Sheldon Cooper might be #autistic, but he’s an autistic asshole. And he gives everyone with #autism a bad name. He is an asshole to his friends, who never call him on it because apparently that’s just Sheldon’s neurotype; he is an absolute monster to Penny because she’s a woman, uneducated, and doesn’t have a desirable job; he’s an asshole to people with only MAs; he’s an asshole to colleagues and students; to working class people; to his poor girlfriend (who has her own problems - with consent).
Nowhere in the diagnostic criteria for autism does it say, “tendency toward assholery.” Because the show does not explicitly state Sheldon is autistic, characters can’t clarify: “That’s not his autism, that’s just Sheldon.” And so autism and assholery become merged.
Merged in the minds of poorly-educated allistics and in the minds of asshole autistics. Verbally abusing friends? Autism. Misogyny? Autism. Disrespecting the working class? Autism.
I’ve know a lot of autistic assholes. “Oh, Paige, you’re not really autistic because you weren’t diagnosed until you were 27.” White cishet privileged males bragging about their IQ. The same looking down upon people who have trouble in school. Those that think they’re above allistics because they think the autistic neurology as it visibly plays out is some cool affectation, those who insult women who don’t like them - not because of autism. I had an autistic friend who had Nice Guy Syndrome and blamed my not liking him on his autism, after explicitly stating that I owed him for all the nice thing he did. THIS IS NOT HOW MOST OF US AUTISTICS ACT - NONE OF THESE EXAMPLES ARE.
Sheldon Cooper is giving us a bad name. In a perfect sitcom, he’d be called out for his behavior. But I guess Chuck Lorre doesn’t know shit about autism.