Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Gender is Over (If You Want It): Musings on the Reaction to the 13th Doctor

Look, she's already put together a better workshop than Peter Cushing ever had
Okay, listen motherfuckers, it's been a long time since I've done a blog post about something other than an episode, but the fandom is officially in crisis.  The news of the 13th Doctor has come out, and I couldn't be more ecstatic, and I'm ready to learn as much about her as I did about Peter Capaldi shortly after his announcement as Doctor.  It's such big, earth shattering news that people who do not watch or particularly care about (or for) Doctor Who are weighing in.  And what are they seeing when they look at our fandom?  Utter, blatant, vile misogyny, from period jokes, to jokes about women drivers, to the Sun putting out a disgustingly sexist editorial about how bad the decision was to pick a female Doctor, immediately followed be a collection of nude pictures of Jodie Whittaker from her movies.  I thought that was the kind of flagrant sexism that anybody would recognize, but when I posted about this on Facebook, and made the mistake of making it a public post, I got this advice on how I should properly react as a real feminist:

"A smart feminist here says 'so what, she's lovely and talented, now can we discuss something important'. I recommend you try that"

I don't know what's harder:  holding back the urge to vomit or holding back the urge to correct his grammar.  Apparently, according to this guy, the pictures are okay because they were taken with consent in the first place, and there's no way that consensually taken photographs can be recontextualized in a way that humiliates and degrades the person in those photographs.  Men who are not seeing this right now because you're men, this is the level of misogyny we're dealing with here.

Here's some examples of fucked up things author Aaron Gillies saw people writing on the Daily Mail website about just the (then, seemingly remote) possibility of a female Doctor shortly before the announcement:

I'm sure their mothers would be so proud of them.  You see, this announcement has brought out the worst MRA bullshit you could possibly imagine.  This is Ghostbusters to the 100th power.  This is still not about ethics in video game journalism.  And when it isn't vile sexism, it's just garden variety sexism like claiming the Doctor is a father figure and that means he can never change because only men are fathers, which is a wonderful way of saying "I don't love my mother" and "I have inappropriate thoughts about my father."  And is it true that I was once on the other side of this debate?  Yes.  But, I also once held the belief that I could only ever be male as well, and I have done a complete 180 on that as well.

Now the people on the anti-woman side are complaining that those of us in favor of the casting choice are being just as venomous as the anti crowd.  Here's the thing, a) no we're not and b) long hair, don't care.  I spent all day Sunday, and a good part of my time since, mocking the haters who are running around saying the sky is falling.  I'm not apologizing for one second of it because, you see, it's not like this is an argument between two rational point of view.  This is an argument between one side with a rational point of view, and the other side whose whole argument boils down to "Girls are icky!" And yes, I'm including all the self-hating women and my former self in the girls are icky crowd.

The anti-female Doctor crowd are mostly represented by people whose responses would put Milo Yinnapoulos to shame. And as a trans woman, I resent the implication that a man changing into a woman is the worst thing in the world. So I'm not sorry if my celebration of the Doctor somehow hurts your feelings. It shouldn't; get over it. I'm not sorry that you think that I'm gloating. I'm not sorry that I literally spent all day on Saturday mocking the haters. We don't live in a PC culture where all the liberals want to be coddled, we live in a sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic culture where those who are spewing the hate expect to be coddled with the mantra of "Everyone is entitled to their opinion." Yes, and I'm entitled to express my opinion that you should be ashamed of your opinion.

The future is all girl. The Doctor is a woman. Get over it. I'm done.

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