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[personal profile] terthna
I am autistic, and I am sick and tired of would-be crusaders trying to be my white knight and erase everything that reminds people that the mentally-disabled exist.

To be perfectly honest, I had absolutely no idea that people like this existed until the whole "Derpy Hooves" drama started. For those who are unaware, Derpy Hooves is a background character in the cartoon "My Little Pony: Frendship is Magic", a show I love by the way. Recently, Derpy had a speaking voice and was referred to by name in a particularly funny scene. This scene showed a character that was reminiscent of those in older cartoons, like Ed in "Ed, Edd, and Eddy". A character that, while accident-prone, was lovably stupid.

Now, I want to stress that I had absolutely no problem with this character as she was portrayed, but unfortunately a select few felt differently and decided that people like me were unable to form a correct opinion, and decided to make one for me. They decided to make a scene and complain that Derpy Hooves was an insult to the mentally-handicapped, and that her name "Derpy" was a euphemism for the word "retarded". Now, anyone who has spent any amount of time on the internet knows that that is not what the word means, it means someone who is being endearingly stupid.

Unfortunately, Hasbro was too intimidated by a few dozen complaint letters and emails and decided to censor their own show, causing a rift in the fanbase in the process. Recently, the screenwriter for the episode sent out an email about her viewpoint on this whole debacle: <http://www.equestriadaily.com/2012/02/amy-keating-rogers-response-to-derpy.html>. Basically, she said that she received a few complaints and was aghast that what she wrote could be viewed as offensive, and that the ultimate decision to censor the episode was all Hasbro's fault.

At this point, I don't think anything can be done to undo Hasbro's decision to conduct censorship at the behest of the anit-abelism movement. The deed is done, and they already look like they're agreeing that Derpy's portrayal is offensive. Still, I want to stress that as an autistic I never felt offended, and neither was anyone I know with similar disabilities. The only people who were offended were people who've made it their crusade to remove any reference to disabled people in media. In the end, all they managed to accomplish is to damage a perfectly good show, removing any possibility that Derpy Hooves would appear in a future episode where a lesson could be taught that the mentally disabled are people, not things to be regarded at an emotional and physical distance.

In addition, they managed to create out of nothing a new definition for a word that gives those who wish a new way to insult people like me. So from now on, whenever someone uses the term "derp", I'll have to wonder if they mean it as a term of endearment, or an insult, because both are now valid interpretations of the word. Thanks for that.

In the end what really makes me mad is that, apparently, the disabled are not allowed to make people laugh; they can only cry, in a corner where no one can see them and be reminded that not everyone can be "normal", except in a Lifetime movie where we're always seen as charity cases, something to be used to make people feel better about themselves.

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Terthna

March 2012

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