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To be getting increasingly pissed off with Doctor Who's sexist attitude?

101 replies

FairPhyllis · 28/04/2013 02:35

In Doctor Who this evening there was an exchange where the Doctor is trying to get Clara and the TARDIS to get on nicely together. He puts the TARDIS into 'basic mode' for her. She is slightly put out and asks him if he's done that because she's a girl. He says no of course not. Then we get a shot of him grimacing - we're clearly meant to understand that what he said is a fib.

Really, Doctor Who? Really? A 'ha-ha girls are rubbish with machines' joke that would disgrace a 70s sitcom?

There have been other snidey snide Woman!ZOMG moments and really depressing treatments of female characters for a while now. Well, I say 'characters'. Clara seems to be cut from the same 'sassy woman who thinks the Doctor's just fab' cookie cutter that Amy was.

AIBU in thinking that this isn't really good enough for a flagship children's show? Do the (all-male) writers not think girls (and women) watch it too?

OP posts:

Jan49 · 28/04/2013 02:49

I was actually more bothered by her (and therefore the scriptwriters) calling herself a 'girl' rather than a woman.


FairPhyllis · 28/04/2013 02:56

Yeah, that's not brilliant either.

OP posts:

FairPhyllis · 28/04/2013 03:14

I think I should make it clear that my disaffection with the show has been going on for a long while (since Steven Moffat's first series), and that it's not just this isolated example that I find problematic. This example is just what made me feel I wanted to post about it.

It's just that I don't see how the BBC can not be aware that there are large portions of the fandom who are critical of the sexist undercurrent in the writing. I can only see it seriously damaging the show in the long term if they allow it to go on. It's such a bloody shame that at a time when the show has better actors and effects and resources than ever, they bugger it all up with the writing.

OP posts:

Tee2072 · 28/04/2013 06:31

Well the writing overall hasn't been as good since SM took over, that's just one small part, I think.

Are there no women at all any more?


Pilgit · 28/04/2013 08:05

exactly! what he should have pointed out was that a TARDIS is designed to be 'manned' by a crew of timelords and one person (whatever race or sex) will find it requires significant knowledge and practice to achieve. This is why the Dr frequently takes a wrong turn or ends up in the wrong place/time. But it would seem the sexist conclusion is easier for scriptwriters......


noblegiraffe · 28/04/2013 08:11

River was better at flying the Tardis than the doctor.

The basic mode was plot device to take the shields down, it made the episode the doctor's fault rather than Clara's. Would you rather that she had taken over and pressed the wrong button, dropped the shields and it been her incompetence that got them in trouble?


motherofvikings · 28/04/2013 08:12

I honestly didn't get the 'girls are dumb' take on it.

I thought he grinned because he was rather preoccupied by what Clara might be - what with repeatedly dying and appearing at different times. He obviously doesn't think she is 'just a girl' but the idea if her being normal made him happy. :)

Maybe I'm too much of a geek and not feminist enough Confused


xigris · 28/04/2013 08:15

Not a fan of this series so far. I find Clara irritatingly perky. Think I'm having Amy, Rory and River withdrawal Sad. This series just seems a bit formulaic


KirjavaTheCat · 28/04/2013 08:34

I didn't get that at all. The Doctor doesn't even know how to fly it properly, in fact the only person who seems to fly the Tardis correctly is River Song; a female.

I just thought it was because it's a complicated alien spacecraft.



HoneyDragon · 28/04/2013 08:45

I'm hoping that things are going to improve, I think the Doctors general sneeriness is because Clara is human not (hopefully) because she is female. I think Moffat is trying to make him a bit darker and sinister.

Ds really misses Rory and RiverSong. He liked Rory a lot, and I liked that Rorys sensitivity often made him the real hero rather than the Doctor.


GibberTheMonkey · 28/04/2013 08:46

I took it to mean she's a (slightly dim but harmless) human (as in all humans are) not a time lord


noblegiraffe · 28/04/2013 08:47

What happened to all the computer stuff she learned in the wifi episode?


FrustratedSycamoresRocks · 28/04/2013 08:50

kitjava River can fly it because she was conceived on it, she is effectively part of the tardis and the tardis is part of her.


ll31 · 28/04/2013 08:57

Am enjoying this series, took the smile to refer to the whole who is Clara really thing... Dr who,torchwood and Sarah Jane I think are some of best things BBC do/have done.


GalaxyDefender · 28/04/2013 08:57

I kind of doubt it was intended as a "hurr, girls can't work machines" joke, though I can see how that could be construed from what happened. Was probably intended as "look at me, I'm a mysterious alien and you puny humans can't work my technology!" Grin

The bigger problem with the series is the introduction of sexuality into the Doctor's character, which unfortunately even RTD was implicit in. It's getting worse though, Moffat seems determined to throw as many women as possible at the Doctor until one sticks. It needs to stop.
Women used to be actual companions, now they're just there to try and snog the Doctor. Now THAT is sexism. Angry Sad


KirjavaTheCat · 28/04/2013 09:41

Yeah I know :)

Still female though!


HoneyDragon · 28/04/2013 10:07

Yes the whole flirty for eyes until the Dr dumps them on a lesser man thing annoys me too.

I did like his genuine affection for Rose that grew with Tennant. I think I preferred the mild sexism of Bonnie Tyler perpetually screaming for help but being a genuine sidekick/companion. Grin


bettycocker · 28/04/2013 10:10

Why would she know how to fly the tardis? She isn't a Time Lord.


KirjavaTheCat · 28/04/2013 10:18

I got the impression she knew because she'd spent lots of time with the Doctor on adventures and such, as a companion.


KirjavaTheCat · 28/04/2013 10:23

And because she's the child of the Tardis and whatnot, they had kind of a mojo.


DadOnIce · 28/04/2013 10:25

I think you mean Bonnie Langford, HoneyDragon. I don't think we've had a Total Eclipse Of The Two Hearts yet on Doctor Who :)


edam · 28/04/2013 10:32


I'm not enjoying Moff's writing, which is quite sad, since his individual episodes on other series were v. good. This series is kind of B- 'you can do better' stuff. Said to dh last night, we need Russel T Davies to come along and save Doctor Who all over again - except he went a bit over-indulgent and same trick all over again towards the end of his reign. (Tennant as Jesus being resurrected in the finale with Martha's family... amazingly bad.)


edam · 28/04/2013 10:32

Rusell even.


HoneyDragon · 28/04/2013 12:03

Grin. Doh! Can you imagine if Bonnie Tyler reads this? She'd beat the crap out me for confusing her with Langford. Grin

Apols to both Bonnies if you Mnet Blush


kim147 · 28/04/2013 12:04

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Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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