At times like these I just make a sad sigh and think that in an AU somewhere none of this is a big deal. Sherlock Holmes and John Watson have been canon since the books, fans that happen to be female aren’t treated like rabid, obsessive freaks and queer representation isn’t considered a secret dirty kink.
ok but like
when a show sets up two characters to have very visible and obvious relationship potential and romantic chemistry and they go about fulfilling it fairly quickly
i don’t think it’s really comparable to be like I SHIP THEM SO HARD OMG MY OTP IS GONNA BECOME CANON i guess I just like
maybe this is cuz i’m so very old and so very very queer. but I’ve always imagined “shipping” had a connotation of effort being put into it?
I mean, you ship Monroe and Rosalee from Grimm? Of course you do??? because literally NBC has been writing towards that goal within like two episodes of introducing Rosalee as a character. They’ve been completely transparent about their intentions from the beginning and they even are the ones who coined the horrifying portmanteau “Monrosalee”
(that is not anything against the pairing it is the fact that I truly hate ship name portmanteaus they do not need to Be A Thing)
You think Kennex and Stahl on Almost Human are a good pairing? You ship them? OF COURSE YOU DO. THEY WROTE THAT IN THERE. they have been directly framing their interest in each other, or at least Kennex’s interest in her, since episode 1.
I think I’m just old and bitter. I think I’m just thinking about the intimidating sense of FUTILITY that comes with shipping a queer pairing, or at least the sense of struggle that comes with a genuine sense of will-they-or-won’t-they. Even disregarding queer couples, I understand “shipping” Morgan and Garcia from Criminal Minds far more than I understand “shipping” Reid and his oops-I-had-a-girlfriend-now-she’s-dead, because with Morgan and Garcia there is almost a decade of hard effort and obstacles and the writers being douches and pairing her with a male clone of herself anyway. People “ship” Mulder and Scully because THEY WEREN’T GETTING TOGETHER. If Mulder and Scully had gotten together by S2, do you think the word would even be used today?
(no is the answer to that question)
what is my point?
i don’t know my point
i think my point is is that I’m old and it sounds silly to me when people “ship” het characters who have been set up to be in that relationship canonically from the beginning
put your backs into it
bacK IN MY DAY WE HAD TO WALK TWELVE MILES TO SCHOOL IN THE SNOW UPHILL BAREFOOT TO SEE OUR SHIPS BECOME REALITY
KIDS ARE SO SPOILED THESE DAYS
******in case it is not clear I have literally 0 anything against these pairings it is just a matter of fandom vernacular and the particulars of it idek
It’s interesting. Also, it’s got such a huge female following. The original [Sir Arthur Conan Doyle] stories had a huge female following, which I’d never forgotten, and that’s because the Victorian ladies liked the way Sherlock looked. (Laughs.) So I thought, use this massively exciting, rather handsome man who could see right through your heart and have no interest … of course, he’s going to be a sex god! I think we pitched that character right. I think our female fanbase all believe that they’ll be the one to melt that glacier. They’re all wrong, nothing will melt that glacier.
I’m sorry, the answer you have provided does not compute. Could you mean:
"young women love a thrilling detective show as much as men do"
“young women enjoy the (explicitly homoerotic and) incredibly dynamic friendship of a person and his best friend, and how it grows over time”
“young women appreciate the visual and mental stimulation of good television programming”
You can also try “young women are not limited exclusively to liking things because they find someone physically appealing,” “young women as a whole do not want to be the one to ‘fix’ an emotionally unavailable sociopathic man, and it is damaging to assume that having those qualities makes someone a ‘sex god’,” or “young women do not imagine themselves with Sherlock, moron, do you even know your fanbase, every square inch of it is covered in Johnlock because women appreciate the interplay between those two characters, not everyone is a goddamned Mary Sue like you, god damn it.”
Please try again.
tbh i think there’s a fair amount of projection going on here. i suspect that steven moffat is actually describing HIS OWN attitude towards female characters, in that his favourite type of female character is one that he’s attracted to. which is why he churns out so many formulaic perky/sexy/feisty ladies for doctor who and sherlock: his one criteria for “appealing female character” is “i think men [like me] would want to bone her”. i mean, he’s literally stated that he only became truly enthusiastic about hiring karen gillan for amy pond when he realised that she was tall and beautiful rather than “dumpy”.
steven moffat assumes that ~all of womankind~ are the same way about male characters as he is about women, so OF COURSE it makes sense that if a male character is popular with female viewers, it must be thanks to a bunch of “attractive” traits that he’s basically just pulled out of his ass to answer interview questions like this. i mean, my god. most “”women”” do not watch sherlock because they think sherlock is a “sex god” who they want to ~tame, they watch it because it’s an entertaining show, the john/sherlock relationship is compelling, and it’s fucking SHERLOCK HOLMES. also, the above commenter is totally right about johnlock. the lack of mary sue fanfic in sherlock fandom speaks for itself. female fans are not projecting themselves into a romance with sherlock — they are interested in THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SHERLOCK AND JOHN, be it romantic or platonic.
everything that really needs to be said about this fucking horrific quote has already been said by the people above basically, but oh my GOD
my first reaction was just not to understand how he can possibly go through life interacting with women and not realize that they are you know, people, but that second bit of commentary sheds a new light. maybe it’s more that he just expects women to care about the same things in men that he cares about in women. it’s like he’s projecting his own priorities when it comes to women onto all men, and then assuming that the mirror/equivalent priorities also apply to all women. that’s some next level narcissism, isn’t it?
not only is there no significant portion of the female sherlock fandom focusing on the idea of themselves with sherlock (as pointed out, the almost total lack of sherlock/reader fanfiction is EXPLICIT testament to that), there actually IS something that the majority of the female sherlock fandom is focusing their attention on, which is obviously the elephant in the room here. it’s like moffat WANTED or EXPECTED this to be what enticed and captivated women about his show, and when it turned out to be the gay relationship he created but won’t admit to, he just decided to ignore reality and pretend that his prediction had occurred.
and can we talk about the fact that moffat says this shit as he himself is in the process of holding a narrative blowtorch to the glacier that is sherlock’s heart right in front of our eyes?
This isn’t an actual quote. (Eta, befpre someone asks, I did not google this or even tapped the link. I am reacting to my wishful thinking)
This has to be someone who hates him enough to make-up shit like this, which is NOT ON.
And it is unnecessary. I mean regardless of what the man may say, his writing and actual explanations of it (the fact that there are explanations because explanations were needed says too much, as well) speak for him and say volumes about his feelings and opinions.
Not even Moffat could be such an ignorant entitled sexist deluded imbecile.
can he just SHUT UP ALREADY I
literally cannot stand the way I as a queer female fan am incomprehensible to him
did anyone notice that? the complete erasure of any female fans that aren’t het for Sherlock?
maybe the online community has skewed my perspective, but in my understanding and through my experience I would say there are a TON of queer female Sherlock fans. Sherlock events are practically queer singles’ parties. Sherlock fandom is by and large a community where queer fans feel totally and completely comfortable with expressing their sexuality because there is such a fellowship and understanding about it.
Moffat literally either does not understand or refuses to acknowledge that his show has a queer following- that queer women EXIST- THAT THERE CAN BE A SINGLE WOMAN WHO DOESN’T WANT TO FUCK SHERLOCK HOLMES- that I could have read these books when I was twelve and been enamored of the adventure, of the concept of an emotionally aloof genius whose only room in his heart is for his dearest friend, of the timelessness of Sherlock Holmes- of the culture around him, of the beauty of more than a century of different interpretations- I—— I just, I’m flabbergasted. I’m horrified. I’m insulted. There’s a reason why I stopped reading cast and crew interviews and this is it. Because to Moffat I neither exist nor count.
I cannot deal with this motherfucker anymore.
Why the dismissal of women’s readings of Sherlock bothers me so much
Male showrunners and actors: They’re just friends. Why are you reading sex into this?
Female fans: They obviously want each other.
Male showrunners and actors: No they don’t. You’re hysterical and oversexualized and deluded.
Female fans: No we’re not. It’s OBVIOUS they desire each other.
Male showrunners and actors: NO THEY—
Female fans: YES THEY—
Film and television are visual mediums. The text comes from what we see, not just the script, and definitely not extra-text commentary. Sherlock especially is a strikingly visual story that is all about looking.
Any woman with any sense of self-preservation spends her whole life learning to read the male gaze. The reason is not because women are constantly checking to make sure they are desirable (as many men like to think); the reason is because women have to. The consequences for not noticing when a male gaze equals “desire” are very dangerous, and so obvious I don’t even have to explain them. Any woman who walks through a parking lot at night, who has to spend her days avoiding a co-worker who sexually harrasses her but not enough to make it worth it to fight back, who deals with members of the public service who laugh at her when she is being threatened (I am thinking of that woman in San Francisco who tried to get a BART bus driver to call the police when a man was threatening to rape her and got ignored)—any woman who LIVES ON THIS PLANET has to learn to be aware of the male gaze and interpret it for signs of arousal and/or danger from a young age. This is SO MUCH BIGGER than “women want romance” or “women want love” or any of that ignorant shorthand for “women aren’t reading this show correctly.” It is definitely bigger than Sherlock.
If a man stood right in my personal space and stared into my eyes I would know how to interpret that. If a man licked his lips while staring at my face I would know how to interpret that. If a man belitted and chased off my romantic partners I would know how to interpret that. If a man asked me to reach into his jacket and pull out his phone I would damn well know how to interpret that. Any time I have tried to brush aside suspicions under these circumstances, I was proved right that I should have trusted my instincts, and I wound up in dangerous situations (luckily, nothing terrible resulted thanks to being able to escape, but the danger was real). If I’m wrong, I’m wrong, but at least I don’t get locked in a basement in Cleveland for a decade. Women have to err on the side of caution. People are right when they say the sexual tension moments in Sherlock are brief, but that doesn’t matter: if you’re a woman you have to take even the briefest flashes into account. There is a reason we call these moments “eyefucking.”
Sherlock is all about the power of sight, of the gaze, specifically the male gaze. (There’s a whole article in that, but I’ll resist.)
We get Sherlock POV when he interprets a scene, with those subtitles and graphics; we get John POV for everything else (that’s my reading, anyway; Watson is the narrator of the Sherlock Holmes tales, after all). There are only a few establishing shots/omniscient narrator scenes that aren’t from John or Sherlock’s POV, e.g. the victims at the beginning of ASIP, or Moriarty texting in front of Big Ben in ASIB or in a cell in THOB. We briefly see Irene’s POV as she looks at pictures of Sherlock (in that beautiful sequence where they look at pictures of each other), but that’s about it. (I’ve never been certain whether that dream sequence of Irene interpreting the “bed scene” was from her POV or Sherlock’s or both.) I have hopes we’ll see Molly’s POV in TEH but of course I haven’t seen it yet.
The denial of the male showrunners of Sherlock and the firm disagreement of the female fans just proves to me that even in the 21st century, men and women live in different worlds.
5 men: There’s no sexual tension.
Thousands of women: Yes there is.
5 men: Clearly you’re wrong!
I don’t need this ship to be canon, it’s not the differing opinions that bothers me. The writers are free to write whatever they want and I’m on board. I just want some acknowledgement—from the world at large—that women’s perspective on human interactions is just as valid as men’s and doesn’t come from wishful thinking. Quite the opposite.
[edit: Disclaimer: Not all women viewers see sexual tension. Not all male viewers don’t. You are free to interpret a piece of cultural iconography any way you want. So am I. Again, I love the show no matter what direction they take it in, though I reserve the right to offer criticism. You are free to ignore the silencing of women’s experiences if you really want to suck at life. I don’t think the showrunners are sexist even if they exhibit sexist behavior occasionally. I don’t think their disagreement is meant to be hurtful. But it is what it is.]
I bolded the top bit, because, while I’ve obviously recognized that women, in order to survive, must learn to read desire in others, I hadn’t really made the leap to see how that affects the way women might consume media.
When I watch a show/movie/whatever, and see sexual desire between two characters, if I mention this to my husband, he often makes a comment to the effect of, “wait, but they didn’t do anything. Or say anything. Where are you getting this from?”
When we’re out in a public place together and I tell him that a man is checking me out, I encounter the same…not disbelief, because he does believe me. But he’s clearly confused about where I’m getting my information. And more often than not, I can’t articulate it: I’ll just mumble something vague about the way the guy looked at me, or his body language. Because the cues are just that subtle. But I can read them.
And, moving away now from my husband as an example, it’s somehow instructive to see the relationship between men who dismiss public harassment and men who dismiss women’s readings of desire in other media.
tl;dr: this is good.
Oh my god, I’d never thought of that.
"…But I suppose that we can always hope that as long as Daryl keeps fending off Carol’s advances that maybe he will be The Walking Dead's first gay kickass redneck.”
from some interesting articles about lgbt representation in the walking dead (comic spoilers ahead):
there is better and more socially interesting commentary in there but i just wanted to celebrate that jack and i aren’t the only people who have our fingers crossed and see the legitimacy in gay kickass redneck please thanks yes cry
I feel a rising amount of concern at some of the misinterpretations of the post I made the other day about queer interpretations of Sherlock, both in the show and in the ACD canon, so I just want to clear up a few points.
Firstly is that I bear no ill will and hold no judgement for anyone who disagrees with what pairings I may or may not prefer, and that I honestly fully embrace anyone who is in favor of Mary/John, Molly/Sherlock, Irene/Sherlock, etc, whatever their motivation. This extends to the writers of the show and the creative team behind and in front of the camera.
My only concern is the fact that Ian’s initial tweet and Amanda’s response did feel judgmental to a large portion of fans. I have also learned that Ian took the time to contact someone who had a very popular post about why what he said was hurtful, and while I still think his initial comment was ill-thought and rude, I am very impressed by that level of care and communication that he chose to foster with them. My concern is not that John/Sherlock was not going to happen, but that a queer reading of the narrative they had presented to us was being treated as completely invalid in and of itself, not just by Ian but as a recurring theme with the creative team, which not only do I strongly disagree with given the material, but that I felt was rude and hurtful to a lot of fans who had thought maybe this show would be different in that respect.
I have seen a few people interpreting my comments as being mad and demanding that John/Sherlock be written into the show, and that the lack of John/Sherlock canonization in and of itself is queerbaiting. I wanted to make clear that what I think is queerbaiting is that they wrote the subtext in and then made fun of people for taking it seriously, not that they didn’t follow it to a romantic conclusion. I hope that this clarifies something of my position and makes clear what I meant, but as I also hope I’ve shown, I’ll be happy to discuss anything about either my post or this interpretation of the material to a mutually respectful conclusion. I think the most important thing in this style of debate is that mutual respect and I hope that we can use it to come to an understanding.
So! I wanted to take the opportunity you kindly offered when I contacted you in your ask to talk this up a little, because I see a lot of points where we agree and a lot worth talking about. Of course if I get boring feel free to skip away. I’m getting way too affected by this issue, honestly; it’s been riding down on me all day and I’m sort of hitting a brick wall mentally on it as well, so I’m not sure I’m going to be saying anything productive but I feel the need to express it anyway.