s going through puberty or school is tough on some girls or……. You are not taken serious. I guess this has more to do on the lack on funding within the NHS on addressing the issue of girls/women with Aspergers.


        • Liz
          Liz says:

          Yes. GP’s are often the first stumbling block. To get our daughter diagnosed we went via:
          1) school nurse; who did a referral to autism service and separate referral to child development;
          2) rejection from autism service due to a poor referral document;
          3) GP who would not support referral to autism service and said it was anxiety and made a referral to:
          4) CAMHS (mental health) one appointment with them and they made areferral to:
          5) autism service, who finally accepted referral, two appointments with autism service (one hour with daughter, two hours family history with parents) and we received the very obvious diagnosis.

          This took a year and was considered FAST

          and th

          • Liz
            Liz says:

            And the only reason we got this diagnosis so quickly, I believe, is that we put our entirely home educated daughter into school during the diagnosis procedure, and school provided an evidence document.

            She left the school after 12 weeks with hideous anxiety and poor attainment for her ability.

            The system is a horrible mess and girls are often not disruptive enough to get noticed and thus are less important in terms of allowing referrals to be made, the gate keeping is strong.

          • Liz
            Liz says:

            Oh! I forgot that CAMHS refused to take us first as we did not meet the threshold criteria for their service (and this threshold is practically suicidal behaviour).

            I had to argue the point and wait for them to have a round table to agree to take us!

          • Penelope Trunk
            Penelope Trunk says:

            I really really advocate paying cash to get an evaluation. It costs a lot — thousands of dollars. But you will be seen right away, and the person will write the report in a way that gets you TONS of free services from the school. The person will also write the report so it will last 18 years. You will need the report, for example, to get exceptions at summer camp, you’ll need it to get extra time on the SAT. The report is gold. And if you don’t pay a lot of money to see a doctor who writes this sort of report then you see someone who is getting paid by an insurance company and has to write it quickly.


  3. Reader
    Reader says:

    Listen I will stan you probably forever but please know that someone could be on the spectrum AND be trans. Both are valid identities and it isn’t an either/or. I know you’re laser focused on the mental health of women on the spectrum and that is very important, but please talk with trans people before saying stuff like that. It could actually be really damaging to trans folks to be told they aren’t trans – if we are being concerned about mental health. Let them be themselves. They can be trans and on the spectrum. Or just be on the spectrum. Or just be trans. Maybe there is a connection, and suggesting people get help and tested for anything that may be impacting them is good. But if you’re worried about preventing suicide, negating someone’s gender identity is not productive.

    • Daniel
      Daniel says:

      Reader, you make an important point about not minimizing people’s gender identification – but I don’t think that that is what Penelope was doing here. She was making the point that some symptoms of gender dysphoria and Aspergers can overlap, and that it is worth being tested to understand where you are.

      I 100% agree that being told you only have Aspergers when you know you are trans is destructive and dangerous, but surely it is similarly harmful if you are diagnosed as being just trans when in fact you have Aspergers? And if you are trans, and have Aspergers, surely it’s useful to have all the correct information to help you moving forward?

  4. Kyra
    Kyra says:

    Penelope, as always, a great article to start the dialogue and maybe some women will get tested and get answers.
    There are also a lot of women, like myself, leading in completely male-dominated fields who like the rush, the i dependence of being financially stable and…often… had to step up because their parents were poor and like in my case, the dad left. There are a plethora of other reasons women work, and some of us get fulfillment from it.

    • Penelope Trunk
      Penelope Trunk says:

      Everyone gets fulfillment from work. Work gives accolades and challenges, and money. But the issue is that in order to get a fulfilling job you need to be committed to that job. And you can’t be committed to a job if you have kids — I mean, someone has to be taking care of the kids. And in the US fulfilling jobs demand that you choose either kids or job. Women who balance kids and work get to a dead-end in their work [insert link here to every study in the world about women and work.]

      So the issue is that there are very few women who choose the job over kids. To your point, there are some women who work and have a husband at home with their kids, but most stay-at-home dads are on the spectrum, and people on the spectrum tend to marry people on the spectrum. And, as you mentioned, there are some women who are single parents so they have to work, but being a single parent and having a fulfilling job is absolutely impossible. Because fulfilling jobs require the kind of commitment that single parents cannot give to work. I write about this more here:


      Also, a tidbit for you: only 2% of college-educated women raise kids alone. And I’m pretty sure they all have Aspergers. But I don’t have research to back that up — only instinct.


      • Jennifer
        Jennifer says:

        You’re assuming that a fulfilling job means reaching the top spot, working 80 hours a week with lots of stress. Most people just want a healthy work-family balance. What if there was an Option 3?

        • MKB
          MKB says:

          80 hours a week is not a prerequisite for fulfilling and Penelope doesn’t say that it is. However, please tell me about a job that’s really fulfilling –in the sense that you’re using all of your skills and learning new skills–while working 9-5 and can work from home whenever you want without repercussions and/or take flex/comp time without repercussions. Because that’s what you mean when you say “work/life balance”–right?

          I’ve worked in “Corporate America” for 25 years and I have not found anything close to that. I haven’t worked 80 hours a week at any of my jobs, but that doesn’t mean they were low stress or flexible or fulfilling. If they were low stress, they were boring. If they were challenging, they were stressful. If I wanted to get promoted, I had to do extra. It’s just how Corporate America works.

          I really, really want to hear about your magic job.

  5. Carol of Kensington
    Carol of Kensington says:

    Happy New Year Penelope! I like that the year is called 20/20, same way to refer to great eyesight.

    I hate the word feminism and the concept. But I like some of the newest thinking and hope, for example, that advertising agencies stop being quite so sexist.

    Back in the day, an agency in London had a photograph taken of everyone naked, “very Calendar Girls” was the kind way to report it. In fact, it was just a way for the guys to get the cute girls to capitulate to their sexist ways. Would never happen today. That is something to celebrate.

    There is nothing wrong with women being great at math. Understanding numbers is satisfying and calming, I find.

    This year I’m encouraging everyone to tell “sweet little lies” to all market researchers. There’s no reason to give your opinion for free. Get people to pay decent money for those numbers!

    If it’s an option, I’d love to join your aspergers discussion group a bit later on in the year. I bet it’s a joy!

      • Yaw
        Yaw says:

        If that is what 3rd wave feminism is actually about (equality between men and women), then that would be great. Unfortunately it isn’t. Feminism is now about female supremacy. I don’t support supremacy of any group of people over another, so for that reason I’ll never call myself a feminist. Interesting that feminists claim to be interested in equality for both sexes, and yet, they fight tooth and nail to prevent the establishment of male domestic violence shelters. (There is ONLY one in the entire U.S, but about 40% of domestic violence victims are men). So much for equality.

          • Penelope Trunk
            Penelope Trunk says:

            It’s Penelope answering, even though you asked Yew. I think it’s pretty easy to find that statistic. There is an enormous range of statistics online about domestic violence. But from what I can tell, how we gather and label statistics about domestic violence is controversial, so the data is controversial. Here’s Wikipedia on that topic:

            I am not saying I have the right statistics. But I think we’ll need to develop much more specific language around domestic violence before there will widespread acceptance that men suffer at nearly the same rate women do.


    • Penelope Trunk
      Penelope Trunk says:

      This is a great question. You don’t need a label from a professional. Which is good, because right now mental health professionals have no idea how to diagnose women. So most women with Aspergers are ignored by mental health professionals or mislabeled as having bipolar disorder. And women are self-diagnosing.

      Girls are much less likely to self-diagnose. So I’m trying to encourage adults to stop overlooking the girls.


      • Nick
        Nick says:

        There are currently no standard diagnostic criteria for ASD in any adults, female, male, or non-binary.

        Functioning ASD people learn to mask or they get a diagnosis earlier in life. Successful masking makes it tough for doctors to reliably diagnose adults. ASD in adults can look like a number of other neurological disorders.

  6. Dana Martin
    Dana Martin says:

    I think this theory is brilliant and makes so much sense. I follow a few trans youtubers because I am very fascinated by the subject and how it must feel to be trans. I often wonder if science will find a definitive reason for why some people are born trans. In response to Reader’s comment above that this post will hurt trans people, I do not agree . I don’t think Penelope is saying that trans people having aspergers negates the transgender issue. Maybe Aspergers is the cause in some cases, but it doesn’t meant that the person is NOT trans. Here are some youtubers I watch: jammidodger NoahFinnce Sam Collins

  7. Autistic feminist lesbian
    Autistic feminist lesbian says:

    This article is horrible.
    You have a mistaken idea of feminism; a shallow, stereotyped understanding of autism; a sexist, misogynist and homophobic attitude in general.
    Sort yourself out!
    “Boy brains” my arse.
    Lots of autistic men are shit at maths.
    There’s plenty of non-autistic female maths geniuses (i studied maths at university and *met them*.)
    You may have good intentions, but you’re spreading extremely harmful and *false* ideas.
    FFS: seriously, i find it hard to believe this isnt a trolling post.

    • Penelope Trunk
      Penelope Trunk says:

      The research about the correlation between graduate studies in math and autism is from the Oxford University Autism Research Center. Actually, there are studies on this topic from universities all over the world. It’s not controversial to say there is a correlation. The burning question is what to do with that correlation.


      • Claire
        Claire says:

        My comment below is about your article (Penelope) not the Oxford one, in case of any confusion. There may well be a correlation between maths and being autistic but that is not the same as saying that all female maths geniuses must be autistic!

    • Claire
      Claire says:

      Yes, I was really disappointed reading this article – so wrong in so many places! And very worrying that this is being shared as serious thought. Please Penelope, do some more research into autism, and autism in women in particular, and what feminism actually is, before you post.

  8. M
    M says:

    great article. I was a math prodigy as a child. Wish I’d been diagnosed with Asperger’s as a child, in order to have had support for the challenges I faced with sensory issues, stress, college, the workplace, health, etc.

    • Penelope Trunk
      Penelope Trunk says:

      A comment like this is so, so helpful. Thank you M. You give parents the chance to see the possibility that their daughter who is a genius is working really hard to manage her surroundings so she can cope.

      It’s intoxicating to have a child prodigy. And finding out your child has Aspergers might feel like it will be the opposite of intoxicating for a parent. But as a woman with Aspergers and a woman who has a child prodigy I can tell you for sure that taking care of the child’s wellbeing is way longer lasting that enjoying the miracle of prodigy.


  9. Kate Kressmann-Kehoe
    Kate Kressmann-Kehoe says:

    “Feminism” just means that women should have rights and choices. Aren’t autistic women women too?
    And even if someone wants to stay home (as I wanted to and did), what about after kids grow up? Or women who want to be home when kids are little/when they get home, but for whom home schooling would not be a good fit? Or mothers who are single for one reason or another (divorce, never married, death or illness). Some serious discussions about the ways in which women and men are different, and about how society manages and rewards (or not) caregiving, and about how best to educate children all need to happen. But the issues involved are VERY complex.

  10. TashaMaria Tromer
    TashaMaria Tromer says:

    Penelope, this is very interesting. Very. You know how I much I respect and adore you and your work. You’re brilliant. An original thinker. An individual thinker. However I think here ‘feminism’ is used like a pardon the expression ‘straw man.’ One central thing feminism stands for, or seeks, is equal pay for equal work and what’s wrong with that? That’s not evil or radical. There’s nothing dysphoric about that. I think you’ve made it into a bugbear when really the rest of the post is addressing something, a mechanism, that may be very true in general but it’s not the opposition of feminism.
    I know you see having children as an imperative for ‘normal’ women. The feminism I knew coming up as a younger woman fought for women to not be forced to have or want children unless they wanted them and not everyone wanted them, myself included.
    Funny thing– I recently realized I very likely have gender dysphoria , As a child I didn’t really play with dolls, etc. My parents encouraged me to want to be an engineer like my father. I took mechanical drawing in highschool as the only girl Anyway, I realized I am not exactly a neurotypical woman– but connecting that with feminism? Nahhummmaybe.
    So, seems in your post today you are outlining a biological basis to the behaviors known as feminism, much the same way that one of the early Prozac advocates, psychiatrist Peter Kramer, in his book “LISTENING TO PROZAC” assigned a biological basis to politics when he said said Leftists and Progressives were really biologically depressed people. It sure takes the poetry out of my admiration for the Rosa Luxemburgs and Emma Goldmans of the world. Say it ain’t so!! Jane

  11. Amelia
    Amelia says:

    Stating the link between transgender brains and autistic brains is important. The suicide rate for both populations is really high. You’re right that almost no one is talking about this. We need to talk about this. It’s hard enough for neurodiverse people to find supportive communities. Individuals need to be able to understand themselves and find friends and community.

  12. Ellyn
    Ellyn says:

    I see where you’re going with this thinking, but I think it is an unfair assessment of feminism. I understand feminism in a broader, more theological context. Understanding feminism as simply the full humanity and mutuality of women takes all the bite out of the more limited versions that tend to be more PC. Why does feminism have to go in order for women to be healthy? Feminism, and womanism too, need to be reclaimed as a way of accepting ourselves and being our best version. We are not like men. We are strong in different ways and we can celebrate it all.

  13. Ellyn
    Ellyn says:

    Oh, one other thing… I was a single parent at 20 and graduated from college magna cum laude. I later married and had another child and finished graduate school. By the time I was 36, I was single again with a teenager and a child in elementary school. I’ve always worked in social work. I raised my children essentially completely by myself as a single parent. I didn’t realize I was in a 2%! But I definitely don’t have Aspergers! I did, however, struggle many years with panic attacks and anxiety.

  14. Greg
    Greg says:

    I think this post is about a strawman definition of feminism, and frankly I think you trade in strawmen and half-truths too often for my taste in general.

  15. Caitlin
    Caitlin says:

    This is really important to be talking about – Penelope it’s good to see you get behind a topic you really feel strongly about again.
    If people can bring themselves to get past some of the non-PC language here they’d see that what you’re saying is true. High functioning women with Aspergers are numerous in number and they are ignored. I think it’s our cultural promise that we’ve made to look the other way when someone ‘seems fine’. They have jobs – they look successful-ish. Our cultural yardstick for being ‘fine’ is mainly financial so it’s no surprise that no one is paying attention to women with Aspergers.

  16. Dave
    Dave says:

    My whole family is Asperger. My sister was very much a tomboy and became a feminist cat-lady, but I married an Asperger woman (“she looks like a boy” was one woman’s reaction to my first photo of her), and had four children. Who are all Asperger except one who’s autistic. My daughter used to insist that she was really a boy, then she wanted female friends, and I found her one. Then they drifted apart and now she doesn’t care about friends and focuses on cats, crafts, cooking, and teasing her brothers. She does well at math when she tries but has had zero interest in it since puberty.

    Asperger is something you just live with and find a social role that plays to your strengths. It’s not like you can change your genetics. Someone did a study of facial measurements of normal, Asperger, and autistic children. Their “typical autistic face” looks exactly like my autistic son and their “typical Asperger face” looks exactly like my Asperger son. I mean *exactly* the same, except for hair color.

    OK, maybe spergs shouldn’t breed, and many don’t because their social skills are so poor, but then normies would have to go back to pencil and paper when their computers mysteriously stop working.

    • Nick
      Nick says:

      Or, instead of not breeding, society can start accepting and appreciating neuroatypicals for the value they add to society. And maybe instead of an us vs. them mentality we can all realize that it’s just us and there is no them.

      • Ibti
        Ibti says:

        I just saw a facebook thread implode the other day when a mom seeking advice on a child’s behaviour, was told that “he might be autistic, both my son and I are and we both do the same thing”. All the shocky faces, thread closed, because the SELF-PROCLAIMING autistic person was being socially “tone-deaf” and blunt. That is what autistic people are like. Can the neuro-typical world just also adapt?

    • Dave
      Dave says:

      Society already accepts everyone whether they add value or not. That’s why the sidewalks outside your $2000/month studio apartment are littered with human feces and used needles.

      The mystery is, within a highly-social species like ours, how did spergs not go extinct long ago? I think it’s because spergs aren’t good at following social trends and don’t much care what others think of them. In a healthy society that’s a handicap, but when society degenerates into a herd of lemmings stampeding into the sea, spergs get left behind.

  17. GGin
    GGin says:

    The headline of this articular is provocative but correctly predicts that if the extreme male brain theory of autism proves correct, the autism community and the feminist community will likely come into conflict. Actually the mere fact that this line of reasoning is being pursued by autism researchers already puts them into conflict. Unfortunately it is right now one of the most coherent theories available around autism especially as experienced by women, and in particular is useful for us females on or near spectrum for processing our reality. The typical feminist doctrine that men and women do not have any neurological differences is directly in conflict with the thought around neuro diversity – although it is statistically true that the vast majority of the male/female population is not so different cognitively, creating a repressive doctrine throughout society to enforce this view damages those men/women who are cognitively extreme in a way likely influenced biologically by sex hormones- depriving us of a mechanism for talking about our differences.

    • Penelope Trunk
      Penelope Trunk says:

      You stated this so clearly! Thank you. To me, I think, this is such a huge deal that I hesitate to say it as clearly as you do. I can tell you’ve done a lot of thinking about this. Thank you so much for taking time to summarize the way you’re seeing the situation.


    • Jennifer
      Jennifer says:

      I believe this theory has been disproven:
      I haven’t researched it, but wouldn’t ‘extreme male brain’ make people more aggressive? That doesn’t seem to be the case with autism (excluding meltdowns.) Isn’t it more likely that the gender disparity is due to women’s symptoms presenting differently, leading to mistaken diagnoses, or none at all?

  18. Tara Dillard
    Tara Dillard says:

    Into the swirl you go, and appreciate your all-in attitude. Literally, life/death.

    How many more years before the ‘swirl’ is figured out ? Glad of myriad view points on your topic.

    Since elementary school, have asked questions that shut a room down. All view points stop, stare at me. Recently stopped a room during a county planning commission meeting. Didn’t mean to, never do, merely wanting an answer, from a view point I see, and figure others in the room do too. Wrong for decades !

    Have been told my brain works ‘differently’ by many across the decades.

    Figured out my brain recently. My dad was an Air Force test pilot, hi-altitude engine flame-outs were his specialty, when I was born. They’ve learned a lot since then. When male pilots want to get pregnant, they let them off work, otherwise, pilots have girls. Someone finally noticed. Me? I was supposed to be a boy.

    Certain situations, around people, I withhold saying anything, until I can reach out to whoever seems to have answers, to speak in small group or private.

    BTW, love math, tomboy, engineering degree, and horticulture.

    Keep throwing it out there, and thank you. Best in 2020 !

    Garden & Be Well, Tara

  19. KS
    KS says:

    I think this has interesting implications for people who care about promoting women in STEM careers. I am (or was before deciding to stay home with kids) an engineer and my husband is a physics professor so we talk a lot about this type of thing. Even as an engineer, I wouldn’t say I’m strong in math. I just persevered because I wanted the types of jobs that civil engineers could have (helping people get access to sanitation and clean water). My husband and I talk a lot about what hooks girls in science and math and it often is the more stereotypical things women care about. I think acknowledging research about women on the spectrum would help support students and also open up new conversations about how neurotypical women could contribute in STEM fields.

    • Penelope Trunk
      Penelope Trunk says:

      Oh. I’m so glad you brought up this topic! I have been thinking about this topic from a chemistry perspective. Today more women than men get PhD’s in chemistry. So I’m thinking that maybe chemistry is turning into a service industry type of thing because you’re a slave to the experiment. And the sciences where you don’t have an experiment in a lab will be more male.


      • Ibti
        Ibti says:

        Why are women getting chemistry degrees? To free the world from plastic, create new medicine for sick children, create cruelty-free makeup?

        • KS
          KS says:

          When I mentioned stereotypical reasons, I meant it more broadly: valuing collaboration and relational aspects in work and solving problems that impact people we love, as a couple of your examples were aimed at, or often times just from encouragement from mentors/teachers. Of course, each person has their own reason and story. I did notice as an engineering student that more women enjoyed chemistry over physics. I felt the math was less confusing in calculus based intro chem courses. In my physics classes, when the prof would ask a question, I would often guess the opposite of what my intuition said and that would be right. (I still use this technique if my husband asks a “what do you expect to happen” question about physics. I don’t know the research but that was my experience.

  20. Jenny
    Jenny says:

    Autism may be the final blow to much more than feminism. A husband with autism is shitty enough, add an autistic kid, yikes. Forget feminism, autism could be the final blow to women, maybe even the human race.

  21. Katherin Kirkpatrick
    Katherin Kirkpatrick says:

    Thank you for the article. I think your central idea is correct, but by way of constructive criticism I see that in critiquing gender harm you sometimes use provocative language (extreme male brains, and sex assigned female) that has no objective meaning and was invented by the very gender movement that you (rightly) criticize.

    Sex, of course, isn’t assigned. It’s observed. And it can be observed from the moment of conception if one is willing to look (for example, at miscarried embryos). In practicality, it’s sometimes not observed until birth, but increasingly it’s observed in utero. And regardless of the circumstances of observation, it exists from the moment of conception. There are only two human zygotes, eggs and sperm, and no human has ever been made from, or able to produce, a third. Yet the idea of sex being conferred upon a newborn by a sort of magical, stork-borne event or a Hogwart-style sorting hat has been so effectively drummed into our collective consciousness by those who peddle gender-for-profit, that even in fighting to regain our hold on reality we often unwittingly use the invisible-cloth peddlars’ own terms. This isn’t a dig at you; we all do it. Just a reminder of how we could do better.

    As for the vaunted brain-structure studies upon which the gender industry bases its extreme claims, my own impression from reading them is that brain mapping (e.g., voxel-based morphimetry) is a hand-wavy endeavor with lots of theory and lots of fudges. The data rarely support the conclusions asserted in the abstracts, and never support the conclusions drawn by the gender press.

    What impression the brain-map data do tend to support is that human brain structure is incredibly difficult to map, as structure varies a lot from individual to individual, and individual areas of interest (AOIs) have no firm borders. But I’d venture to say that it can cautiously be concluded that, where studies cover large populations (which most VBM studies don’t), there are indeed signs of SLIGHT statistical differences between the non-autistic population and autistic people (of both sexes). There’s also some hint that the female part of the autistic population differs more from its non-autistic sex-matched controls than the male autistic population over its sex-matched controls. But not in a way that would make it fair to call these girls’/women’s brains “extreme male”–which is an interpretation used by the gender press to bolster its claims of male brains in female bodies.

    (As horrifying as it may seem, the gender industry has fully embraced the discovery that it’s disproportionately targeting the neuroatypical, and tries to use this fact to claim that it’s an equity thing, and neuroatypical people “need” gender services more. Which is why, in my work for patient protections, I’m loathe to give ANY credence to this misreading of brain mapping data or the marketing copy devoted to promoting it.)

    What’s most eloquent in studying autism is clinical observation and lived experience. This data is more robust and speaks far more authoritatively than difficult-to-interpret brain-structure data. Neuroatypical people aren’t extremely male. They’re neuroatypical.

    I think what we CAN conclude, which gets back to your central and correct argument, is that being neuroatypical results in greater than normal alienation during developmental stages (including but not limited to the teens) when these kids’ peers are all about social interaction and fitting in, and that not fitting in hits girls harder for neurodevelopmental reasons that we don’t need VBM to explain because any conscientious parent can tell you what they see with their own eyes.

    And that DOES explain a lot about why these kids are disproportionately caught in the web of the gender industry.

    You’re absolutely correct that sex stereotypes are a big part of that not fitting in, and that these surgeries and interventions only reinforce those stereotypes instead of letting young autistic people be, and succeed as, themselves.

    Thanks again for the great article & discussion!

  22. Jennifer
    Jennifer says:

    Anecdotally, this article doesn’t reflect my experience. I was a phenomenal math student as a kid and an incredible baseball player. I was also a cheerleader and won 2 beauty pageants. I definitely do not have Aspergers. My friends at the top Ivy League school I attended also excelled at math and engineering. But they enjoyed manicures, pedicures and the color pink too. In my experience very few of the intelligent women I know who excelled in traditionally male academic disciplines showed any signs of social deficit. And we are all married with kids today. So I would like to know where the statistics are to support this post. It draws a lot of bizarre conclusions with no evidence.

  23. Windsor
    Windsor says:

    What I’m reading here is that you have no idea what feminism is. Feminism is the belief that men and women are equal-that’s it. Not that women have to act more like men. The third wave of feminism is celebrating women as women, however women are. Girly is equal, androgynous is equal, masculine women are equal. Learn a bit about your subject before writing a manifesto.

  24. koteczek
    koteczek says:

    I think feminism has in a sense created female aspies. If you think about it aspies have always existed we just didn’t have labels. Actually I don’t know if I am one but I say ‘we’ because I always pass online tests with flying colours. Before feminism we could stay at home and be with our families or pursue our interests. I suspect the traditional lifestyle suited female aspies much better. Now as a result of feminism we are expected to have careers and we are forced into the workplace and staying at home with our families where we would probably be a whole lot happier is just a no no. And yes we often do have interests but I suspect we have always found ways or pursuing those. Also the idea that aspies are all miserable and suicidal doesn’t follow. Miserable suicidal people go and get tested so they have an explanation for why they are so miserable. So that shapes the statistics. There might be loads of female aspies out there who are perfectly happy and just muddle along.

    • Seph
      Seph says:

      For many female autists work outside the house is far better sensory wise than constantly being around screaming children. Quiet adults are a blessing.

      Also I don’t know where you are getting this idea that women didn’t have to work before feminism. Women have always worked. I’m not sure how this idea of an upper-class Victorian housewife somehow took over people’s idea of history, but it’s an impressive propaganda victory.

  25. Seph
    Seph says:

    What a bizarre article. Making up a definition for feminism, putting it at odds with Aspergers (a diagnosis that hasn’t been used for years btw) and then declaring that feminism is thus disproved. I can’t believe I used to respect this site.

  26. Anita Lake
    Anita Lake says:

    “Work is set up for men and women with Aspergers.” What??! No! Have you worked recently, in a place with other people? It’s all soft skills and mentoring and leadership theories and all that wishy washy touchy feely crap that makes my skin crawl. And I’m in engineering ffs. Hard skills and real knowledge and any appreciation of the details are all a distant second place to people skills. And it’s been that way at least the last 35 year I’ve been in the work force. And the feminism of my childhood that told me that a girl could do anything she wanted to, that told us we could get out if the box that conventional tradition had put us in, now seems to have morphed into a twisted version that just makes more boxes. Individuals can all have different likes and skills, but those preferences put them all into different boxes. Like math as a girl? maybe you’re autistic. (liking math is probably the least autistic thing about me, frankly)) like short hair and hate makeup? maybe you’re trans, Not all that interested in sex? There’s a box for that too. It’s a world gone made on classification.

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