Unless you've been living under a rock, you will have heard the news that Doctor Who number 13 has been announced. After the BBC announced the news on Sunday, fans of the show everywhere have taken to the internet to share their thoughts. As always there's been a mixed reaction, however this time even more mixed than usual for one reason:
The thirteenth Doctor is a woman.
Jodie Whittaker (star of Broadchurch) has been announced as Capaldi's successor, making her the first ever woman to hold the role of The Doctor, and I, for one, am delighted.
Series 11 brought me more hope for the show with Bill Potts (played by Pearl Mackie), a black, openly gay companion who I LOVED
AND WOULD DIE FOR , so really it's about time we get a woman at the forefront of the show. River Song (Alex Kingston) is another strong female character to come out of Doctor Who as well, and of course we've had the wonderful Michelle Gomez as Missy, a female regeneration of The Master, so it's not as though a time lord can't be a lady, or that "time travel is for men and men only" (an actual argument I have seen. Yes, really).
But yet the misogynists have taken this news and run with it, making up ridiculous 'excuses' as to why The Doctor 'can't be a woman'. Whilst ex-Doctors themselves (except Peter Davison, apparently) have shown excitement for Whittaker in her new role, like Colin Baker (as shown below), many others have been, well, not so full of praise.
As just a snapshot of some of the hate, some responses have included (paraphrasing slightly on some):
- 'When are we getting a male Wonder Woman then?'
- *image of the TARDIS stuck in some weird place captioned with a terrible and unoriginal joke about women parking*
- "Nobody wants a TARDIS full of bras"
- "Political correctness should not exist in space"
- Too many variations of "IT'S RUINED"
- "BUT WHERE ARE THE BOYS' ROLE MODELS" (Because it's ok for girls not to see themselves in such a big role, but not for boys, and boys absolutely cannot look up to women. What an awful idea!)
and many more.
(Because of course grasping the concept of a time-travelling alien with two hearts who travels in a phone box is easy peasy, but said alien being female is DEVASTATING OH NO HOW WILL WE LIVE WITH THIS FICTIONAL ALIEN BEING A LADY)
(Don't know about you, but I'd happily travel to the lipstick dimension with The Doctor. Sounds WILD.)
But despite the negative responses, I think finally having a woman playing The Doctor is SO IMPORTANT. Girls and women everywhere will grow up seeing Jodie playing the title character of such a huge show, not just the companion, and it will be WONDERFUL. This new 'wave' almost of strong women in huge sci-fi roles (e.g. Star Wars' Rey) proves that such a sexist industry like that of mainstream media CAN change, albeit slowly
(would be nice to see some other minority groups being represented like with Bill, but you know, baby steps) and gives me just that bit more hope for the future of big TV shows like Doctor Who. If anything, a fresh take on this classic character is needed in my humble opinion, but if that doesn't sell you, take a look at the tweet below (probably one of my favourite reactions for sheer adorableness):
Overall, all of us here at The Feministas are incredibly excited to see Jodie Whittaker's take on The Doctor – I'm sure she will be brilliant. (and wow, it feels good to refer to The Doctor as 'she'!)
What do you think of the announcement? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below (respectfully, of course) and I'll be happy to discuss!
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