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Brain genius Stefan Molyneux wants you to know that the only real racism is racism against people who can’t help being so smart

Serious intellectual Stefan Molyneux DESTROYING you with LOGIC and REASON

By David Futrelle

Stephan Molyneux, the gabby YouTube “philosopher” whose racism is as overinflated as his ego, has been spouting nonsense about race and IQ for a long time. But over the last month or so he’s become so utterly obsessed with the subject he can barely go a day without posting some absurd new pronouncement on Twitter.

Molyneux is convinced that IQ differences between races are rooted in genetics and are more or less immutable. And that the refusal to acknowledge this truth — which is not in fact true, as I’ll get to in a minute — is causing incalculable damage to all of us, high IQ whities and low IQ non-whities alike, although Molyneux is most exercised about what he sees as the terrible bigotry faced by high IQ people (like, presumably, himself) for being the genetically superior people they can’t help but be.

Oh, and did I mention that he thinks “high IQ populations” — ie, white people in Western nations — are in danger of being swamped by brown and black dummies coming over the borders, or just staying home and causing troubles in their own low IQ countries? Because he thinks that, too.

But let’s start with his most basic assertion:

https://twitter.com/StefanMolyneux/status/1071116953538809856

Molyneux speaks with the confidence of a true expert, but he is not an expert on the subject, nor are his pronouncements true. Most of the actual scientists who study these issues think that views like the ones he holds are dangerous nonsense.

As noted by three psychologists who recently offered a detailed rebuttal to contemporary “scientific racism” in Vox,

the racial groups used in the US — white, black, Hispanic, Asian — are such a poor proxy for underlying genetic ancestry that no self-respecting statistical geneticist would undertake a study based only on self-identified racial category as a proxy for genetic ancestry measured from DNA. …

There is currently no reason at all to think that any significant portion of the IQ differences among socially defined racial groups is genetic in origin. …

Asserting that the relatively poorer intellectual performance of racial groups is based on their genes is mistaken theoretically and unfounded empirically; and given the consequences of promulgating the policies that follow from such assertions, it is egregiously wrong morally.

Moreover, the three scientists note, numerous studies have shown that IQ is not fixed. Overall intelligence in the United States, at least insofar as it can be measured on IQ tests, increased by 18 points from 1948-2002. (There is some concern that this increase, seen broadly around the world, may have begun to decline or reverse in recent years.) The gap between average white and black IQ in the US has narrowed dramatically. And programs like Head Start have helped to dramatically raise the reading levels and later educational success of poor children.

Molyneux handwaves away such objections. Like most modern “scientific racists” he’s not only convinced he’s not actually racist; he insists that he’s somehow fighting against racism. As he sees it, it’s those who don’t want to talk about race and IQ as if they’ve just walked out of a Klan meeting who are the real racists.

https://twitter.com/StefanMolyneux/status/1072879353438994432

https://twitter.com/StefanMolyneux/status/1081365013921583105

On more than one occasion, he’s self-righteously declared that he spreads what he sees as The Truth about race and IQ in order to … protect his daughter from accusations of racism?

https://twitter.com/StefanMolyneux/status/1076650065911902209

Piggybacking on the Trump administration’s demonization of Mexican and Muslim migrants, as well as on the alt-right’s racist hysteria about the alleged danger of “white genocide,” Molyneux claims that “high IQ” countries like the US and Canada and other mostly white countries in Europe are in danger of being overwhelmed by “low IQ” immigrants with darker skin.

https://twitter.com/StefanMolyneux/status/1071128003130744832

He also claims that the US is in danger of being undermined from within by our own brown-skinned “low IQ” citizens — some of whom even voted for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in the last elections!

https://twitter.com/StefanMolyneux/status/1071137393711804416

Even letting in relatively high-IQ people from low-IQ countries can come back to bite countries like the US, in Molyneux’s view.

https://twitter.com/StefanMolyneux/status/1055642346283401216

Molyneux has managed to convince himself that this racist garbage isn’t actually racist; he’s just using REASON and LOGIC to defeat the COMMUNIST MENACE.

https://twitter.com/StefanMolyneux/status/1079874553906524160

Ironically, while Molyneux thinks it’s terrible for “low-IQ populations” to come to “high-IQ countries,” he also thinks it’s pretty bad for them to remain in their own, because, he contends,”low IQ populations” can’t sustain democracy.

https://twitter.com/StefanMolyneux/status/1053324093808771072

Indeed, at one point he declared that hundreds of thousands of lives could have been saved in Iraq if those in the US who got us into the Iraq war had been willing to recognize that Iraq was full of stupid people.

https://twitter.com/StefanMolyneux/status/1082489068741513217

For what it’s worth, he also thinks that the housing crash was caused by a refusal to acknowledge that black and brown people are dumber than white people.

https://twitter.com/StefanMolyneux/status/1078868440826314752

He’s also convinced, weirdly, that “fiat currency” is going to somehow make us dumber — never mind that IQ in the US is up considerably since Nixon’s decision to take us off the gold standard in 1971. You’ll have to ask him to explain this one.

https://twitter.com/StefanMolyneux/status/1075992766436364288

Molyneux still claims, incredibly, that he’s not a white supremacist — noting that he acknowledges that the IQ scores of Jews and East Asians tend to be higher than (non-Jewish) white people. (Though the claims about Jewish IQ are now looking somewhat shaky.) But he certainly walks and quacks like a white supremacist.

https://twitter.com/StefanMolyneux/status/1082457646647500800

And he’s happy to repeat outrageously racist far-right conspiracy theories — like the idea that some nefarious group is pushing “propaganda” encouraging white women to hook up with black men.

https://twitter.com/StefanMolyneux/status/1077314912102297600

He similarly regurgitates the neo-Nazi talking point that blacks in South Africa are committing “white genocide” against white farmers; indeed, he’s obsessed with this imaginary crisis.

https://twitter.com/StefanMolyneux/status/1079121379994218496

https://twitter.com/StefanMolyneux/status/1077998063921184768

While Molyneux thinks that acknowledging the very real violence that racism inflicts, both figuratively and literally, upon people of color is itself racist, and just serves to make people of color get mad about problems that are really the result (and not the cause) of their lower average IQ scores, Molyneux does agree that one form of prejudice is very real and very damaging.

And that is the terrible prejudice against smarties.

https://twitter.com/StefanMolyneux/status/1082349279065235456

https://twitter.com/StefanMolyneux/status/1078914353657565185

Let’s pour one out for our high-IQ homies!

For more on the issue of race and IQ — and more specific rebuttals of the claims made by Molyneux and other “scientific racists” — see the Vox article I quoted from above, as well as this piece in the Guardian, which puts the recent revival of “race science” in broader perspective (and also handily rebuts Molyneux assertions about Jewish IQ). For an even more detailed history, see this long piece in the International Socialist Review.

And if you’re interested in some of the issues with IQ tests themselves, the eccentric statistician and randomness guru Nassim Nicholas Taleb was annoyed enough by some of Molyneux’s recent tweets on the subject that he wrote up a brief polemic on the subject. Here’s a less-technical look at some recent research suggesting that IQ tests are “fundamentally flawed” as a measure of actual intelligence.

UPDATE: I made a few small changes and removed a few tweets that were largely redundant.

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Dormousing_it
Dormousing_it
3 years ago

I tend to think what’s really being measured in IQ tests, is academic aptitude, more than anything else. I’m only a layperson; I could be wrong. I remember being given an IQ test when I was 9 or 10 years old. I scored high enough to be placed in the gifted program.

Both of my parents were college graduates, and my father had a master’s degree. He loved to read, mostly about medieval European history. There were piles of books in our house. My sister and I were encouraged to read, and not only from children’s books. I soon discovered that if my nose was in a book, the adults left me alone. This was a good thing.? Incidentally, I read some of my parent’s books that contained material I wasn’t psychologically prepared for.

I think I definitely had an advantage over someone who grew up in a household where the only reading material was supermarket tabloids and People magazine.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
3 years ago

@ dormousing_it

I tend to think what’s really being measured in IQ tests, is academic aptitude

I think what’s being tested is how good you are at those puzzle magazines you get on holiday, and your boredom threshold.

Dormousing_it
Dormousing_it
3 years ago

@Alan Robertshaw:

Heh. You may be right.

I also remember a child psychologist coming to my house and asking me all sorts of boring, tedious questions. I was probably 5 years old at the time. The reason for the doctor’s visit, was to ascertain if I was mentally and psychologically prepared to enter kindergarten. You see, where I lived, my birthday fell very close to the cutoff date for children to begin school.

Anyway, I was judged not ready. I remember thinking, “Why is this lady asking me all these questions?” and being impatient with her.

Valentin - Emigrantski Ragamuffin
Valentin - Emigrantski Ragamuffin
3 years ago

I wish I was in the gifted or talented children program. My mum didn’t like it – she said it was discriminatory. She said that many of my friends were gifted or talented and didn’t get into an extra program. She used to say “the children who don’t get this – are they not gifted? are they not talented?” My closest friend was always thought to be stupid – he is now a successful sports teacher and apart from me, he is the only member of my close friends to own an apartment. I own my apartment because I work abroad and my job pays well.

At school most of my teachers assumed I was stupid because of I didn’t learn how (or at least show that I know how) to read until I was 12. They took me for special classes where they made me read books for much younger (very young) children – the kind with one sentance and one picture on each page. Then later when I was 15 or 16 the teachers started to put pressure on my parents to get me tested because of my spelling and grammar were not at the level for my age. But of course such a test would cost my parents money, and my mum was not concerned about me.

Until recently, I had some resentment for my mum, I thought she was ignoring me. But I discussed with some friends and they pointed out that it seems more that because I wasn’t developing in a way similar to other children, that they decided that there was something wrong with me and therefore treated me like I’m stupid. I spent most of my life feeling like I was stupid and behind my friends because of this. But it makes sense for example, that it seems like I couldn’t read when they were giving me books which were embarrassing and insulting to me because they were much lower level – maybe it was that I wasn’t interested. Because when I was 12 my friend gave me a gift of a book and this one was interesting to me – and I read it.

I still read slowly, more than my friends and family – but I can do it, and I just select what books I want to read carefully so that I know I don’t waste the long time it will take me to read it. And a few spelling mistakes, yes okay, maybe people will mock me, but they know what I mean. And at the end I got the points I need to train in the academy to get my job. So the only thing I got from school was not support, but a complex about my intelligence ?and the lesson that I should listen to my mum when she tells me that different doesn’t necessarily mean I was stupid or slow.

saltylurker
saltylurker
3 years ago

“Gifted” is a bad name for ir, for sure. I definitely get why people think it’s discriminatory, but I think the best way to think of why those programs exist is that they provide extra stimulation for children who are so bored in the class their age has them in that it is actively disadvantageous to their development. Gifted education has a lot more to do with special education than “honor classes” in some ways.

It’s expected that some kids with high grades or exceptional talents in writing/music/etc don’t “make” it in, in fact, because a lot of gifted children are bored to the point that they have difficulty finding motivation to pull anything useful off. (And yes, some of those kids are missed by insufficient screening)

There’s also a modern concept of “twice exceptional” children who are both gifted and have some sort of learning disability. The idea being that instead of boxing in gifted kids with disabilities like ADHD or dyslexia into either the gifted box or the special education box depending on how they act (and ignoring the possibility they could need the services of the other box), they’re screened for both and given whatever mix of educational services they need.

Gaebolga
Gaebolga
3 years ago

Catalpa wrote:

It did strike me that this relentless propaganda for “white women with black men“ would serve to lower the average IQ of the offspring.

You don’t see nearly as much “white women with East Asian men,” whose offspring would tend to have higher IQs on average.

This doesn’t make any sense even if you assume that racial IQ bullshit has any merit at all.

I had the exact same response the moment I read that. If dude can’t even spot a logical flaw that glaring, he just ain’t that smart.

…duh, of course, given the rest of his drivel, but still a bit ironic.

Mels wrote:

I think IQ can be sufficiently debunked by pointing out that Scott Adams is a MENSA member.

MrsObedMarsh wrote

I wanted to try to join Mensa as a child because I liked the idea of being in a smart-people club. Dad shot down that idea, saying that people who pride themselves on their high IQs usually aren’t very smart.

Thanks, Dad!

My dad actually encouraged me to join Mensa when I moved away for college, as a means of meeting people (I’ve always had issues socializing and making friends, which made a lot more sense when I found out I was on the spectrum), so I dutifully sent in my application. I didn’t hear back, and ended up finding a compatible social group in college pretty quickly, so I forgot about it entirely…until eight years later I got a letter from the local Mensa chapter apologizing for misplaced my application and letting me know that I had been accepted for membership.

The short, two-paragraph letter had 5 grammatical errors and 3 misspelled words.

I definitely dodged a bullet there. Incompetence for the win?

Sinha
Sinha
3 years ago

Basically a racist redneck trying so hard to be intellectual.

Moggie
Moggie
3 years ago

I’m always a bit surprised by people who remain smug about IQ after university. It’s easy to have a sense of intellectual superiority when you’re a teenager, but university tends to cure that. Clearly this doesn’t work for everyone!

I’m old enough to have experienced the British bipartite school system (though things changed during my time at school). I passed the “11-plus”, which was essentially an IQ test, so I got to go to grammar school, while my siblings went to the local secondary modern school. It was a horrible system, which sorted kids at age 11 into those likely to be university material, and those fit only for more basic education to equip them for intellectually undemanding jobs. All based on your ability in a one-off test to answer questions like “which of the following shapes is the odd one out”. This has left me with a lasting distaste for IQ testing.

Took my daughter to see my old graduate school desk in the University of Toronto Library, couldn’t help but notice the almost complete absence of white males in the entire building.

Next time we build a civilization, we should really aim to hang onto it.

Was this some sort of “take your daughter to white male supremacy day”? I hope that his daughter picked up on the fact that, as a feeemale, she would not be entirely welcome in that library under his version of civilization.

Ed
Ed
3 years ago

Molyneux masturbates to the White Man’s Burden every night.

saltylurker
saltylurker
3 years ago

@Valentin I forgot to add that nobody should be made to feel inferior for not being in a gifted program or honor classes, either.

The fact that you actively push yourself to read despite it being difficult for you means you stand out.

In contrast, I know somebody who was in a gifted class who went to go on a school trip and subsequently spent all her money food on a T-shirt store at a mall on the way there.

One more thing – being “intellectually gifted” actually seems to make people MORE vulnerable to certain kinds of logical mistakes and biases. More evidence it’s yet another kind of brain difference that doesn’t determine what kind of person you’ll be. I wish schools and teachers that make kids feel crappy and lesser understood that.

Diego Duarte
Diego Duarte
3 years ago

Sort of unrelated but this “High IQ Genius” just got caught pretending to be a woman who likes his content on his channel:

https://imgur.com/a/Ej2iTJx

Dalillama
Dalillama
3 years ago

@saltylurker

“Gifted” is a bad name for ir, for sure. I definitely get why people think it’s discriminatory, but I think the best way to think of why those programs exist is that they provide extra stimulation for children who are so bored in the class their age has them in that it is actively disadvantageous to their development. Gifted education has a lot more to do with special education than “honor classes” in some ways.

Can’t honestly say I was any less bored in the ‘gifted’ program than before. I eventually got my parents to take me out of it again.

moregeekthan
moregeekthan
3 years ago

Riffing off what Megpie and others have said, it is my understanding that IQ test were designed to measure (Western) academic potential. Administeted properly at a young age, they are actually quite acurate at pedicting academic performance. (Taken when older, they are more a test of how much time you have spent on puzzle-problems.) So, of course IQ tests are culturally biased, they are specifically designed to be. They would not do a good job of predicting Western academic performance if they weren’t culturally biased.

Katamount
Katamount
3 years ago

Geeeeez Louise, I’ve seen Molyneux’s dumb rhetorical gambits done wayyyy too many times. You see it a lot with the “sexual dimorphism” argument for why women can’t be infantry soldiers or starship captains or somesuch crap: “If you don’t acknowledge that men and women have different morphologies, you’re the real sexist!”

This is actually a broader issue I have with social media: the immediacy of the need to respond ends up flattening time to the point that conclusions that were arrived at decades ago have to be made all over again by people who often lack the necessary data. All it takes is one semi-high-profile moron to re-open something as stupid as the phlogiston theory or Lamarckian evolution and its up to a bunch of internet sleuths half-educated on these things to try to smack it down, only for the craven douchebag who opened the can of worms to exploit any errors that get made, when really the only response should be: “I’m sorry, thought this was 2019, not 1919. This shit was debunked by about three-dozen separate researchers back in the 70s. I have the receipts.”

Because I remember having this exact same rhetorical fight 15 years ago on the early days of the DeviantART Forums of all places. But because some dipshit like Stefan Molyneux or Sam Harris discovered it yesterday, they suddenly think they’re the first ones to really give it any serious thought.

“Has anybody really considered that the blah people are just less than human? I’m going to bring this ‘dangerous’ knowledge to your campus for a modest speaking tour fee!”

kupo
kupo
3 years ago

@Diego Duarte
Oh man, and you can tell that’s not a real post, too. Who talks like that?
“As a [marginalized group] who does [stereotype of marginalized group], I’m really glad you opened my eyes!”

saltylurker
saltylurker
3 years ago

@Dalilama Yeah, unfortunately it’s true most gifted programs don’t actually do what they need to do. It’s pretty common for schools to treat them like honor classes for kids and not recognize that they have to be at least kind of individualized. Usually it’s one to all of parental pressure on the school board to make the gifted program work that way (more reason why they need to come up with a better name), no funding to individualize, or nobody there with the right kind of training.

Throwing the gifted kids into a classroom for a couple hours each week with the card game “Set” is the stereotype.

Diego Duarte
Diego Duarte
3 years ago

@kupo

The worst part is that his ego is so massive, he will remain undeterred, despite the callout to such an obvious and pathetic attempt to promote himself.

Or rather should I instead say he, and his audience, are massively insecure, little men, who like to pander conspiracy theories and faux science as an attempt to cope with their lack of achievements, despite having had the entire system rigged in their favor for the last 200 years.

Cheesynougats
Cheesynougats
3 years ago

@Alan,

Your IQ results reinforce what I’ve always thought about Yorkshiremen. Course, if I were from the UK I would be one of those decadent mollycoddled Londoners.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
3 years ago

@ cheesynougats

what I’ve always thought about Yorkshiremen

😀

Well of course, we were so poor we could only afford an IQ scale that went up to 80.

Professor Fate
Professor Fate
3 years ago

What’s depressing about all this is that Stephen Jay Gould wrote The Mismeasure of Man in 1981 Later revised in 1996 when the Bell Curve came out — detailing the long and depressing history of white males like Molyneux who claim that their research and science just happen to prove that White Males are just the bee’s knees. Not that they are raving bigots mind it’s just science.

Part of the book details the history of the IQ test – it was developed in France as a diagnostic teaching tool, i.e. if the test showed a student was having some problems with math that would be addressed. America was where it was seized upon as a means to label people. It’s a grimly amusing if depressing read – the fiasco of the IQ tests given to World War I draftees makes especially depressing reading seeing as it helped lead to the imposition of immigration quotas. Can’t have the inferior types wrecking America yes? it’s depressing how so little changes.

As far as what IQ measures, other than ones ability to take IQ tests – there as one might expect a lot of debate on this – There are folks who are arguing that intelligence is a single thing (called Q I believe) that is innate and inherited and does not change – I do wonder how this idea deals with the well known autistc Savants who for example can play any piano piece they ever heard perfectly but find day to day life impossible to deal with.

And oh yes as I happen to live in the NYS 14th Congressional District that’s my Rep you’re dissing my man, and all you’ve proved is that all you have is your prejudices. We one of the most ethnically diverse Districts in the country – I live in Astoria and one would not be surprised to see and Inuit with their harpoon walking down Steinway street – We have everyone – (full disclosure – Blindingly white male of Irish background – I can burn on a cloudy day – 63 years old) and she won with 78% of the vote.

Sorry to rant on like this but – the persistence of bad ideas like this bugs the hell out of me.

Scildfreja Unnyðnes
Scildfreja Unnyðnes
3 years ago

The adoption of IQ in North America (mostly the USA) was absolutely about racism. It was part of the scientific positivism movement/beliefs that were prevalent among the scientific community – a belief that everything could be quantified numerically, and that doing so would result in complete understanding of the world. Of course, they didn’t recognize that their biases and opinions would be carried into their quantification, because they’re rational men of science who use their powers of rational and science to be entirely objective.

These days we still use IQ, but recognize full well that IQ is largely nonsense. There’s also a flurry of interesting alternatives and experiments going on. My personal favourite is the self regulation ontological tree. I have to like it, though, since I made it :p All methods are flawed, the important thing is to keep your brain about you and remember that you’re measuring a thin slice of something very complicated.

That doesn’t satisfy the science mans, though, since they’re allergic to complicated things. Poor dears break out in hives when I tell them that regression fitting is more about the message the researcher wants to give than anything to do with truth.

Something interesting though. While scientific positivism has been discredited in the scientific community for almost a century now, it’s still quite popular among laypeople. Specifically, the same laypeople who believed as their positivist forefathers did, that they can be objective through willpower alone. It’s led me to a great way to punch through their skin pretty much immediately – ask them the steps they take to wash the bias out of their perspective. If their answer is “Science!” or “I pay attention” or some nonsense like that, you can slap’em on a plate, ’cause they’re done.

LindsayIrene
3 years ago

Being classed as ‘gifted’ didn’t help me much. It just meant that when undiagnosed inattentive-type ADD hit me at the same time as puberty and (also undiagnosed) bipolar disorder, my parents berated me constantly when my grades took a nosedive that they never recovered from. Because, as a gifted child, there was no excuse for me to not do well in school.

Buttercup Q. Skullpants
Buttercup Q. Skullpants
3 years ago

@Alan

Well of course, we were so poor we could only afford an IQ scale that went up to 80.

You had a scale? Luxury!

Schools are pretty bad at identifying gifted children, and it does kids a real disservice to be put into “gifted” or “not gifted” boxes at an age when they believe their labels are set in stone. When I was young, I scored off the charts on standardized tests. The school wanted me to skip a grade, but my parents balked because I was socially backward and already young for my class. So they compromised by busing me up to the high school for some of my classes, with the result that I didn’t fit in either with the older kids or with my own class. Administrators treated me like a freak, teachers forgot I existed, and I was bored, unmotivated, and resentful for most of my primary school years. It wasn’t until college and a STEM career that I finally found my tribe. Meanwhile, many of the “average” kids in my grade went on to manage hedge funds and chair arts councils with half-billion-dollar endowments. Social intelligence counts just as much as academic intelligence for making a difference in the world.

Nowadays I’d probably do terribly on an IQ test. I have no patience for rotated cubes and questions like “what comes next in this sequence? 3 18 273 V R 4008 $ 29029”, where it turns out it’s the last letter of the months of the year encrypted in hex code. As I’ve gotten older I’m less able to keep up with technological and cultural changes, and there’s also the cognitive overload that comes with parenthood and working a full-time job. IQ is a measure of how well your cognitive priorities match the test.

Jenora Feuer
Jenora Feuer
3 years ago

I ended up in gifted programs off and on over school, and went to a private high school in the end. I did well enough, but then again, my mother was a primary school teacher, my father had an ever-expanding library of fantasy and SF books and magazines (I was reading Dune when I was 12), and my grandfather had been a high school teacher (and later principal) who also had an ill-fated attempt at getting small-town high school students interested in philosophy.

The main reason I did as well as I did was that I was never lacking for support in terms of curiosity and intellectual pursuits, even when some of my actual school teachers were… less than supportive. (Like my grade 5 homeroom teacher who used to mark me down because he assumed I was getting my parents to write stuff for me; or who gave me a makework project to do a chart of percentages for all numbers from 1 to 150, and then got boggled when I ran the whole thing off on a computer in 1980 rather than calculating out over ten thousand numbers by hand. Don’t know that he ever believed that I had actually written the program myself, either.)

That said, I see one place above where Molyneux is actually somewhat right, just not for the reasons he thinks he is:

The largest unacknowledged bigotry in the world is the prejudice against and hatred towards high IQ people.

Replace ‘high IQ people’ by ‘experts’ (or ‘educated people’), and he’s at least somewhat right: there is a large amount of bigotry against them, certainly within the U.S. and with more spillover than I’d like in Canada and elsewhere. The problem is, of course, that Molyneux is one of the people practising that particular form of bigotry.

saltylurker
saltylurker
3 years ago

@Professor Life

I do wonder how this idea deals with the well known autistc Savants who for example can play any piano piece they ever heard perfectly but find day to day life impossible to deal with.

I am not a fan of subtly discounting peoples’ achievements due to their disability in other parts of life that allistics (those who are not autistic) find easy.

(That being said, that has little to do with fixed intelligence, which is definitely a flawed concept)

@LindsayIrene
It’s awful that happened to you, and that it’s still such a common adult ADHD diagnosis scenario. I was in a similar situation, substituting anxiety for bipolar. This is exactly why poor understanding of what “gifted” is intended to mean frustrates me and why I got passionate about it. (The other half being my spouse works in special education)

I wish one person had listened to me saying I felt like something was wrong with me. Instead, I was frequently yelled at for not “living up to my potential”, had my social and academic difficulties taken by my peers as an opportunity to joke about how useless people who end up in the “gifted” class always are, and early on had wrong-headed but well-intentioned teachers give me second chances that in the long term were very harmful to my study skills. It took me years of therapy to get that off my shoulders

(Not to mention ADHD has almost the exact same image problem.)

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