Just for fun and probably part of my masochistic streak, I was following this argument/debate that someone else from the other ship started regarding sherlolly and representation and whatnots (I think you all know which post I am refering to). Even if the whole thing is seriously giving me a headache, I tried to read everything with as much logic and detachment as I can muster from a post like that.
Seriously though, what I have noticed is that the counter-arguments for that criticism are all pretty solid and diverse as well, but the op’s arguments still remain the same and pretty much shows their tunnel vision.
Also, things are getting quite personal and hurtful.
So here is how I see it, Sherlolly is pointed out as a cis het, white couple and less progressive ship (I am just using the most words that I see from the posts)
Let us start with the cishet part. Forgive me if I go slow and define a lot of things, just so the grounds are laid out and clear.
Cishet is the abbreviation for cisgender heterosexual. Cisgender is a definition given to a person who identifies with the sex they are born with. However, my wikipedia reading showed that cisgendered is now also used instead of gender normativity or heteronormative to define people who do not identify with a gender diverse experience without ‘enforcing’ existence of a normative gender expression.
Now lets apply this definition to Sherlock and Molly who are after all the ones involved in the Sherlolly ship.
Molly, by the first definition is a cisgender female. She is a designated female that identifies herself as a gender female and is attracted to the opposite sex (though we are not also quite sure if she is attracted or not to same sex because there are no instances that happened in the show which would have allowed us to examine her sexuality further, therefore, arguements can still be raised) . Now, going by the other definition, Molly in NO instance during the show ever ‘enforced’ existence of a normative gender expression.
When faced with the statement that Jim is gay (takenote, Sherlock said gay not bisexual), she did not state that he is not gay because ‘he is a male’. She said he is not gay because they are together. She thought that because Jim showed interest on her, then he is a heterosexual.
Please note that thinking that another person is heterosexual does not immediately mean that person expresses heteronormativity.
This is a point that I will come back to later on.
Now moving on to Sherlock, we can’t really acertain if he is a cisgender male (first definition) because his character can be quite confusing at times. We can’t really know for certain if he is bisexual, heterosexual or homosexual (though he seems to show attraction to The Woman, however that does not confirm or cancel anything). Anyways, going to the other definition, we all know that its a big No. From, the onset, during his restaurant conversation with John, we know Sherlock’s opinion about homosexuality which shows that clearly he is not heteronormative.
So recap, Molly is most probably a cisgender female but is not heteronormative.
Sherlock is still a question mark but he also does not believe in heteronormative.
Clearly the issue is not with the characters.
Going on to the ship and the shippers themselves. I think what the Op failed to understand or see is that the Sherlolly ship is more than just a heterosexual ship in the strictest sense.
Not all of us even view Molly and/or Sherlock as heterosexuals. Some of us think and choose to interpret them as pansexual, bisexual, asexual,..etc (you name it we got it). This is because as established earlier, we have characters who are very open to sexual interpretation. The mere fact that we have fanfiction, art and headcanons (please don’t cast aside headcanons as invalid arguments because we are afterall talking about ships and shipping which is a personal interpretation of a relationship) with very diverse sherlolly relationships (eg. Asexual!sherlock and Molly, bisexual!sherlock and bisexual!molly and other combinations) shows how FLEXIBLE and OPENMINDED both the ship and the shippers are.
It is true that majority of the ship is composed of a heterosexual (in the strictest sense) relationship, but there is still a queer representation WITHIN the ship itself. Small but it still exist. Most important of all, is that we don’t have any issue with that within the ship. Some might not like the genre, but we don’t cast them off. We accept them because they are part of the ship.
The irony is that the problem comes from the outside, especially with posts that view Sherlolly as a strict narrow heteronormative ship.
Again, being heterosexual or thinking that other people are heterosexual does not immediately mean that we believe in heteronormativity. The moment when we ‘force’ heterosexism and heterosexual relationship to others is the moment when we turn into being heteronorms…which fortunately, the Sherlolly ship and shippers are not.
Going on the next part of the decription which is a ‘white couple’…well they are really a white couple. I don’t even know why this has to be added in the description. It is simply a fact that they are both of British race and have both milky white skin. This is not even an issue of race. Heck, if Molly is as brown skinned as I am or Sherlock is a latino with the same attitude, I am still going to ship them.
Now on to the next part which is Sherlolly being a less progressive ship.
Less progressive in terms of what?
Emotional progress? Clearly not. TEH and HLV Sherlock-Molly interaction showed the emotional maturity these two characters had gained. There are a lot of great metas that had discussed Sherlock’s and Molly’s emotional maturity when it comes to dealing with each other. Clearly it is not a question of the charactes’ emotional progress. If it is the shippers emotional progress, then don’t worry. We are a very small ship that obviously experiences a lot of criticisms and oppositions, emotions and running or reigning them in are nothing new to us.
Intellectual progress? Hello, Sherlolly mind palace scene. I had already posted a meta about Molly’s presence in Sherlock’s mind palace and what it means, so I am not going to delve deeper in this any longer. But suffice to say that shipper or not, we can’t deny how important and telling it is of Sherlock’s trust with Molly’s competence when he consults to an image of her in his mindpalace about HIS VERY OWN LIFE AND DEATH SITUATION.
Truth be told, I know what the op really pertains to, I was just stalling. The post is all about social progress.
I know that all the OP wants is equal media representation. That is what a lot of us here wants too. But throwing shit into a ship won’t do that. It won’t do any good to try and sink a ship and the shippers who are frankly not doing anything against achieving equal media representation. Calling us less progressive, simply because we like the dynamics between a designated male and a designated female and seeing relationship potential between them, is a perfect display of backward thinking. Maybe if the Sherlolly ship is being heteronormative, and we are being jerks about it and are actively campaigning it in real life, then the OP and anyone else has all the right to throw shit and criticize.
BUT WE ARE NOT!
As pointed out by other posters, if we really want to be progressive, maybe the best step is to take our concerns and deal with it in the real life, where real people are experiencing the real problem!