A Quick Talk About Misogyny from Someone Who Has Never Seen a Second of Doctor Who
Even though I’ve never watched the show, and probably never will watch it, I was very excited for my girls in the Doctor Who fandom when I saw that Jodie Whittaker would be playing the first woman doctor. That excitement persisted even when I saw the barrage of comments about what a terrible and PC decision this was, that women playing the doctor is unrealistic (give me a fucking break), that the role of a doctor was just meant for a man, etc, etc, whining, whining, whining.
I’m a lot more informed on misogyny than I am on what Doctor Who is about so correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t it about an immortal alien who travels between dimensions in a telephone booth? What part of that is at all realistic? Also, if the doctor is canonically genderless, which I was told is true by a friend who watched the show for years, then why would it matter if they appeared in a typical male form or a typical female form?
None of this really bothered me over the past couple of days though. I’m quite used to the nonsensical complaints that arise when a woman is cast into a role of power or strength. Even Wonder Woman was accused of being made to fit into our PC culture. Then, I came across these.
My eye rolls and “lol whatever”s quickly turned into anger, frustration, and the sting I, along with many other women, feel when I remember just how much this world actually hates women.
I don’t think these count as revenge porn or invasion of privacy as these pictures were taken from films and shows she starred in. Although I have to say, it is fucking weird to screenshot nude scenes for the sake of an article about her new role.
My favorite part about this is that they also mentioned nude scenes that male actors who previously played the doctor were a part of. Uh, hey misogynists? I fucking see you. Good attempt to hide your blatant and disgusting display of misogyny behind “but the men did it too!” Unfortunately, your attempt fell flat on its face. I didn’t see articles about men’s nudity circulating the internet when they were cast as the doctor. When Peter Capaldi was announced as the 12th doctor, I never once saw an article titled “Doctor Nude! Peter Capaldi bares all in previous role!”
This isn’t a total criticism of men. An article of the same nature from Express was written by a woman and plenty of complaints about a female doctor were expressed by women. Listen, ladies, I just want to say this to you real quick: internalized misogyny is one of hell of a drug. I promise your life will get better when you stop tearing down other women for trivial nonsense or for thriving. Which isn’t to say women can’t have valid criticisms about other women, but that’s another conversation.
I have seen these articles receiving a lot of denouncement and it seems many are recognizing them for what they are. But, it’s just so damn frustrating that these were even published in the first place. What is so difficult to accept about a woman playing the doctor? The thing with these articles is that they weren’t even written as objections, which as I stated before, would’ve just earned an eye roll and a “whatever” from me. Many women know how to let those kinds of comments roll off their backs. The intention of these articles, whether stated or not, was to go after Whittaker’s integrity as an actress. It was a “yeah she was cast as the doctor, but she also went nude so how seriously should we take her?” The intention was to disparage and embarrass her. That’s something I just can’t look past as the casual sexism that comes in the form of “it’s unrealistic for women to be anything besides weak.”
Using a woman’s sexuality to belittle her is pathetic. It’s one of the oldest tricks in the good ol’ misogyny handbook and guess what? We see right through it to its core every time. I will never understand what we did to continue being treated like this to this day.