Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith

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Asexuality in Sherlock

Steven Moffat gave an interview about BBC Sherlock  in which he managed to undo much of the good that has been done regarding asexual awareness in that series.  I mean the first episode made it pretty clear that (this) Sherlock is just not interested in sexual/romantic relationships: "Not my area." and "I consider myself married to my work."  That was terrific.  Contradicting that after the fact, not so terrific; it's lousy publicity and inexcusably sloppy storytelling.  Once a character trait is established, it must not be changed without showing the process of evolution and plausible reason for it; inconsistent characterization is a serious flaw.  

An ace-friendly deconstruction of the more obnoxious lines in the interview is online.  This one really caught my attention:

“Moffat is not saying that Sherlock, like Austin Powers, misplaced his mojo. ‘It’s the choice of a monk, not the choice of an asexual. If he was asexual, there would be no tension in that, no fun in that – it’s someone who abstains who’s interesting. There’s no guarantee that he’ll stay that way in the end – maybe he marries Mrs Hudson. I don’t know!’”

Is sex really the ONLY thing some people can rate as interesting?  What is this, high school?  Let's leave room for some variety in storytelling.  No matter how much popular a given motif is, a steady supply gets boring and people want something else.  We really need more positive portrayals of the full range of human sexuality, including asexuality; and while we're at it, also more nonsexual intimacies.  Mix it up.  And do your research.

I am suddenly extra glad that I have a fishbowl coming up that features Hart's Farm, a setting with two asexual characters, lots of other sexualities, and a penchant for showing affection outside of sex.  I'm tired of dysfunctional families, uncommunicative relationships, and characters whose people skills all suck.  We do not need any more of this kind of thinking.  Stab it with pencils and beat it to death with merry bundles of cash.  Meanwhile -- The Odd Trio and Path of the Paladins also feature some asexual characters, available on the Serial Poetry page.

I haven't seen season 2 of Sherlock  yet.  I loved season 1.  I do plan to watch season 2 when I have the chance, but I have mixed feelings about it given what I've heard so far.  Perhaps if I throw my expectations down the basement stairs before watching, I'll be pleasantly surprised.
Tags: entertainment, gender studies, reading
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