Shocking behavior of the head of GRASP -- Kate Palmer

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thegivenaspie
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03 Feb 2016, 8:28 pm

I’m shocked at what GRASP has become, specifically with the leadership of Kate Palmer.



Until Kate took over, the group had been all-inclusive, inviting all sorts of different aspies to meet and be able to find people who have gone through similar life experiences. I always looked forward to going to the monthly Wednesday meeting and meeting fellow aspies.



When Kate took over, the group began to change dramatically. Initially, all male members were replaced with female aspies. Although I was disquieted by this, I didn’t take it seriously as I should as they were claiming to raise awareness of aspergers among females.



Now, I assumed they meant being undiagnosed or not having a good enough diagnostic criteria. Which I believed to be a matter of science and that Aspergers (now autism spectrum disorder) was relatively new.



The more that I studied her vocabulary, the more it sounded like that it was a conspiracy among the so-called “patriarchy” rather than mere ignorance. I did notice that along with her vocabulary and preference for female aspies, her preference to be among only aspies she was comfortable with, specifically those from her upstate NY area.



In addition, while the previous leader was always open to online messaging, Kate would never text back whatsoever. I understand if she may be very busy, but it would at least be good courtesy to setup time to get back, rather than complete ignoring. Even the previous leader had the courtesy to respond to every message, and I’m sure he was just as busy as Kate is.



My suspicions seemed to be even more confirmed when suddenly, individual members were being kicked out or suspended for what seemed like outlandish reasons. And of course, all of these were men. One was removed for supposed “violence against women”. Another was removed for supposedly threatening rape to other female members. Not only were men being removed, but for specific “violence against women” reasons. An incredible thing when we consider that these are aspies who never harbored any such reasons whatsoever.



All these incidents had a tremendously depressing effect on GRASP. People (both men and women) were leaving in droves, with the few left too cowed to speak honestly about their issues, lest Kate use it against them in some way.



After all these incidents, I had stopped going. I was completely disenchanted that GRASP was transforming from an open inclusive community to a mere clique of Kate’s preference. Through the grapevine, I’ve heard that she has closed down the male group as a final insult. I wouldn’t care anymore, except that on GRASP’s webpage and various social media, they still promote themselves as one of the leading autistic advocacy groups. Apparently, no one is aware that this group is less about equal advocacy and more about being Kate’s private clique.



I am also concerned that the poisonous environment she created among members would be spread to other groups or help centers and those other leaders who follow her will take her lead and create poisonous environments as well.



But there is hope. You have the power to fight back. A similar type of incident occurred about a year ago. Another activist called Anita Sarkeesian attempted to police what would be acceptable to make in video games. She was backed up by various media parroting her line of misogyny in video games, misogyny that could be found in games like Super Mario Brothers!

Luckily, fellow gamers wouldn’t take it lying down. They started creating anonymous profiles on social media and began attacking the misinformed arguments. They also began to pressure media organizations to drop journalists who were attacking them, along with targeting advertisers who were paying those same organizations that supported those journalists. Soon, many of these media organizations were losing money and/or prestige. They gradually began to back off their unfounded arguments. This successful resistance has been dubbed Gamergate.



I believe this same methodology can be applied to GRASP. I know that I’m not the only one who has been disgusted with Kate’s behavior. I earnestly ask anyone who is with disgusted with GRASP to use this way of resistance to strike back.





Create anonymous profiles on Twitter, Facebook, etc. Scrutinize every announcement by GRASP and pounce on any wild accusations made by Kate or the organization. Do as much research as much as possible into Kate’s background. Find out what groups or people to donate to GRASP and reach out to them. Inform them of Kate’s activities. Make sure to provide supporting evidence. Get in contact with fellow aspies to have them back you up. Create hashtags to monitor all pronouncements and form connections with fellow anonymous aspies. For my suggestion, I will put out the following hashtag: #TheRealGRASP



If you want the corruption and hypocrisy of GRASP to stop, I urge everyone to jump on this bandwagon. Do not be intimidated by accusations of misogyny by Kate and her allies. This is merely an attempt to shift away their appalling behavior. This is not a male/female issue. This is an issue of being a real support network, not a designated clique of a power mad individual who has no qualms of attacking people when they need support instead.



Above all, we must spread this to as many people as possible. We cannot allow this type of behavior to continue, especially in an aspie group.



btbnnyr
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03 Feb 2016, 9:45 pm

I enjoyed the monthly GRASP meetings too.
They were calm and relaxed, and the members gave each other good advice.
Some people were funny or had done some awesome things like build their own telescope.
This was back in the time of the previous leader, who I met, and I think he is nice and capable.
What happens at the current meetings?


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Ettina
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04 Feb 2016, 12:20 pm

thegivenaspie wrote:
But there is hope. You have the power to fight back. A similar type of incident occurred about a year ago. Another activist called Anita Sarkeesian attempted to police what would be acceptable to make in video games. She was backed up by various media parroting her line of misogyny in video games, misogyny that could be found in games like Super Mario Brothers!

Luckily, fellow gamers wouldn’t take it lying down. They started creating anonymous profiles on social media and began attacking the misinformed arguments. They also began to pressure media organizations to drop journalists who were attacking them, along with targeting advertisers who were paying those same organizations that supported those journalists. Soon, many of these media organizations were losing money and/or prestige. They gradually began to back off their unfounded arguments. This successful resistance has been dubbed Gamergate.


Seriously? You support Gamergate? You just lost all credibility with me right there.

As a female gamer, I can see that Anita Sarkeesian was right, and even if she wasn't, those guys went way overboard, sending death threats and rape threats at her. No matter what the circumstances, uttering threats like that is not acceptable behaviour. And they did it over video games!

I don't know anything about the GRASP situation, but if you think Gamergate is a positive example of advocacy, I'm inclined to have more sympathy for Kate Palmer's side.



Densaugeo
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04 Feb 2016, 5:51 pm

thegivenaspie wrote:
But there is hope. You have the power to fight back. A similar type of incident occurred about a year ago. Another activist called Anita Sarkeesian attempted to police...


What...? A random blogger on the internet disagreeing with you is 'policing'? You need to get that persecution complex checked out.



Adamantium
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05 Feb 2016, 8:53 am

Ettina wrote:
thegivenaspie wrote:
But there is hope. You have the power to fight back. A similar type of incident occurred about a year ago. Another activist called Anita Sarkeesian attempted to police what would be acceptable to make in video games. She was backed up by various media parroting her line of misogyny in video games, misogyny that could be found in games like Super Mario Brothers!

Luckily, fellow gamers wouldn’t take it lying down. They started creating anonymous profiles on social media and began attacking the misinformed arguments. They also began to pressure media organizations to drop journalists who were attacking them, along with targeting advertisers who were paying those same organizations that supported those journalists. Soon, many of these media organizations were losing money and/or prestige. They gradually began to back off their unfounded arguments. This successful resistance has been dubbed Gamergate.


Seriously? You support Gamergate? You just lost all credibility with me right there.

As a female gamer, I can see that Anita Sarkeesian was right, and even if she wasn't, those guys went way overboard, sending death threats and rape threats at her. No matter what the circumstances, uttering threats like that is not acceptable behaviour. And they did it over video games!

I don't know anything about the GRASP situation, but if you think Gamergate is a positive example of advocacy, I'm inclined to have more sympathy for Kate Palmer's side.


I had a similar thought.

If you think Gamergate is a model to follow, this tends to make me think that Kate's concerns were well founded.


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