even if I wasn’t black, what I’m saying is STILL valid.
you see how crazy white supremacy makes white people?
they’re willing to ignore the...
When people tell you to take your...
I still don’t understand why Thigh Gap is a thing. I much prefer my thighs being strong and big enough to choke a mothafucka, tbh.
When I first heard they were casting Lucy Liu as Watson in the American TV show about Sherlock Holmes, I was really upset. There’s a lot of bullshit reasons to be upset about casting Lucy Liu for this role; racists and sexists have been shouting that Watson is just supposed to be white and male. Slash fans hate it too, because suddenly it’s hetero sexual tension, which is also a bullshit reason not to cast women of color in everything. That’s not why I was upset, though.
The reason it worried me is because the relationship between Holmes and Watson chiefly consists of Holmes ridiculing Watson, insulting Watson, exploiting Watson, and generally abusing Watson in almost every way possible. That dynamic between white men is disturbing and upsetting, but between a white man and a woman of color? On national American TV?
Turns out, I was right to worry.
In the first episode, the first instant Sherlock meets Watson he makes a (plausibly deniable) romantic pass at her in such a way that leaves her shaken, unbalanced, confused, and self-doubting. Following this disturbing beginning he gaslights her, publicly ridicules her, shouts at her so he can steal and destroy her car, pries into her personal life in ways that are even more inappropriate and horrifying when she’s a woman, grossly mistreats another woman in front of her, and uses classic abuse tactic after classic abuse tactic on her to get his way and hook her into staying.
There is a point in the episode where you hope she will leave. She says she’s leaving and not coming back because he’s already mistreated her so horribly. But, because the producers want there to be a show, they write her returning to and pandering to this abusive, exploitative, dangerous white man.
Sherlock is always abusive in any iteration of this story. But the American Sherlock is a master manipulator beyond any other version I’ve ever seen. Everything he does is calculated. Even when he apologizes, because of how severe his abuse and gaslighting and headfucking has already been, I don’t believe him and wonder what angle he’s playing by apologizing and what he’s planning to get from it later. I doubt everything he says. He is cold, destructive, selfish, frightening, and utterly unsympathetic.
When I got to the end of the episode, I felt like I’d just watched a woman get into the relationship that will utterly destroy her life. And, given that Reichenbach Falls is where this story inevitably goes, we already know it will.
I’m not entirely sure how I feel about this post yet, but it certainly raises some things for me to think about. (hobbitdragon’s definitely not a troll, by the way, I will vouch for him along those lines.) That said, in this case and at this point, I feel uncomfortable about a white man (the OP) arguing for interpretation where a WoC character is manipulated by and pandering to a white man.
I don’t feel totally good about this post. Not so much for the points made, if they had been made by a WoC, or even a woman about potential sexism, or a PoC about potential racism, but for the identities of the person making the post.
As both a survivor and a PoC, I didn’t pick up on gaslighting. That certainly doesn’t mean it’s not there, and I am planning on re-watching the episode at some point with the framework of abuse more forefront in my mind, to see what I personally think. I’m not sure yet.
What I will say, however, is that there are a lot of WoC in this fandom making positive statements about the Sherlock/Joan relationship— about her setting boundaries, about her letting him know what is and isn’t acceptable behavior, about her not pandering to him, about her not taking his shit. So to specifically then, as a white man, say she’s a woman of color solely pandering to a white man and being manipulated strikes me as problematic.
Basically if the post were, on an individual level, talking about a potential abuse narrative that might be romanticized, or critiquing Sherlock’s abusive tendencies, I’d probably be down with that? But I don’t know if it’s okay for hobbitdragon to make these claims about Joan as a WoC, which is what the post is framed around.
If WoC disagree with me on this and feel hobbitdragon’s in the right, though, I defer to them.
this WOC survivor agrees with you.
Another WoC here! Honestly, the OP’s post made me feel really really icky and uncomfortable. I sat and thought about it for a while, and I think I’ve figured it out.
He is seeing, analyzing, and judging a WoC character based on the actions of a white male character.
Because, lbr, many of the things Holmes does are problematic. But Holmes’ actions do not define Watson’s character.
Read the read more. No really it is amazing.