"House M.D." Episode Leaves Fans Outraged
Source: Yahoo News.
COMMENTARY | If you haven't seen the show "House," you've probably been living under a rock for the past several years. The medical drama centers around a diagnostics team, run by Dr. Gregory House, as it tries to solve a variety of medical mysteries. What really sets the show apart from others the fact that all episodes are based on real-life medical conditions, helping to bring awareness to otherwise unheard of conditions. Overall, the show is extremely popular, previously being rated as one of the top 10 rated shows in the country. A recent episode of the hit show has left fans in an uproar however, leaving many wondering what the writers were thinking.
The episode, titled "Better Half," features a women coming into the clinic for a routine bladder problem. Dr. Wilson, often the voice of reason in the hit show, tells her she'll need to take a test to rule out pregnancy. The women then matter-of-factly states that even though she's been married for over 10 years, she doesn't need to take a pregnancy test because she doesn't have sex ... both her and her husband are asexual.
Dr. Wilson then stares at the women, mouth slightly agape, then peers at his clipboard, stating, "I'm not sure which box to check here..."
Now, for those who aren't aware, asexuality is a sexual orientation where a person, male or female, experiences no sexual attraction. It's different from celibacy, which is a choice. Aseuxals may still be romantically attracted to a person, wanting to date, hug, kiss, or be married, but they do not get 'turned on' in the same manner that sexual people do. Simply put, an asexual has no need or desire to have sex just as a heterosexual man has no need or desire to have sex with another male.
The episode then cuts to a scene of Dr. House and Dr. Wilson meeting for lunch. Wilson is peering at a magazine before making the comment,
"My patient is asexual. Apparently 1 percent of the population is ... at least according to this magazine."
House gives Wilson his typical "yeah, right" look before asking if his patient is a pile of algae. The two doctors both express skepticism in asexuality as as sexual orientation. They then agree to make a bet that there's really a medical condition explain why both the patient and her husband aren't interested in sex.
As the episode progresses, House and his team of doctors run countless tests on the women, checking her hormones and anything else they can think of that would cause lack of libido. When nothing turns up, one of the doctors states "she must have been abused as a child."
Refusing to give up, Dr. House then decides to run tests of the women's asexual husband. When he notices a slight hormone imbalance, he discovers that the man has a tumor growing near the pituitary gland in his brain. The side effects, of course, includes erectile dysfunction.
When the man is told about the tumor, he declines treatment at first, stating that he's happy being asexual and doesn't want to force his wife to have sex when she doesn't want to. The women then hesitantly states, "It's not that bad... it's actually kinda fun... from what I remember."
Yes, turns out that neither character on the show was really asexual at all. The man was simply sick and the women was simply lying.
So why the outrage? As many members of Asexual Visibility and Education Network (AVEN) have said, this is a huge step back for the asexual community.
"Many asexuals already get told they're sick or have been abused on a daily basis." said one member. "Now a hit series with a huge audience is teaching their viewers that that's all true."
Another member pointed out that "Neither person was truly asexual. This sends the message that if you are asexual, it must be because you have a brain tumor or are sick. Either that or you're lying."
Still others were quick to point out the flaws in the plotline, pointing out that in order for this story to be believable, the tumor would have had to grow right at puberty so the man would have never experienced any sexual attraction. The tumor would must have also cause no other symptoms for at least 10 years since that's how long the couple had been married. Needless to say, it's very unbelievable.
"Even then," another commenter replied, "having erectile dysfunction doesn't mean you're asexual."
After floods of complaints started coming in, writers of the show were quick to issue an apology. "I did a lot of research on asexuality for the episode. [...] People hear you're asexual and they immediately think, 'What's wrong with you, how do I fix you?' I wanted to write against that."
This only drew more anger from the asexual community, wondering if this was really the intent and there was really research involved, why were asexuals portrayed so negatively?
The apology went on stating, "Unfortunately, we are a medical mystery show. Time & again, my notes came back that House needed to solve a mystery and not be wrong. So in THIS CASE, with THESE patients, it was a tumor near the pituitary. But I hoped I could (now it seems unsuccessfully) introduce asexuality to the general public and get them asking questions."
Kath Lingenfelter, head writer for the show, also commented through Twitter. She stated that her hope was to start dialogue, inspire Internet searches and awareness, then to teach tolerance. As many have pointed out though, tolerance should be taught first, not second.
"Just imagine the anger if this same episode would have been done about homosexuality. If Dr. House had said 'Oh, you're a woman who likes women? You must be sick.' then finding out that she was really straight all along because of a tumor. People would be infuriated. Why is it any different for asexuals?"
It was only after that level outrage that Kath Lingenfelter referred any curios watchers to check out asexuality.org to learn more.
kritz0: You know what....I'm not reading any of the crap you just posted. It's a television show.
The curiosity to prove otherwise is in the set character of house. It is to be expected he would prove otherwise. This is one of the lamest things I've seen posted in offtopic. That is including threads created by the local village idiots WartFace and Rabbit.
I just watched this episode off my pvr, gotta tell you. This was exactly how you would expect the characters to have responded.
Stupid it is causing some sort of issue, where there really is none.
Zhyanthan: It is the nature of the show to exploit. However, everyone gets their tights in a bunch. Z doesn't see why viewers weren't expecting classic, normal House.
Hyenablood: just icnore her zhy, she's probably in a rotten mood and looking to take it out on a innocent person, people like that are just born mean.
kritz0: Obviously you don't know how to read there Hyena. I think you should read Z's response again.
Maybe slower this time? Bahahaha.
FYI, anything negative said by myself, had been directed at the article and the ridiculousness of some people. Not at It's poster directly, more so just for posting the issue. LOL.
Princess Niffa: ok i see their point, however, anyone who knows House knows two things: 1. his stories r always about finding the mystery disease 2. he always offends.....that's part of his charm and what we love about him
Nicotina2: The scenerio is plausable given that only 1% of the population is asexual. The woman who claimed to be asexual was being faithful to her husband and showing that love is not just about sex.
Faithfulness is a running sub theme throughout the show.
There are a team of Dr.'s that are consulted to maintain medical accuracy. Pretty sure they are named in the credits. This show was about a rare condition and the emotional aspects that can result.
Stewart75: Hmmm... another long-winded opening post...
... can't be bothered reading it... seems quite dull anyways...
Have better things to do...
Don't own a TV now, either. House was the one program that I did follow.
This situation reminds me of "Murphy Brown". All that uproar over a TV character.
Hyenablood: Krit you are one to talk about me reading when you are far too lazy to read anything yourself, don't go telling people what to do when you cannot be bothered to do those things yourself.
kritz0: Lol. Obviously I have read enough of the article to get the gist of it. Can you show me where your response directly related to the topic of this thread may be located? I sure as Fuck can't see it.
LOL. FYI, your sarcastic response was in no way productive to produce further discussion, if you were going to point out that pathetic response. Doesn't matter if you read the article if you cannot comprehend it properly, nor have you correctly understood the responses afterwards. Heck I was expecting a coherent counter from you.
Obviously I am disappointed I did not receive such. Sadly, since you have proven again how you cannot possibly respond without being a shit disturber and cannot come out with an actual comeback, I will end my responses towards YOU after this post.
This person who was born oh Sooo mean bids you toodles! Bahahahaha.
Hyenablood: krit you stated in one of your previous posting (or don't you read your own posting ?) that *I'm not reading any of the crap you just posted* stop being so nasty, if something pisses you off, just go away
~LoisLane~: Oh wow Murphy Brown haha havent thought about that in a long time. Dan quayle and something about her being a single mom? (fool lols).....This does remind me of that a little bit tho. People get crazy about the "messages being sent" by certain shows.
I remember the same thing with Seinfeld , when George Costanzas fiance (Susan) died from licking to much glue off of the wedding invitations hahahahaha (omg it was funny) BUT some people were in an uproar about how the "death" was handled....Did those people ever watch the show? Did they even have a grasp of the characters...Obviously not cuz thats exactly how they would have handled a situation like that....Its a comedy and George is a shallow SOB , Hence the cheap glue on the wedding invites hahaha....
I think that "OP" of House (I dont watch the show personally but I know the guy is quirky) that is how "He/his character would have handled it....I dont see the problem with it unless it was just soooo out of a "character someone is playing" that people cant stop talking about it. *Finding Dr Huxtable down stairs with a needle hanging out of his arm* <<---- See, out of character. That would just be crazy.
Other side, some people really get involved with a character and the fans can be really disappointed with the way they have taken care of a situation.
(Edited by ~LoisLane~)
~LoisLane~: Oh and the only time they do feel really sad is later on visiting her grave and they start to think about when "Spock" died bahahaha...Best show but the back lash from the episode was a little too much for it being a "comedy" and all....Its not a drama thats for sure.