And why would he do that?
Because he’s a twiddler.
Twiddlers get bored.
The second gif always turns me on…
He manages to land it with the lock screen facing us perfectly.
Oh my god the second gift is like a gift from the heavens.
I like how people were so distracted by Benedict that they just ignored the fabulous commentary
Twiddlers get bored
19th Century Queer Couples
1. 1891 – Photo by Alice Austen
2. 1855 – Martha O’Curry
3. 1890 – via www.ChloeAndOlivia.wordpress.com
4. 1890 – via www.Flickr.com/photos/SShreeves
5. 1899 – via FYeahQueerVintage.tumblr.com
6. 1900 – Anna Moor and Elsie Dale
7. 1900 – Young souple seated in garden, from the Powerhouse Museum Collection, via HerSaturnReturns.com
8. Kitty Ely, Class of 1887 (L) and Helen Emory Class of 1889, Mount Holyoke Students, via VintagePhoto.Livejournal.com
10. Lily Elise and Adrienne Augarde, 1907, via FYeahQueerVintage.tumblr.com
Collected by Marie Lyn Bernard, via retronaut
This is an amazing collection. I think what excites me so much about it, apart from the PDAs which indicate these are clearly romantic relationships and not just friendships, is the women of colour who are included. No 2 is even an inter-racial couple!
To add to this relationships such as these were able to be visible because during this era women were considered sex-less, that is that they did not have sex, so they could only have innocently amorous relationships with other women. In addition, in the late Victorian/early Edwardian era there was a large lesbian subculture where women had openly butch/femme relationships where one partner would often pass as a male and would accompany the other woman in public and be her escort to events and the like. Within that culture were femme/femme relationships, and sometimes butch/butch relationships. This practice was surprisingly popular among the higher class, where it was seen as entertainment for the women involved by the outside world. This culture was also accompanied by theatrical instances of cross-dressing lesbians who often became very famous. On the more extreme side of the culture were groups of high class women who had large balls that essentially would boil down to lavish orgies.
For the middle class, however, it was very easy for women to be in such relationships with little questioning as women were encouraged to live together as living with a male who was not family was immoral, and those who chose to be ‘spinsters’ often lived with a close friend. Often times in these situations the women would be in a relationship, where in some cases one partner would cross-dress though that was not always the case. When women lived together, it was rarely seen as questionable if the two became very close, and women were encouraged to have these sorts of relationships.
queen victoria didn’t believe lesbianism existed so she didn’t really notice what was actually going on
Since I posted these photos 2 months ago (and they got over 25,000 notes, holy fuck!) I’ve noticed a lot of comments about how women could totally be lesbians in public in the 19th century because Victorians didn’t know what the hell was going on. I’m not going to go through them all individually, but I just wanted to address that general idea.*
First of all, the notion that Queen Victoria didn’t believe lesbianism existed, or refused to sign legislation criminalising sex acts between two women because she ‘couldn’t understand how two women could have sex’ because neither party had a penis is a myth. We don’t really know what Queen Victoria knew or thought about lesbianism or sex between women at all.
Secondly, don’t be fooled by the purity/sexless myth. Contrary to popular belief, Victorians were pretty sex-obsessed and talked about it a lot, even if in veiled terms. They were obsessed in particular with women’s sexuality and their ‘sexual perversions’, as evidenced by the huge body of medical literature on the subject, and many newspaper articles and pamphlets. Sexual relationships between women were definitely less spoken about and less well understood than male homosexual relationships in the 19th century, but they knew what they were. Having sex with another woman wasn’t illegal, but women who loved other women were labelled ‘inverts’ and at risk of being put in mental asylums if they were exposed.
The possibility a woman was a queer was also absolutely scandalous and could also ruin a woman’s reputation. It didn’t have to be true, the gossip was enough. Emily Faithfull, a publisher and women’s rights activist, was named in a divorce case as having committed adultery with the wife of an Admiral (clearly the lawyers and judges in that case thought women COULD have sex with one another), and it almost ruined her publishing business and branded her a social pariah. (She was probably gay btw, but there are other cases of women who weren’t and who had gossip about their sexual habits used against them).
Of course, the 19th century was a long time in which many social changes occurred, and Victorian society was a big place. In some sections of society, and in some places and at some times, people were pretty OK (relatively speaking) with romantic-sexual relationships between women. (It was pretty well accepted in literary circles, for example.) Then some women were just gutsy as hell and could get away with a lot through their sheer awesomeness (see Anne Lister).
It was also much easier for women in same sex relationships to pass under the radar than men because of the notion of ‘romantic friendship’ which existed between women in the 19th century (well, middle- and upper-class women anyway). In romantic friendships, women kissed, hugged, touched in public and wrote love letters to one another, and this was all considered acceptable and even desirable. In fact, because of the practice of romantic friendship it’s quite hard to tell with some 19th century relationships between women whether they were platonic friendships or long-term romantic relationships. Modern eyes tend to read them as sexual, but the fact is we just don’t know.
As queermindsfuckalike pointed out in their awesome comment, queer women were often able to use social mores and ideas about women and femininity (as well as the remarkably easygoing attitude to cross-dressing during certain parts of the 19th century) to conduct their relationships in peace; though they still lived lives at least partially in the shadows, and wrote and spoke of their sexual and romantic lives in code.
It was very dangerous to be lesbian in the 19th century. Despite the complexities of the situation - and the fact these women wore pretty dresses or boss cravats - let’s not romanticise the situation and pretend the 19th century was a wonderful place to be for sapphics. The women in these pictures were incredibly brave and fabulous for living so openly together.
* I’m not going to deal with the Edwardian era because it’s just too big and complicated and I don’t know enough about it.
#I want to point out one small thing from this scene #did anyone else notice #that john looked at irene for like #two seconds #and instead of stammering over his words #asking how #or even why #what the hell is going on? #john just closes his mouth #and the first thing he says is an order #tell him you’re alive #because john knows how sherlock is #how sherlock thinks #and while sherlock may not be in love #john knows he was heartbroken #so when he said this to irene #my heart skipped a beat #because it’s exactly what people say #a study in pink is the story of how sherlock fell in love with john #and a scandal in belgravia is the story of john falling in love with sherlock #and the rest of this scene only proves it #we’re not a couple #yes you are
What I thought was interesting about this isn’t so much that John has his fingers on the pulse of Sherlock’s inner workings, because actually it demonstrates the opposite. He has no idea what Sherlock’s feeling right now, and it’s completely unclear throughout what Sherlock is actually feeling. I think that’s the point.
What’s sweet, though, is that John doesn’t say “what the–” or “OMG” or anything else when he first sees Irene alive. He goes straight to “Sherlock is hurting, we need to fix this now, because I can’t stand to see him suffer.” Because that’s honestly the only thing on his mind, and it rules over even shock.
John is obsessively worried about Sherlock’s heart throughout this episode, though he doesn’t actually know anything about Sherlock’s feelings on this. And admits as much. Like he’s been playing an elaborate guessing game about this for ages, and it could go either way. He asks Mrs Hudson about Sherlock’s romantic history with some urgency, and gets no answers. We don’t see any scenes of him asking Sherlock directly whether he’s had any love affairs in the past, which I think is interesting. These scenes makes it feel like he might never have asked. So John just has quiet obsession with Sherlock’s emotional (and, apparently, sexual) life, which, if Sherlock didn’t already know, he knows now (since he followed John and heard this conversation).
Which suggests Sherlock’s a bit obsessed with John as well, because, well. He tails him.
This episode shows off this giant wedge of questions between John and Sherlock that they never address with each other, and all of them are intimate.
That’s partly why I loved Hounds so much. We went from a sort of gap between them in the form of these questions and unknowns to a very intimate story where they share a room (and seem perfectly willing to share a bed), John stops correcting people’s assumptions about their relationship, they have a “domestic” over Sherlock suggesting he and John aren’t as close as John thinks they are, and we have all the longing looks from Sherlock at John. Because those questions were actual questions in Scandal and appear to be answered in Hounds.
At the end of this scene in Scandal, Irene doesn’t think either of them should go after Sherlock, which is also kind of interesting. Because two things came out of it: Irene isn’t dead, but managed to fool Sherlock into thinking that she was (which he would have deduced instantly, obviously, the moment John started talking to her, maybe even before that), and that John is completely obsessed with the workings of Sherlock’s heart, and will do anything to heal it for him, including launch a (wo)manhunt or pairing Sherlock off with Irene, if that’s what he wants. Irene actively suggests not only that John is in love with Sherlock, but also that Sherlock is in love with John. (That is the flip side of the “couple” comment, really, isn’t it. If it’s a one-way thing, couple would be the wrong word.) And Irene didn’t think either of them should go after Sherlock afterwards.
Why shouldn’t John go after him? The suggestion is that they both revealed more than they meant to to Sherlock, their secret audience. We know what Irene revealed. John only revealed that he has been obsessively tracking Sherlock’s actions and reactions, trying to see if he’s in love, without ever actually asking about it. I think everyone’s said it, and I concur: this is the scene where John’s love for Sherlock is most obvious. So Irene reveals her deception, and John reveals his.