I’ve spent much of my life with my nose buried in a book or watching episodes of The Simpsons over and over again. I love the escape and familiarity that comes with these hobbies, and it’s also really enjoyable to relate to specific fictional characters.
Lisa Simpson is by far the character I relate to the most. We’re both vegetarians, activists, socially awkward, writers, voracious readers, saxophone players, disbelievers in things such as angels, naturally skeptical, factually driven and compelled to do what we believe is right, even if it comes at a great personal cost. We also both have a Mensa level IQ and a love for animals.
Some people debate the possibility that Lisa Simpson could be on the Spectrum, but it seems very clear from everything I’ve read and personally experienced about female autism that she has a long list of Aspie traits. Many of them are in the list above of the things I can relate to about her character.
Lisa often says the wrong thing socially because it’s factual, not emotion based. She does have struggles with her emotions and depression, though, which is something that hinders many individuals with autism, including me. Her strong sense of right and wrong and her black and white, all or nothing thinking are also common for female Aspies. Not to mention her inability to understand the social motives of others, combined with her apparent inability to make and keep friends.
Some people may point out Lisa’s apparent lack of meltdowns as a sign that she’s not autistic, but the show has actually shown her break down many, many times. Additionally, she goes to her room frequently to have some alone time, and she has an obsession with horses (one of her primary special interests) that has lasted since the very first episode.
Like many fictional characters, Lisa Simpson may never be officially classified as on the Spectrum. It’s worth noting that Fox has a history of not wanting TV shows to give characters that label (such as Bones), but this doesn’t mean that at least some autistic traits aren’t being explored anyway by the creative team behind several different shows.
Ultimately, it matters less what her official title is and more that women like me have someone on TV who we can relate to. If Lisa Simpson was an adult and a lesbian, we’d practically be the same person. In my mind, that makes it seem like a virtual certainty that Lisa is a fellow Aspie.