Sunday, September 16, 2012

Nerds and cleavage.

Well, it’s Saturday, so I’m going to take a little time off from my duties as prophet of the Sherlockalypse called “Elementary” (Hey, London! Protest that piece of film at your local American embassy!), and move to a simpler topic. Lizard-brain simple, in fact.

Gender issues among the Sherlockian species would make for a fascinating study. There are the obvious bits, like “no girls allowed” clubs and fans of the latest dreamy actor to play Holmes, and then there’s the part nobody talks about openly: nerds and cleavage.

The joy of any Sherlockian gathering is being surrounded by like minds and getting to live in a world, however briefly, where your odd obsession is the norm. But normal is not our reality – a greater share of Sherlockians would happily fit on the sitcom “Big Bang Theory” with no problem. We are the proto-Trekkies. We, in our XY form, are the beta male. We, despite the occasional literary pretension, are nerds.

Yeah, I know, speak for yourself, Keefauver. I am, so you can hang on to your delusions a little while longer, nerd-in-denial.

And how do you throw a boy nerd off his game? What’s the greatest kryptonite that even the most prominent Sherlockian male (and I can name names) falls prey to?

Cleavage. Decolletage. Them parts what’s legally exposed of a partly topless lady-woman. It’s hardwired into every straight man alive, even if they’ve either rigidly disciplined themselves to keep eye contact with the bearer of said adornments.

What does this have to do with Sherlock Holmes? Well, this: Ladies, follow the example of the Baker Street Babes and lead with your thoughts, your enthusiasm, your voices. I had a lot of respect for a certain rising star among the Holmes fan scene before I ever saw her gloriously descendent-of-Jabez-Wilson mane, so I know it wasn’t just her feminine charm that raised my opinion of her. On the other hand, another well-known female Sherlockian that I have since grown to respect was first presented to me in photos sent from a certain weekend with comments on her cleavage from a male Sherlockian. First impression? “Well, she’s just getting popular due to her looks.”

I know, I know, it is we men who are the bad guys on this. Women should be able to dress themselves up as they wish and still be judged fairly. And, hey, I’m not saying we shouldn’t have cleavage at our Sherlockian nerd fests. Great Watson, NO!  But ladies, think like Irene Adler and use your tools with care. Lead with the attributes you take the most pride in, and you’ll be sure that any attention you get is from what you think it is.

Nerds and cleavage. What are ya gonna do?

Well, if nothing else, use the topic to distract yourself from “Elementary” for a day or two.

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