Contemporary short fiction, poetry and more

Analysing Irene Adler

Much was made in the last episode of ‘Sherlock’ about the fact that Irene Adler appeared naked.  Since she had no sleeves, no cuffs, no shoes, no fabric, no stains, no worn patches, she gave nothing to Sherlock (as we are now calling him).  This is ridiculous. 

The excellent writers of ‘Sherlock’ are cynically yanking our chain about Sherlock’s apparent sexual ineptitude. 

The laws of common sense, which Sherlock applies in such incredibly detailed ways, do not cease to apply when we get within a few centimetres of the clitoris. 

I can tolerate the idea that this Sherlock has never slept with a woman in the literal sense (i.e. gone to bed with a woman and spent the whole night with her, including interactions the following morning).  But I cannot believe that he would make nothing out of a woman’s naked body (from a detective rather than erotic point of view).

This is what I think would have gone through Sherlock’s mind instead of those inept and inarticulate question marks.

Tattoos?  None.  Allies herself with the world of BDSM, but no tattoos.  Inference: cynical manipulator: content for others to be damaged or damage themselves, but will not participate in it herself.

Ditto piercings.

Stretch-marks?  None.  Not given birth.  Never been morbidly obese.  No scars: hence: no breast enhancement or other cosmetic surgery.

Figure.  Underweight for her demographic.  Inference: since there is no apparent sign of metabolic disorder, she must feel vulnerable.  Possession of a full figure would not in any way make her occupation more difficult, and hence the constant dieting must be self-imposed.

Pubic hair: no data (Sherlock would have had, but I was not standing next to him).

Underarm hair: no data (regrettable, since the possession of which is such a strong statement in this day and age).

Toenails: no data.

Fingernails: no data.

Hair: insufficient data. 

Body odour: Sherlock gleaned nothing, which is unrealistic.  Either she was perfumed, implying recent bathing, massage, and so forth, or she smelt natural, which implies more.

Nudity: an exhibitionistic statement by a risk-taker who allows herself to be too much swayed by the alleged abilities of other agencies. 

Conclusion:  the inestimable writers of ‘Sherlock’ have undersold themselves. This would not have happened.  You boys, consider yourselves to have been docked 0.05 marks.


4 responses to “Analysing Irene Adler

  1. Joanna Crosby January 7, 2012 at 9:50 am

    Well, for a start one of the writers is gay, is he not, so maybe his research into nude women was not quite as thorough. Second, she is not at all underweight for her demographic, as proved by her measurements which Mr Holmes did indeed note correctly (which takes some doing). And all your data is interesting, but would not have helped Mr Holmes in the situation, since he’d already worked out most of that before he met her. Also it was pre-watershed 🙂

  2. wthirskgaskill January 7, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    Joanna, my friend, many thanks for your comment.

    Being a gay writer is no excuse at all. Many (by no means all, but a narrow majority) of the gay men I know are much more observant about every aspect of female couture (including the anatomical aspects) than straight men.

    I still say she is underweight for her demographic. I got the bit about the measurements before it had been revealed but, where I come from, she would still be looked upon as some-one who needed feeding up.

    I have a memorandum from the Department of Hair-splitting which says that the word “data” is still to be regarded as a plural as long as is it treated as such in UK legislation.

  3. Joanna Crosby January 7, 2012 at 11:39 pm

    I submit re data. My bad. Irene though (despite her deeply unfashionable name) is a young, educated, well off Southern woman, and all those things, taken together as a demographic, mean she should be about a size 8. So I am glad she wasn’t.

  4. wthirskgaskill January 7, 2012 at 11:56 pm

    Yes, you have a point there.

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