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.



On viewing yet another bold legal disclaimer on my Facebook timeline

Dear Facebook Using Friends.

You are hereby notified that your rights in relation to the contents of your profile will not in any way be legally changed from the agreement under which you signed up by any posting you put in text or otherwise form in your timeline.

The  contents of a profile hosted for public display by a company you have no shares in, or ownership of, are very much exploitable by that company, so long as you choose to share publicly using that company’s resources.

With that in mind, you possibly have a right of recourse under UCC 1-103 1-308, which is currently being widely quoted as applicable, however you would have to be prepared to test that in a court of law for it to be in any way effective. Many wise scholars have written on the effectiveness on quoting this code against a vast range of ailments.

I would recommend if you cannot abide by Facebooks TOS, don’t participate. For myself, I welcome my private information-corrupting overlords. Brand me, baby!