Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Moff's Misogyny

Regular readers of this blog might be curious as to why I haven't mentioned the recent series of Sherlock

The answer is simple; I gave up watching the show 20 minutes into the first episode.

An even simpler answer? Like Doctor Who, Steven Moffat (and Mark Gatiss) have ruined Sherlock.

The writing has long been on the wall. Indeed, the show hasn't done anything of merit since Sherlock made his unexplained jump off the roof in the series two finale. Series three jumped the shark something terrible when it ended with Sherlock fatally shooting his enemy at point blank range. Then we had the 'special' which suggested women were the enemy, whilst still allowing them to stand meekly and silently whilst Sherlock explained that to them all. From what I've heard this latest series has got far, far worse and Moffat's role really is no longer tenable.

This latest series has come in for much criticism (look at the Guardian reviewer who dared to suggest the show had lost touch with its Conan Doyle roots, only for Gatiss to reply in verse. The fact that the reviewer then subsequently replied with valid reasons in his own verse wasn't picked up by the press in the same way Gatiss' retort was) so I won't go on at length about how the show is now absolutely nothing to do with Conan Doyle's hero, or how it 'sexes up' a genuine condition like Aspergers in a crude way, or even how watching just twenty minutes of it felt like standing on the sidelines of the most irritating, smug clique. Instead I'll just point you all to this recent article from The Independent.

In it, Moffat answers his critics cries of sexism and misogyny inherent in the Sherlock/Molly relationship and the fact that he chose to ignore her own personal response to a crucial scene in the most revealing of ways.

"She's a bit wounded by it all, but he's absolutely devastated. He smashes up the coffin, he's in pieces, he's more upset than she is, and that's a huge step in Sherlock's development"

What about Molly's development? It's clear he doesn't care. All he's interested in, indeed all he can see, is how it affects The Man. The Woman simply doesn't matter in this situation - she doesn't even feature on his radar at all.

"She probably had a drink and went and shagged someone, I dunno. Molly was fine"

Quite apart from the fact that we have someone professing not to know what a character he created is likely to think, feel or do, Allow me to play psychologist for a moment - doesn't this smack of the repressed feelings of a man who was always the dumped party rather than the dumpee? This creative outlet seems to be Moffat's revenge; he's thinking back to those times when, brokenhearted, he's returned home to wallow in self pity and lick his wounds whilst it appears to him that the woman carried on with their life. To Moffat's mind that is proof that they don't really care, and that it is the feelings of The Man that he must preoccupy himself with, he doesn't understand or comprehend that a woman can hurt too, but that some of them actually pick themselves up and carry on functioning, hiding their own emotions for fear of being criticised or undervalued in the patriarchy. 

Moffat doesn't know what his character would have done, because he cannot put himself into her mindset, nor does he even want to.

Moffat forever bangs on about how he loves women and how the sexism charges are unfair, but they're no longer the elephant in the room; they've charged their way through the walls and they're out in the open for all to see.

And writing a woman as a gun-toting super-spy and highly trained assassin is NOT a sign that you are a feminist; it's the kind of fantasy figure the immature Jeff from Coupling (the highly entertaining sitcom Moffat wrote many years ago) would create for his own wet dreams. It's a clear sign that you really can't write women because you simply do not understand them. You think women are somehow different to men and that is why, when you had the opportunity to explore their own feelings, you blew it.

So shit, Sherlock.


  1. We loved the early series of SHERLOCK, but found this last one incomprehensible and far too "look how smart we are" - I didn't even bother with the last one.

  2. Exactly, it's like I said; watching it was like standing on the periphery of an irritating smug clique. It's so impressed with itself, and that's never an attractive trait. It's actually really ugly, just like their attempts at writing women.