18 July 2017

The New Female "Doctor Who," and the War on White Men

Sunday, it was announced that Jodie Whittaker will be the 13th Doctor and the first female Time Lord. Twitter almost exploded (which I saw firsthand), and Brendan O'Neill wrote about it here in The Spectator. I highly recommend you give that a quick read (if you haven't already).

I've seen about 30 seconds of an early episode of Doctor Who, and was so bored of it I quickly switched Netflix to something else. I'll admit I haven't seen a bit of it since then, and know absolutely nothing about the story line or the Doctor's character. So, what follows (re: the show) is entirely my opinion (albeit with some actual research behind it because I don't want to look like an idiot).

IMDb tells me Doctor Who ran for 26 years (1963-1989), then picked up again in 2005 and is (obviously) still running. That's a fandom that stretches 54 years. In the 38 years of the show's active production, the character of the Doctor has been played by 12 different men.

I think my dear friend Neil said it best:

I vaguely recall hearing somewhere that Doctor Who is immensely popular with teenage girls, which was one driving factor behind the push to make the next Time Lord a woman. Two of the Doctors of late have been David Tennant and Matt Smith. I'm a red-blooded young woman, so I can totally understand why the show would be popular with teenage girls: those guys are incredibly easy on the eyes. Smith has an appealing personality, too. What teenage girl wouldn't gawk themselves silly over that? 

Just because the BBC have decided to make the Doctor a woman isn't going to make me interested in watching the show. I'm actually probably less likely to watch it now because of this. The BBC felt compelled to bring identity politics into a situation where it was totally unnecessary.

Which brings me to my next bit: the war on white men.

Not a day goes by that I don't see tweets like these:


(Insert AreYouEvenSeriousFace.jpg here)

Did I miss the memo that declared it socially acceptable to say this racist and sexist shit? Imagine if "white men" was switched in any of those tweets with a different race. There would probably be an uproar, and it's likely the tweeter would have their tweeting abilities temporarily limited.

I take offense when I see things like this. "But you're a woman! Why are you offended? Men are scum!" I'm offended because literally everything I have, I have because of white men. The men in my life have worked incredibly hard to be able to take care of themselves, and as a result, they see that I am taken care of, too. My father and my brother. My "smarter half" and my best friend. My housemate who I've known for 15 years (literally half my life).

Are you going to find me out in the streets, wearing a knitted hat that's meant to look like lady-parts, screaming about the gender wage gap? No. I'll be in the house, thankful that I have a roof over my head. And I'm thankful for the men that made it possible every moment of every day.

Because if we're being honest here, I'm a lot better at baking cakes than I am at pushing a lawnmower.