In a fairly recent post you mentioned that “narratives trying to explore ~fluid~ sexuality can be really, really harmful— e.g. Irene Adler in Sherlock.” Now, as a bisexual female, Irene Adler never really sat well with me in the series, though I’ve found it pretty hard to define, or put into words, why or how. I’d be interested in hearing your opinion on the matter, if you don’t mind.
my problem with it is primarily the way it’s used within the overarching narrative. like, irene adler identifies as gay, and falls in love with a man. that’s okay! there are some gay women who fall in love with men!
but “sherlock” is all about this man, this one man, this one perfect wonderful white straight cisman who is above and beyond all other people, who is elitist and ableist and objectively logical and insightful and always always right, which is like, deeply unsettling to me on a personal level
and the parallel that “sherlock” tries to draw is between irene and watson— that sherlock is so amazing, so captivating, that he entrances all people regardless of their identifiers or their perspectives or their selves. that is the argument irene makes.
but like— watson (i’m straight! he shrieks again, hearing me mention his name)— there is absolutely no sincere canonical support for his genuine queerness for sherlock. “sherlock” is a queerbaiter to end all queerbaiting, like what if? do you think? haHA! but at the end of the day, no, it will never, ever have watson kiss sherlock on the mouth
so it’s afraid to queer the primary relationship in the show, but still so invested in the central importance of the central man that it uses this woman to demonstrate how inescapably wonderful sherlock is. and irene adler— the POINT of irene adler— is that she is meant to be the one woman who tricks sherlock, who gets away from sherlock, who is above sherlock
so when you posit her as a gay woman whose undoing is her romantic/sexual love for sherlock, a gay woman who in spite of herself leans towards sherlock like a flower to the sun and so unroots herself
and when you have this story in the middle of a larger narrative about sherlock’s whiteness and maleness inextricable from his intellectual rightness and goodness, and a refusal to genuinely queer the other character who is meant to truly see and love sherlock— when sexuality is only fluid when it is flowing back towards straightness— well, then we have a problem
it’s just yeah, it’s not a genuine caring investigation into fluid sexuality or trying to represent the complex ways that people love. irene is not in charge here; the narrative doesn’t care about irene. they just use her, and her identity, and the way sherlock supersedes her identity, to remind us about how great this man is: so great that your self-perceived gayness will be invalid, and your emotions will unravel you, and you will deserve it, because you are a whore and a trickster and a selfish manipulative dangerous woman. but sherlock will save you anyway.
THIS CONCERNS THOSE WHO KNOW AND REBLOG FROM KOREAN TUMBLR USERS
The Korean government has recently passed a law that says, in it’s most basic form, “Anyone found as a creator, seller, or buyer of materials containing adolescent pornography will be punished as a sexual offender.”
Okay, well, that makes sense to stop the production of such things, they’re no good after all, right?
This wouldn’t be such a problem if the rules weren’t as ambiguous as hell.
More specifically, the law states the following counts
- Any appearances that could be seen as a teen/child
- Any type of pornography from explicit sex to being semi-nude (think mini skirts or swimming suits)
- Any media from illustrations, games, videos, films, etc.
Of course, it is purely up to the investigator to decide if the subject is an adolescent or not, or if the act is porn or not.
This means I could draw an 80-year-old man in just shorts, and be sent to jail if the investigator thinks the man looks like a teenager in a revealing outfit.
Jail? Surely I am exaggerating? But no, it is the truth: people who are caught breaking this law can be either sent to prison for several years or fined a 20,000$ equivalent, and they will lose their job in the entertainment industry.
Who’s in danger? Anyone who is a Korean citizen, regardless of where they live. Illustrators and animators in America can be removed with no consequence, and even small freelance artists and game developers can lose their jobs and have their projects revoked.
Personal privacy is no issue either; sending a picture to a friend via SMS can and will land you a place in jail if the material is considered adolescent porn. Even worse, the government has set up a system where people can get paid for turning others in who violate this law. One person had even linked 1700 personal websites, many of which were casual art blogs for Korean artists.
How can you help? First, stop reblogging the works of Korean artists on Tumblr, and delete any posts if the original post has been deleted. Even if the original post is gone, Tumblr will still link to the blog that posted it, revealing the creator. Second, spread the word. Let people know that this new law has already caught hundreds of artists who’s art is considered pornographic only by the police. Finally, respect those who have decided to delete their website or blog. They have done it to ensure that no one can falsely turn them in or be unfairly thrown in prison.
This a ridiculous law, but it’s been passed and has caused a huge issue in the Korean online community. Any media before September 2012 is safe, but after that the law is in place. Please help Korean artists to stay safe!
If you have any questions, there is an English-speaking website that you can send comments and concerns to.
Please share this! This is completely relevant to our goal of protecting artists, and we hope you will remain vigilant!
- This survey is an assigment for my degree work and at the moment it is barely a preliminary approach to the to the fandom based on the BBC “Sherlock” TV Series.
- There are some identification fields in the survey (name, username and e-mail) but if you feel comfortable answering please do, all the information will be used solely for research purposes and it’ll be handled only by me.
Please complete! It’s short and simple and really pretty fun.
Also, important for academics!