Autistic people on tumblr: Rick Sanchez has verbally confirmed himself as autistic, and this makes me happy. It’s pretty rare for autistic characters to be canonically confirmed in-show like this, and especially not this easily and casually. It’s also very unusual to see a canonically autistic character who is sexually active, not straight, not white and who is actually a complex, funny, well-rounded character. It’s a neat little bit of representation in a mainstream show that I wasn’t expecting, and you know, it’s actually kind of nice :).
Neurotypicals on tumblr: OH MY GOD STOP FETISHING AUTISM!!!! QUIT OVERREACTING!! DON’T YOU KNOW THAT GETTING EXCITED OVER NUANCED REPRESENTATION HURTS AUTISTIC PEOPLE?!!
EDIT: I’ve switched the word ‘positive’ with ‘nuanced’ as I definitely agree with a lot of commenters that Rick is not a positive role-model for ANYBODY, but I still wholeheartedly stand by this post.
Because Rick represents something us in the autistic community need so badly on TV, and that is complex, original autistic characters, rather than autistic charicatures.
Autistic people need to be allowed to be depicted as people, and that doesn’t always necessarily mean ‘good’ people. Because not all people - neurotypical or autistic - are ‘good’ people in real life. We don’t expect non-disabled characters to be morally black or white, so why do we expect this from characters with disabilities?
There is nothing wrong with creating a flawed, damaged or destructive autistic character. The problems occur when a character’s flawed, damaged and destructive behaviour is immediately linked back to their autism. Which in most cases it invariably seems to be.
Rick is a very damaged, incredibly flawed individual. He’s selfish, manipulative, completely morally bankrupt and basically just one big, collossal twat.
But at no stage is it ever implied that this is down to him being autistic. Rather, the blame is blatantly and repeatedly assigned to its one true source: Rick himself. Rick himself is clearly the product of his own bad choices, selfish actions, unhealthy coping mechanisms and flat-out refusal to ever address his catastrophic mental health problems. The revelation that Rick happens to be autistic is never presented as an explanation - or excuse - for the way he has been up till now.
Is Rick the most positive representation of autistic characters out there? Hell no!
But does he represent a shift from creating rigid, overly-pathologised autistic characters to more human, nuanced characters who are capable of making their own mistakes and forming their own independant, complex personalities? Hell yes!
And I for one welcome this kind of representation.
The fact that Namjoon released a solo track after so long, and that too as a collab with Wale is extremely noteworthy. He always puts Bangtan before himself and it’s so good to see that he’s getting such opportunities and being recognized for his individual talent. Also, he rapped in English…a language that he taught himself. That’s seriously impressive.
BTS as things people in my English class have said/done
Jin: *reading Julius Caesar in group with classmates* “Oh would you look at that. Cassius is a fucking snake. Looks like you finally have a character to relate to Sarah,”.
Yoongi: “ Thy visage looks like an rampallian. That’s Shakespearean for ‘Your face looks like an ass’ ”.
Namjoon: *teacher doesn’t take up an essay they stayed up until 2:30 a.m. writing* “I SPENT ENDLESS HOURS RESEARCHING THIS TOPIC !!! I STAYED UP UNTIL 2:30 WRITING THIS PAPER !!! I NEGLECTED MY ALGEBRA HOMEWORK FOR THIS!!! …Take up my paper,”.
Hoseok: “I DIDN’T plagarize. I just borrowed their thoughts,”.
Jimin: “Great. She called on the guy that takes 3 fucking minutes to read one paragraph,”.
Taehyung: *cries while reading Romeo and Juliet* “THEY WERE SO YOUNG”
Jungkook: “*is asked to read poetry homework out loud* “Roses are red, violets are blue. I hate this school, and I don’t want to be here,”.