Clara doesn’t see autistic!12 as a tragic figure at all.
The 12th Doctor can pass as neurotypical around people who aren’t familiar with autism. Passing for him is like doing mental sleight of hand over and over to hide his issues. There are days where he has to listen to people mutter about their autistic kids and how hard it is, but he can’t bring himself to say anything because he doesn’t want to risk outing himself.
The Doctor is very accepting of himself and his autism in this incarnation, but he’s not ready to be super open about it to just anyone.
Only Clara sees the exhaustion when the Doctor goes off in private to stim all the tension out after a day of passing.
Sometimes he melts down and Clara is there to hug him tight and help him pressure stim until he’s calmed down again. He either goes nonverbal, gets extremely hyperactive or just wants to take a short nap.
Clara seethes whenever she hears someone say “you don’t look autistic” to anyone and will sharply reply “and how would YOU know what autistic looks like?” while the Doctor is facepalming behind her.
Clara’s image of the Doctor’s autism isn’t tragic. His autistic traits are the things that make him the Doctor to her.
It’s him suddenly waltzing her around the TARDIS because he’s happy.
It’s him nibbling the pad of his thumb as he’s trying to piece together a mystery.
It’s watching his silhouette wave his fingers in the sunlight pouring through a window.
It’s cradling him in her arms as he’s coming off a meltdown.
It’s lying on top of him to help him pressure stim when he can’t sleep.
It’s hearing him joyfully speak technobabble about something that makes him super happy.
It’s exchanging their ritualistic Wednesday kiss, which is one forehead-to-forehead bop, two nose nuzzles and three pecks on the lips.
It’s reminding him to eat and drink because he doesn’t feel his hunger or thirst cues.
It’s seeing him point out details she would’ve missed.
It’s his one-handed thumb wiggle or his hands clasped finger wiggles.
It’s him not quite comprehending a statement until she rewords it a different way.
It’s him stumbling over words or not being able to get a simple sentence out without rambling.
It’s him tugging his coat lapel to smell his pocket chalk.
It’s him rocking back and forth while chewing his No Gloom ‘Shroom and looking blissful as he plays the same chord on his guitar over and over.
It’s him suddenly springing into action with a wild gleam in his eyes because he figured out a plan.
It’s him murmuring “Clara, Clara, Clara, Clara…” –sometimes he does it in his sleep.
Those are the things Clara loves about the Doctor, and those are the things she has taught him to love about himself.
Archaeologist. Love A Tomb. (Gallifrey Is Alive, Part 5)
Hey hey hey, it’s Theory Thursday!
Let me open with this little epiphany: We all know that the Timelords are lost somewhere in the Universe, right? They are a lost civilisation. The Doctor is trying to find that civilisation.
And what do you need in order to find a lost civilisation? You need…
… an archaeologist!
Yep, I felt pretty stupid when I realised this. So today, I want to talk about how I think River will look for Gallifrey, and how I think she will find it. And I also want to talk about how I think she will mess up, big time. Poor River. But let me explain.
If you feel that a work of fiction is discriminatory, ask yourself:
Is this trope itself discriminatory?
Is the over-representation of this trope discriminatory?
Exhibit A: a story in which a woman is rescued by a man.
It’s not unrealistic when a woman is rescued by a man. It’s not
discriminatory for a man to rescue a woman. It’s not bad for a woman to need rescuing. It’s not
for a writer to write a story in which a woman is rescued by a man. Unless the story’s moral is that every woman’s natural, inherent need is to be rescued by a man, the trope is not in itself bad.
But it is a bit silly if most stories around you are about women rescued by men, and not a single story is about men being rescued by women. If that happens, it means that the trend is discriminatory. Not the individual works. The trend. Not the writers. But the discourse. The over-representation.
There is no need to get angry at individual stories solely because of this. It is not okay to throw hatred at writers because they use a trope that is not, in itself, discriminatory. Aim your arrows at the over-representation of the trope, not at the trope itself.
The trend can be fought by encouraging stories that offer different options. For example, by writing them yourself, by kindly telling writers that you’d enjoy seeing alternatives, and by promoting awareness of the over-representation.
This goes for just about every trope you can think of, in just about every fandom out there.
This PSA brought to you by several years on tumblr and a lot of facepalming.