Culture

Why Both Sides Need to Chill Out About the Female Doctor Who

The Doctor in the hit BBC Show Doctor Who is now a woman. Unsurprisingly, this has spurred a good bit of…discussion. People on both sides are up in arms about different things, and everyone seems to be getting so much wrong about this.

To my friends on the right:

Shut up. Seriously. The Doctor was never a male. Yes, he was portrayed by male actors, but the character is part of an alien race where gender is…complicated. Further, it was complicated long before the current era of 54 billion genders being considered valid up to and including “toaster oven.” OK, maybe not that last one, but I’m not completely sure.

Yes, the character is now being played by a female, but so what? If the actress is good and the stories are good, that’s all that should matter. I get why you’re upset at the moment, and I’ll address that in a bit, but chill out and wait to see if your worst fears actually happen.

Now, to the left:

You guys really need to shut up.

Not just about Dr. Who, but just in general. However, since I know you won’t, let me educate you a bit on some of what’s going on here.

First, remarkably few people take issue with a female Doctor because she’s a she. Instead, most of the issues comes from one of two camps.

In the first camp are the fans who simply want consistency. The issue isn’t that the Doctor is a woman so much as it’s a departure from what they’ve always known. These are the same fans who would complain just as loudly if the Doctor had always been a woman and was now suddenly a man. Many science fiction fans want consistency in their products. You don’t change things just to change them, in their mind, so they tend to take every change the same way.

Yes, these are the same people who literally hate every new actor playing the Doctor simply because they’re the new actor…until that actor leaves and is replaced, at which time the hatred goes to the new actor.

These are also many of the people who took issue with John Boyega playing a stormtrooper. It wasn’t because Boyega was a minority, but because he was the wrong minority. They saw stormtroopers from Star Wars as clones of Jango Fett, played by actor Temuera Morrison, who is of Maori, Scottish, and Irish descent. It wasn’t racism, it was merely the presence of change.

However, that’s not all the fans, admittedly.

In the second camp are people who are sick of political correctness in their science fiction. Doctor Who has been going the way of the SJW for a little while now, so casting a woman as the Doctor is being seen not as a necessary progression to the show’s overall story arc, but a hat tip to the social justice zealots to whom they want to virtue signal.

Of course, some SJWs can’t comprehend that.

Here’s what I don’t understand: What does the world look like to you if you think the inclusion of others is in any way inherently political?

It’s not a matter of including a female doctor, but when they’re including her. We’re talking about a show that has been around, off and on, since 1963. At no point prior to now has the Doctor been played by a woman. This comes right after changing the Doctor’s nemesis, The Master, into a woman as well. It’s also an era when characters that had been traditionally played by white men are being switched into something else, but no white man is permitted to play a role that was originally played by a minority character. It’s a double standard.

Further, there’s the fact that we know it won’t be enough.

Feminist critic Anita Sarkeesian, who harassed her critics during a recent panel at VidCon, took issue with the Doctor’s newest regeneration. Writing on the official Feminist Frequency account on Twitter, Sarkeesian condemned Doctor Who for being an “overwhelmingly white show” that simply isn’t doing enough to fix the issue of minority representation in the media–as if it is the show’s duty to address social problems.

“It needs to be said that [Doctor Who] is still an OVERWHELMINGLY white show and that issues of representation do not exist in isolation from each other,” she began. “It’s not as if you fix the ‘woman’ problem, THEN fix the ‘race’ problem, THEN the ‘queer/trans’ problem, etc. It all has to happen in tandem.”

Sarkeesian strongly implied that the new Doctor must be intersectional–a transgender woman of color.

In other words, one’s identity has become political. It’s impossible to not see a female Doctor as a political statement when we have leftists making it clear that it’s insufficient from a political standpoint.

And, frankly, a lot of people are just sick of it.

For me, I couldn’t care less if the new Doctor is male, female, or a lesbian fruit bat named “Paco.” Tell me good stories, and I’ll watch. Don’t, and I’ll find some other way to spend my time.

But don’t think for a minute that criticism over the move can only be sexism in action. Doing so makes it clear that you’re as narrow-minded as you pretend everyone else is.