Just shut up about it: Why a female Doctor doesn’t matter

For the record, I am not an expert

on sex or gender except inasmuch as I have one, or both, or whatever more nuanced combination applies to me.

The arguments I put forth here absolutely do and must talk to those matters, however as I am not an expert I am talking to a pastiche of the major flavours. Please know that I could enter into any debate you please and either demonstrate a fine understanding or positively respond to any relevant education offered, but that’s not what I’m doing here. I’m using a gently broad brush because it supports my main argument and I don’t believe the finer definitions, whichever set you ascribe to, break that argument, unless you ascribe to “The Doctor Must Be A Male” as your gender in which case how does that work and what are your pronouns?

For the record I am close to an expert

on narrative. Whether through performance art (in which I create a narrative of a competent musician out of no practice and hopeful demeanour) , thousands upon thousands of storytelling sessions, describing library services in comparable number of adult outreach sessions, bullshitting my friends or making up stories “from my mouth”* for my daughter,** I have easily exceeded Malcolm Gladwell’s 10000 hours for mastery. I think about narrative and meaning to the point where I really irk people, and even worse I’m proud of it.

I am not qualified in this field, but I am confident that the thinking and very active practice I have done readily inform my main argument about the Doctor, at least.

My main argument about the Doctor, at least

is about questioning what are the defining central aspects of the character. Longevity, alienness, brains, creativity, romanticism, wit, bravery, daring. Absolutely these are all present. Are any inherently masculine qualities? No. They are also characteristics that for the most part simply serve to advance the plot.*** Bad things happen, and all of these gender neutral qualities are bought into play to make them right.

So what quality, missing from this list, most informs The Doctor’s character? Change, but ineffable sameness.

The Doctor changes but is ineffably the same person. The Doctor can have a vastly different body, personality, physical age, you name it – and they’re still The Doctor. None of these ineffable but essential characterstics are themselves essentially masculine, so why not a female timelord? Leaving aside literal he said, she said arguments, is there anything in the canon of the show to justify masculinity, or more particularly maleness as also essential? At the end of the day, surely the point is moot.

At the end of the day, surely the point is moot

because The Doctor isn’t even human. I mean, what the hell.

At the end of the day, surely the point is moot

because the Master became Missy.  The Doctor exists in a universe which has established as canon that a Time Lord can regenerate as a woman. This protest should have happened then, and it didn’t.

At the end of the day, surely the point is moot

because – and this is the real one – the Whovian Universe has a  thoroughly broken ruleset regarding regenerations, The rules of regeneration are just guidelines amended to suit the moods of the showrunners and what happens on the screen happens and it’s really your problem and yours alone if your headcanon can’t accept it.

If your headcanon can’t accept it

Just say it’s your headcanon. It’s ok, it’s your thing and nobody can say you’re wrong, but you’ve got no good reason to say you’re right. I don’t really mean the “just shut up” at the top, but at least couch your pompous rattlings with “IMHO”. Sorry, IMHO you should do that. Any way, at the end of the day…

At the end of the day the point is moot

because it’s all made up. The Doctor is a dolly. A crafted thing that we imbue with meaning because we want it to be real.

Imagine a little boy with a GI Joe. One day he comes home, and a cruel older sibling has dressed the GI Joe in a Barbie dress.

Now imagine that little boy took to the internet with an endless supply of hackneyed political arguments. Or don’t, just read anything where people are allowed to comment on a female Doctor. That’s what’s happening – hackneyed political arguments.

Political arguments

about this subject are just a chance for the same players to make the same plays over the same desparate grounds. Seriously, we get it. Feminism has gone too far. It’s the end times. Ghostbusters, now this! How will we survive?

By letting our GI Joe dollies be in Barbie’s clothes and laughing at ourselves for worrying. You think ripping Barbie’s clothes off GI Joe stopped a person from becoming transgender? You think too much, and that’s coming from me.

I mean, do you really think this is a sign of the rising tide of PC culture?

This is absolutely a sign of the rising tide of PC culture

Yeah, I actually agree with you there, imagined internet interrogator. You are 100% right that the very PC showrunners of Doctor Who are using this character to advance that agenda. They 100% know that one of the meanings that can be taken from this is that genderfluidity is an ok thing. They are not stupid people. But what are you going to do?

Give it publicity by commenting on it incessantly? Great work, you’ve done a good job, kid.

You should do something productive, like stand at the funerals of deceased soldiers holding a sign that says “God hates fags”.****

Or…. just shut up about it. I’m talking specifically to the guy who told me it was the equivalent of female-on-male assault this afternoon. He really should just shut up.


*Her words.

** Oh yeah, and this place too.

*** The exceptions being longevity and alienness, which explains the character – the times when The Doctor looks at the universe with a weary, thousand-yard stare or starts treating his once-loved companions like annoying insects and pawns.

**** God does not hate fags in the least.



Luckily there was a burn unit nearby

Rosie is three now and conversations, at least in the family, have taken a marked increase in complexity. 

I was happy to hear Ro calling out my name as I walked back to the car after a tooth extraction related visit to the chemist. 

I called back, “hello!” and got in.

“Your car looks scratchy”.

“Yes, unfortunately it does have a few scratches now.”

“Did it fall over?”

“No, it actually was while Mummy had you in her tummy! You see, when you were nearly here I accidentally bumped a couple of things because I was so worried I didn’t have a brain in my head.”

“I think you still don’t have a brain in your head.”

Punchline in the title.

Is sass inherited?

Dora: What part of our adventure did you like best?

Ro: Nothing.


Dora: That was my favourite part too!

Ro: Hehehe.

The financial advisory service

My phone rings. An unknown number.

“Hello, Sean speaking.”



A click.

“Hello, Sean this is Sarah from the financial advisory service.”

“Which financial advisory service is that, Sarah?”


How it happened

Ro and I are snuggling before the alarm goes off.

Me: Rosie, how did you get to be so beautiful?

Rosie: I fell off a chair and broke my leg.

Once were worriers #blogjune

Fi’s training Ró to say, “let’s go, Broncos!”

She turns to me and asks me what my guy’s war cry is.


“The Warriors.”

“Uh, it’s ‘we did really well that one year we got to the finals.'”

Am I still in charge at this point? #blogjune

I’ve been trying to add a little negotiation to the discipline process. I’ve been giving the expectation, and if not met outlining a consequence with a count of three to avoid it happening. It’s not stopped the mischief but it’s making the picking up and so on a calmer affair.

Tonight she climbed up on the TV cabinet.

“Darling, can you get down from there?”

“No way!”

“Please get down, sweetheart.”

“Count fwee.”