Sigh. Someone please tell Steven Moffat that just because the new promo for the upcoming Sherlock special is self-aware enough to admit the show treats women poorly, it doesn’t in fact change that blight on the show and his career.
The new trailer for a time-jumping, bowler hat-wearing Sherlock promo is everything a giddy fangirl could want. There’s talk of missing limbs. The boys are quibbling. Benedict Cumberbatch looks as stunning as ever as Sherlock and Martin Freeman is absolutely huggable as the well-meaning Watson. Even Mrs. Hudson is there to open the door and usher them upstairs.
Perhaps the best part of the trailer, though, is how utterly self-aware it is. Upon returning to 221B, Watson is immediately inundated with sass from the lovely Hudson, telling him she’s already read his newest story and that, frankly, she doesn’t appreciate how she’s treated. All she does is open the door and usher people in. It’s exactly what Sherlock fans have complained about for some time now. Watson’s response?
“Well, within the narrative, that is, broadly speaking, your function.”
Oh, Moffat, you wry, wry fellow. For years this is exactly what women (and the men we love most) have accused Moffat of doing and it seems that, in just 10 words, he’s acknowledged our complaint. It’s a complaint, of course, that he’s long disputed. Complaints of a lack of females on the production side of things has led Moffat to the atrocious remarks that women don’t seem to want to write for Doctor Who and that we need to grow up more first. After asking for a stronger, less flirtatious female on Doctor Who, we were given Moffat’s Sherlock rewrite of “The Woman.” In Arthur Conan Doyle’s tale, she was an adventuress and one of the few humans who could outwit Sherlock. In Moffat’s version, she was a dominatrix. That’s worthy of neither a #YouTried or a #CloseEnough. It’s sexism at its ugliest and Moffat at his usual.
Think we’re alone in this belief? Up until the most recent season of Sherlock, a smart, lovely blog was maintained on Tumblr, called STFUMoffat, that brilliantly picked apart and showcased his biggest affronts to women’s equality. The newest season was so littered with annoyances for any intelligent female fan that even the moderators said, “F*** it. He’s not worth it.” They stopped writing. And if you google “Moffat Sexist,” you will find page after page of rants of this very type. It’s too much.
Mrs. Hudson sasses Watson, “I’m your landlady. Not a plot device.” And we’ll take it one step further. Mr. Moffat, we are your viewers, not your sex appeal. This new, self-aware trailer better be the beginning of something new, honest and actually kind toward women. Or we may not be your viewers for much longer.