Okay, so it's a word that gets thrown around a lot.
I mean, sure. What exactly defines a Bully? A person who pushes through and gets what they want? No. That my friends, is not a bully. A bully, is a person who attempts to literally bully you down to their level. The modern rhetoric in modern discourse is that a Bully is a naysayer, a person who pulls you down in every possible way. A punisher. A person who gets a kick out of seeing others fail. In reality then, wouldn't that make us all bullies? I mean, let's be fair. The first initial reaction literally everyone has when someone falls on their ass is a brief moment in your mind which says "what an idiot!", and usually what would happen next? You either walk on because someone else is helping them back up, or you yourself, go over and help them because you're feeling guilty for laughing.
But yeah, sure. Whilst I got bullied heaps as a kid... And I used to say that was a valid excuse for being a bit of a weak person, that's not the case. I used that as an excuse for not getting stronger, so that my brain, which like all brains, is designed to not put us in a situation that's not at all risky, basically came up with.
"but my daughter or son who is on the spectrum is also getting bullied? How does that help?"
Well, autistics as a whole are a threat!
"what do you mean? Isn't that what we're trying to dispel with this whole neurodiversity thing?"
Not at all? In fact, what I mean by "all autistics are a threat" is quite literally, we are a threat to the hegemonic structure of human nature. In a way, we are going to be the greatest minds in our respective fields, dependent on how well our talents are nourished, and how our paradigms of communication are seen. In a way, we have no awareness of what others think of us, and that's the most valuable and important thing about us.
"but I want my child to socially conform!?"
No! Screw that! Why should your child be one of the 80% of people who Blindly follow and obey the crowd? Your Bill Gates' and Elon Musks probably got their heads kicked in, by both the economic, academic and social systems of the world. Bill gates, for example... He got told that "there was no use for his Windows operating system" at the time when he first designed it in 1982. And sure, it was a clunky, unorganised mess then. But Fast forward to that very famous campaign in 1995 when Windows goddamn 95 changed the way we think about computers. He was the original Steve Jobs. His alternate angle, lack of elitism, and the idea that computers were tools to be used not just by art students, bankers and media professionals, but they were machines for the masses, was entirely the point of Windows. Heck, it didn't even have a technical name. He called it Windows because it behaved like something we were familiar with, Windows on a house, panes into our tasks. This creative vision and insight was indeed a threat to the highly competitive computing market in 1995, and as a result, his business got swamped with lawsuits, criticism, and various other criticisms. He got literally, cyber bullied... For making Windows!
The truth here? If you are seen as a threat to someone else's success, you will be criticised.
Whether that comes in the form of economic discrimination, or in my case, physical goddamn beatings, these people will treat you poorly, because you, yes you, the autistic person reading this, are a mind that could potentially outperform them... If only, if only you knew a way to get all those ideas across, right?
This is why no business ever starts alone, Bill Gates had his offsiders, coders, designers, managers, marketers, tech support teams, to build Windows into the amazing product it is today. I too, when I ran my hobby business, was more of a marketer and technical adviser. So, I had a manager to manage staff, salespeople who I trained the technical side of things to help shift product. An accountant to help me manage finances. All these people helped me to run this business. I was merely it's captain, these people were my crew. A ship isn't going to move without a well paid crew.
So, sure. Bullying sucks. It really does. It's traumatic, it hurts, but Pain will dominate you if you let it win. I recently heard a song by Enter Shikari, called Airfield, which has this line.
"when the wind's against you, remember this insight: that's the optimal condition for Birds to take flight. Now the wind's against you... Don't give up the fight."
When I was being bullied, I never knew I would be able to look back at this moment and think "shit, I had actual haters back then because I thought different, not because I was bad at anything. I got my ass kicked because I was good at something!"
Pain to me, is now a reward for doing something good. If someone criticises me nowadays, for being innovative and fresh, that's a sign that I'm doing something right.
"so what should I do if my child is being bullied?"
Reassure them. Tell them this truth. They bully you because they are critics. Critics tell you that you're innovating. Critics tell you that you're stirring up controversy, you're breaking their norms. If they ask "but I just want to be normal!" then tell them, "what even is normal anyway?" and watch them get completely confused. Normal, is your own understanding that you, yes, you, have a brain, and the power to change your own world as you see fit.
Remember the five rules.
1: prioritise survival (stay healthy and alive)
2: respect yourself (don't let others walk over you, just focus on your best qualities and understand your barriers)
3: get shit done (be good and be good at it.)
4: be a mirror (be reciprocal in favours, emotions and feelings.)
5: do no harm. (even if it means being a dick.)
Now, go kick some ass.