I was showing Emperor’s New Groove to a couple of my guy friends for the first time and one of them said; “I know why you like this movie. All the women are strong willed.”
And I just paused for a second because like…I’ve watched this movie at least 4 times over the last few years…and I’ve never *realized* that? They’re just…well-written characters? There aren’t even that many of them. They’re not any different in will than any of the male characters. It just struck me as so odd that the “strong-willed” nature of the female characters would stick out to him. Because to me they were just…real people. And it was mildly insulting to feel like he was reducing all the beauty that this movie is to “unusually strong-willed women”.
We also noted that I’m basically a reincarnation of Pacha’s wife when something upsets me.
I don’t get it. Both Irene Adlers were defeated because they fell for Sherlock Holmes, because of their sentimental feelings for him, but one is bashed and her writers are called names (Sherlock) and one is celebrated and her writers are called progressive (Elementary). I guess I’m thick but I see no difference between them, neither won and both let their feelings for him cloud their judgment.
Allow me to explain.
In BBC, Irene is hyper-sexualized, introduced as a lesbian woman, who’s sexuality is then ignored in order for her to get wet in the panties for Sherlock. It is revealed that she only posed a threat in the first place because she was given help from Moriarty, a man. She is then defeated when Sherlock proclaims that sentiment is a “chemical defect of the losing side”, reenforcing ”Women are so weak and emotional and girly feelings make you weak” tropes, and the episode ends with Sherlock having to go and save her from the scary scary terrorists.
In Elementary, however, Irene works to SUBVERT the classic “damsel” trope. We are told that she was killed to get to Sherlock, only to be recovered and in need of “healing.” (Bonus! Even in scenes where she is changing, she is never hyper-sexualized) However, the entire thing is a trick. Irene is actually the one in power. She manipulated SHERLOCK’S feelings in order to dominate him. Her needing rescue was only a trick, praying on Sherlock’s emotional buy in to the classic “damsel” narrative. The vast majority of the male antagonists in the show were only HER pawns. And let’s be clear here: She DOES beat him. She defeats Sherlock. Irene/Moriarty is only defeated because she underestimated JOAN, not because of her sentimentality. Because she only saw Joan as a “mascot.” (And woah, the racial implications there are intense). In fact, Moriarty is primarily empowered by her emotions, talking about how her ability to manipulate people’s feelings is one of her sources of strength.
You see, the BBC narrative buys into sexist tropes and the systematic disempowerment of women, along with a healthy dash of queer-baiting.
Elementary deliberately subverted those sexist tropes, demonstrates the power of women, and only has Moriarty defeated by underestimating another woman.
I can’t remember where I heard this, but someone once said that defending a position by citing free speech is sort of the ultimate concession; you’re saying that the most compelling thing you can say for your position is that it’s not literally illegal to express. - Randall Munroe, XKCD
The laptop would be stupid anyway there’s no wifi.