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Women in Doctor Who

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Author Topic: Women in Doctor Who  (Read 346 times)
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« Reply #20 on: January 26, 2012, 02:51:00 pm »

The last post in this thread was a year ago. A year ago today actually, so I realise I am late to the party, but this is one of the more interesting discussions I have seen and I wanted to dig it up to add my opinion to the mix.

Reading through everyones posts from the beginning and not being caught in the heat of the moment with the discussion as others possibly were, there were a few things that stood out to me. Firstly, BlueRose made some valid points in what she was saying about the characters, however, her comments very much made it seem that only single, independent women can be strong characters and anyone partnered up or married automatically is seen as weak. What I can't grasp is why they have to be mutually exclusive. Can a married woman not be strong and independent? Can a sinlge woman not be weak? Can a strong minded career woman not strive to settle down with a family? Can a married woman no longer go out and chase her goals without her husbands say so?

Amy and Rory are our best examples in Doctor Who. Firstly, Moffat took the whole idea of the strong male and marriage obsessed woman and spun it on it's head. We have Rory following Amy around the stars because he loves her, not because he wants to. I don't even think he particularly likes the Doctor, but for whatever reasons, be it jealousy, paranoia or just straight up love for his wife, he has given up what he wanted to do to chase her dreams. Not as her boyfriend. Not as the school geek with a crush on her, but as her husband. They are married, and if anything Amy has just become more strong minded than ever.

To go back to the very beginning for a second, we have to remember Amy went travelling as a way to escape her upcoming wedding. She wanted to put it off for longer. Maybe she was unsure, unready or just wanted more single freedom. For whatever reason, she was running away from it. It took a while for her to realise just how much she loved Rory, but when she got there she was happy to get married and start that new chapter of her life. That, however, hasn't meant that she has settled down in Leadworth. It hasn't sent her running to get a job or being a stay at home mum. She is having her cake and eating it. She has the man she loves and is going out and doing exactly what she wants to do. Far from being sexist, I can't think of a better example of a strong woman in the show. She literally has it all. Isn't that exactly the opposite of the original sexism point? Rather than being sexist and saying 'women strive to marry and settle down', what the writers have done is said 'hey look, you can have it all, after all. You don't have to be one or the other. There is nothing wrong with being a wife and a mother and a career woman and a space traveller'. That to me seems like a far stronger and far more positive and emotionally stable role model than a character that says 'Hey, I don't need a man. I have a job instead'. The most ironic thing about BlueRose's sexism argument is that hers seems to be the most sexist of the lot. Being single and unmarried doesn't make you stronger. It makes you single and unmarried. Just as marrying a character off doesn't make her seem weaker, it just makes her married. There is nothing weak or wrong about wanting that.

A comment was made earlier in the thread that if it turned out that River was indeed married to the Doctor it would weaken the character. We know now that she is, and she is absolutely no less badass as a result of that. She just happens to be married. Maybe, just maybe, because she wants to be. As a woman I don't need to act a certain way or do a certain thing to look strong to the outside world. I have nothing to prove to anyone. I have a partner that perhaps I will marry one day, perhaps I won't. I have a degree and a job and I don't plan on sacrificing one for the other. I'm also strong and badass. Because I choose to be and not because I conform or go against societies views on how a woman should or shouldn't be. Yes, throughout the 50 years of Doctor who there have been instances of sexism, but Amy and River are certainly not victims of it.
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