So The 13th Doctor Who Is A Woman – And Why Shouldn’t They Be?
Doomsday struck in the middle of a live sporting event, of all things. What the old boys of Whovian fandom had feared suddenly became terrifying reality. The 13th Doctor Who will be a woman.
All at once there was a terrible disturbance in the force, like a million whiny nerdbros spluttering forth hurt outrage in unison. Tremors were felt around the globe from neckbeards wobbling in righteous indignation.
A slight exaggeration? You’d also be surprised how closely it compared to reality. The reality here being the state of social media (Twitter, to be precise) after the BBC’s announcement during an ad break in Wimbledon.
— BBC One (@BBCOne) July 16, 2017
Twitter seemed to explode with venom, froth with hurt pride and seethe with the disgust of those upset by the news. In an instant #doctor13, #DoctorWho13, Doctor Who and 13th Doctor were trending.
Why People Are Angry
Were people upset because they don’t rate the acting skills of the person cast as the next Doctor? Nope. They’re pissed simply because the role of The Doctor was won by a woman.
Jodie Whittaker, to be precise.
Here’s a brief list of the top responses on social media after the official announcement by the BBC:
“It’s political correctness gone mad”
“That’s it, I’m never watching again”
“You’ve lost a lifelong fan over this”
“When are we going to have a wonder man?”
“Next thing it’ll be Jane Bond”
In a dramatic attempt to be "politically correct" Dr Who just lost thousands of fans 😂
— Joshua Cooper (@joshiee_coops) July 16, 2017
They're legit gonna make Doctor Who a lesbian just so it's politically correct, a male doctor is better nothing sexist about it #Doctor13
— • (@Vardesque) July 16, 2017
I'm so pissed about #doctor13 Cause the doctor has always been a man. Forget being politically correct and BS feminism.
— Alaina Nuñez (@alaina_nunez97) July 16, 2017
— Joséphine Aldariz (@sojoal) July 16, 2017
#doctor13 The day Doctor who died, never watching that again
— Brett Redmayne (@brettd1981) July 16, 2017
I was surprised to also see, “I’m a woman and I don’t agree with this” amongst the outraged comments.
Noooooooooo!! Im a woman and even I dont want a female doctor 😢😢😢😢😢😢 #doctor13 nooooo!!
— Steff MacD x (@Steffybeth) July 16, 2017
im a feminist, but #doctor13 a woman, just doesnt sit right with me, will give it a go but i can see this being the end of doctor who. 🙁
— Laura Marie (@lauraleeds94) July 16, 2017
There’s even a Doctor Who 13 Casting Comments Bingo; credit to @SHardingRoberts.
Before tackling these criticisms, let’s take a look at the facts of the matter.
Doctor Who premiered 1963 and has aired 839 episodes. The previous 12 regenerations of The Doctor have all been played by a man.
What It’s About
The lead character in Doctor Who, known simply as The Doctor, is an alien with two hearts who can regenerate into different forms. Also, The Doctor flies through time and space in a vehicle known as the TARDIS, which is basically a phone box with a hugely pimped interior. /understatement
The Doctor battles aliens with their assistant (mostly) by their side, is the ‘goody’ of the outfit and is an all-round good (if different, and definitely not human) egg.
Doctor Who has historically shown progressive attitudes in both its casting and plots in the past, including not only female characters and cast members (shocker) but also LGBTQ characters and cast members with various ethnicities.
Truth Behind The Anger
So basically: Main alien in show about aliens to be played by human female. People = outraged
Why the anger?
I’ve thought about this one and I really can’t put the anger down to anything more than ‘good, old-fashioned’ sexism. And it’s not just men being sexist about this either; plenty of women have shown backwards attitudes in this debate.
“I’m not sexist, but…”
— holl (@grandelovessss) July 16, 2017
One of the arguments put forwards by those indignant over the decision to cast a woman as The Doctor is that Doctor Who has always been played by a man. Well then, isn’t it about time for a change? They are an alien who can regenerate into any life form, after all.
Perhaps you could argue that The Doctor being a woman isn’t realistic. Well you could try arguing that, but as The Doctor is also a two-hearted alien who battles other aliens while flying through time and space in a glorified phone box then regenerates when their time is up, you’d have a bit of a task on your hands. Is The Doctor being a woman seriously all that unrealistic in the face of all the above?
Some have said that this is another proof that the world/life/the BBC is simply pandering to liberals or the ‘PC brigade’.
Or that for heaven’s sake, how would you feel if there was a ‘Wonder Man’?
I do hope they will have a wonder man or just make wonder woman a man its only fair for both sexes. PC brigade gone mad dr who always a man!
— The Dream Team #Standup4brexit (@LiverpoolDL) July 16, 2017
1) What is wrong with being PC – or do you actually relish being offensive?
2) There is already a Wonder Man (besides the actual Wonder Man from 1963) to be honest. Plenty of them. Who do you instantly think of when you think ‘superhero’? Women, or (more likely), all the male types?
The fact you leap on to another progressive piece of media which (finally) displays a heroine that women want to identify with/want their daughters to identify with proves that actually, the world isn’t yet balanced in its views between the genders. There was literally one other example of a positive female heroine in media – yep, the most recent Wonder Woman. Not myriad, as is the case with male heroes/role models.
To those saying there should be a 'wonder man' how about Superman. Spiderman. Batman. Iron Man. Every. Fucking. Man. Hero. Ever #doctor13
— Cara Sutra (@TheCaraSutra) July 16, 2017
No, I think we have to admit that the anger stems simply from gender based prejudice. Sexism.
What was incredibly worrying (as well as anger-inducing) was the amount of people who think that a woman simply can’t be a doctor.
If the new Doctor Who is a woman, wouldn't they then have to rename the show 'Nurse Who'? #13thDoctor
— Dan Gipson (@DannyGipson) July 14, 2017
— Tom (@OfHouseORegan) July 17, 2017
Hate to break it to you folks, but life isn’t a 1960s Carry On film. Doctors aren’t all men, and nurses aren’t all women. And vice versa for their roles; men don’t all become doctors in medicine, and women don’t all go on to become nurses. There are even *gasp* male midwives these days! Jobs aren’t qualified for according to gender. It’s through study, experience, expertise. Whether you can do the job. Ability.
And here’s the shocker: the same applies to all industries.
Deal With Reality
No, this casting decision isn’t pandering to the PC brigade. It’s not about the world being ‘taken over by feminists’. It’s being hailed as progressive, yes – because it’s another one of those incredibly rare but hopeful signs that sexism may one day be a thing of the past.
A time when people are valued on individual merit, rather than having their capabilities instantly judged due to the gender they’re assumed to be. When people are people, not two opposing sides of a centuries-old battle. When equality means that not only the ability to do a task is taken into account, but the opportunity to do it is available to all. Access all areas of life, for everyone.
And what the hell is wrong with a world like that? I feel sorry for those threatened by an impending world where everyone, no matter how they identify -gender or otherwise- has the opportunity to live as they choose, to do whatever job they choose.
Yes, the 13th Doctor Who is a woman. And why shouldn’t they be?
There’s a lovely reaction from someone’s daughter watching the Dr Who announcement on Twitter. I’ve not included the video-tweet in this post as it contains a child, which I feel would be inappropriate for this site.
Simply search for “My daughter watching the
#DoctorWho announcement” on Twitter to find it, tweet from @Jenny_Trout.
Unsponsored, unaffiliated post