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

(102 Posts)
FairPhyllis Sun 28-Apr-13 02:35:56

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?

kim147 Sun 28-Apr-13 12:04:26

His companions seem to have a lot in common - as in young, pretty females.

DadOnIce Sun 28-Apr-13 12:17:19

for Honeydragon Bonnie Tyler & Who

Dawndonna Sun 28-Apr-13 12:34:46

Young pretty females. Does Catherine Tate count in that? I rather thought she was around the same age as Tennant if not older.

As for Clara. I rather suspect she is a Time Lord, although whether the child of Rose and the 'other' Dr. Or of River we'll have to wait and see.
Just my suppositions though.

tethersend Sun 28-Apr-13 12:37:05

Not a fan, but isn't it about time there was a female incarnation of the doctor?

anastaisia Sun 28-Apr-13 12:54:46

I wish Rory's dad had been a companion for a bit instead of just sending a few postcards. That would have made a nice change so long as they still put some good female characters in the shows too. Could have picked up another female to join them after a couple of episodes and all just been good friends without any sexual/romantic relationships for a bit

MonstersInception Sun 28-Apr-13 13:04:49

What about a companion who isn't just an attractive young female of a certain age. Or a female doctor?!

BoneyBackJefferson Sun 28-Apr-13 13:11:38

kim147
"His companions seem to have a lot in common - as in young, pretty females."

Ian Chesterton
Steven Taylor
Ben Jackson
Bret Vyon
George and Alan Motimer
Tony Barker
Jack
Robert Zierath
John
Oliver Harper
Jamie McCrimmon
LethBridge stewart
John Benton
Mike Yates
Arnold
Charlie Fisher
Finney
Brod
Lammers
Jason
Jeremy Fitzoliver
Harry Sullivan
Adric
Sir Justin
Maxwell Edison
Gus Goodison
Thomas Brewster
Grant Markham
Will Hoffman
Henry Gordon Jago
George Litefoot
Adam Mitchell
Jack Harkness
Mickey Smith
Rory Williams
Craig Owens
Dorium Maldovar

WinnieFosterTether Sun 28-Apr-13 13:27:58

I think Doctor Who can be sexist at times but I do think that comment was more aimed at whether Clara is 'human' or not.

I'm also willing to forgive it a lot since it has River Song in it and she's brilliant!

Although, thanks to honeydragon I'm now going to be wondering how Matt Smith would cope with Bonnie Tyler as a companion grin . I imagine it would be a bit like DT and Catherine Tate . . .

DramaAndCrisis Sun 28-Apr-13 13:35:07

Matt Smith is clearly only 12. Bonnie Tyler would scare the bejesus out of him.

I must confess to not bothering with the latest series. Quite aside from the fact that Matt Smith's eyes are too close together and he wears his trousers too short, I simply can't be bothered. Perhaps I am too old, since I (just) remember crying over Adric... and he was a male companion worth his salt. I don't recall Ace, female or no, being too shabby either.

Dawndonna Sun 28-Apr-13 13:37:47

23 November 1963. I was there.
I'm old!

kay1975 Sun 28-Apr-13 15:23:15

If you don't like it, don't watch it. Who wants to see an ugly/old companion anyway?! Not me! It's not about being young, it's about not having responsibilities on earth, so obv younger people have less responsibility!

FairPhyllis Sun 28-Apr-13 15:35:49

That's one thing I think is missing from the new Who - male companions, or companions who aren't from present-day Earth. Rory was an awful lot more interesting and better written than Amy, and unlike Amy, I had a clear idea of what motivates Rory and why he was travelling with the Doctor. Clara is another Amy - I don't really have a sense of her character, other than that she is sassy and feisty and lots of other words that mean exactly the same thing. They are what I would call Fake Strong Female Characters, because they do have one very strong non-stereotypically female trait, but then it turns out that that's all the characterization they have been given. Amy isn't even all that upset or traumatised when she has a Spooky Pregnancy and her baby is taken away from her FFS! The other problem with both Amy and Clara is that the Doctor's interest in them is primarily as puzzles to be solved, which I fundamentally find objectifying - plus the formula of 'companion turns out to be special in some timey-wimey way' is something you can only do so many times.

It seems that Steven Moffat has mentally put limits on who can be a companion in his version of Who, and that basically means we get 'attractive middle class white woman in her mid 20s who has sass and fancies the Doctor and whose motivation and interests are otherwise obscure'. Boring!

I LOVED River when we first met her, and thought an archaeologist was a great idea for Doctor Who (assume this was inspired by Bernice Summerfield in the Doctor Who novels), but ever since then everything that was awesome about her has been systematically dismantled until her whole frigging life from conception to death revolves around the Doctor. She's literally got no life or motivations outside the Doctor - it turns out she becomes an archaeologist just so she can find him for crying out loud, gives him all her regenerations, nearly destroys time because she is soooo in love with him and can only be appeased with a wedding(!), then happily sacrifices herself for him. She is anything but an independent woman.

FairPhyllis Sun 28-Apr-13 15:40:40

kay But Donna and Wilf were two of the best companions for me - what I'm saying here is that there's an imagination failure on the part of the writers atm when writing companions. It has been better in the past.

And it's a fricking time machine! Even people with responsibilities can run away and be back within the blink of an eye!

DadOnIce Sun 28-Apr-13 15:57:54

Although, to be fair, they never used to be able to - the whole reason they kept landing places where they had adventures was that he couldn't steer the TARDIS, so he couldn't get people home the day they left! I'd like that idea to come back...

HoneyDragon Sun 28-Apr-13 16:07:45

You can travel through time so family issues cease being and issue.

If you want youth, aesthetics and lack if depth people can watch Made in Chelsea.

Some if us care about this you know.

<<hoicks bosom>>

<<flounces>>

FrankellyMyDearIDontGiveADamn Sun 28-Apr-13 17:11:15

I think some people are reading between the lines a bit too much. This is a family show and therefore a lot of children watch it. The writers really aren't trying to get across some weird subliminal messages grin

HoneyDragon Sun 28-Apr-13 17:15:15

FranKelly shock. Take your perfectly sensible blaspheming ways elsewhere!

marjproops Sun 28-Apr-13 17:18:27

didnt think so at all. now, if it was the other way round.......would there be a debate on it?

marjproops Sun 28-Apr-13 17:23:06

boneys done her homework!! well done. good one. and a lot of those guys didnt know one end of the tardis from the other!

FairPhyllis Sun 28-Apr-13 17:31:04

I don't think the writers are trying to put in subliminal sexism. I think they are unconsciously writing it in. It's no good pointing to Old Who because most of today's children haven't seen it.

Rhiana1979 Sun 28-Apr-13 17:33:00

It seems that Steven Moffat has mentally put limits on who can be a companion in his version of Who, and that basically means we get 'attractive middle class white woman in her mid 20s who has sass and fancies the Doctor and whose motivation and interests are otherwise obscure'. Boring!

Martha Jones - black mid twenties trainee doctor
Micky Smith - black certainly not middle class early twenties man
Rose Tyler - not middle class and she was 19
Jack Harkness - late 30's american male from the future
Donna Noble - late 30's certainly not middle class
Rory Williams - need I go on?

Where in those is 'attractive middle class white woman in her mid 20s who has sass and fancies the Doctor and whose motivation and interests are otherwise obscure'?

I don't understand people who complain about program's. If you don't like it switch it over or switch it off. If your family want to watch it then go do something else or read a book.

Pixel Sun 28-Apr-13 17:44:30

Dd said something about female companions the other day so I made her watch poor old Adric getting killed in Earthshock. I'm so cruel grin.

Must admit I groaned last night when the Doctor was asking the salvage crew where Clara was and after describing her height etc said "she's feisty". I shouted at the tv "aren't they all". I'm sick of feisty!

Fecklessdizzy Sun 28-Apr-13 17:44:46

I've been really enjoying the rebooted series but I can't get my head round Clara ... She's such a central-casting stereotype of the Spunky Girly Sidekick - that flicky-hair-big-smile thing she does makes me all stabby. I want Donna/Rose/Martha/Rory and/or Rory's Dad or even Amy back! Waaa!

Trill Sun 28-Apr-13 17:50:21

You can travel through time so family issues cease being and issue.

Not sure about this. You might miss your children being away for a (to you) long time, even if for them it was only 5 minutes.

HoneyDragon Sun 28-Apr-13 17:54:30

I meant from the absent families pov Trills, not the companion.

Potentially you can travel the universe, but they just assume you've been Mnetting on the toilet for 10 minutes. grin

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