This probably won't make any sense without some background information, so. Here it goes: I'm currently on a gap year while contemplating some grad school choices, and unfortunately my senior thesis paper is a bit off topic from the type of grad school thesis I'm currently considering, so I'm thinking about writing yet another scholarly paper and submitting that instead. My current idea boils down to "my autism headcanon thread post except it's a 10+ page paper", which, suffice to say, I'm perfectly happy to dig up scholarly sources for! The not-so-unexpected complication of that is that the prerequistite research requires a lot of reading through books about portrayals of autistic people in literature, which, so far, involved a lot of segways into "look at how the neurotypicals dehumanize us!" or "look at who's constructing the popular narrative about autistic people! (hint: it's not the autistic people themselves)", which are valid and important points, but which are also... profoundly depressing. And I'm not even selecting for sources that are unsypathetic to autistic people - I've been sampling books by autistic people, cousins or allies whenever possible! It's so profoundly depressing that I feel that it's hampering my progress on this thing I really want to work on, because my brain is blue-screening at the state of (the lack of) autism acceptance too much to do more productive reading or writing. I do also realize that many of my emotional reactions are not responding to what the author is acutally saying; for example, I'd read something along the lines of "(presumably neurotypical) critics identify [character x] as autistic because of their stereotypical ideas about autistic people which are blatantly untrue" and think "okay, so am I (an autistic person) contributing to our own dehumanization by headcannoning someone as autistic presumably based on criteria similar to the thing you're calling out???", which doesn't help. The questions here: - Should I continue to do this thing? - If so, how can I do it without compromising my sanity?