Of course disabled people can do whatever they want to. Rah,rah disabled rights. Okay, done?
Seriously though, writing is supposed to be based in truth, right? Even the most preposterous fantastic premise must be based on the human experience, it must have internal cohesion or it becomes pointless.
So you write from what you know. It is reckless and potentially insulting to write about places and especially cultures that you do not understand deeply. Cultural appropriation, racial stereotyping and broad inaccuracies are all very important things to avoid in your writing.
So observer only, separate, intellectual appraisal is not a sufficient basis for claiming the right to write about people who are different to you. What can be more fundamentally different than a person with a differently operating brain?
I am on dangerous ground here I know. I apologise, I am a white woman, a thousand years of abuse, oppression and torture means that a privileged white, middle class (I was born middle class, social security parasite is not actually morally better) person like myself has no idea what life is like for other races, cultures etc. But please, please, I am genuinely confused and I have a neurological problem. I am not trying to make a back handed political point, I am genuinely concerned with the ethics.
Because if one accepts that one can not write about something real that one has not experienced then the possibilities shrink incredibly for the autistic writer, let alone the anxious, agoraphobic, autistic writer.
Forgive the crass over simplification but if a writer can not adequately understand the life of a minority, culture, trials and tribulations etc (which I do agree is valid) then how can anybody with a differently operating brain, the brain being the organ we use to understand things, write about anyone? How can a person who never goes anywhere write about anywhere other than her immediate environment?
I have no idea how neurotypicals think, although I have read a lot. I have lived in the Perth suburbs, country Viictoria and I may have been to a few other places in Victoria and Western Australia, mostly not for long, mostly my memory is hazy. Have I mentioned that even if I can describe a place it will be through the senses of an autistic person with different sensory issues than anyone else.
So lets work this out practically. I can only write about places I know really well, ie my house, and then only with a caveat that it is how I see it. I can’t write about autistic people because everyone with autism is different. I can’t write about normal people because I don’t understand them on a deep level and thus will stereotype them. I would like to mention here that many neurotypicals I have spoken to resent the label neurotypical as it groups them together and say things like no one is neurotypical. There is just no reasoning with people. A simple medical/scientific designation, normal brain, is immediately engulfed in layers of PC, individualistic…
Definitely, I will definitely never understand other people in a way that someone won’t find offensive. AND I refuse to take advantage of the minority rule; NTs are the majority therefore they can be freely ridiculed by a member of a minority. It is not fair!
So I can only write about fictious people and places, not culturally appropriating the myths and legends of other peoples. Ah non descript probably Britishish heritage but I’ve never been there, which basiclessly leaves me with no discernible state or culture I have a legitimate claim on. So that cuts out the paranormal except for ghosts that I have personally seen, and fantasy except for tree people and small winged people that I can not name fairies, & spirit wolves maybe. Science fiction, I can only write about aliens no one else has created except grey men which I have seen, should it be who, I apologise to aliens reading this rubbish.
I can not write from the perspective of animals in case the animal rights people get weird (well weirder) and now I have a headache and I’m going to have to either break all these rules randomly or never write again.
If you are looking for a conclusion: have you read my stuff, I’m not that smart!