I figure that having a collection of links in one place might be a useful resource, given the discussion I see happening all over several communities. Please feel free to drop links about Monday’s House episode in the comments if you think I’ve missed something that should be included; I expect this to be a frequently-updating linkspam for at least a few days.
(I have a more general, if not terribly up to date, linkspam going in a couple of days, but I wanted to get this up, too.)
From sentientmachine: I’m upset about House
I’m upset because I got thrown under the bus so some asshole character who has been suffering the worst kind of character derailment for the past 5 years can look clever.
From sir-kit: Asexuality, Anger, and Media Representation
I just … there are some things that I shouldn’t have to live by “expect nothing and you’ll never be too disappointed” for. And seeing someone of my sexual orientation who’s not an alien, a serial killer, suffering from a brain tumor, or somehow not human is one of them. And I know good representations of asexuality exist, I just … can’t think of any off the top of my head.
From annwylcariad: Hey, FOX.
Thanks so much for all the harmful and offensive stereotypes about asexual people perpetuated by last night’s episode of House. As a community with low visibility and virtually no portrayals in mainstream media, we really appreciate your association of us with life-threatening medical conditions and relationships based on lies. We also want to thank you for all the conversations we’re now going to have to have with well-meaning friends who no longer believe that our sexual orientation is valid. That’s just what we wanted!
From confessionsofllesk: I hate House.
Because of that idiotic episode of House my mom said it “got her thinking” and now she wants to have my glands and other things checked.
From mallamun: That House episode.
But to seriously take a demographic that already struggles with invisibility issues, and to make your big fucking punchline, “Oh, just kidding, they’re not real!” Not even, “Hey, we’re going to insult you”, but “Hey, you don’t exist.”
From kallian: So I’m a little behind on the tumblr explosion…
But, in the last scene of this subplot, House says “You saved a man’s life, and of course corrected two people’s wildly screwed up world views”. This was unnecessary. What was even more unnecessary was Wilson’s passive acceptance of this. And this is where I call bullshit on Fox’s “House needed to solve a mystery” excuse.
The House episode is being talked about, not because we want to let everyone know how oppressed we are, but because it is promoting problematic views of asexuals, and as a community, we need to figure out how to address and deal with them. The first step of that is figuring out what the problems we want addressed actually are.
From Hollywood Jane: Asexuality on House: You’re Doing It Wrong
What I didn’t expect was how much the reality of it – not just the idea of it, but the episode’s actual existence – upset me. Like, tears-in-my-eyes-right-now upset. I’m not the only one, and I think that’s why it’s so hard. Yes, it’s a dumb TV show. Yes, I saw it coming. But I hoped. Despite knowing better, I hoped that for once there would be someone, something I could point to, to show others, some clear, concise portrayal of how I feel that wouldn’t be debunked like a Southwestern cryptid.
From me: This Is Not My “Better Half”
If Ms. Lingenfelter needed a medical mystery to solve for House, I understand that. What I do not understand is why this mystery had to be directly related to the asexuality of the couple featured on the show. I’m an asexual woman, myself. I’ve been sick plenty of times. Aces are not mysteriously resistant to all unusual diseases except those pertaining to asexuality. Why, if she genuinely wanted to be an ally to the asexual community, did she make the choice to portray her characters’ asexuality as a disease and a lie? Was there some sort of reason that her asexual characters couldn’t have a completely unrelated disorder?
From Ace Eccentric: Stereotypical
People who are asexual, gray-a, and demi, but have not connected with ace communities, also had a huge road block placed between them and the opportunity to Google and find other people like them. Why would you want to look up asexuality after being told in no uncertain terms that half the people are sick and half of them are faking?
From Shades of Gray: On “Better Half” – Gregory House Is Not Infallible
Here’s the thing: while I understand that writing workshops are tough sometimes, and especially in a group writing situation where you’re not in charge you can be easily overruled, intent still isn’t magic. And this episode is not just offensive, it actually does tremendous damage to the asexual community.
From Asexual Fandom: House “Better Half”
Is it ironic that the only place that hasn’t got a post about “that” House episode is this community?
From Queereka: Asexuality on House, M.D.
The main character, Greg House (played by Hugh Laurie), is known for being a complete and total asshole. He often says ridiculous and offensive things, leaving no person or group out of his misanthropy. His best friend, Dr. James Wilson (played by Robert Sean Leonard), is the voice of reason. [...] House’s diagnostic team (played by various people, it’s changed over the seasons), also often speak up against his assholery.
But not on last night’s episode.
From the Asexual Sexologist: My Initial Reaction to tonight’s (er, last night’s) episode of #House… #spoilers
Certainly I’m disappointed that 2 asexual-identifying characters on a major television show ultimately are supposedly “proven” to not be asexual but that is by far not my biggest complaint (though I’ll address it later in this post). My biggest concern is not the terrible publicity this causes for the asexual community because of more misinformation being spread but rather the negative impact it will have on aces seeking (or not seeking) medical attention when there are things that are actually wrong with them.
It’s about a gay couple trying to adopt when suddenly one of them has a terrible cold! Of course poor sweet tolerant Wilson wants to believe they are actually happily homosexual men but House won’t let him wear his Rose colored glasses for long!
From Swankivy: Add “been checked for a tumor?” to the bingo card
Suppose homosexuality was relatively unknown. Then a gay guy showed up on House. House, because of lack of exposure to the idea, decided all guys like vagina, so therefore, the gay guy must be mistaken. Investigation commences; gay guy is exposed as secretly straight and/or suffering from a hormone problem that made him gay; gay guy is treated and becomes straight; House nods sagely and communicates to his audience the following message: “See, I was right; all guys need vagina.” Problem? I think so.
From Greg at the Dapper Ace: Week 49; Fuck you, House!
Why do we care about House? Well, they did an episode on asexuality. And I know! Before you get out of your seats and jump for joy, I gotta warn you–the fifty-two seconds of awesome-tasticness they gave for their trailer? Yeaaaaah, it… was a false positive. Because they basically did forty minutes of fail. And by forty minutes of fail, I mean that they took two perfectly valid asexual characters, tore them apart, spit them out, and then put them back into their comfy little sexual shoes.
From Aiffe at the LJ community: About Last Monday
As House and Wilson smoked their cigars, the threatening specter of asexuality defeated for good, I still wasn’t angry. But I was baffled. Whoever had written this, I felt, really couldn’t comprehend the idea of not wanting sex, and thought you’d have to be broken to be that way.
Added February 06
From Skeptic’s Play: House Did Not Do the Research
Yeah, there’s really no way for me to see this story in a positive light. It’s not just Dr. House being the person he is, but the factual events in the show not reflecting the reality of asexuality. Instead, the factual events played into a few common myths about asexuality, meaning that the writers failed to understand just how insensitive the narratives were. Lastly, while different characters offered different perspectives on the asexual couple, the “positive” perspective from Dr. Wilson was patronizing, and effectively a strawman.
From Salon: “House” gets asexuality wrong
Last week’s episode of “House” marked the first time a major TV network featured self-identified asexual characters. But the asexuality community isn’t exactly celebrating this breakthrough; in fact, many are petitioning Fox executives in outrage.
That’s because the episode ends — spoiler alert! — with the revelation that the characters aren’t asexual after all.
From yamx: I do believe in Yamxes, I do!
They managed to reaffirm BOTH of the most damaging stereotypes about asexuals in one fell swoop. This is *worse* than invisibility. It’s a step back.
From foolishfiish: Asexuality on House
Asexuality, in the show’s take on it (which wasn’t even the right definition to begin with), disrupted the norm. Therefore there was a quest to correct that disruption and slide it back in place within the norm. No amount of validation would have helped to prevent that. Asexuality could have been validated 30x times in the show, but it was a disruption to the general norm and therefore needed to be fixed.