Author Topic: Doctor Who and Women  (Read 2811 times)

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Offline SpaceProg

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Doctor Who and Women
« on: August 12, 2013, 12:49:15 pm »
Yeah, very imaginative title, I know. 

This is to take up where the Things People Say on the Internet thread left off.  Starting here or abouts: http://fqa.digibase.ca/index.php?topic=64.msg185477#msg185477.

Arguement: suggesting the show/Doctor has taken a misogynistic turn since Moffat took the helm.
Possible divergences into female Doctor also.

Offline kefkaownsall

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Re: Doctor Who and Women
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2013, 02:07:42 pm »
I dont watch Dr. but Moffat has said some not so good things with Sherlock.  For instance he said that an asexual is uninteresting

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Re: Doctor Who and Women
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2013, 02:36:42 pm »
I dont watch Dr. but Moffat has said some not so good things with Sherlock.  For instance he said that an asexual is uninteresting
He's also said that Sherlock and John are the official couple, but that sex and romance don't have to be connected (he said they're romantic, not sexual). So, did he change his mind or was he misinterpreted?

As for The Doctor himself, I think the companions' lives revolving around him isn't so much sexism as just plot stuff (kinda like how everyone's life revolves around Buffy Summers or Bruce Wayne). With Amy, he did something new with The Doctor meeting his companion as a child, and being their childhood friend, saving them, before disappearing and breaking his promise. If a spaceman told you you'd get to have space adventures, as soon as he was back, and then he didn't come back for a decade, you'd be focused on him, too. Plus, she had a crush on him the whole time. Actually, now that I think of it, Amy's a fangirl. That's the idea. If saying fangirls exist is sexist, we've gone off the rails on a crazy train. Clara was another new thing. Moffat has been doing companions differently, with them having purpose or fates rather than being just there or as romance fodder. Amy was destined to give birth to River and help save reality. Clara was destined to save reality and The Doctor. I fail to see how a woman saving a man is sexist. And yes, The Doctor has made some sexist remarks, but they were about someone close to him. It's like calling someone you love a fucking idiot. You might be saying something that most would see as dickish, but they're friends. Hell, a know a black woman who finds it utterly hilarious for her white friends to use "nigga" with her (my girlfriend included, which, the first time, just had me looking at her like "Really?" before they explained), because she's like "They're scrawny white girls, why should I care?" She's an ubergeek that puts me to shame, and one of the oddest people I know (she's a legitimate, pro-China all the way, in love with the original Starship Troopers book fascist, too). So, yeah, basically, it's sexist to us. To them, it's playful.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2013, 02:38:31 pm by PosthumanHeresy »
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Offline Clochette

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Re: Doctor Who and Women
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2013, 03:00:53 pm »
I'm not interested in Doctor Who.  I just think it would be hilarious to see nerds crying about how OMG CHANGE THE DOCTOR IS SUPPOSED TO BE A WHITE MAN I CAN'T IDENTIFY WITH WOMEN OR MINORITIES. Like when The Hunger Games movie came out and racists were shocked and disappointed to discover that Rue is African-American.

Offline Yla

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Re: Doctor Who and Women
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2013, 03:57:32 pm »
11's a misogynist?  Maybe I'm dense, but I've not seen that.

Sure.

1) Rory gets sneered at and told to not be such a woman. (remember when you said him being treated poorly by the Doctor, PHH? Yeah, that. Telling a man they're being womanly isn't exactly A+ behavior and tells a lot of how someone feels about the gender they're telling you not to be like)
2) The general behavior towards women. How they aren't treated like proper equals like Donna and Martha were. Even as far back as the Classic Who you have women who are treated as equals. 11 doesn't exactly have that happening. Doesn't treat his companions like that. Sure you can consider it ego but then why does he treat other males better? Why was Captain Jack treated so much better than Rory was?
3) Everyone's life revolves around the Doctor. Amy spent how many years waiting for the Doctor? And what did Donna and Martha do? Oh they went and did a bunch of kickass shit all on their own without the Doctor. Oh, they remembered him but they didn't pine for him. Same can't be said for Clara or Amy, can it? Clara's life very much revolved around the Doctor.

And the general writing speaks loads of the writer, Moffat himself. There's a lot to turn me off of 11. And it's a grand departure from what his previous incarnations were like.

Now, I'm not saying 11 is being obvious in it or that it isn't just circumstantial he'd say something wrong at certain points. It's not uncommon. The main thing with Ten and Donna is that he told her she wasn't important at all and that affected her throughout her season with him.

But 11 has turned into something who isn't "my Doctor".

Oh and I'll leave this gem of a line: “She’s been brainwashed, it probably makes sense to her. Plus, she’s a woman." Doctor, no...

But, if anyone wants to continue this I suggest another thread so as not to get too off track in this one.
I think the argument that the writing in general has become misogynistic has.. some merit, especially taking these quotes by Moffat into account, but not enough to fully convince me. With regards to the Doctor as a character, I'm gonna have to disagree. The points you make are rather weak.

1. Okay, I'll give you that.
2. You provide your own counterargument. He treats Jack better - but not Rory.
3. Why yes, why does the show revolve around the main character? Amy spent 12 years waiting for the Doctor - Rory spent 2000 years waiting for Amy. Why is the one robbing her of meaningful narrative potential yet the other not? It's a sign of devotion. A woman being depicted as devoted to a man can be misogynistic - yet it doesn't have to be. The data point that twelve episodes later, a man is doing the same thing for a woman pretty much disproves any misogyny at this point. Also, her devotion was not primarily in a romantic way, or she wouldn't have gotten herself engaged with Rory in the meantime. Also, this is again the storywriting, not the character.

Here I wanted to counter some of your arguments regarding the plot mistreating Amy, but thinking about it I'm rather becoming convinced. Even the episodes that focus on her.. 'Amy's Choice' is between two men. The 5th finale portrays her as a central figure, but the Doc tends to do everything and she just has to follow his instructions. 6th midfinale has her playing the Damsel in Distress.

But that's just Amy. Let's take a look at the other companions. Rory is pretty much defined by his relationship to Amy. Does this make the show misandrist? And there is River, who many see as a Mary Sue. While her crush on the Doctor is a big part of her character, she is definitely the one taking the lead in their relationship.
Going beyond companions, I don't see how anyone could consider Kovarian's portrayal as being misogynistic.

I haven't seen Series 7 yet, so can't say much about Clara.


Regarding the sex of any future incarnations of the Doc - as long as it's portrayed well, I don't care. However, I'm afraid that the writer[ s], trying to disprove any accusations of misogyny, will end up trying to overcompensate and make her some ridiculous badass, and as we all know, that is not a assurance that they won't fall into the same subconscious 'dependent on a man' traps regardless. Fiction is full of failed attempts. With the Doctor herself, such a thing would be even more damaging than with the companions. If in doubt, I'd rather they stick with men until the next generation of writers has less subconscious baggage.
That said, I've stopped trying to anticipate what people around here want a while ago, I've found it makes things smoother.
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Offline SpaceProg

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Re: Doctor Who and Women
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2013, 05:25:09 pm »



Quote from: Yla
Regarding the sex of any future incarnations of the Doc - as long as it's portrayed well, I don't care. However, I'm afraid that the writer[ s], trying to disprove any accusations of misogyny, will end up trying to overcompensate and make her some ridiculous badass, and as we all know, that is not a assurance that they won't fall into the same subconscious 'dependent on a man' traps regardless. Fiction is full of failed attempts. With the Doctor herself, such a thing would be even more damaging than with the companions. If in doubt, I'd rather they stick with men until the next generation of writers has less subconscious baggage.
That might actually be for the best. A scenario of doing it and it not really being a big deal compared to doing it because it's something you feel you have to do.

Offline Shane for Wax

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Re: Doctor Who and Women
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2013, 07:27:10 am »
11's a misogynist?  Maybe I'm dense, but I've not seen that.

Sure.

1) Rory gets sneered at and told to not be such a woman. (remember when you said him being treated poorly by the Doctor, PHH? Yeah, that. Telling a man they're being womanly isn't exactly A+ behavior and tells a lot of how someone feels about the gender they're telling you not to be like)
2) The general behavior towards women. How they aren't treated like proper equals like Donna and Martha were. Even as far back as the Classic Who you have women who are treated as equals. 11 doesn't exactly have that happening. Doesn't treat his companions like that. Sure you can consider it ego but then why does he treat other males better? Why was Captain Jack treated so much better than Rory was?
3) Everyone's life revolves around the Doctor. Amy spent how many years waiting for the Doctor? And what did Donna and Martha do? Oh they went and did a bunch of kickass shit all on their own without the Doctor. Oh, they remembered him but they didn't pine for him. Same can't be said for Clara or Amy, can it? Clara's life very much revolved around the Doctor.

And the general writing speaks loads of the writer, Moffat himself. There's a lot to turn me off of 11. And it's a grand departure from what his previous incarnations were like.

Now, I'm not saying 11 is being obvious in it or that it isn't just circumstantial he'd say something wrong at certain points. It's not uncommon. The main thing with Ten and Donna is that he told her she wasn't important at all and that affected her throughout her season with him.

But 11 has turned into something who isn't "my Doctor".

Oh and I'll leave this gem of a line: “She’s been brainwashed, it probably makes sense to her. Plus, she’s a woman." Doctor, no...

But, if anyone wants to continue this I suggest another thread so as not to get too off track in this one.
I think the argument that the writing in general has become misogynistic has.. some merit, especially taking these quotes by Moffat into account, but not enough to fully convince me. With regards to the Doctor as a character, I'm gonna have to disagree. The points you make are rather weak.

1. Okay, I'll give you that.
2. You provide your own counterargument. He treats Jack better - but not Rory.
3. Why yes, why does the show revolve around the main character? Amy spent 12 years waiting for the Doctor - Rory spent 2000 years waiting for Amy. Why is the one robbing her of meaningful narrative potential yet the other not? It's a sign of devotion. A woman being depicted as devoted to a man can be misogynistic - yet it doesn't have to be. The data point that twelve episodes later, a man is doing the same thing for a woman pretty much disproves any misogyny at this point. Also, her devotion was not primarily in a romantic way, or she wouldn't have gotten herself engaged with Rory in the meantime. Also, this is again the storywriting, not the character.

Here I wanted to counter some of your arguments regarding the plot mistreating Amy, but thinking about it I'm rather becoming convinced. Even the episodes that focus on her.. 'Amy's Choice' is between two men. The 5th finale portrays her as a central figure, but the Doc tends to do everything and she just has to follow his instructions. 6th midfinale has her playing the Damsel in Distress.

But that's just Amy. Let's take a look at the other companions. Rory is pretty much defined by his relationship to Amy. Does this make the show misandrist? And there is River, who many see as a Mary Sue. While her crush on the Doctor is a big part of her character, she is definitely the one taking the lead in their relationship.
Going beyond companions, I don't see how anyone could consider Kovarian's portrayal as being misogynistic.

I haven't seen Series 7 yet, so can't say much about Clara.


Regarding the sex of any future incarnations of the Doc - as long as it's portrayed well, I don't care. However, I'm afraid that the writer[ s], trying to disprove any accusations of misogyny, will end up trying to overcompensate and make her some ridiculous badass, and as we all know, that is not a assurance that they won't fall into the same subconscious 'dependent on a man' traps regardless. Fiction is full of failed attempts. With the Doctor herself, such a thing would be even more damaging than with the companions. If in doubt, I'd rather they stick with men until the next generation of writers has less subconscious baggage.

As for 2, not really. Considering who was writing the dialogue (and allowed through. I don't agree with the whole 'BUT MOFFAT CREATED CAPTAIN JACK'). Jack was never told to stop being such a woman. His sexuality was 'ignored' by the Doctor. He didn't care. Which is how it should be. Jack was another friend who didn't fall into the flamboyant gay friend stereotype (even tho it's clear he's bisexual, at the least). By better treatment I specifically meant not being at the brunt of 'emasculating language'. If you catch my meaning. Not even Mickey had that. He was simply called stupid, dumb, and the whole lot. I think if Rory were the tin dog that might've been a step up from his treatment by the 11th Doctor.

But no, the argument that of course the show is gonna revolve around the doctor isn't what I meant. I specifically pointed out previous companions about how they clearly had a life that we saw outside of the Doctor. What did we see of Clara and Amy's lives outside of the Doctor? Amy was... a kissogram and married and Clara was... oh yes specifically tailored to be in the Doctor's life.

And throwing in 'but there's Rory' isn't the point of the argument. I'm specifically looking at how the female companions are treated. I have my problems with older River Song (or younger, as the case may be in the show), but she wasn't long-term enough for me to set my eyes on such as Amy and Clara were.

I am however glad you could see my point of view at least some of the way.

I will also clearly point out at this point in time, while Moffat is at the helm, I do not want a female Doctor. I am too afraid of how the show would turn. The difference between my argument and the ones I've seen are mine are in fear of sexist behavior, others I've seen are because of sexist behavior.

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Offline RavynousHunter

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Re: Doctor Who and Women
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2013, 08:40:02 am »
Regarding Rory, Shane, I think you're forgetting all the times he's been shown to be a badass.  He survived being erased from freaking time itself, he punched the Doctor square in the face, (with the Doctor's help) he managed to make an army of Cybermen practically shit themselves, lived thru 2000 years worth of wars (including the London Blitz), was the one to notice that River was in the Doctor's exploding TARDIS by virtue of his then-plastic ears, and tons of other shit.

Also, not seeing much of their lives?  Did you seriously pay that little attention to the end of Amy and Rory's tenure as companions?  Part of the whole drama of their last series was because they'd pretty much lived an entire life (off-screen, sure) outside the Doctor, got divorced because Amy's barren, Amy became a model, Rory became...something I can't remember, and coming back together with the Doctor during his trip thru the Dalek Asylum was a gigantic shock to both of them because of just how much time had passed between that and their previous meeting, the whole adventure in the Asylum basically acting as a catalyst to bring Amy and Rory back together and working out some SERIOUS relationship issues.

Yet, they got little characterization.  Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.  Also, I think you might be reading a little too much into the Doctor telling Rory to "stop being such a woman."  I highly doubt its because 11 is sexist, its just friendly ripping and nothing more.  If its sexist, then its on a level where its not really all that significant to the character or the show; its, to me, a more polite way of telling your friend to stop being a bitch.
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Offline Shane for Wax

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Re: Doctor Who and Women
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2013, 10:22:17 pm »
That has like little to no bearing on my actual argument. Shown to be a badass doesn't erase how he's treated by the writers of the show or by the other characters. One positive doesn't erase a negative. Life is made of good things and bad things, remember? And none of them cancels the other out.

Also, the last series out of how many of them being together? The whole point is that you saw more out of one season with each of 10's companions than you did in the multiple seasons with the Ponds. The entire goodbye to the Ponds was slapdash with rushed character development that was hollow for the most part.

But sure. The overarching treatment of Amy and Rory is ghastly compared to how Rose and Mickey were treated. Or how Martha was treated. Or how Donna was treated. We can debate that until the cows come home.

I'm not saying the show or the characters are extremely sexist or that you can't enjoy it. I'm saying to be aware of what the writing does. There's more to it than 'wham bam Doctor man got us in trouble and now we're out of trouble'. The lines have meanings. The intent behind the words are important.

Rory isn't even the brunt of my argument. I thought that was clear. If anything he's just a footnote. My main problem has been and always shall be the treatment of the women. Footnotes and extra information just adds to the whole 'it isn't a one-off thing'.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2013, 10:25:28 pm by Booker DeWitt »

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Offline RavynousHunter

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Re: Doctor Who and Women
« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2013, 11:15:37 pm »
I spose one could see where Moffat's writing could come off as sexist, looking back on it.  Though, if you ask me, its not overt, "MEN BE BETTER THAN WIMMN BECAUSE PENIS" so much as it is likely subconscious baggage a lot of us got hangin about.  Could be wrong, there's always that chance, tis just how I see it.
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Offline Dakota Bob

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Re: Doctor Who and Women
« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2013, 05:26:28 am »
Martha, treated better than Amy? Martha, the first black companion, whose character arc in her debut season could be summarized as "omg why won't the doctor lurv me?"

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Re: Doctor Who and Women
« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2013, 05:32:15 am »
I cant see the sexism, no matter how many shades of retard glasses i slip on
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Re: Doctor Who and Women
« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2013, 08:10:23 am »
Martha, treated better than Amy? Martha, the first black companion, whose character arc in her debut season could be summarized as "omg why won't the doctor lurv me?"

To be fair, at least Martha eventually gave up on that chase; instead making the sensible decision to be his friend, while looking for love somewhere else.  Honestly, I don't think Amy really loved the Doctor, as was said earlier, she came across more like a horny fangirl with conflicting ideals that, by the time she actually became a companion, didn't really know what, exactly, she wanted.

And, this might be stupid as hell, but bear with me...I found that kinda refreshing.  It shows that sexual tension can be entirely from one side of the field and that a woman can be just as incorrigible a horndog as any man can be.  For fuck's sake, she tried to nail the Doctor in her own bedroom on the night before her wedding.  She's a horny fuck, and I like that; I like women that aren't afraid to show their sexuality in the slightest.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2013, 08:13:57 am by RavynousHunter »
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Offline Shane for Wax

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Re: Doctor Who and Women
« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2013, 09:51:41 am »
I spose one could see where Moffat's writing could come off as sexist, looking back on it.  Though, if you ask me, its not overt, "MEN BE BETTER THAN WIMMN BECAUSE PENIS" so much as it is likely subconscious baggage a lot of us got hangin about.  Could be wrong, there's always that chance, tis just how I see it.

I know. That's what I've been trying to say. It isn't overt and in your face but it is there. In a higher quantity than in other shows. And in a show that the classic version was a lot more progressive than it is now. Why is that? That's a problem. I know comparing Classic Who to Current Who has a lot of problems, but you have to admit something happened between then and when Moffat took the reins.

Though I do appreciate you can see that what I'm talking about isn't something I pulled out of thin air.

Martha, treated better than Amy? Martha, the first black companion, whose character arc in her debut season could be summarized as "omg why won't the doctor lurv me?"

1) She realized her feelings but also got out of there before it became a 'problem' as it were. She recognized nothing was going to happen so she moved on. She settled down. Became a certified MD. She worked for UNIT and Torchwood as their doctor. She became a fixed point to be able to get in touch with the Doctor later for UNIT. Also note she's the only companion (at least in the new Who) to actually vocalize her feelings in a romantic way. That took guts to hell and back.
2) She didn't let people walk over her. Remember when the Doctor turned himself fully human? They tried to walk over the poor black woman but it didn't happen. And she was treated like an equal by the Doctor himself. The fandom itself has been nothing but cruel to her. Calling her a whore, an idiot for trying to save the Doctor in their first meeting (because we all totally think the person we're giving mouth to mouth to might not be human). And in general comparing her unfairly to Rose.
3) She saved the world in the year that never existed. Nobody knows. Same with Donna. Except with Donna she doesn't remember either. But Martha doesn't mind. That's how Martha Jones is.

Martha Jones is a fucking star.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2013, 09:53:41 am by Booker DeWitt »

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"Ke barjurir gar'ade, jagyc'ade kot'la a dalyc'ade kotla'shya."
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Offline PosthumanHeresy

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Re: Doctor Who and Women
« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2013, 07:10:23 pm »
Martha, treated better than Amy? Martha, the first black companion, whose character arc in her debut season could be summarized as "omg why won't the doctor lurv me?"

To be fair, at least Martha eventually gave up on that chase; instead making the sensible decision to be his friend, while looking for love somewhere else.  Honestly, I don't think Amy really loved the Doctor, as was said earlier, she came across more like a horny fangirl with conflicting ideals that, by the time she actually became a companion, didn't really know what, exactly, she wanted.

And, this might be stupid as hell, but bear with me...I found that kinda refreshing.  It shows that sexual tension can be entirely from one side of the field and that a woman can be just as incorrigible a horndog as any man can be.  For fuck's sake, she tried to nail the Doctor in her own bedroom on the night before her wedding.  She's a horny fuck, and I like that; I like women that aren't afraid to show their sexuality in the slightest.
It's not stupid. In fact, that's the exact opposite of being sexist. Showing a woman who is openly sexual and is willing to use that and flaunt it and not give a fuck what people think.
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sadly, they're rarely the ones in power.

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