I am a woman. A woman who has Asperger’s. There, I said it.
As I racked my noggin for inspiration for today’s post (I’m trying to write every day, a lofty goal for me), I went to the trending section of Twitter to try to find a topic. I was immediately lured to recaps of an article dealing with daughters and political figures (full disclosure: I am completely unqualified to talk about politics and will not be doing so on this blog). However despite my reluctance to talk about politics, I was drawn to the idea of daughters, and wanted to use this as a springboard to talk about a book I really like and want to recommend (not every Twitter topic does this for me).
The book in question is titled “Aspergirls: Empowering Females With Asperger Syndrome” by Rudy Simone (fun fact: the motto of my high school was “Empowering Young Women” it’s fate!). This book is particularly meaningful to me because, to state the obvious and refer you to my previous statement, I am a female with Asperger’s Syndrome. But besides the obvious, when I first started reading this book, it made me realize something kind of sad: whenever the media focuses on AS, the primary focus is on boys/men with the syndrome. In fact when you see a character on the big or small screen with AS, nine times out of ten they’re a guy. Off the top of my head, I can only think of two major female characters who one could say definitively or most likely have AS (others are open to interpretation): Lisbeth Salander and Saga Noren/Sonya Cross from TV’s The Bridge (both the Swedish and American versions).
Now, the reason for this is simple and not malicious at all: AS is easier to spot in boys. Boys generally behave a specific way or are expected to do so (wild, rambunctious, large group of friends). So when a young boy/man is more quiet and introverted and displays peculiar mannerisms and interests, people are quicker to notice it. Girls on the other hand are expected to be shy, sweet, and demure, which makes spotting AS harder.
Where I’m going with all this is that in “Aspergirls,” Simone shines some light on the status of being a female with AS. She covers a variety of topics such as socializing, college, relationships and career, all while touching on how these fields specifically affect female Aspies. Plus, at the end of each chapter she also includes a blurb of advice for the parents of Aspergirls, making this book a must read both for those with and without AS.
All in all, I’d recommend “Aspergirls” for females with AS, males with AS, people without AS, people who are interested in feminism, people who are interested in AS, and people who are interested in feminism in AS (basically everyone).