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Sexism and Doctor Who: The Truth

Is Moffat’s Doctor Who sexist? David Selby investigates.

amy-series-6-promo-scarf

Earlier today The Guardian published an article entitled ‘Has Doctor Who become more sexist?’ The critique, based on a recent study, evaluated the role of women within the context of individual episodes based on the ‘Bechdel test’, a technique whose name is derived from comic book author Alison Bechdel. The test measures the importance of men to the specific female characters by recording how many times female characters talk to one another about something other than men, thus the pass rate depends on the amount of conversations unrelated to men.

is-doctor-who-sexistAccording to the article, Russell T Davies had an 89% pass rate across his twenty-seven episodes whereas Moffat’s two series (up until the departure of Amy Pond) only received a score of 57% (twelve out of twenty-one episodes).

This is a shocking statistic, further supported by a companion-by-companion analysis where Amy Pond ranks last at 53%. The lowest a Davies companion collected was Rose Tyler at 74%. River Song barely passed the test.

Surely this is almost indisputable evidence of Moffat’s female characters’ necessity for male counterparts/’tutors’ and their mind-set revolving around the male characters of the series, unable to find other conversational points.

Moreover, it only takes a minimal amount of research to realise how dependent female characters are on males. Amy is frequently unable to make her own decisions and act independently. She’s indecisive and progressively heartless about the Flesh, requires the Doctor’s ‘comfort’ after her experience on the Byzantium and in The God Complex openly expresses how she is driven by her ‘faith’ in the Doctor; her expectation for him to save her which epitomises her role in his life – waiting for his next action.

The Doctor christens Clara ‘my Impossible Girl’ – note the possessive. Moffat subconsciously labels women as objects of men which perhaps suggests a deeply-engrained domineering mentality. Such values are medieval. Women need to act through their own choices, uninfluenced by men and unrestricted by the grip which men hold over them.

The Eleventh Doctor is the most sexist Doctor to date, making jabs about women and so far the only excuses I’ve seen have been muffled giggles and “Shut up I’m dying”. In fact, the Doctor goes as far in Let’s Kill Hitler as to suggest that River behaves irrationally because psychopathy makes sense purely because of her gender. This characterisation now borders on misogynistic, instilling fear in the audience simply because River is a psychopath and a woman.

I can fully understand why some people would stop watching the show. Moffat’s sexism is ostensibly incessant, often harmfully tactless and pushing the boundaries of TV prejudice. If he were to be removed from his position of authority I’m sure it would come as a relief to many who have been offended and disheartened by his thoughtless misogynistic dialogue and unprofessional conduct.

Many have become disillusioned by their favourite show, furious that it has sunk to such a low point. To many, Doctor Who is ruined.

If only those many would look deeper.

amy-pond-karen-gillan-series-5Indeed, part of Moffat’s era has been to establish the female characters as fleeting aspects of the male characters’ lives. But, in part at least, that’s the point. If anything, the case of Amelia Pond reflects poorly on the Doctor.

Amelia Pond is an intelligent girl – she’s bright, quick-witted and instantly likeable. Multifarious fairy-tales and fairy-tale-inspired fictional stories adapt the idea of an ‘adult’ influence over the life of a child. Whilst these themes touch on the idea of a divine enlightenment and a quintessentially ‘magical’ journey, Moffat depicts an alternate scenario where Amelia’s childhood dreams are crushed by ruined expectations and broken promises.

William Golding’s eminent classic novel Lord of the Flies is renowned for borrowing the narrative concept of R. M. Ballantyne’s The Coral Island but adapting the thematic concept for a more brutally realistic moral foundation. Both depict the stories of boys marooned on exotic islands, but whilst The Coral Island explores the threats the boys encounter while stranded, Lord of the Flies presents the boys as the key threat, portraying a sense of gradual disorder and anarchy where political structure works for some time but immaturity and premature freedom corrupt their minds and unlock evil.

It seems I am digressing here but bear with me – the reason why Lord of the Flies always strikes me is because for all the notion of schoolboys running a society is surreal, the nature of their social structure is accurate. It’s one of the first cases in literature where the classic ‘child’s adventure’ gets a brutal, startling shot of realism.

I feel Moffat aims to do more or less the same with the fairy-tale genre. There’s no doubt in the fact that Series Five is intrinsically sold as a fairy-tale. It employs subjects of childhood, magical worlds, dark legends and mighty beasts (the Pandorica) with a transient hero who turns up at the scene, saves the day, brings peace and journeys on.

Part of the fairy-tale genre – and, I suppose, its essential charm – is how simply unlikely it is. It’s safe because the characters are secure, the themes and occurrences are child-friendly, misfortunes are represented in a comical tone, and – unless you’re reading Grimm – happy endings, or at least humorous endings, are mandatory.

The Doctor isn’t just the godlike fairy-tale figure. He’s the male figure, a charming, (unconventionally) attractive man who whisks the young female away from her humdrum life. But that’s where everything goes wrong. The Doctor makes a miscalculation and arrives twelve years late.

Errors don’t come naturally to glorious male figures that are flawless in their actions. No, the Doctor’s magnetism and charisma instantly comes across as a façade. Not once is he presented as a typically masculine ‘saviour’, but as a mad man in a box who ruins peoples’ lives by pretending to be the ‘perfect’ legend he isn’t. Moffat takes the idealistic concept of a fairy-tale yet removes idealism, which ends up reflecting on both genders.

god-complex-ameliaThis lends a new perspective to The God Complex because it’s the Doctor who’s been in the wrong this time, deceiving Amy in the same way he has deceived many companions in the past. I think the notion of the Doctor being an authoritative and influential figure over his female companions isn’t a dig at the female compulsion to be overruled, but instead the male nature to highlight superciliously that they should overrule and that women do need to have a male figure in their lives – hence why Rory sees through the Doctor’s façade, because he sees the Doctor for who he really is.

In other words, Moffat grounds the fairy-tale narrative in astounding realism – the magic-man isn’t who he says he is. You could say that this aspect of the storyline is actually sexist to males – but you won’t, because Moffat’s a male, and of course that doesn’t make sense (or does it?).

Amy makes mistakes because she feels she ‘needs’ the male figure in her life, yet when she settles with a man who she treats as her equal – and, in cases, her possession (which puts an end to the idea that Moffat objectifies women, because it’s Amy who has her boys and gets to choose between them in episode titled just for her), she develops as a character and becomes a stronger individual, correcting the Doctor for his mistakes when she realises that she has as much right to paint herself as the heroine with the moral high-ground as he does to act as the typical Western male hero, turning up in Mercy, riding out on horseback and finding a characteristically masculine ‘brawn over brain’ alternative. Again, this appears as misandry rather than misogyny.

I don’t intend to deny that Amy is in part flawed (flawed doesn’t mean badly-characterised – it means intricate), and during her earlier days does rely upon the male characters to ‘rescue’ her. But this is an individual character-flaw that happens to coincide with gender, similarly to how every time the Doctor considers violence you could complain that he is being pulled down to a sexist stereotype.

In the same way that the Doctor titles Clara ‘my Impossible Girl’ (and we’ll get onto Clara in a minute), River uses a number of endearing but predominantly masculinity-humbling terms to address the Doctor such as ‘Sweetie’ and ‘Pretty Boy’. Queen Elizabeth even explicitly states that arrogance typifies the male sex.

I won’t go into analysing these instances because they very possibly are sexist. But Moffat cannot be both a supporter of leading group-hate and reverse discrimination… can he?

No. He can’t hold both viewpoints, but frankly, even if he did, how on Earth would we, an audience to a television show written by him and produced by a board of executives, be able to prove it anyway? Moffat could write a male companion who openly hates women and resorts to misogynistic name-calling and discrimination every week but we still wouldn’t be justified in calling the show-runner himself a sexist. Steven Moffat is a writer and nowhere is it stated in the rules of basic storytelling that your characters have to be a reflection of your own views and predispositions. Characters are unique entities, separate from their creators and a writer cannot be held responsible for the characters’ viewpoints (in most cases – but I won’t overcomplicate this).

the-bells-of-saint-john-pics-batch portraits (1)If the show-runner was called Stephanie Moffat, she’d almost definitely be disparaged for her characterisation of the Doctor as a man reliant upon the brave and brilliant Clara Oswald. Clara is not at any point shown to have gone on a personal journey of discovery, but instead to have changed the Doctor into a better man. It’s a marking-point in Doctor Who history where the companion isn’t even remotely reliant on the Doctor, but where her personal decisions and her own, independent judgement has led him to changing some of his biggest decisions. Thanks to Clara, the Doctor saved his own people. Thanks to Clara, the show can go on until the Doctor has used up his next regeneration cycle. Clara shows arguably more intuition and wisdom in one half-series and two specials than the Doctor has for most of the last fifty years.

What I’m trying to say is that people will interpret stories based on their own views and twist them based on what they want to see. I see them as being written by a man who is neutral to men and women whilst others choose to see it another way. In the end, no one can honestly judge Steven Moffat’s own views without being completely condescending unless they actually know him personally. Even interview personalities are a poor representation of what someone is really like; Steven Moffat is one of the most humble men ever to work for the BBC and writes in fear of what people will think of him. I don’t think for one moment that he’d focus on openly degrading women, but instead in producing a script which everyone will love. (Source – unnamed close friend of Steven Moffat.)

It might even be worth mentioning that the Bechdel test isn’t the most accurate measure of sexism. If a show is about a male protagonist and frequently features a male villain, the exchanges between the female characters are hardly going to be about coffee shops, holiday destinations and loan companies. I’d add that if anyone wants to conduct the same test on the Doctor over the course of the New Series to see how much he references his female companions, I’d be open to having a read.

The only other aspect of the argument I’ll address is probably the most ridiculous – Moffat’s desire not to have a female Doctor. I am one of the most ardent feminists I know but I could think of fewer worse things than a woman taking over the role of an inherently male character. It’s not sexism, but awareness of the fact that gender plays a massive part in who a person is, and switching something like that would just be too momentous a change in a character who has been the same for fifty long years (and it would switch the ‘smart male role model’ setup). I’d rather Moffat made his decisions based on what is best for the character rather than what will either shock the audience or endanger an old formula by trying to be ‘politically correct’.

In conclusion, I’ll happily read and possibly agree with any article entitledWhy Steven Moffat writes sexist characters’, but there’s not a scrap of evidence I’ve yet seen which suggests that Steven Moffat is, to any degree, a sexist man – he’s just a writer who can construct a range of fascinating, complex and in many cases flawed characters, both male and female, without trying to make each and every one perfect and ‘appropriate’ beyond the lengths of realism.

Step back in time...

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338 comments
AnthonyJFuchs
AnthonyJFuchs

The only point here that I really disagree with is the notion that there are fewer worse things than a woman taking over the role of an inherently male character. The narrative possibilities of introducing a female Doctor are, to me, plentiful enough to warrant serious consideration: examining how the Doctor reacts to the change, and examining how other characters react to the Doctor's change alone would make an interesting subject. And just because a character has always been male does not mean that that character should not become female when we know that such a change is possible.




It opens an even wider window into the character: was the change consciously deliberate, and if so, why would the Doctor make that choice? If not consciously deliberate, was it subconsciously deliberate, and why that? If it was completely accidental, is there a reason that it happened, or is there no reason at all? Is it a side effect of regenerating more than the usual number of times? There are so many interesting questions, and so much narrative potential that comes from those questions, that it seems foolish to say simply that the Doctor should remain male simply because the Doctor has always been male.


The Doctor has been surprised by the outcome of his regenerations before, and even believed that he had become female at least once. In terms of characterization, it makes more sense to execute this sort of change when the Doctor is the least ready, because doing so creates the greatest potential for growth and the most interesting situations.






Crunchy Frog
Crunchy Frog

I have to say that I'm really glad to see some pushback against this meme that has been getting pushed against Steven Moffat.

Just for some context, I am a woman, and I consider myself to be strongly feminist.  I also have really enjoyed Moffat's take on Doctor Who (while finding most of the RTD era to be practically unwatchable).  I don't claim that he's a paragon of feminism, or that everything he does is perfect, but to try to single him out as being uniquely sexist, or to make RTD out to be some kind of paragon of feminism (which he most definitely is NOT) is extremely unfair.

As far as the Bechdel test goes, while I personally find it useful for evaluating the representation of women, for myself, in the things that I watch, I also realise that Bechdel scoring can be very subjective and that if you have strong biases, that they can overrun your evaluations such that they become practically meaningless.  I also don't believe that it's the be all and end all for evaluating levels of sexism.  There are many other ways in which sexism can manifest itself, and there are some very feminist works that still don't pass the Bechdel. 

This is the third Bechdel rating list that I've seen from someone who was strongly biased against Moffat and in favor of RTD, and I've found that the ratings vary so wildly from one evaluater to another, even among people who share the same set of biases, that I have to regard the results of these evaluations as being essentially meaningless.

Another poster on here has pointed out problems with particular ratings, for example, that "Dalek" got a pass, while "Girl in the Fireplace" got a fail. 

I feel comfortable in concluding that this "study" is the biased rant of someone who dislikes Moffat and likes RTD, and has cooked up data that confirm her biases.  It's just a pity that this is being treated as serious discourse by serious newspapers that are not bothering to do their own fact checking.

Again, I'm not saying that there's no sexism in Doctor Who, but this is not the way to evaluate it.  I also, personally, felt the RTD era to be more sexist than the Moffat era.

DaveDonovan
DaveDonovan

UHHHH, i think this is seen from atypically feministic point of view. the writer does not look at the world like this, it is the writers' job to express how the characters' are in the mind, NOT how they are compared to the thoughts of a singularly-obsessive. if you look at any show, you will see comparisons that are exactly the same. True, not all women think only about men, but then not all men think only about women, as meny women believe. if it is the belief of the observer that this type of person exists, then so be it. Who are we to label someone as sexist or not? far be it from me to do that. i simply state that the person who made these guidelines up is obsessed with female dominance, and forgot the point fo the written statement of the original suffrafgette movement that siad "EQUALITY FOR WOMEN!" this does not apeear to be an equal view of anything. if a character is written this way, that is the feelings of the writer. if this woman does not agree, maybe she should writer her own episodes of Doctor Who. One possibly with a strong feminine lead? that way, for sure, there would be a true representation of the female being assertive. but would it be true of the majority of the women of the world? Everyday, all i hear about from the women who speak loud enough to wake the dead, is how their partners' lives go, their children, and there need for a REAL man to sweep them off their feet. What on earth is different to what we see on Doctor Who? NOTHING ! Your argement is invalidated by the fact that it is out of touch with reality.


11th's Sonic
11th's Sonic

I don't agree, The My Impossible Girl is just how The doctor says it, because Clara went into His TIMELINE! You would do the same. (That's what I think and I think right)

Beasts_a_Snarling
Beasts_a_Snarling

This article has created a lot of controversy and hostility in the comment section....

JackArtaganMackenna
JackArtaganMackenna

Nobody seems to know how to use the Bechdel test properly or what it's for.


Also, how the hell does Donna get 100%? Are you seriously kidding me?

Liam Thomas
Liam Thomas

I'd just like to point out that a MAN wrote this article. So all you sexist dudebros who are writing off feminist views on the assumption that they're for women's benefits only really need to take a good hard look at yourselves and the world around you. All is not as you think. We need feminism and strong female characters in the media.

Polyphase
Polyphase

Great article, Lots of food for thought there. Hopefully now we have an older Doctor things might change :)

Jawsey
Jawsey

Well analysed. Nothing more than a classic case of a newspaper twisting a statistic to suit the headline they wanted to run with. Numbers mean nothing without context, and the context of the Bechdel test is very narrow minded. 









Unsurprisingly people have decided to ignore this sound logic and trumpet their own agendas on sexism, but sadly everyone goes blind with opinionated rage with this particular subject. So sad that a rational discussion on the nature of sexism is nigh on impossible, even in such a shining light as Doctor Who.

And in a side note, I think you've accidentally stumbled on a gem of a point about Clara. She's not the one who changes and evolves with the audience, it's the other way around. Her actions and judgement influence the doctor to make seismic changes in his decisions. When was the last TV series that the companion had such an impact on the direction of the main character? I don't know if the beauty of that characterisation will ever truly be realised






indyfromaz
indyfromaz

I am just tired of Political Correctness. The idea that The Doctor has to be a woman JUST BECAUSE that would be the politically correct "fair" thing to do is so much crap one would need several TARDIS(i) to fill it up with.

Doing it "Just Because..." is crap.

Liam Thomas
Liam Thomas

I like it how all the sexist comments this article has attracted have the same one or two dudebros liking them. Incredible.

DaireConstantineOReilly
DaireConstantineOReilly

It's load of bull...I don't think Don't its sexist much other than Amy wearing a miniskirt to Attract male viewers And that Bit in The Day of the Doctor has that sexist moment where the tenth doctor winks at Matt smith insinuating that Matt Smith has the sexier companion "Clara"

ie. Giving him a pat on the back for having a sexier female than 10 had, turning Clara into a sex object, I didn't like that characterization of the Tenth Doctor.

The Living Angel
The Living Angel

If something or somebody is sexist/racist/homophobic or any other form of prejudice, you don't need a test to prove that. 


I actually find it quite insulting that somebody thought that the rest of us were so stupid that we couldn't see obvious sexism etc, and that we need percentages and graphs to prove it. 

One point that really bothers me is this explanation that the test is based on two women talking to each other about something other than a man. Whilst I understand this, it does not make sense to use this test in this context, because for example, River and Amy, of course their conversation is going to revolve around men, The Doctor and Rory. Instead of judging what they talk about, why don't we look at their actions, and personally I find River,Amy and Clara to be exceptionally strong and independent women, sure they have all done things out of love for The Doctor but equally he has done things out of love for them. The Doctor saves the day and saves the girl, but many many times it is them that have saved the day and saved him.

VortexDan
VortexDan

For like 5 minutes I genuinely thought you were going to have a refreshing opinion...and then you started jumping and twisting through the justification hoops. You don't mention the lack of agency, the fact that we know nothing about Clara, the entire "let's not tell the pregnant lady she's pregnant because it's her body but lol I'm the doctor" storyline, the women can't drive and "is it a demon? no, a woman! *crosses self"" jokes from 7b, the doing stuff "for Clara/Amy/River's own good. Your only justification for Clara isn't what she does for herself it's what she does for the man! And you top it off with the LOVELY idea that the Doctor can't be a woman because "that's the way things are". so what if it changes, maybe it would be worth it for a strong FEMALE role model was there to look up to for once. It might ruin the "white man club" but hey, who needs that anyway

RonSwearingen
RonSwearingen

It must be true.  Its got worthless numbers and everything.

Malohkeh
Malohkeh

@Liam Thomas I'm a feminist, and I agree that we need strong female characters. But we have them in Doctor Who.


In addition, this study is just plain terrible.


And please don't call anyone "sexist dudebros". It's condescending.

A Friend of the Ood
A Friend of the Ood

@Jawsey In Series 1, Rose changed the Doctor and the Doctor changed her. 

I just can't accept that there's a perfect person who started traveling through time and space with an alien and doesn't change at all, then sacrificed herself (while somehow not dying) and became impossible and perfect.

A Friend of the Ood
A Friend of the Ood

@indyfromaz I'm just tired of people complaining about "political correctness". I don't think there are a lot of people saying that the Doctor absolutely MUST be a woman. I think if there's a female actor who's right for the part, the Doctor should be a woman. If not, the Doctor should be a man. And I'm sure that's how most people feel. This isn't some kind of "political correctness" thing or an "agenda".

Liam Thomas
Liam Thomas

@indyfromaz From a purely logical point of view it's actually surprising within the universe of the show itself that we haven't had a female Doctor yet. In 'The Doctor's Wife' it is stated (and made canon) that Time Lords can change gender through regeneration. In fact it seems the only real limit to the form of a Time Lord is that they're humanoid. So statistically speaking, as we've had 12(13) white male Doctors it's highly likely that some form will come along soon to break the trend. I personally think that any female actor that could pull off the role would be a welcome change as there's only so much you can do with white male characters. Plus it would be a point of great empowerment for women to see a female tackle one of the most renowned roles on television. But regardless of that, for THE SHOW, it is in my opinion that a female Doctor would be refreshing for the audience, especially in a show that's getting as repetitive as Doctor Who. There are valid reasons other than 'just because' as to why a female Doctor would be a good move too.

Notsosmartguy
Notsosmartguy

@indyfromaz I think female doctor would be cool. I would  support any showrunner and actress willing to take the part.

Malohkeh
Malohkeh

@VortexDan The comment about "a woman" was amusing from a historical standpoint. It was poking fun at the uptight-ness of monks, not at women. It's almost like you're deliberately interpreting stuff in the worst possible way...

Notsosmartguy
Notsosmartguy

@VortexDan I agree that we need female doctor perferably sooner than later. But everything else your usual arguments that make no sense. 

Liam Thomas
Liam Thomas

@RonSwearingen The numbers are hardly worthless and easily proven. And the fact that we need the Bechdel Test at all says a lot about the raw deal female characters in the media are getting.

Liam Thomas
Liam Thomas

@Malohkeh @Liam Thomas Being a sexist dudebro is condescending as is so I'm completely justified in using the term. We do have some strong female characters in Doctor Who but I really do think that's more due to the quality actors than the writing. The more the merrier really.

Jawsey
Jawsey

@A Friend of the Ood I didn't say Clara was perfect, just that her as a character remained unchanged. She was more of a vehicle for changes that have happened to the Doctor. Whether that's right or wrong is a matter of opinion, certainly our Lord Moffat is hinting and a few plotlines with Clara for next season, so we might see something new. I feel that the Moff rather likes that characterisation of Clara though, and thus is unlikely to go down a massively different route for the character

Liam Thomas
Liam Thomas

@Malohkeh @Liam Thomas As previously stated, calling them 'dudebros' is 100% justified for them being sexist. If you're genuinely more concerned with my use of the term than their misogyny then maybe you should re-evaluate your view and priorities on the matter. It's really just like calling homophobic people 'breeders' or the like. Why should they receive any respect for being bigoted? If somebody does something wrong, they get punished. And if that means they get miffed by somebody on the internet using a term that 'hurts their feelings' then so be it. It's better they get their feelings hurt than somebody else getting stabbed in the street.

Malohkeh
Malohkeh

@VortexDan Hell, if anything, that line is criticizing the societal misogyny of the time period.

Ollie Walton Harrod
Ollie Walton Harrod

@Jawsey @A Friend of the Ood I don't think Clara changed the Doctor really, any more than every other companion has; of modern Doctor Who; I'm less familiar with classic.

She is indeed unchanged, which is interesting, though she does therefore lack character development; which makes me slightly less keen on her. Though I haven't really seen her for long enough at all yet, to make a proper judgement.


AnthonyJFuchs
AnthonyJFuchs

@Ollie Walton Harrod @A Friend of the Ood @indyfromaz Political correctness has nothing to do with the topic, because this isn't a matter of politics.

I, for one, simply think it would be interesting to see how the Doctor reacted to regenerating into a woman, and if perhaps there might be a story behind why the Doctor became female. There almost certainly would have to be. Was it conscious and deliberate? Why? Was it accidental? Why then? Was it the result of some outside force? Who and why THEN? And if all of that narrative potential were to be exhausted within a single 13-episode arc, then I would have no argument against seeing the Doctor regenerate back into a male. Because I am only interested in the story, and this is a story -- a potentially massive story -- that hasn't even been approached yet in the half-century of Who.And, honestly, I believe that most of the fans that are open to having a female Doctor are so for the same reason.

indyfromaz
indyfromaz

@RonSwearingen @Liam Thomas @indyfromaz Just because you, should you? I can grow beard, but I look terrible in one.

Doing it because it is politically correct or satisfies some agenda tick is not a good reason to "just do it".

RonSwearingen
RonSwearingen

@Liam Thomas by using the term 'dudebros' it shows is that you are willing to pigeon-hole anyone who disagrees with you.  Additionally singling out Doctor Who as sexist would be like singling out the original Star Trek as racist.  Its one of the least sexist shows out there and compared to the contemporary programming that it competes against, it always has been.  I would put up Barbara vs Mary Ann, Ginger or Jeannie.  

Liam Thomas
Liam Thomas

@Malohkeh @Liam Thomas @RonSwearingen The original intent of the Bechdel Test was to give people a way to gauge representation of women in a particular work. Yes I am aware that it originated in a comic strip but the fact that it took off so quickly does speak volumes about how women are treated in the media. So you are wrong in assuming I don't understand the initial context of the Bechdel Test.

Liam Thomas
Liam Thomas

@indyfromaz @RonSwearingen @Liam Thomas Doing it because it'll bring new energy to a show that's getting more and more stale every season is a good reason to do it. And seeing as the writers would go as far as to make a female Doctor quite feminine, it would offer a brand new dynamic between the Doctor and their companions. Plus a female Doctor would attract more female viewers and most likely not sacrifice many male viewers. So there are plenty of reasons as to why it would be a good move for a show.

Liam Thomas
Liam Thomas

@RonSwearingen @Liam Thomas By using the term 'dudebro' I am showing that I have no patience or respect for misogynists. And that's a terrible comparison. The original Star Trek did wonders towards racial equality, and although the world isn't quite there yet a lot of the momentum from the movement can be attributed to Star Trek. Doctor Who, alternatively, has done roughly squat for feminism and women's rights. Yes there are more sexist shows out there, but up against shows like Revenge, Weeds, Orange is the New Black, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Doctor Who isn't even close to being one of the 'least sexist shows out there'.

Ollie Walton Harrod
Ollie Walton Harrod

@Liam Thomas @indyfromaz @RonSwearingen It would change everything. The entire theme of the show would be different. And I think it would be awful.

And when you say: 'From a purely logical point of view it's actually surprising within the universe of the show itself that we haven't had a female Doctor yet'.

- No that isn't at all surprising. It would be surprising if they had actually done it. Not so much with the last announcement though, as everybody was making a big deal about how it could be; and I am so glad they didn't. I'm also positive about the fact that the next Doctor is an older one, as I am not liking how kiddy Doctor Who is becoming/has become. Of course it's aimed mainly at children, but no-one even dies any more.

The fact that it's been stated that the Doctor could become a woman is certainly not a reason for it to be done. That's like choosing a ginger haired actor just because the Doctor's never been ginger.

I also hate any kind of female empowerment argument in relevance to this. That is just silly. Men and women are equal. There is no need to obsess over it, and try and prove it in the media.

And when you say that 'there's only so much you can do with white male characters'. No. that again is just nonsense. It's not like every Doctor just seems the same now, and there's no originality any more. Making the Doctor a female would completely change the show. It would literally just be a different show completely. There can be spin-off series' with a female lead, but don't change what is Doctor Who.

Lastly, you talk as if all women are in desperation for a female Doctor, and if a female was cast as the Doctor, the show would suddenly gain many female viewers. It's not like women all love female leads in shows, and don't like Doctor Who because of its male lead. I think the show would lose many followers/fans if a female was cast. However, I'm guessing, with all the hype about it, there will soon be a female Doctor, as one writer is going to take the risk.





indyfromaz
indyfromaz

@Liam Thomas @indyfromaz @RonSwearingen Except doing for an agenda tick. If a woman is the very best actor you can find for the role, then maybe. But doing to "jazz up" a "stale show" is not a good enough reason. Besides, the rating for Doctor Who in Britain are far from "stale". So is the only way to "save" the show to tick off some politically correct agenda?

Ollie Walton Harrod
Ollie Walton Harrod

@Liam Thomas @RonSwearingen No. Using the term 'dudebros', no matter your reason, just makes you seem a bit thick. Anyone who expresses a need to insult people, whatever the reason, and however justified, makes people not take you, or what you say seriously.

Don't now take that as me, or anyone else here, being rude or ignorant. Just take the advice.

And Doctor Who is not sexist in the slightest. It doesn't have to cast constant female leads, or need to change to talk about the women more to be non-sexist.

RonSwearingen
RonSwearingen

@Liam Thomas @RonSwearingen Labelling someone a misogynist just because they don't agree with you is using prejudice to combat perceived prejudice.  Doctor Who started off with a strong woman character that would stand up to the men and did not accept the standard female role.  It was the first show in British TV with a female producer.  If you're looking for a sexist show, look elsewhere.  How about Bones for example.

indyfromaz
indyfromaz

@Liam Thomas @RonSwearingen So all TV shows should push your social agenda or else is that it?

I bet voting against Future President-in-Waiting Hilary is going to be "misogynistic" soon also.... :)

Liam Thomas
Liam Thomas

@indyfromaz @Liam Thomas @Malohkeh @RonSwearingen It's really not 'agenda based'. I mean, the only issue that would be on the 'feminist agenda' would be equality. It's simply used to gauge how well represented women are in the media. If there were a male equivalent, in which the rules were that a specific work: 1. Had to have at least 2 male characters who 2. Talk to each other about 3. Something other than a woman: the majority of media forms would pass - and I'm talking around 95%+. You could very easily say it's biased in favour of women, but that's like saying the X-Factor is biased in favour of people who can sing.