Somebody should tell Steven Moffat that interviews aren’t to explain gaps in an episode or clever plot twists, that’s what the episode is for.
Mr. & Mrs. Jones-Smith
I think the reason that lots of people think Steven Moffat’s version of Doctor Who is sexist is because it repeatedly acts and sounds sexist. It may be that Moffat consciously tries to craft his Who as feminist or pro-feminist. If so, I don’t think there’s any better illustration of the crucial point that, in a sexist society, however much of an ‘ally’ you may be, if you’re a man then you still enjoy male privilege, and probably don’t realise it half the time.
The Doctor describes Clara as “a mystery wrapped in an enigma squeezed into a skirt that’s just a little bit too tight”. The Doctor describes Marilyn Monroe as though she really was nothing more than the stereotypical ‘man crazy’ ditz she played in some of her movies. Rory likens being married to Amy to being trapped inside a giant robot duplicate of her. We get dialogue like “Why did she try to kill you and then want to marry you?” “Because she’s a woman”. Osgood, a scientist, is shown to be secretly obsessed with jealousy towards her prettier sister. A Dalek develops a female alter-ego, and she spends her time cooking.
In Moffat’s show, women are overwhelmingly defined by their traditional gender roles or bodily functions. It doesn’t matter that their excellence in these gender roles is praised by show and lead character. It doesn’t matter that we’re supposed to be impressed by the virtuosity with which River tricks people using her feminine wiles. It doesn’t change anything that the Doctor goes into rhapsodies about the wonders of motherhood. That isn’t liberating; it’s still the mapping of male, patriarchal conceptions of female value onto female characters.
River exists entirely because of the Doctor. Who the hell is River? She is an assemblage of gender essentialist tropes and wisecracks. When does she ever – beyond, arguably, her first appearance – behave like an academic or a scientist? When does she ever display anything resembling erudition or intellectual curiosity? When does she ever do or say anything to show or engender love? Admittedly, the Doctor seems to be sexually aroused by the way she shoots people… which is just charming. In ‘Let’s Kill Hitler’, she is incarnated as Mels, a character we’ve never seen or heard of before, and plonked unceremoniously into the story out of sheer, brazen convenience. She stalks Amy and Rory (her unwitting mother and father) for years, pretending to be their friend, all because of her pre-programmed monomaniacal desire to get to the Doctor. She regenerates while “concentrating on a dress size”. She spends the rest of the episode obsessing over her hair, clothes, shoes and weight. River’s instability is finally conquered by the love of a good man. This seems intensely hostile and patronising. If that isn’t what was aimed at, then somebody is a very bad shot.
It doesn’t matter that River is ‘powerful’. Fetishizing ‘power’ in women characters – having them kicking ass and always being ready with a putdown - isn’t the same as writing them as human beings."
[…]The reason I feel ill when the Doctor snogs River’s ghost at the end of ‘Name of the Doctor’ is not that I hate emotion in Who, or that I want – because I’m a sexually and emotionally repressed nerd or something – Doctor Who to be emotionless. Rather, the opposite of this is the truth. The reason I feel ill at moments like that is rather that I hate fake emotion, cheap emotion, unearned emotion. Commodified emotion. Packaged, marketed, profitable, sugary, junk emotion. Sentimentality, in other words.Sentimentality is disgusting because it’s not fundamentally about other people, or relationships. It’s about oneself. It’s self-regarding, self-comforting, self-pleasing. It isn’t social. It’s narcissistic. This is precisely what is so horribly wrong with all those Moffatian emotional tornadoes. How can they be touching when the characters and relationships are so shallow? When we’re watching narcissists adoring their own reflections in their partner’s eyes?[…]I don’t like having to hate this show. I want to love it.
I find it really interesting that the historical men like Vincent Van Gogh, Winston Churchill and Richard Nixon portrayed in Moffat Who are always three dimensional and treated respectfully, while the historical women like Elizabeth the First and Nefertiti, are always love sick idiots drooling over the Doctor.
It almost seems like Moffat cannot take women seriously, even if they ruled nations.
Where do you think Van Gogh rates in the history of art?
petition for a doctor who episode where the doctor travels back in time to meet arthur conan doyle and accidentally happens to mention how popular sherlock holmes is even 130 years later and poor acd almost breaks down crying
[Chockes on laughter]
Current Doctor Who is like an ex-boyfriend I used to have a great time with and am still kind of into but lately he keeps being an asshole so it’s awkward every time I see him
so here, the portrait behind her (of a lady in a dress) does look suspiciously like the upside-down view of domething else…
HOLY SHIT!!! AND NOW IT JUST GOT A BIT MORE CREEPY!!!
just casually turn my laptop upside down to see that an- LORDY CHRIST.
I LITERALLY JUST SCREAMED BLOODY FUCKING MURDER
moffat’s companions’ lives are all so strangely ungrounded in reality and i think it’s a good example of his very weak writing. in day of the doctor we see clara teaching - no explanation, no mention of it in the episode, and no build up to it. although obviously this was a (really lovely actually) nod to canon, it’s not the first time this has happened; amy just “became” a model in one episode and was never shown like this again (after her first job was as a kissogram). it’s impossible to imagine this happening with any of russell t davies’ companions, who all had lives incredibly minutely planned out; rose and mickey found their path to success obstructed by class boundaries and working manually, donna worked a succesion of uninspiring office jobs and even well off martha was shown physically working very hard to achieve her medical degree.
this ability to skip through professions as well as change locations and dump family just grounds the idea that moffat’s companions are strange, non-human, undeveloped creatures. their lives, trials and tribulations don’t matter outside of the doctor, and it’s like they’re a succession of barbie dolls; “i can be a model! i can be a teacher! i can be an archaeologist!” with an awful lot of pluck, a cheeky grin, and no substance whatsoever