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January 2, 2016 10:40 pm  #1


The Feminist Aspect

Another one that seems worthy of its own thread - it's been causing some debate in the main thread.

Were the women right or wrong?

Mycroft said it was a war they "must" lose and he seemed to accept that they were in the wrong and the women were right. At the end, when Sherlock was addressing them all in their KKK outfits , he agreed with Mycroft and came down on their side.

But then, the entire gang was essentially used as a representative of Moriarty's gang in Sherlock's modern day reality. And how is going around killing people ever a good idea?
 


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January 2, 2016 10:45 pm  #2


Re: The Feminist Aspect

I don't think it's something that is about right and wrong in a black and white sense.  They were engaged in criminal activity, but suffragettes would often do things that were extreme in order to bring attention to themselves.  While the women were hurting people, which to some may prove that they are not worthy of the vote, they were doing so to punish those men that had dismissed them and underestimated them.  They were showing that they were capable of intelligent thought and could be just as dangerous as men.  They organized their group very well, not submitting to any man.  While going around killing people is, of course, not a good thing, they did prove their point.  The idea of the "plight" of women may be kind of outdated, but it would have made sense for the time.  These women were fighting back against the way they had been treated as less than men.  Could they have done things a different way, maybe, but the fact is that they were treated so badly over time that they felt killing was a worthy option.  Mistreatment that is that bad is worth fighting against.
They wanted to bring attention to their cause, and sometimes it is the most extreme that brings attention, good or bad.

Last edited by Yitzock (January 2, 2016 10:47 pm)


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January 2, 2016 10:51 pm  #3


Re: The Feminist Aspect

I will repeat myself, but to me, this story is the very opposite of feminism (meant as a fight for equality between sexes).

In his mind palace scene, we see women conspirators as a bunch of robots, devoid of any personality of their own, marching around like the army of Borgs, avoiding the eye contact, blindly waiting on the orders of their leader, being pliable in her hands “as a corpse is in the hands of the coroner”. To continue their anti-men conspiracy, they could actually meet in a tea-house or a coffee-house reserved exclusively for them as well, but no, they are presented as the people who inhabit wasteland of ruins, far-away from humanity, caped and chanting some ghibberish, which only adds to the feeling “these women are unnatural, they are an enemies of society”. The capes (and the five orange pips) actually connect them with Ku-Klux-Clan.
 
And of course, these women are very Ku-Klux-Clanish in their methods too. They freely kill every person they deem as their enemy and in this universe, this is seen as justified. Well, if murdering your opposition in a beastly way is empowering, then why do we fight terrorism in RL?
 
Men who hate feminism often point out, that in their opinion the feminist do not fight for the equality of both sexes, but for the female supremacism. And Sherlock´s mind palace is the very example of this. Even Molly who is sweet, sympathetic and supportive in RL seems to be a threat here, a ruthless, unscrupulous, immoral individual who employs most brutal methods to dispose of their enemies. Of course, such individual can insult, belittle and maim men to her liking, because men are not her life partners, they are the enemy she fights to the death.
 
The idea that women can enrich society because they tend to be more emphatic and they tend to avoid unnecessary conflict, so they could make a difference in the men´s competitive, “survival of the fittest” world, does not register here. Women are seen as strong not because they brought their own, feminine qualities to good use, but because they started to kill and maim like men and disposed themselves of their feminine qualities altogether that way. This is the very antithesis of feminism, if you think about it. Feminine is still seen as wrong – to mean something, women must become the hard-fighting ninjas tough as nails, they must become “men” themselves. 

Also, the story offered us no built up to this indeed. We never saw any woman to be actually abused, it was all hearsay. Plus, there were some dubious points in the case of Lord Carmichael being killed: if his wife and Emilia Ricoletti + the brides were friends, it means that Lady Carmichael have to be a woman of the working class, same as them. So we have this woman who married to riches and then murdered her husband because of abuse and inherited the whole estate and his vaults from him... hmmm, it stinks!


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January 2, 2016 10:53 pm  #4


Re: The Feminist Aspect

I took Mycroft's comment to mean that women in general were right, and that men in general were wrong (i.e. men were oppressing women).  "One half of the human race at war with the other".   And of course, it's not really Victorian Mycroft, but Sherlock looking at it from the perspective of the present day - he needed to solve the case, and could only do that by understanding women's position in that time.   He includes more minor wrongs (Watson not putting the maid in his stories, for instance), which are clearly not deserving of murder - I think this is about understanding.   And as you say, getting from understanding that, to understanding Moriarty and his network.

Last edited by Liberty (January 2, 2016 10:55 pm)

 

January 2, 2016 10:54 pm  #5


Re: The Feminist Aspect

Yitzock wrote:

I don't think it's something that is about right and wrong in a black and white sense.  They were engaged in criminal activity, but suffragettes would often do things that were extreme in order to bring attention to themselves.  While the women were hurting people, which to some may prove that they are not worthy of the vote, they were doing so to punish those men that had dismissed them and underestimated them.  They were showing that they were capable of intelligent thought and could be just as dangerous as men.  They organized their group very well, not submitting to any man.  While going around killing people is, of course, not a good thing, they did prove their point.  The idea of the "plight" of women may be kind of outdated, but it would have made sense for the time.  These women were fighting back against the way they had been treated as less than men.  Could they have done things a different way, maybe, but the fact is that they were treated so badly over time that they felt killing was a worthy option.  Mistreatment that is that bad is worth fighting against.
They wanted to bring attention to their cause, and sometimes it is the most extreme that brings attention, good or bad.

Are you aware that you just described Islamic State?

Plus, John was behaving awful to one of the "clan-members" as well. Would his murder be justified in your eyes if she did kill him in retaliation?
 


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I cannot live without brainwork. What else is there to live for? Stand at the window there. Was there ever such a dreary, dismal, unprofitable world? See how the yellow fog swirls down the street and drifts across the dun-coloured houses. What could be more hopelessly prosaic and material? What is the use of having powers, Doctor, when one has no field upon which to exert them?

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January 2, 2016 10:56 pm  #6


Re: The Feminist Aspect

Well, we shouldn't forget that the whole cult thing is something Sherlock made up for the dramatic flair. Taking that away, there are woman who created a bogey bride for abusive husbands, and men who mistreated women. And let's be real here, back then there was no real law against men like that.  

 

January 2, 2016 10:57 pm  #7


Re: The Feminist Aspect

I think they were wrong because they accepted a criminal man as their "criminal mastermind".


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January 2, 2016 10:59 pm  #8


Re: The Feminist Aspect

nakahara wrote:

Are you aware that you just described Islamic State?
 

Are you aware that you might be going a bit too far? 
 


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January 2, 2016 11:09 pm  #9


Re: The Feminist Aspect

Sorry, I didn´t want to hurt anybody with my post.

It´s just that the idea of "proving your point through murders" does not sit well with me and I couldn´t find a better RL example of why I feel that way. Sorry again if this was felt as unacceptable.


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I cannot live without brainwork. What else is there to live for? Stand at the window there. Was there ever such a dreary, dismal, unprofitable world? See how the yellow fog swirls down the street and drifts across the dun-coloured houses. What could be more hopelessly prosaic and material? What is the use of having powers, Doctor, when one has no field upon which to exert them?

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January 2, 2016 11:33 pm  #10


Re: The Feminist Aspect

nakahara wrote:

Yitzock wrote:

I don't think it's something that is about right and wrong in a black and white sense.  They were engaged in criminal activity, but suffragettes would often do things that were extreme in order to bring attention to themselves.  While the women were hurting people, which to some may prove that they are not worthy of the vote, they were doing so to punish those men that had dismissed them and underestimated them.  They were showing that they were capable of intelligent thought and could be just as dangerous as men.  They organized their group very well, not submitting to any man.  While going around killing people is, of course, not a good thing, they did prove their point.  The idea of the "plight" of women may be kind of outdated, but it would have made sense for the time.  These women were fighting back against the way they had been treated as less than men.  Could they have done things a different way, maybe, but the fact is that they were treated so badly over time that they felt killing was a worthy option.  Mistreatment that is that bad is worth fighting against.
They wanted to bring attention to their cause, and sometimes it is the most extreme that brings attention, good or bad.

Are you aware that you just described Islamic State?

Plus, John was behaving awful to one of the "clan-members" as well. Would his murder be justified in your eyes if she did kill him in retaliation?
 

I'm sorry, but I did not.  IS wants to eliminate all those who do not share their set of values through killings and they have destroyed historical sites and artifacts.  That is not what the women in the episode did, but I am not agreeing with them either.  I'm merely saying that I can see their point.  IS has invented atrocities to fight against, the women in TAB have faced real mistreatment.  They are not against all men, either.  They want equality, want people to own up to the fact that what so many have done to women, how they have treated women, is wrong.

EDIT: I see now you didn't mean to hurt my feelings.  Don't worry, I'm not hurt.

Last edited by Yitzock (January 2, 2016 11:39 pm)


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January 3, 2016 12:33 pm  #11


Re: The Feminist Aspect

There was a very good movie which treated the same subject and managed to portray the prejudice and the fight for equality with extreme wit, satire and inventiveness, with only the minimal depiction of violence: it was the delightful "Pleasantville".

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pleasantville_(film)

I don´t demand from Mofftiss that they ape that work. But I´d like it much better if they depicted the fight for equality without murders.

And now back to my original question if John´s murder would have been justified because he badmouthed the "clan" member.

I´m sure that this scene was meant to picture what hard life the female servants had in middle-class and high-class households. And to some extent, it was successful....

...but on the other hand, the more I think of it, the more I am on John´s side in this.

He pays his maid a wage for cleaning and doing house-chores. Yet he sees that the woman had not done her work at all - without the explanation why. I´m sure that if she was a man, he would reprimand her for the same neglect just as harshly - it´s not as if he was singling her out solely for being a woman here. And the woman is weird to the extreme. Instead of explaining what other more important chores she was engaged in, she is sassy and demands that Dr. Watson mentions her in his tales. Now, I find this demand to be quite ridiculous.

I´m sure that while Sherlock was investigating "Blue Carbuncle", somebody was cooking dinner at Baker Street, some people polished shoes next-door, somebody rode cabs through the street, some child slipped on ice and hurt its knee - but these people were not mentioned in the story at all. Why? Because such stuff is entirely irrelevant if you are writing a detective story!

What good would it add to the Watson´s tales if he included the long descriptions of his maid dusting the mantel-piece and polishing china in them? They would be unreadable and boring that way! So why demand it? From the storyteller´s POV, it´s an unreasonable nonsense.

And at the end, we see that the woman had no time for doing her chores because she was busy organising murders elsewhere.

No matter if man or woman - would you tolerate such servant in your household after such revelation? I would kick her out immediatelly, tbh.


-----------------------------------

I cannot live without brainwork. What else is there to live for? Stand at the window there. Was there ever such a dreary, dismal, unprofitable world? See how the yellow fog swirls down the street and drifts across the dun-coloured houses. What could be more hopelessly prosaic and material? What is the use of having powers, Doctor, when one has no field upon which to exert them?

http://49.media.tumblr.com/eb0e156f55878fcd6f89dcf91ae89811/tumblr_o0eyyzrphE1spvwrzo2_1280.gif
 

January 3, 2016 12:49 pm  #12


Re: The Feminist Aspect

That was a reference...in one of the stories Sherlock deduces that Watson has a bad maid.

 

January 3, 2016 3:10 pm  #13


Re: The Feminist Aspect

Some fans outlook on the "feminism" present in this scene:

http://violethuntress.tumblr.com/post/136471620061/iwantthatbelstaffanditsoccupant


-----------------------------------

I cannot live without brainwork. What else is there to live for? Stand at the window there. Was there ever such a dreary, dismal, unprofitable world? See how the yellow fog swirls down the street and drifts across the dun-coloured houses. What could be more hopelessly prosaic and material? What is the use of having powers, Doctor, when one has no field upon which to exert them?

http://49.media.tumblr.com/eb0e156f55878fcd6f89dcf91ae89811/tumblr_o0eyyzrphE1spvwrzo2_1280.gif
 

January 3, 2016 3:34 pm  #14


Re: The Feminist Aspect

(I realize that I may have been a bit snappy in my last post.  Sorry about that.)

I wasn't considering the scene where Watson is talking with his maid.  I don't think there's anything wrong with what he said either, but I don't think that was something he would have been killed for (though I've only seen the episode once, so sorry if I have forgotten something).  I thought that moment was just supposed to be funny, with the maid having similar complaints, like Mrs. Hudson, about not being in the stories.  It's not because she's not worth writing about so much as, like everyone else, she wants her bit of fame.

As for the pointy hoods, I can see why it could bother some people.  But I thought it was just to be misleading, you don't know what the group is doing and what their motive is and you don't find out until the end.  It conceals their identity.  I know it sort of resembles the KKK, but their hoods are dark instead of white.  I think, instead, it could be a combination of two things - freemason robes and witch hats.

Freemason groups would wear hoods during their gatherings and ceremonies - dark ones.  But only men were allowed into those circles.  These women may have been forming their own, their own masked group and their own chants.  And then there's the pointed hat, often associated with witches.  Those pointed hats once represented wisdom and women who wore them ("witches") were trusted.  But then things changed and those women were then persecuted, their knowledge of medicines instead considered "witchcraft," dangerous and evil.  Could these women not be reclaiming that pointed hat as well?
I know their not doing what witches would do (and I'm not saying this is a wiccan group), but they are still trying to fight back against oppressors, gain a position in society where they are not underestimated or put down.

And of course, if Sherlock likes dramatic flair, then can we not assume that a world inside his head would cater to that? Those outfits are quite dramatic, after all. Perhaps an indulgence on his part, then?
 

Last edited by Yitzock (January 3, 2016 3:52 pm)


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January 3, 2016 3:39 pm  #15


Re: The Feminist Aspect

That makes sense to me, Yitzock - the freemason/witch combo.  And of course you're right that this is all Sherlock's imagination - how would he see it?

 

January 3, 2016 3:51 pm  #16


Re: The Feminist Aspect

Something occurred to me...naturally the whole robes aso are about Sherlock loving dramatic, but they are also a very covert commentary on the way feminism is currently demonized.

 

January 3, 2016 3:55 pm  #17


Re: The Feminist Aspect

Perhaps it could be seen as how feminists can be demonized, but I found the overall outlook on these women in the end not to be one that demonizes them, but that understands the pain that they have been through.  I think it could mean that these women were misunderstood.  They may appear to be evil, but their motives are not so evil or "demonic." Feminism can be demonized, but if you look beyond that surface impression that many have, you see something more. You see the reasons for them to be angry, bitter, the reason they fight back.

Last edited by Yitzock (January 3, 2016 3:56 pm)


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January 3, 2016 4:26 pm  #18


Re: The Feminist Aspect

I don't know if this is the right thread, but I was thinking that Sherlock himself is kind of feminist or at least equal opportunities in his approach generally.   I can't imagine him putting somebody down because of their sex.  I don't think it's an issue for him.  He doesn't treat people very well generally, but I think Molly and Janine get more hurt because they fall for him.  He's lovely to Mary right from the start.  He's actually quite nice to Janine, before he decides to deceive her. 

Even back in the Victorian mind palace, he doesn't seem to treat Mary any differently, whereas Watson does. 

Interesting that Irene wasn't in that particular mind palace scene in the church - he doesn't see himself as wronging her.  Possibly because he didn't, in the end.  Or possibly because Lara wasn't available!
 

 

January 3, 2016 4:28 pm  #19


Re: The Feminist Aspect

If anything, she wronged him!


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January 3, 2016 4:48 pm  #20


Re: The Feminist Aspect

I also love LeStrade's obliviousness!

"I'm part of a campaign, you know. Votes for women",
"And are you for or against?"

 

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