Ah, hello, Person Of Immense Politeness. I suspect you’re here to talk about my OTP. Luckily for you, I’m in a good mood, so I’m going to go through this nice and rationally.
- Yes, as a matter of fact, I am aware of that. As it happens, I’m an English literature student, and have not only read all 4 novels and 56 short stories, but studied them in depth. I’m writing a series of essays on them at present, actually.
- Perhaps you’re unaware of other adaptations, so let me inform you that in The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, Holmes is gay, in Elementary, Watson is a woman, Moriarty is also Irene Adler and the series is set in New York, and in Basil the Great Mouse Detective, the characters are mice. Also, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle cared very little for Sherlock Holmes, and, despite claiming that ‘Holmes is as inhuman as a Babbage’s Calculating Machine, and just about as likely to fall in love’ in 1892, he later wrote a play, and when appealed to by William Gillette, who was to portray Holmes, for permission to alter his character, Doyle replied ‘You may marry him, murder him, or do anything you like to him.' HE DIDN’T CARE ABOUT HIS CHARACTERS BEING ALTERED.
- You are completely avoiding historical social context. In the Victorian era, MEN COULD NOT MARRY MEN AND WOMEN COULD NOT MARRY WOMEN. In fact, the Marriage Equality Bill was only passed in England THIS YEAR. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s close friend, Oscar Wilde, was sentenced to two years of hard labour which so severely damaged his health that he died 3 years later as punishment for sodomy, i.e. homosexuality. Do you know what was used against him in court? The Picture of Dorian Gray - his novel - because it contained homoerotic subtext. Doyle wanted to portray Watson as a heart in contrast to Holmes’ head, and as such, he had to be romantic. HETEROROMANCE WAS THE ONLY OPTION IN THE ERA IN WHICH HE WAS WRITING.
- That said, the canon did contain plenty of homoerotic* subtext (*) which queer theorists have been studying since its publication.
- MEN DON’T HAVE TO BE STRAIGHT TO MARRY WOMEN. Wilde was predominantly attracted to men, and he was married to a woman called Constance Lloyd. In the Victorian era, marriage was nowhere near so much based on love as it is today - it was about money, power, status, convenience, all kinds of things. Now, I do believe that Watson loved Mary Morstan (and that Wilde loved Constance Lloyd), but this context is important to recognise. Now, onto BBC Sherlock: in the 21st century, far more sexual and romantic orientations are recognised. Bisexual and pansexual men marry women. That doesn’t make them unable to also feel love or attraction for men. John never says that he is straight, only that he isn’t gay (true) and isn’t Sherlock’s date (also true). That’s very open-ended phrasing that doesn’t rule out attraction to men/a man (and, in fact, series 3 creates plenty of space for a bisexual reading). In fact, even straight people are capable of finding themselves sexually and/or romantically attracted to a member of the same sex.
- The writers were influenced by The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes* (on which Mark Gatiss said: ‘The relationship between Sherlock and Watson is treated beautifully; Sherlock effectively falls in love with him in the film’ and on which the writer, Billy Wilder, said that he wished he’d had the ability to make Holmes unambiguously gay) and deliberately establish homoerotic and homoromantic subtext. In fact, at Anatomy of a Hit, they said that they regard all adaptations to be part of an ongoing canon, and draw as much influence from them as from the canon. For instance, A Scandal in Belgravia was much more closely based on The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes than A Scandal in Bohemia.
* more on this interview here
- On that note, I’m immensely amused that you are so scandalised by the concept of Holmes and Watson being written into a romantic relationship, yet have no issues with the fact that the stories have been translated into the 21st century (a decision which, at Anatomy of a Hit, the writers stated they felt automatically provided them with ‘license to be heretical’), that Irene Adler was portrayed as a lesbian dominatrix, that the meaning of ‘RACHE’ was inverted, that the Reichenbach Falls were exchanged for St. Bart’s hospital, that Mary Morstan was portrayed as a contract killer and that Charles Augustus’ surname was changed from Milverton to Magnussen to account for his change of nationality from English to Danish and was portrayed as the head of a media corporation.
- It is possible to ship something in fanon without wanting it to become canon. There is also nothing wrong with wanting something that you enjoy to happen on screen and hence be more accessible to you, particularly if that thing would also be socially beneficial by providing positive representation to marginalised groups.
- Shipping makes me happy. Fandom makes me happy. Sherlock makes me happy. I think it extremely rude of you to come into my ask box under the cowardly guise of anonymity to try to take that happiness away from me (you failed completely, I might add), when it literally affects you in exactly 0 ways.
So, in conclusion:
I feel like this needs to make another round.
A man in the grocery store line today approached me and said, “Sir, when I first saw you I was extremely attracted to you, but then I noticed that you are a boy. How… I mean, why do you dress so provocatively?”
I responded, “Well, in today’s world the majority of the straight male race view women as objects, or something that belongs to them. I dress provocatively because it attracts the attention of men in a sexual and OBJECTIVE way. However, when realized that I am actually male, they often become confused, disgusted, upset or all of the above. By inflicting this minor emotional damaged upon the ego of a man raised by twisted societal gender norms, maybe, just maybe the individual will think twice before viewing another woman with an objective attitude and sense of belonging. No woman, belongs to ANYONE. Male or female, the equality of human beings needs to be a priority. It is something worth dressing up for.”
I AM NOT KIDDING. The woman behind me, the female cashier, the old lady bagging groceries and the woman in front of me who was talking on the phone STOPPED, …. and proceeded to gasp and clap. The man shook my hand, told me to have a blessed day and then said, “excuse me ladies, I need to visit my daughter.”
…. I was shaking by the time I walked out of the store.
- Elliott Alexzander
…and half the time they will springboard off the first vertical surface they come near, trot back to you, and insist you do it again.
When school gets hard, just remember this….
This is really inspiring to me.
Republicans stir up controversy over Obama’s nomination for Surgeon General. Dr. Vivek Murthy upset Republicans by saying guns are a healthcare issue and that the NRA holds too much power over politicians.
His original Tweet read “Tired of politicians playing politics w/ guns, putting lives at risk b/c they’re scared of NRA. Guns are a health care issue” and you can find it HERE.
If I had my coworker’s numbers I would text them things like, “But if I’M a courtesy clerk, and YOU’RE a courtesy clerk, then who’s driving the car!?”