I wrote this in the inbox of the person who wrote this:
I just read your post on evil!Irene and would like to point out something that matters to me. Holmes by definition was a misogynist. He never believed a woman could be capable of deducing him. Now in Elementary he has that in Watson. So why do we need Irene? I’m not trying to pick a fight but in my mind this show has accomplished so much by reducing Holmes inherent misogyny to a few misogynistic observations and treating Joan like an equal. I’m glad Irene is evil. Because John is Joan now.
I would like to go on to say that in expanding the adaptation of Sherlock to a less misogynistic (I’d say he’s not at all but he has made some comments) one. To a Sherlock who is not godlike in his powers of deduction we come to a better discussion of this mythos and its legacy on sexism in literature and media.
ACD’s Sherlock Holmes was and is one of the most powerful characters in the last 125 years. Think about that for a moment there are literally HUNDREDS of adaptations. Here’s the official entry on wikipedia under adaptations for BBC’s Sherlock:
Cumberbatch’s Holmes was described by the BBC as:
Brilliant, aloof and almost entirely lacking in social graces. Sherlock is a unique young man with a mind like a ‘racing engine’. Without problems to solve, it will tear itself to pieces. And the more bizarre and baffling the problems the better. He has set himself up as the world’s only consulting detective, whom the police grudgingly accept as their superior. x
When we discuss Irene Adler as The Woman, she’s an ideal, and “she eclipses the whole of her sex.” How sexist is that extremely famous line?
So lets combine the two, Sherlock the unbeatable superior intellect pitted against his INTELLECTUAL EQUAL of Moriarty. And you combine it with the the persona of The Woman Irene Adler. Now you have not only demolished the misogyny and racism (along with the brilliantly acted role of Joan Watson but those are both for other posts) but you’ve actually begun to repair some of the damage done by this beloved but fundamentally sexist character.
Also, I’m glad that there’s been no attempt at making Sherlock and Joan’s relationship romantic. Its another step in the right direction.
More later… for the moment I need to go look up some quotes from the original stories.
Elementary Gif - Search in a Giphy