am i the only one who things jenny and madame vastra are a parallel to john and sherlock?
[Walter Simeon speaking with Vastra]
You realise Dr Doyle is almost certainly basing his fantastical tales on your own exploits?
With a few choice alterations, of course.
I doubt the readers of The Strand magazine would accept that the great detective is, in reality…
And her suspiciously intimate companion…
Doctor Who Christmas Special 2012: The Snowmen
theedgeofnite reblogged your photoset and added:
"And I never want to hear anybody say that their relationship is weird or unsafe or any other stupid thing that crosses the mind of all of those who simply do not want to aknowledge this amazing couple"
Look, I don’t personally ship Vastra/Jenny, and I don’t judge anyone who does, because God knows we need what representation we can get, but it’s fucking insulting to say that anyone who finds a problem with them doesn’t want to acknowledge them? Whatever that means?
As a queer woman, representation is incredibly important to me. And as a queer woman, most of the representation the media has to offer of people like me is as jokes, or for titillation, or as tokens so the writers and producers of the show can say ‘LOOK HOW PROGRESSIVE I AM’, while never actually developing their characters beyond flinging them as examples of how their show is inclusive and progressive.
Vastra and Jenny had so much potential as a couple, but Moffat has used them for all three of those things, especially the last one. If you read tenderness and mutual respect into their relationship, then fair play to you and I hope you enjoy it, but I don’t see it. All I see is Vastra constantly undermining Jenny, but it’s funny because of the species difference or something, and it’s okay because we’ve seen she has a really long and dexterous tongue, so Jenny can put up with being treated like shit. Or how they’re just two more of Steven Moffat’s Strong Women. Or how the only time how scary and difficult it must be to be a queer couple in the Victorian era is acknowledged, it’s to compare Clara not being attracted to the Doctor to that kind of oppression (although the absolute grossness of that whole part of the episode deserves its own post, and there are probably many written by people more articulate than me). But the only time what they face is acknowledged is when they want to make a joke of Vastra striding around shouting ‘I’M A LIZARD WOMAN FROM THE DAWN OF TIME AND THIS IS MY WIFE’, to laugh at the silly old fashioned bigots, which of course we, and the mighty, wonderful, saviour of queer ladies who is Steven Moffat, are nothing like. Or so he can throw in another reference to Sherlock Holmes, which I’m pretty sure he thinks he invented.
Neve McIntosh and Catrin Stewart, I think, do do a good job of introducing some kind of tenderness and affection into their interaction with each other, but I honestly think that that’s all the acting. Moffat’s writing is shit. Have we forgotten that this is the man who made a character into a lesbian only to show how amazing his male lead is that she would fall in love with him?
We know nothing about Vastra and Jenny as people, only their relationship, their job, and their connection to the Doctor. We aren’t given anything at all about their personalities or their histories (at least not Jenny’s, definitely), and any original personality they have is in the acting. The lesbian couple that Russell T. Davies introduced in Gridlocked have probably under five minutes of screen time, and they are more developed than Vastra and Jenny. I feel like we know them better, and I feel like this is because Moffat a) has no idea how to write women as people, b) especially queer women, because what the hell do women who you can’t make revolve around men do?? (although they revolve around the Doctor), and c) has probably never considered that they should be written as actual people, rather than just tokens he can wave around to prove how great he is.
TL;DR if you think that Vastra and Jenny are representation of a loving and equal partnership between two women, then good for you. And I really wish I could see that, too. But I don’t want just representation as in we’re there, however we’re portrayed, I want good and respectful representation, and they aren’t good enough for me.
I want representation of queer women that’s for and about queer women, not a straight man’s ego. (The straight man in question, I just realised, goes for both Moffat, and the Doctor on an in-universe level.)
That is my objection with this pairing, not that I don’t want to acknowledge two queer women. It’s about wanting, as a queer woman, to be not just acknowledged, but respected. So fuck off.
I do realize, after reading your comment, that I probably should have expressed my point of view better. You misinterpreted something I took for granted while writing and I obviously shouldn’t have.
”And I never want to hear anybody say that their relationship is weird or unsafe or any other stupid thing that crosses the mind of all of those who simply do not want to aknowledge this amazing couple”
I was referring to an ongoing slew of narrow-minded people infesting tumblr, or at the very least my dash, with posts doubting the very fact that they are married, that they are a couple. People ranting on how they think Jenny is being held captive by Vastra and forced to work for her. People saying it’s basically a stockholm-syndrome kind of relationship.
And forgive me if I say this, wether one might like it or not, they do say over and over again that they are married, they wear rings on their fingers, they call each other wife. I simply can’t stand myopic people who filter the reality made manifest to fit their own, and might I say dreary, point of view.
Whether you like it or not, it’s completely and totally up to you. I certainly won’t force anybody to like what I like. I’ve always believed that anyone is free to watch and ship whatever pairing they like. What I don’t like is people trying to force others to see only what they want to see. I’ve honestly never understood or took part in ship-wars where people hate on each other because of a tv character.
Maybe we should all just take a step back and watch television as a whole with a lot less involvement in it. Not everything is a political statement and if one wants, one can certainly find fault with everything. Sometimes a tv show is just a tv show. Sometimes an ill written line is just that. I feel we live television as if it were a political march we are taking part in. It’s supposed to be fun. And it isn’t perfect, and it isn’t well written or well thought, and it isn’t given the importance and space it deserves, but is it a crime to like it? Is it a crime to still laugh while watching it just because it represents no lesbian couple who ever actually lived?
I do believe that most of what I love about this show is in the looks and smirks and smiles they give eachother. I do acknowledge that the ship I love is that, a ship, not because they have them say “we are married” but because of the heart the actresses made into those lines that I too understand are “just for show”, as most queer lines on television are.
Also (and this is not to justify this particular tv show, but just to point out my reality) I have no idea where you write from, which country you are from, I however am from Italy. Italy. To this day there hasn’t been one single lesbian character, worthy or otherwise, on our mainstream channels. We still get the censured version of almost everything. We still get to see SailorMoon and made to believe that Neptune and Uranus are cousins. We still get told that the StarlightSailors (who in all truth turn into women when fighting and are therefore both male and female) are just the twin sisters of their male counterparts who misteriously fall asleep everytime they get on stage. On any tv show we still get every line, every kiss, every hint of anything cut out. So yeah, for me, for what I see around me, on my television, even this is something of an achievement.
So that’s what I take out of this tv show: comedic light-hearted fun, characters you end up loving despite their faults, a show that has no problem making fun of itself. What I didn’t find was a statemet of how a just and equal society should be. But truth be told I wasn’t looking for that anyway.
I like this show and these characters. I by no means intended to say you had to like them too of fuck off. If my lack of ability to express myself offended you, I sincerely apologize.
I don’t think we’ll get to see vastra and jenny again and what upsets me the most is that we haven’t heard jenny call her wife by her name. That’s all I actually want
I don’t think we’re ever gonna see them again either, Vastra’s last line feels like she’s bidding adieu to Clara and the Doctor. This saddens me greatly, especally since I think they are such well written characters and we’ve got to know them so very little. As you pointed out, we’ve never heard Jenny call her wife by name and even though they gave us a life-saving-I-sacrifice-my-own-oxygen-supply-not-to-have-you-die-my-love-kiss this still isn’t enough to make up for never having them again. I think if they hadn’t given us at least that we’d all be marching to the bbc studios right now with pitchforks in our hands. They gave us some sweets to make the bitter pill go down. I’m off to play with my plushies now to get over these sad sad thoughts.
Vastra Investigates - A Christmas Prequel.
Small cuts were made to the finished item. Of Vastra, Gregson originally commented, “Private detective, though! Odd job for a reptile,” to which the Silurian replied, “One does what one can to survive.” As she was departing, Vastra added, “Oh, inspector Gregson - we’ll be needing those handcuffs back!”
DWM special edition - the official guide to the 2012 series