lb_lee: (pride)
lb_lee ([personal profile] lb_lee) wrote2017-02-20 05:14 pm

Ralph Allison and the history of the word 'multiple'

There are PASSIONATE fights about multiplicity elsewhere online.  One relatively recent nugget of bullshit that keeps cropping up on tumblr is the idea that unless you have a diagnosis of Dissociative Identity Disorder (and/or DDNOS-1, depending on the flavor of bullshitter), you CAN NOT use the word 'multiple.' You have to come up with some completely unrelated word, otherwise you are appropriating from a Very Serious Mental Illness.

Of course, this is total nonsense, but it can really fuck with the heads of young, baby multis first venturing into selves-awareness. And by depriving them of the very words to describe their experience, douchebags keep them from attaining that awareness and community.

As you've probably guessed, I don't approve of such behavior. And since I've been diagnosed and been around a while, I've had to weigh in on this crap multiple times, and likely will many times more.

Finally, today I lost my temper and waded into my scattershot collection of multi articles, books, and records, to try and find the earliest citation of the word 'multiple' that I could. I hoped I could just drop it and leave it.

Except the earliest reference I could find to someone using 'multiple' as a noun for folks like me was a shrink Ralph Allison in 1977, in this Chicago Tribune newspaper article. Which is the most beautiful hilarious irony I can imagine, because Ralph Allison is a TOTAL FUCKING LOON.

Seriously. Allison went into the deep end at some point in his career and decided that people like me are involved with angels and reincarnation and all sorts of spiritual stuff. Which is fine if you personally believe in such things, but not so good if this person is considered a foremost authority on your mental illness, and a scientist in good standing. (He no longer is.) I know the definition of 'moonbat' is someone with extreme left-wing views, but seriously, when I think of 'moonbat' I think of Ralph Allison, because he apparently grew wings and decided to leave this planet for more celestial climes.

So basically, I have just debunked that whole bullshit idea by linking it to the LAST person the bullshitters want associated with them. And now I have an easy pat response whenever anyone approaches me about that nonsense again.

Thanks, Dr. Allison! I never thought YOU would do me a favor...

--Rogan

PS: if you'd like to see the original tumblr posts that spawned this one, they are here, here, and here.