FeminismPop CultureTelevision

Doctor Who is being played by a woman; Sci-Fi ruined forever

After 54 years of men exclusively playing the alien known as ‘Doctor Who’ Jodie Whittaker will be taking on the role as the first woman to do so. Predictably this has not gone down well. After the announcement the wave of hateful comments poured in, which is not to say that everyone is upset about the decision. On the contrary, to me and many others it’s great to see a woman finally taking on the mantle of ‘The Doctor’. In fact personally it’s more of an ‘about time’ moment than anything else, making the controversy surrounding the casting all the more depressing. Depression compounded by the wonderful British tabloids publishing nude pictures of Whittaker in previous roles. I’m ready to jump in a space ship and escape this patriarchal hell hole.

The general public’s insightful criticism included:
Tumbleweed GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY
So many sexist weeds not worth our time

Okay so I’m generalising a little, there was some decent criticism which mainly focused on my previous point. A woman playing ‘The Doctor’ should not be a big deal. For goodness sake ‘The Doctor’ is a magic time travelling alien whose plot lines stretch the scope of the word ‘convoluted’. A white woman being cast in this role should not be controversial and although this casting does represent a step forward in terms of diversity on screen, it’s a small one.

I haven’t been a fan of Doctor Who for a few years now, but it’s encouraging to see the series moving forward, albeit at a snail’s pace. Yet the response Whittaker has received from not only angry fans, but also the sleazy media suggest otherwise. If a woman taking on a traditionally male role is so awful, how long will it be before a person of colour (of any gender) gets to play the part? Or a trans actor? Or a disabled one? Nerd culture for all it boasts acceptance of those deemed ‘different’ or ‘weird’ as usual limits these descriptors to straight white guys and the occasional white girl accepted into the club. Doctor Who was a treasured part of my childhood, maybe it’s time to let go of insidious prejudice and let future generations grow up admiring a woman steering the tardis.

[insert woman driving joke here]

Image credits:
BBC & giphy.com

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Floatingmanatee also known as Alice, is a certified Zoologist living in Britain and has an unhealthy love of weird creatures. She's bisexual, a lover of books, TV, film and anything else that tells a story. Generally she's either angry or sad or both about the state of the world, but watching youtube videos of cute animals makes her feel better.

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