We must move beyond calling the act of robbing a store or taking someone’s money “violent.” We must also use this term to refer to Penn’s role in the gentrification of West Philadelphia through the expansion of our university, which forces families out of their homes and perpetuates intergenerational poverty. Poverty combines with systematic racism, leading people to commit these crimes of survival.
But even without Photoshop, the same ideals continue to inform their image selection. America consistently sees beauty through a lens that has nothing to do with cameras — one that excludes people of varying classes, genders, sexualities and races. Models’ dropping BMIs are indications of a much larger societal desire to confine beauty. Photography and other forms of media cannot spontaneously create cultural views; they are shaped by context and represent the society that they are created in.
Autism Speaks has no interest in improving the lives of autistic people. It is dedicated entirely to improving the lives of those without autism, who, it holds, are unfairly burdened by having to deal with people whose sensory and social experiences differ dramatically from their own, to the point where cold-blooded murder is an understandable, sympathetic response. Autism Speaks seeks not to change the future for autistic people, but to end it.