Tag Archives: Sexuality

The Doctors Slipping Asexuality

If you’ve read my post about asexuals in the media, then you’ll know how strongly I feel about the importance of there being asexual characters in the media. You’ll also know how few of them there are, the main three being Sherlock Holmes, Sheldon Cooper (from the big bang theory) and the Doctor.
So it probably doesn’t shock you to find out that when Moffat announced that the Doctor engaged in premarital sex with Queen Elizabeth, I was pretty annoyed about it.

The Doctor has had children in the past (he occasionally mentions his Time Lord family) however, the Doctor has historically never shown interest in having sex with humans, and therefore could be considered as being an asexual character.

This level of plot twist is like if Sheldon Cooper had sex with his girlfriend (something which the writers constantly hint at despite the fact the Sheldon openly states that he’s disgusted by the idea of sexual acts. That’s not how you do character development, that’s how you do erasure of different sexualities). However, it wasn’t even written into the show. In an interview with the Dr Who magazine, Moffat reportedly said: ‘I said the marriage was unconsummated – and so it was. You saw for yourself in The Day of the Doctor – he ran straight off after the ceremony. Would we have put that on television if it wasn’t true? But I never said – not once, not ever – that the relationship was unconsummated!’

For a character uninterested in sex, it seems like something like this should be addressed in the show, not a passing comment in an interview. It’s like Dumbledores sexuality not factoring in the books but being mentioned by JK Rowling afterwards.

People from minority sexualities need to see representation so that their own sexuality can be validated. As an asexual, the idea that even characters like the Doctor will eventually come around and conduct in “normal” sexual activity is pretty offensive. It’s a bit like how now the Master is female the Doctor can suddenly have a relationship with her. Strange that.

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#Report Sam Pepper

Alternative title: In which the internet has finally realized that Sam Pepper is a bastard.

The first time I encountered Sam Pepper was when he appeared as a guest in the show Virtually Famous in which they featured his video “How to Make Out with Strangers”. As I watched, I couldn’t help but come to the conclusion that this guy was an asshole and was baffled by how many people saw him as a “legend” due to his ability to coerce women into kissing him.

There has since been worse videos including acts such as him handcuffing himself to strangers until they kiss him and more recently there was the infamous ‘bum pinch’ video in which he “pranked” women by pinching their ass while not looking.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that a wide number of people were similarly appalled with this video and thus #reportSamPepper was born. Of course, with all issues which could be deemed feminist, there was a significant backlash with people saying that it was nothing more than a harmless prank. However, any sane minded person who has viewed the video should view it as an invasion of personal space and sexual harassment.

I have no problem with pranking as a concept. But it should NEVER be done to strangers. Sam Pepper often approaches random women on the street, forcing them to participate in their videos, with absolutely no idea of their backgrounds. The women who he force to kiss him may not be attracted to men (and I can guarantee that none are attracted to the grease-ball himself) or may be adverse to any kind of sexual contact. The women he handcuffed may suffer from PTSD and be triggered from a feeling of being trapped. The women he harass could have been sexually abused in the past and could be traumatized by the invasive contact. These are extreme examples of course, but the point still stands that when it comes to strangers you have no idea what the boundaries are and shouldn’t make it your mission to push them. I can guarantee that none of the featured women will look back fondly on their time in Sam Peppers videos where their harassment was turned into public entertainment.

Thankfully there was a strong enough backlash to get the video removed and even a lot of famous youtubers weighed in on the subject. Most notably Laci Greens open letter and Hank Green publicly banning Sam Pepper from VidCon.

Since the video was removed, Sam Pepper has  back-pedaled, saying that it was all a “social experiment” and a PSA about sexual harassment. I do feel better that the women in this video had given their full consent to be involved. But the fact remains that this video just highlights the problems with every one of his other videos.

The main problem with this situation is that Pepper has wrongly assumed that all of his viewers will have watched the explanation. Some people will have just watched the offending videos without having heard his weak excuse for his actions. So many people will see the videos and think that this is acceptable behavior. It legitimizes the behaviors and assists in the normalization of sexually harassing women on the streets. And that’s the real issue that needs to be addressed.

How Do People Find This Blog …?

One of my favorite features of WordPress stats is the ‘search engine terms’ which shows you some of the searches that people have made that have led to your blog. I thought that for todays post, I would share some of the more bizarre search terms which have lead people to my blog and the posts that I think they ended up at. So lets have at it:

  • girl who gets eaten in ‘interview with the vampire” (I don’t think I actually addressed this one in Book vs Film: Interview with the Vampire. My bad. There were a few of them though.)
  • showhowmolloyisturnedininterviewwiththevampire (This one I did answer. But maybe a working space bar would help your searches.)
  • why beauty and the beast has so many continuity errors (I ask myself this every day. And I tried to provide an actual answer to it in A Guide to the Plot Holes in Beauty and the Beast )
  • why i hate big bang theory (I have a post for that, creatively titled Why I Hate Big Bang Theory )
  • lucy big bang theory social anxiety (And this is why I hate it. Not the character, but the characterization of social anxiety)
  • i hate the big bang theory (I’m sensing a theme here….)
  • i fucking hate raj from big bang theory
  • big bang hate
  • i/ hate lucy from big bang theory
  • big bang theory insulting social anxiety
  • why i hate penny big bang theory 2014 (I haven’t posted about Penny yet. I do hate her but for entirely different reasons)
  • hate raj big bang theory (Yeah he sucks.)
  • harry potter do you love me (I have one on Harry Potter: Important Quotes ?)
  • animated younger brother mischief (If its about siblings, then they probably found my Top Five Animated Siblings )
  • black widow “aromantic” (Something I hope for but haven’t written about.)
  • manga sibling complex popluar brother and normal sister (…Probably Top Five Animated Siblings again. But they were probably disappointed… I’d read that manga.)
  • why are boys afraid of periods (It probably says something about society that I have 5 of the exact same searches asking Why Are Men So Afraid of Periods? )
  • erotic disney beauty beast (…..Why?)
  • isn’t ballet ppainful (Yes. Yes it is. It’s pretty Badass)
  • sexy heroine wearing no dress (That is the exact opposite to the subject of Issues with Super-heroine Costumes.)
  • peter patter grew harry potter (Oh yes. I talked about Mr Patter Grew extensively in The Symbolism Behind the Marauders )
  • rat guy harry potter (Now you’re not even trying.)
  • anime boobs comparison chart (I weep for humanity.)
  • how i had sex with a demon (My demons are a bit less promiscuous. They tell me Not to Have Sex)
  • sex demon chastity (What were you hoping to achieve when you searched this?)
  • sabina altynbekova fanart (I argued against the fanart stuff in How Internet Admiration Can Ruin Women’s Careers)
  • sabina altynbekova fuck hard (For fucks sake.)
  • vanellope at hogwarts fanfiction (I talk about Vanellope in Disney’s Non Princess Heroines. But there was no Hogwarts involved. I deeply apologize.)
  • venellope at hogwarts fanfiction (You were right the first attempt.)
  • mowgi’s temptress (SHE SHOULD NOT BE CALLED A TEMPTRESS! And I argue why the child shouldn’t be classified as a temptress in Disney’s Non Princess Heroines)
  • remus lupin sirius black jk rowling evidence (I don’t have a post on this and now I want to write one.)
  • barney stinson rape culture (Barney Stinson: The Rapist. I’m always happy when people acknowledge that he’s not charming, he’s a rapist.)
  • the girl who didnt get the role in the hercules 2014 because she was to pretty (I have no idea. But now I want to know. I’m afraid I just wrote about Disney’s Hercules)
  • drew barrymore lost virginity (Jesus Christ guys.)

And on that note… I look forward to more weird and wonderful searches in the future. Thank you to everyone who typed something into google and accidentally ended up in at my blog. I really appreciate it.

Asexuality in Popular Media

I love seeing asexuals represented in the media, unfortunately it literally never happens.

The three main examples of asexuals that we have right now are Dr Who, Sherlock Holmes and Sheldon Lee Cooper from the Big Bang Theory. These three are the only asexuals that I’ve been able to find. (I’ve excluded cartoon characters, since their young audience tends to mean that their inherently asexual.) It is possible that there are other asexual characters out there, but these are the only ones that I see on a daily basis.

One of the main problems here is that asexuality is largely constructed as being something absurdly different. According to TV, normal people can’t be asexual. So the only examples we have are either alien (Dr Who) or possibly aspergic (Sherlock and Sheldon). Asexuals also can’t be female according to the medias representation, because god forbid a woman wouldn’t want to have sex. What a terrible message that would be to send out.

There’s also a massive issue in that although these characters were originally created to be asexual, recent writers and directors have ruined the characterisation.

Dr Who:

The Doctor started off as an asexual. His relationship with his companions was strictly platonic. It can be argued that since Susan is his granddaughter, then he must have had sex at some point however, he also had a daughter by accidently using a progenation machine, so anything is possible.

Matt Smith has been reported as saying that he deliberately played the Doctor as asexual, however the recent episodes have made it clear that the Doctor is very into kissing, regardless as to whether or not he has consent. In fact, this goes so far that it can easily be argued that he sexually assaulted Jenny (a queer, married woman) in the episode Crimson Horror.

Sherlock:

Sherlock is an asexual/aromantic character, regardless as to what the fanfiction tells you. Unfortunately, a lot of adaptions misinterpret his relationship with Irene Adler. In the story, Irene intrigued Sherlock purely because she was the only person to outsmart him. Here’s an extract from the beginning of Scandal in Bohemia;

To Sherlock Holmes she is always the woman. I have seldom heard him mention her under any other name. In his eyes she eclipses and predominates the whole of her sex. It was not that he felt any emotion akin to love for Irene Adler. All emotions, and that one particularly, were abhorrent to his cold, precise but admirably balanced mind.

And equally, Irene has no interest in Sherlock and at the end of the story, she escapes with her husband Norton.
The BBC series tries to keep in aspects of Sherlocks original characterisation, but they were waaaay off base with Irene.

However, that’s not nearly as bad as the portrayal in the American series ‘Elementary’. In Elementary, they make it incredibly obvious that Sherlock has an incredibly active sex life, and he even refers to Watson as a “prude” after she questions him exchanging erotic letters with a woman he’s never met.

There’s a fine line between developing a character and going overboard with the development. The writers of Elementary appear to have missed this line completely.

Big Bang Theory:

At the start of this post I mentioned that there are no female asexuals in media, which is a shame, because we used to have a great one.

When Amy Farrah Fowler was introduced, she and Sheldon made the perfect couple because they were equally uninterested in physical contact and equally uninterested in social interactions.

Unfortunately, this wasn’t interested enough, and in the space of one episode Amy suddenly developed a sex drive. Now, watching the new episodes, there are an average of about five ‘Amy is frustrated’ or ‘Sheldon doesn’t understand sex’ jokes every episode.

Asexuality isn’t being represented as a liveable life choice. It’s being represented as a joke. And in an episode that hasn’t aired in the UK yet, the couple kiss. Now, I haven’t seen this episode yet, but I really hope that it isn’t going to be the case that Sheldon finally understands Amy’s nagging and gives in to placate her. If it’s the case that Sheldon develops his own desire to have physical contact, then that’s not quite as bad. But I still don’t see why these characters need to have a sexual relationship to be ‘normal’.

EDIT: Never mind. Big Bang sucks.

Let me know what you think. Are there any asexual characters that I’ve missed off? Is there a decent depiction out there? I’d love to find any other adaptions.

EDIT:

Shortly after writing this blog post, I came across this tumblr post about the tv show Sirens which includes a female asexual character. This hasn’t come over to the UK yet, but I’m really hoping it does as it appears to go against everything that I’ve written about in the post as it includes a female asexual character, whose asexuality isn’t linked to any social disorder. If you have access to it, go check it out and let me know if it’s as good as it seems.

A Demon Tells Me To Not Have Sex

A few days ago, a woman came up to me and asked if I could help her pass on a message.

Now, naturally, the answer here should have been a “no”. I don’t know this woman. I don’t owe her anything. For all I know, this ‘message’ could be some organized crime thing or something. Best to stay out of it really.

I could have just walked away, but I seem to have inherited that ridiculous British politeness. So before I had the chance to process her bizarre request, I blurted out a “sure” and took my headphones out to hear her better. Rookie mistake.

The woman had a very thick accent and started speaking ridiculously quickly, so I had no idea what she was actually saying. All I knew was that she seemed to be telling me to read the bible. She then ended with “And you shouldn’t lose your virginity. Stay single. And don’t have sex before marriage. Okay?”

To which I stared wide eyed at her before realizing that she was expecting a response. So I gave her a quick nod and she walked away smiling.

Now, despite her manner of speaking reminding me of demonic possessions, there was one thing that really stuck in my mind about what she had said;

I am twenty one years old. Do I really look that much like a single virgin that she was so sure of her assumption?

It almost made me feel like I have a big neon sign over my head that reads “Virgin over here!”

It was a weird assumption for demon-lady to make, because the normal assumption is that everyone my age has had sex. Hell, the cultural assumption is that most fourteen year olds have lost their virginity. Never mind twenty-one year olds.

So why haven’t I?

Because my faith tells me not to? No. I’ve never really been one for religion.

Because I’ve made a pledge of chastity? Oh god no. The idea of chastity balls and pledging your virginity to your father is just too creepy for me.

Really, the simple reason is that I’m yet to find someone who interests me like that. So I’ve never really felt the need. I’ve never even kissed a guy before (which is pretty depressing to admit, but the truth none-the-less. Also, one of the reasons why I love the movie Never Been Kissed with Drew Barrymore so much).

And as I get older, I find myself more and more reluctant to take that kind of risk.

Of course, some of my friends try to spin it in a positive light. One told me rather cheerfully that she could get a fortune for me if she sold me on the black market since virgins are such a rarity these days.

But the fact of the matter remains that my disinterest in experimenting with men who don’t interest me means that the likelihood of me dying alone is pretty high.

I’d become a crazy cat lady if I wasn’t so allergic.