The recent revelation in the television universe is that Doctor Who has broken tradition and the main character is a woman.
The controversy and comments this has sparked is crazy, ranging from sexism to criticism to praise. Personally, as a massive Doctor Who fan starting from Eccleston’s era, I also have an opinion to offer on this reveal.
I did enjoy the Doctor being a male character, and I won’t pretend that I wasn’t fully on board with a female character. I enjoyed the relationship between the Doctor and his companions (both male and female) and how the show worked with a male character lead. A female character may change the dynamic of the show, and as a major fan the prospect of that makes me doubtful of the choice.
However, I will not shun the choice of a female lead in terms of sexist views. This is where the problem is arising. There are some, like myself, who have stated that they would’ve preferred a male character to remain, but will give the new actress a chance. This is not sexist and this needs to be understood. Saying you prefer a female or a male character is not sexist as it is not restricting the rights of either gender. IT IS A PREFERENCE. When a character is cast, I do not get offended about which gender is chosen as there has to be a choice between the two. For the many years of watching, I also have not been offended by the Doctor being male, I never wished for a female Doctor and I have never felt victimised by the male lead. Labelling tweets as ‘sexist’ that state they would’ve preferred a male is wrong. If they had been saying ‘a woman can’t perform the role like a male’ then that is sexist. Stating their personal choice in a non-derogative way is not.
Sexism is such a sensitive subject when it should be such an easy concept to understand. To put a female or male (sexism is for both genders people!!) down or victimise them because of their gender is the issue. This label should not be thrown around at people who aren’t committing the crime. It degrades the term and makes it seem petty. It is very important to use it right. It opens the door for people to make fun of the terms sexism and feminism, the stereotype of a ‘crazy feminist’ is because of this. When equality is all anyone who supports these movements wants.
Another nag of mine, brought on by the announcement is certain comments. The kinds of comments along the lines of “now I’m going to watch the show” and “this show now looks good”. A FEMALE DOCTOR SHOULD NOT BE CHANGING THE SHOW. The point is, she is the same character and the same plot lines and aliens are still present. If you did not like the show before, you most likely will not like it anymore now it has a female Doctor.
Overall, down to me I would’ve kept the Doctor as a male character because I like how it works and plays out. That is not to say I won’t watch the new series in hope it stays as my beloved show. I really hope Jodie Whittaker aces it as I would be devastated to watch the whole dynamic of the show alter. Furthermore, having a male Doctor does not mean I revelled in the love stories between him and his female companions. I liked the more subtle love he had with Rose that only become more dominant at the end. Clara and Martha’s crushes on the Doctor were not interesting and were rather obvious. The classic male lead with female companion that are used in arguments as to why it’s a sexist show is not a reason for me, Rory was by far one of the best companions.
This announcement should not have lead to the issue of feminism/sexism, it should just be down to personal preference.