Well, I can’t speak for everybody else.  Maybe people are worried about Molly.  I admit I hadn’t really been thinking about it, but it’s true she’s gotten a bit violent, this season, hasn’t she?

She could maybe do with some therapy, or at least somebody to sit her down and point out that she’s been kind of…angry recently.  I do get the impression she’s got quite a bit to be angry about.  Although I’m pretty sure there are better ways to deal with it than by stabbing an annoying boyfriend in the hand with a fork.  (It was a plastic fork, though; I don’t think she broke the skin.)

On the other hand, I think many of us have been in the position of at least wishing to stab an annoying boyfriend in the hand with a fork.

I think you’re right that ‘abuse’ gets used too casually.  Abuse isn’t the same as violence.  Abuse includes a pattern of behavior meant to maintain power over another person via intimidation and manipulation.  Slapping a man who just royally pissed you off is not about exerting control over him.  It’s about being royally pissed off and having poor impulse control.

Hitting another person in a situation like that is not okay.  Usually it’s assault (though sometimes the politics of a friendship may include permission for roughhousing, especially between men).  But it’s not abuse.

(What Sherlock does to John, though: that might be abuse, depending on how you read it.)

I mean, fundamentally I don’t think we’re really meant to question it?  Like when John keeps attacking Sherlock and we’ve got the sprightly love song playing and all, that’s clearly being played for laughs.  If we want to dig down under the characterization, I think this is a good old-fashioned example of how violence in interpersonal communication is normalized in the patriarchy.  But those are about all the words I’m comfortable uttering on that subject.  I’m pretty sure somebody else can do a much better job speaking on that subject than I can.  I’m pretty sure a number of somebodies already have.

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