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On House's "Better Half" (Asexuality Post)

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Sun Feb 12, 2012 4:47 am
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Cspr says...

So, the title might have you tipping your head sideways. What? Was? Is this serious?

Yes, actually.

Spoilers ahead, though.

Some of you might be aware of the bigoted nature of this episode. Some might not. Some who know the main character of House, Dr. House himself, might not be surprised with the word 'bigoted' applying. I'm not surprised. He insults everyone. However, this isn't about any commentary made by him, not directly--after all, he's a bloody fictional character.

On the other hand, any people who decided this episode was a good idea? Wrong. All of them. In a nutshell, the episode brings up asexuality (feel free to wince in advance--if you're a pessimist or just not much of an idealist).

In actuality, this was the first time characters on a major TV network have been asexual. Unsurprisingly, it was wholly and utterly botched.

For those unaware, a married couple was portrayed. Youngish, conventionally attractive, apparently happy. But they were aces. Dr. Wilson was shocked and seemed to stumble over what to say (unsurprising, not exactly a big segment of the population aces--but isn't he supposed to be the understanding, open-minded, nice foil to House?). He then told House. Apparently he didn't realize his friend would do something about this--or maybe Wilson wanted him to do something about it. (I don't know which is worse. Again, who thought this idea was normal and acceptable?)

So, House does his thing and turns out--the man had a tumor that destroyed his libido and the wife has been lying to him the whole time and pretending she didn't like sex! Turns out, his life is crushed and she has been doing the long-suffering-women-don't-really-have-needs gig (which is bad for either side of this equation).

New question(s) added to what people ask aces and other people with 'abnormal' sexualities: check.

Simply, I'm sort of pissed (excuse my French). I'm not exactly a person with a well-defined understanding of myself (I am an author--it's like multiple personalities without being branded insane), but I did find it upsetting because when it comes to sexuality--well, I align myself (much, much) closer to asexual than allosexual.

Basically, I don't really understand why anyone thought this was a good idea (especially House's parting words on it--basically saying aces don't exist same as Nebraska apparently--and Wilson's strawman arguments). It's clearly a cheap shot and weak ("So, we 'can't' pick on POC, women, gays, or trans* people anymore--who's up next?"). It's not funny.

I don't know. I guess I'd like people's opinions on this and other issues related to this?

I mean, I don't need back-up to say I'm not 'pulling a fit.' I mean, here's a bloody linkspam on this topic: ... -linkspam/

Still. Thoughts?
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Thu Feb 16, 2012 3:54 am
Paracosm says...

I've never seen this episode, but I think it was probably a bad idea. I love House, it's a great show, even though it sends me into hypochondria-esque fits. Sometimes it crosses the lines though. This is one of those instances.

Personally, I find some politically incorrect jokes humorous, we all do, even if we don't admit it. It sounds to me like the writers of House took advantage of that, and took it a bit too far.

On the other hand, it shouldn't be taken too seriously. I don't mind people poking fun at the GLBT community as long as they don't mind the GLBT community poking fun at them. As long as the jokes aren't meant to offend one another, and they are kept in good taste, I'm fine with it. (When I heard about glitter bombing, I thought it was pretty hilarious.)

On the other-other hand, it is also the writers job to express their character as they are. If a character is racist, then it isn't racist for him to hate people of another race. That's just how the character is.

I don't like this one though. "Aces" are in a bad situation that could be due to a medical disorder. Making fun of it is wrong. But, then again, I myself am asexual because I can't stand nudity. Even typing the word makes my skin crawl. I wouldn't mind people making fun of me for it though, because it is a little bit funny.

I'll use my case as an example of taking it too far, and keeping it clean enough.

If someone dropped their pants and mooned me because they know it makes me nervous, that would be too far.

Someone saying, "You're the butt of all our good jokes," would be funny. They aren't trying to hurt my feelings. It's a reference to my anxiety, but it isn't really that mean.

So basically what I'm getting at is, they can make fun of stuff like this as long as they aren't intentionally trying to hurt other people.Sometimes folks are too sensitive, and sometimes people take it too far. As long as the line between a joke meant to amuse, and one meant to hurt are kept clear, then I don't mind politically incorrect jokes.

So I suppose I'd have to see the episode to make a clear decision on my view. I could take either side of the argument, really. My idea is kind of fuzzy and confused, as you have read so far. Really though, it was probably not a good idea.
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